Abstract This study examined the effects of the Facing History and Ourselves (FHAO) human rights program on moral development and psychological functioning. The FHAO curriculum significantly increased 8th grade students? moral reasoning (Rest's 1979 Defining Issues Test) without adversely impacting on their psychological well?being (scores on depression, hopelessness or self?worth inventories). Girls were more empathic and had higher levels of social interest; boys had higher global self?worth scores; there were no differences between boys and girls in their moral reasoning scores (...) and no gender differences in the psychological impact of the course. This study adds to the literature which suggests that human rights education positively affects students? moral development. (shrink)
Research has demonstrated that employee reactions to monitoring systems depend on both the characteristics of the monitoring system and how it is implemented. However, little is known about the role individual differences may play in this process. This study proposes that individuals have generalized attitudes toward organizational control and monitoring activities. We examined this argument by assessing the relationship between employees’ baseline attitudes toward a set of monitoring and control techniques that span the employment relationship. We further explore the effects (...) of employees’ generalized attitudes toward monitoring and their individual ethical orientations on their attitudinal reactions to an Internet monitoring system implemented in their workplace. Results of a longitudinal study indicate that as expected, prior beliefs and ethical orientation interact to affect employees’ reactions to monitoring systems. Implications for research and practice are discussed. (shrink)
Resource allocation decisions are often made on the basis of clinical and cost effectiveness at the expense of ethical inquiry into what is acceptable. This paper proposes that a more compassionate model of resource allocation would be achieved through integrating ethical awareness with clinical, financial and legal input. Where a publicly-funded healthcare system is involved, it is suggested that having an agency that focuses solely on cost-effectiveness leaving medical, legal and ethical considerations to others would help depoliticise rationing decisions and (...) command greater public acceptance. (shrink)
Theorists at the interface of medicine and the humanities have recently suggested that interpretation as a literary activity can be applied to the practice of clinical medicine. This article reviews such theories and their literary metaphors and methods. In pushing these ideas further, it is proposed that a number of guidelines can be applied to interpretation as a practical activity for clinical medicine. Keywords: interpretation, literature, texts, clinical medicine CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
Laws, codes, and rules are essential for any community, public or private, to operate in an orderly and productive fashion. Without laws and codes, anarchy and chaos abound and the purpose and role of the organization is lost. However, danger is significant, and damage serious and far-reaching when individuals or organizations become so focused on rules, laws, and specifications that basic principles are ignored. This paper discusses the purpose of laws, rules, and codes, to help understand basic principles. With such (...) an understanding an increase in the level of ethical and moral behavior can be obtained without imposing detailed rules. (shrink)
Researchers in medical education have extensively studied negative reactions to gross anatomy, sometimes grouped under the term the cadaver experience. Although there has been disagreement about the extent and importance of such phenomena, several attempts at curricular reform have been designed to humanize the student-cadaver encounter. However, some obvious sources linking gross anatomy and the humanities have been consistently overlooked. Such sourcesâfrom the history of art, the history of anatomy, and autobiographical and imaginative literatureânot only bear witness to the cadaver (...) experience for anatomists of the past, but also offer forgotten alternatives for placing present-day reactions in perspective. Former methods of teaching which used such material might serve as models for reintegrating the humanities into the study of gross anatomy as a possible humanizing force. (shrink)
In 'Jackson on physical information and qualia'(1984) Terry Horgan defended physicalism against Frank Jackson's Knowledge Argument by raising what later has been called the 'mode of presentation reply'- arguingthatthe Knowledge Argumentis fallacious because itsubtly equivocates on two different readings of 'physical information'. In 'Mary, Mary, quite contrary' (2000) however, George Graham and Terry Horgan maintain that none of the replies against Jackson has yet been successful, not even Horgan's own 1984 rejoinder.Tosubstantiate their claim, they present an allegedly improved (...) version of the Knowledge Argument, the 'Mary Mary Argument' whose default moral is property-dualism. In section 1, I will set the scene by making some clarifying remarks regarding Jackson's original argument. In section 2, I will consider several objections to the most promising physicalist rejoinder to the Knowledge Argument, the mode of presentation reply. In section 3 I will discuss the Mary Mary Argument and propose the indexical account of consciousness that, as it happens, is based on Horgan's own 1984 account as a possible solution. Finally,in section 4, I will argue that to the extent that the Mary Mary Argument exceeds the force of Jackson's original challenge it coincides with Joe Levine's Explanatory Gap Argument. (shrink)
