This paper considers the effect of political liberal principles on the children in society. Specifically, the paper argues that political liberalism faces a problem where parents or other adults want to pass on bizarre or dangerous beliefs to their offspring. This problem arises because in the political liberal framework the only limit on what doctrines a child may acquire is that the child becomes a reasonable citizen. Since this criterion is designed to be lax, this implies children may justly be (...) inculcated with views that may undermine their welfare in later life. This presents political liberals with a dilemma. Ensuring that children are taught appropriate views requires narrowing the scope of political liberal principles, whilst keeping the broad focus of political liberalism brings with it unpalatable consequences when we consider the next generation. (shrink)
This paper considers the place of children within liberal-democratic society and its related political morality. The genesis of the paper is two considerations which are in tension with one another. First, that there must be some point at which children are divided from adults, with children denied the rights which go along with full membership of the liberal community. The justification for the difference in the statue between these two groups must be rooted in some notion of capacities, since these (...) are the only relevant differences between adults and children. Second, that linking an individual's capacities to her status undermines the central liberal commitment of political equality. This dilemma explains what I term the threshold view, which holds that children become adult citizens upon reaching an age of competence and that above this level differences in abilities cease to matter to an individual's status. While this view has attractions, this paper argues that this view must eventually be rejected because of its inability to deal with the actual process of human development. In its place, the paper proposes a modification to this view which sees the threshold constrained by moral demands and applied indirectly to age groups rather than individuals. These constraints preserve the commitment to equality in a way consistent with a plausible view of children's place in society. (shrink)
Timothy Michael Fowler has argued that, as a consequence of their commitment to neutrality in regard to comprehensive doctrines, political liberals face a dilemma. In essence, the dilemma for political liberals is that either they have to give up their commitment to neutrality (which is an indispensible part of their view), or they have to allow harm to children. Fowler’s case for this dilemma depends on ascribing to political liberals a view which grants parents a great degree (...) of freedom in deciding on the education of their children. I show that ascribing this view to political liberals rests upon a misinterpretation of political liberalism. Since political liberals have access to reasons based upon the interests of children, they need not yield to parent’s wishes about the education of their children. A correct understanding of political liberalism thus shows that political liberals do not face the dilemma envisaged by Fowler. (shrink)
Hud Hudson has argued that if MaxCon, Ned Markosian's favoured answer to the Simple Question, is true, then there couldn't be gunky objects. If Hudson's argument succeeds, then those who believe that gunky objects are possible have a good reason to reject MaxCon. However, I show that Hudson's argument relies on substantive metaphysical claims that a proponent of MaxCon need not accept. Thus, one who endorses MaxCon need not reject the possibility of gunky objects and those who believe that gunky (...) objects are possible need not reject MaxCon. (shrink)
We discuss the view that a hole is identical to the region of spacetime at which it is located. This view is more parsimonious than the view that holes are sui generus entities located at those regions surrounded by their hosts and it is more plausible than the view that there are no holes. We defend the spacetime view from several objections.
Although the ability to perform gene therapy in human germ-line cells is still hypothetical, the rate of progress in molecular and cell biology suggests that it will only be a matter of time before reliable clinical techniques will be within reach. Three sets of arguments are commonly advanced against developing those techniques, respectively pointing to the clinical risks, social dangers and better alternatives. In this paper we analyze those arguments from the perspective of the client-centered ethos that traditionally governs practice (...) in medical genetics. This perspective clarifies the merits of these arguments for geneticists, and suggests useful new directions for the professional discussion of germ-line gene therapy. It suggests, for example, that the much discussed prospect of germ-line therapy in human pre-embryos may always be more problematic for medical genetics than adult germ-line interventions, even though the latter faces greater technical difficulties. (shrink)
Between 1904 and 1908, German colonialists in German South West Africa (GSWA, known today as Namibia) committed genocide and other international crimes against two indigenous groups, the Herero and the Nama. From the late 1990s, the Herero have sought reparations from the German government and several German corporations for what occurred more than a hundred years ago. This article examines and contextualizes the issues concerning reparations for historical human rights claims. It describes and analyzes the events in GSWA at the (...) time. It further explores whether international humanitarian law and international human rights law today permit reparatations to be obtained. The article therefore examines the origins of international criminal law, as well as international human rights and humanitarian law, to determine whether what occurred then were violations of the law already in force. Finally, the article examines and evaluates the Herero reparations cases, as well as the potential impact of the cases on the wider reparations movement that sees an increasing number of claims for events that occurred during colonial times. (shrink)
Most studies into the performance of socially responsible investment vehicles have focused on the performance of sustainable or socially responsible mutual funds. This research has been complemented recently by a number of studies that have examined the performance of sustainable investment indices. In both cases, the majority of studies have concluded that the returns of socially responsible investment vehicles have either underperformed, or failed to outperform, comparable market indices. Although the impact of sustainable indices to date has been limited, the (...) recent launch of sustainable indices by Dow Jones and FTSE suggests that more attention is being paid to the subject by financial markets, investors, and companies. This development raises a number of important issues which are reviewed in this article: (a) the performance of indices compared with their benchmark indices; (b) the methodologies employed in compiling the indices; and (c) the impact of the indices on companies and the investment community. The article concludes with a number of suggestions for areas that merit future research. (shrink)
Zangwill's recent article offers a provocative and compelling account of the alleged deficiencies of the sociology of art. However, his main targetschristened, respectively, `production and skepticism' and `consumption skepticism'are, in fact, only decontextualised and one-sided caricatures of the leading theories in this area. Zangwill has misrepresented some of the discipline's leading theorists including Bourdieu, Eagleton, Pollock and Wolff. His own `aesthetic' explanation of artistic acts appears, at first glance, attractive, not least for its repudiation of radical sociological reductionism. But it (...) turns out to be altogether too simplistic an alternative. Zangwill is a sociological `primitive' who understands adequately neither how society exists in the mind itself, nor, paradoxically, in artists' embodied sense of the right feel for the game. A less `enchanted' approach toartists' practices is required. This needs to stress both artists' role in the public sphere and also their specific interests in the artistic field. Key Words: sociology art aesthetics canon pleasure. (shrink)
The present description of the Merge model addresses only auditory, not audiovisual, speech perception. However, recent findings in the audiovisual domain are relevant to the model. We outline a test that we are conducting of the adequacy of Merge, modified to accept visual information about articulation.
