As an accompaniment to the translation into English of Louis Althusser's 'Letter to the Central Committee of the PCF, March 18th, 1966', this note provides the historical and theoretical context necessary to understand Althusser's 'anti-humanist' interventions into French Communist Party policy decisions during the mid-1960s. Because nowhere else in Althusser's published writings do we see as clearly the political stakes involved in his philosophical project, nor the way in which this project evolved from a 'theoreticist' pursuit into a more (...) practical one, the note also argues that the letter is of importance to Althusser scholars, to historians of Marxist thought, and to those interested in the relevance of Althusser's work to contemporary Marxist philosophy. (shrink)
How should a practice, subservient to a public good, be regulated in order to guarantee fair access without encouraging improper claims? In the first place, a clear understanding of the goal of the practice is indispensable for knowing what criteria the regulation must contain. As to the purely formal aspect, the regulation of any practice must include both general rules and particular instances. Finally, to resolve conflicts, committees in which different kinds of expertise are represented should be installed. These (...) three theses are illustrated by the Dutch regulation for cosmetic surgery. (shrink)
As one of the most important episodes of change in the Ottoman Empire, the Tanzimat Era (1839-1876) was a phase when the state and its political and ideological formation witnessed structural transformation and reforms. During this period, privy councils were instituted at every level, as one of the basic changes in decision-making and the legislation process of the Ottoman State. Meclis-i Âlî-i Umûmî (the Supreme Council-General) is located at the top of the counsulting hierarchy of councils at the administrative (...) piramid, instituted in 1838. The Supreme Council-General also functioned as an equivalent to that of a “senate” of the modern parliament for the first time in this transition period. (shrink)
This article aims to shed some light on the concepts embedded in the expressions ‘services of general interest’ (‘SGI’), ‘services of general economic interest’ (‘SGEI’), ‘non-economic services of general interest’ (‘NSGI’) and ‘social services of general interest’ (‘SSGI’). It is submitted that the expression ‘SGI’ conveys a general concept which comprises both SGEI and NSGI. SGEI may be distinguished from NSGI in that only the former involve an economic activity. In contrast to SGI, SGEI and (...) NSGI, the expression ‘SSGI’ is nowhere to be found in primary EU law. This means that it is for the EU legislator and, as the case may be, for the Member States to define such expression. Furthermore, this article supports the contention that a definition of the principles and conditions underpinning the operation of SGI must be capable of adapting to changing times and social perceptions, whilst being respectful of the vertical and horizontal allocation of powers set out in the Treaties. Vertically, a definition of SGI must not impinge upon the powers retained by the Member States. In the absence of harmonisation, it is for the Member States to define the services they consider to be of general interest, unless they commit a manifest error of assessment. In the presence of EU harmonising measures, the margin of discretion enjoyed by the Member States is, if still existent, narrowed down, given that national authorities are required to comply with the objectives pursued by the EU legislator. Horizontally, a definition of SGI must not encroach upon the prerogatives of the Commission in the realm of competition law. Moreover, in light of Article 9 TFEU and secondary EU legislation, the specific features of SSGI must be taken into consideration when determining the compatibility with EU State aid rules of public service compensation awarded to the providers of those services. An EU conceptual framework for the SGI must thus be the result of a constructive dialogue between the different levels of governance, as well as of a balanced solution among different policy areas in relation to which the EU enjoys competences. (shrink)
This paper investigates the key drivers behind the origins of value-for-money (VFM) audit in Canada and the aims, intents, and logics ascribed by the original proponents. Drawing on insights from governmentality and New Public Management, the paper utilizes analysis methods adapted from case study research to review a wide range of primary documentation (e.g., Hansards from the Public Accounts Committee, House of Commons debates, the so-called Wilson report and the FMCS study) and secondary documentation (newspaper articles, Office of the (...) Auditor General internal publications, journal articles). Major findings indicate a rise of a management consulting culture within the Auditor General’s office following the appointment of James Johnson Macdonell. VFM legislation effectively operationalized practices drawn from management consulting expertise by invitation of the consultant. It was offered as an answer to the growing scope and size of government, which had become problematized by the Auditor General in terms of parliament losing control over the public purse. The Auditor General’s invocation of financial crisis led to a substantial broadening of mandate and increase in resources for that office. (shrink)
