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)
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 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.
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.).
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)
Recent epidemiological reports of associations between socioeconomic status and epigenetic markers that predict vulnerability to diseases are bringing to light substantial biological effects of social inequalities. Here, we start the discussion of the moral consequences of these findings. We firstly highlight their explanatory importance in the context of the research program on the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) and the social determinants of health. In the second section, we review some theories of the moral status of health inequalities. (...) Rather than a complete outline of the debate, we single out those theories that rest on the principle of equality of opportunity and analyze the consequences of DOHaD and epigenetics for these particular conceptions of justice. We argue that DOHaD and epigenetics reshape the conceptual distinction between natural and acquired traits on which these theories rely and might provide important policy tools to tackle unjust distributions of health. (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)
This study examines the impact of attitude toward piracy on intention to buy pirated CDs using Chinese samples. Attitude toward piracy is measured by a multi-item scale that has been shown to have a consistent factor structure with four distinct components, namely, social cost of piracy, anti-big business attitude, social benefit of dissemination, and ethical belief. Our findings reveal that social benefit of dissemination and anti-big business attitude have a positive relationship with intention to buy pirated CDs while social cost (...) of piracy and ethical belief have a negative relationship. Among these components, ethical belief tends to most strongly predict intention to buy pirated CDs. Demographic variables such as gender and age also help explain the respondents' intention to buy pirated CDs. In addition, those respondents with experience of buying pirated CDs would tend to be more likely to buy pirated CDs than those without such experience. The results are discussed with a view to helping copyright businesses to effectively suppress piracy, and directions for future research are suggested. (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)
Gender inequity is prevalent in the workplace. It violates the principle of equal treatment for all employees, and often leads to problems with retention, morale, and performance. Individuals, however, may have different perceptions of gender inequity. In this study, we examined the relationship between individual and organizational level variables and perceived gender inequity for a sample of church workers. Regression analysis was used to test several hypotheses informed by social psychological theories. The results showed that (1) individuals perceived gender inequity (...) in the workplace; (2) organizational level variables had more effect on perceived gender inequity than individual level variables; and (3) compared to men, women perceived greater gender inequity favoring males. Discussion, limitations, and suggestions for future research are provided. (shrink)
The reaction mechanisms between Al and Fe3O4 powders were investigated. Differential thermal analysis revealed that a two-step displacement reaction between Al and Fe3O4 took place during sintering. Initially, the Fe3O4 was converted to amorphous FeO at ?720°C and some of the Al was oxidized to amorphous Al2O3. In the final stage, when the temperature reached ?840°C, crystalline Al2O3 particles were produced in the molten Al?Fe liquid. The effects of cooling rate on the microstructures were studied. When the Al?Fe liquid was (...) furnace-cooled to room temperature, proeutectic Al3Fe plates, plate-like divorced eutectic Al3Fe and Al2O3 particles were in situ formed in the Al(Fe) matrix. While quenching from 700°C, nanometer-sized Al dendrites and Al?Al6Fe eutectic lamellae were produced in the Al matrix. However, when it was rapidly quenched from 900°C, the size of the proeutectic Al3Fe phases was further reduced and Al6Fe nanorods were found in the Al?Al6Fe eutectics. A model was proposed to describe the transformation of the Al?Fe intermetallics during solidification. (shrink)