This paper presents the philosophies of J.-F. Lyotard and J. Habermas as motivated by the common goal of conceiving a credible theory of social justice whilst avoiding the aporias of the philosophy of subjectivity. It is argued that each constructs a conception of social justice through conceiving domination within the philosophical framework furnished by the linguistic turn. This argument will involve an examination of the divergent readings given by these thinkers of the relation between injustice and language use. Lyotard's critique (...) of Habermas's philosophy is then examined. It is maintained that Lyotard's notion of aesthetic presentation sheds light on an important deficiency in Habermas's attempt to conceive justice in terms of the emancipatory potential of communicative speech. Lyotard's theory of justice is then defended against the charge that it constitutes a renouncement of normative critique. However, the defence of Lyotard is tentative, since, it is argued, the commitment to the paradigm of Kantian aesthetics poses problems for Lyotard's critique of the subjective foundationalist project. Key Words: Habermas á justice language Lyotard universalism. (shrink)
This paper investigates the implications of Pierre Bourdieus recent reformulation of his social theory as a critique of scholarly reason. This reformulation is said to point towards a definition of social theory as a sociologically informed version of the Kantian concept of critique. It is argued that, by this means, Bourdieu is able to extend and develop the critique of intellectualism in the philosophies of Wittgenstein and Merleau-Ponty and, furthermore, to ground this critique by showing how the intellectualist error arises (...) from a failure to reflect on the social conditions of possibility of reason. The three forms of the critique of scholarly reason (pertaining to the theoretical, the moral-practical and the aesthetic forms of reason) are then briefly presented. In the final section, the critique of scholarly reason is shown to provide the basis for a convincing response to critiques of Bourdieus work from critical theorists drawing on Habermass conception of discursive rationality. In particular, it is argued that critical theorists influenced by Habermas typically confuse practical reflexivity with intellectual reflection - the standpoint of scholarly reason. Finally, it is shown that Bourdieus own account of the unity of theory and practice is nonetheless deficient, and must be supplanted with an account centred on the idea of existential clarification. Key Words: Bourdieu critical theory Habermas intellectualism reflexivity. (shrink)
In issue 6.1 of the Journal of Scottish Philosophy, James Van Cleve describes Thomas Reid's understanding of double vision and then presents a challenge to his direct realism found in works of David Hume based on double vision. The challenge is as follows: When we press one eye with a finger, we immediately perceive all the objects to become double, and one half of them to be remov'd from their common and natural position. But as we do not attribute a (...) continu'd existence to both these perceptions, and as they are both of the same nature, we clearly perceive, that all our perceptions [i.e., all the things we perceive] are dependent on our organs, and the disposition of our nerves and animal spirits. (THN: 210–211). (shrink)
Harry Frankfurt characterizes love as “a disinterested concern for the existence of what is loved, and for what is good for it.” As such, he views romantic love as an inauthentic paradigm for love since such love desires reciprocation, sexual gratification and so on. I argue that Frankfurt’s conception of love is (a) too general—he does not distinguish between the type of love one has for one’s partner, one’s country, a moral ideal, etc., (b) it overemphasizes the role of bestowal (...) at the expense of the part played by appraisal and (c) it is insufficiently social. Certain forms of love, romantic love and friendship for instance, are defined largely in terms of reciprocation. For Frankfurt, reciprocation is somewhat of an accidental feature of love. This deficiency in Frankfurt’s conception of love can be traced to a problem in his conception of selfhood which I argue is insufficiently social in nature. (shrink)
I argue in this paper that a recovery of the cognitive role of the experiencing subject is the common theme uniting Theodor Adorno's philosophy and Marcel Proust's literary project. This shared commitment is evidenced by the importance given by both thinkers to the expressive dimension of language in relation to its social function as a vehicle for communication. Furthermore, I argue that Adorno and Proust conceive of language's expressive dimension as the expression of suffering. However, whereas, for Proust, this means (...) the private suffering of the artist transforming itself into a work of art, for Adorno it means suffering that is rooted in sociohistorical conditions. It is this thesis, I suggest, that enables Adorno to employ the recovery of the experiencing subject as a form of social criticism. (shrink)
I argue that the reflections on language in Adorno and Heidegger have their common root in a modernist problematic that dissected experience into ordinary experience, and transfiguring experiences that are beyond the capacity for expression of our language. I argue that Adorno’s solution to this problem is the more resolutely “modernist” one, in that Adorno is more rigorous about preserving the distinction between what can be said, and what strives for expression in language. After outlining the definitive statement of this (...) problematic in Nietzsche’s early epistemological writings, I outline Heidegger’s solution and subsequently Adorno’s critique of Heidegger. Finally, I argue that situating Adorno within the modernist problem of language and expression is crucial for making sense of his philosophy as a form of critical theory. (shrink)
My paper argues that Jürgen Habermas’s transformation of critical social theory seriously weakens the potential of the concept of instrumental reason as a tool of social critique. I defend the central role of the concept of instrumental reason in both i) the critique of social injustice, and ii) the diagnosis of pathologies of meaning stemming from cultural modernization. However, I argue that the root of these problems cannot come into view from within the Habermasian paradigm. Contra Habermas, I argue that (...) the problem of a ‘loss of freedom’ is better characterized as a process of integration through power; the problem of a ‘loss of meaning’ must also be reconceived as a problem of moral disintegration. My claim is that a proper understanding of these processes requires an engagement with the understanding of instrumental reason in earlier critical theory as primarily a distortion of the relation of language and experience. This necessitates rethinking the task of critical social theory along the lines of the concept of Selbstbesinnung (self-awareness) rather than according to Habermas’s Kantianized version of self-reflection. (shrink)
This paper explores the construction of habitat that potentially imperils its inhabitants by considering the case of Toronto’s Leslie Street Spit and specific threats to coyotes and gulls occupying this urban dump and wilderness refuge. The paper argues that while there are many positive dimensions of aesthetic engagement, aesthetics may also blind humans to ecological problems experienced by nonhumans, and suggests a need to enhance aesthetic awareness with accounts derived from natural history and sciences.