The role of the Research Ethics Committee (REC) in the design, conduct and dissemination of scientific research is still evolving and many important questions remain unanswered. Hence, the aim of this paper is to address some of the uncertainty that exists around the role and responsibilities of RECs and to discuss some of the controversy that exists over the criteria that RECs should follow when evaluating a research proposal. The discussion is organised around five of the major roles currently (...) performed by RECs when assessing proposals in the biomedical sciences. It will be shown that these five roles need to be critically evaluated and reassessed. The five roles addressed are: assessing the legitimacy and validity of the informed consent process, second, conducting a comprehensive risk/benefit analysis, third, assessing the validity of a research proposal, fourth, ensuring that researchers observe the social norms, values, customs, traditions and laws that prevail in the community or jurisdiction in which the research will be conducted and finally, monitoring the research project as it unfolds and providing an ongoing advisory and consultancy service to both new and experienced researchers. In reassessing the role of the REC, this paper concludes with a set of general recommendations for RECs. These provide some guidance on the minimum criteria that should be followed when RECs evaluate proposals. These guidelines will be beneficial for new and experienced members of REC, and will help to make the process a more objective, efficient and standardised process. The guidelines will also be beneficial for researchers in the biomedical sciences who are preparing proposals for ethical review. (shrink)
: In June 2002, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) approved draft recommendations concerning preparation for potential biological terror attacks that utilize the smallpox virus. ACIP recommends against both mandatory and voluntary vaccination of the general public. The present paper examines the moral and political considerations both for and against each of the general public vaccination options considered by the ACIP in the context of the state's authority over vaccination for the purposes of protecting public health. (...) Although it is clear that compulsory mass vaccination is not justified at this time, the issues surrounding voluntary vaccination are more complex. Should smallpox vaccination prior to an outbreak be made available to the general public? The paper concludes that the vaccine should not be made available at this time. This conclusion, however, is based upon contingent features of current circumstances, which would change once an outbreak occurred. In the event of a terror-related outbreak of smallpox, the general public's access to voluntary vaccination would become justified, even in areas beyond where the outbreak has occurred. (shrink)
The contribution of healthcare ethics committee (HEC) members to HECs is fundamental. However, little is known about how HEC members view clinical ethics. We report results from a qualitative study of the moral psychology of HEC members. We found that contrary to the existing Kohlberg-based studies, HEC members hold a pragmatic non-expert view of clinical ethics based mainly on respect for persons and a commitment to the patient’s good. In general, HEC members hold deflationary views regarding moral theory. (...) Ethical principles are not abstract foundations but the expression of moral commitments to patients that pre-exist awareness of moral theory. Emotions and proximity to patient sufferance fundamentally shape the views of HEC members on clinical ethics. Further work at the intersection of clinical ethics and qualitative research could bring to the foreground lay perspectives on moral problems that may differ from bioethics expert views. (shrink)
A growing body of research has demonstrated significant heterogeneity of hospital ethics committee (HEC) size, membership and training requirements, length of appointment, institutional support, clinical and policy roles, and predictors of self identified success. Because these studies have focused on HECs at a single point in time, however, little is known about how the composition of HECs changes over time and what impact these changes have on committee utilization. The current study presents 20 years of data on the (...) evolution of the Massachusetts General Hospital HEC. Between 1993 and 2012, the average number of committee members per year was 38 ± 3 and the average length of membership was 4.8 ± 0.4 years. During that time, the committee performed 934 consults, averaging 47 ± 3 per year. Attendance rates fell from 61.5 to 23.8 % over the study period and were inversely correlated with the total number of members. Between 1993 and 2012, the committee saw substantial growth in the diversity of the professional backgrounds of its members. Multivariate analysis, however, suggests that substantial changes in committee composition did not impact its utilization and that other factors are more likely to explain fluctuations in consultation volume. (shrink)
