Throughout much of Chinese history, Mencius (372-289 BC) was considered the greatest Confucian thinker after Confucius himself. Following the enshrinement of the Mencius (an edited compilation of his thought by disciples) as one of the Four Books by Sung neo-Confucianists, he was studied by all educated Chinese. This book begins a reassessment of Mencius by studying his ethical thinking in relation to that of other early Chinese thinkers, including Confucius, Mo Tzu, the Yangists, and Hsün Tzu. The author closely examines (...) his ethical concepts and terms, showing how they were used in the Mencius and other texts. (shrink)
The origin, content, argumentative basis, practical implication, and influence of Mencius' views of mind-heart and human nature are discussed. While the differences between Confucius and Mencius are acknowledged, it is argued that Mencius' view that human nature is good is consistent with and is a further development of basic ideas in Confucius' thinking. The basis of Mencius' view is not empirical generalization but inner reflection and personal experience, which reveal a shared natural endowment in human beings with a transcendental source. (...) In addition to a discussion of Mencius' views, the development of his ideas in the Sung and Ming and by contemporary Neo-Confucians is also considered. (shrink)
The Chinese ethical tradition has often been thought to oppose Western views of the self--as autonomous and possessed of individual rights--with views that emphasize the centrality of relationship and community to the self. The essays in this collection discuss the validity of that contrast as it concerns Confucianism, the single most influential Chinese school of thought. (Alasdair MacIntyre, who has significantly articulated the need for dialogue across traditions, contributes a concluding essay of commentary.).
The use of the term hsing in the Meng-tzu is discussed, along with Mencius' views on jen-hsing. It is argued that while the use of hsing need not connote something unlearned and shared, Mencius did view jen-hsing in terms of certain unlearned emotional predispositions shared by all jen. He regarded jen as a species distinguished from other animals by its capability of cultural accomplishment, and felt that it is the presence of the emotional predispositions that makes this possible.
Norman Daniels argues that health is important for justice because it affects the distribution of opportunities. He claims that a just society should guarantee fair opportunities by promoting and restoring the “normal functioning” of its citizens, that is, their health. The scope of citizens' mutual obligations with respect to health is defined by a reasonable agreement that, according to Daniels, should be based on the distinction between normal functioning and pathology drawn by the biomedical sciences. This paper deals with the (...) question whether it is legitimate to ascribe the responsibility of defining this important moral boundary to the biomedical sciences, which Daniels regards as value neutral. Daniels appeals to Christopher Boorse's sophisticated bio-statistical theory (BST) to show the plausibility of a value-neutral distinction between normal functioning and pathology. Here I argue that a careful analysis of the concept of normal functioning, such as the one offered by the recent critique by Elselijn Kingma, shows that it depends from evaluative assumptions. This, I argue, implies that Daniels's theory must give up its naturalistic commitments. In the conclusion, the paper offers a detailed discussion and an objection to one of Daniels's arguments in favor of a moderate form of normativism that remains too close to Boorse's naturalism. (shrink)
This paper challenges T. S. Gendler's notion of aliefs, a novel kind of mental state which she introduces to explain a wide variety of belief-discordant behaviors. In particular, I argue that many of the cases which she uses to motivate such a mental state can be fully explained by accounts that make use only of commonplace attitudes such as beliefs and desires.
In this paper, I present an alternative argument for Jerry Fodor's recent conclusion that there are currently no tenable theories of concepts in the cognitive sciences and in the philosophy of mind. Briefly, my approach focuses on the 'theory-theory' of concepts. I argue that the two ways in which cognitive psychologists have formulated this theory lead to serious difficulties, and that there cannot be, in principle, a third way in which it can be reformulated. Insofar as the 'theory-theory' is supposed (...) to replace, and to rectify the problems of, the earlier 'classical' and 'probabilistic' theories, its failure confirms Fodor's original observation. Since my critique does not rest on controversial philosophical assumptions and is readily available from within the cognitive sciences, it is a stronger argument than Fodor's. (shrink)
Conceptual atomism is the view according to which most lexical concepts lack ‘internal’ or constituent structure. To date, it has not received much attention from philosophers and psychologists. A centralreason is that it is thought to be an implausible theory of concepts, resulting in untenable implications. The main objective of this paper is to present conceptual atomism as a viable alternative, with a view toachieving two aims: the first, to characterize and to elucidate conceptual atomism; and the second, to dispel (...) some misconceptions associated with it. My aim is to show that the prospect of conceptualatomism is a promising one. (shrink)