In United States v. Hensley, a unanimous Court set forth the rule that, "if police have a reasonable suspicion, grounded in specific and articulable facts, that a person they encounter was involved in or is wanted in connection with a completed felony, then a Terry stop may be made to investigate that suspicion." By expanding the scope of the Terry doctrine, Hensley strengthened the power of law enforcement officials to "stop and frisk" individuals who they believe may pose (...) a threat to the themselves and/or the public. Prior to Hensley, the Court's decisions merely sanctioned Terry stops of individuals that law enforcement officers reasonably suspected were about to commit a crime, or were committing a crime at the time of the stop. Thus, by authorizing Terry stops based on an officer's reasonable suspicion that an individual was involved in an already-completed felony, Hensley extended the types of situations under which law enforcement officers may engage in Terry stops. While explicitly expanding the scope of Terry v. Ohio in the context of completed felonies, the Hensley decision left open one major issue-whether the balancing test set forth in Hensley applies to investigatory stops based on an officer's reasonable suspicion that an individual was involved in a completed misdemeanor. With no answer from the Court, lower federal and state courts have attempted to answer this question on their own; in doing so, they have diverged on the issue. Most recently, in United States v. Grigg, the Ninth Circuit expanded the scope of Hensley and applied its balancing approach to Terry stops for completed misdemeanors. This Note argues against the Ninth Circuit's approach and rather for a per se rule against Terry stops for completed misdemeanors. This Note proposes that, in light of the inherent differences between misdemeanors and felonies, Hensley's balancing test should not extend to completed misdemeanors. Furthermore, the use of Terry stops for completed misdemeanors does not further the government and public interest in crime prevention and solving past crimes to an extent great enough to outweigh the great intrusion on privacy rights that Terry stops cause. Additionally, a per se rule provides for efficiency and guidance to police enforcement on routine patrols. Under such an approach, it is easier for private citizens to comprehend and appreciate their rights and understand when those rights are being violated. (shrink)
Something about my book, Marxism and Human Nature,1 seems to have provoked Eagleton's hostility and clouded his mind, but it is difficult to figure out what. All that is evident from his review is that he has not read the book carefully or taken the trouble to understand it properly.
In his work, Horgan argues for the compatibilism of agency, mental state-causation, and physical causal-closure. We generally assume a causally closed physical world that seems to exclude agency in the sense of mental state-causation in addition to physical causation. However, Horgan argues for an account of agency that satisfies the experience of our own as acting persons and that is compatible with physical causal-closure. Mental properties are causal properties but not identical with physical properties because there are different ontological levels. (...) In this commentary, I shall reconsider the essential issues of this compatibilism (1), focus on a problem for Horgan’s conception of agent causation that arises from the causal argument for ontological reductionism (2), and propose to embed Horgan’s conception of agency within a reductionist approach in order to vindicate the indispensable character of agency (3). (shrink)
Taking to heart Massaro's [(1988) Some criticisms of connectionist models of human performance, Journal of Memory and Language, 27, 213-234] criticism that multi-layer perceptrons are not appropriate for modeling human cognition because they are too powerful (i.e. they can simulate just about anything, which gives them little explanatory power), Regier develops the notion of constrained connectionism. The model that he discusses is a distributed network but with numerous constraints added that are (more or less) motivated by real psychophysical and neurophysical (...) constraints. His model learns static prepositions of spatial location such as in, above, to the left of, to the right of, under, etc., as well as dynamic prepositions such as through and the Russian iz-pod, meaning out from under. The network learns these prepositions by viewing a number of examples of them. Very importantly, this book tackles-and goes a long way towards resolving-the problem of the lack of negative exemplars (i.e. we are only very rarely told when something is not above something else), which should lead to overgeneralization, but does not. This book is a significant contribution to connectionist literature. (shrink)
Terry Horgan (with D. Henderson and G. Graham) defends a new general metaphilosophical position called postanalytic metaphilosophy (PAM). I raise some critical points connected with the application of PAM to the problem of freedom. I question the distinction between opulent and austere construals of philosophical concepts. According to Horgan compatibilism comports better overall with the relevant data than does incompatibilism. I raise some objections. At the end I argue that contextualism is an inadequate explanation of incompatibilistic intuitions.
