Richard Swinburne has given a defense of arguments for the existence of God (and in particular of teleological arguments) in his book "The Existence of God" (1979/1991). This paper argues that such theistic arguments fail, and poses some general problems for theistic arguments. Swinburne's use of a principle of simplicity is not given adequate justification and, if justified, works against theism. There are adequate rebuttals to Swinburne's arguments that depend upon there being few particles of basic physics, universal laws of (...) nature, cogent cosmological argument, and temporal order in the universe. Theistic arguments falter on malleability, on going well beyond evidence, on anthropomorphism, on treating consistency as if it were evidence or explanation, on selective and inconsistent use of principles, and on a lack of any serious attempt to disprove hypotheses. All of this serves to support the conclusion suggested by Hume's posthumous theological writings that theistic arguments are so malleable, profligate, overreaching, equivocal, anthropomorphic, selective, inconsistent, and uncritical as to be inept. (shrink)
The idea that intuition plays a basic role in moral knowledge and moral philosophy probably began in the eighteenth century. British philosophers such as Anthony Shaftsbury, Francis Hutcheson, Thomas Reid, and later David Hume talk about a “moral sense” that they place in John Locke’s theory of knowledge in terms of Lockean reflexive perceptions, while Richard Price seeks a faculty by which we obtain our ideas of right and wrong. In (...) the twentieth century intuitionism in moral philosophy was revived by the works of G. E. Moore, H. A. Prichard, and W. D. Ross. These philosophers reject Kantian deontological ethics and utilitarianism insisting that intuition is the only source of moral knowledge. Recently, there is a renewed interest in intuition by philosophers doing meta-philosophy by reflecting on what philosophers do, and why they disagree. In this essay we plan to take some of this recent literature on intuition and apply it to moral philosophy. We will proceed by (1) defining a conception of intuition, (2) answering some skeptical challenges, (3) delimiting its target, and (4) arguing that intuition is often a source of moral knowledge. (shrink)
This article argues that traditional, regulative principles of research ethics offer insufficient guidance for research in the narrative study of lives. These principles presuppose an implicit epistemology that conceives of research participants as data sources, a conception that is argued not tenable for narrative research. The case is made by drawing on recent discussions of research ethics in the qualitative and narrative research literature. This article shows that narrative ethics is inextricably entwined with epistemological issues--namely, issues of narrative ownership and (...) the multiplicity of narrative meaning. Finally, practical recommendations are made for the ethical treatment of research participants in narrative research. The article concludes by situating our approach with respect to the broad range of contemporary perspectives on research ethics. (shrink)
[From introduction:] A theory of moral responsibility sets out the conditions under which we believe that an individual is a rational candidate for praise and blame on account of his behaviour. Such a theory needs to be supplemented by a further moral theory that specifies which morally responsible agents ought to be praised or blamed for their actions. We will focus here on the first sort of theory only. The theory present here will be similar to theories held by others.
Continuous recordings of brain electrical activity were obtained from a group of 176 patients throughout surgical procedures using general anesthesia. Artifact-free data from the 19 electrodes of the International 10/20 System were subjected to quantitative analysis of the electroencephalogram (QEEG). Induction was variously accomplished with etomidate, propofol or thiopental. Anesthesia was maintained throughout the procedures by isoflurane, desflurane or sevoflurane (N = 68), total intravenous anesthesia using propofol (N = 49), or nitrous oxide plus narcotics (N = 59). A set (...) of QEEG measures were found which reversibly displayed high heterogeneity of variance between four states as follows: (1) during induction; (2) just after loss of consciousness (LOC); (3) just before return of consciousness (ROC); (4) just after ROC. Homogeneity of variance across all agents within states was found. Topographic statistical probability images were compared between states. At LOC, power increased in all frequency bands in the power spectrum with the exception of a decrease in gamma activity, and there was a marked anteriorization of power. Additionally, a significant change occurred in hemispheric relationships, with prefrontal and frontal regions of each hemisphere becoming more closely coupled, and anterior and posterior regions on each hemisphere, as well as homologous regions between the two hemispheres, uncoupling. All of these changes reversed upon ROC. Variable resolution electromagnetic tomography (VARETA) was performed to localize salient features of power anteriorization in three dimensions. A common set of neuroanatomical regions appeared to be the locus of the most probable generators of the observed EEG changes. (shrink)
Discussion of the human soul has bulked large in the literature of philosophy and religion. I defend the possibility of disembodied Cartesian minds by examining the criticisms of three philosophers who argue that there are serious difficulties about any attempt to account for the identity of such Cartesian minds through time. I argue that their criticisms of the possibility of disembodied minds are damaging but not fatal. I hold that the central issue behind their criticisms of Cartesian minds is whether (...) any nonphysical mental criterion can be formulated for the identity of such entities. Even though no such criterion can be given, disembodied minds that persist through time remain logical possibilities. (shrink)
According to peter french, A corporation can be construed as a moral person in the same sense that you and I are persons. Whether this view is tenable is an open question. I examine the objections to this view made in the recent literature and find them wanting. I deal with the questions whether corporations can have intentions, Rights, And consciousness.