In Consciousness Explained, Dennett elaborates and defends a materialist?functionalist account of the human mind, and of consciousness in particular. This defence depends crucially on his prior rejection of dualism. Dennett rejects this dualist alternative on three grounds: first, that its version of mind?to?body causation is in conflict with what we know, or have good reason to believe, from the findings of physical science; second, that the very notion of dualistic psychophysical causation is incoherent; and third, that dualism puts the mind (...) beyond the reach of scientific investigation. In each case, his reasoning is unconvincing, and indeed leaves the dualist entirely unscathed. In contrast, without an adequate basis for his rejection of dualism, Dennett himself is left with a theory which is vulnerable to a number of familiar objections. (shrink)
Peer review is a widely accepted instrument for raising the quality of science. Peer review limits the enormous unstructured influx of information and the sheer amount of dubious data, which in its absence would plunge science into chaos. In particular, peer review offers the benefit of eliminating papers that suffer from poor craftsmanship or methodological shortcomings, especially in the experimental sciences. However, we believe that peer review is not always appropriate for the evaluation of controversial hypothetical science. We argue that (...) the process of peer review can be prone to bias towards ideas that affirm the prior convictions of reviewers and against innovation and radical new ideas. Innovative hypotheses are thus highly vulnerable to being “filtered out” or made to accord with conventional wisdom by the peer review process. Consequently, having introduced peer review, the Elsevier journal Medical Hypotheses may be unable to continue its tradition as a radical journal allowing discussion of improbable or unconventional ideas. Hence we conclude by asking the publisher to consider re-introducing the system of editorial review to Medical Hypotheses. (shrink)
There are three potential problems with using virtue theory to develop an environmental ethic. First, Aristotelian virtue theory is ratiocentric. Later philosophers have objected that Aristotle’s preference for reason creates a distorted picture of the human good. Overvaluing reason might well bias virtue theory against the value of non-rational beings. Second, virtue theory is egocentric. Hence, it is suited to developing a conception of the good life, but it is not suited to considering obligations to others. Third, virtue theory is (...) notoriously bad at providing rules and procedures for resolving ethical questions about particular circumstances. But environmentalists need procedures for determining which of several conflicting values is most important. Virtue theory is not action guiding. I respond to each of these problems. I show that virtue theory is uniquely suited to answering ethical questions about nonhuman animals and the environment. (shrink)
According to Arthur Danto, the crisis of modern art is not the abandonment of representation, nor an attempt at intentional “uglification,” but a struggle to escape the aesthetic objectification of artworks.1 This attempt at escape has led modern artists to hold an indifferent attitude toward beauty, an attitude that has resulted in the readymade: in Duchamp’s famous urinal and snow shovel, and Warhol’s perhaps more famous soup can. Danto’s account of this crisis in art is plausible—for what is one to (...) say vis-à-vis the beauty of objects in art galleries whose twins reside in washrooms and cupboards?—and if accepted identifies a related crisis in philosophy. From Plato to Schopenhauer, philosophers have largely .. (shrink)
This commentary provides a critique of Tsuda's target article, focusing on the hippocampus and episodic long-term memory. More specifically, the relevance of Cantor coding and chaotic itinerancy for long-term memory functioning is considered, given what we know about the involvement of the hippocampus in the mediation of long-term episodic memory (based on empirical neuroimaging studies and investigations of brain-damaged amnesic patients).
Arbib, Érdi, and Szentágothai's book seeks to present a multidisciplinary, multistrategied approach to the study of the mind-brain, encompassing structural, functional, and dynamic perspectives. However, the articulated framework is somewhat underspecified at the cognitive level. The representational level of analysis will need to be fleshed out if the explanatory potential of Arbib et al.'s framework is to be fulfilled.