Many members of the public think of the General Medical Council (GMC) as the body which tries doctors: the doctors' law courts, as it were. And, except in the more sober of newspapers and news reports, the 'offences ' which receive the most publicity are those concerning alleged improper relations between doctors and patients. Professor Sir Denis Hill, in the following paper, which he read in the spring of this year to the annual conference of the London Medical Group (...) devoted to a discussion of human sexuality, chose to examine the whole function of the General Medical Council as a frame of moral reference for doctors. Judging allegations of professional misconduct by doctors is the function of the Council's Disciplinary Committee. Judging sexual misconduct forms only a small part of their work. The GMC's responsibility covers the whole notion of morals and morality as it concerns doctors in their professional work. Sir Denis Hill stresses the modern thinking that morality must be learned and that attitudes are always shifting as society alters its norms of what is moral conduct. That is not to say that all that was previously considered not to be moral has now become acceptable but rather that other concepts have entered the field of moral debate. Therefore the GMC must constantly review the frame of reference it offers to doctors and the public may be surprised to learn that that process is never static. Sir Denis Hill in this paper is speaking personally and not as a member of the General Medical Council or of any of that body's special committees. (shrink)
Contemporary philosophers and psychologists seek the roots of ethically sound forms of behavior, including altruism and a sense of fairness, in the basic structure of cooperative action. I argue that recent work on cooperation in both philosophy and psychology has been hampered by what I call “the mutualistic paradigm.” The mutualistic paradigm treats one kind of cooperative situation—what I call a “mutualistic situation”—as paradigmatic of cooperation in general. In mutualistic situations, such as the primeval stag hunt described by Brian (...) Skyrms, every partner in a cooperative action has to do his part in order for the action as a whole to succeed. But many familiar cooperative situations—for example, serving on an academic committee—do not have this structure. Contemporary philosophers and psychologists are right that thinking about cooperation can shed light on how and why ethically sound behavior happens in human beings. But the deep connections between ethics and cooperation only come into view once we have a richer conception of our capacities for cooperation than the mutualistic paradigm provides. (shrink)
The purpose of this study was to assess the degree of editorial independence at a sample of medical journals and the relationship between the journals and their owners. We surveyed the editors of 33 medical journals owned by not-for-profit organizations (“associations”), including 10 journals represented on the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (nine of which are general medical journals) and a random sample of 23 specialist journals with high impact factors that are indexed by the Institute (...) for Scientific Information. The main outcome measures were the authority to hire, fire, and oversee the work of the editor; the editor’s tenure and financial compensation; control of the journal’s budget; publication of material about the association; and the editor’s perceptions about editorial independence and pressure over editorial content. Of the 33 editors, 23 (70%) reported having complete editorial freedom, and the remainder reported a high level of freedom (a score of ≥8, where 10 equals complete editorial freedom and 1 equals no editorial freedom). Nevertheless, a substantial minority of editors reported having received at least some pressure in recent years over editorial content from the association’s leadership (42%), senior staff (30%), or rank-and-file members (39%). The association’s board of directors has the authority to hire (48%) or fire (55%) the editor for about half of the journals, and the editor reports to the board for 10 journals (30%). Twenty-three editors (70%) are appointed for a specific term (median term =5 years). Three-fifths of the journals have no control over their profit, and the majority of journals use the association’s legal counsel and/or media relations staff. Stronger safeguards are needed to give editors protection against pressure over editorial content, including written guarantees of editorial freedom and governance structures that support those guarantees. Strong safeguards are also needed because editors may have less freedom than they believe (especially if they have not yet tested their freedom in an area of controversy). (shrink)
