Radical Constructivism and Constructionism. Both radical constructivism and constructionism are naturalized approaches to epistemology. They try to fertilize results from biology and psychology for epistemological aims. They both refuse epistemological realism as unsustainable metaphysics. This raises the problem of the range of the naturalistic approach to epistemology. Constructivism, in both forms, turns out to be untenable because it runs in an aporia: it must borrow from realism either, or it must qualify its own position as a metaphysical one. But therewith, (...) constructivism would be blamed to be metaphysical itself. (shrink)
Saskia Sassen is an authority in the field of globalization studies, and has published widely on the political, economic and social dimensions of globalization, migration, global cities and new technologies. This interview explores how her work can contribute to political philosophy. In her most recent book, Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages (2008), she undercuts the common understanding of the nation-state as fading away. She demonstrates how globalization to a large extent takes place inside national institutions, thus (...) transforming the nation-state from within rather than simply replacing it or hollowing it out. In this interview, Sassen comments on the role of philosophy in her work and the relationship between academia and politics, and discusses the growing distance between the state and the citizen, capitalism and the land grabs, and how the powerless can make history and the political. (shrink)
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841-1935) is, arguably, the most important American jurist of the 20th century, and his essay The Path of the Law, first published in 1898, is the seminal work in American legal theory. In it, Holmes detailed his radical break with legal formalism and created the foundation for the leading contemporary schools of American legal thought. He was the dominant source of inspiration for the school of legal realism, and his insistence on a practical approach to law (...) and legal analysis laid the basis for the realists' later concentration upon the pragmatic and empirical aspects of law and legal procedures. This volume brings together some of the most distinguished legal scholars from the United States and Canada to examine competing understandings of The Path of the Law and its implications for contemporary American jurisprudence. For the reader's convenience, the essay is republished in an Appendix. (shrink)
Jason Peters (ed.): Wendell Berry: Life and Work Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10806-010-9291-1 Authors Jacob Jones, Department of Religion, University of Florida, 107 Anderson Hall, P.O. Box 117410, Gainesville, FL 32611-7410, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
There is a remedy available for many of our ailments: Psychopharmacology promises to alleviate unsatisfying memory, bad moods, and low self-esteem. Bioethicists have long discussed the ethical implications of enhancement interventions. However, they have not considered relevant evidence from psychology and economics. The growth in autonomy in many areas of life is publicized as progress for the individual. However, the broadening of areas at one’s disposal together with the increasing individualization of value systems leads to situations in which the range (...) of options asks too much of the individual. I scrutinize whether increased self-determination and unbound possibilities are really in a person’s best interests. Evidence from psychology and economics challenges the assumption that unlimited autonomy is best in all cases. The responsibility for autonomous self-formation that comes with possibilities provided by neuro-enhancement developments can be a burden. To guarantee quality of life I suggest a balance of beneficence, support, and respect for autonomy. (shrink)
Introduction: thinking about globalization -- Systemic thinking: Immanuel Wallerstein -- Conceptual thinking: Anthony Giddens -- Sociological thinking: Manuel Castells -- Transformational thinking: David Held and Anthony McGrew -- Sceptical thinking: Paul Hirst and Grahame Thompson -- Spatial thinking: Peter Dicken and Saskia Sassen -- Positive thinking: Thomas Friedman and Martin Wolf -- Reformist thinking: Joseph Stiglitz -- Radical thinking: Naomi Klein, George Monbiot and Subcommandante Marcos -- Revolutinary thinking: Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri -- Cultural thinking: Arjun Appadurai -- (...) Conclusion: rethinking globalization again. (shrink)
Philosophy with children (P4C) 1 presents significant positive challenges for educators. Its 'community of enquiry' pedagogy assumes not only an epistemological shift in the role of the educator, but also a different ontology of 'child' and balance of power between educator and learner. After a brief historical sketch and an outline of the diversity among P4C practitioners, epistemological uncertainty in teaching P4C is crystallised in a succinct overview of theoretical and practical tensions that are a direct result of the implementation (...) of P4C in mainstream education. These recurring pedagogical tensions in my practice as P4C teacher, teacher educator and mentor of teacher educators cause disequilibrium that opens up rich opportunities for philosophy of education in supporting novice P4Cers. Disequilibrium is a positive force that opens up a space in which educators need to reflect upon their values, their beliefs about learning and teaching, and ultimately encourages educators to rethink their own role. Plato's metaphor of the stingray highlights the role of the P4C teacher educator as model of the P4C teacher in any setting: 'to numb and to be numbed'. The P4C community and its institutions need to address the questions arising from these pedagogical tensions; and this needs to be done with integrity, that is, in communities of enquiry that include children. If not, in the long term, a more instrumental version of P4C may prevail. (shrink)