Although it is unpopular in analytical philosophy nowadays to talk about the Self, I attempt to resurrect the concept by articulating a mode of self-knowledge recently introduced in the literature on perceiving God, and described as nonsensory perception. Contrary to Hume, I point out various aspects of the Self that a subject can perceive in a nonsensory manner. I cite some historical forerunners for such a conception of self-knowledge of the self. I use a thought experiment to indicate, in a (...) phenomenological way, an example of the inner perception of the self as “here.” I briefly discuss the implications of such a mode of self-awareness for the mind-body problem, and for personal identity. (shrink)
Qualitative research occupies a useful and important role in social science inquiry. Nonetheless, when ethical issues surrounding this research are discussed, elements of risk may be neglected. Qualitative research often raises concerns about the protection of the confidentiality of not only the participants but also of 3rd parties mentioned in transcribed narratives. Moreover, we argue that, in some instances, qualitative research has considerable potential of inducing negative psychological states. We conclude by presenting a series of recommendations that can be used (...) to address such ethical concerns. (shrink)
In this brief note, we respond to Gottlieb and Lasser's (2001/this issue) critical commentary on our work on narrative research ethics. We argue that their concern for privileging voices needs to be balanced against the risk of exploiting some research participants, that conflicts of interest are best resolved through appropriately prioritizing ethical principles and in consultation with others, and that the researcher's ability to protect participants from harm can be enhanced through appropriate clinical training and access to clinical expertise. We (...) welcome Gottlieb and Lasser's specific recommendations for ethical practice in narrative research and encourage further ethical reflection by other researchers in this area. (shrink)
O artigo tenciona, primeiramente, enriquecer o estudo da função que o conceito de tom desempenha na ideia kantiana de razão, ao estendê-lo à análise da música como arte dos sons que a Crítica do Juízo contém. Em segundo lugar, propõe-se determinar os motivos pelos quais a matemática se revela incapaz, devido à especificidade do método filosófico e à corporalidade da ecepção musical, respectivamente, de expressar o modo de proceder da razão e da arte dos sons. Finalmente, aponta-se para uma semelhança (...) entre música e razão, no que diz respeito à rejeição que compartilham da queda na Schwärmerei, apesar da distância que se estabelece entre ambas enquanto duas maneiras contrárias de exercitar e fomentar a vida e o sentimento dela. (shrink)
Voyeurism seems creepy. This paper considers whether these feelings are well-founded. It identifies a variety of ethically troubling features, including harmful consequences, deceit, and the violation of various religious, legal, and conventional norms. Voyeurism is something of a moral misdemeanor that seems worrisome when associated with these other failings. However, because voyeurism remains troubling even in the absence of harm or deceit, we must pay special attention to the ways complex social conventions can be used to show disrespect for others. (...) The discussion centers on the famous case of Lady Godiva and Peeping Tom, but much of the analysis applies to voyeurism more generally. (shrink)
Tom Kelly argues that instrumentalist aeeounts of epistemie rationality fail beeause what a person has reason to believe does not depend upon the eontent of his or her goals. However, his argument fails to distinguish questions about what the evidence supports from questions about what a person ought to believe. Once these are distinguished, the instrumentalist ean avoid Kelly’s objeetions. The paperconcludes by sketehing what I take to be the most defensible version of the instrumentalist view.
