Abstract. We argue that all human beings have a special type of dignity which is the basis for (1) the obligation all of us have not to kill them, (2) the obligation to take their well-being into account when we act, and (3) even the obligation to treat them as we would have them treat us, and indeed, that all human beings are equal in fundamental dignity. We give reasons to oppose the position that only some human beings, because of (...) their possession of certain characteristics in addition to their humanity (for example, an immediately exercisable capacity for self-consciousness, or for rational deliberation), have full moral worth. What distinguishes human beings from other animals, what makes human beings persons rather than things, is their rational nature, and human beings are rational creatures by virtue of possessing natural capacities for conceptual thought, deliberation, and free choice, that is, the natural capacity to shape their own lives. (shrink)
Early medieval Irish literature presents several types of voyages into the afterworld: echtrai (various adventures into Mag Mell), immrama (sea travels to the enchanted islands of the Ocean), fisi (ecstatic revelations of Christian eschatology), journeys into Saint Patrick’s Purgatory. In this paper, we seek to contrast the fisi and the descents into the cave of Saint Patrick. From a morphological point of view, both have a great deal of topoï in common, which describe the structure of the Christian (...) other world: the waste land of pains, the infernal pit, the ordeal bridge, the land of the blessed, the celestial Kingdom of God, etc. However, between the two genres appear some major differences, such as the order in which these places are visited. The main distinction lies in the fact that the fisi are mainly ecstatic voyages (i.e. psychanodias ), implying a “ raptus animae ”, while the voyages into Saint Patrick’s Purgatory are physical expeditions (i.e. somanodias ), during the actual life of the adventurers. Although many of the common themes of the two genres derive from the medieval Christian tradition (especially the apocryphal apocalypses and visiones ), we argue that the differences may be due to the input of local Irish Celtic heritage. (shrink)
As J. Baird Callicott has argued, Adam Smith’s moral theory is a philosophical ancestor of recent work in environmental ethics. However, Smith’s “all important emotion of sympathy” (Callicott 2001: 209) seems incapable of extension to entities that lack emotions with which one can sympathize. Drawing on the distinctive account of sympathy developed in Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments , as well as his account of anthropomorphizing nature in “History of Astronomy and Physics,” I show that sympathy with non-sentient nature is (...) possible within a Smithian ethics. This provides the possibility of extending sympathy, and thereby benevolence and justice, to nature. (shrink)
Patrick Toner has recently criticized accounts of substance provided by Kit Fine, E. J. Lowe, and the author, accounts which say (to a first approximation) that substances cannot depend on things other than their own parts. On Toner’s analysis, the inclusion of this parts exception results in a disjunctive definition of substance rather than a unified account. In this paper (speaking only for myself, but in a way that would, I believe, support the other authors that Toner discusses), I (...) first make clear what Toner’s criticism is, and then I respond to it. Including the parts exception is not the adding of a second condition but instead the creation of a new single condition. Since it is not the adding of a condition, the result is not disjunctive. Therefore, the objection fails. (shrink)
Allhoff, Fritz, Patrick Lin, and Daniel Moore. 2010. What is nanotechnology and why does it matter? From science to ethics Content Type Journal Article Pages 209-211 DOI 10.1007/s11673-011-9289-z Authors Jennifer Kuzma, University of Minnesota, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, 301 19th Ave So, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529 Journal Volume Volume 8 Journal Issue Volume 8, Number 2.