The famous mid-20th century debate between Patrick Devlin and Herbert Hart about the relationship between law and morality addressed the limits of the criminal law in the context of a proposal by the Wolfenden Committee to decriminalize male homosexual activity in private. The original exchanges and subsequent contributions to the debate have been significantly constrained by the terms in which the debate was framed: a focus on criminal law in general and sexual offences in particular; a preoccupation with (...) the so-called “harm principle,” a sharp delineation of the realms of law and morality, and a static conception of the relationship between them. This article explores the limitations imposed by these various starting-points and argues for a holistic and symbiotic understanding of the relationship between law and morality. (shrink)
According to one interpretation of Leviathan, Hobbes sinks the democratic argument in favour of government by representation into his own argument in favour of absolute rule. This paper argues that Kant in turn sinks Hobbes' argument for coercive political authority into Rousseau's construction of the volonté générale . Why does Kant reject Rousseau's argument in favour of popular sovereignty; why does he revert to Hobbes' endorsement of a coercively unifying political authority? The paper examines the different responses given by Hobbes, (...) Rousseau, and Kant to the problem of political unity and unified political decision-taking. While for Hobbes and Rousseau political unity must be empirically real - there must be an actual unifying authority - in Kant the idea of the general united will is a rational criterion of just lawmaking. For Kant, it is not the form of government that matters, but the manner of governing. (shrink)
We introduce a new “positive formalism” for encoding quantum theories in the general boundary formulation, somewhat analogous to the mixed state formalism of the standard formulation. This makes the probability interpretation more natural and elegant, eliminates operationally irrelevant structure and opens the general boundary formulation to quantum information theory.
Health research initiatives worldwide are growing in scope and complexity, particularly as they move into the developing world. Expanding health research activity in low- and middle-income countries has resulted in a commensurate rise in the need for sound ethical review structures and functions in the form of Research Ethics Committees (RECs). Yet these seem to be lagging behind as a result of the enormous challenges facing these countries, including poor resource availability and lack of capacity. There is thus an urgent (...) need for ongoing capacity and resource development in these regions in general, and in Africa in particular. Similarly, there is a need for research and initiatives that can identify existing capacity and funding and indicate the areas where this needs to be developed.This discussion paper argues that the Mapping African Research Ethics Capacity (MARC) project is a timely initiative aimed at identifying existing capacity. MARC provides a platform and tool on the Council on Health Research for Development's (COHRED) Health Research website (HRWeb), which can be used by RECs and key stakeholders in health research in Africa to identify capacity, constraints and development needs. MARC intends to provide the first comprehensive interactive database of RECs in Africa, which will allow for the identification of key relationships and analyses of capacity. The potential of MARC lies in the mapping of current ethical review activity onto capacity needs. This paper serves as a starting point by providing a descriptive illustration of the current state of RECs in Africa. (shrink)
Antinomicity is not necessarily dependent on negation; there is a more general conception of antinomicity based on the fundamental idea of opposition. To study this fact is indispensable to show first that truth and falsity are independent of assertion and negation. Then it can be seen that antinomies can be found everywhere, and that some single categories are in intrinsic opposition with themselves while others are opposed to one another in pairs. An antinomic ‘manifesto’ concludes the work.
Many studies have been published about ethics committees and the clarifications requested about the submitted applications. In Finland, ethics committees require a separate statement on ethical aspects of the research in applications to the ethics committee. However, little is known about how researchers consider the ethical aspects of their own studies.
