Issues in medical ethics are rarely out of the media and it is an area of ethics that has particular interest for the general public as well as the medical practitioner. This short and accessible introduction provides an invaluable tool with which to think about the ethical values that lie at the heart of medicine. Tony Hope deals with the thorny moral questions such as euthanasia and the morality of killing, and also explores political questions such as: how should (...) health care resources be distributed fairly? Each chapter in this book considers a different issue: genetics, modern reproductive technologies, resource allocation, mental health, medical research, and discusses controversial questions such as: -/- · Who should have access to reproductive technology? Who should pay? · Is it right to fund expensive drug treatment for individuals? · Should active euthanasia be legalized? · Should treatment for mental illness be imposed on patients without their consent? · Who should have access to information from genetic testing? · Should we require consent for the use of dead bodies or organs in medical research? (shrink)
Some of the most important achievements in the field of empiricist ethics were made by the School of Moral Sentiment, comprising Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, and Adam Smith. This book throws new light on their consensus theory of virtue. Hope works some of their ideas into a merit theory of rights applicable to conventional rights, defends ethical cognitivism, and analyzes pleasure.
The Politics of Human Rights provides a systematic introductory overview of the nature and development of human rights. At the same time it offers an engaging argument about human rights and their relationship with politics. The author argues that human rights have only a slight relation to natural rights and they are historically novel: In large part they are a post-1945 reaction to genocide which is, in turn, linked directly to the lethal potentialities of the nation-state. He suggests that an (...) understanding of human rights should nonetheless focus primarily on politics and that there are no universally agreed moral or religious standards to uphold them, they exist rather in the context of social recognition within a political association. A consequence of this is that the 1948 Universal Declaration is a political, not a legal or moral, document. Vincent goes on to show that human rights are essentially reliant upon the self-limitation capacity of the civil state. With the development of this state, certain standards of civil behaviour have become, for a sector of humanity, slowly and painfully more customary. He shows that these standards of civility have extended to a broader society of states. At their best human rights are an ideal civil state vocabulary. The author explains that we comprehend both our own humanity and human rights through our recognition relations with other humans, principally via citizenship of a civil state. Vincent concludes that the paradox of human rights is that they are upheld, to a degree, by the civil state, but the point of such rights is to protect against another dimension of this same tradition (the nation-state). Human rights are essentially part of a struggle at the core of the state tradition. (shrink)
This research examines the possibility of developing a new corporate social responsibility (CSR) auditing system based on the analysis of current CSR literature and interviews conducted with a number of interested and knowledgeable stakeholders. This work attempts to create a framework for social responsibility auditing compatible with an existing commercially successful environmental audit system. The project is unusual in that it tackles the complex issue of CSR auditing with a scientific approach using Grounded Theory. On the evidence discovered to date (...) in the literature review and the interviews, CSR seems to be perceived by many as the social strand of sustainable development. However, there is far less agreement regarding its measurement. Both the literature review and the interview analysis indicate that developing an applied CSR auditing procedure will be a challenging task. This is principally due to the lack of formal study of this complex subject, which, despite the widespread debate it has engendered, still lacks a single and broadly accepted definition. The concepts developed from the findings of this research, together with the key factors identified in a literature review of CSR, were developed into a prospective CSR audit protocol. (shrink)
New concepts may prove necessary to profit from the avalanche of sequence data on the genome, transcriptome, proteome and interactome and to relate this information to cell physiology. Here, we focus on the concept of large activity-based structures, or hyperstructures, in which a variety of types of molecules are brought together to perform a function. We review the evidence for the existence of hyperstructures responsible for the initiation of DNA replication, the sequestration of newly replicated origins of replication, cell division (...) and for metabolism. The processes responsible for hyperstructure formation include changes in enzyme affinities due to metabolite-induction, lipid-protein affinities, elevated local concentrations of proteins and their binding sites on DNA and RNA, and transertion. Experimental techniques exist that can be used to study hyperstructures and we review some of the ones less familiar to biologists. Finally, we speculate on how a variety of in silico approaches involving cellular automata and multi-agent systems could be combined to develop new concepts in the form of an Integrated cell (I-cell) which would undergo selection for growth and survival in a world of artificial microbiology. (shrink)
Nationalism has had a complex relation with the discipline of political theory during the 20th century. Political theory has often been deeply uneasy with nationalism in relation to its role in the events leading up to and during the Second World War. Many theorists saw nationalism as an overly narrow and potentially irrationalist doctrine. In essence it embodied a closed vision of the world. This article focuses on one key contributor to the immediate post-war debate—Karl Popper—who retained deep misgivings about (...) nationalism until the end of his life, and indeed saw the events of the early 1990s (shortly before his death) as a confirmation of this distrust. Popper was one of a number of immediate post war writers, such as Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises, who shared this unease with nationalism. They all had a powerful effect on social and political thought in the English-speaking world. Popper particularly articulated a deeply influential perspective that fortuitously encapsulated a cold war mentality in the 1950s. In 2005 Popper's critical views are doubly interesting, since the last decade has seen a renaissance of nationalist interests. The collapse of the Berlin wall in 1989, and the changing political landscape of international and domestic politics, has seen once again a massive growth of interest in nationalism, particularly from liberal political theorists and a growing, and, at times, immensely enthusiastic academic literature, trying to provide a distinctively benign benediction to nationalism. (shrink)