The science fiction series of the '70's, Star Trek, began all its telecastings with the announcement "Space: The Final Frontier." Star Trek chronicled the voyage of a crew navigating their way through space. For the travelers, space seemed like the last unknown entity that needed to be investigated. As they journeyed, they learned of the boundless nature of space. Each episode portrayed a group of folks encountering new situations, attempting to solve another problem, or strategizing how to overcome an obstacle.While (...) few people will ever have a chance to travel in a spaceship to discover the universe, most have trekked through cyberspace. Cyberspace is the coined term for the computer world. Little would the Star Trek's producer, Gene Roddenberry, know what expansive limits the computer age would usher in. With the advent of the computer age, we recognize that we have not even begun to identify the powerful magnitude of the computer. At each juncture or moment of discovery a new question is raised, impact is assessed and plans are strategically mapped out. (shrink)
This article provides a historical, philosophical, and psychological analysis of the recent discovery that reoviruses are oncolytic, capable of infecting and destroying many kinds of cancer cells. After describing Patrick Lee's very indirect path to this discovery, I discuss the implications of this case for understanding the nature of scientific discovery, including the economy of research, anomaly recognition, hypothesis formation, and the role of emotion in scientific thinking. Lee's discoveries involved a combination of serendipity, abductive and deductive inference, and (...) emotional cognition. (shrink)
Patrick J. Carr and Maria J. Kafalas, Hollowing Out the Middle: The Rural Brain Drain and What It Means for America Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10806-010-9266-2 Authors Doug Seale, 21 Turner Ridge Road Marlborough MA 01752 USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
Sean Carroll argues that we should endorse atheism since there are no good reasons for affirming the more complex thesis of theism over the less complexthesis of materialism. However, this argument relies on an epistemological minimalism we should reject.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, sociology was becoming established as a discipline in the United States and Great Britain. This article looks closely at the lives and work of two prominent sociologists at this time, Patrick Geddes and Lester F. Ward. As sociology was becoming established in academic departments, neither Ward’s nor Geddes’ thought managed to survive intact. A number of factors played into this process, especially the overall broadness of their perspectives, as well as the (...) incompatibility of several of their key concerns, including gender, religion, race and education, with the eventual trajectory of the sociology and the scholars who were involved in consolidating the discipline as such. (shrink)
Developing a British perspective on the abortion debate, I take up some ideas from Patrick Lee's fine paper, and pursue, in particular, the idea of individual humans as goods in themselves. I argue that this notion helps us to avoid the familiar mistake of making moral value impersonal. It also shows us the way out of consequentialism. Since the most philosophically viable notion of the person, the individual human, is (as Lee argues) a notion of an individual substance that (...) is there from conception, the move has a third effect, which is to rule out abortion. (shrink)
Patrick Hopkins has claimed that SM is compatible with feminist principles. I argue that his account relies on both mistaken analogies and an untenable account of the allegedly changed meaning of SM scenes.
Patrick ffrench 'Potential Not To Be: Bersani and Dutoit's _Forms of Being_' _Film-Philosophy_, vol. 9 no. 3, January 2005 Peter Caws 'Theory as Criticism: Bersani and Dutoitπs _Forms of Being_' _Film-Philosophy_, vol. 9 no. 4, January 2005.
Narratives of the experience of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) are relatively rare in the Irish context. A scourge of the early twentieth century, TB was as much a social as a physically debilitating disease that rendered sufferers silent about their experience. Thus, the personal diaries and letters of Irish poet, Seán Ó Ríordáin, (1916–1977) are rare. This article presents translations of his personal papers in a historico-medical context to chronicle Ó Ríordáin’s experience of a life marred by respiratory disease. Familiar (...) to generations of schoolchildren are his imaginative poems, whose lively metre punctuated the Irish language curriculum from primary through to secondary schooling; for most they leave an indelible mark. Such buoyant poems however belie the reality of his existence, lived in the shadow of chronic illness, and punctuated with despair over his condition and anxiety about the periods of extended sick leave his illness necessitated. Although despair dominated his diaries and he routinely begged God, Mary, the Saints and the devil for death, they were also the locus where his creativity developed. In his diaries, caricatures of friends and sketches of everyday things nestle among the first lines of some of his most influential poems and quotes from distinguished philosophers and writers. Evocative and tragic, his diaries offer a unique prism to the experience of respiratory disease in Ireland. (shrink)
Patrick Lancaster Gardiner is best known and most widely esteemed for his work on the nature of historical explanation. By addressing the problem of the limits of objectivity in relation to a variety of philosophical issues, he presciently identified the source of a number of philosophical disputes well before they had properly developed. This was certainly the case in Gardiner's treatment of historical explanation, and it is true also of his later treatment of the claims of the personal versus (...) the impersonal in ethical life. (shrink)
Hugh Connelly, An authentic Celtic voice : the Irish penitential and contemporary discourse on reconciliation -- Padraig Corkery, Bio-ethics and contemporary Irish moral discourse -- Amelia Fleming, The silent voice of creation and moral discourse. -- Raphael Gallagher, CSsR., A church silence in sexual moral discourse? -- Donal Harrington, Moral discourse and journalism. -- Linda Hogan, Contemporary humanitarianism: neutral or impartial? -- Vincent MacNamara, On having a religious morality. -- Enda McDonagh, A discourse on the centrality of justice in moral (...) theology. -- Suzanne Mulligan, Moral discourse in a time of AIDS. (shrink)
Patrick O'Brian, the Aubrey-Maturin Series of twenty novels (Norton, 1970-1999). My appreciation written for WIRED magazine: "I re-read this extraordinary series of novels because of the depth of portrayal of the major and minor characters, but also because they teach me so much about what science and technology were like two centuries ago. O'Brian shows you the world-that-was through the eyes of a Tory naval captain (Jack Aubrey), at sea since the age of 12, working his way up to (...) admiral, dealing with the height of 18th-century technology (sailing ships and celestial navigation). I identify more strongly with his liberally-educated, physician-scientist friend (Stephen Maturin), who went to medical school in Paris during the French Revolution. You see natural history turning into a biological science, bleeding-and-purging medicine starting to learn some physiology -- and, because Maturin is also an intelligence agent for the Admiralty, you see statecraft at work during the Napoleonic Wars. These books strongly remind you about what scientific ignorance and social conventions can do to your mindset, and how the future will likely judge us as well." -- William H. Calvin You can get them all at once, so you can: The Complete Aubrey/Maturin Series (20 volumes). Depending on amazon.com's current discount, this works out to US$15-20 each (and in hardcover). (shrink)
(2007). Ethics and the Foundations of Education: Teaching Convictions in a Postmodern World. Patrick Slattery and Dana Rapp. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2003. pp. 320. $51.40 (paper). Educational Studies: Vol. 41, No. 3, pp. 255-258.