Enhancements of the human germ-line introduce further inequalities in the competition for scarce goods, such as income and desirable social positions. Social inequalities, in turn, amplify the range of genetic inequalities that access to germ-line enhancements may produce. From an egalitarian point of view, inequalities can be arranged to the benefit of the worst-off group (for instance, through general taxation), but the possibility of an indefinite growth of social and genetic inequality raises legitimate concerns. It is argued that inequalities produced (...) by markets of germ-line enhancements are just if it they are embedded in a framework of social institutions that satisfies two conditions: (i) Rawls’ Difference Principle, which states that inequalities of income and wealth should benefit the worst-off group; (ii) the lexically prior 'principle of rough equality', which states that citizens’ initial life-chances should be similar enough, so that extreme inequalities in income, wealth and power are not produced or accumulated through institutions justified by the Difference Principle. The principle of rough equality replaces the Rawlsian principles of the Fair Value of the Political Liberties and Fair Equality of Opportunity in a post-genomic society and expresses a concern with background political equality, which is argued to be a condition of the freedom and equality of citizens that should not be traded off with material benefits. Extreme inequalities are defined in terms of political equality. (shrink)
On one hand, Chinese consumers are well known for conspicuous consumption and the adoption of luxury products and named brands. On the other hand, they also have a bad reputation for buying counterfeit products. Their simultaneous preferences for two contrasting types of product present a paradox that has not been addressed in the literature. This study attempts to present an explanation of this paradox by examining the effects of traditional Chinese cultural values and consumer values on consumers’ deontological judgment of (...) pirated CDs and the amount of social benefits they perceive they gain from them. We interviewed 300 Hong Kong Chinese consumers, and found that face consciousness increased materialism and risk aversion, thereby producing a favorable deontological judgment of pirated CDs. Face consciousness also has a direct effect on the amount of social benefits perceived in pirated CDs. Both favorable deontological judgment and perceived social benefits contributed to a strong intention to buy pirated CDs. The results are discussed in a cultural perspective. (shrink)
Does biomedical enhancement challenge justice in health care? This paper argues that health care justice based on the concept of normal functioning is inadequate if enhancements are widespread. Two different interpretations of normal functioning are distinguished: the “species typical” vs. the “normal cooperator” account, showing that each version of the theory fails to account for certain egalitarian intuitions about help and assistance owed to people with health needs, where enhancements are widespread.
This study examines the relationship between procedural justice and employee job insecurity, and the boundary conditions of this relationship. Drawing upon uncertainty management theory and ethical leadership research, we hypothesized that procedural justice is negatively related to job insecurity, and that this relationship is moderated by ethical leadership. We further predicted that the moderating relationship would be more pronounced among employees with a low power distance orientation. We tested our hypotheses using a sample of 381 workers in Macau and Southern (...) China. The results support all of our hypotheses. The implications of these results for research and practice are discussed. (shrink)
Jean-Daniel Causse | : La compréhension paulinienne de la loi a fait l’objet d’une réception dans la théorie psychanalytique de Jacques Lacan, en particulier le chapitre 7 de l’Épître aux Romains. Sur ce thème, plusieurs travaux récents en psychanalyse défendent la thèse selon laquelle Paul n’a pas su distinguer la loi symbolique du surmoi et, prenant l’un pour l’autre, a organisé tout un monde de la culpabilité, de la haine et de la persécution. Lacan adopte un point de vue assez (...) différent. Sans ignorer la part du surmoi, il attribue une dimension plus structurelle à la loi paulinienne. Dans la compréhension de la loi chez Paul, il voit une dialectique, centrale en psychanalyse, où le désir se porte vers ce qu’il ne doit pas obtenir. De ce fait, l’originalité de Paul est d’avoir indiqué que le péché se découvre paradoxalement sur l’axe d’un Bien et dans le mouvement de la fidélité à la loi. C’est ce que cette contribution met en lumière pour reconsidérer, à partir de là, le sens de l’amour et de la grâce. | : Paul’s understanding of the Law, especially in chapter 7 of the Epistle to the Romans, was taken into account by Jacques Lacan in his psychoanalytical theory. On this issue, recent studies in psychoanalysis defend a thesis according to which Paul did not distinguish between the symbolic law and the superego and, taking one for the other, organized a whole world of guilt, hatred and persecution. Lacan’s point of view is quite different. Without ignoring the share of the superego, he attributes a more structural role to the Law as understood by Paul. In Paul’s understanding of the Law, Lacan sees a dialectic stance, one central to psychoanalysis, where desire is aimed at what it must not get. Thus, Paul’s originality was to show that sin is paradoxically discovered on the axis of Good, in the movement of faithfulness to the Law. This contribution aims at bringing this to light, so as to reconsider the meaning of Love and of Grace. (shrink)
Like other mathematically intensive sciences, economics is becoming increasingly computerized. Despite the extent of the computation, however, there is very little true simulation. Simple computation is a form of theory articulation, whereas true simulation is analogous to an experimental procedure. Successful computation is faithful to an underlying mathematical model, whereas successful simulation directly mimics a process or a system. The computer is seen as a legitimate tool in economics only when traditional analytical solutions cannot be derived, i.e., only as a (...) purely computational aid. We argue that true simulation is seldom practiced because it does not fit the conception of understanding inherent in mainstream economics. According to this conception, understanding is constituted by analytical derivation from a set of fundamental economic axioms. We articulate this conception using the concept of economists' perfect model. Since the deductive links between the assumptions and the consequences are not transparent in ‘bottom‐up’ generative microsimulations, microsimulations cannot correspond to the perfect model and economists do not therefore consider them viable candidates for generating theories that enhance economic understanding. (shrink)