In 2008 a young man committed suicide while his webcam was running. 1,500 people apparently watched as the young man lay dying: when people finally made an effort to call the police, it was too late. This closely resembles the case of Kitty Genovese in 1964, where 39 neighbours supposedly watched an attacker assault and did not call until it was too late. This paper examines the role of internet mediation in cases where people may or may not have been (...) good Samaritans and what their responsibilities were. The method is an intuitive one: intuitions on the various potentially morally relevant differences when it comes to responsibility between offline and online situations are examined. The number of onlookers, their physical nearness and their anonymity have no moral relevance when it comes to holding them responsible. Their perceived reality of the situation and ability to act do have an effect on whether we can hold people responsible, but this doesn’t seem to be unique to internet mediation. However the way in which those factors are intrinsically connected to internet mediation does seem to have a diminishing effect on responsibility in online situations. (shrink)
Conceptual knowledge is acquired through recurrent experiences, by extracting statistical regularities at different levels of granularity. At a fine level, patterns of feature co-occurrence are categorized into objects. At a coarser level, patterns of concept co-occurrence are categorized into contexts. We present and test CONCAT, a connectionist model that simultaneously learns to categorize objects and contexts. The model contains two hierarchically organized CALM modules (Murre, Phaf, & Wolters, 1992). The first module, the Object Module, forms object representations based on co-occurrences (...) between features. These representations are used as input for the second module, the Context Module, which categorizes contexts based on object co-occurrences. Feedback connections from the Context Module to the Object Module send activation from the active context to those objects that frequently occur within this context. We demonstrate that context feedback contributes to the successful categorization of objects, especially when bottom-up feature information is degraded or ambiguous. (shrink)
I would like to use this seminar to have your views on the first draft of Part I of the monograph I am currently writing about the relation between boundaries and legal order. Part I falls into four chapters. Chapter 1 contextualizes the discussion by drawing on the findings of Saskia Sassen's empirically informed contribution to the sociology of globalisation to undermine the widely shared assumption that the uncoupling of law and state exposes the inside/outside distinction as a merely (...) contingent feature of legal order. Chapter 2 is the conceptual heart of Part I: it unveils a preliminary model of legal orders, national and post-national, that explains why they are necessarily bounded in space, time, subjectivity and content. It runs through three concrete scenarios that illustrate how behaviour can deploy at least three different relations to boundaries, namely legality, illegality and a-legality. The third of these relations captures the nature of the distinction between familiar and strange worlds; it is decisive for explaining why all imaginable legal orders are perforce bounded in each of the abovementioned dimensions. Chapter 3 tests and validates this model, scrutinising its explanatory power with respect to a wide range of possible counter-examples. It discusses, amongst others, the hypothetical example of a world state; the European Union and its relation to the law of its members states; the law of a nomadic people, the Roma; the law of an indige-nous people, the U’we in Colombia; lex mercatoria; multinationals; and the law of the internet. Chapter 4 draws, finally, on these empirical results to revisit and refine the model of bounded legal order sketched out in Chapter 2. The core of this chapter is the problem of the individuation and deindividuation of legal orders. This problem had been introduced at the end of Chapter 1 as a more promising way of illuminating the relation between boundaries and legal order than the traditional theoretical approach to the concept of law, which focuses on the criteria that distinguish law from.... (shrink)
There are few issues more urgently in need of intelligent analysis both in the UK and elsewhere than those relating to displacement, asylum, and migration. In this volume, based on the 2004 Oxford Amnesty Lectures, major figures in philosophy, political science, law, psychoanalysis, sociology, and literature address the challenges that displacement, asylum, and migration pose to our notions of human rights. Each lecture is accompanied by a critical response from another leading thinker in the field. -/- The volume contains lectures (...) by Slavoj Zizek, Bhikhu Parekh, Ali A.Mazrui, Matthew J. Gibney, Saskia Sassen, Harold Hongju Koh, Caryl Phillips, and Jacqueline Rose, with critical responses from Michael Ignatieff, Seyla Benhabib, Iftikhar Malik, Melissa Lane, Christian Joppke, Rey Koslowski, Elleke Boehmer, and Ali Abunimah. -/- This is the twelfth volume of Oxford Amnesty Lectures to be published since 1992. -/- 'All good citizens should probably want to buy them . . . simply because they are published in support of such a good cause. It turns out, though, that no self-sacrifice is involved. [These] are immensely rich, challenging, stimulating volumes . . . The contributors' lists are star-studded . . . and each book has a clear, coherent, overarching theme, despite the extreme diversity of the individual lectures' (The Independent, April 10, 2003). (shrink)