This paper examines the implications for sustainability policy of environmental uncertainty and indeterminacy, and relates the associated problems with a conventional understanding of sustainable development to Hayek's critique of collective planning. It suggests that the appropriate recourse is not, however, a Hayekian endorsement of the free market, but an extension of his key idea of spontaneous order to characterise the learning society. The argument is illustrated by a practical application: the analysis of natural capital explored in this Special Issue is (...) shown to be directly relevant to the improvement of the UK's headline sustainability indicators package. (shrink)
In this target article, Walker seeks to clarify the current state of knowledge regarding sleep and memory. Walker's review represents an impressively heuristic attempt to synthesize the relevant literature. In this commentary, we question the focus on procedural memory and the use of the term “consolidation,” and we consider the extent to which empirically testable predictions can be derived from Walker's model.
With reference to Ruchkins et al.'s framework, this commentary briefly considers the history of working memory, and whether, heuristically, this is a useful concept. A neuropsychologically motivated critique is offered, specifically with regard to the recent trend for working-memory researchers to conceptualise this capacity more as a process than as a set of distinct task-specific stores.
Shepard's analysis of how shape, motion, and color are perceptually represented can be generalized. Apparent motion and shape may be associated with a group of spatial transformations, accounting for rigid and plastic motion, and perceived object color may be associated with a group of illuminant transformations, accounting for the discriminability of surface-reflectance changes and illuminant changes beyond daylight. The phenomenological and mathematical parallels between these perceptual domains may indicate common organizational rules, rather than specific ecological adaptations. [Barlow; Hecht; Kubovy & (...) Epstein; Schwartz; Shepard; Todorovic]. (shrink)
This commentary attempts to reconcile the predictions of Aggleton & Brown's theoretical framework with previous findings obtained from experimental tests of laboratory animals with selective hippocampal lesions. Adopting a convergent operations approach, the predictions of the model are also related to human neuroimaging data and to other complementary research perspectives (cognitive, computational, psychopharmacological).
Marking the tercentenary of Berkeley's birth, this collection of previously unpublished essays covers such Berkeleian topics as: imagination, experience, and possibility; the argument against material substance; the physical world; idealism; science; the self; action and inaction; beauty; and the general good. Among the contributors are: Christopher Peacocke, Ernest Sosa, Margaret Wilson, C.C.W. Taylor, and J.O. Urmson.
Polanyi’s and Tillich’s unique dialogue of February 1963 is systematically exegeted, its provenance and aftermath traced and its disappointing but challenging outcome inventoried. Mutual lack of preparation flawed the Berkeley meeting along with Tillich’s severe preoccupation. Polanyi had valued Tillich’s basic theology but never delved into the latter’s important conceptualization of science, wherein Polanyi’s own concerns are significantly broached. Tillich had barely heard of Polanyi, while under the surface was widedisparity in the meaning of faith. Afterwards, having meaninglessly blandished, they (...) ignored each other, though the late Tillich espoused freedom in faith in a way that would have opened him to Polanyi’s help and the latter desiderated a panentheistic endorsement of human creativity as part of his Pauline envisagement of satisfying and open ended faith— which was just what Tillich became intent upon in the denoument of his system. Destined lovers who tragically fail to connect, they leave their respective societies with a truly proactive heritage, since the cultural crisis they combatted has if anything worsened. (shrink)
. John V. Apczynski, while presenting a helpful analysis of Wolfhart Pannenberg and Michael Polanyi, does not succeed in showing that Pannenberg’s theology is incoherent. Contrary to Apczynski, I hold that Pannenberg’s concern for theoretic assertions is not extrinsic but intrinsic and central to his program. Moreover, this concern does not rest directly upon the cultural dominance of impersonal knowing but is a countering of the theological overreaction against it. Polanyi has pioneered the critique of impersonal knowledge, but in Pannenberg’s (...) judgment much theology tends to espouse too cheaply the Polanyian elevation of faith as ground of knowing. Pannenberg, while appreciating the relative justification of Polanyi’s work, is attempting to thematize afreshâin interesting contrast to Polanyi and, for instance, Paul Tillichâthe public, rational structure of faith. (shrink)
What role do political campaign contributions make in generating and maintaining political capital? Are no-bid contracts awarded to more influential defensecontractors? We explore these questions by conducting a social network analysis of defense contractors and their political campaign contributions to U.S. Representatives and Senators. Using a model of political capital from Rehbein, Schuler, and Doh (2005), we operationalize network ties in terms of political contributions and the relative influence of legislators and defense contractors.
