Advocates of the use of intuitions in philosophy argue that they are treated as evidence because they are evidential. Their opponents agree that they are treated as evidence, but argue that they should not be so used, since they are the wrong kinds of things. In contrast to both, we argue that, despite appearances, intuitions are not treated as evidence in philosophy whether or not they should be. Our positive account is that intuitions are a subclass of inclinations to believe. (...) Our thesis explains why intuitions play a role in persuasion and inquiry, without conceding that they are evidential. The account also makes predictions about the structure of intuitions that are confirmed by independent arguments. (shrink)
This paper investigates the nature and foundation of duties to oneself in Kant's moral theory. Duties to oneself embody the requirement of the formula of humanity that agents respect rational nature in them-selves as well as in others. So understood, duties to oneself are not subject to the sorts of conceptual objections often raised against duties to oneself; nor do these duties support objections that Kant's moral theory is overly demanding or produces agents who are preoccupied with their own virtue. (...) Duties to oneself emerge as an essential and compelling part of Kant's moral theory. (shrink)
Chalmers and Jackson (2001) offer an epistemic interpretation of the two-dimensional semantic framework advanced by Kaplan (1979, 1989), Stalnaker (1978), and others. Epistemic two-dimensional semantics (E2D) aims to re-forge the link between necessity and a priority seemingly broken by Kripke (1972/1980). On the E2D strategy, a priori knowledge of certain semantic intensions provides a route to a priori knowledge of a wide range of modal truths---nice outcome, if we can get it. E2D faces the serious challenge, however, that we typically (...) don't have even in-principle a priori access to the intensions at issue (Byrne and Pryor 2006, Melnyk 2001; see also Wilson 1982). As we substantiate, the "access-based challenge" to Chalmers and Jackson's version of E2D is successful; but the problem here isn't for E2D per se, but rather to E2D interpreted as appealing to a conceiving-based epistemology of intensions. Here we develop a version of E2D appealing to abduction rather than conceivability. We argue that abduction gives rise to beliefs that are reasonably taken to be a priori; and we show that E2D when combined with an abductive epistemology of intensions---that is, abductive two-dimensionalism---can successfully respond to the access-based challenge. We finish up with a case study, involving zombies and the mind-body problem, illustrating how the two versions of E2D may differ in application. (shrink)
Some philosophers have attempted to utilize the conceptual tools of ethics in order to understand epistemology. One instantiation of this understands justification in terms of having a certain kind of epistemic right, namely, a right to believe. In variations of this theme, some hold that justification involves having the authority to believe, or being entitled to believe. But by examining the putative analogies between different versions of rights and justification, I demonstrate that justification should not be understood as having a (...) right to believe. (shrink)
This paper situates abortion in the context of women’s duties to themselves. I argue that Kant’s fundamental moral requirement (found in the formula of humanity) to respect oneself as a rational being, combined with Kant’s view of our animal nature, form the basis for a view of pregnancy and abortion that focuses on women’s agency and moral character without diminishing the importance of their bodies and emotions. The Kantian view of abortion that emerges takes abortion to be morally problematic, but (...) sometimes permissible, and sometimes even required. I first sketch Kant’s account to duties to oneself, highlighting duties to oneself as an animal and moral being. Next, I discuss pregnancy and the challenges it poses to women’s self-preservation, development, and efficacy as rational human agents. I then give my main argument: that abortion is morally problematic because it is antagonistic to an important subset of morally useful emotions that we have self-regarding duties to protect and cultivate. I argue that self-regarding moral considerations ground a rebuttable deliberative presumption against maxims of abortion for inclination-based ends. Finally, I consider three objections to this account of abortion: that it rests on implausible assumptions about the effects of abortion on women’s morally useful sentiments; that it portrays the virtuous agent’s reasoning about abortion as objectionably self-regarding; and that it fails adequately to recognize the moral significance of the fetus as a potential rational being. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: This is a little piece directed at the newcomer to Aristotle, making some general remarks about reading Aristotle at the beginning and end, with sandwiched in between, a brief and much simplified discussion of some common misunderstandings of Aristotle's philosophy, concerning spontaneity, causal indeterminism, freedom-to-do-otherwise, free choice, agent causation, logical determinism, teleological determinism, artistic creativity and freedom (eleutheria).
Nicholas Maxwell argues that the growth in academic work devoted to policy issues could mark the beginning of a shift from ‘knowledge-inquiry’ to ‘wisdom-inquiry’, leading to importance benefits for society.
Are there moral rights to do moral wrong? A right to do wrong is a right that others not interfere with the right-holder’s wrongdoing. It is a right against enforcement of duty, that is a right that others not interfere with one’s violation of one’s own obligations. The strongest reason for moral rights to do moral wrong is grounded in the value of personal autonomy. Having a measure of protected choice (that is a right) to do wrong is a condition (...) for an autonomous life and for autonomous moral self-constitution. This view has its critics. Responding to these objections reveals that none refute the coherence of the concept of a ‘moral right to do moral wrong’. At most, some objections successfully challenge the weight and frequency of the personal autonomy reasons for such rights. Autonomy-based moral rights to do moral wrong are therefore conceptually possible as well as, at least on occasion, actual. (shrink)
Discussions about the biological bases (or lack thereof) of the concept of race in the human species seem to be never ending. One of the latest rounds is represented by a paper by Neven Sesardic, which attempts to build a strong scientific case for the existence of human races, based on genetic, morphometric and behavioral characteristics, as well as on a thorough critique of opposing positions. In this paper I show that Sesardic’s critique falls far short of the goal, and (...) that his positive case is exceedingly thin. I do this through a combination of analysis of the actual scientific findings invoked by Sesardic and of some philo- sophical unpacking of his conceptual analysis, drawing on a dual professional background as an evolu- tionary biologist and a philosopher of science. (shrink)
I focus on two claims that have been made about the relationship between inference to the best explanation (IBE) and induction. The first is that IBE is an autonomous (indispensable) form of inference. The second claim is that induction is a special case of IBE. I adduce a new argument in support of the autonomy claim, use some insights thereby gleaned to argue for the reductionist claim, and draw some normative conclusions.