Ralph Burhoe developed his proposals for a social reformation at a time when the “two cultures” debate was still active. It is suggested here that Burhoe, sharing with his contemporaries an understanding of culture that was Western and normative in character, overlooked the distinction between the culture of the elites and popular culture, and consequently between religion as presented by theologians and church officials and popular religion. Therefore, his proposals for the revitalization of traditional religions, even if implemented, would not (...) work. Some contradictions within his own program are pointed out, and the social role of the sciences after World War II, as well as the ambiguities of their presence in the so-called underdeveloped nations, is analyzed. As a positive conclusion, it is suggested that Burhoe's main contribution should be sought, not in his outline for a social reformation, but in his role as an organizer of the dialogue between religion and science. (shrink)
In this paper, written for a volume on the work of Robert Alexy, I discuss the idea that law makes certain distinctive claims, an idea familiar from the work of both Alexy and Joseph Raz. I begin by refuting some criticisms by Ronald Dworkin of the very idea of law as a claim-maker. I then discuss whether, as Alexy and Raz agree, law's claim is a moral one. Having arrived at an affirmative verdict, I discuss the content of law's (...) moral claim. Is it, as Alexy says, a claim to moral correctness? Or is it, as Raz says, a claim to moral authority? (An appendix examines Oliver Wendell Holmes' judicial work to show that, pace Dworkin, Holmes does indeed make moral claims for law.). (shrink)
: Chronic illness is a major cause of disability, especially in women. Therefore, any adequate feminist understanding of disability must encompass chronic illnesses. I argue that there are important differences between healthy disabled and unhealthy disabled people that are likely to affect such issues as treatment of impairment in disability and feminist politics, accommodation of disability in activism and employment, identification of persons as disabled, disability pride, and prevention and "cure" of disabilities.
What is called legal pragmatism today is very different from the older style of legal pragmatism traditionally associated with Oliver Wendell Holmes; and there is much that is worthwhile on the conception of the law revealed by reading Holmes's The Path of the Law in the light of the classical pragmatist tradition of Peirce, James, and Dewey. Here, reflections on the varieties of pragmatism - philosophical and legal, old and new - will be wrapped around an exploration of Holmes's legal (...) philosophy and the strengths and weaknesses of his arguments. (shrink)
Time travelers and battles between people and machines provoke old philosophical questions: Can the past really be changed? How do we differentiate ourselves from machines? Can machines have an inner life? Brown (philosophy & critical thinking, LaGuardia Community Coll.) and Decker (philosophy, Eastern Washington Univ.; coeditor, Star Wars and Philosophy ) collect 19 essays by primarily young academics who pursue these questions with entertaining verve and philosophical skill. The Terminator story is about something well intentioned—a defense project—going wrong, but none (...) of the essays here presses this issue to a clear conclusion (readers whose interest is aroused would do well to read Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen's Moral Machines , concerned with actual machines and ones that might soon exist). Among the book's bright spots are contributions from Harry Chotiner and Jennifer Culver that show us something about how the movies work and explore the feminist issues posed by placing Sarah Connor at the center of the story. One essayist, Phillip Seng, addresses the philosophical trouble at the heart of the tale: telling good from evil in politics is hard. This book will earn a place in libraries by presenting serious issues in a way that attracts readers.—Leslie Armour, Dominican Univ. Coll., Ottawa, Ont. (shrink)
A principal goal of the discipline of artificial morality is to design artificial agents to act as if they are moral agents. Intermediate goals of artificial morality are directed at building into AI systems sensitivity to the values, ethics, and legality of activities. The development of an effective foundation for the field of artificial morality involves exploring the technological and philosophical issues involved in making computers into explicit moral reasoners. The goal of this paper is to discuss strategies for implementing (...) artificial morality and the differing criteria for success that are appropriate to different strategies. (shrink)
In 1880, when Oliver Wendell Holmes (later to be a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court) criticized the logical theology of law articulated by Christopher Columbus Langdell (the first Dean of Harvard Law School), neither Holmes nor Langdell was aware of the revolution in logic that had begun, the year before, with Frege's Begriffsschrift. But there is an important element of truth in Holmes's insistence that a legal system cannot be adequately understood as a system of axioms and corollaries; and (...) this element of truth is not obviated by the more powerful logical techniques that are now available. (shrink)
Around the globe people are confronted daily with intransigent problems of space and place. Educators have historically called for place-based or place-conscious education to introduce pedagogies that will address such questions as how to develop sustainable communities and places. These calls for place-conscious education have included liberal humanist approaches that evolved from the work of Wendell Berry (Ball & Lai, 2006) and critical place-based approaches such as those advocated by David Gruenewald (e.g. Gruenewald, 2003a, 2003b). In this paper I will (...) propose a reconceptualized framework of place as a pedagogical practice that draws on contemporary feminist poststructural and postcolonial philosophies as a basis for an alternative place pedagogy for 'global contemporaneity' (Carter, 2006, p. 683). Within this reconceptualized concept of place I will outline three key principles for a reconceptualised place pedagogy: our relationship to place is constituted in stories and other representations; place learning is local and embodied; and deep place learning occurs in a contact zone of contestation. These principles give rise to new emergent arts-based methodologies for developing and practising place-responsive pedagogies. (shrink)
