This article introduces a Students’ Quality Circle in higher education, in the context of current debates. With increasing numbers of students entering the university and constrained financial resources in the sector, new approaches are needed, with new partnership between lecturers and students. The first Students’ Quality Circle at Kingston is located in a wider international context.
In this paper we want to explore an argumentative pattern that provides a normative justification for expected utility functions grounded on empirical evidence, showing how it worked in three different episodes of their development. The argument claims that we should prudentially maximize our expected utility since this is the criterion effectively applied by those who are considered wisest in making risky choices (be it gamblers or businessmen). Yet, to justify the adoption of this rule, it should be proven that this (...) is empirically true: i.e., that a given function allows us to predict the choices of that particular class of agents. We show how expected utility functions were introduced and contested in accordance with this pattern in the 18th century and how it recurred in the 1950s when M. Allais made his case against the neobernoullians. (shrink)
Jan Österberg is one of the pioneers in the field of population ethics. He started thinking about this issue already in the late 60s and he has developed one of the most original and interesting population axiologies.1 I’ve discussed the problems and drawbacks of Österberg’s theory elsewhere, and I don’t think that this is the place and time to discuss them again.2 Rather, I shall show that Österberg’s theory has a feature in common with the population axiologies (...) of such luminaries like Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein and Heidegger, had they developed such a theory: None of these theories simultaneously satisfy five weak adequacy conditions. We shall show this by proving that no population axiology satisfies these five conditions. As a fringe benefit, this theorem also shows that the on-going project of constructing an acceptable population axiology has very gloomy prospects. 3.. (shrink)
In philosophical circles, Electress Sophie of Hanover (1630-1714) is known mainly as the friend, patron, and correspondent of Leibniz. While many scholars acknowledge Sophie's interest in philosophy, some also claim that Sophie dabbled in philosophy herself, but did not do so either seriously or competently. In this paper I show that such a view is incorrect, and that Sophie did make interesting philosophical contributions of her own, principally concerning the nature of mind and thought.
Girls learn the lesson of cognitive deference most clearly, perhaps, growing up in patriarchal families. Taught to discount their own judgments and to depend on those of the family's dominant men, they lose self-trust and cannot take themselves seriously as moral deliberators. I argue that through the telling of counterstories, which undermine normative stories of oppression, it is sometimes possible for women to reclaim these families as places where they have cognitive authority.
Jan Österberg (Self and Others, 1988) argues that the most defensible form of egoism should not only tell each of us what to do but also tell us what we ought to do. He also claims that collective norms should take precedence over individual ones. An individual ought to do one's part in an action pattern that is prescribed for the group - provided that other members of the group do their part. question This paper questions Österberg's claim (...) that Collective Egoism, unlike other forms of egoism, avoids violations of the principles which he takes to be analytical adequacy criteria for ethical theories: the principles of "deontic consequence" and "joint satisfiability". Furthermore, it questions his argument that Collective Egoism yields the "right" prescriptions in its main test-case: Prisoners' Dilemma. The improved version of Collective Egoism is able to deal with the two-person Prisoners' Dilemma, but it still misbehaves when we move to the many-persons cases. A certain type of "free rider"-problems proves to be especially troublesome. (shrink)