Politically, as well as philosophically, concerns with human rights have permeated many of the most important debates on social justice worldwide for fully a half-century. Henry Shue's 1980 book on Basic Rights proved to be a pioneering contribution to those debates, and one that continues to elicit both critical and constructive comment. Global Basic Rights brings together many of the most influential contemporary writers in political philosophy and international relations - Charles Beitz, Robert Goodin, Christian Reus-Smit, Andrew Hurrell, Judith (...) Lichtenberg, Elizabeth Ashford, Thomas Pogge, Neta Crawford, Richard Miller, David Luban, Jeremy Waldron and Simon Caney- to explore some of the most challenging theoretical and practical questions that Shue's work provokes. These range from the question of the responsibilities of the global rich to redress severe poverty to the permissibility of using torture to gain information to fight international terrorism. The contributors explore the continuing value of the idea of "basic rights" in understanding moral challenges as diverse as child labor and global climate change. (shrink)
Philosophical attention to problems about global justice is flourishing in a way it has not in any time in memory. This paper considers some reasons for the rise of interest in the subject and reflects on some dilemmas about the meaning of the idea of the cosmopolitan in reasoning about social institutions, concentrating on the two principal dimensions of global justice, the economic and the political.
"The Moral Standing of States" is the title of an essay Michael Walzer wrote in response to four critics of the theory of nonintervention defended in Just and Unjust Wars . It states a theme to which he has returned in subsequent work. I offer four sets of comments. First, by way of introduction, I describe the controversy between Walzer and his critics and try to identify the central point of contention. Second, I make some observations about the wider conception (...) of global justice suggested by Walzer's remarks, emphasizing the extent of the difference between this conception and the traditional view of a "society of states" to which it stands as an alternative. The central value in Walzer's conception is collective self-determination, so I comment about its meaning and importance. Finally, I consider whether and how concerns about the moral standing of states bear on the kinds of cases of humanitarian intervention that the world community has actually faced since the book and article were written, particularly since the end of the cold war. (shrink)
The international doctrine of human rights is one of the most ambitious parts of the settlement of World War II. Since then, the language of human rights has become the common language of social criticism in global political life. This book is a theoretical examination of the central idea of that language, the idea of a human right. In contrast to more conventional philosophical studies, the author takes a practical approach, looking at the history and political practice of human rights (...) for guidance in understanding the central idea. The author presents a model of human rights as matters of international concern whose violation by governments can justify international protective and restorative action ranging from intervention to assistance. He proposes a schema for justifying human rights and applies it to several controversial cases-rights against poverty, rights to democracy, and the human rights of women. Throughout, the book attends to some main reasons why people are sceptical about human rights, including the fear that human rights will be used by strong powers to advance their national interests. The book concludes by observing that contemporary human rights practice is vulnerable to several pathologies and argues the need for international collaboration to avoid them. (shrink)
This is a review article of Charles Beitz's 2009 book on the philosophy of human rights, The Idea of Human Rights. The article provides a charitable overview of the book's main arguments, but also raises some doubts about the depth of the distinction between Beitz's 'practical' approach to humans rights and its 'naturalistic' counterparts.
: Ursula Le Guin's "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" (1973), a staple of short fiction anthologies, was inspired by James's "The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life." In Le Guin's moral tale, a devastating bargain causes some citizens of Omelas to reject their apparently utopian community. Although critics have seen this rejection as a Jamesian act of pragmatism and free will, this essay examines the story in the context of "The Moral Philosopher" and other writings by James (...) on pragmatism, its moral consequences, free will, and faith to refute that conclusion. I argue, instead, that James's work suggests responses that reflect his thinking about the limits and meaning of possibility and about sustaining belief in a transcendent force. (shrink)
Ursula Klein and E. C. Spary (eds): Materials and expertise in early modern Europe: Between market and laboratory. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010, 408pp, $50 HB Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9462-8 Authors Jonathan Simon, LEPS-LIRDHIST (EA 4148), Université Lyon 1, Université de Lyon, 69622 Villeurbanne cedex, France Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
This review essay summarizes major themes in Ursula Goodenough’s The Sacred Depths of Nature and in several of her recent shorter publications. I describe her religious naturalism and her effort to craft a global ethic grounded in her penetrating account of nature. I suggest several parallels between Goodenough’s “deep” account of nature and Michael Polanyi’s ideas.
