This paper concentrates on the way Kant's distinction between duties of right and duties of virtue operates at the interstate level. I argue that his Right of Nations (V ölkerrecht) can be interpreted as a duty to establish a kind of interstate distributive justice (that is, as a duty to secure states in their independence and territorial possessions), which is called for to secure domestic distributive justice and to protect individuals' freedom and private property. Or at least this is 'ideal (...) theory' for, as I specify, this cosmopolitan linkage is compromised by Kant's endeavour to accomodate the existence of non-republican states. (shrink)
In his review of Bernard Williams' Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy , Hart eloquently formulated an apprehension that still haunts much of contemporary jurisprudence: if the moral 'I must' has to be 'seen as coming not from outside, but from what is most deeply inside us ? the fear is that this will not be enough'. I argue that this fear is the byproduct of the dualist outlook within which Hart—and a significant part of contemporary legal theory—is confined: because (...) of his bald naturalist premise, Hart could not conceive of moral objectivity except in terms presupposing an order of Reason resolutely distinct from the 'natural' world. This paper seeks to debunk this dualist outlook by engaging with the kind of 'non-bald' naturalism advocated in different ways by both McDowell and Blackburn. In considering contemporary efforts to draw a middle way between ethical scepticism and metaphysical rationalism, the paper draws on the pragmatic elements emerging from the confrontation between Habermas and Rawls. (shrink)
In this paper, I will argue that Rawls?s duty of assistance offers an incomplete picture of our international social and economic responsibilities. I will start by presenting the two main interpretations of the ?Rawlsian circumstances of egalitarian distributive justice? ? the first requiring the existence of a ?certain kind? of cooperation, the second the existence of a ?certain kind? of interaction with the will ? and then show that none of them rules out the applicability of international principles of egalitarian (...) distributive justice. My argument will draw on societies? participation in the World Trade Organisation (WTO). So, in the second section I will show that even though this organization is not endowed with a centralized coercive authority, its participants are asked to accept significant constraints on their behaviour and are therefore owed a special justification for these constraints. I will also suggest that the alleged voluntariness of this organization may not only be contested (especially when developing societies are involved), but may also not be sufficient to rule out requirements of distributive equality. In the third section, I will show that, as any system of cooperation, the WTO gives rise to requirements of fairness and that, given the purpose it claims to serve, not all inequalities that can be traced back to so-called ?domestic? factors can be considered justified. More specifically, I will argue that the fairness of the WTO requires that all its participants be given a fair chance of benefiting from global market competitions, and that this is likely to entail significant egalitarian distributive duties among societies. (shrink)
This essay offers an overview of the diversity of women’s prose writing that emerged on the Czech cultural scene in the post-communist era. To that end it briefly characterizes the work of eight Czech women authors who were born within the first two decades after World War II and began to create during the post-1968 era of ‘normalization’. In this broad sense they belong to a single generation. With rare exception their work was not officially published in their homeland until (...) the 1990s. The writers included are: Lenka Procházková, Tereza Boučková, Alexandra Berková, Zuzana Brabcová, Daniela Hodrová, Sylvie Richterová, Iva Pekárková, and Eva Hauserová. The overview is followed by a concise comparative analysis of texts by three very different writers (Procházková, Pekárková, and Hodrová), using a feminist critical approach. There is also an appendix of works by these writers available in English translation. (shrink)
Unilateral neglect stems from a relatively selective impairment of exogenous, or stimulus-related, orienting of attention. This neuropsychological evidence parallels “change blindness” experiments, in which normal individuals lack awareness of salient details in the visual scene as a consequence of their attention being exogenously attracted by a competing event, suggesting that visual consciousness requires the integrity of exogenous orienting of attention.
This collection begins its rich analytical investigation by describing how people Australian Aborigines, New Zealand Maori, Japanese, and Africans first learn the figured worlds of their own culture, made up of sensations, affirmations and ...
Right brain-damaged patients with unilateral neglect, who ignore left-sided visual events, may also omit left-sided details when describing known places from memory. Modulating the orienting of visual attention may ameliorate imaginal neglect. A first step toward explaining these phenomena might be to postulate that space-related imagery is a cognitive activity involving attentional and intentional aspects.
This paper describes the construction method of a legal application ontology. This method is based on the merging of micro-ontologies built from European community directives. The terminae construction method from texts enhanced by an alignment process with a core legal ontology is used for building micro-ontologies. A merging process allows constructing the legal ontology.