Ranging from Joseph Bellamy to Hilary Putnam, and from early New England Divinity Schools to contemporary university philosophy departments, historian Bruce Kuklick recounts the story of the growth of philosophical thinking in the United States. Readers will explore the thought of early American philosphers such as Jonathan Edwards and John Witherspoon and will see how the political ideas of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson influenced philosophy in colonial America. Kuklick discusses The Transcendental Club (members Henry David Thoreau, Ralph (...) Waldo Emerson) and describes the rise of pragmatism centered on Metaphysical Club of Cambridge (and members William James, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Charles Peirce). He examines the profound impact Darwinism had on American philosophy and looks at Idealists such as the Kantian Josiah Royce and the Hegelian John Dewey. The book shows how, in the twentieth century, the Nazi conquest of Europe unleashed a flood of European intellectuals onto these shores, including such major thinkers as Theodore Adorno, Erich Fromm, Rudolph Carnap, and Alfred Tarski. Finally, Kuklick examines the contributions of such contemporary philosophers as Sidney Hook and Willard Quine and such books as John Rawl's A Theory of Justice and Herbert Marcuse's One Dimensional Man. Kuklick pulls no punches in portraying the state of American philosophy today and its contested role in the intellectual life of the nation and the world. The range of philosophical thought in our nation's history has been great, from Edwards's Religious Affections to Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and Bruce Kuklick has captured it all in a book that blends intricate details with sweeping vision. (shrink)
Our world is full of fictional devices that let people feel better about their situation - through deception and self-deception. The legal realist, Felix Cohen, argued that law and legal reasoning is full of similarly dubious labels and bad reasoning, though of a special kind. He argued that judges, lawyers and legal commentators allow linguistic inventions and conventions to distort their thinking. Like the ancient peoples who built idols out of stone and wood and then asked them for assistance and (...) guidance, Cohen argued that within the legal world people tend to create legal concepts and then think that these concepts do or should determine how social disputes must be The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein similarly spoke of the way we fool ourselves, when we use a noun for some matter, and then assume that, because nouns usually name objects, here as well there must be some entity that exists out in the world, whose nature can be discovered. Our grammar misleads us. This article explores some of the ways, particularly in contract law and family law, that we have been led astray by our legal language. Because we only rarely have an Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., or a Felix Cohen to keep us in line, we need to learn to do the important work ourselves. The great danger is the way that inaccurate language can so easily change our substantive views about what is natural or what is right. If transparency is difficult in legal language, much of the fault may lie with lawyers and judges who want to make their conclusions sound more reasonable, less controversial, and more appealing: so we call it "consent" and "waiver" and "meeting of the minds" and "best interests of the child," when it is in fact something quite different. And at least in the common law systems the process of reasoning and law-making is tied strongly to the past. The new case has to fit into the categories and concepts that we created for a prior case - fitting cases that came up hundreds of years before, in a different society, with different technology, facing a different set of problems. So judges often end up stretching the meaning of concepts, or using legal fictions to bridge the old rule with the new equities. We may never entirely escape the tendency of our own language to mislead us, but clarity in thought and analysis is something towards which we should struggle constantly, and with determination. (shrink)
Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in general, comprehensive models of human cognition. Such models aim to explain higher-order cognitive faculties, such as deliberation and planning. Given a computational representation, the validity of these models can be tested in computer simulations such as software agents or embodied robots. The push to implement computational models of this kind has created the field of artificial general intelligence (AGI). Moral decision making is arguably one of the most challenging tasks for computational (...) approaches to higher-order cognition. The need for increasingly autonomous artificial agents to factor moral considerations into their choices and actions has given rise to another new field of inquiry variously known as Machine Morality, Machine Ethics, Roboethics, or Friendly AI. In this study, we discuss how LIDA, an AGI model of human cognition, can be adapted to model both affective and rational features of moral decision making. Using the LIDA model, we will demonstrate how moral decisions can be made in many domains using the same mechanisms that enable general decision making. Comprehensive models of human cognition typically aim for compatibility