Despite the prevalence of human rights discourse, the very idea or concept of a human right remains obscure. In particular, it is unclear what is supposed to be special or distinctive about human rights. In this paper, we consider two recent attempts to answer this challenge, James Griffin’s “personhood account” and Charles Beitz’s “practice-based account”, and argue that neither is entirely satisfactory. We then conclude with a suggestion for what a more adequate account might look like – what we (...) call the “structural pluralist account” of human rights. (shrink)
What is the relation between time and change? Does time depend on the mind? Is the present always the same or is it always different? Aristotle tackles these questions in the Physics. In the first book in English exclusively devoted to this discussion, Ursula Coope argues that Aristotle sees time as a universal order within which all changes are related to each other. This interpretation enables her to explain two striking Aristotelian claims: that the now is like a moving (...) thing, and that time depends for its existence on the mind. (shrink)
In this essay I analyze some conceptual difficulties associated with the demand that global institutions be made more democratically accountable. In the absence of a world state, it may seem inconsistent to insist that global institutions be accountable to all those subject to their decisions while also insisting that the members of these institutions, as representatives of states, simultaneously remain accountable to the citizens of their own countries for the special responsibilities they have towards them. This difficulty seems insurmountable in (...) light of the widespread acceptance of a state-centric conception of human rights, according to which states and only states bear primary responsibility for the protection of their citizens' rights. Against this conception, I argue that in light of the current structures of global governance the monistic ascription of human rights obligations to states is no longer plausible. Under current conditions, states are bound to fail in their ability to protect the human rights of their citizens whenever potential violations either stem from transnational regulations or are perpetrated by non-state actors. In order to show the plausibility of an alternative, pluralist conception of human rights obligations I turn to the current debate among scholars of international law regarding the human rights obligations of non-state actors. I document the various ways in which these obligations could be legally entrenched in global financial institutions such as the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank. These examples indicate feasible methods for strengthening the democratic accountability of these institutions while also respecting the accountability that participating member states owe to their own citizens. I conclude that, once the distinctions between the obligations to respect, protect and fulfill human rights are taken into account, no conceptual difficulty remains in holding states and non-state actors accountable for their respective human rights obligations. (shrink)
For many of us, the great scientific discoveries of the modern age--the Big Bang, evolution, quantum physics, relativity--point to an existence that is bleak, devoid of meaning, pointless. But in The Sacred Depths of Nature, eminent biologist Ursula Goodenough shows us that the scientific world view need not be a source of despair. Indeed, it can be a wellspring of solace and hope. This eloquent volume reconciles the modern scientific understanding of reality with our timeless spiritual yearnings for reverence (...) and continuity. Looking at topics such as evolution, emotions, sexuality, and death, Goodenough writes with rich, uncluttered detail about the workings of nature in general and of living creatures in particular. Her luminous clarity makes it possible for even non-scientists to appreciate that the origins of life and the universe are no less meaningful because of our increasingly scientific understanding of them. At the end of each chapter, Goodenough's spiritual reflections respond to the complexity of nature with vibrant emotional intensity and a sense of reverent wonder. A beautifully written celebration of molecular biology with meditations on the spiritual and religious meaning that can be found at the heart of science, this volume makes an important contribution to the ongoing dialog between science and religion. This book will engage anyone who was ever mesmerized--or terrified--by the mysteries of existence. (shrink)
