Nietzsche and the Origin of Virtue : This book is a discussion of Nietzsche's ethical and political ideas. It is an attempt to be both scholarly and, in a sense, activist. The ultimate point is to see how believers in liberal democracy (like me and most of my readers) should respond to the challenge that Nietzsche represents. As with any profound challenge, one is never the same again after it is overcome. In particular, I suggest that liberals can learn something (...) very important from the ideas that grow out of Nietzsche's early discussion of Homer's notion of agon or Wettkampf (roughly, conflict or competition). (shrink)
Rosemary Hennessy confronts some of the impasses in materialist feminist work on rethinking `woman' as a discursively constructed subject. She argues for a theory of discourse as ideology taking into account the work of Kristeva, Foucault and Laclau.
My humanity is fractured if I neglect to care for vulnerable others. Indeed, if we grasp Virginia Held’s care ethics, we acknowledge that all humans are interdependent and that the vulnerable among us deserve particularly conscientious consideration—some level of care. Accordingly, I agree with Rosemarie Tong when she proposes that those who dodge caring roles marginalize themselves from society. This marginalization can occur if I squirm out of attending to my ailing family members’ needs, or if I avoid (employment or (...) volunteer) opportunities to care for those other than my family. It can also occur if I draw an arbitrary dichotomy between “work” and care, and devalue those in caring roles. Indeed, the United .. (shrink)
Various authors, for instance Elizabeth Anderson, Rosemary Tong, Mary Warnock and Margaret Brazier have argued that commercial surrogate motherhood is exploitative and that it should be prohibited. Their arguments are unconvincing. Exploitation is a more complex notion than it is usually presented as being. Unequal bargaining power can be a cause of exploitation but the exercise of unequal bargaining power is not inevitably or inherently exploitative. Exploitation concerns unfair and/or unjust strategies - rather than the exercise of power as (...) such. Commercial surrogate motherhood is not necessarily exploitative. Furthermore, not all transactions which are exploitative should be made illegal. (shrink)
: This paper engages with theories of the monstrous maternal in feminist philosophy to explore how examples of visual art practice by Susan Hiller, Marc Quinn, Alison Lapper, Tracey Emin, and Cindy Sherman disrupt maternal ideals in visual culture through differently imagined body schema. By examining instances of the pregnant body represented in relation to maternal subjectivity, disability, abortion, and "prosthetic" pregnancy, it asks whether the "monstrous" can offer different kinds of figurations of the maternal that acknowledge the agency and (...) potential power of the pregnant subject. (shrink)
Most moral philosophers agree that if a moral agent is incapable of performing some act ϕ because of a physical incapacity, then they do not have a reason to ϕ. Most also claim that if an agent is incapable of ϕ-ing due to a psychological incapacity, brought about by, for example, an obsession or phobia, then this does not preclude them from having a reason to ϕ. This is because the 'ought implies can' principle is usually interpreted as a claim (...) about physical, rather than psychological, capacities. In this paper I argue for an opposing view: if we don't have reasons to do things that we are physically incapable of doing, then neither do we have reasons to do things we are psychologically incapable of doing. I also argue that extending the 'ought implies can' principle to psychological capacities makes the principle more attractive. (shrink)
odel’s Theorems (CUP, heavily corrected fourth printing 2009: henceforth IGT ). Surely that’s more than enough to be going on with? Ah, but there’s the snag. It is more than enough. In the writing, as is the way with these things, the book grew far beyond the scope of the lecture notes from which it started. And while I hope the result is still pretty accessible to someone prepared to put in the time and effort, there is – to be (...) frank – a lot more in the book than is really needed by philosophers meeting the incompleteness theorems for the first time, or indeed by mathematicians wanting a brisk introduction. You might reasonably want to get your heads around only those technical basics which are actually necessary for understanding how the theorems are proved and for appreciating philosophical discussions about incompleteness. So you need a cut-down version of the book – an introduction to the Introduction! Well, isn’t that what lectures are for? Indeed. But there’s another snag. I haven’t got many lectures to play with. So either (A) I crack on at a very fast pace (hard-core mathmo style), cover those basics, but perhaps leave too many people puzzled and alarmed. Or (B) I do relaxed talk’n’chalk, highlighting the really Big Ideas, making sure everyone is grasping them as we go along, but inevitably omit important stuff and leave quite a gap between what happens in the lectures and what happens in the book. What to do? I’m going for plan (B). But then I ought to do something to fill that gap between lectures and book. Hence these notes. The idea, then, is to give relaxed lectures, highlighting Big Ideas, not worrying too much about depth or fine-detail (nor even about getting through all of the day’s intended menu of topics). These notes then expand things just enough, and give pointers to relevant chunks of IGT. Though I hope these notes will be to a fair extent be stand-alone, and tell a brief but coherent story read by themselves: so occasionally I’ll copy a paragraph or two from the book, rather than just refer to them.. (shrink)
Why should one believe that conscious awareness is solely the result of organizational complexity? What is the connection between consciousness and combinatorics: transformation of quantity into quality? The claim that the former is reducible to the other seems unconvincing—as unlike as chalk and cheese! In his book1 Penrose is at least attempting to compare like with like: the enigma of consciousness with the progress of physics.
