It is shown by means of a simple example that a good explanation of an event is not necessarily corroborated by the occurrence of that event. It is also shown that this contention follows symbolically if an explanation having higher "explicativity" than another is regarded as better.
... Press for their editorial perspicacity, to the National Institutes of Health for the partial financial support they gave me while I was writing some of the chapters, and to Donald Michie for suggesting the title Good Thinking.
Among Aristotle’s criticisms of the Form of the Good is his claim that the knowledge of such a Good could be of no practical relevance to everyday rational agency, e.g. on the part of craftspeople. This critique turns out to hinge ultimately on the deeply different assumptions made by Plato and Aristotle about the relation of ‘good’ and ‘good for’. Plato insists on the conceptual priority of the former; and Plato wins the argument.
In search of good -- A Socratic question -- Flourishing and well-being -- Mind and value -- Utilitarianism -- Rawls and the priority of the right -- Right, wrong, should -- The elimination of moral rightness -- Rules and good -- Categorical imperatives -- Conflicting interests -- Whose good? The egoist's answer -- Whose good? The utilitarian's answer - Self-denial, self-love, universal concern -- Pain, self-love, and altruism -- Agent-neutrality and agent-relativity -- Good, conation, and (...) pleasure -- "Good" and "good for" -- "Good for" and advantage -- "Good that" and "Bad that" -- Pleasure and advantage -- Good for S that P -- The "for" of "good for" -- Plants, animals, humans -- Ross on human nature -- The perspectival reading of "good for" -- The conative approach to well-being -- Abstracting from the content of desires and plans -- The faulty mechanisms of desire formation -- Infants and adults -- The conation of an ideal self -- The appeal of the conative theory -- Conation hybridized -- Strict hedonism -- Hedonism diluted -- Prolegomenon to flourishing -- Development and flourishing: the general theory -- Development and flourishing: the human case -- More examples of what is good -- Appealing to nature -- Sensory un-flourishing -- Affective flourishing and un-flourishing -- Hobbes on tranquility and restlessness -- Flourishing and un-flourishing as a social being -- Cognitive flourishing and un-flourishing -- Sexual flourishing and un-flourishing -- Too much and too little -- Comparing lives and stages of life -- Adding goods: Rawls's principle of inclusiveness -- Art, science, and culture -- Self-sacrifice -- The vanity of fame -- The vanity of wealth -- Making others worse-off -- Virtues and flourishing -- The good of autonomy -- What is good and why -- The sovereignty of good -- The importance of what is good for us -- Good's insufficiency -- Promises -- Retribution -- Cosmic justice -- Social justice -- Pure antipaternalism -- Moral space and giving aid -- Slavery -- Torture -- Moral rightness revisited -- Lying -- Honoring the dead -- Meaningless goals and symbolic value -- Good-independent realms of value -- Good thieves and good human beings -- Final thoughts. (shrink)
Kant’s ethics conceives of rational beings as autonomous–capable of legislating the moral law, and of motivating themselves to act out of respect for that law. Kant’s ethics also includes a notion of the highest good, the union of virtue with happiness proportional to, and consequent on, virtue. According to Kant, morality sets forth the highest good as an object of the totality of all things good as ends. Much about Kant’s conception of the highest good is (...) controversial. This paper focuses on the apparent conflict between Kant’s claim that we are autonomous, and passages in which he seems to suggest that we require belief in the possibility of the highest good to motivate moral action. I distinguish three distinct versions of these problematic claims that seem to be present in Kant’s texts: that the highest good serves as (1) a motivational supplement to respect for the moral law, (2) a fundamental spring of right action, and (3) a condition of the bindingness of moral requirements. I argue that the texts are better interpreted to yield alternatives to (2) and (3) that do not conflict with our autonomy. I also argue that, properly understood, (1) does not conflict with our autonomy. In arguing for the last claim, I explore Kant’s notion of radical evil and its implications for human agency and virtue. (shrink)