I have argued elsewhere that the psychological aspects of Nietzsche’s later works are best understood from a psychodynamic point of view. Nietzsche holds a view I dubbed the tenacity of the intentional (T): when an intentional state loses its object, a new object replaces the original; the state does not disappear entirely. In this essay I amend and clarify (T) to (T``): When an intentional state with a sub-propositional object loses its object, the affective component of the state persists without (...) a corresponding object, and that affect will generally be redeployed in a state with a distinct object. I then trace the development of the tenacity thesis through Nietzsche’s early and middle works. Along the way, I discuss a number of related topics, including the scope of the tenacity thesis (does it apply to all intentional states?), the reflexive turn one often finds in Nietzsche’s examples (why does he so often say the new object is oneself?), and the relations among will to power, drives, and the tenacity of the intentional. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that Nietzsche’s published works contain a substantial, although implicit, argument for the will to power as ontology—a critical and descriptive, rather than positive and explanatory, theory of reality. Further, I suggest this ontology is entirely consistent with a naturalist methodology. The will to power ontology follows directly from Nietzsche’s naturalist rejection of three metaphysical presuppositions: substance, efficient causality, and final causality. I show that a number of interpretations, including those of Clark, Schacht, Reginster, and Richardson, (...) are inconsistent with Nietzsche’s naturalism, because they presuppose efficient or final causality. In contrast, I argue that the will to power is not an explanatory theory, but a description of the basic, necessary character of reality, designed to critically reveal and minimize metaphysical presuppositions—to reject false explanations of reality and human behavior. It avoids substance-metaphysics by describing reality as will, a causal process without discrete efficient causes or agents. It eliminates efficient causality by describing events as maximal manifestations of power, rather than as agent-actualized potentialities. Finally, it opposes teleology by describing life as tending toward the activity of resistance as such, rather than toward explanatory end-states, such as the accumulation of power or overcoming of resistances. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that ad hominem arguments are not always fallacious. More explicitly, in certain cases of practical reasoning, the circumstances of a person are relevant to whether or not the conclusion should be accepted. This occurs, I suggest, when a person gives advice to others or prescribes certain courses of action but fails to follow her own advice or act in accordance with her own prescriptions. This is not an instance of a fallacious tu quoque provided that (...) such circumstantial ad hominem arguments are construed as rebuttals to appeals (administrative) authority (of expertise), or so I argue. (shrink)
This article generalizes the explanationist account of inference to the best explanation (IBE). It draws a clear distinction between IBE and abduction and presents abduction as the first step of IBE. The second step amounts to the evaluation of explanatory power, which consist in the degree of explanatory virtues that a hypothesis exhibits. Moreover, even though coherence is the most often cited explanatory virtue, on pain of circularity, it should not be treated as one of the explanatory virtues. Rather, coherence (...) should be equated with explanatory power and considered to be derivable from the other explanatory virtues: unification, explanatory depth and simplicity. (shrink)
Stressing that the pronoun "I" picks out one and only one person in the world (i.e., me), I argue against Hunt (and other like-minded Rand commentators) that the supposed "hard case" of destructive people who do not care for their own lives poses no special difficulty for rational egoism. I conclude that the proper response to a terse objection like "What about suicide bombers?" is the equally terse assertion "But I don't want to get blown up.".
Many readers have viewed William James's "The Will to Believe" as his most distinctive and resonating lecture. Yet for all the scholarly attention it has received, the complexities of the "pragmatic defence," and the issues it raises concerning evidential and pragmatic reasoning are still often misunderstood. In this paper I explicate a neglected "core" argument tied closely to James's thesis statement, and provide charts and other tools useful in presenting James' lecture in the philosophy classroom. This argument, based on the (...) Ought-Implies-Can principle, is useful for highlighting differences between James's pragmatist and Clifford's evidentialist perspective. I first reconstruct this implicit Ought-Implies-Can argument in modus tollens form, and follow this with a Chart intended to clarify various steps James takes in support of the crucial second premise. My purpose is primarily to explicate this neglected argument in a reconstructed, "bare-bones" fashion for classroom study and evaluation. (shrink)
This volume contains the most extensive exposition of Latin American philosophy to date. I know of no other comparable anthology on the subject in any language. The width of its scope is quite impressive. At least for this reason, and whatever its shortcomings might be (to some of them I’ll come to speak below), it is a welcome collective work.
Rather than to focus upon a particular ‘right to life’, we should consider what rights there are pertaining to our lives and to our living. There are different sorts. There are, for instance, rights that constitute absences of particular duties and rights that correspond to the duties of other agents or agencies. There are also natural and non-natural rights and duties. Different people in different contexts can have different moral duties and different moral rights including rights to life. The question (...) of the moral rights there are to and pertaining to life is considered with reference to James Griffin’s account of human rights. Also considered is the question of who or what can be a bearer of them. (shrink)
This article offers a justification for the continued use of jury trials. I shall critically examine the ability of juries to render just verdicts, judicial impartiality, and judicial transparency. My contention is that the judicial system that best satisfies these values is most preferable. Of course, these three values are not the only factors relevant for consideration. Empirical evidence demonstrates that juries foster both democratic participation and public legitimation of legal decisions regarding the most serious cases. Nevertheless, juries are costly (...) and, therefore, economically less efficient than competing modes of trial. I do not argue that all human beings possess an inalienable legal right to be tried by a jury. However, it is my hope that this analysis will make clear what we might gain or lose when we propose jury reforms. (shrink)
In England and Wales, there is significant controversy on the law related to abortion. Recent discussions have focussed predominantly on the health professional's right to conscientious objection. This article argues for a comprehensive overhaul of the law from the perspective of an author who adopts the view that all unborn human beings should be granted the prima facie right to life. It is argued that, should the law be modified in accordance with this stance, it need not imply that health (...) professionals should enjoy an unqualified right to object to participating in the provision of abortion. Indeed, it is proposed that – in some situations – women should be granted a positive right to abortion. While the focus of this article is on changing the law in England and Wales, it is hoped that the position developed here will also inspire legal debate and reform elsewhere. (shrink)
A new version of quantum theory is proposed, according to which probabilistic events occur whenever new statioinary or bound states are created as a result of inelastic collisions. The new theory recovers the experimental success of orthodox quantum theory, but differs form the orthodox theory for as yet unperformed experiments.
First of all, I just want to say that in my opinion this is an interesting and thought-provoking book, and a badly needed corrective to certain mistaken assumptions about James. I find myself very much in sympathy with many of its main points. Some of the things I have to say in the following may— or perhaps may not—be thought to disagree with some of what Professor Brown has argued in his book. If that is so, it should be taken (...) only as an indication of the degree to which William James on Radical Empiricism and Religion stimulates philosophical thought. Similarly, the essay I found myself preparing for this occasion seems in the end to have a lot more to do with what I think about James than, on the surface, it does with Professor Brown’s book: again, I would wish this to be seen as a compliment to the high quality of his work (which is certainly the way I see it), since everything I might have come up with here is in response to my reading of his book. (shrink)
Ryle’s distinction between knowing that and knowing how has recently been challenged. The paper first briefly defends the distinction and then proceeds to address the question of classifying moral knowledge. Moral knowledge is special in that it is practical, that is, it is essentially a motive. Hence the way we understand moral knowledge crucially depends on the way we understand motivation. The Humean theory of motivation is wrong in saying that reason cannot be a motive, but right in saying that (...) desire is essential for motivating us. The right response to the Humean theory of motivation is to see that moral knowledge is desire-related rationality or thought-related desire. Moral knowledge is neither knowing that nor knowing how but rather a third species of knowledge which we may call “knowing to do.” Knowing to do is to be rationally disposed to do the right thing. This understanding of moral knowledge is exactly what we can learn from Aristotle’s ethics. (shrink)
In recent developments in political and legal philosophy, there is a tendency to endorse minimalist lists of human rights which do not include a right to political participation. Against such tendencies, I shall argue that the right to political participation, understood as distinct from a right to democracy, should have a place even on minimalist lists. In addition, I shall defend the need to extend the right to political participation to include participation not just in national, but also in international (...) and global governance processes. The argument will be based on a cosmopolitan conception of political legitimacy and on a political conception of human rights that is normatively anchored in legitimacy. The central claim of my paper is that a right to political participation is necessary – but not sufficient – for political legitimacy in the global realm. (shrink)