This paper has two parts. The first is an exposition of JohnFoster's argument that ultimate reality, whatever else it might be, is not physical, and could not be. The second part is a somewhat tentative discussion of this argument, in which I consider ways it might be challenged or amended. I suggest that while Foster's argument may not render materialism untenable, at the very least it forces the materialist to adopt certain other controversial views, and so (...) is a force to be reckoned with. I shall use the term physical anti-realism (and sometimes just anti-realism) to denote the thesis that ultimate reality does not, and cannot possibly, contain anything material or physical. By physicalism (or materialism or physical realism) I mean the doctrine that ultimate reality can be physical, at least in part. What Foster means by "ultimate reality" will be explained shortly, but it can be taken roughly to mean: the world as it really is, objectively, as opposed to how it appears to be, or how we conceive it to be. The full-scale version of Foster's argument for physical anti-realism is to be found in the first eleven chapters of The Case for Idealism.2 In the remaining six chapters, he argues that the best way of accommodating this negative result is to adopt a version of phenomenalism, by holding that the physical world exists, but only as a "creation" of contingent constraints on the course of human sensory experience. In what follows, I shall be concerned only with the negative part of Foster's argument, his case against physicalism. Foster himself has recently provided a shorter version of his argument, in "The Succinct Case for Idealism".3 The latter work, henceforth The Succinct Case, as opposed to just The Case, is mainly given over to the anti-realist argument, and provides an excellent introduction to it. The exposition which follows may well be longer than the entire Succinct Case (and, alas, much less elegant).. (shrink)
In the present commentary, I argue that Foster has attacked an uncharitable reconstruction of Etchemendy's argument against Tarski's account of the logical properties. I provide an alternative, more charitable reconstruction of that argument that withstands Foster's objections.
This research describes and presents a reading comprehension strategy called the Question-Answer Relationship (QAR) that was used in a graduate level children’s literature course that combined the characteristics of the case study method and critical thinking connected to picture books. The intent of the research was to provide a framework to graduate students for teaching both reading comprehension and critical thinking, The use of questioning served as the structure or strategy for the graduate students to subsequently apply this to their (...) classrooms. Problems, questions, and issues in one picture book (Faithful Elephants, 1951) served as sources of motivationand critical thinking for the case study method. (shrink)
This case study focuses on Roger Boisjoly's attempt to prevent the launch of the Challenger and subsequent quest to set the record straight despite negative consequences. Boisjoly's experiences before and after the Challenger disaster raise numerous ethical issues that are integral to any explanation of the disaster and applicable to other management situations. Underlying all these issues, however, is the problematic relationship between individual and organizational responsibility. In analyzing this fundamental issue, this paper has two objectives: first, to demonstrate (...) the extent to which the ethical ambiguity that permeates the relationship between individual and organizational responsibility contributed to the Challenger disaster; second, to reclaim the meaning and importance of individual responsibility within the diluting context of large organizations. (shrink)
This paper explores the ways in which foster children and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) intersect as social and medical categories. Through the method of interpretive biography based on the official case file, this paper shows how the experiences of violence and ADHD become linked in the child's life through the emotion of anger. In this way, it is possible to see how the power dynamics of the medical, educational and welfare systems lock the diagnosis with its embedded meanings (...) into the child's life. It is also possible to see how counter forces like a caring foster family can challenge medical and welfare authorities. (shrink)
Near the outset of Faust, Goethe sets his protagonist to translating the beginning of the Book of John. Dissatisfied with translating logos as Word, Faust tries "In the beginning was Mind" (Sinn), but he quickly retreats: "Can it be Mind what makes and shapes all things? Surely it should be 'In the beginning was Power (Kraft).'" Yet reflecting that Power might be merely latent, merely potential, he perseveres until finally Spirit (Geist) prompts Faust to settle on, "In the beginning was (...) the Deed (That)!"1With the restless ambition of Faust, Jean-Paul Sartre tries to find the origins of self-consciousness in a move from Word to Deed, inspired by an account of Jean Genet's foster-mother branding the .. (shrink)
The question whether distant simultaneity (relativized to an inertial frame) has a factual or a conventional status in special relativity has long been disputed and remains in contention even today. At one point it appeared that Malament (1977) had settled the issue by proving that the only non-trivial equivalence relation definable from (temporally symmetric) causal connectability is the standard simultaneity relation. Recently, though, Sarkar and Stachel (1999) claim to have identified a suspect assumption in the proof by defining a non-standard (...) simultaneity relation from causal connectability. I contend that their critique is based on a misunderstanding of the criteria for the definability of a relation, a misunderstanding that Malement's original treatment helped to foster. There are in fact a variety of notions of definability that can be brought to bear. They all, however, require a condition that suffices to secure Malament's result. The non-standard relation Sarkar and Stachel claim to be definable is not so definable, and, I argue, their proposal to modify the notion of ``causal definability'' is misguided. Finally, I address the relevance of Malament's result to the thesis of conventionalism. (shrink)