Cost-benefit analysis is commonly understood to be intimately connected with utilitarianism and incompatible with other moral theories, particularly those that focus on deontological concepts such as rights. We reject this claim and argue that cost-benefit analysis can take moral rights as well as other non-utilitarian moral considerations into account in a systematic manner. We discuss three ways of doing this, and claim that two of them (output filters and input filters) can account for a wide range of rights-based moral theories, (...) including the absolute notions of moral rights proposed by Hayek, Mayo, Nozick, and Shue. We also discuss whether the use of output filters and input filters can be generalized to cover other non-utilitarian theories, such as Kantian duty ethics and virtue ethics. (shrink)
The American Medical Association enacted its Code of Ethics in 1847, the first such national codification. In this volume, a distinguished group of experts from the fields of medicine, bioethics, and history of medicine reflect on the development of medical ethics in the United States, using historical analyses as a springboard for discussions of the problems of the present, including what the editors call "a sense of moral crisis precipitated by the shift from a system of fee-for-service medicine to a (...) system of fee-for-system medicine, better known as 'managed care.'" The authors begin with a look at how the medical profession began to consider ethical issues in the 1800s and subsequent developments in the 1900s. They then address the sociological, historical, ethical, and legal aspects of the practice of medicine. Later chapters discuss current and future challenges to medical ethics and professional values. Appendixes display various versions of the AMA's Code of Ethics as it has evolved over time. Contributors: George J. Annas, J.D., M.P.H., Arthur Isak Applbaum, Ph.D., Robert B. Baker, Ph.D., Chester R. Burns, M.D., Ph.D., Arthur L. Caplan, Ph.D., Alexander Morgan Capron, J.D., Christine K. Cassel, M.D., Linda L. Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., Eliot L. Freidson, Ph.D., Albert R. Jonsen, Ph.D., Stephen R. Latham, J.D., Ph.D., Susan E. Lederer, Ph.D., Florencia Luna, Ph.D., Edmund D. Pellegrino, M.D., Charles E. Rosenberg, Ph.D., Mark Siegler, M.D., Rosemary A. Stevens, Ph.D., Robert M. Tenery, Jr., M.D., Robert M. Veatch, Ph.D., John Harley Warner, Ph.D., Paul Root Wolpe, Ph.D. (shrink)
Applied analytical political philosophy has not been a thriving enterprise in the United States in recent years. Certainly it has made little discernible impact on public culture. Political philosophers absorb topics and ideas from the Zeitgeist, but it shows little inclination to return the favor. After the publication of his monumental work A Theory of Justice back in 1971, John Rawls became a deservedly famous intellectual, but who has ever heard political critics or commentators refer to the difference principle or (...) fair equality of opportunity in discussions aimed at a wide audience? Writing philosophically astute and beautifully accessible prose, often in not strictly academic journals of opinion, Ronald Dworkin has been in some ways the very model of a public intellectual, but the only reference to his opinions that I have seen in any newspaper occurred in a New York Times review of a restaurant near London along the Thames (as I recall, Dworkin was quoted as saying it was at the very least the best restaurant in the northern hemisphere). You might chalk up the situation to the fact that political philosophers tend to be liberal and the public political culture in the United States has been growing decidedly conservative, but that mismatch can hardly be the whole story. Right-wing libertarianism is a popular doctrine, but Robert Nozick’s classical and never superseded 1974 exploration of that view in his brilliant Anarchy, State, and Utopia is not cited. Nor is there a signiﬁcant literature that seeks to derive practical policy recommendations from Nozick’s theory and relevant factual claims. Moreover, the isolation of political philosophy stands in marked contrast to the wide inﬂuence of theory in some disciplines. For example, consider the enormous germinating impact of Richard Posner’s ideas on law and economics over the past thirty years on academic and extra-academic American legal culture. (shrink)
Why these notes? After all, I’ve written An Introduction to Gödel’s Theorems (CUP, heavily corrected fourth printing 2009: henceforth IGT ). Surely that’s more than enough to be going on with? Ah, but there’s the snag. It is more than enough. In the writing, as is the way with these things, the book grew far beyond the scope of the lecture notes from which it started. And while I hope the result is still pretty accessible to someone prepared to (...) put in the time and effort, there’s a lot more in the book than is really needed by philosophers meeting the incompleteness theorems for the first time. After all, you might want to get your heads around only those technical basics which are actually needed for understanding philosophical discussions about incompleteness. So you need a cut-down version of the book – an introduction to the Introduction! Well, isn’t that what lectures are for? Indeed. But there’s another snag. I haven’t got many lectures to play with. So either (A) I crack on at quite a fast pace (hard-core mathmo style), cover those basics, but perhaps leave too many people puzzled and alarmed. Or (B) I do relaxed talk’n’chalk, highlighting the really Big Ideas, making sure everyone is grasping them as we go