Central to Nicolas Malebranche?s theodicy is the distinction between general volitions and particular volitions. One of the fundamental claims of his theodicy is that although God created a world with suffering and evil, God does not will these things by particular volitions, but only by general volitions. Commentators disagree about how to interpret Malebranche?s distinction. According to the ?general content? interpretation, the difference between general volitions and particular volitions is a difference in content. General volitions (...) have general laws as their content and particular volitions have particular contents. The ?particular content? interpretation holds that all of God?s volitions have particular contents. The difference between general and particular volitions is whether the content of the volition is in accordance with the laws that God has established. A proper interpretation of this distinction is essential to understanding Malebranche?s theodicy, as well as his account of occasionalism and God?s causal activity in the world. In this paper, I defend the ?particular content? interpretation of the distinction. (shrink)
I discuss the ontological assumptions and implications of General Relativity. I maintain that General Relativity is a theory about gravitational fields, not about space-time. The latter is a more basic ontological category, that emerges from physical relations among all existents. I also argue that there are no physical singularities in space-time. Singular space-time models do not belong to the ontology of the world: they are not things but concepts, i.e. defective solutions of Einstein’s field equations. I briefly discuss (...) the actual implication of the so-called singularity theorems in General Relativity and some problems related to ontological assumptions of Quantum Gravity. (shrink)
Bertie Ahern, the incumbent Taoiseach or Prime Minister of Ireland, was elected to a third term in the general election of 24 May 2007. While Ahern's party, Fianna F il, was able to retain its governing coalition, the level of support of some of the other parties changed dramatically. Fine Gael, the principal opposition party, saw its number of seats in the parliament, D il ireann, increase by nineteen. Some of the minor parties did less well than expected or (...) compared to previous elections. Only the Greens maintained their six representatives. As a result, they were rewarded with a share in the new government. This election suggests that, while Irish society is changing rapidly, the political system is changing more slowly and subtly. This article examines the election results in terms of the fate of the political parties and focuses on one constituency, Tipperary South, to illustrate trends in Irish electoral politics. (shrink)
I will suggest, in this article, a possible explanation of the fact that legal language appears incoherent to the general public. I will present one legal text (an indictment), explaining why it appears incoherent to legal laypersons. I will argue that the traits making this particular text appear incoherent are, first, that a specialized legal meaning is conveyed implicitly and, second, that there are no key-words that could direct laypersons to the knowledge making this meaning obvious to legalists. I (...) will conclude that any legal text having these traits is likely to appear incoherent to the general public and suggest that the traits making my example appear incoherent might be rather common among the various texts of the various legal systems. On this suggestion there is no need to assume any causal relation between lawyers’ social interests and the apparent incoherence of legal language as it entails that this incoherence is inevitable. (I will argue that it is a result of the facts that legal language is ordinary language used, in the ordinary way, in the special context of the legal discourse.). (shrink)
This article focuses on early British vegetation science, in particular on the British Vegetation Committee. In earlier histories of (plant) ecology, the period of the Committee's life, 1904-1913, renowned for its surveys and its maps, was depicted as a brief prelude to British plant ecology. This article traces the course of "survey" and "ecology" within the Committee, demonstrating that survey and ecology were both distinct and intertwined within the Committee. The Committee adhered to two lines (...) of research, one analyzing relatively large areas of vegetation on a small scale (few details), and the other, relatively small areas on a large scale (great detail). When the Committee was founded, vegetation research of relatively large areas dominated, but the balance gradually swung towards research on small areas. Two prominent Committee members, Smith and Tansley, furthermore advocated two research plans, a national survey plan and an ecological research plan. These diverging ideals however co-existed peacefully and uncontroversially, in contrast to a survey and ecology dichotomy suggested in earlier accounts. An analysis demonstrates the intertwinement of survey and ecology in the period of the Committee's existence. The "ecological expeditions" also mapped vegetation, and the scale of the "survey work" moreover increased in the Committee's early years. Only by acknowledging their intertwinement can the fate of a particular kind of "survey-research" be understood. My analysis shows that this kind of vegetation research did not survive the Committee because of its ecological orientation. This conclusion contradicts the impression prevailing from earlier historical accounts, viz. that British survey work failed because it was insufficiently ecological. (shrink)