The political philosopher Hannah Arendt develops several arguments regarding why truthfulness cannot be counted among the political virtues. This article shows that similar arguments apply to lying in business. Based on Hannah Arendt's theory, we distinguish five reasons why lying is a structural temptation to businessmen: business is about action to change the world and therefore businessmen need the capacity to deny current reality; commerce requires successful image-making and liars have the advantage to come up with plausible stories; business communication (...) is more often about opinions than about facts, giving leeway to ignore uncomfortable signals; business increasingly makes use of plans and models, but these techniques foster inflexibility in acknowledging the real facts; and businessmen easily fall prey to self-deception, because one needs to act as if the vision already materializes. The theory is illustrated by a case study of Landis, which grew from a relatively insignificant organization into a large one within a short period of time, but ended with outright lies and bankruptcy. (shrink)
When Charles Darwin (1859, 482) wrote in the Origin of Species that he looked to the “young and rising naturalists” to heed the message of his book, he likely had in mind individuals like Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), who responded warmly to the invitation (Haeckel, 1862, 1: 231-32n). Haeckel became part of the vanguard of young scientists who plowed through the yielding turf to plant the seed of Darwinism deep into the intellectual soil of Germany. As Haeckel would later observe, the (...) seed flourished in extremely favorable ground. The German mind, he would write (1868), was predisposed to adopt the new theory. The great philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724- 1804), for instance, was on the verge of accepting a transmutational view in his Third Critique (1790; 1957, 538-39), though he stepped gingerly back from the temptation. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), about the same time, dallied with transmutational ideas, at least Haeckel would convince Darwin that the Englishman had an illustrious predecessor. Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck’s (1744-1829) conceptions had taken hold among several major German thinkers in the first few decades of the nineteenth century in a way they had not in England and France. Among those ready to declare themselves for the new dispensation was Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902), Haeckel’s teacher at Würzburg—though, this very political scientist would prove Haeckel’s nemesis later in the century. So Haeckel’s estimate of the ripeness of German thought was not off the mark. Darwinism took hold in the newly unified land, though not without some struggle; but at last it became the dominant view in the biological sciences. But with its success did it foster the malign racist ideology that transfixed Adolf Hitler (1889-1945)? (shrink)
Much modern liberal political theory takes the concept of autonomy as central and argues that political arrangements are to be assessed, in some part, by their ability to foster the development of individual autonomy understood as being the author of one's own life. This paper argues that so understood, autonomy is less important than is usually thought The liberal requirement that we 'author' our own lives disguises the importance of also being accurate readers of our own lives. I explore (...) the metaphor of reading through a discussion of the character of Nora in Ibsen's Doll's Houseand argue that Nora's case demonstrates the limitations of the liberal understanding of autonomy as involving authorship of one's own life. (shrink)
The use of foster children as subjects in the pediatric HIV/AIDS clinical trials has been the subject of media controversy, raising a range of ethical and social dimensions. Several unsettled issues and debates in research ethics underlie the controversy and the lack of consensus among professional researchers on these issues was neither adequately appreciated nor presented in media reports. These issues include (1) the tension between protecting subjects from research risk while allowing them access to the possible benefits of (...) research; (2) the blurring of the potentially conflicting roles of investigator and physician and the boundaries between research and therapy; (3) the adequacy of Institutional Review Board oversight; and (4) trust and the relationships among physicians, investigators and industry. The media controversy about the pediatric HIV/AIDS clinical trials can be seen as a means of “manufacturing mistrust” in health care, research and social services that have not always met the needs and expectations of the public. In an era of emerging infections, it is critical to the public’s health that people understand the role of rigorous and ethical research in the development of safe and effective care. Investigators, journalists and the public need to become knowledgeable about major ethical issues in the conduct of research in order to engage in dialogue about balancing research risks and benefits and to be able to distinguish fact from distortion in an era of multiple and rapid transmission of information. (shrink)
The disagreement between Binmore and the “behaviouralists” concerns mainly the kind of reciprocity mechanisms that sustain cooperation in and out of the experimental laboratory. Although Binmore’s scepticism concerning Strong Reciprocity is justified, his case for Weak Reciprocity and the long-run convergence to Nash equilibria is unsupported by laboratory evidence. Part of the reason is that laboratory evidence alone cannot solve the reciprocity controversy, and researchers should pay more attention to field data. As an example, I briefly illustrate a historical case (...) suggesting that the institutions that foster cooperation in the real world rely on Weak Reciprocity mechanisms such as those that feature prominently in Binmore’s story. (shrink)
Goodpaster's principle of moral projection is intended to support a program of corporate moral improvement based on an analogy between persons and corporations. In this paper I try to show that the analogy breaks down at a crucial point — namely at the search for amotive for moral improvement. Further, the analogy may foster a tendency to suppose that corporations, like persons, have intrinsic value. I conclude that the analogy does more harm than good for the following reasons: (a) (...) it distracts from the crucial question, which is, how can we motivate people to shape the institutions in which they work into morally better ones? and (b) it may reinforce a morally dangerous tendency to serve corporations for their own sakes. (shrink)
