While much of James O. YoungÂ’sÂ Art and Knowledge is devoted to showing how works of art might be of cognitive value, we will focus on a prior claim, defended in the first chapter of Art and Knowledge, that Â“artÂ” ought to be defined such that only works with cognitive value count as artworks. We begin by noting that it is not very clearÂ—despite the considerable attention Young devotes to the matterÂ—just what it is for an artwork to have cognitive (...) value. If by this claim he means only that we can learn something from a work, then the claim is trivial. We might learn from Marcel DuchampÂ’s Fountain, for example, that a urinal can become an artwork. But Young assumes that if Fountain is a work of art, then some works of art do not have cognitive value. So he must have a richer, narrower conception of cognitive value in mind. For the moment let us not worry what this richer, narrower conception of cognitive value is. Rather, let us just assume, along with Young, that Fountain does not have cognitive value. Why, then, is this not a counterexample to YoungÂ’s claim that Â“artÂ” ought to be defined such that only works with cognitive value counts as artworks? ShouldnÂ’t we define Â“art,Â” if we are going to define it, such that all and only works of art count as art? Why ought we adopt a definition of something which excludes from the category being defined things that, on the definerÂ’s own grounds, are properly within that category. Surely, for any definiendum the definiens ought to pick out all and only those things that have the necessary and sufficient properties for being labeled by the definiendum. (shrink)
This paper suggests a strategy for constructing a contemporary Humean theory of distributive justice which would serve to ground what I call an entrepreneurial welfare state. It is argued that blending David Hume's insights about the origins and purposes of justice with Ronald Dworkin's insurance-based reasoning supporting his equality of resources model of distributive justice will yield a state which, as a matter of justice, encourages its members to engage in entrepreneurial activities and which protects them from the worst (...) extremes of market economies. (shrink)
The first serious account of justice Plato considers in the Republic is the contractarian account.(1) It holds that is always instrumentally rational for one to further her own interests and in that certain situations (exemplified by the prisoners dilemma) it is more rational to forego one's own interests (providing others do so also) than to behave in a straight-forwardly rational way. The rules allowing one to escape prisoner's dilemmas—the rules it is rational to accept providing all others accept them also—are (...) simply the rules of morality. Hence it is rational to be moral. (shrink)
This paper surveys the various leading options as a metric for measuring the level of development in a society. It is then argued that the appropriate metric will be value-laden in a (fairly) rich sense. One metric is then shown to have substantial advantages in this regard.
Consider the following problem. A multinational corporation is expanding its operations to a developing country. The developing country in question is now a democracy or is in the process of becoming one, it has a (fairly) independent and corruption-free judiciary (or is in the process of establishing one), its human rights record, while not perfect, is improving, and its bureaucracy and police are not now terribly corrupt. But not too long ago, none of these things were true. A few years (...) back, the nation was run by a dictator, and the bureaucracy, judiciary, and police were all corrupt. Business people, and everyone else, had to operate within this corrupt system, and for business people this usually involved—at a minimum—lending tacit support to the existing regime, paying bribes, making financial “donations” to the ruling party, overlooking various “activities”, and so forth. (shrink)
This paper deals with what a government funded development agency should do when a developing country imposes restrictions on the development process which discriminate on the basis of gender against some members of the development agency’s staff. The conclusion is that there are circumstances in which development agencies should continue their work in the face of gender discrimination but they should not instigate development projects if doing so would involve them in gender discrimination. A set of procedures for a development (...) agency to follow in these difficult circumstances is outlined. It is argued that an agency is entitled to violate a moral principle when so doing will reduce violations of that same principle. (shrink)
Grant that Hume is a contractarian. Justice then arises from more basic features of humans and their circumstances. Among these more basic features from which justice arises Hume includes (in addition to self-interest narrowly construed) the widely held passions of benevolence and sympathy. But it is mysterious why he included them in his contractarian theory for the derivation of justice does not need them, and may even be weaker with them included. This paper suggests that Hume’s philosophy of mind, in (...) particular his account of the imagination, forced him to include benevolence and sympathy along with self-interest as the passions on which justice is based. (shrink)
This paper argues that Plato’s version of the contractarian theory of justice is superior to all other statements of that theory. The conditions any adequate theory of justice must meet are outlined and it is shown how contractarian theories attempt to meet these conditions. The great contractarian theories---those of Hobbes, Rousseau, Locke, Rawls, and Gauthier---are shown not to provide an adequate account of the nature of justice. The source of these failures is identified and, finally, it is shown that Plato’s (...) version of contractarianism is immune to this sort of failure. (shrink)
This paper provides a systematic statement of Ronald Dworkin’s political (as opposed to legal) philosophy. Dworkin’s defence of democratic institutions constrained by civil rights is shown to be linked to his defence of the economic market constrained by economic welfare rights. The theory is defended against attacks from H.L.A. Hart and L. Haworth. The possibility that the theory can be given a Kantian grounding is explored.