This article questions the use of immigration as a tool to counter global poverty. It argues that poor people have a human right to stay in their home state, which entitles them to receive development assistance without the necessity of migrating abroad. The article thus rejects a popular view in the philosophical literature on immigration which holds that rich states are free to choose between assisting poor people in their home states and admitting them as immigrants when fulfilling duties to (...) assist the global poor. Since the human right to stay is entailed by values that feature prominently in the philosophical debate on immigration, the article further contends that participants in that debate have particular reason to reject the popular ‘choice view’ and endorse the alternative position presented in the article. (shrink)
This paper will consider the right not to know in the context of psychiatric disorders. It will outline the arguments for and against acquiring knowledge about the results of genetic testing for conditions such as breast cancer and Huntington’s disease, and examine whether similar considerations apply to disclosing to clients the results of genetic testing for psychiatric disorders such as depression and Alzheimer’s disease. The right not to know will also be examined in the context of the diagnosis of psychiatric (...) disorders that are associated with stigma or for which there is no effective treatment. (shrink)
John Hick offers a summary account of William James's ‘The Will to Believe’ which is typical of the way that this essay has been understood by many in the one hundred years since it was first published. According to Hick, James argues -/- that the existence or nonexistence of God, of which there can be no conclusive evidence either way, is a matter of such momentous importance that anyone who so desires has the right to stake one's life upon the (...) God hypothesis. (shrink)
Whether responsibility for actions and omissions requires the ability to do otherwise is an important issue in contemporary philosophy. However, a closely related but distinct issue, namely whether doxastic responsibility requires the ability to believe otherwise, has been largely neglected. This paper fills this remarkable lacuna by providing a defence of the thesis that doxastic responsibility entails the ability to believe otherwise. On the one hand, it is argued that the fact that unavoidability is normally an excuse counts in favour (...) of this thesis. On the other hand, three objections against this thesis are discussed and criticized. First, one might think that what suffices for doxastic responsibility is control over or influence on certain desirable or undesirable properties of beliefs. It is argued that this objection misrepresents the issue under consideration. Second, it may be objected that the thesis is contradicted by our intuitions in doxastic analogues of Frankfurt-style scenarios. It is argued that distinguishing between belief-universals and belief-particulars helps to see why this argument fails. Third and finally, one might draw an analogy with the asymmetry thesis in ethics by arguing that even if blameworthy belief requires the ability to believe otherwise, praiseworthy belief does not. It is argued that the main arguments in favour of this presumed asymmetry are wanting, partly because they fail to distinguish between two different kinds of praiseworthiness. Finally, the author sketches three implications of the thesis that doxastic responsibility entails the ability to believe otherwise: counterfactual construals of responsible belief might be tenable, the deontological conception of epistemic justification needs revision on an important point, and there might be an important asymmetry between beliefs on the one hand and actions and many non-doxastic consequences on the other. (shrink)
The use of subtherapeutic doses of antibiotics in food-producing animals has been linked to antibiotic resistant infections in humans. Although this practice has been banned in Europe, the U.S. regulatory authorities have been slow to act. This paper discusses the regulatory hurdles and ethical dilemmas of banning this practice within the context of the risk analysis model (risk assessment, risk management, and risk communication). Specific issues include unethical use of scientific uncertainty during the risk assessment phase, the rejection of the (...) precautionary principle leading to ineffective risk management, and the criticality of risk communication to build consensus and force action. The underlying root cause is a conflict of values (Type I ethical problem) among key stakeholders, which is examined in depth along with an ethical analysis using public health ethical values. (shrink)
In this article, the authors examine whether and how robot caregivers can contribute to the welfare of children with various cognitive and physical impairments by expanding recreational opportunities for these children. The capabilities approach is used as a basis for informing the relevant discussion. Though important in its own right, having the opportunity to play is essential to the development of other capabilities central to human flourishing. Drawing from empirical studies, the authors show that the use of various types of (...) robots has already helped some children with impairments. Recognizing the potential ethical pitfalls of robot caregiver intervention, however, the authors examine these concerns and conclude that an appropriately designed robot caregiver has the potential to contribute positively to the development of the capability to play while also enhancing the ability of human caregivers to understand and interact with care recipients. (shrink)
It has been argued that voluntary euthanasia (VE) and physician-assisted suicide (PAS) are morally wrong. Yet, a gravely suffering patient might insist that he has a moral right to the procedures even if they were morally wrong. There are also philosophers who maintain that an agent can have a moral right to do something that is morally wrong. In this article, I assess the view that a suffering patient can have a moral right to VE and PAS despite the moral (...) wrongness of the procedures in light of the main argument for a moral right to do wrong found in recent philosophical literature. I maintain that the argument does not provide adequate support for such a right to VE and PAS. (shrink)
In this book, C. G. Prado addresses the difficult question of when and whether it is rational to end one’s life in order to escape devastating terminal illness. He specifically considers this question in light of the impact of multiculturalism on perceptions and judgments about what is right and wrong, permissible and impermissible. Prado introduces the idea of a “coincidental culture” to clarify the variety of values and commitments that influence decision. He also introduces the idea of a “proxy premise” (...) to deal with reasoning issues that are raised by intractably held beliefs. Primarily intended for medical ethicists, this book will be of interest to anyone concerned about the ability of modern medicine to keep people alive, thereby forcing people to choose between living and dying. In addition, Prado calls upon medical ethicists and practitioners to appreciate the value of a theoretical basis for their work. (shrink)
. The global pandemic of HIV/AIDS is the most significant challenge of our time. The ongoing conversation between religion and science comes to a critical juncture in this pandemic. The global community has not yet found a vaccine or cure for this virulent virus, which will likely claim five million more lives in the coming year. The global statistics challenge even the most sophisticated imagination, with projections in the tens of millions of people dead, orphaned children, and many more living (...) in various stages of incapacitation or diminished lives. There is a common prophetic religious imperative among Western faith communities that urgently requires both science and religion to respond. Both disciplines define their scope and purpose as universal, and the global pandemic provides a significant challenge to that universal claim. Regardless of the many differences among the nations and peoples challenged by this pandemic, there is a common moral foundation to which the Western religious and scientific traditions must respond. Religion and science cannot deny their respective social responsibilities by claiming the role of neutral bystander. There are several critical ethical choices to be made in response to the pandemic, and the disciplines of religion and science are critical in formulating those choices. (shrink)
Beatrice Han argues that the theories of subjection (determinism: structure) and subjectivation (freedom: agency) are the “the blind spot of Foucault's work:” to the very end of his life, in being transcendental and historical theories, respectively, they were in irresolvable conflict. In part I, I have argued that Foucault encourages us to situate the theories of the subject in an un-thematized reach for a metaphysics of realism which, in effect, was to ground his uncertain complementary reach for a naturalist conduct (...) of research. In part II I also argue that it is this fundamental feature of Foucault's Foucault that drives his returns to Kant, the purpose of which is to resolve the conflicting theories of the subject, and thus to solve his Giddensian problem of structure and creativity. Locating the returns and their purpose in my context of Science for Humanism and the recovery of human agency, I ultimately argue that Foucault's two special returns to Kant in order to solve his structure/agency problem led to two unfortunate solutions. The resort to Baudelair's aesthetic subject is a failed solution in so far as it regresses to being a pre-noumenal conception of the subject. The subsequent mere reinstatement of Kant's subject as causally empowered, minus the noumenalism, is nothing more than a reclamation of Kant's conception. Only the reconstruction of Foucault's realism permits us to assert that he could have moved beyond the reclamation of human agency to its recovery. (shrink)
This article discusses how inference to the best explanation (IBE) can be justified as a practical meta-argument. It is, firstly, justified as a practical argument insofar as accepting the best explanation as true can be shown to further a specific aim. And because this aim is a discursive one which proponents can rationally pursue in—and relative to—a complex controversy, namely maximising the robustness of one’s position, IBE can be conceived, secondly, as a meta-argument. My analysis thus bears a certain analogy (...) to Sellars’ well-known justification of inductive reasoning (Sellars, In: Essays in honour of Carl G. Hempel, 1969); it is based on recently developed theories of complex argumentation (Betz, In: Theorie dialektischer Strukturen, 2010a). (shrink)