In 1962, the philosopher Richard Taylor used six commonly accepted presuppositions to imply that human beings have no control over the future. David Foster Wallace not only took issue with Taylor's method, which, according to him, scrambled the relations of logic, language, and the physical world, but also noted a semantic trick at the heart of Taylor's argument. -/- Fate, Time, and Language presents Wallace's brilliant critique of Taylor's work. Written long before the publication of his fiction and essays, (...) Wallace's thesis reveals his great skepticism of abstract thinking made to function as a negation of something more genuine and real. He was especially suspicious of certain paradigms of thought-the cerebral aestheticism of modernism, the clever gimmickry of postmodernism-that abandoned "the very old traditional human verities that have to do with spirituality and emotion and community." As Wallace rises to meet the challenge to free will presented by Taylor, we witness the developing perspective of this major novelist, along with his struggle to establish solid logical ground for his convictions. This volume, edited by Steven M. Cahn and Maureen Eckert, reproduces Taylor's original article and other works on fatalism cited by Wallace. James Ryerson's introduction connects Wallace's early philosophical work to the themes and explorations of his later fiction, and Jay Garfield supplies a critical biographical epilogue. (shrink)
Social responsibility is at the heart of the Engineer’s Creed embodied in the pledge that we will “dedicate [our] professional knowledge and skill to the advancement and betterment of human welfare...[placing] public welfare above all other considerations.” However, half century after the original creed was written, we find ourselves in a world with great technological advances and great global-scale technologically-enabled peril. These issues can be naturally integrated into the engineering curriculum in a way that enhances the development of the technological (...) skill set. We have found that these global challenges create a natural opportunity to foster social responsibility within the engineering students whom we educate. In freshman through senior-level materials engineering courses, we used five guiding principles to shape several different classroom activities and assignments. Upon testing an initial cohort of 28 students had classroom experiences based on these five principles, we saw a shift in attitude: before the experience, 18% of the cohort viewed engineers as playing an active role in solving global problems; after the experiences, 79% recognized the engineer’s role in solving global-scale problems. In this paper, we present how global issues can be used to stimulate thinking for socially-responsible engineering solutions. We set forth five guiding principles that can foster the mindset for socially responsible actions along with examples of how these principles translate into classroom activities. (shrink)
This essay is a brief response to Durwood Foster and Richard Gelwick’s essays analyzing the 1963 encounter of Paul Tillich and Michael Polanyi and to Robert Russell’s assessment of the importantce of Polanyi’s ideas for recent theology and science discussions.
Thanks in large part to the record of scholarship fostered by Hypatia, feminist philosophers are now positioned not just as critics of the canon, but as innovators advancing uniquely feminist perspectives for theorizing about the world. As relatively junior feminist scholars, the five of us were called upon to provide some reflections on emerging trends in feminist philosophy and to comment on its future. Despite the fact that we come from diverse subfields and philosophical traditions, four common aims emerged in (...) our collaboration as central to the future of feminist philosophies. We seek to: 1) challenge universalist and essentialist frameworks without ceding to relativism; 2) center coloniality and embodiment in our analyses of the intermeshed realities of race and gender by shifting from oppression in the abstract to concrete cosmologies and struggles, particularly those of women of color and women of colonized communities across the globe; 3) elaborate the materialities of thought, being, and community that must succeed atomistic conceptions of persons as disembodied, individually constituted, and autonomous; 4) demonstrate what is distinctive and valuable about feminist philosophy, while fighting persistent marginalization within the discipline. In our joint musings here, we attempt to articulate how future feminist philosophies might advance these aims, as well as some of the challenges we face. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Marcia J. Bunge; Part I. Religious Understandings of Children and Obligations to Them: Central Beliefs and Practices: 1. The concept of the child embedded in Jewish law Elliot N. Dorff; 2. Children's spirituality in the Jewish narrative tradition Sandy Eisenberg Sasso; 3. Christian understandings of children and obligations to them: central Biblical themes and resources Marcia J. Bunge; 4. Human dignity and social responsibility: Catholic Social Thought on children William Werpehowski; 5. Islam, children, and modernity (...) - a Qur'anic perspective Farid Esack; 6. Linking past and present: educating Muslim children in diverse cultural contexts Lily Zakiyah Munir and Azim Nanji; 7. Imagining childism: how childhood should transform religious ethics John Wall; 8. Talking about childhood and engaging children: a Christian perspective on interfaith dialogue Nelly Van Doorn-Harder; Part II. Specific Responsibilities of Children and Adults: Selected Contemporary Issues and Challenges: 9. Will I have Jewish grandchildren?: Cultural transmission and ethical concerns among ethnoreligious minorities Sylvia Barack Fishman; 10. Muslim youth and religious identity: classical perspectives and contemporary challenges Marcia Hermansen; 11. Honor your father and your mother: a Christian perspective in dialogue with contemporary psychological theories Annemie Dillen; 12. Work, play, labor, and chores: Christian ethical reflection on children and vocation Bonnie Miller-McLemore; 13. Orphans and adoption: Biblical themes, Christian initiatives, and contemporary ethical concerns Keith Graber Miller; 14. Second-hand children: a Jewish ethics of foster care in an age of desire Laurie Zoloth; 15. Christianity's mixed contributions to children's rights: traditional teachings, modern doubts Don Browning and John Witte, Jr; 16. Children's rights in modern Islamic and international law: changes in Muslim moral imaginaries Ebrahim Moosa; Appendix I. Selected primary texts; Appendix II. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child; Index of names; Index of subjects. (shrink)