Scholars have long debated the relationship between Kant’s doctrine of right and his doctrine of virtue (including his moral religion or ethico-theology), which are the two branches of his moral philosophy. This article will examine the intimate connection in his practical philosophy between perpetual peace and the highest good, between political and ethico-religious communities, and between the types of transparency peculiar to each. It will show how domestic and international right provides a framework for the development of ethical communities, (...) including a kingdom of ends and even the noumenal ethical community of an afterlife, and how the transparency and trust achieved in these communities is anticipated in rightful political society by publicity and the mutual confidence among citizens that it engenders. Finally, it will explore the implications of this synthesis of Kant’s political and religious philosophies for contemporary Kantian political theories, especially those of Jürgen Habermas and John Rawls. (shrink)
In Plato’s Apology (29a-b), Socrates agues that he does not fear death; indeed, to fear death is a sign of ignorance. It is to claim to know what one in fact does not know (Ap. 29 a-b). Perhaps, Socrates suggests, death is not a great evil after all, but “the greatest of all goods.” At the end of the dialogue, after the judges have voted on the final verdict and Socrates has received the death penalty, the philosopher considers two common (...) views of death: that death is a long dreamless sleep and that death is a journey to another place - Hades. According to Socrates, either of these views of death would be acceptable to him; the one, because he would receive a wonderful rest with no dreams to disturb him; the other, because he would be able to talk philosophy with those who had gone before with impunity. In this paper, I will examine Socrates’ view of death, and I will argue that, according to Socrates, there could be a third perspective on death that will not only make him truly immortal in a certain way, but will also immortalize the practice of Socratic philosophy. Hence, Socrates embraces his sentence because dying at the right time and dying in the right way provides him the possibility of a good death. <br><br>. (shrink)
In this paper I analyze interpersonal and institutional recognition and discuss the relation of different types of recognition to various principles of social justice (egalitarianism, meritarianism, legitimate favouritism, principles of need and free exchange). Further, I try to characterize contours of good autonomous life, and ask what kind of preconditions it has. I will distinguish between five kinds of preconditions: psychological, material, cultural, intersubjective and institutional. After examining what the role of recognition is among such preconditions, and how they (...) figure in the work of Axel Honneth, Nancy Fraser and Charles Taylor, I suggest a somewhat complex and hopefully rich picture of interpersonal and institutional recognition as a precondition of autonomous good life. (shrink)
The Right and the Good, a classic of twentieth-century philosophy by the eminent scholar Sir David Ross, is now presented in a new edition with a substantial introduction by Philip Stratton-Lake, a leading expert on Ross. Ross's book is the pinnacle of ethical intuitionism, which was the dominant moral theory in British philosophy for much of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Intuitionism is now enjoying a considerable revival, and Stratton-Lake provides the context for a proper understanding of Ross's (...) great work today. (shrink)
Pauline Kleingeld, "What Do the Virtuous Hope For?: Re-reading Kant's Doctrine of the Highest Good." In Proceedings of the Eighth International Kant Congress, Memphis 1995, edited by Hoke Robinson, Vol. I.1, 91-112. Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1995.
THE STRUCTURE OF THIS PAPER IS AS FOLLOWS. I begin §1 by dealing with preliminary issues such as the different relations expressed by the “good for” locution. I then (§2) outline the Locative Analysis of good for and explain its main elements before moving on to (§3) outlining and discussing the positive features of the view. In the subsequent sections I show how the Locative Analysis can respond to objections from, or inspired by, Sumner (§4-5), Regan (§6), and (...) Schroeder and Feldman (§7). I then (§8) reply to an imagined objector who claims that the Locative Analysis generates implausible results with respect to punishment, virtue and agent-centered duties. (shrink)
I review Gabriel Richardson Lear's excellent essay on Aristotle’s conception of the human good. She solves some long-standing problems in the interpretation of Aristotle’s ethics by drawing on resources in his natural philosophy and Plato’s conception of love. Her interpretation is a compelling and, to my mind, largely true account of Aristotle’s view. In this review, I summarize the book's main argument and then explain two fundamental points on which I have concerns.