Phenomenal intentionality and the evidential role of perceptual experience: comments on Jack Lyons, Perception and Basic Beliefs Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9604-2 Authors Terry Horgan, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
The phrase "the meaning of life" for many seems a quaint notion fit for satirical mauling by Monty Python or Douglas Adams. But in this spirited, stimulating, and quirky enquiry, famed critic Terry Eagleton takes a serious if often amusing look at the question and offers his own surprising answer. Eagleton first examines how centuries of thinkers and writers--from Marx and Schopenhauer to Shakespeare, Sartre, and Beckett--have responded to the ultimate question of meaning. He suggests, however, that it is (...) only in modern times that the question has become problematic. But instead of tackling it head-on, many of us cope with the feelings of meaninglessness in our lives by filling them with everything from football to sex, Kabbala, Scientology, "New Age softheadedness," or fundamentalism. On the other hand, Eagleton notes, many educated people believe that life is an evolutionary accident that has no intrinsic meaning. If our lives have meaning, it is something with which we manage to invest them, not something with which they come ready made. Eagleton probes this view of meaning as a kind of private enterprise, and concludes that it fails to holds up. He argues instead that the meaning of life is not a solution to a problem, but a matter of living in a certain way. It is not metaphysical but ethical. It is not something separate from life, but what makes it worth living--that is, a certain quality, depth, abundance and intensity of life. Here then is a brilliant discussion of the problem of meaning by a leading thinker, who writes with a light and often irreverent touch, but with a very serious end in mind. "If you were to ask what provides some meaning in life nowadays for a great many people, especially men, you could do worse than reply 'football.' Not many of them perhaps would be willing to admit as much; but sport stands in for all those noble causes--religious faith, national sovereignty, personal honor, ethnic identity--for which, over the centuries, people have been prepared to go to their deaths. It is sport, not religion, which is now the opium of the people.". (shrink)
The phrase "the meaning of life" for many seems a quaint notion fit for satirical mauling by Monty Python or Douglas Adams. But in this spirited Very Short Introduction, famed critic Terry Eagleton takes a serious if often amusing look at the question and offers his own surprising answer. Eagleton first examines how centuries of thinkers and writers--from Marx and Schopenhauer to Shakespeare, Sartre, and Beckett--have responded to the ultimate question of meaning. He suggests, however, that it is only (...) in modern times that the question has become problematic. But instead of tackling it head-on, many of us cope with the feelings of meaninglessness in our lives by filling them with everything from football to sex, Kabbala, Scientology, "New Age softheadedness," or fundamentalism. On the other hand, Eagleton notes, many educated people believe that life is an evolutionary accident that has no intrinsic meaning. If our lives have meaning, it is something with which we manage to invest them, not something with which they come ready made. Eagleton probes this view of meaning as a kind of private enterprise, and concludes that it fails to holds up. He argues instead that the meaning of life is not a solution to a problem, but a matter of living in a certain way. It is not metaphysical but ethical. It is not something separate from life, but what makes it worth living--that is, a certain quality, depth, abundance and intensity of life. Here then is a brilliant discussion of the problem of meaning by a leading thinker, who writes with a light and often irreverent touch, but with a very serious end in mind. (shrink)
Metaethics, understood as a distinct branch of ethics, is often traced to G. E. Moore's 1903 classic, Principia Ethica. Whereas normative ethics is concerned to answer first-order moral questions about what is good and bad, right and wrong, metaethics is concerned to answer second-order non-moral questions about the semantics, metaphysics, and epistemology of moral thought and discourse. Moore has continued to exert a powerful influence, and the sixteen essays here (most of them specially written for the volume) represent the most (...) up-to-date work in metaethics after, and in some cases directly inspired by, the work of Moore. Contributors include Robert Audi, Stephen Barker, Paul Bloomfield, Panayot Butchvarvov, Jonathan Dancy, Stephen Darwall, Jamie Dreier, Allan Gibbard, Brad Hooker, Terry Horgan, Connie Rosati, Russ Shafer-Landau, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Michael Smith, Philip Stratton-Lake, Sigrun Svavarsdottir, Mark Timmons, and Judith Jarvis Thompson. (shrink)