Ethics researchers advise managers of organizations to link rewards and punishments to ethical and unethical behavior, respectively. We build on prior research maintaining that organizations operate at Kohlbergs stages of moral reasoning, and explain how the over-reliance on rewards and punishments encourages employees to operate at Kohlbergs lowest stages of moral reasoning. We advocate designing organizations as ethical communities and relying on different assumptions about employees in order to foster ethical reasoning at higher levels. Characteristics associated with ethical communities (...) are identified and AES Corporation and Semco S/A serve as examples of corporations exhibiting the design characteristics and assumptions of ethical organizations. (shrink)
This article highlights Gareth Matthews's contributions to the field of philosophy for young children, noting especially the inventiveness of his style of engagement with children and his confidence in children's ability to analyze perplexing issues, from cosmology to death and dying. I relate here my experiences in introducing philosophical topics to adolescents, to show how Matthews's work can be successfully extended to older students, and I recommend taking philosophy outside the university as a way to foster critical thinking in (...) young students and to improve the public status of the profession. (shrink)
The expression exapted as is offered as a substitute for the target article's exaptation for and exaptation to on the grounds that exapted as is less likely to foster the pernicious intuition that natural selection designs for future consequences.
: In the present work, I constructively engage the thought of the American pragmatist John Dewey and the Zen Buddhist Domgen on moral cultivation. I argue that Dewey presents a useful notion of moral development and growth with a focus on attentiveness to one's situation, but I also note that he leaves out extended analysis of how one is to foster such an orientation. Turning to the writings of Domgen, I argue that Deweyan moral theory can be supplemented by (...) the methods that Zen Buddhism prescribes to bring attentiveness back to one's experience of activity. This analysis is placed in the context of my overall project of orientational meliorism, or the alteration of one's orientation toward self, world, and activity with the goal of improving the quality of one's future experience. (shrink)
I had an unexpected encounter on a far island off the coast of Australia with a group of young people. These young people wanted to escape from the modern world and they inspired my conviction: that we must do our best to reshape our world and make it a place acceptable for the younger generation. I realized that it is the dominant consciousness of an epoch that creates the structures and the practices of an epoch. We must now address the (...) task of evolving or co-evolving our world's dominant consciousness. The fear and insecurity produced by this current dominant consciousness has created humanity's current sad condition. The Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University declares its mission to be a ?state of the art? global institution. It has the clear-cut objective of fostering a new consciousness, defeating ignorance, and providing an affordable world-class education that permits economically less privileged people to take an active part in the construction of a better world. Our first tenet is the bio-epistemological ?non- subordinate? horizontal model of education. This tenet is joined with our commitment to a cross-cultural social, interdisciplinary, and stereo-cognitive interaction-based academic platform. It is a platform that can empower young people to attain an innovative holistic view of the world and of themselves. (shrink)
I investigate whether tobacco health warnings’ interference with autonomy is ethically justifiable in order to deter people from smoking. I dissociate first the informational role and the persuasive role of tobacco health warnings and show that both roles enable typical addicted smokers to better rule themselves, fostering their autonomy. The fact that some messages address people’s non-deliberative faculties is therefore compensated by a larger positive influence on their autonomy. However, misleading messages are not ethically justified and should be avoided. Tobacco (...) health warnings’ effect on autonomy highlights an important difference between libertarian paternalism and classical paternalism. (shrink)
Dean Cocking and Steve Matthews’ article “Unreal Friends” (Ethics and Information Technology, 2000) argues that the formation of purely mediated friendships via the Internet is impossible. I critique their argument and contend that mediated contexts, including the Internet, can actually promote exceptionally strong friendships according to the very conceptual criteria utilized by Cocking and Matthews. I first argue that offline relationships can be constrictive and insincere, distorting important indicators and dynamics in the formation of close friends. The distance of mediated (...) friendships mitigates this problem by promoting the courage to be candid. Next, I argue that the offline world of largely oral exchanges is often too shallow and hasty to promote deep bonds. The deliberateness of written correspondence acts as a weight to submerge friendships to greater depths and as a brake to enhance attentiveness to and precision about one’s own and one’s friend’s character. Nonetheless, close friendships may fail to develop on the Internet. Insofar as this failure occurs, however, it would be for reasons other than those identified by Cocking and Matthews. (shrink)