Moral philosophy has long been preoccupied by a supposed dichotomy between the "good" and the "right". This dichotomy has been taken to define certain allegedly central issues for ethics. How are the good and the right related to each other? For example, is one of the two (as many philosophers have put it) "prior" to the other? If so, is the good prior to the right, or is the right prior to the good?
This paper examines Duhem’s concept of good sense as an attempt to support a non rule-governed account of rationality in theory choice. Faced with the underdetermination of theory by evidence thesis and the continuity thesis, Duhem tried to account for the ability of scientists to choose theories that continuously grow to a natural classification. I will examine the concept of good sense and the problems that stem from it. I will also present a recent attempt by David Stump (...) to link good sense to virtue epistemology. I will argue that even though this approach can be useful for the better comprehension of the concept of good sense, there are some substantial differences between virtue epistemologists and Duhem. In the light of this reconstruction of good sense, I will propose a possible way to interpret the concept of good sense, which overcomes the noted problems and fits better with Duhem’s views on scientific method and motivation in developing the concept of good sense. (shrink)
There has been a significant interest in the recent literature in developing a solution to the problem of theory choice which is both normative and descriptive, but agent-based rather than rule-based, originating from Pierre Duhem's notion of 'good sense'. In this paper we present the properties Duhem attributes to good sense in different contexts, before examining its current reconstructions advanced in the literature and their limitations. We propose an alternative account of good sense, seen as promoting social (...) consensus in science, and show that it is superior to its rivals in two respects: it is more faithful to Duhemian good sense, and it cashes out the effect that virtues have on scientific progress. We then defend the social consensus account against objections that highlight the positive role of diversity and division of labour in science. (shrink)
Aquinas, Aristotle, and the Promise of the Common Good claims that contemporary theory and practice have much to gain from engaging Aquinas's normative concept of the common good and his way of reconciling religion, philosophy, and politics. Examining the relationship between personal and common goods, and the relation of virtue and law to both, Mary M. Keys shows why Aquinas should be read in addition to Aristotle on these perennial questions. She focuses on Aquinas's Commentaries as mediating statements (...) between Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Politics and Aquinas's own Summa Theologiae, showing how this serves as the missing link for grasping Aquinas's understanding of Aristotle's thought. Keys argues provocatively that Aquinas's Christian faith opens up new panoramas and possibilities for philosophical inquiry and insights into ethics and politics. Her book shows how religious faith can assist sound philosophical inquiry into the foundation and proper purposes of society and politics. (shrink)
'We desire all and only those things we conceive to be good; we avoid what we conceive to be bad.' This slogan was once the standard view of the relationship between desire or motivation and rational evaluation. Many critics have rejected this scholastic formula as either trivial or wrong. It appears to be trivial if we just define the good as 'what we want', and wrong if we consider apparent conflicts between what we seem to want and what (...) we seem to think is good. In Appearances of the Good, Sergio Tenenbaum argues that the old slogan is both significant and right, even in cases of apparent conflict between our desires and our evaluative judgments. Maintaining that the good is the formal end of practical inquiry in much the same way as truth is the formal end of theoretical inquiry, he provides a fully unified account of motivation and evaluation. (shrink)
The Common Good and Christian Ethics rethinks the ancient tradition of the common good in a way that addresses contemporary social divisions, both urban and global. David Hollenbach draws on social analysis, moral philosophy, and theological ethics to chart new directions in both urban life and global society. He argues that the division between the middle class and the poor in major cities and the challenges of globalisation require a new commitment to the common good and that (...) both believers and secular people must move towards new forms of solidarity if they are to live good lives together. Hollenbach proposes a positive vision of how a reconstructed understanding of the common good can lead to better lives for all today, both in cities and globally. This interdisciplinary study makes both practical and theoretical contributions to the developing shape of social, cultural, and religious life today. (shrink)
This book offers a major reinterpretation of the `secularization' of medieval ideas by examining scholastic discussions on the nature of the common good. It challenges the view that the rediscovery of Aristotle was the primary catalyst for the emergence of a secular theory of the state. A detailed exposition of the content and the context of late scholastic political and ethical thought reveals that the roots of medieval 'secularization' were profoundly theological.