This essay responds to Esther Reed's recent critique of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) principle in this journal. It argues that Reed fundamentally misunderstands and misrepresents R2P. Her critique of R2P would have served well as a critique of the earlier concept of humanitarian intervention had it been penned in the late 1990s. But most of the problems and dangers that Reed identifies are in reality the very problems and dangers that R2P seeks to overcome, and I suggest that it (...) does overcome them quite successfully. R2P does not impose Western ideals on the rest of the world, weaken the legal restrictions on the use of force, or promote abusive interventionism. Rather, it offers a bold but carefully constructed framework that holds the promise of promoting the protection of vulnerable populations from mass atrocities. (shrink)
The advent of new genetic and genomic technologies may cause friction with the principle of respect for autonomy and demands a rethinking of traditional interpretations of the concept of informed consent. Technologies such as whole-genome sequencing and micro-array based analysis enable genome-wide testing for many heterogeneous abnormalities and predispositions simultaneously. This may challenge the feasibility of providing adequate pre-test information and achieving autonomous decision-making. At a symposium held at the 11th World Congress of Bioethics in June 2012 (Rotterdam), organized by (...) the International Association of Bioethics, these challenges were presented for three different areas in which these so-called ‘new genetics’ technologies are increasingly being applied: newborn screening, prenatal screening strategies and commercial personal genome testing. In this article, we build upon the existing ethical framework for a responsible set-up of testing and screening offers and reinterpret some of its criteria in the light of the new genetics. As we will argue, the scope of a responsible testing or screening offer should align with the purpose(s) of testing and with the principle of respect for autonomy for all stakeholders involved, including (future) children. Informed consent is a prerequisite but requires a new approach. We present preliminary and general directions for an individualized or differentiated set-up of the testing offer and for the informed consent process. With this article we wish to contribute to the formation of new ideas on how to tackle the issues of autonomy and informed consent for (public) healthcare and direct-to-consumer applications of the new genetics. (shrink)
Mary Gentile’s Giving Voice to Values presents an approach to ethics training based on the idea that most people would like to provide input in times of ethical conflict using their own values. She maintains that people recognize the lapses in organizational ethical judgment and behavior, but they do not have the courage to step up and voice their values to prevent the misconduct. Gentile has developed a successful initiative and following based on encouraging students and employees to learn how (...) to engage in communication or action to express their values within an organization’s formal and informal value system. The purpose of this analysis is to examine the Giving Voice to Values approach to empowering the individual to take action to deal with lapses in organizational ethics. We examine the role of Giving Voice to Values in business ethics education, considerations for implementing GVV, and recommendations for business educators and corporate ethics officers. We conclude that while GVV is an effective tool, it is not a comprehensive or holistic approach to ethics education and organizational ethics programs. (shrink)
Some have challenged Thomson’s case of the famous unconscious violinist (UV) by arguing that in cases of consensual sex a woman is partially morally responsible for the existence of a needy fetus; since she is partially responsible she ought to assist the fetus, and so abortion is morally wrong. Call this the Responsibility Objection (RO) to UV. In this paper, I briefly criticize one of the most widely discussed objections to RO and then suggest a new way to challenge RO. (...) In so doing, I investigate the plausibility of the moral principle that appears to be driving RO: If a woman is partially morally responsible for the existence of a needy fetus, she has a moral obligation to assist the fetus. I argue that this principle is false. I suggest modified versions of this principle but argue that, even on the most plausible version, RO does not persuade. (shrink)
During the last few years a large number of companies have emerged offering DNA testing via the Internet “direct-to-consumer”. In this paper, I analyse the rhetoric appeal to personal identity put forward on the websites of some of these consumer genomics companies. The investigation is limited to non-health-related DNA testing and focuses on individualistic and communitarian—in a descriptive sense—visions of identity. The individualistic visions stress that each individual is unique and suggest that this uniqueness can be supported by, for example, (...) DNA fingerprinting. The communitarian visions emphasise that individuals are members of communities, in this case genetic communities. It is suggested that these visions can be supported by, for example, various types of tests for genetic ancestry tracing. The main part of the paper is devoted to an analysis of these communitarian visions of identity and the DNA tests they refer to. (shrink)
Theories of verisimilitude have routinely been classified into two rival camps—the content approach and the likeness approach—and these appear to be motivated by very different sets of data and principles. The question thus naturally arises as to whether these approaches can be fruitfully combined. Recently Zwart and Franssen (Synthese 158(1):75–92, 2007) have offered precise analyses of the content and likeness approaches, and shown that given these analyses any attempt to meld content and likeness orderings violates some basic desiderata. Unfortunately their (...) characterizations of the approaches do not embrace the paradigm examples of those approaches. I offer somewhat different characterizations of these two approaches, as well as of the consequence approach (Schurz and Weingartner (Synthese 172(3):415–436, 2010) which happily embrace their respective paradigms. Finally I prove that the three approaches are indeed compatible, but only just, and that the cost of combining them is too high. Any account which combines the strictures of what I call the strong likeness approach with the demands of either the content or the consequence approach suffers from precisely the same defect as Popper’s—namely, it entails the trivialization of truthlikeness. The downside of eschewing the strong likeness constraints and embracing the content constraints alone is the underdetermination of the concept of truthlikeness. (shrink)
Guidelines provided by the Director of Public Prosecutions suggest that anyone assisting another to commit suicide in England and Wales, or elsewhere, will not be prosecuted provided there are no self-seeking motives and no active encouragement. This reflects the position in Switzerland. There, however, no difference is made between assistance and inducement. In addition, the Swiss approach makes it possible to establish organisations to assist the suicides of both their citizens and foreign visitors. It should not be assumed that this (...) approach is without controversy in Switzerland. Proposals for reform continue to be debated there, not least because of the concern about some of the actual practices of certain end-of-life organisations. It is likely that a few English citizens will continue to avail themselves of these services in Switzerland if they cannot find the help they require here. This paper explores the legitimacy of the current restrictive position adopted towards assisted suicide in England. It argues that the provisions within the guidelines prohibiting organisations that assist suicides, leaves some without the help they need. While legislative decriminalisation of assisted suicide and the establishment of state-sponsored suicide centres would represent the most permissive regime, this paper proposes that this would be a step too far. The preference here is for decriminalisation but adopting a ‘middle way’ between the two extremes: the more permissive approach provided by the ‘Swiss model’ is one that could be employed here, albeit within a more robust regulatory regime. (shrink)
This paper explores a variety of kinds of apparent disagreement of which it may be held that they involve failure to disagree in that, at least in some broad sense, the disputants use the same words to express different meanings or concepts. It is argued that it is hard to rebut the claim that some apparent disagreements about personal identity fall into a particular sub-category of this broad type. I conclude both that a "constrained" relativism which I call "quasi-relativism" is (...) appropriate in regard to some central personal-identity debates, and also that, in order to avoid the lamentable conclusion that there is no real disagreement at all in these debates, we should embrace the idea that there is a non-cognitive element in personal identity claims, in virtue of the tight conceptual relations between personal identity claims and value claims of various kinds. (shrink)
Broad genome-wide testing is increasingly finding its way to the public through the online direct-to-consumer marketing of so-called personal genome tests. Personal genome tests estimate genetic susceptibilities to multiple diseases and other phenotypic traits simultaneously. Providers commonly make use of Terms of Service agreements rather than informed consent procedures. However, to protect consumers from the potential physical, psychological and social harms associated with personal genome testing and to promote autonomous decision-making with regard to the testing offer, we argue that current (...) practices of information provision are insufficient and that there is a place – and a need – for informed consent in personal genome testing, also when it is offered commercially. The increasing quantity, complexity and diversity of most testing offers, however, pose challenges for information provision and informed consent. Both specific and generic models for informed consent fail to meet its moral aims when applied to personal genome testing. Consumers should be enabled to know the limitations, risks and implications of personal genome testing and should be given control over the genetic information they do or do not wish to obtain. We present the outline of a new model for informed consent which can meet both the norm of providing sufficient information and the norm of providing understandable information. The model can be used for personal genome testing, but will also be applicable to other, future forms of broad genetic testing or screening in commercial and clinical settings. (shrink)
The product/process distinction with regards to “argument” has a longstanding history and foundational role in argumentation theory. I shall argue that, regardless of one’s chosen ontology of arguments, arguments are not the product of some process of arguing. Hence, appeal to the distinction is distorting the very organizational foundations of argumentation theory and should be abandoned.