along, but inevitably omit important stuff and leave quite a gap between what happens in the lectures and what happens in the book. What to do? I’m going for plan (B). But then I still need to do something to fill that gap between lectures and book. Hence these notes. The idea, then, is to give relaxed lectures, highlighting Big Ideas, not worrying too much about depth or fine-detail (or even about getting through all of the day’s intended menu of topics). Then after the lecture, I’ll write up notes that expand things just enough, and then give pointers to relevant chunks of IGT. The idea, however, is for the notes to be more or less stand-alone, and to tell a brief but coherent story read by themselves. So occasionally I’ll copy a paragraph or two from the book, rather than just refer to them. Warning: just occasionally in these notes, I’ll no doubt apply that good maxim ‘Where it doesn’t itch, don’t scratch’.. (shrink)
Masons butter their bricks, gardeners deadhead their roses, and who am I to quibble over terms? However, philosophers routinely speak of tokens and types, as if, so it seems to me, they are bringing a greater measure of precision to the table. Here I shall quibble. I shall try to lead the reader to realize that those philosophers are neither being especially precise nor are they following Charles S. Peirce; instead, they are merely lending a false air of scientific respectability (...) to the matter at hand. (Although these are broad strokes and I here tip my hand to a larger purpose, in what remains I'll stick to my title proposition.)In hearing or seeing a word, we hear sound, or see ink or chalk (or perhaps a hand .. (shrink)
The ratio-bias (RB) phenomenon refers to the perceived likelihood of a low-probability event as greater when it is presented in the form of larger (e.g. 10-in-100) rather than smaller (e.g. 1-in-10) numbers. According to cognitive-experiential self-theory (CEST), the RB effect in a game of chance in a win condition, in which drawing a red jellybean is rewarded, can be accounted for by two facets of concrete thinking, the greater comprehension (at the intuitive-experiential level) of single numbers than of ratios, and (...) of smaller than of larger numbers. In a lose condition, in which drawing a red jellybean is punished, the assumption of a third facet of concrete thinking, the ''affirmative-representation principle'', is necessary, as many participants reverse their focus of attention from the undesirable red to the desirable white jellybeans. Results supported the CEST explanation of the RB effect by demonstrating a predicted negative linear relation between the magnitude of the RB effect and the magnitude of the probability-ratios in the win condition and a positive linear relation in the lose condition. Support was also found for the associative principle of experiential processing. (shrink)
Feminist standpoint theory posits feminism as a way of conceptualizing from the vantage point of women's lives. However, in current work on feminist standpoint the material links between lives and knowledges are often not explained. This essay argues that the radical marxist tradition standpoint theory draws on-specifically theories of ideology post-Althusser-offers a systemic mode of reading that can redress this problem and provide the resources to elaborate further feminism's oppositional practice and collective subject.
In the context of the fairly recent Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (TRC), I examine phenomenologically the nature of truth as the essential condition for overcoming social and political conflicts, and as an instrument for enforcing so-called “transitional justice” periods and promoting reconciliation. I also briefly approach the limits of this truth’s possibility of being recognized, if its evaluative and practical dimensions and its appeal to an “intelligence of emotions” do not prevail over its merely theoretical claims. Though not expounding Schutz’s (...) and Husserl’s contributions, and meditating on phenomena they did not deal with, I carry out this reflection inspired by their work and methodological approach. The case study used as an intuitive illustration is the recent Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. (shrink)
Pure time preference is a preference for something to come at one point in time rather than another merely because of when it occurs in time. In opposition to Sidgwick, Ramsey, Rawls, and Parfit we argue that it is not always irrational to be guided by pure time preferences. We argue that even if the mere difference of location in time is not a rational ground for a preference, time may nevertheless be a normatively neutral ground for a preference, and (...) this makes it plausible to claim that the preference is rationally permitted. (shrink)
Currently a number of feminists in philosophy and religious studies as well as other academic disciplines have argued that policies, practices and doctrines assumed to be sexneutral are in fact male-biased. Thus, Rosemary Reuther, reflecting on the development of theology in the Judeo-Christian tradition suggests that the long-term exclusion of women from leadership and theological education has rendered the “official theological culture” repressive to women and dismissive of women’s experience: “To begin to take women seriously,” she notes, “will involve (...) a profound and radical transformation of our religions.”3 Such a project exists in tension with what is generally regarded as Christian orthodoxy and so, as Reuther suggests, challenges the assumptions and categories of traditional theology. (shrink)