Philosophical discussion of the general methodology of qualitative research, such as that used in some health research, has been inductivist or relativist to date, ignoring critical rationalism as a philosophical approach with which to discuss the general methodology of qualitative research. This paper presents a discussion of the general methodology of qualitative research from a critical rationalist perspective (inspired by Popper), using as an example mental health research. The widespread endorsement of induction in qualitative research is positivist (...) and is suspect, if not false, particularly in relation to the context of justification (or rather theory testing) as compared to the context of discovery (or rather theory generation). Relativism is riddled with philosophical weaknesses and hence it is suspect if not false too. Theory testing is compatible with qualitative research, contrary to much writing about and in qualitative research, as theory testing involves learning from trial and error, which is part of qualitative research, and which may be the form of learning most conducive to generalization. Generalization involves comparison, which is a fundamental methodological requirement of any type of research (qualitative or other); hence the traditional grounding of quantitative and experimental research in generalization. Comparison—rather than generalization—is necessary for, and hence compatible with, qualitative research; hence, the common opposition to generalization in qualitative research is misdirected, disregarding whether this opposition’s claims are true or false. In conclusion, qualitative research, similar to quantitative and experimental research, assumes comparison as a general methodological requirement, which is necessary for health research. (shrink)
The authors report the first Italian experience of a research ethics committee (REC) audit focused on the evaluation of the REC’s compliance with standard operating procedures, requirements in insurance coverage, informed consent, protection of privacy and confidentiality, predictable risks/harms, selection of subjects, withdrawal criteria and other issues, such as advertisement details and justification of placebo. The internal audit was conducted over a two-year period (March 2009–February 2011) divided into quarters to better value the influence of the new insurance coverage (...) regulation that came into effect in March 2010 (Ministerial Decree of 14 July, 2009) and expand the requirements to safeguard participants in clinical drug trials including other critical items as information and consent and the risks to benefits ratio. Out of a total of 639 REC’s opinions and research studies, 316 were reviewed. Regarding the insurance policy requirements, Auditor/REC non-compliance occurred only in one case. The highest number of Auditor/REC non-compliance was in regard to information and consent, which should have incurred a suspended decision rather than a favorable opinion. This internal audit shows the importance and the difficulty of the review process. For this reason, specific courses for members of the research ethics committee and for those who aspire to become auditors will be provided. There may also be efforts to improve the standard operating procedures already in place. (shrink)
This paper describes the establishment of and the issues experienced by the Research Ethics Committee (REC) of a Business School within a University in Ireland. It identifies the issue of voluntarily given informed consent as a key challenge for RECs operating in a Business School context. The paper argues that whilst the typology of ethical issues in business research are similar to the wider social sciences, the fact that much research is carried out in the workplace adds to the (...) complexity of the REC deliberations. The use of deception in the design of research studies, pestering the local community and the potential for harm to the researcher are also discussed briefly in the context of business research. The experiences of the authors’, two of whom have served as respective chairpersons of the business school REC since its inception in addition to being members of the university level REC, inform the discussion. (shrink)
Dewey blurs the distinction between poetry and philosophy. This is clearest in his aesthetics where he affirms Matthew Arnold’s dictum that “poetry is criticism of life.” The maxim, though, fails to say “how poetry is a criticism.” The role of art in general is imagining and creating images of the actual beyond the possible that (from a moral perspective) ought to exist. One can derive an ought from an is if one understands the is of poetic possibility. Dewey asserts (...) that “poetry teaches us as friends and life teach, by being, and not by express intent.” He affirms that it is “by way of communication that art becomes the incomparable organ of instruction.” Blurring the distinction between poetry and philosophy requires reconsidering the character—especially the moral character—of education as cultural criticism. (shrink)
While second-order quantifiers have long been known to admit nonstandard, or interpretations, first-order quantifiers (when properly viewed as predicates of predicates) also allow a kind of interpretation that does not presuppose the full power-set of that interpretationgeneral” interpretations for (unary) first-order quantifiers in a general setting, emphasizing the effects of imposing various further constraints that the interpretation is to satisfy.