To what extent do nanotechnology researchers discern specific work-related ethical responsibilities that are incumbent upon them? A questionnaire was designed and administered to answer this question. Analysis of responses to 11 ethical responsibility statements (ERSs) by 213 researchers at the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility revealed widespread agreement about a number of work-related ethical responsibilities and substantial divergence in the views about several others. Explanations of this divergence are proposed. A new variable is defined that gauges the respondent’s overall level of discernment (...) of the ethical responsibilities referenced in the ERSs. The mean discernment level score for respondents who had taken a course that included discussion of ethical issues closely related to science, technology, or engineering was significantly higher than for those who had not. Further, among respondents who had taken such a course, the mean discernment level score for those who had taken an ethics course devoted to exploration of ethical issues closely related to science, technology, or engineering was significantly higher than for those who had taken a technical science or engineering course that typically pays only fleeting attention to such issues. Implications of these findings are discussed. (shrink)
Readers of the Analects of Confucius tend to approach the text asking what Confucius believed; what were the views that comprise the 'ism' appended to his name in English? A Reader's Companion to the Confucian Analects suggests a different approach: he basically taught his students not doctrines, but ways for each of them to find meaning and purpose in their lives, and how best to serve their society. Because his students were not alike, his instruction could not be uniform; hence (...) the large number of incompatible readings that have been given to what he said. By providing brief essays, finding lists, background and comparative materials, and historical context, this Companion is not intended as another interpretation of the ancient text, but rather as an aid for contemporary students to develop their own interpretive reading of it, in the hope of thereby aiding them in the search for meaning, purpose, and service in their own lives - as seventy-three generations of Chinese have done. (shrink)
In this response to Johnson, Oh reaffirms the scholarly vision of Kelsay and Twiss, elaborates upon Muslim perspectives on human rights, and questions the emphasis on violent humanitarian interventions as part of the Responsibility to Protect mandate. Oh suggests that, in light of the historical relationship between Muslim and non-Muslim states and the aftermath of the second Iraq War, more consideration be given to the rebuilding of Muslim-majority societies. Oh also highlights the concept of duty as a religiously based ideal (...) to which governments of Muslim nations ought to be held. (shrink)
In the second edition Preface of Religion Within the Bounds of Bare Reason Kant responds to an anonymous review of the first edition. We present the first English translation of this obscure book review. Following our translation, we summarize the reviewer's main points and evaluate the adequacy of Kant's replies to five criticisms, including two replies that Kant provides in footnotes added in the second edition. A key issue is the reviewer's claim that Religion adopts an implied standpoint, described using (...) transcendental terminology. Kant could have avoided much confusion surrounding Religion, had he taken this review more seriously. We therefore respond to three objections that Kant failed to address: how the Willer distinction enables the propensity to evil to be viewed as coexisting with freedom of choice; how moral improvement is possible, even though the propensity to evil is necessary and universal; and how a can be regarded as. (shrink)
My essay “Responsibility to Protect and Militarized Humanitarian Intervention: When and Why the Churches Failed to Discern Moral Hazard” (JRE 40.2) called for more questioning engagement with R2P than the broadly uncritical welcome given by the churches to the doctrine between September 2003 and September 2008. In response to Luke Glanville's reply, this essay identifies further reasons for caution before accepting R2P and so-called humanitarian wars alongside defensive wars as paradigmatically justified. It is structured with reference to the tests in (...) A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility, the Report by the Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, as recommended to the General Assembly when considering whether to authorize or apply military force: seriousness of risk, intention, last resort, proportional means, balance of consequences. (shrink)
I begin by contending that an absolute prohibition to avoid resorting to shoot-to-kill, under any circumstances, does not adequately address the considerable negative consequences that could follow. In opening up the question for debate, I seek to alert us to the risks of moral corruption in both thought and practice, but I do not take these to be unassailable. Next, I pose a set of questions in order to interrogate unsafe assumptions and to disambiguate critical language in the shoot-to-kill scenario. (...) (1) How might shoot-to-kill be analogous to self-defence? (2) Should we not distinguish between reasons which could explain from those which do not justify why a suicide bomber acted as they did? (3) Must we avoid entertaining any charges of complicity on the suicide bombers’ behalf? (4) How, if at all, does racial profiling adulterate the grounds for police suspicion? (5) Does “reasonability” differ from “absolute necessity” as a precondition for enacting shoot-to-kill? And, (6), prompted by the injustice of the Jean Charles de Menezes case, can we assess the moral consequences of relocating the moment of decision from the firearms officer to their operational commander? After taking stock of the results of these enquiries, I conclude that resort to 'Kratos' rules of engagement unjustifiably raises the risk of shooting dead an innocent person, compared to the risk from harm that the general population may be reasonably expected to shoulder. (shrink)
‘Any reason for living is an excellent reason for not dying’ (Steven Luper-Foy, 'Annihilation'). Some claims seem so clearly right that we don’t think to question them. Steven Luper-Foy’s remark is like that. It borders on the ‘trivially true’ (i.e. so obviously true as to be uninteresting). If I have a reason to live, surely I likewise have a reason not to die. It may then be surprising to learn that so many philosophers disagree with this claim—either directly or by (...) implication. I will look at some of the things people say that stand in opposition to Luper-Foy’s claim. I will also consider what is needed in order to agree with it. The views canvassed cover broad issues concerning life and death, and what matters to us with respect to both. (shrink)