The logistic function now constitutes the most widely used model for there presentation of growth kinetics of the continuous monotonous type in biological systems (populations, organisms, organs, ...). This ubiquity led to consider logistics from a phenomenological rather than mechanistic viewpoint. Whence the question : can logistics be given an interpretation, a signification which confers the rank of an "explicative" model to it? This Note presents some critical comments on the relationships between logistics and three types of biological systems : (...) population demography, environmental resources, autocatalyzed reactions. The so-called functional (in the mathematical meaning) interpretation, which is then discussed, is based upon a variational principle : the occurrence of a minimum of a function associated with the logistic law. Its present limitation to the only simple logistics of Verhulst and the difficulties of its expression in biological terms are then pointed out. (shrink)
In the Esprit des Lois (EL) Montesquieu famously proposes a version of the doctrine of the separation of judicial, executive and legislative power as a way of protecting political liberty (“the opinion each has of his security”). Given the context in which he situates his arguments: an immense and theoretically opaque excursus which discusses almost everything known to political theory, anthropology and economics before his time, and essentially descriptive methodology, it is not easy to discern a clear line of argument (...) in support of the doctrine of the separation of powers. In this essay I offer an interpretation which treats it as a constitutional version of the theory of spontaneous social order. Just as, in the later work of Mandeville, Adam Smith or Hayek, social order emerges from the interaction of individuals following the demands of their own natures, political order emerges from the equilibriating interactions of contending political forces, carefully disposed by the constitution. In making this argument Montesquieu treats the emergence of spontaneous constitutional order as essentially a mechanical process, for which the best metaphor is the balance of gravitational forces which holds the planets of the solar system in equilibrium. In thinking of justice this way Montesquieu follows a line of Enlightenment thought which is essentially atheoretical and descriptive rather than abstract and prescriptive (“It is useless to attack politics directly by showing how much it is in conflict with morality and reason. This sort of argument convinces everybody but changes nobody”3). Rather than construct normative arguments about the nature of justice, the rational basis for limitations on arbitrary rule or the proper relations of competing public virtues and private passions, Montesquieu points to England as a place where liberty is protected and simply recommends that the same essential preconditions be established, confident that justice will evolve as the result of a mechanical process. The legislator need not concern himself with the institutional discipline of anti-social passions for the common good, since that is taken care of by the mechanism of the constitution. The textual evidence for this interpretation of Montesquieu is thin.. (shrink)
Ce texte cherche à montrer que plusieurs allusions textuelles indiquent l'existence d'un lien significatif entre le Choeur de Dionysos et le dans les Lois de Platon. Cette hypothèse inédite se trouve confirmée par un examen attentif des diverses correspondances entre les deux instances, examen qui permet en outre de préciser la nature de leur lien. Il semble d'abord que le Choeur de Dionysos ait pour rôle d'apporter un complément pédagogique de «musique appliquée» à l'élite politique et scientifique de la cité. (...) Plus important encore, le Choeur Dionysien paraît être l'organe idéologique privilégié par lequel les gouvernants du Collège de veille peuvent donner une forme persuasive à leur science et exercer une influence civique puissante sur l'ensemble de la population. (shrink)
Ce texte cherche à montrer que plusieurs allusions textuelles indiquent l'existence d'un lien significatif entre le Choeur de Dionysos et le νυκτερινὸς σύλλογος dans les Lois de Platon. Cette hypothèse inédite se trouve confirmée par un examen attentif des diverses correspondances entre les deux instances, examen qui permet en outre de préciser la nature de leur lien. Il semble d'abord que le Choeur de Dionysos ait pour rôle d'apporter un complément pédagogique de "musique appliquée" à l'élite politique et scientifique de (...) la cité. Plus important encore, le Choeur Dionysien paraît être l'organe idéologique privilégié par lequel les gouvernants du Collège de veille peuvent donner une forme persuasive à leur science et exercer une influence civique puissante sur l'ensemble de la population. (shrink)
Legal information retrieval is in need of the provision of legal knowledge for the improvement of search strategies. For this purpose, the LOIS project is concerned with the construction of a multilingual WordNet for cross-lingual information retrieval in the legal domain. In this article, we set out how a hybrid approach, featuring lexically and legally grounded conceptual representations, can fit the cross-lingual information retrieval needs of both legal professionals and laymen.
Dans cet article, nous entendons montrer que les principes d’invariance interviennent de manière essentielle pour caractériser les lois de la nature en physique. Pour ce faire, nous nous focaliserons sur les réflexions épistémologiques que Weyl et Wigner consacrent aux symétries. Nous proposerons une analyse conceptuelle de l’invariance en indiquant qu’elle permet de généraliser la première analogie de l’expérience de Kant (le principe de permanence de la substance). Nous analyserons de plus l’argument de Weyl selon lequel les principes d’invariance constituent des (...) connaissances a priori en un sens relativisé. Nous indiquerons pour finir qu’aux yeux de Wigner, les « symétries » constituent des conditions qui nous permettent de structurer notre compréhension de la réalité empirique. (shrink)