The idea that intuition plays a basic role in moral knowledge and moral philosophy probably began in the eighteenth century. British philosophers such as Anthony Shaftsbury, Francis Hutcheson, Thomas Reid, and later David Hume talk about a “moral sense” that they place in John Locke’s theory of knowledge in terms of Lockean reflexive perceptions, while Richard Price seeks a faculty by which we obtain our ideas of right and wrong. (...) In the twentieth century intuitionism in moral philosophy was revived by the works of G. E. Moore, H. A. Prichard, and W. D. Ross. These philosophers reject Kantian deontological ethics and utilitarianism insisting that intuition is the only source of moral knowledge. Recently, there is a renewed interest in intuition by philosophers doing meta-philosophy by reflecting on what philosophers do, and why they disagree. In this essay we plan to take some of this recent literature on intuition and apply it to moral philosophy. We will proceed by (1) defining a conception of intuition, (2) answering some skeptical challenges, (3) delimiting its target, and (4) arguing that intuition is often a source of moral knowledge. (shrink)
Within any organization (e.g. a hospital or clinic) the perception of the way things operate may vary dramatically as a function of one’s location in the organizational hierarchy as well as one’s professional discipline. Interorganizational variability depends on organizational coherence, safety, and stability. In this four-nation (Canada, Ireland, Australia, and Korea) qualitative study of 42 nurses, we explored their perception of how ethical decisions are made, the nurses’ hospital role, and the extent to which their voices were heard. These nurses (...) suggested that their voices were silenced (often voluntarily) or were not expressed in terms of ethical decision making. Finally, they perceived that their approach to ethical decision making differed from physicians. (shrink)
A recent controversy over the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity's recommendation to censor two publications on genetically modified H5N1 avian influenza has generated concern over the threat to scientific freedom such censorship presents. In this paper, I argue that in the case of these studies, appeals to scientific freedom are not sufficient to motivate a rejection of censorship. I then use this conclusion to draw broader concerns about the ethics of dual-use research.
Rather than treating them as discrete and incommensurable ideas, we sketch some connections between human flourishing and human dignity, and link them to human rights. We contend that the metaphor of flourishing provides an illuminating aspirational framework for thinking about human development and obligations, and that the idea of human dignity is a critical element within that discussion. We conclude with some suggestions as to how these conceptions of human dignity and human flourishing might underpin and inform appeals to human (...) rights. (shrink)
The Fitzgerald-Lorentz contraction hypothesis, proposed as an explanation of the Michelson-Morley result, fails to account for the Kennedy-Thorndike result. Hence, Grünbaum argues, the hypothesis has been falsified. However, the contraction hypothesis as formulated by Lorentz is false for the very fundamental reason that it entails a contradiction, namely, the consequence that light waves must have a variable velocity along what by definition is taken to be a rest length. Furthermore, the attempt to resolve this contradiction by coupling the Fitzgerald-Lorentz contraction (...) with the hypothesis that clock rates are a function of velocity, is open to a sound, methodological objection. The Michelson-Morley result is fully satisfied, provided only that the lengths of the interferometer arms, in the longitudinal and transverse positions, are thought to be related to one another in a certain ratio, and this ratio may be interpreted as a contraction in both arms. Since this twofold contraction hypothesis suffices to explain both the Michelson-Morley and the Kennedy-Thorndike results, and since it entails no contradiction, there is no need to correct both the length of rods and the rate of clocks. Therefore, the combined clock-rod hypothesis, and with it the Fitzgerald-Lorentz contraction hypothesis, must be rejected. (shrink)
This paper forms an introduction to this issue, the contents of which arose directly or indirectly from a conference in May 2001 on Corruption of scientific integrity? — The commercialisation of academic science. The introduction, in recent decades, of business culture and values into universities and research institutions is incompatible with the openness which scientific and all academic pursuit traditionally require. It has given rise to a web of problems over intellectual property and conflict of interest which has even led (...) to corporate sponsors’ suppressing unfavourable results of clinical trials, to the detriment of patients’ health. Although there are those who see the norms of science developing to recognise the importance of instrumental science aiming at specific goals and of knowledge judged by its value in a context of application, none justifies the covert manipulation of results by vested interest. Public awareness of these problems is growing and creating a climate of opinion where they may be addressed. We suggest a way forward by the introduction of nationally and internationally-accepted guidelines for industrial collaboration which contain proper protections of the core purposes of universities and of the independence of their research. Some codes suggested for this purpose are discussed. We note that some universities are moving to adopt such codes of conduct, but argue the need for strong support from the government through its funding bodies. (shrink)
A study is reported which focused on the problem-solving strategies employed by expert electronics engineers pursuing a real-world task: integrated-circuit design. Verbal protocol data were analysed so as to reveal aspects of the organisation and sequencing of ongoing design activity. These analyses indicated that the designers were implementing a highly systematic solution-development strategy which deviated only a small degree from a normatively optimal top-down and breadth-first method. Although some of the observed deviation could be described as opportunistic in nature, much (...) of it reflected the rapid depth-first exploration of tentative solution ideas. We argue that switches from a predominantly breadth-first mode of problem solving to depth-first or opportunistic modes may be an important aspect of the expert's strategic knowledge about how to conduct the design process effectively when faced with difficulties, uncertainties, and design impasses. (shrink)
Using covariant derivatives and the operator definitions of quantum mechanics, gauge invariant Proca and Lehnert equations are derived and the Lorenz condition is eliminated in U(1) invariant electrodynamics. It is shown that the structure of the gauge invariant Lehnert equation is the same in an O(3) invariant theory of electrodynamics.
This book will be of interest to philosophers and historians of ideas as well as to specialists in Greek philosophy. All quotations are translated into English and there is a glossary of key Greek terms.
In the thousand years from the end of the Roman Empire to the Renaissance and Reformation of the Sixteenth century the discussion of the great questions of philosophy and religion was intense. Does God exist? What is he like? What is the purpose of human life and how does God show concern for the future of mankind? This is an introduction to the debates which did more than anything else to transform the ancient into the modern world of thought.
Modern warfare has shifted from the traditional conception of states involved in self-defensive wars to include peacekeeping missions, humanitarian intervention, regional stabilisation in the face of natural disasters, and more. A central criterion from just war traditions is the probability of success—given the magnitude of harms that large military operations are expected to cause; there must be some likelihood that the military operation will be successful. However, how likely a given military operation will be is dependent, in part at least, (...) on the capacities of those acting in the given military operation. Our paper shows that the capacities of those involved in a military action bear upon the likelihood of that operation being successful. A central goal of this paper is to argue for the recognition of the training of soldiers as a moral requirement for the just war. (shrink)