Contemporary accounts of the self-ascription of experiences are wedded to two basic dogmas. The first is that self-ascription is immune to error through misidentification relative to the first person (IEM). The second dogma is that there is distinction between awareness of oneself qua subject and awareness of oneself qua object (the SCS/SCO distinction). In this paper, I urge that these dogmas are groundless. First, I illustrate that claims about immunity to error through misidentification are usually based upon claims about awareness (...) of oneself qua subject. Self-ascriptions are IEM, because self-ascriptions involve awareness of oneself qua subject. Following Sydney Shoemaker, philosophers appeal to Wittgenstein’s discussion of the I-as-subject to bolster this claim. I argue that this interpretation of Wittgenstein is actually a crossbreed of the views of Shoemaker and Wittgenstein, which I will call ‘Shoegenstein.’ I argue that Shoegenstein is not Wittgenstein. Apart from these historical considerations, I argue that if IEM is based on the SCS/SCO distinction, and there is no non-circular account of that distinction, then IEM is not based on anything. I suggest that we should understand self-consciousness as awareness of a subject as an object, which would mean that SCS and SCO are not exclusive. One consequence of disposing of these two dogmas is to allow for a positive naturalistic account of self-ascription. Another consequence is to present an approach to self-ascription that stresses the lived position of the subject, which I urge is friendly to Wittgenstein’s later account of the subject of self-ascription. (shrink)
Foreword -- Prologue -- Attorney Eileen Fitzpatrick -- Dr. Jeanne Fitzpatrick -- section 1. Death and dying in America -- 1. The need for change : the cautionary tale of Phyllis Shattuck -- Dr. Fitzpatrick tells Phyllis Shattuck's story -- Reflections -- How this book will help -- Lessons to learn -- New name, old concept -- 2. Your right to die -- Your right to die is born : the case of Karen Ann Quinlan -- The Supreme Court weights (...) in : the case of Nancy Cruzan -- Advance directive forms : an imperfect solution -- The more things change, the more they stay the same : the case of Terri Schiavo -- Moving forward : comfort care only and the Compassion Protocol -- A personal choice -- section 2. Who can use the Compassion Protocol -- 3. The competent elderly -- Dr. Fitzpatrick tells Willa Simpson's story -- Learning from Willa -- The Compassion Protocol increases choice and control at the end of lie -- The Compassion Protocol and the competent elderly -- 4. The terminally ill -- Dr. Fitzpatrick tells Melissa Blackburn's story -- Terminal illness and the Compassion Protocol -- Current practices -- Compassion Protocol practices -- 5. Alzheimer's dementia and the Compassion Protocol -- Dr. Fitzpatrick tells Carl Novack's story -- Alzheimer's dementia and the Compassion Protocol -- Is this really legal? -- Updating time-honored advice -- section 3. How the Compassion Protocol works -- 6. Step one : know your options -- Option one : don't go to the hospital again -- Option two : refuse antibiotics -- Option three : discontinue your usual medications -- Option four : refuse hydration and nutrition -- Health care options summary -- Choosing when your options take effect -- Step one summary -- 7. Step two : make your decisions -- Introduction to step two -- The Compassion Protocol worksheet -- Your list of pros and cons -- A story of our own worst fears -- Step two and the Alzheimer's patient -- Selecting a health care decision maker -- Review -- 8. Step three : communicate your decisions -- The importance of full and adequate communication : the story of Ray Sullivan -- What constitutes effective communication? -- Tell your health care decision maker -- Tell your doctor and other health care providers -- Tell your family -- Tell your friends -- Dr. Fitzpatrick talks about her end-of-life choices -- Attorney Fitzpatrick talks about her end-of-life choices -- Step three summary -- 9. Step four : do the paperwork -- Introduction to the Contract for Compassionate Care -- Legal basis of the Compassion Protocol -- The long and short of legal forms -- And never forget the "people" part -- 10. Step five : plan the kind of death you want -- Changing society one death at a time -- 11. Hospice and the Compassion Protocol -- The importance of fighting for life and of letting go : Dr. Fitzpatrick tells the story of one patient's experience with hospice -- The team approach -- Paying for hospice -- Hospice and the Compassion Protocol -- 12. Everyone's worst fear : the nursing home -- Dr. Fitzpatrick relates the story of Sean O'Connor : a regrettably common nursing home experience -- Understanding you nursing home option -- Nursing homes : a growth business -- The home health care alternative -- When the system works : Dr. Fitzpatrick tells the story of Sally Forest -- Reflections -- 13. Looking ahead -- Appendix A. Contract for Compassionate Care -- Appendix B. Tools for the Compassion Protocol -- Glossary. (shrink)
This essay focuses on the applicaation of the notions of tacit knowing and embodied interaction to the college classroom. Topics ranging from classroom arrangement and discussion techniques, through curriculum and textbook choices, to attitudes and values are address.
In a recent paper in this journal, David Botting defended pragma-dialectics against epistemological criticisms by exponents of the epistemological approach to argumentation, i.e. Harvey Siegel, John Biro and me. In particular, Botting tries to justify with new arguments a Functional Claim, that the function of argumentation is to resolve disputes, and a Normative Claim, that standpoints that have the unqualified consensus of all participants in a dispute will generally be epistemically sound. In this reply it is shown that Botting’s arguments (...) are fallacious, that the two Claims are false and that the epistemological approach to argumentation, of course, outclasses pragma-dialectics epistemically and is at least as good as it in other respects. (shrink)
Dating from about the third century A.D., the Yoga Sutra distills the essence of the physical and spiritual discipline of yoga into fewer than two hundred brief aphorisms. It is the core text for any study of meditative practice, revered for centuries for its brilliant analysis of mental states and of the process by which inner liberation is achieved. Yet its difficulties are legendary, and until now, no translation has made it fully accessible. This new translation, hailed by Yoga Journal (...) for its "unsurpassed readability," is by one of the leading Sanskrit scholars of our time, whose Bhagavad Gita has become a recognized classic. It includes an introduction to the philosophy and psychology underlying the Yoga Sutra , the full text with explanatory commentary, and a glossary of key terms in Sanskrit and English. (shrink)
This book offers an in-depth analysis of the wide range of issues surrounding "passive euthanasia" and "allow-to-die" decisions. The author develops a comprehensive conceptual model that is highly useful for assessing and dealing with real-life situations. He presents an informative historical overview, an evaluation of the clinical settings in which treatment abatement takes place, and an insightful discussion of relevant legal aspects. The result is a clearly articulated ethical analysis that is medically realistic, philosophically sound, and legally viable.