In his article in this issue, " 'How do Mādhyamikas Think?' Revisited," Tom Tillemans reflects on his earlier article "How do Mādhyamikas Think?" (2009), itself a response to earlier work of ours (Deguchi et al. 2008; Garfield and Priest 2003). There is much we agree with in these non-dogmatic and open-minded essays. Still, we have some disagreements. We begin with a response to Tillemans' first thoughts, and then turn to his second thoughts.Tillemans (2009) maintains that it is wrong to attribute (...) to Nāgārjuna or to his Mādhyamika followers a strong dialetheism, according to which some contradictions of the form p ∧ ¬p are to be accepted. He argues that, nonetheless, a weak dialetheism may be implicit in the .. (shrink)
A recently published book, 'The Economics of Health Reconsidered' by Tom Rice, provides a strong critique of the role of markets in health care. Many of the issues of 'market failure' raised by Rice, however, have been, to varying extents, recognised previously in the health economics literature (at least outside the U.S.). What perhaps sets Rice's book apart from previous attempts to document such issues is its elegance and the methodical manner in which this critique is delivered. Significantly the critique (...) is based solely on conventional economic arguments. There has, however, been an emerging strand of the health economics literature not acknowledged in Rice's book which has approached some of these issues of market failure from a different perspective. Notably this research has involved, in part, borrowing from the ideas and methodological traditions of other disciplines. The emphasis in this work has been to expand the scope and the concerns of economic analysis in health care. (shrink)
Since its publication in 1976, Tom Paine and Revolutionary America has been recognized as a classic study of the career of the foremost political pamphleteer of the Age of Revolution, and a model of how to integrate the political, intellectual, and social history of the struggle for American independence. Foner skillfully brings together an account of Paine's remarkable career with a careful examination of the social worlds within which he operated, in Great Britain, France, and especially the United States. He (...) explores Paine's political and social ideas and the way he popularized them by pioneering a new form of political writing, using simple, direct language and addressing himself to a reading public far broader than previous writers had commanded. He shows which of Paine's views remained essentially fixed throughout his career, while directing attention to the ways his stance on social questions evolved under the pressure of events. This enduring work makes clear the tremendous impact Paine's writing exerted on the American Revolution, and suggests why he failed to have a similar impact during his career in revolutionary France. And it offers new insights into the nature and internal tensions of the republican outlook that helped to shape the Revolution. In a new preface, Foner discusses the origins of this book and the influences of the 1960s and 1970s on its writing. He also looks at how Paine has been adopted by scholars and politicians of many stripes, and has even been called the patron saint of the Internet. (shrink)
Tom Regan (this issue) criticizes my thesis that obligation toward the environment is grounded in a world view and thereby has a moral overridingness which mere interests and desires do not have. He holds that my approach is too subjectivistic. I counter, first, by explaining that phenomenology, which I use in my analysis of moral obligation, is not subjectivistic in the way emotivism or prescriptivism inethics is subjectivistic. Second, I argue that world views are products of learning and experience of (...) one shared world, that most world views share large areas of agreement, and that they can be argued for and criticized. (shrink)
This is an extremely thorough revision of the leading textbook of bioethics. The authors have made many improvements in style, organization, argument and content. These changes reflect advances in the bioethics literature over the past five years. The most dramatic expansions of the text are in the comprehensiveness with which the authors treat different currents in ethical theory and the greater breadth and depth of their discussion of public policy and public health issues. In every chapter, readers will find new (...) material and refinements of old discussions. This is evident in the many new sections on topics like communitarianism, ethics of care, relationship-based accounts, casuistry, case-based reasoning, principle-based common-morality theories, the justification of assistance in dying, rationing through priorities in the health care budget, and virtues in professional roles. The most extensive revisions are in chapters 1, 2 and 8. (shrink)