with recent research in the cognitive and neural sciences. Global workspace theory, proposed by the neuropsychologist Bernard Baars (1988), is a highly regarded model of human cognition that is currently being computationally instantiated in several software implementations. LIDA (Franklin, Baars, Ramamurthy, & Ventura, 2005) is one such computational implementation. LIDA is both a set of computational tools and an underlying model of human cognition, which provides mechanisms that are capable of explaining how an agent’s selection of its next action arises from bottom-up collection of sensory data and top-down processes for making sense of its current situation. We will describe how the LIDA model helps integrate emotions into the human decision-making process, and we will elucidate a process whereby an agent can work through an ethical problem to reach a solution that takes account of ethically relevant factors. (shrink)
Building artificial moral agents (AMAs) underscores the fragmentary character of presently available models of human ethical behavior. It is a distinctly different enterprise from either the attempt by moral philosophers to illuminate the “ought” of ethics or the research by cognitive scientists directed at revealing the mechanisms that influence moral psychology, and yet it draws on both. Philosophers and cognitive scientists have tended to stress the importance of particular cognitive mechanisms, e.g., reasoning, moral sentiments, heuristics, intuitions, or a moral grammar, (...) in the making of moral decisions. However, assembling a system from the bottom-up which is capable of accommodating moral considerations draws attention to the importance of a much wider array of mechanisms in honing moral intelligence. Moral machines need not emulate human cognitive faculties in order to function satisfactorily in responding to morally significant situations. But working through methods for building AMAs will have a profound effect in deepening an appreciation for the many mechanisms that contribute to a moral acumen, and the manner in which these mechanisms work together. Building AMAs highlights the need for a comprehensive model of how humans arrive at satisfactory moral judgments. (shrink)
"The work is on an important topic that has been oft debated but rarely systematically studied – the political, cultural, and moral effects of distant news coverage of suffering. [The book] is extremely well steeped in the relevant literature, including semiotics, discourse analysis, meda and social theory and makes a fresh methodological contribution by looking at the codes and formats of news about suffering. It has a fresh vision and answer to some of the stickiest moral and media problems of (...) our time … and deserves to find its place among important books about the moral aspects of media and society in our times." —John D. Peters, F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Professor, University of Ohio This book is about the relationship between the spectators in countries of the west, and the distant sufferer on the television screen; the sufferer in Somalia, Nigeria, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, but also from New York and Washington DC. How do we relate to television images of the distant sufferer? The question touches on the ethical role of the media in public life today. They address the issue of whether the media can cultivate a disposition of care for and engagement with the far away other; whether television can create a global public with a sense of social responsibility towards the distant sufferer. (shrink)
Pragmatism has been called America's only major contribution to philosophy. But since its birth was announced a century ago in 1898 by William James, pragmatism has played a vital role in almost every area of American intellectual and cultural life, inspiring judges, educators, politicians, poets, and social prophets. Now the major texts of American pragmatism, from William James and John Dewey to Richard Rorty and Cornel West, have been brought together and reprinted unabridged. From the first generation of pragmatists, including (...) the Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes and the founder of semiotics, Charles Sanders Peirce, to the leading figures in the contemporary pragmatist revival, including the philosopher Hilary Putnam, the jurist Richard Posner, and the literary critic Richard Poirier, all the contributors to this volume are remarkable for the wit and vigor of their prose and the mind-clearing force of their ideas. Edited and with an Introduction by Louis Menand, Pragmatism: A Reader will provide both the general reader and the student of American culture with excitement and pleasure. (shrink)
Abstract. Few American scientists have devoted as much attention to religion and science as Harvard geologist Kirtley Fletcher Mather (1888–1978). Responding to antievolutionism during the 1920s, he taught Sunday School classes, assisted in defending John Scopes, and wrote Science in Search of God (1928). Over the next 40 years, Mather explored the place of humanity in the universe and the presence of values in light of what he often called “the administration of the universe,” a term and concept he borrowed (...) from his former teacher, geologist Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin. Human values, including cooperation and altruism, had emerged in such a context: “the administrative directive toward orderly organization of increasingly complex systems transcends the urge for survival.” He was also active in the early years of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science, an organization created by his good friends Ralph Wendell Burhoe and Harlow Shapley. (shrink)
Includes writings on pragmatism by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., George Herbert Mead, Percy W. Bridgman, C. I. Lewis, Horace M. Kallen, Sidney Hook, and, especially, William James, Charles S. Peirce, and John Dewey.