The paper discusses the current medical practice of "gender verification" in sports from an ethical point of view. It takes the recent public discussion about 800-meter runner Caster Semenya as a starting point. At the World Championships in Athletics 2009 in Berlin, Germany, Semenya was challenged by competitors as being a so called "sex impostor". A medical examination to verify her sex ensued. The author analyses whether athletes like Semenya could claim a right not to know that is generally acknowledged (...) in human genetics and enforced by international and national genetic privacy laws. The relevance of this right for genetic diagnosis in sports is discussed. To this end, the interests of the athlete concerned and of third parties are balanced according to the expected benefits and harms. Harm is documented in a number of cases and includes unjustified disqualification, severe sex and gender identity crisis, demeaning reactions, social isolation, depression and suicide. Benefits are dubious as most cases of intersex are considered irrelevant for sports competition. It has to be concluded that the benefits to be gained from "gender verification" in sports via genetic testing do not outweigh the grave individual disadvantages. The current practice of athletic associations to largely ignore the right of competitors not to know does not comply with prevailing ethical provisions on the protection of sensitive personal data. Therefore, genetic "gender verification" in sports should be abolished. (shrink)
Written by an outstanding international team of scholars, this Companion explores the profound influence of Socrates on the history of Western philosophy. A survey exploring the profound influence of Socrates on the history of Western philosophy. Discusses the life of Socrates and key philosophical doctrines associated with him. Covers the whole range of Socratic studies from the ancient world to contemporary European philosophy. Examines Socrates’ place in the larger philosophical traditions of the Hellenistic world, the Roman Empire, the Arabic world, (...) the Renaissance, and contemporary Europe. Addresses interdisciplinary subjects such as Socrates and Nietzsche, Socrates and psychoanalysis, and representations of Socrates in art. Helps readers to understand the meaning and significance of Socrates across the ages. Written by an outstanding international team of scholars, all of whom are recognized experts in their particular field. (shrink)
A Companion to Phenomenology and Existentialism is a complete guide to two of the dominant movements of philosophy in the twentieth century. Written by a team of leading scholars, including Dagfinn Føllesdal, J. N. Mohanty, Robert Solomon, Jean-Luc Marion. Highlights the area of overlap between the two movements. Features longer essays discussing each of the main schools of thought, shorter essays introducing prominent themes, and problem-oriented chapters. Organised topically, around concepts such as temporality, intentionality, death and nihilism. Features essays on (...) unusual subjects, such as medicine, the emotions, artificial intelligence, and environmental philosophy. (shrink)
The radical empiricism of William James was first formally presented in his seminal papers of 1904, 'Does Consciousness Exist?' and 'A World of Pure Experience'. In James's view, pure experience was to serve as the source for psychology's primary data and radical empiricism was to launch an effective critique of experimentalism in psychology, a critique from which the problem of experimentalism within science could be addressed more broadly. This collection of papers presents James's formal statements on radical empiricism and a (...) representative sample of contemporary responses from psychologists and philosophers. With only a few exceptions, these responses indicate just how badly James was misread - psychologists ignoring the heart of James's message and philosophers transforming James's metaphysics into something quite unintelligible to the emerging generation of experimental psychologists. (shrink)
One of the principal aims of Kant’s Metaphysics of Morals, especially of the Doctrine of Virtue, is to present a taxonomy of our duties as human beings. The basic division of duties is between juridical duties and ethical duties, which determines the division of the Metaphysics of Morals into the Doctrine of Right and the Doctrine of Virtue. Juridical duties are duties that may be coercively enforced from outside the agent, as by the civil or criminal laws, or other social (...) pressures. Ethical duties must not be externally enforced (to do so violates the right of the person coerced). Instead, the subject herself, through her own reason and the feelings and motives arising a priori from her rational capacities -- the feelings of respect, conscience, moral feeling and love of other human beings, must constrain herself to follow them (MS 6:399-404).1 Among ethical duties, the fundamental division is between duties to oneself and duties to others. Within each of these two main divisions of ethical duty, there is a further division between duties that are strictly owed, requiring specific actions or omissions, and whose violation incurs moral blame, and duties that are wide or meritorious, the specific actions not strictly owed, but deserving of moral credit or merit. Kant treats these latter as ‘duties’ (eschewing any category such as ‘supererogation’) because the actions in question are conceived as fit objects of self-constraint – things we can make ourselves do through the exercise of reason and the moral feelings arising from the application of practical reason to our faculty of desire. Regarding duties to oneself, this division is between ‘perfect’ and ‘imperfect’ duty; regarding duties to others, the strict or narrow.. (shrink)
In section one, I briefly review the Harman/Doris argument and outline the most promising response. Then in section two I develop what I take the real challenge to virtue ethics to be. The final section of the chapter suggests two strategies for beginning to address this challenge.
In this paper I consider some issues concerning cognitive enhancements and the ethics of enhancing in reproduction and parenting. I argue that there are moral reasons to enhance the cognitive capacities of the children one has, or of the children one is going to have, and that these enhancements should not be seen as an alternative to pursuing important changes in society that might also improve one’s own and one’s children’s life. It has been argued that an emphasis on enhancing (...) cognitive capacities might encourage the commodification of children. But this objection seems misplaced. The reasons why one decides to reproduce can be subject to moral approbation or condemnation, as such rea-sons might be indicators of the quality of one’s parenting and the happiness of the future persons one is committed to bringing to life. However, once the decision to reproduce is made, no further harm comes from taking as few risks as possible on behalf of the persons to whom one is giving life with their health, character and cognitive capacities. (shrink)
This monumental collection of new and recent essays from an international team of eminent scholars represents the best contemporary critical thinking relating to both literary and philosophical studies of literature. Helpfully groups essays into the field's main sub-categories, among them ‘Relations Between Philosophy and Literature’, ‘Emotional Engagement and the Experience of Reading’, ‘Literature and the Moral Life’, and ‘Literary Language’ Offers a combination of analytical precision and literary richness Represents an unparalleled work of reference for students and specialists alike, ideal (...) for course use. (shrink)
Friends, welcome to the first page of Logic in India. It is for Indian students prepared for first paper entitled Principles of Logic in Diploma-in-Reasoning course of Department of Philosophy, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, where I taught four years. It is also beneficial for graduate students who have elementary logic course in their syllabus. Basically I used both printed books and internet sources to prepare it. You can find the course syllabus in my post “Philosophy is Nothing without Logic” at The (...) Positive Philosophy page and also in the side links of this page. This is only a draft, kindly send your suggestions and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, I shall be highly thankful to you. A short list of reference books are mentioned below of the Table of Contents and reference sites are linked with this page. This page introduces the basic conceptions of formal logic, informal logic and also Symbolic logic. (shrink)
On the phenomenological view, a minimal form of self-consciousness is a constant structural feature of conscious experience. Experience happens for the experiencing subject in an immediate way and as part of this immediacy, it is implicitly marked as my experience. For the phenomenologists, this immediate and first-personal givenness of experiential phenomena must be accounted for in terms of a pre-reflective self-consciousness. In the most basic sense of the term, selfconsciousness is not something that comes about the moment one attentively inspects (...) or reflectively introspects one's experiences, or in the instant of self-recognition of one's image in the mirror, or in the proper use of the first-person pronoun, or in the construction of a self-narrative. Rather, these different kinds of self-consciousness are to be distinguished from the pre-reflective self-consciousness which is present whenever I am living through or undergoing an experience, i.e., whenever I am consciously perceiving the world, whenever I am thinking an occurrent thought, whenever I am feeling sad or happy, thirsty or in pain, and so forth. (shrink)
The study of morality continues to flourish in contemporary philosophy. As the chapters of this Companion illustrate, new and exciting work is being done on a wide range of topics from the objectivity of morality to the relationship between morality and religious, biological, and feminist concerns. Along with this vast amount of work has come a proliferation of technical terminology and competing positions. The goal of this chapter is to provide an overview of the terrain in contemporary ethics.
The title of this paper deserves an explanation—or rather two explanations, one for the portion preceding the colon, the other for that following as the subtitle. The first part is derived from a short essay by Emily Perl Kingsley, written in 1987 in response to questions she had received about what it is like to raise a child with Down Syndrome.1 Kingsley suggests that planning for a child is like planning a trip to some wonderful destination—in her example, Italy. She (...) asks us to imagine the anticipation: searching out guidebooks, learning important sites to visit, the excitement at being able to see things one has heard about an entire lifetime—seeing Michelangelo's David, for instance. But, when the plane .. (shrink)
This Companion provides an authoritative survey of the whole range of Kant’s work, giving readers an idea of its immense scope, its extraordinary achievement, and its continuing ability to generate philosophical interest. Written by an international cast of scholars. Covers all the major works of the critical philosophy, as well as the pre-critical works. Subjects covered range from mathematics and philosophy of science, through epistemology and metaphysics, to moral and political philosophy.