In this article I intend to show the strict relation between the notions of “second nature” and “recognition”. To do so I begin with a problem (circularity) proper to the theory of Hegelian and post- Hegelian Anerkennung. The solution strategy I propose is signifi cant also in terms of bringing into focus the problems connected with a notion of “space of reasons” that stems from the Hegelian concept of “Spirit”. I thus broach the notion of “second nature” as a bridgeconcept (...) that can play a key role both for a renewal of the theory of Anerkennung and for a rethinking of the “space of reasons” within the debate between Robert Brandom and John McDowell. Against this background I illustrate the novelties introduced by the dialectical conception of the relation between fi rst and second nature developed by Hegel and the contribution this idea can make to a revisited theory of recognition as a phenomenon articulated on two levels. I then return to the question of the space of reasons to show the contribution the renewed conception of recognition as second nature makes to the definition of its intrinsic sociality as something that is not in principle opposed to a sense of naturalness. (shrink)
Why do leaders fail ethically? In this book, Terry L. Price applies a multi-disciplinary approach to an understanding of immorality in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. He argues that leaders can know that a certain kind of behavior is generally required by morality but nonetheless be mistaken as to whether the relevant moral requirement applies to them in a particular situation and whether others are protected by this requirement. Price articulates how (...) leaders make exceptions of themselves, explains how the justificatory force of leadership gives rise to such exception-making, and develops normative prescriptions that leaders should adopt as a response to this feature of their moral psychology. (shrink)
This paper introduces Nymity’s Privacy Risk Optimization Process (PROP), a process that enables the implementation of privacy into operational policies and procedures, which embodies in Privacy by Design for business practices. The PROP is based on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) concept that risk can be positive and negative; and further defines Risk Optimization as a process whereby organizations strive to maximize positive risks and mitigate negative ones. The PROP uses these concepts to implement privacy into operational policies and (...) procedures. This paper was produced by Nymity and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada. It was presented by Terry McQuay, President of Nymity, at Privacy by Design: The Definitive Workshop, in Madrid, Spain, on November 2nd, 2009. The workshop was hosted by Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada, and Yoram Hacohen, Head of the Israeli Law, Information and Technology Authority. (shrink)
In our reply to Rowe, we explain why most of what he criticizes is actually the product of his misunderstanding our argument. We begin by showing that nearly all of his Part 1 misconceives our project by defending a position we never attacked. We then question why Rowe thinks the distinction we make between motivational and virtue intellectualism is unimportant before developing a defense of the consistency of our views about different desires. Next we turn to Rowe’s criticisms of our (...) account of the prudential paradox and show these criticisms to rest on a misunderstanding. We close with some remarks about the implausibility and textual problems Rowe faces in denying that Socrates recognized a role for painful punishments. (shrink)
Trouble With Strangers represents a groundbreaking intervention in ethics by one of the world's most important theoreticians. It is written with Terry Eagleton's usual wit, panache, and uncanny ability to summarize and criticize otherwise complex philosophical and theoretical conversations. Eagleton breaks down ethical theories into three psychoanalytic categories of the imaginary, the symbolic, and the real, and applies this analysis to discussions of the work of central figures like Hutcheson, Kant, and Spinoza, as well as fascinating interpretations of Shakespeare. (...) He also engages with contemporary continental ethics, particularly Levinas and Badiou, and goes on to examine the relation of ethics to politics. This is a must-have book for all readers of philosophy and theory, and anyone who has an interest in the important contemporary work of Terry Eagleton. (shrink)
The result is a one-dimensional, economistic and bleakly utilitarian conception of the educational task.In Mindfulness and Learning: Celebrating the Affective Dimension of Education, Terry Hyland advances the thesis that education stands in ...