For many of us, the great scientific discoveries of the modern age--the Big Bang, evolution, quantum physics, relativity-- point to an existence that is bleak, devoid of meaning, pointless. But in The Sacred Depths of Nature, eminent biologist Ursula Goodenough shows us that the scientific world view need not be a source of despair. Indeed, it can be a wellspring of solace and hope. This eloquent volume reconciles the modern scientific understanding of reality with our timeless spiritual yearnings for (...) reverence and continuity. Looking at topics such as evolution, emotions, sexuality, and death, Goodenough writes with rich, uncluttered detail about the workings of nature in general and of living creatures in particular. Her luminous clarity makes it possible for even non-scientists to appreciate that the origins of life and the universe are no less meaningful because of our increasingly scientific understanding of them. At the end of each chapter, Goodenough's spiritual reflections respond to the complexity of nature with vibrant emotional intensity and a sense of reverent wonder. A beautifully written celebration of molecular biology with meditations on the spiritual and religious meaning that can be found at the heart of science, this volume makes an important contribution to the ongoing dialog between science and religion. This book will engage anyone who was ever mesmerized--or terrified--by the mysteries of existence. (shrink)
It is estimated that there could be 200 million‘environmental refugees’ by the middle of this century. One major environmental cause of population displacement is likely to be global climate change. As the situation is likely to become more pressing, it is vital to consider now the rights of environmental refugees and the duties of the rest of the world. However, this is not an issue that has been addressed in mainstream theories of global justice. This paper considers the potential of (...) two leading liberal theories of international justice to address the particular issues raised by the plight of potential and actual environmental refugees. I argue that neither John Rawls’s ‘Law of Peoples’ approach nor Charles Beitz’s `cosmopolitanism' is capable of providing an adequate account of justice in this context. Beitz’s theory does have some advantages over Rawls’s approach but it fails to take proper account of the attachment that some people have to their own ‘home’. (shrink)
It is a crucial question whether practicalities should have an impact in developing an applicable theory of human rights—and if, how (far) such constraints can be justified. In the course of the non-ideal turn of today’s political philosophy, any entitlements (and social entitlements in particular) stand under the proviso of practical feasibility. It would, after all, be unreasonable to demand something which is, under the given political and economic circumstances, unachievable. Thus, many theorist—particularly those belonging to the liberal camp—begin to (...) question the very idea of social human rights on grounds of practical infeasibility. This new minimalism about human rights motivates an immanent critique arguing that even if we were to proceed from a liberal framework, we would still wind up with a justification of the full list of social human rights. In the first part of this article, I will present the central positions of the debate presented by Amartya Sen, Maurice Cranston and Pablo Gilabert. Initially arguing that a minimalism of human rights on grounds of practical infeasibility alone proves unjustifiable, however, I shall open up two further perspectives, which allow practical infeasibilities to become normatively determinate. Discussing contributions by James Griffin and Charles Beitz, I will defend the thesis that certain feasibility constraints on (social) human rights can be justified on the condition that they are grounded either in a normative idea of the appropriate implementation of these rights or in reflection of the practical function of a theory of human rights. (shrink)
Abstract In this paper, I ask why Aristotle thinks that ethical virtue (rather than mere self-control) is required for practical wisdom. I argue that a satisfactory answer will need to explain why being prone to bad appetites implies a failing of the rational part of the soul. I go on to claim that the self-controlled person does suffer from such a rational failing: a failure to take a specifically rational kind of pleasure in fine action. However, this still leaves a (...) problem: could there not be someone who (unlike the self-controlled person) took the right kind of pleasure in fine action, but who failed to be virtuous on account of bad appetites? If so, would such a person be practically wise but not virtuous? I end with some suggestions about how Aristotle might answer this. (shrink)
This article discusses the question whether or not Cassirer’s philosophical critique of technological use of myth in The Myth of the State implies a revision of his earlier conception and theory of myth as provided by The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms . In the first part, Cassirer’s early theory of myth is compared with other approaches of his time. It is claimed that Cassirer’s early approach to myth has to be understood in terms of a transcendental philosophical approach. In consequence, (...) myth is conceived as a form of cultural consciousness which is constituted by specific symbolic processes. In the second part, the theoretical assumptions underlying Cassirer’s criticism of myth are discussed and compared with his earlier theory. It is argued that there is a strong conceptual and theoretical continuity between Cassirer’s early views on myth as a symbolic form and his later critique of technological use of myth. (shrink)