abstract Part 1 of this essay argues that one of the most important contributions of philosophers to sound public policy may be to combat the influence of bad Philosophy (which includes, but is not limited to, bad Philosophy produced by accredited academic philosophers). Part 2 argues that the conventional conception of Practical Ethics (CPE) that philosophers bring to issues of public policy is defective because it fails to take seriously the phenomenon of the subversion of morality, the role of false (...) factual beliefs in this subversion, and the vulnerability to the exploitation of our moral powers that our social-epistemic dependency entails. Given the serious risks of the subversion of morality through the propagation of false factual beliefs, CPE's near exclusive emphasis on identifying sound moral principles greatly constrains its potential contribution to the Negative Task of Practical Ethics, the endeavour to reduce the incidence of the most grievously wrong behaviour. Practical ethicists should focus more on the ethics of believing, and develop a more sophisticated conception of the moral and epistemic virtues of individuals and of institutions, one that includes protective meta-virtues, whose function it is to guard us against the more frequent and predictable subversions of morality, including those subversions that are facilitated by the processes of belief-formation that our social institutions and practices foster. (shrink)
My topic is the attempt by Donald Davidson, and those inspired by him, to explain knowledge of meaning in terms of knowledge of truth conditions. For Davidsonians, these attempts take the form of rationales for treating theories of truth, constructed along Tarskian lines, as empirical theories of meaning. In earlier work1, I argued that Davidson’s two main rationales – one presented in “Truth and Meaning”2 and “Radical Interpretation,”3 and the other in his “Reply to Foster”4 – were unsuccessful. (...) Here, I extend my critique to cover an ingenious recent attempt by James Higginbotham to establish Davidson’s desired result. I will argue that it, too, fails, and that the trajectory of Davidsonian failures indicates that linguistic understanding, and knowledge of meaning, require more than knowledge of that which a Davidsonian truth theory provides. I begin with a look at the historical record. (shrink)
This book is a rebuttal of the common charge that the moral doctrine of utilitarianism permits horrible acts, justifies unfair distribution of wealth and other social goods, and demands too much of moral agents. Bailey defends utilitarianism by applying central insights of game theory regarding feasible equilibria and evolutionary stability of norms to elaborate an account of institutions that real-world utilitarians would want to foster. With such an account he shows that utilitarianism, while still a useful doctrine for criticizing (...) existing institutions, is far more congruent with ordinary moral common sense than has been generally recognized. A controversial attempt to support the practical use of utilitarian ethics in a world of conflicting interests and competing moral agents, Bailey's work uniquely bridges the abstract debate of philosophers and the practical, consequence-based debates of political scientists. (shrink)
Exploring key topics in contemporary aesthetics, this work analyzes the issues that arise from the unique works of Frank Sibley (1923-1996), who developed a distinctive aesthetic theory through a number of papers published between 1955 and 1995. Here, thirteen philosophical aestheticians bring Sibley's insight into a contemporary framework, exploring the ways his ideas foster important new discussion about issues in aesthetics. This collection will interest anyone interested in philosophy, art theory, and art criticism.
There is quite a long-standing tradition according to which the morally proper treatment of animals does not rely on what we owe them, but on our benevolence. Nussbaum wishes to go beyond this tradition, because in her view we are dealing with issues of justice. Her capabilities approach secures basic entitlements for animals, on the basis of their fundamental capacities. At the same time Nussbaum wishes to retain the possibility of certain human uses of animals, and to see them as (...) morally justifiable. This article shows that these things do not go together with her capabilities approach to animal rights. More specifically, they clash with the attitude towards animals that Nussbaum's approach intends to foster in human beings. (shrink)
'Public reason' in Rawls's stipulated usage signifies propositions that can legitimately be used in deliberating on and deciding fundamental issues of political life and legislation because they are propositions which all citizens may reasonably be expected to endorse: their use is therefore fair (respects the moral principle of reciprocity) and preserves the public peace which is at risk from contests between comprehensive doctrines, contests exemplified by wars of religion. This attractive set of suggestions is ruined by irresoluable ambiguities, truncation of (...) reason's resources and of public discourse just when they are most needed, and incipient capitulation to some radical injustices. But public reason may nonetheless be an opportune phrase for conveying the gist of four permanently valid theses in the classical political thought that develops from Socrates/Plato to Aquinas and beyond. That tradition has been significantly modified by recognition that a human right to immunity of religious beliefs and acts from coercion extends – precisely by reason of the importance of finding and adhering to the truth about the divine source of reality and value – to mistaken as well as correct religious beliefs and practices. That immunity is subject to limitations necessary to preserve public order; likewise, a religion's legitimacy as a source of reasons for public actions is dependent on its willingness to foster genuine public discourse. Analogously, a political or legal philosophy's rational warrant is dependent on the compatibility of its theses with the worth of authentic discourse and the support they give to institutions, including the rule of law, which favour such discourse. Habermas's account of discourse ethics fails by overlooking some truths about discourse, truth and friendship that Plato made clear in Gorgias. And (the rule of) law, too, is most adequately understood as a product and articulation of public reason. (shrink)