It is a mixed pleasure to see F. Matthias Alexander acknowledged in the fall 2007 issue of Education and Culture ("Dewey, women, and weirdoes: Or, the potential rewards for scholars who dialog across difference," 23, 27-62). As a professional descendant of Alexander who has been teaching the Alexander Technique (AT) for 30 years, I am glad to see Cunningham et al. including him in the list of positive influences in John Dewey's life. However, I believe Cunningham's contribution to this article, (...) "Shared explorations of body-mind: The reciprocal influences of Dewey and F. M. Alexander," falls short in its acknowledgement of Alexander and in one important aspect is incorrect. In this response, I hope to set the .. (shrink)
In the second half of the eighteenth century, German philosophy came for a while to dominate European philosophy. It changed the way in which not only Europeans, but people all over the world, conceived of themselves and thought about nature, religion, human history, politics, and the structure of the human mind. In this rich and wide-ranging book, Terry Pinkard interweaves the story of 'Germany' - changing during this period from a loose collection of principalities into a newly-emerged nation with (...) a distinctive culture - with an examination of the currents and complexities of its developing philosophical thought. He examines the dominant influence of Kant, with his revolutionary emphasis on 'self-determination', and traces this influence through the development of romanticism and idealism to the critiques of post-Kantian thinkers such as Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard. His book will interest a range of readers in the history of philosophy, cultural history and the history of ideas. (shrink)
Terry Pinkard draws on Hegel's central works as well as his lectures on aesthetics, the history of philosophy, and the philosophy of history in this deeply informed and original exploration of Hegel's naturalism. As Pinkard explains, Hegel's version of naturalism was in fact drawn from Aristotelian naturalism: Hegel fused Aristotle's conception of nature with his insistence that the origin and development of philosophy has empirical physics as its presupposition. As a result, Hegel found that, although modern nature must be (...) understood as a whole to be non-purposive, there is nonetheless a place for Aristotelian purposiveness within such nature. Such a naturalism provides the framework for explaining how we are both natural organisms and also practically minded (self-determining, rationally responsive, reason-giving) beings. In arguing for this point, Hegel shows that the kind of self-division which is characteristic of human agency also provides human agents with an updated version of an Aristotelian final end of life. Pinkard treats this conception of the final end of "being at one with oneself" in two parts. The first part focuses on Hegel's account of agency in naturalist terms and how it is that agency requires such a self-division, while the second part explores how Hegel thinks a historical narration is essential for understanding what this kind of self-division has come to require of itself. In making his case, Hegel argues that both the antinomies of philosophical thought and the essential fragmentation of modern life are all not to be understood as overcome in a higher order unity in the "State." On the contrary, Hegel demonstrates that modern institutions do not resolve such tensions any more than a comprehensive philosophical account can resolve them theoretically. The job of modern practices and institutions (and at a reflective level the task of modern philosophy) is to help us understand and live with precisely the unresolvability of these oppositions. Therefore, Pinkard explains, Hegel is not the totality theorist he has been taken to be, nor is he an "identity thinker," à la Adorno. He is an anti-totality thinker. (shrink)
Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit is at once one of his most widely read and yet most obscure texts. This book is the most detailed commentary on Hegel's work available and develops an independent philosophical account of the general theory of knowledge, culture and history contained in it. Written in a clear and straightforward style, the book reconstructs Hegel's theoretical philosophy and shows its connection to the ethical and political theory. Terry Pinkard sets the work in a historical context and (...) reveals the contemporary relevance of Hegel's thought to European and Anglo-American philosophers. The principal readership for the book will be in departments of philosophy, but such is the interest in Hegel's work and such is the clarity of Pinkard's exposition, that it should also find readers amongst historians of ideas, political scientists, and literary theorists. (shrink)
Brad Mellon argues that persistent-vegetative-state cases, including the recent Terri Schiavo case, are ambiguous. By this he seems to mean that decisions about such cases are fraught with doubt and uncertainty and perhaps even that rational resolution of many such cases is impossible. Faced with such cases the most we can do is to live and cope with the ambiguity. I am more optimistic. With good will, and much clarification and discussion, rational agreement is possible in these cases, including the (...) Schiavo case. (shrink)
Disorders of consciousness and the permanent vegetative state -- Legal and political wrangling over Terri's life -- In context--law and ethics -- Terri's wishes -- The limits of evidence -- The implications of surrogacy -- Qualities of life -- Feeding -- The preservation of life -- Respect and care : an alternative framework.