This article queries the cogency of human rights reasoning in the context of global justice debates, focusing on Charles Beitz's practice-based approach. By 'cogency' is meant the adequacy of human rights theorising to its intended context of application. Negatively, the author argues that Beitz's characterisation of human rights reasoning as a 'global discursive practice' lacks cogency when considered in the context of the post-colonial state system; she focuses on African decolonisation. Positively, she suggests that Beitz's gloss on (...) international human rights as an 'appurtenance' to the traditional state system offers a more promising starting point for global normative theorising, drawing attention to the requirement of sovereign competence as a necessary condition of possible human rights fulfilment. However, a concern with strengthening the sovereign competence of weak states should lead us to consider neglected public goods theorising in favour of an over-emphasis on individual human rights. (shrink)
This paper explores the impact of the concepts of identity and difference on demented persons (especially on persons with Alzheimer's disease). The diagnosis of dementia is often synonymous with the assertion that demented individuals are no longer capable of making reasonable decisions. But rationality is an important aspect of characterizing a person's identity. Hence, this prevailing image of dementia as a loss of self and a change of identity leads to the situation that demented persons represent difference and otherness. Here, (...) the brain and the mind act as the source for difference. The paper discusses several identity concepts with regard to demented persons and the relationship between identity and difference in dementia. This analysis is accompanied by an examination of the current biopolitics of dementia and ageing as biopolitics constitutes the socio-political-medical understanding of dementia. Challenges and possibilities for dementia care will be explored in the context of this complex relationship between theoretical concepts and political, medical, and health-care practices. (shrink)
The debate about global distributive justice is characterized by an often stark opposition between universalistic approaches, advocating an egalitarian global redistribution of wealth (Beitz, Pogge, Barry, Tan), and particularistic positions, aiming to justify a restriction of redistribution to the domestic community (D. Miller, R. Miller, Blake, Nagel, Rawls). I argue that an approach starting from the deliberative model of democracy (Habermas) can overcome this opposition. On the one hand, the increasingly global scope of economic interactions implies that the range (...) of individuals concerned with the redistribution of wealth should also be increasingly universal. On the other hand, the need for democratic deliberation refers to the fact that demands of justice should be contextual and should take into account the particular circumstances, needs and values of the people concerned. Both concerns can be realized simultaneously only within a multi-layered democratic system in which redistribution is a concern at the domestic, the international and the global level. (shrink)
Social animals are provisioned with pro-social orientations that transcend self-interest. Morality, as used here, describes human versions of such orientations. We explore the evolutionary antecedents of morality in the context of emergentism, giving considerable attention to the biological traits that undergird emergent human forms of mind. We suggest that our moral frames of mind emerge from our primate pro-social capacities, transfigured and valenced by our symbolic languages, cultures, and religions.
In a recent essay review of William R. Newman, Atoms and Alchemy (2006), Ursula Klein defends her position that philosophically informed corpuscularian theories of matter contributed little to the growing knowledge of "reversible reactions" and robust chemical species in the early modern period. Newman responds here by providing further evidence that an experimental, scholastic tradition of alchemy extending well into the Middle Ages had already argued extensively for the persistence of ingredients during processes of "mixture" (e.g. chemical reactions), and (...) that this corpuscular alchemical tradition bore important fruit in the work of early modern chymists such as Daniel Sennert and Robert Boyle. (shrink)