Somewhat surprisingly, evolutionary economists are far from agreeing upon the economic concept of evolution. The debate revolves around the question whether the mechanisms of variation, selection and retention are general principles of evolutionary processes, also valid in economics, or if economic evolution can be described by self-organization. The paper argues that self-organization is a useful concept, but has not yet fulfilled the aspiration to describe economic evolution as an endogenous process. In self-organization models important aspects, like novelty generation or the (...) attribution of its economic quality, are introduced exogenously. In verbal descriptions however, even critics of general evolutionary principles sketch these processes in a way that is perfectly compatible with the universal principles. The paper thus argues that the controversy is mainly based on a misinterpretation of Universal Darwinism and tries to clarify the concept. It concludes that variation, selection and retention are in fact general evolutionary principles; as self-organization maybe is. (shrink)
The concept of substantial equivalence,introduced for the risk assessment of geneticallymodified (GM) food, is a reducing concept because itignores the context in which these products have beenproduced and brought to the consumer at the end of thefood chain. Food quality cannot be restricted to meresubstance and food acts on human beings not only atthe level of nutrition but also through theirrelationship to environment and society. To make thiscontext explicit, I will introduce an ``equivalencescale'' for the evaluation of food chains (GM (...) or notGM). By contrast with substantial equivalence, whichinvolves mainly quantitative, analytical methods ofevaluation, ``qualitative equivalence'' refers to ``less''or non-substantial factors that require new methodsof evaluation based on qualitative principles.``Ethical equivalence'' refers to factors that show themoral value contained in food products. To analyze thedifferent levels at which ethics is needed in foodchains, I will use the French principles: ``Liberty,Equality, Fraternity,'' or freedom, equality,solidarity, and add a fourth principle:sustainability. Sustainability, solidarity, andfreedom can be applied to the evaluation ofenvironmental, socio-economic, and socio-culturalethical equivalence, respectively. Equality refers tojustice and should operate so as to guarantee thatsustainability, solidarity, and freedom are satisfied.I suggest that ethics can provide a basis for arenewal of the food chain concept. Besides QualityAssurance, it is now essential to develop an ``EthicalAssurance'' and this equivalence scale could provide abasis to set up ``Ethical Assurance Standards'' (EAS)for food chains. (shrink)
Substantial equivalence (SE) has beenintroduced to assess novel foods, includinggenetically modified (GM) food, by means ofcomparison with traditional food. Besides anumber of objections concerning its scientificvalidity for risk assessment, the maindifficulty with SE is that it implies that foodcan be qualified on a purely substantial basis.SE embodies the assumption that only reductivescientific arguments are legitimate fordecision-making in public policy due to theemphasis on legal issues. However, the surge ofthe food debate clearly shows that thistechnocratic model is not (...) accepted anymore.Food is more than physico-chemical substanceand encompasses values such as quality andethics. These values are legitimate in theirown right and require that new democraticprocesses are set up for transverse,transdisciplinary assessment in partnershipwith society. The notion of equivalence canprovide a reference scale in which to examinethe various legitimate factors involved:substance (SE), quality (QualitativeEquivalence: QE), and ethics (EthicalEquivalence: EE). QE requires that newqualitative methods of evaluation that are notbased on reductive principles are developed. EEcan provide a basis for the development of anEthical Assurance as a counterpart of QualityAssurance in the food sector. In France, asecond circle of expertise is being set up toaddress the social issues in food public policybeside classical risk assessment by the firstcircle of expertise. Since ethics is likely tobecome an organizing principle of the secondcircle, the equivalence ethical framework canprove instrumental in this context. (shrink)
Important decisions are often based on a distributed process of information processing, from a knowledge base that is itself distributed among agents. The simplest such situation is that where a decision-maker seeks the recommendations of experts. Because experts may have vested interests in the consequences of their recommendations, decision-makers usually seek the advice of experts they trust. Trust, however, is a commodity that is usually built through repeated face time and social interaction and thus cannot easily be built in a (...) global world where we have immediate internet access to a vast pool of experts. In this article, we integrate findings from experimental psychology and formal tools from Artificial Intelligence to offer a preliminary roadmap for solving the problem of trust in this computer-mediated environment. We conclude the article by considering a diverse array of extended applications of such a solution. (shrink)
In the Cairo Genizah were manuscripts with Gregorian notation and Hebrew script. They also appeared documents that point to author of the scores at Giovanni-Obadiah, a twelfth century Christian monk, born in southern Italy, who converted to Judaism. Until now, the study of this personage has been realized almost exclusively from the Jewish point of view. Nevertheless, like Obadiah synthesizes the traditions Christian and Jewish in its notation when copying Hebrew melodies with Christian notation, also it does in his texts. (...) Obadiah transcribed a Latin appointment of Joel to Hebrew characters. This article pretends to oppose his conversion to Judaism with his ordination as a Christian monk through the prophecy of Joel, which implies an intense dialogue between the two traditions. (shrink)