On March 18, 2005, the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on Government Reform issued subpoenas to Florida residents Michael and Terri Schiavo. The subpoenas summoned the Schiavos to “testify” before the committee regarding its investigation into “treatment options provided to incapacitated patients to advance the[ir] quality of life” (U.S. H.R. 1332, 2005). In light of Terri Schiavo’s long and well-known traumas, many observers questioned the sensitivity of the order for testimony. Having suffered severe anoxic brain damage as a result of (...) a cardiac arrest in 1990, Schiavo lived in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) for fifteen years, unconscious and unable, among other things, to speak; although the .. (shrink)
The controversial case of Terri Schiavo came to a close on March 31, 2005, with her death following the removal of a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube. This event followed years of controversy and social upheaval. Voices from across the entire political and cultural spectrums filled the airwaves and op-ed pages of major newspapers. Protests ensued outside of Ms. Schiavo’s care facility. Ms. Schiavo’s parents published videos of their daughter on the internet in an effort to prove that she was not (...) in a vegetative state and could potentially recover. There is a certain mystery to the entire controversy given the fact that, legally, it was largely a matter of settled law. Precedent cases and legal statutes clearly set out the proper procedures and decisions to be followed in this case. Nonetheless, powerful challenges and virulent opposition to these standards arose. Through an investigation of this case as well as a comparative study of the case of Dax Cowart (in particular, the documentary depictions of Dax Cowart’s case) and of a photograph by Joel-Peter Witkin, I plan to investigate the source of these social upheavals and hypothesize that they were largely the result of a phenomenological reaction to the human face. (shrink)
The case of Terri Schiavo, a young woman who spent 15 years in a persistent vegetative state, has emerged as a watershed in debates over end-of-life care. While many observers had thought the right to refuse medical treatment was well established, this case split a family, divided a nation, and counfounded physicians, legislators, and many of the people they treated or represented. In renewing debates over the importance of advance directives, the appropriate role of artificial hydration and nutrition, and the (...) responsibilities of family members, the case also became one of history's most extensively litigated health care disputes. The Case of Terri Schiavo assembles a team of first-hand participants and content experts to provide thoughtful and nuanced analyses. In addition to a comprehensive overview, the book includes contributions by Ms. Schiavo's guardian ad litem, a neurologist and lawyer who participated in the case, and scholars who examine issues related to litigation, faith, gender, and disability. The volume also includes a powerful dissent from the views of many scholars in the bioethics community. The book is intended for students, health care professionals, policy makers, and other in search of carefully reasoned analyses of the case that will shape our view of death and end-of-life medical care for decades. (shrink)
In Chapters 4 and 5 of his 1998 book From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis, Frank Jackson propounds and defends a form of moral realism that he calls both ‘moral functionalism’ and ‘analytical descriptivism’. Here we argue that this metaethical position, which we will henceforth call ‘analytical moral functionalism’, is untenable. We do so by applying a generic thought-experimental deconstructive recipe that we have used before against other views that posit moral properties and identify them with certain (...) natural properties, a recipe that we believe is applicable to virtually any metaphysically naturalist version of moral realism. The recipe deploys a scenario we call Moral Twin Earth. (shrink)
Sacrificing one's own interests in order to serve another is, in general, supposed to be a good thing, an example of altruism, the hallmark of morality, and something we should commend to (but not always require of) the entirely-too-selfish human beings of our society. But let me recount a story that I hope will persuade the reader to start questioning this conventional philosophical wisdom. Last year, a friend of mine was talking with me about a mutual acquaintance whose two sons (...) were in the same nursery school as our sons. This woman, whom I will call Terry, had been pregnant with twins, but one of the twins had died during the fourth month of pregnancy, and the other twin had just been born prematurely at six months with a host of medical problems. We were discussing how stressful this woman's life had been while she was pregnant: she was a housewife, and her two boys, aged three and five, were lively, challenging, often unruly--a real handful to raise. Her husband worked long hours in a law firm, so the vast majority of the childcare and household chores fell on her shoulders. "You could see