An explosion in the varieties of life-extending interventions for older persons is changing the face of many medical specialties in the United States, altering the nature of end-stage disease, and reshaping societal expectations about normal old age, longevity, and the time for death. There is no doubt that the rapid growth of the over-85 age group and better health in late life for many people in the United States are redefining “old.” Robert Butler, founding director of the National Institute on (...) Aging, has stated that “80 is the new 60,” adding to other popular remarks that signify a changed understanding of life course expectations, especially for those who can access all that medicine has to offer. Overall .. (shrink)
This paper explores the historical American political values which have shaped modern financial theory and agency theory. Financial agency theory's intellectual roots are shown to be located in the liberal tradition which espouses the instrumental nature of property and property rights. The paper also argues that financial theorists should recognize that, historically, economic efficiency was not a value or end in itself but merely a means by which more fundamental social goals might be achieved.
: The doctrine of karma and rebirth is often praised for its ability to offer a successful solution to the Problem of Evil. This essay evaluates such a claim by considering whether the doctrine can function as a systematic theodicy, as an explanation of all human suffering in terms of wrongs done in either this or past lives. This purported answer to the Problem of Evil must face a series of objections, including the problem of anylackofmemoryofpastlives,the lack of proportionality between (...) wrongdoing and the observed suffering in the world, the problem of infinite regress of explanation, and the problem of compatibility of free will with karmic determinism. These objections, either separately or taken together, provide (it is argued) sufficient reason to doubt whether the doctrine of karma and rebirth can in fact provide a satisfactory theodicy. (shrink)
In this essay I analyze and defend the common sense moral conviction that terrorism, i.e., the use of violence against civilians for political or military purposes, is always morally impermissible. Terrorism violates the fundamental moral prohibition against harming the innocent, even to produce greater overall good. It is therefore just the sort of case that serves as a refutation of consequentialist moral theories. From a deontological perspective, the only remotely plausible forms of justification for a terrorist act would be that (...) it constitutes a form of justifiable punishment of the guilty, or that it is legitimate self-defense against an aggressor. But an examination of the fundamental moral and legal principles of punishment and self-defense demonstrates that neither of these claims can succeed. Since terrorism cannot be justified either as punishment or as self-defense, it cannot be morally justified at all. (shrink)
Introduction -- The principles of self-defense -- The leading theories of self-defense -- The doctrine of double effect -- Double effect and common sense morality -- Can double effect justify self-defense? -- Conclusion: Justifying self-defense.
Descartes held the doctrine that the eternal truths are freely created by God. He seems to have thought that a proper understanding of God's freedom entails such a doctrine concerning the eternal truths. In this paper, I examine Descartes' account of divine freedom. I argue that Descartes' statements about indifference, namely that indifference is the lowest grade of freedom and that indifference is the essence of God's freedom are not incompatible. I also show how Descartes arrived at his doctrine of (...) the creation of the eternal truths by consideration of the nature of God's freedom. Footnotes1 In this paper, I employ the following abbreviations:AT: Descartes, René Oeuvres de Descartes, C. Adam and P. Tannery (eds) (Paris: J. Vrin, 1996) (cited by volume and page number).CSM: Descartes, René The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, vols 1 and 2, J. Cottingham, R. Stoothoff, D. Murdoch (transl.) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985) (cited by volume and page number).CSMK: Descartes, René The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, vol. 3, J. Cottingham, R. Stoothoff, D. Murdoch, A. Kenny (transl.) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991) (cited by page number). (shrink)
Accounts of theistic faith according to which it does not involve referring to or believing in God as existing independently of the life of faith are instances of theistic reductionism. Theistic reductionism, in holding that ‘God’ does not refer to reality outside the life of believers, holds thereby that theism is not rightly to be regarded as true or false. Such accounts may be proposed or used as defenses of theistic faith. They ‘defend’ faith insofar as they describe the form (...) of life faith involves and show that the human and cultural functions it performs are valuable. Examining several reductionist accounts, ordered from weaker to stronger, I argue that they fail as defenses of theistic life and language. Whereas the reductionist views claim to leave the practice of theism as it is, I argue that in fact they imply a different form of life from the one theism actually is. Thus reductionist defenses of religious practice fail and fail precisely where they insist on treating God in some way other than as existing outside of religious life. From this I infer that theism as it exists can only be defended in ways that include taking ‘God’ as referring to a God who is real outside the life which recognizes him. The religious reductionists discussed include R.B. Braithwaite, P.F. Schmidt, Paul Holmer, Paul van Buren, Gordon Kaufman, and D.Z. Phillips. (shrink)
John Dewey and the spirit of pragmatism, by H. M. Kallen.--Dewey and art, by I. Edman.--Instrumantalism and the history of philosophy, by G. Boas.--Culture and personality, by L. K. Frank.--Social inquiry and social doctrine, by H. L. Friess.--Dewey's theories of legal reasoning and valuation, by S. Ratner.--John Dewey and education, by J. L. Childs.--Dewey's revision of Jefferson, by M. R. Konvitz.--Laity and prelacy in American democracy, by H. W. Schneider.--Organized labor and the Dewey philosophy, by M. Starr.--The desirable and emotive (...) in Dewey's ethics, by S. Hook.--John Dewey's theory of inquiry, by F. Kaufman.--Dewey's theory of natural science, by E. Nagel.--Concerning a certain Deweyan conception of metaphysics, by A. Hofstadter.--Dewey's theory of language and meaning, by P. D. Wienpahl.--Language, rules, and behavior, by W. Sellars.--The analytic and the synthetic: an untenable dualism, by M. G. White.--John Dewey and Karl Marx, by J. Cork.--Dewey in Mexico, by J. T. Farrell. (shrink)
These essays represent an important contribution to modern philosophical theology. They begin with an appreciation of Basil Mitchell's work and then discuss the role of reason in the justification of Christian theism, giving special attention to the nature of informal reasoning in religion and science. The latter essays examine particular arguments raised by specific religious concepts, covering such topics as the problem of evil, conspicuous sanctity, atonement, and the Eucharist. Drawn from a wide spectrum of philosophers and theologians, the contributors (...) include Maurice Wiles, Grace M. Jantzen, Gordon Kaufman, J.R. Lucas, Rom Harr'e, Richard Swinburne, and Michael Dummett. (shrink)