In The New Constitutionalism , seven distinguished scholars develop an innovative perspective on the power of institutions to shape politics and political life. Believing that constitutionalism needs to go beyond the classical goal of limiting the arbitrary exercise of political power, the contributors argue that it should--and can--be designed to achieve economic efficiency, informed democratic control, and other valued political ends. More broadly, they believe that political and social theory needs to turn away from the negativism of critical theory to (...) consider how a good society should be "constituted" and to direct the work of designing institutions that can constitute a "good polity," in both the economic and civic senses. Stephen L. Elkin and Karol Edward Soltan begin with an overview of constitutionalist theory and a discussion of the new constitutionalism within the broader intellectual and historical context of political and social thought. Charles Anderson, James Ceaser, and the editors then offer different interpretations of the central issues regarding institutional design in a constitutionalist social science, consider various ways of performing the task, and discuss the inadequacy of recent political science to the job it ought to be doing. The book concludes with essays by Ted Lowi, Cass Sunstein and Edwin Haefele which apply these themes to the American regime. (shrink)
Most philosophers working in moral psychology and practical reason think that either the notion of "good" or the notion of "desire" have central roles to play in our understanding of intentional explanations and practical reasoning. However, philosophers disagree sharply over how we are supposed to understand the notions of "desire" and "good", how these notions relate, and whether both play a significant and independent role in practical reason. In particular, the "Guise of the Good" thesis - the (...) view that desire (or perhaps intention, or intentional action) always aims at the good - has received renewed attention in the last twenty years. Can one have desire for things that the desirer does not perceive to be good in any, or form intentions to act in way that one does not deem to be good? Does the notion of good play any essential role in an account of deliberation or practical reason? Moreover, philosophers also disagree about the relevant notion of good. Is it a purely formal notion, or does it involve a substantive conception of the good? Is the primary notion, the notion of the good for a particular agent, or the notion of good simpliciter? Does the relevant notion of good make essential appeal to human nature, or would it in principle extend to all rational beings? While these questions are central in contemporary work in ethics, practical reason, and philosophy of action, they are not new; similar issues were discussed in the ancient period. This volume of essays aims to bring together "systematic" and more historically-oriented work on these issues. (shrink)
One popular line of argument put forward in support of the principle that the right is prior to the good is to show that teleological theories, which put the good prior to the right, lead to implausible normative results. There are situa- tions, it is argued, in which putting the good prior to the right entails that we ought to do things that cannot be right for us to do. Consequently, goodness cannot (always) explain an action's rightness. (...) This indicates that what is right must be determined independently of the good. In this paper, I argue that these purported counterexamples to teleology fail to establish that the right must be prior to the good. In fact, putting the right prior to the good can lead to sets of ought statements which potentially con- flict with the principle that ‘ought’ implies ‘can’. I argue that no plausible ethical theory can determine what is right independently of a notion of value or goodness. Every plausible ethical theory needs a mapping from goodness to rightness, which implies that right cannot be prior to the good. (shrink)
Normal 0 21 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 One of the most important questions of moral philosophy is what makes a life a good life. A good way of approaching this issue is to watch the film Groundhog Day which can teach us a lot about what a good life consists in - and what not. While currently there are subjective and objective theories contending against each other about what a good life is, namely hedonism and desire (...) satisfaction theories on the one hand and objective list theories on the other, the film illustrates that at least one constituent of the good life can only be understood if we see it as having both an objective and a subjective side to it. Thus, the film shows that, in contrast to the beginning of the film, at the end the protagonist Phil has a good life insofar as that he finds something to do that suits him (the objective element), and comes to care deeply about it (the subjective element). (shrink)
The theme of this book is the crisis of the early modern state in eighteenth-century Britain. The revolt of the North American colonies and the simultaneous demand for wider religious toleration at home challenged the principles of sovereignty and obligation that underpinned arguments about the character of the state. These were expressed in terms of the 'common good', 'necessity', and 'community' - concepts that came to the fore in early modern European political thought and which gave expression to the (...) problem of defining legitimate authority in a period of increasing consciousness of state power. The Americans and their British supporters argued that individuals ought to determine the common good of the community. A new theory of representation and freedom of thought defines the cutting edge of this revolutionary redefinition of the basic relationship between individual and community. (shrink)
Preface Leadership, Spirituality and the Common Good East and West Approaches Henri-Claude de Bettignies & Mike J. Thompson For many, to bring together “ leadership”, “spirituality” and “the Common Good” will be seen more as a ...