This is a critical study of Martha Nussbaum’s Hiding from Humanity. Central to Nussbaum’s book are arguments against society’s or the state’s using disgust and shame to forward the aims of the criminal law. Patrick Devlin’s appeal to the common man’s disgust to determine what acts of customary morality should be made criminal is an example of how society might use disgust to forward the aims of the criminal law. The use of so-called shaming penalties as alternative sanctions to (...) imprisonment is an example of how society might use shame for this purpose. I argue that despite Nussbaum’s own view to the contrary, her arguments against such uses of disgust and shame are best understood as criticisms of programs of conservative political philosophy like Devlin’s and not of the emotions themselves. (shrink)
John Fischer challenges me to defend my arguments regarding the badness of death; I sharpen my position, but make some concessions, discussing the possibility of postmortem harm. In response to John Deigh, I defend the account of disgust given in Hiding from Humanity, together with the research of Paul Rozin that I follow there. I discuss Patrick Devlin’s conservative position, agree that we need to object to its emphasis on solidarity, not only to its emphasis on disgust, and argue (...) that Deigh’s statement of Devlin’s position is too kind to Devlin. In response to Henry Richardson, I summarize my reasons for thinking that the classical social contract tradition cannot handle well the problems posed by the issue of justice for people with disabilities, and that even Rawls’s position requires major modification if it is to do so. I explore differences between Richardson’s position and my own on the issues of self-respect, liberty, and primary goods. (shrink)
What is the relation between acting intentionally and acting for a reason? While this question has generated a considerable amount of debate in the philosophy of action, on one point there has been a virtual consensus: actions performed for a reason are necessarily intentional. Recently, this consensus has been challenged by Joshua Knobe and Sean Kelly, who argue against it on the basis of empirical evidence concerning the ways in which ordinary speakers of the English language describe and explain certain (...) side-effect actions. Knobe and Kelly's argument is of interest not only because it challenges a widely accepted philosophical thesis on the basis of experimental evidence, but also because it indirectly raises an important and largely neglected question, the question of whether or in what sense an agent can perform a side-effect action for a reason. In this article, I address this question and provide a positive answer to it. Specifically, I argue that agents act for a reason whenever they perform side-effect actions as trade-offs. Thus, I claim that there are three distinct types of rational action: actions performed as ends in themselves, actions performed as means to further ends, and side-effect actions performed as trade-offs. Given this multiplicity of types of rational action, the question of whether or not actions performed for a reason are necessarily intentional is in need of refinement. The more specific question that lies at the heart of this article is whether or not side-effect actions performed as trade-offs are necessarily intentional. I conclude that, contrary to what Knobe and Kelly suggest, the question remains open. (shrink)
Towards the end of his response to me, Lee presents an argument for the necessity of interpreting all evil as privation. I counter this argument by showingthat it works only for what I call “formal” good and evil, but not for what I call “contentful” good and evil. In fact, evil that is “contentful” presents a challenge tothe privation theory that I had not discussed in my article. I then proceed, in the second part of my response, to revisit the (...) three cases of evil that in my original paper I had presented as challenges to the privation theory. I engage Lee’s objections to these three counterexamples and I try to explain in a new way why the principle of badness in each of them, especially in pain/suffering and in moral evil, is not just a lack or a deficiency. (shrink)