that she was exhausted by end of the first trimester," I maintained, "because her eyes were tired, and her cheeks were sunken--she looked almost like a cadaver." My friend agreed. I went on to blame her exhaustion on the fact that she had to do too much during a pregnancy that anyone would have found difficuIt. "I don't understand her husband," I maintained. "Surely he could how badly she looked. If he had concern for his future children, why didn't he do something to help her so that the pregnancy had a chance of going better? And if he loved her, why didn't he cut down his hours so that he could help out at home? Surely he could see just by looking at her that she was in trouble," My friend said nothing at the time, but after a week she called me, and told me that my criticism of this woman's husband had bothered her all week. "You're wrong about Terry's husband not caring enough about her, They have a good marriage," she insisted, and then she continued: "You know, you're not like us, We accept the fact that we should do most of the childcare and housework.. (shrink)
Is conceptual relativity a genuine phenomenon? If so, how is it properly understood? And if it does occur, does it undermine metaphysical realism? These are the questions we propose to address. We will argue that conceptual relativity is indeed a genuine phenomenon, albeit an extremely puzzling one. We will offer an account of it. And we will argue that it is entirely compatible with metaphysical realism. Metaphysical realism is the view that there is a world of objects and properties that (...) is independent of our thought and discourse (including our schemes of concepts) about such a world. Hilary Putnam, a former proponent of metaphysical realism, later gave it up largely because of the alleged phenomenon that he himself has given the label ‘conceptual relativity’. One of the key ideas of conceptual relativity is that certain concepts—including such fundamental concepts as object, entity, and existence—have a multiplicity of different and incompatible uses (Putnam 1987, p. 19; 1988, pp. 110 14). According to Putnam, once we recognize the phenomenon of conceptual relativity we must reject metaphysical realism: The suggestion . . . is that what is (by commonsense standards) the same situation can be described in many different ways, depending on how we use the words. The situation does not itself legislate how words like “object,” “entity,” and “exist” must be used. What is wrong with the notion of objects existing “independently” of conceptual schemes is that there are no standards for the use of even the logical notions apart from conceptual choices.” (Putnam 1988, p. 114) Putnam’s intriguing reasoning in this passage is difficult to evaluate directly, because conceptual  relativity is philosophically perplexing and in general is not well understood. In this paper we propose a construal of conceptual relativity that clarifies it considerably and explains how it is possible despite its initial air of paradox. We then draw upon this construal to explain why, contrary to Putnam and others, conceptual relativity does not conflict with metaphysical realism, but in fact comports well with it.. (shrink)
Alvin Goldman’s contributions to contemporary epistemology are impressive—few epistemologists have provided others so many occasions for reflecting on the fundamental character of their discipline and its concepts. His work has informed the way epistemological questions have changed (and remained consistent) over the last two decades. We (the authors of this paper) can perhaps best suggest our indebtedness by noting that there is probably no paper on epistemology that either of us individually or jointly have produced that does not in its (...) notes and references bear clear testimony to the influence of Professor Goldman’s arguments. The present paper is no exception (and this would be a particularly inapt place to break with our tradition of indebtedness). Professor Goldman has produced a series of discussions that we find particularly important for coming to terms with the venerable idea that there may be truths that can be known a priori (Goldman 1992a, 1992b, 1999). We do not altogether follow his lead, while he draws on the idea that a priori justification has something to do with innateness or processess, we prefer to accentuate the idea that a priori justification turns on a conceptually grounded truths and access via acquired conceptual competence (at least in many significant philosophical cases). Still, in developing our understanding we have been aided by much that Professor Goldman says regarding concepts, conceptual competence, and related psychological processes. The influences should become progressively clear, particularly in the later sections of this paper. What would it take for there to be a priori knowledge or justification? We can begin by reflecting on a widely agreed on answer to this question—one that purports to identify something that would at least be adequate for a priori justification. The answer will then serve as one anchor for the present investigation, a bit of shared ground on which empiricists and rationalists can, and typically do, agree.. (shrink)