Since September 11, 2001, many people in the United States have been more inclined to use the language of good and evil, and to be more comfortable with the idea that certain moral standards are objective (true independently of what anyone happens to think of them). Some people, especially those who are not religious, are not sure how to substantiate this view. Whatever Happened to Good and Evil? provides a basis for exploring these doubts and ultimately defends the (...) objectivity of ethics. Engaging and accessible, it is the first introduction to meta-ethics written especially for students and general readers with no philosophical background. Focusing on the issues at the foundation of morality, it poses such questions as: How can we know what is right and wrong? Does ethical objectivity require God? Why should I be moral? Where do moral standards come from? What is a moral value, and how can it exist in a scientific world? Do cultural diversity and persistent moral disagreement support moral skepticism? Writing in a clear and lively style and employing many examples to illustrate theoretical arguments, Russ Shafer-Landau identifies the many weaknesses in contemporary moral skepticism and devotes considerable attention to presenting, and critiquing, the most difficult objections to his view. Also included in the book are a helpful summary of all the major arguments covered, as well as a glossary of key philosophical terms. Whatever Happened to Good and Evil? is ideal for a variety of philosophy courses and compelling reading for anyone interested in ethics. (shrink)
Introduction -- Part I: The lie that we are not good enough as we are -- Where the lie came from and why we bought it -- Trying to meet the criteria for good enough -- Perpetuating the striving and the lack -- Part II: Dead ends and what they teach us -- Money/stuff -- Appearance -- Religion -- Food -- Drugs/alcohol -- Sex/romantic love -- Accomplishment/education/notoriety -- Busyness -- Part III: The truth : we are innately (...) class='Hi'>good -- Evil is an alternative, not our nature -- Lighting our darkness to let go of fear, false beliefs, and all negative -- Emotion -- Looking at our essence, which is love, or everything good -- Being who we are ... it means overcoming our separateness -- Invoking love -- Aligning with love -- Being love innately more than we ever dreamed of being. (shrink)
Introduction -- Structuring principles -- On right -- From interest and pleasure to the good in-itself -- Good in-itself and the rights of the ensouled person -- The good and friendship in the community of free souls -- The rehabilitation of politics through the recovery of its essence.
Follow the leader: why people go against their better judgment? -- How could they do that?: understanding the many sources and faces of evil -- Silently standing by: why we do or don't come to the aid of those who need us -- Paving the way to resistance: the gift of good during the Nazi occupation 1939-1945 -- Preconditions of resistance during the Armenian and Rwandan genocides -- Nature of goodness -- The world of heroes: why we need heroes (...) -- Conclusion. (shrink)
Jay Elliott raises an important objection to the central claim of my paper "It’s a Wonderful Life: Pottersville and the Meaning of Life.” There I defend the good cause account (GCA) of the meaning of life. GCA holds that one's life is meaningful to the extent that one is causally responsible for objective good. Elliott argues that although GCA correctly implies that George Bailey lives a meaningful life, it might also imply that Potter's life is meaningful. But this (...) is absurd. To avoid this problem, Elliott defends a highly compelling alternative to GCA. He also challenges my interpretation of the most important sequence in the movie, George Bailey's trip to Pottersville. In this short reply, I will focus on his objection to GCA, as the interpretive differences are relatively minor. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that, for Spinoza, the power to produce effects through one's nature alone is the key constituent of the good life. Indeed, to exist in the strict sense is to be the causal source of effects. On this reading, a temporally long life that is entirely governed by causal factors external to one's essence is not a genuine existence.