We have several intuitive paradigms of defeating evidence. For example, let E be the fact that Ernie tells me that the notorious pet Precious is a bird. This supports the premise F, that Precious can fly. However, Orna gives me *opposing* evidence. She says that Precious (the same Precious) is a dog. Alternatively, defeating evidence might not oppose Ernie's testimony in that direct way. There might be other ways for it to weaken the support that Ernie's testimony gives me for (...) believing F, without the new evidence itself intuitively constituting reasons to believe one way or the other about Precious's flight ability. An example: Ursula tells me that Ernie has no idea what Precious's species is; he's just guessing. She may not herself want to or be in a position to weigh in about Precious's real species or flight ability. I call defeating evidence of this sort *undermining evidence. (shrink)
The second edition updates and expands the coverage to include developments in the field over the past decade, especially in the areas of international politics and global justice. New contributors include some of today’s most distinguished scholars, among them Thomas Pogge, Charles Beitz, and Michael Doyle Provides in-depth coverage of contemporary philosophical debate in all major related disciplines, such as economics, history, law, political science, international relations and sociology Presents analysis of key political ideologies, including new chapters on Cosmopolitanism (...) and Fundamentalism Includes detailed discussions of major concepts in political philosophy, including virtue, power, human rights, and just war. (shrink)
By considering the nature of the relationship between patient and healer, The Healing Bond explores the responsibilities of both, with a special emphasis on the therapeutic responsibility. The editors and contributors examine both orthodox and unorthodox forms of healing practice and apply a variety of professional and analytic perspectives to the medical profession as a whole. They look at specific areas of health such as midwifery, psychoanalysis, naturopathy, the relations between medicine and state, and the appeal of "quacks." Particular issues (...) of current concern are also discussed, including medical litigation, codes of ethics among complementary practitioners and cooperation between orthodox and complementary medicine practitioners. Contributors: Mary Douglas, Calliope Farsides, David Peters, Roy Porter, Richenda Power, Margaret Stacey, Robert Sumerling, and Gillian Vanhegan. (shrink)
: I argue and demonstrate in this essay that interconnected systems of science and technology, or technoscience, existed long before the late nineteenth century, and that eighteenth-century chemistry was such an early form of technoscience. Based on recent historical research on the early development of carbon chemistry from the late 1820s until the 1840s—which revealed that early carbon chemistry was an experimental expert culture that was largely detached from the mundane industrial world—I further examine the question of the internal preconditions (...) within the expert culture of carbon chemistry that contributed to its convergence with the synthetic-dye industry in the late 1850s. I argue that the introduction of new types and techniques of organic-chemical reactions and organic substances in this experimental expert culture, along with the application of chemical formulae as paper tools for modeling reactions as well as the chemical constitution and structure of substances, enabled academic chemists to make specific, novel contributions to chemical technology and industry in the second half of the nineteenth century. (shrink)
Debates about global justice tend to assume normative models of global community without justifying them explicitly. These models are divided between those that advocate a borderless world and those that emphasize the self-sufficiency of smaller political communities. In the first case, there are conceptions of a community of trade and a community of law. In the second case, there are ideas of a community of nation-states and of a community of autonomous communities. The nation-state model, however, is not easily justified (...) and is one that has been criticized extensively elsewhere. The model of a community of trade underlies both advocates of market-oriented development and exponents of global schemes of redistribution of resources and incomes. I analyze the work of Charles Beitz, Peter Singer, and Thomas Pogge to show that the assumption that global interdependence is beneficial is poorly justified. The model of a community of law, as seen in the work of Henry Shue and others, is the basis for arguments against state sovereignty and in favor of international human rights regimes. I argue that this model suffers either from a problem of practicability or of hegemony. Finally, the model of a community of autonomous communities uses notions of patriotism and sovereignty to maintain that disengagement and independence are the best routes to global peace and justice. (shrink)