In his classic monograph, The Death of Contract, Grant Gilmore argued that Christopher Columbus Langdell, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Samuel Williston trumped up the legal credentials for their classical bargain theory of contract law. Gilmore's analysis has been subjected to extensive criticism, but its specific, sustained, and fundamental charge that the bargain theory was based on a fraudulent misrepresentation of precedential authority has never been questioned. In this Essay, I argue that Gilmore's case against the classical theorists rests on the (...) suppressed premise that the precedential authority of cases resides in the express judicial reasoning used to decide them. In contrast, I argue that the classical theorists implicitly presuppose that the precedential authority of cases consists in the best theory that explains their outcomes, even if that theory is inconsistent with the case's express judicial reasoning. The classical view of precedential authority completely defuses Gilmore's charge of fraud. In Gilmore's view, merely demonstrating the inconsistency between the proposition for which the classical theorists cited a case and the express reasoning in that case suffices as proof of misrepresentation. But in the classical theorists' view, the express reasoning in a case is simply a theory of its precedential authority, which, like any theory, can be wrong. Thus, the classical theorists simply reject Gilmore's claim that a case cannot properly be cited for a proposition inconsistent with its express reasoning. The real dispute, then, between Gilmore and the classical theorists is over the nature of precedential authority and not the content of contract law. Having reframed the classic death-of-contract debate, I then trace these competing conceptions of precedential authority through the major schools of contemporary contract theory. I argue that a contract theory's embrace of one view instead of the other can be explained by the relative priority it accords to each of the two components in a conception of adjudicative legitimacy. A conception of adjudicative legitimacy consists in a theory of what it means for a decision to be based on law and a theory of what is required for law to be justified. I explain why theories according priority to the former tend to subscribe to the precedents-as-outcomes view, while theories according priority to the latter tend to favor the express reasoning view. The Essay concludes by arguing that the economic analysis of contract law subscribes to the precedents-as-outcomes view and therefore is the contemporary jurisprudential successor to the late nineteenth-century classical theorists. (shrink)
Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen’s Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right From Wrong (Oxford University Press, 2009) explores efforts to develop machines that, not only can be employed for good or bad ends, but which themselves can be held morally accountable for what they do— artificial moral agents (AMAs). This essay is a critical response to Wallach and Allen’s conjectures. Although Wallach and Allen do not suggest that we are close to being able to create full-fledged AMAs, they do talk seriously (...) about making incremental progress in the direction of creating them (even if we never fully succeed). However, there are important questions about the moral development of AMAs that Moral Machines does not address. Given the responsibilities entrusted to human moral agents, we take questions about their moral development very seriously. In the case of children, the hope is that eventually they will develop into full-fledged moral agents. How might we expect this to go with less than fully formed AMAs? Will there be a comparable story of moral development and moral education that we can tell? (shrink)
: Popular debates about "victim feminism" have receded but underlying concerns about the extent of gender inequality and usefulness of strategies highlighting difference are still relevant. This paper applies Susan Wendell's framework—relating to women's agency under conditions of oppression—to the experience of women firefighters. The framework fits well, but one case reveals the need to modify it by attending to community. An elaboration of the framework is then used to examine four policy issues.