Robert Audi’s The Good in the Right undertakes the magisterial work of reviving the intuitionism of W.D. Ross, rescuing Ross from the overlapping shadows of Henry Sidgwick, G. E. Moore, and, to a lesser extent, H. A. Prichard, marrying Ross to Kant, and so working to produce "a full-scale moral philosophy providing both an account of moral principles and judgments—a metaethical account—and a set of basic moral standards" that might be employed in moral reasoning. The book is magnificent in (...) ambition and impressive in detail. (shrink)
Incommensurability and tragic conflict -- The business of order -- The real thing -- Virtue and the twofold order -- Practical reason and final ends -- Natural hierarchy and moral obligation -- Conflict -- The virtues of conflict.
Machine generated contents note: Introduction; L. K. Cheliotis -- Value, Crisis, and Resistance: Prospects for Freedom Reconsidered; S. Gangas -- Thinking after Terror: An Interreligious Challenge; R. Kearney -- Metanoia: Re-Thinking the Divine Economy of Love and Violence; J. ONeill -- The I Who Loved Me: Humanism, Narcissism and the Revolutionary Character in Erich Fromms Work; L. K. Cheliotis -- Resistance as Transformation; A. Brighenti -- Face to Face with Abidoral Queiroz: Death Squads and Democracy in Northeast Brazil; N. Scheper-Hughes (...) -- Acting on the Other: Ethical Agency in Media Discourse--L. Chouliaraki -- Sites of Resistance: Word, Image, and the Politics of Representation in Death-row Prisoner Homepages--E. Tessler -- Resisting Submission? The Obstinacy of Balkan Characteristics in Greece as Dissidence against The West; S. Xenakis -- Legitimation and Resistance: Police Reform in the (Un)Making; J. Tankebe -- Do the Powerful Resist? Governmentality and Governing Corrections; A. Liebling -- Conclusions-- L.K. Cheliotis -- Index. (shrink)
Ethics means what? -- Narcissism: me, myself, and I -- Character, integrity, and conscience -- Its so easy to be a bystander -- Change, choice, and culture -- The media and morality -- Ethics and the workplace -- Leisure and play -- Leadership, money, power -- Sex (yes, sex) -- Death (ditto).
-/- Very few (if any) people believe that the world was created, and is maintained, by a thoroughly contemptible and malicious being. Do we have good reason for our disbelief? In the first part of this paper I offer an argument for the non-existence of such a being. According to this argument there is just too much good - too may good things - in the world for the ‘malicious being’ theory to be plausible. In the second (...) part of the paper I briefly consider the applicability of similar arguments to three other possible beings. (shrink)
The agent portrayed in much philosophy of action is, let's face it, a square. He does nothing intentionally unless he regards it or its consequences as desirable. The reason is that he acts intentionally only when he acts out of a desire for some anticipated outcome; and in desiring that outcome, he must regard it as having some value. All of his intentional actions are therefore directed at outcomes regarded sub specie boni: under the guise of the good. This (...) agent is conceived as being capable of intentional action—and hence as being an agent—only by virtue of being a pursuer of value. I want to question whether this conception of agency can be correct. Surely, so general a capacity as agency cannot entail so narrow a cast of mind. Our moral psychology has characterized, not the generic agent, but a particular species of agent, and a particularly bland species of agent, at that. It has characterized the earnest agent while ignoring those agents who are disaffected, refractory, silly, satanic, or punk. I hope for a moral psychology that has room for the whole motley crew. I shall begin by examining why some philosophers have thought that the attitudes motivating intentional actions involve judgments of value. I shall then argue that their conception of these attitudes is incorrect. Finally, I shall argue that practical reason should not be conceived as a faculty for pursuing value. (shrink)
In this article I defend innocuousism– a weak form of Epicureanism about the putative badness of death. I argue that if we assume both mental statism about wellbeing and that death is an experiential blank, it follows that death is not bad for the one who dies. I defend innocuousism against the deprivation account of the badness of death. I argue that something is extrinsically bad if and only if it leads to states that are intrinsically bad. On my view, (...) sometimes dying may be less good than living, but it is never bad to die. (shrink)
Aristotle believes that an agent lacks virtue unless she enjoys the performance of virtuous actions, while Kant claims that the person who does her duty despite contrary inclinations exhibits a moral worth that the person who acts from inclination lacks. Despite these differences, this chapter argues that Aristotle and Kant share a distinctive view of the object of human choice and locus of moral value: that what we choose, and what has moral value, are not mere acts, but actions: acts (...) done for the sake of ends. Morally good actions embody a kind of intrinsic value that inspires us to do them from duty (in Kant) or for the sake of the noble (in Aristotle). The chapter traces the difference in their attitudes about doing one's duty with pleasure to a difference in their attitudes towards pleasure itself: Aristotle sees it as a perception of the good, while Kant thinks of it as mere feeling. (shrink)
