Two years ago in two articles in a thematic issue of this journal the three of us engaged in a critique of principlism. In a subsequent issue, B. Andrew Lustig defended aspects of principlism we had criticized and argued against our own account of morality. Our reply to Lustig's critique is also in two parts, corresponding with his own. Our first part shows how Lustig's criticisms are seriously misdirected. Our second and philosophically more important part picks up on Lustig's challenge (...) to us to show that our account of morality is more adequate than principlism. In particular we show that recognition of morality as public and systematic enables us to provide a far better description of morality than does principlism. This explains why we adopt the label “Dartmouth Descriptivism.”. (shrink)
Many philosophers, both past and present, object to materialism not from any romantic anti-scientific bent, but from sheer inability to understand the thesis. It seems utterly inconceivable to some that qualia should exist in a world which is entirely material. This paper investigates the grain objection, a much neglected argument which purports to prove that sensations could not be brain events. Three versions are examined in great detail. The plausibility of the first version is shown to depend crucially on whether (...) one holds a direct or non-direct theory of perception. Only on the latter is this version plausible. An analysis of the second "semantic" version concludes that a materialist description and explanation of the world should not be expected to transparently convey all that would be of interest or importance to human beings. The final version explicitly makes use of Grover Maxwell's non-direct perceptual theory of structural realism. Although a confusion is charged to Maxwell between phenomenal and objective properties, the critical difficulty for the grain objection is its failure to characterize "structure" from a non-percipient point of view. As the grain objection is ultimately found wanting, the real difficulty for materialism crystallizes as its irreconciliability with the mere existence of sentience, which seems to force some sort of emergence upon us. (shrink)
Narrative theology emphasizes the overall aim and recounting of God's ways revealed in Scripture and ongoing in history. An exploration of 1 and 2 Peter from this perspective accentuates the theological role of these short letters in shaping the identity of God's people.
Scripture presents the paradigm by which Christians make sense of the world in relation to God. Embracing the Bible as scripture, we do not accept it as one narrative among others but accord it a privilege above all others and allow ourselves to be shaped by it.
Jesus' mission to revitalize Israel brought him into conflict with Roman and Jewish leaders, and to a shameful death by crucifixion. So he died as he had lived: committed to the ways of God, he rejected the quest for power and status. His followers were thus able to hold together his elevated status as Messiah and his scandalous death on a cross.
In this paper we describe the objectives of teaching medical ethics to undergraduates and the teaching methods used. We describe a workshop used in the University of Liverpool Department of Psychiatry, designed to enhance ethical sensitivity in psychiatry. The workshop reviews significant historical and current errors in the ethical practice of psychiatry and doctors' defence mechanisms against accepting responsibility for deficiencies in ethical practice. The workshop explores the student doctors' own group ethos in response to ethical dilemmas, and demonstrates how (...) the individual contributes to and is responsible for the group ethos through participation and also through nonparticipation. The student feedback about the workshop is reviewed. The Toronto Ethical Sensitivity Instrument was used to assess whether or not the workshop altered sensitivity. Compared to a control group the attenders' sensitivity was significantly increased (on Student's t-test p equals or is less than 0.002). (shrink)
Libet's experiments, supported by a strict one-to-one identity thesis between brain events and mental events, have prompted the conclusion that physical events precede the mental events to which they correspond. We examine this claim and conclude that it is suspect for several reasons. First, there is a dual assumption that an intention is the kind of thing that causes an action and that can be accurately introspected. Second, there is a real problem with the method of timing the mental events (...) concerned given that Libet himself has found the reports of subjects to be unreliable in this regard. Third, there is a suspect assumption that there are such things as timable and locatable mental and brain events accompanying and causing human behaviour. For all these reasons we reject the claim that physical events are prior to and explain mental events. (shrink)
Frege’s celebrated distinction between judgments and their contents invites the Tractarian denigration of his assertion sign as merely indicating the holding or putting forth as true of a thought, for whatever its other merits the marking of such an event seems of little relevance to a thought’s inferential significance. However, in light of (a) Frege’s conception of a logically correct language serving inter alia as an organon for the acquisition or reconstruction of knowledge, and (b) his epistemic conception of inference, (...) it is argued that the sign of assertion is a device for distinguishing from all others those thoughts lying on the path of discovery. The drawing of such a distinction is then shown to be of inferential significance by elucidating Frege’s conception of inference as involving the acquisition or reconstruction of knowledge. Frege’s view of inference rules as codifying justificatory relations among judgments is then given an interpretation as making no undue use of psychological notions, and his denial that the assertion sign can have semantic content is shown to be mistaken but not in such a way as to frustrate the aim with which it is introduced. (shrink)