Disabled women were absent for many years from the discipline that has become known as women and gender studies. This field of study had its origins in the late 1970s following the second wave of feminism. In the latter decades of the twentieth century, disabled women and their allies introduced the necessary task of exploring disabled women's embodiment to the wider feminist community. A wealth of research now exists that incorporates disabled women's bodies into a range of disciplines: from literature, (...) film, art, social sciences, geography, and the environment to many other areas of scholarship. Indeed, many of the themes covered in this special issue have been addressed in different contexts in the disciplines .. (shrink)
A Companion to Pragmatism, comprised of 38 newly commissioned essays, provides comprehensive coverage of one of the most vibrant and exciting fields of philosophy today. Unique in depth and coverage of classical figures and their philosophies as well as pragmatism as a living force in philosophy. Chapters include discussions on philosophers such as John Dewey, Jürgen Habermas and Hilary Putnam.
A Companion to Ancient Philosophy provides a comprehensive and current overview of the history of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy from its origins until late antiquity. Comprises an extensive collection of original essays, featuring contributions from both rising stars and senior scholars of ancient philosophy Integrates analytic and continental traditions Explores the development of various disciplines, such as mathematics, logic, grammar, physics, and medicine, in relation to ancient philosophy Includes an illuminating introduction, bibliography, chronology, maps and an index.
Comprised of essays by top scholars in the field, this volume offers concise overviews of philosophical issues raised by biology. Brings together a team of eminent scholars to explore the philosophical issues raised by biology Addresses traditional and emerging topics, spanning molecular biology and genetics, evolution, developmental biology, immunology, ecology, mind and behaviour, neuroscience, and experimentation Begins with a thorough introduction to the field Goes beyond previous treatments that focused only on evolution to give equal attention to other areas, such (...) as molecular and developmental biology Represents both an authoritative guide to philosophy of biology, and an accessible reference work for anyone seeking to learn about this rapidly-changing field. (shrink)
In exploring the concept of vulnerability, we do not begin with a blank slate. In research involving human subjects, ethics guidelines typically provide a rough definition of the concept. For example, the commentary on Guideline 13 in the International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects, issued by the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS), says that "vulnerable persons are those who are relatively (or absolutely) incapable of protecting their own interests. More formally, they may have insufficient (...) power, intelligence, education, resources, strength, or other needed attributes to protect their own interests" (CIOMS 2002). Because the CIOMS guidelines .. (shrink)
"Tell the health professionals why people with disabilities get depressed and suicidal. Tell them about institutions. Let them know the real reasons people with disabilities give up."The disability studies perspective has been consistently marginalized in twentieth-century American bioethical discourse. Like Ralph Ellison's nameless protagonist who is "invisible … simply because people refuse to see me" (Ellison 1995, 3), both disabled people and disability studies perspectives have been conspicuously absent from mainstream contemporary bioethical inquiries. Considerations of provision, accommodation, and institutionalization have (...) been pushed to the periphery of discourse. The lament of Ellison's invisible man—"I .. (shrink)
A notable feature of post-Fordist economies is the increase in service jobs, which includes care occupations such as child care and elder care (Folbre 2001, 182). The commodification of caring activities raises issues surrounding the reception and dispensation of these services, and this is particularly salient to the focus of this paper, elder care. Because the demand for this type of care has greatly increased in recent decades (Glendinning, Schunk, and McLaughlin 1997; Kaye et al. 2006) and also in recognition (...) of the impact of caring activities on families, many countries have sought to initiate policies to provide state-funded services or to compensate family caregivers for their care work.1If help with the .. (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.
As the demand for human eggs for stem cell research increases, debate about appropriate standards for recruitment and compensation of women intensifies. In the majority of cases, the source of eggs for research is women undergoing fertility treatment requiring ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval. The principle of "just participant selection" requires that research subjects be selected from the population that stands to benefit from the research. Based on this principle, infertile women should be actively recruited to donate eggs for fertility-related (...) research only. It is unethical to exclusively or predominantly recruit infertile women to donate eggs for stem cell research that concerns general medical conditions. It is preferable to recruit women from the general population to donate eggs for such research, and these women should be viewed as healthy volunteers. To avoid exploitation, these donors should receive compensation for both the direct and indirect costs associated with their donation. (shrink)
I have been acutely aware, too much so, doubtless, of a tendency of other thinkers and writers to achieve a specious lucidity and simplicity by the mere process of ignoring considerations which a greater respect for the concrete materials of experience would have forced upon them. In her chapter of Disability, Difference, and Discrimination titled “A Feminist Standpoint,” Mary Mahowald looks to feminist standpoint epistemology as a method for identifying, voicing, and mitigating the ways in which people with disabilities are (...) dominated and oppressed by social structures.1 While I will remain uncommitted, for the purposes of this essay at least, to Mahowald’s or any of the other philosophic conceptions of .. (shrink)
Last year I flew to two bioethics conferences, one in Europe and one in North America. I also flew to Taiwan to teach abroad for a year. These were good things to do, or so I thought. I contributed to educational events, learned more about bioethics, and visited with friends and colleagues. But I worry that flying and other activities in my life are contributing to climate changes that will affect the health of vulnerable people, the life prospects of future (...) generations, and the balance of the natural world.I sometimes imagine a dialogue with a young person, twenty years from now, when the climate crisis is much worse.What were you people in bioethics thinking? You flew to conferences all over the world, emitting .. (shrink)
We got control over reproduction that is controlled by “a man or The Man,” an individual man or the doctors or the government. . . . Virtually every ounce of control that women won out of this legislation has gone directly into the hands of men—husbands, doctors, or fathers—or is now in the process of attempts to reclaim it through regulation. Among all my mother’s daughters, only I have inherited her ability to break open an apple with her hands. Be (...) that a function of nature or nurture, when I first picked up Birthing a Mother I knew I had to call upon a similar skill: I tried to imagine myself prying open my mind in order to let in a view of surrogacy other than the typical radical feminist one I .. (shrink)
This paper presents an argument to the effect that the relation of exact similarity with respect to properties that are supervenient cannot be transitive. The point of departure is that, while a difference in respect of supervenient properties entails a difference in respect of subvenient properties, exact similiarity in respect of supervenient properties is compatible with differences in respect of subvenient properties. It is logically possible that two such sets of differences that each individually is insufficient for a difference as (...) regards the supervenient property together are sufficient for such a supervenient difference. This possibility claim is incompatible with the necessity claim entailed by the transitivity of exact similarity. Several objections to this argument are then considered. (shrink)
"Before they were 'junkies,' they were kids." The words appear on a poster, beneath a montage of photographs of children and the text: "Save Insite." Insite, located in Vancouver, Canada, is North America's first and only supervised injection facility (SIF). At Insite, people who use injection drugs can inject previously obtained drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, under medical supervision, using sterile equipment provided by this government-run facility. Opened under the auspices of a three-year exemption from federal drug laws in (...) 2003, the site was initially the focus of a research study aiming to determine whether such a service would be effective in reducing the harms associated with injection drug use. After .. (shrink)
Women's access to health and medicine in developed countries has been characterized by a range of inconsistent inclusions and exclusions. Health policy has been asymmetrically interested in womens reproductive capacities and has sought to regulate, control, and manage aspects of womens reproductive decision making in a manner unwitnessed in relation to men's reproductive health and reproductive decision making. In other areas, research that addresses health concerns that affect both men and women sometimes is designed so as not to yield data (...) relating to the ways in which women's physiology and gendered location may affect their experience of the condition and its response to treatment, despite a literature on the significance of sex and gender differences in health research. This paper draws on the situation in Australia to explore the ethical significance of these inconsistencies as failing the ideals of high-quality medical research and evidenced-based health care. (shrink)