Many philosophers are skeptical about disjunctivism—a theory of perceptual experience which holds roughly that a situation in which I see a banana that is as it appears to me to be (the good case) and one in which I have a hallucination as of a banana (a certain kind of bad case) are mentally completely different. Often this skepticism is rooted in the suspicion that such a view cannot adequately account for the bad case—in particular, (i) that such a (...) view cannot explain why what it’s like to have a hallucination can be exactly like what it’s like to have a veridical experience, (ii) that it cannot explain why the hallucination I have in the bad case is subjectively indistinguishable from the kind of experience I have in the good case, and (iii) that it cannot offer a viable account of the nature of hallucination. -/- In this paper, I argue that a proper formulation of disjunctivism can avoid these objections. Disjunctivism should be formulated as the weakest claim required to preserve its primary motivation, viz., Naïve Realism—the view that veridical experience fundamentally consists in the subject perceiving entities in her environment. And the weakest claim required to preserve Naïve Realism allows for many sorts of commonalities across the good and hallucinatory cases, commonalities that can be marshaled in responding to the objections. Most importantly, disjunctivism properly formulated is compatible with “positive” accounts of the nature of hallucination (as against M.G.F. Martin’s widely accepted argument to the contrary). (shrink)
As a philosopher of action, I might be expected to believe that the will is a good thing. Actually, I believe that the will is a great thing - awesome, in fact. But I'm not thereby committed to its being something good. When I say that the will is awesome, I mean literally that it is a proper object of awe, a response that restrains us from abusing the will and moves us rather to use it respectfully, in (...) a way that does it justice. To say that the will is a good thing, however, would imply that having a will is better than not having one, or that using it is better than not using it - neither of which I am prepared to assert as a general rule. Speaking metaphorically, I would say that the will is like a magic wand. In fairy tales, the character who looks upon a magic wand as an unalloyed good is destined to be sadder but wiser in the end. Being a magician isn't better than being an ordinary human, just different; and a magician must value his powers by respecting them and therefore using them appropriately, even sparingly, not by using them as much as possible. (shrink)
When wc compare contemporary moral philosophy with thc wcll-known moral systems of earlier centuries, wc should bc struck by thc fact that a certain assumption about human well being that is now widely taken for granted was universally rcjcctcd in thc past. The contemporary moral climate prcdisposcs us to bc pluralistic about thc human good, whcrcas earlier systems of ethics embraced a conception of wcll being that wc would now call narrow and restrictive. One way to convey thc sort (...) of contrast I have in mind is to note that according to Plato and Aristotle, there is one kind of lifc, that of thc philosopher, that rcprcscnts thc summit of human tlourishing, and all other lives arc worth leading to thc cxtcnt that they approximate this ideal. Certain other ethical theories of thc past were in a way more narrow than this, for whereas Plato and Aristotle maintained that many things are in thcmsclvcs worthwhile, others argued that there is only one intrinsic g00d—plcasurc according to thc Epicurcans, virtue according to thc Stoics. By contrast, it is now widely assumed that all such approaches arc too exclusive, that not only arc there many typcs of intrinsic goods but there is no cnc specific kind of lifc—whcthcr it is that of a philosopher or a poet or anyone clsc—that is thc single human ideal} Even hedonism, a conception of thc good that had a powerful influence in thc modern period, has few contemporary proponents. A consensus has arisen in our time that there is no single ultimate cud that provides thc measure by which thc worth of all other goods must bc assessed. (shrink)
This paper considers the empirical evidence that we currently have for various kinds of determinism that might be relevant to the thesis that human beings possess libertarian free will. Libertarianism requires a very strong version of indeterminism, so it can be refuted not just by universal determinism, but by some much weaker theses as well. However, it is argued that at present, we have no good reason to believe even these weak deterministic views and, hence, no good reason—at (...) least from this quarter—to doubt that we are libertarian free. In particular, the paper responds to various arguments for neural and psychological determinism, arguments based on the work of people like Honderich, Tegmark, Libet, Velmans, Wegner, and Festinger. (shrink)
Pleasure is one of the strongest candidates for an occurrence that might be good, in some respect, unconditionally. Malicious pleasure is one of the most often cited alleged counter-examples to pleasure’s being an unconditional good. Correctly evaluating malicious pleasure is more complex than people realize. I defend pleasure’s unconditionally good status from critics of malicious pleasure.