I argue that contemporary liberal theory cannot give a general justification for the institution or practice of punishment, i.e., a justification that would hold across a broad range of reasonably realistic conditions. I examine the general justifications offered by three prominent contemporary liberal theorists and show how their justifications fail in light of the possibility of an alternative to punishment. I argue that, because of their common commitments regarding the nature of justification, these theorists have decisive reasons to (...) reject punishment in favor of a non-punitive alternative. I demonstrate the possibility of this alternative by means of a careful examination of the nature of punishment, isolating one essential characteristic—the aim to impose suffering—and showing how this characteristic need not guide enforcement. There is logical space for a forceful and coercive, yet non-punitive method of enforcement. This fact poses difficulties for many classical and contemporary justifications of punishment, but it poses particularly crippling problems for general liberal justifications. (shrink)
Some argue, following Bertrand Russell, that because general truths are not entailed by particular truths, general facts must be posited to exist in addition to particular facts. I argue on the contrary that because general truths (globally) supervene on particular truths, general facts are not needed in addition to particular facts; indeed, if one accepts the Humean denial of necessary connections between distinct existents, one can further conclude that there are no general facts. When entailment (...) and supervenience do not coincide it is only failure of supervenience, not failure of entailment, that carries ontological import. (shrink)
n his Lectures on the Histmy 0f Philosophy Hegel credits Rousseau with an cpoch-making innovation in the realm 0f practical philosophy, an innovation said to consist in thc fact that Rousseau is thc first thinker t0 recognize "the free will" as thc fundamental principle 0f political philosophy} Since Hcgcl’s 0wn practical philosophy is explicitly grounded in an account 0f thc will and its freedom, Hcgcl’s assertion is clearly intended as an acknowledgment 0f his deep indebtedness t0 R0usscau’s social and political (...) thought. What is not s0 clear, however, is how this indebtedness is t0 bc understood: What precisely docs it mean t0 say that the political theories 0f Hegel and Rousseau share the same first principlc? In this paper I intend t0 follow up 0n this interpretive suggestion 0f Hcgcl’s by claborating, much more explicitly than he himself docs, thc sense in which R0usscau’s political thought is founded 011 thc principle 0f the "frcc wiil." While accomplishing this task will put us in a better position t0 clarify thc obscurc philosophical strategy behind Hcgcl’s 0wn social theory, my primary interest here is t0 illuminate thc foundations 0f R0usscau’s political thought, especially its account 0f the connection between freedom and the general will. I argue that it is necessary t0 distinguish two ways in which Rousseau takes the general will t0 secure, or realize, thc freedom of individual citizens, namely, by functioning as an embodiment as well as a precondition of such freedom. Understanding both 0f these points will lead us t0 scc: that R0usscau’s thought rests 0n two distinct, though not incompatible, accounts 0f how citizens whose actions are constrained by thc general will are in fact subject 0nly to their 0wn wills and therefore free in their 0bcdience to thc general will. As we shall scc, these two accounts arc implicitly based upon distinct conceptions 0f political freedom. (shrink)
The paper presents an interpretation of the thinking behind the early Wittgenstein's "general form of the proposition." It argues that a central role is played by the assumption that all domains of discourse are governed by the same laws of logic. The interpretation is presented partly through a comparison with ideas presented recently by Michael Potter and Peter Sullivan; the paper argues that the above assumption explains more of the key characteristics of the "general form of the proposition" (...) than Potter and Sullivan suppose, including, in particular, its claim that the bases from which all other propositions are derived must be elementary propositions. (shrink)
Wittgenstein presents in the Tractatus a variable purporting to capture the general form of proposition. One understanding of what Wittgenstein is doing there, an understanding in line with the ‘new’ reading of his work championed by Diamond, Conant and others, sees it as a deflationary or even an implosive move—a move by which a concept sometimes put by philosophers to distinctively metaphysical use is replaced, in a perspicuous notation, by an innocent device of generalization, thereby dispersing the clouds (...) of philosophy that formerly surrounded the concept. By asking how Wittgenstein supposed his variable to work, and what work he imagined it was fit for, the paper questions the adequacy of that understanding. (shrink)
Newton’s immensely famous, but tersely written, General Scholium is primarily known for its reference to the argument of design and Newton’s famous dictum “hypotheses non fingo”. In the essay at hand, I shall argue that this text served a variety of goals and try to add something new to our current knowledge of how Newton tried to accomplish them. The General Scholium highlights a cornucopia of features that were central to Newton’s natural philosophy in general: matters of (...) experimentation, methodological issues, theological matters, matters related to the instauration of prisca sapientia, epistemological claims central to Newton’s empiricism, and, finally, metaphysical issues. For Newton these matters were closely interwoven. I shall address these matters based on a thorough study of the extant manuscript material. (shrink)
Written by leading philosophers and lawyers from the United States and the United Kingdom, this collection of original essays offers new insights into the doctrines that make up the general part of the criminal law. It sheds theoretical light on the diversity and unity of the general part and advances our understanding of such key issues as criminalisation, omissions, voluntary actions, knowledge, belief, reckelssness, duress, self-defence, entrapment and officially-induced mistake of law.