The claim that perception and action are commonly coded because they are indistinguishable at the distal level is crucial for theories of cognition. However, the consequences of this claim run deep, and the Theory of Event Coding (TEC) is not up to the challenge it poses. We illustrate why through a brief review of the evidence that led to the motor theory of speech perception.
The orderly output constraint (OOC) is extraneous. Talkers “speak in lines” in its absence. Further, there is no perceptual motivation for an OOC; perceivers ignore the linearity between F2 at consonant-vowel onset and F2 in the vowel. In any case, the analogy with bat and barn owl localization systems underlying the theory is extreme, Sussman et al.'s comments to the contrary notwithstanding.
Concepts and experimental results taken frombehavioral pharmacology, functional brain imaging,brain physiology, and behavioral neuroscience, wereused to develop the hypothesis that behavioraltolerance can, in part, be attributed to cellulartolerance. It is argued that task specific activationof circumscribed neuronal populations gives rise tocorresponding increases in regional cerebral bloodflow such that neurons related to task performance areexposed to higher effective doses of blood-borne drugthan neuronal groups not highly activated by thebehavioral task. Through this cerebral hemodynamicregulatory mechanism cellular tolerance phenomena canat least partially account (...) for behavioral tolerance(i.e., tolerance conferred through drugged practice). (shrink)
Though he’s perhaps best known for his work on vagueness, Timothy Williamson also produced a series of outstanding papers in epistemology in the late 1980's and the 1990's. Knowledge and its Limits brings this work together. The result is, in my opinion, the best book in epistemology to come out since 1975.
Timothy Williamson (2002) has offered an argument for the claim that, necessarily, he exists, that is, that he is a necessary existent.1 Though this argument has attracted a great deal of attention (e.g., Rumfitt 2003 and Wiggins 2003), I present a new argument for the same conclusion which reveals a new way of denying the soundness of Williamson’s argument, one which denies not only that it is necessary that he exists but also that there are any true necessities about (...) Williamson at all. In conclusion, given that it is contingent that Williamson exists, I nevertheless distinguish a sense in which he is, after all, a necessary existent: Williamson necessarily exists, though it is not necessary that he exists. (shrink)
In his essay ‘“Conceptual Truth”’, Timothy Williamson (2006) argues that there are no truths or entailments that are constitutive of understanding the sentences involved. In this reply I provide several examples of entailment patterns that are intuitively constitutive of understanding in just the way that Williamson rejects, and I argue that Williamson’s argument does nothing to show otherwise. Williamson bolsters his conclusion by appeal to a certain theory about the nature of understanding. I argue that his theory fails to (...) consider the role that the structure of a sentence plays in determining its meaning. The cases I present suggest that this role imposes greater cognitive requirements on understanding than Williamson can acknowledge. (shrink)
Among the extensive correspondence of Timothy I, Catholicos of the Church of the East, are two letters which refer to his collobaration in a translation of Aristotle's Topics into Syriac and Arabic, commissioned by the Caliph al-Mahdī. An annotated English translation of both letters is provided.
Timothy Mahoney discovers and champions an ecologically benign account of Plato in opposition to my own critical analysis of the reason-centeredness, reason-nature dualism, and nature and body devaluation in the Platonic dialogues, in which multiple linked dualisms of reason and nature associated with systems of oppression provide major organizing principles for Platonic philosophy. I show first that Mahoney's criticisms of my interpretation involve some careless and mistaken readings of my own text. Second, I argue that Mahoney* s account of (...) nature is significantly different from Plato's. Mahoney's interpretation of Plato is an overly generous and idealized one which plays on the multiplicity and elasticity of the concept of nature and the notorious vagueness of the concept of participation to conflate, among other things, Plato's attitude to celestial nature with his attitude to biological nature. Mahoney's interpretation involves setting aside Plato's gender politics, playing down some of Plato's most offensive and revealing passages of earth disparagement, and ignoring the network of social meanings from which Plato's philosophy emerges. Finally, I give some reasons why Mahoney's accounts of participation and nature, even considered as a reworking of Plato, would be highly problematic as the foundation for an ecological philosophy. (shrink)
Jean E. Chambers and Timothy F. Murphy responded to my article and extended the debate over human cloning in interesting ways. I had argued that none of the objections to cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer are successful in the context of infertile couples who use cloning to have genetically related children, assuming the issue of safety is overcome by scientific advances.