In a recent article, John Leslie has defended the intriguing Carter-Leslie ‘Doomsday Argument’ (Philosophy, January 2000). I argue that an essential presupposition of the argument—that ‘the case of one's name coming out of [an] urn is sufficiently similar to the case of being born into the world’—engenders, in turn, a parallel ‘Ussherian Corollary’. The dubiousness of this Corollary, coupled with independent considerations, casts doubt upon the Carter-Leslie presupposition, and hence, dooms the Doomsday argument.
This article argues for the importance of theoreticalreflections that originate from patients' experiences.Traditionally academic philosophers have linked their ability totheorize about the moral basis of medical practice to their roleas outside observer. The author contends that recently a new typeof reflection has come from within particular patientpopulations. Drawing upon a distinction created by AntonioGramsci, it is argued that one can distinguish the theorygenerated by traditional bioethicists, who are academicallytrained, from that of ``organic'' bioethicists, who identifythemselves with a particular patient community. (...) Thecharacteristics of this new type of bioethicist that are exploredin this article include a close association of memoir andphilosophy, an interrelationship of theory and praxis, and anintimate connection between the individual and a particularpatient community. (shrink)
This paper treats a question which first arose in these Proceedings: Can Anselm's ontological argument be inverted so as to yield parallel proofs for the existence (or non-existence) of a least (or worst) conceivable being? Such 'devil parodies' strike some commentators as innocuous curiosities, or redundant challenges which are no more troubling than other parodies found in the literature (e.g., Gaunilo's Island). I take issue with both of these allegations; devil parodies, I argue, have the potential to pose substantive, and (...) novel, challenges to Anselm's ontological argument. (shrink)