Paul Collins travels the globe piecing together the missing body and soul of one of our most enigmatic founding fathers: Thomas Paine. A typical book about an American founding father doesn’t start at a gay piano bar and end in a sewage ditch. But then, Tom Paine isn’t your typical founding father. A firebrand rebel and a radical on the run, Paine alone claims a key role in the development of three modern democracies. In death, his story turns truly bizarre. (...) Shunned as an infidel by every church, he had to be interred in an open field on a New York farm. Ten years later, a former enemy converting to Paine’s cause dug up the bones and carried them back to Britain, where he planned to build a mausoleum in Paine’s honor. But he never got around to it. So what happened to the body of this founding father? Well, it got lost. Paine’s missing bones, like saint’s relics, have been scattered for two centuries, and their travels are the trail of radical democracy itself. Paul Collins combines wry, present-day travelogue with an odyssey down the forgotten paths of history as he searches for the remains of Tom Paine and finds them hidden in, among other places, a Paris hotel, underneath a London tailor's stool, and inside a roadside statue in New York. Along the way he crosses paths with everyone from Walt Whitman and Charles Darwin to sex reformers and hellfire ministers—not to mention a suicidal gunman, a Ferrari dealer, and berserk feral monkeys. In the end, Collins’s search for Paine’s body instead finds the soul of democracy—for it is the story of how Paine’s struggles have lived on through his eccentric and idealistic followers. (shrink)
Este artigo consiste em um diálogo com textos de Jürgen Habermas e Richard Rorty referentes ao tema da religião e seu lugar na sociedade contemporânea. Em vista do tom dialogal, as citações desses autores são relativamente numerosas, a fim de que as suas vozes sobressaiam no texto. O objetivo do diálogo é extrair pistas para a construção de uma filosofia da religião em tom pós-metafísico, ou não fundacional. Não é um texto exaustivo, mas sugestivo. Não se propõe a tecer críticas (...) ao sistema de ideias dos autores com quem dialoga, mas aproveitar criticamente algumas de suas ideias para a definição de possíveis rumos para uma filosofia da religião pós-metafísica. Os termos pós-metafísico e não fundacional são usados aqui de modo intercambiável e não se referem a um tipo de filosofia antimetafísica, mas sim, a uma filosofia para a qual os temas da metafísica não assumem papel de explicação fundacional da realidade como um todo. Palavras-chave : Filosofia pós-metafísica; Habermas; Rorty; Religião.This essay is a dialogue with Jürgen Habermas’s and Richard Rorty’s texts on the theme of religion and its place in contemporary society. Given the conversational tone, the number of quotations from those authors is relatively large, so that their voices can speak up in the text. The goal of that dialogue is the formulation of clues to the elaboration of a post-metaphysical or non-foundational philosophy of religion. The essay is not exhaustive, but suggestive. It does not mean to criticize Habermas’s and Rorty’s systems of thought, but to appropriate critically some of their ideas as guidelines to a post-metaphysical philosophy of religion. The terms ‘post-metaphysical’ and ‘non-foundational’ are interchangeable here and do not refer to an anti-metaphysical philosophy. They try to express a kind of philosophy in which metaphysical themes do not play a role of foundational explanation of reality as a whole. Key words : Post-metaphysical philosophy; Habermas; Rorty; Religion. (shrink)
In this article, I seek to make sense of the oft-invoked idea of 'public emergency' and of some of its (supposedly) radical moral implications. I challenge controversial claims by Tom Sorell, Michael Walzer, and Giorgio Agamben, and argue for a more discriminating understanding of the category and its moral force.
Wesley Salmon and John Earman have presented influential Bayesian reconstructions of Thomas Kuhn’s account of theory-change. In this paper I argue that all attempts to give a Bayesian reading of Kuhn’s philosophy of science are fundamentally misguided due to the fact that Bayesian confirmation theory is in fact inconsistent with Kuhn’s account. The reasons for this inconsistency are traced to the role the concept of incommensurability plays with reference to the ‘observational vocabulary’ within Kuhn’s picture of scientific theories. The upshot (...) of the discussion is that it is impossible to integrate both Kuhn’s claims and Bayesianism within a coherent account of theory-change. (shrink)