Platonism in the philosophy of mathematics is the doctrine that there are mathematical objects such as numbers. John Burgess and Gideon Rosen have argued that that there is no good epistemological argument against platonism. They propose a dilemma, claiming that epistemological arguments against platonism either rely on a dubious epistemology, or resemble a dubious sceptical argument concerning perceptual knowledge. Against Burgess and Rosen, I show that an epistemological anti-platonist argument proposed by Hartry Field avoids both horns of their dilemma.
This article examines whether and to what extent Confucianism as a resilient Chinese cultural tradition can be used as a sound basis of business practice and management model for Chinese corporations in the twenty-first century. Using the core elements of Confucianism, the article constructs a notion of a Confucian Firm with its concepts of the moral person ( Junzi ), core human morality ( ren, yi, li ) and relationships ( guanxi ), as well as benign social structure (harmony), articulated (...) in corporate and organizational terms. The basic character of the Confucian Firm is described, and its philosophical and cultural foundation is critically assessed with respect to its moral legitimacy and relevant to today’s China. China’s recent Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) development is a high profile response to global business ethics concerns. Efforts have been made to emulate and develop good business practice fashioned in CSR norms and visions. The so-called “human-based” and “virtue-based” business practices rooted in local cultural heritage have been touted as a Chinese response to this problem. This investigation is particularly relevant in the context of the increasingly prominence of the Chinese corporations (China Inc.) in the wake of the rise of China as a global power. How relevant is Confucianism to the building of a modern Chinese corporation that is willing and able to practice reasonable norms of business ethics? The findings of this discussion, which include the organizational implications of the Confucian familial collectivism, have implications for other Chinese communities (Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore) where Confucian tradition is endorsed and practiced. (shrink)
T. A. Cavanaugh defends double-effect reasoning (DER), also known as the principle of double effect. DER plays a role in anti-consequentialist ethics (such as deontology), in hard cases in which one cannot realize a good without also causing a foreseen, but not intended, bad effect (for example, killing non-combatants when bombing a military target). This study is the first book-length account of the history and issues surrounding this controversial approach to hard cases. It will be indispensable in theoretical ethics, (...) applied ethics (especially medical and military), and moral theology. It will also interest legal and public policy scholars. (shrink)
abstract Many have held that there is some kind of incompatibility between a commitment to good end-of-life care and the legalization of physician-assisted suicide. This opposition to physician-assisted suicide encompasses a cluster of different claims. In this essay I try to clarify some of the most important of these claims and show that they do not stand up well to conceptual and empirical scrutiny.
The students and colleagues of Roderick Chisholm admired and respected Chisholm. Many were filled not only with admiration, but with affection and gratitude for Chisholm throughout the time we knew him. Even now that he is dead, we continue to wish him well. Under the circumstances, many of us probably think that that wish amounts to no more than this: we hope that things went well for him when he lived; we hope that he had a good life.