The author proposes to add another dichotomy to the list of essential tensions proposed by Professor Duda, namely beauty and ugliness. Physicists believe that only beautiful theories describe the world correctly, and that General Relativity is one of the most beautiful physical theories. The author explains why physicists regard this theory as beautiful.
An examination of time as featured in the General Theory of Relativity, which supercedes Einstein’s Special Theory, serves to rekindle the issue of the existenceof absolute time. In application to cosmology, Einstein’s General Theory yields models of the universe featuring a worldwide time which is the same for all observers in the universe regardless of their relative motion. Such a cosmic time is a rough physical measure of Newton’s absolute time, which is based ontologically in the duration of (...) God’s being and is more or less accurately recorded by physical clocks. (shrink)
The conclusions derived by Keynes in his Treatise on Probability (1921) concerning induction, analogical reasoning, expectations formation and decision making, mirror and foreshadow the main conclusions of cognitive science and psychology.The problem of weight is studied within an economic context by examining the role it played in Keynes' applied philosophy work, The General Theory (1936). Keynes' approach is then reformulated as an optimal control approach to dealing with changes in information evaluation over time. Based on this analysis the problem (...) of inductive justification, from a societal perspective, is not, What can we rationally believe will occur in the economic future, given our past experiences? but Can we make the future so as to attain specific economic goals with practical certainty? An answer requires that restrictions be placed on the methodological individualist approach and the acceptance of a restricted holistic approach. (shrink)
Malament-Hogarth spacetimes are the sort of models within general relativity that seem to allow for the possibility of supertasks. There are various ways in which these spacetimes might be considered physically problematic. Here, we examine these criticisms and investigate the prospect of escaping them.
What van Gelder calls the dynamical hypothesis is only a special case of what we here dub the general dynamical hypothesis. His terminology makes it easy to overlook important alternative dynamical approaches in cognitive science. Connectionist models typically conform to the general dynamical hypothesis, but not to van Gelder's.
The paper establishes the general structure of the inconsistent models of arithmetic of . It is shown that such models are constituted by a sequence of nuclei. The nuclei fall into three segments: the first contains improper nuclei; the second contains proper nuclei with linear chromosomes; the third contains proper nuclei with cyclical chromosomes. The nuclei have periods which are inherited up the ordering. It is also shown that the improper nuclei can have the order type of any ordinal, (...) of the rationals, or of any other order type that can be embedded in the rationals in a certain way. (shrink)
Ethical concerns of Internet users continue to rise. Accordingly, several scholars have called for systematic empirical research to address these issues. This study examines the conceptualization and measurement of consumers' perceptions regarding the ethics of online retailers (CPEOR). Also, this research represents a first step into the analysis of the relationship between CPEOR, consumers' general Internet expertise and reported positive word of mouth (WOM). Results, from a convenience sample of 357 online shoppers, suggest that CPEOR can be operationalized as (...) a second-order construct composed of four dimensions: security, privacy, fulfillment, and non-deception. Our findings also indicate that consumers' general Internet expertise significantly improves CPEOR and CPEOR are strongly predictive of consumers' WOM. Managerial and research implications are offered. (shrink)