The Promise of Religious Naturalism has binocular vision: (1) it offers readers a searching comparative study of several of the leading contemporary exponents of religious naturalism, and (2) it tests the very notion of religious naturalism for its ability to support religious inclinations and moral imperatives in a time of social and ecological disarray. The four religious naturalists Hogue especially focuses upon are Loyal Rue, Jerome Stone, Ursula Goodenough, and Donald Crosby. Hogue ably shows how each of these thinkers (...) employs a religious variation on the common theme of naturalism. He describes his approach as being “appreciatively critical,” but his appreciation seems more evident than his criticism. His .. (shrink)
I argue in the paper that classical chemistry is a science predominantly concerned with material substances, both useful materials and pure chemical substances restricted to scientific laboratory studies. The central epistemological and methodological status of material substances corresponds with the material productivity of classical chemistry and its way of producing experimental traces. I further argue that chemist’s ‘pure substances’ have a history, conceptually and materially, and I follow their conceptual history from the Paracelsian concept of purity to the modern concept (...) of pure stoichiometric compounds. The history of the concept of ‘pure substances’ shows that modern chemists’ concept of purity abstracted from usefulness rather than being opposed to it. Thus modern chemists’ interest in pure chemical substances does not presuppose a concept of pure science. (shrink)
This paper intends to show the connection between the theological, logical and epistemological ideas in Leibniz’s thinking. The paper will focus on the reasons for Leibniz’s fundamental decision to defend the Christian mysteries and his three different strategies for doing so. Each of these strategies is an answer to a particular challenge: to the Socinian who claims that the mysteries are contradictory; to the mechanical philosophy which denies the possibility of the mysteries, and to Spinoza’s parrot argument which demands that (...) we be silent when we have no comprehension. Although he had already worked out his reconciliation of the Christian mysteries with the mechanical philosophy in Mainz around 1670, Leibniz first published it only in 1710 in his Théodicée. (shrink)
Abstract The views of eleven writers who develop a naturalized spirituality, from Baruch Spinoza and George Santayana to Sam Harris, André Comte-Sponville, Ursula Goodenough, and Sharon Welch and others are presented. Then the writer's own theory is developed. This is a pluralistic notion of sacredness, an adjective referring to unmanipulable events of overriding importance. The difficulties in using traditional religious words, such as God and spiritual are addressed.
Zusammenfassung Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede in den Interpretationen von Ludwig und Popper werden aufgezeigt. DaÃ Ã¼berhaupt Unterschiede festzustellen sind, erscheint zunÃ¤chst verwunderlich, da zum einen von verschiedenen Autoren eine enge Korrelation zwischen Interpretationen der Quantenmechanik und Wahrscheinlichkeitsinterpretationen behauptet wird, zum anderen aber Ludwigs Chancengewichtungen als propensities im Sinne Poppers interpretiert werden kÃ¶nnen. Es zeigt sich, daÃ die Unterschiede in den Interpretationen der Quantenmechanik auf Unterschieden in dem jeweils verwendeten wahrscheinlichkeitstheoretischen Formalismus beruhen, die jedoch fÃ¼r die MÃ¶glichkeit, Chancengewichtungen als propensities zu interpretieren, (...) ohne Bedeutung sind. (shrink)
Ursula Klein has argued that Geoffroy’s table of chemical affinities, published in 1718, marked the emergence of the concepts of chemical compound and chemical combination central to chemistry. In this paper her position is summarised and then modified to render it immune to criticism that has been levelled against it. The essentials of Geoffroy’s chemistry are clarified and adapted to Klein’s picture by way of a detailed comparison of it with Boyle’s corpuscular chemistry that proceeded Geoffroy’s by over half (...) a century. The idea that Geoffroy’s notion of chemical combination marked a significant turning point in the emergence of modern chemistry is defended against the charge that it is Whiggish. (shrink)
Zusammenfassung Der nichtdistributive, orthokomplementÃ¤re Verband der Projektionsoperatoren in der Quantenmechanik hat AnlaÃ zu mancherlei Interpretationen gegeben, so z. B. als eine von der klassischen Logik abweichende Quantenlogik, oder man deutete die Projektionsoperatoren als Eigenschaften von Mikroobjekten. Wir glauben, mit dieser Arbeit ein wesentliches Argument fÃ¼r die letztere Interpretation liefern zu kÃ¶nnen.
Zusammenfassung Es wird zu zeigen versucht, daÃ die Unterscheidung logischer und faktischer Wahrheiten nicht gelingen kann, solange nicht zwei Arten von Existenz unterschieden werden, nÃ¤mlich logische Existenz als Widerspruchsfreiheit und faktische als an Ort und Zeit gebundene Existenz. Die VernachlÃ¤ssigung der Bedingungen von Ort und Zeit fÃ¼hrt dazu, daÃ z. B. Leibniz, Frege und Russell die faktische Wahrheit auf die logische zurÃ¼ckfÃ¼hren, was wiederum dadurch begÃ¼nstigt wird, daÃ die genannten Autoren Individuum und Einermenge nicht konsequent unterscheiden.