This exploratory ethics study of a publication and presentation practice herein defined as streaming investigates the attitudes of deans of schools of business and business professors regarding such behavior. Streaming publications is the practice of presenting or publishing an article at one outlet and then taking the same article with perhaps minor revisions and presenting or publishing it at another publication outlet. The results of the survey suggest that the most important ethical behavior regarding streaming practices is disclosure. If authors (...) fully disclose the intellectual history of a paper's developmental process, allegations of possible professional misconduct will be minimized if not eliminated. (shrink)
If code is law then standards bodies are governments. This flawed but powerful metaphor suggests the need to examine more closely those standards bodies that are defining standards for the Internet. In this paper we examine the International Telecommunications Union, the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association, the Internet Engineering Task Force, and the World Wide Web Consortium. We compare the organizations on the basis of participation, transparency, authority, openness, security and interoperability. We conclude that the IETF and (...) the W3C are becoming increasingly similar. We also conclude that the classical distinction between standards and implementations is decreasingly useful as standards are embodies in code – itself a form of speech or documentation. Recent Internet standards bodies have flourished in part by discarding or modifying the implementation/standards distinction. We illustrate that no single model is superior on all dimensions. The IETF is not effectively scaling, struggling with its explosive growth with the creation of thousands of working groups. The IETF coordinating body, the Internet Society, addressed growth by reorganization that removed democratic oversight. The W3C, initially the most closed, is becoming responsive to criticism and now includes open code participants. The IEEE SA and ITU have institutional controls appropriate for hardware but too constraining for code. Each organization has much to learn from the others. (shrink)
It is conventional to think of modernity as being characterised by the irremediable separation of philosophy and theology, of reason and faith. Failing to reconsider the idea of such a divorce, post-modernity has pushed this postulate to its very limits by attempting to abolish all types of normativity whether on the grounds of reason or any other basis. Against these prevailing conceptions, we argue that there exist, within philosophy and theology, processes of differentiation as well as original combinations. To illustrate (...) the possibility of mutually enriching exchanges between the philosophical and the theological ethical traditions we will call upon the historical example of solidarism. This will enable us to show that the two traditions are not so heterogeneous as may be first thought by those who underestimate the importance of identifying the conditions, both pragmatic and ideological, that govern practical in situation ethical judgements. (shrink)
A new approach to information is proposed with the intention of providing a conceptual tool adapted to biology, including a semantic value.Information involves a material support as well as a significance, adapted to the cognitive domain of the receiver and/or the transmitter. A message does not carry any information, only data. The receiver makes an identification by a procedure of recognition of the forms, which activate previously learned significance. This treatment leads to a new significance (or new knowledge).
For living beings, information is as fundamental as matter or energy. In this paper we show: a) inadequacies of quantitative theories of information, b) how a qualitative analysis leads to a classification of information systems and to a modelling of intercellular communication.From a quantitative point of view, the application in biology of information theories borrowed from communication techniques proved to be disappointing. These theories ignore deliberately the significance of messages, and do not give any definition of information. They refer to (...) quantities, based upon arbitrarily defined probabilistic events. Probability is subjective. The receiver of the message needs to have meta-knowledge of the events. The quantity of information depends on language, coding, and arbitrary definition of disorder. The suggested objectivity is fallacious. (shrink)
The dormancy of American pragmatism is over. At least, this is what numerous articles and books have unequivocally stated in the decades since Richard Rorty gave up his belief in orthodox analytical epistemology and settled into his own brand of John Dewey's antifoundational epistemology. Even though Rorty's interpretation and manipulation of Dewey have been controversial, we are all the better for the revival of discourse around what pragmatism was, is, and will be. Robert Westbrook's Democratic Hope: Pragmatism and the (...) Politics of Truth (2005), a recent contribution to this revival, clearly demonstrates the value of a vibrant and robust tradition of pragmatism to American intellectual and public life. The depth of knowledge and passion for the subject matter that made Westbrook's magnum opus, John Dewey and American Democracy (1991), a landmark study are on display in this text as well. In both works, what makes... (shrink)
Patrick Shade makes a strong argument for the necessity of hope in a cynical world that too often rejects it as foolish. While most accounts of hope situate it in a theological context, Shade presents a theory rooted in the pragmatic thought of such American philosophers as C. S. Peirce, William James, and John Dewey.
Present Hope is a compelling exploration of how we think philosophically about the present. Andrew Benjamin considers examples in philosophy, architecture and poetry to illustrate crucial themes of loss, memory, tragedy, hope and modernity. The book uses the work of Walter Benjamin and Martin Heidegger to illustrate the ways the notion of hope was weaved into their philosophies. Andrew Benjamin maintains that hope is a vital part of the present, rather than an expression only of the (...) future. Present Hope shows how Judaism and philosophy interact; how the Holocaust provides an important link between modernity and the present. Benjamin's writings on the significance of the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the poetry of Paul Celan unite toward understanding the present. (shrink)
ABSTRACT. Ecological philosophy requires a significant orientation to the role of hope in both theory and practice. I trace the limited presence of hope in ecological philosophy, and outline reasons why environmental hopelessness is a threat. I articulate and problematize recent environmental publications on the topic of hope, the most important worry being that current literature fails to provide the necessary psychological grounding for hopeful action. I turn to the psychology of hope to provide direction for (...) conceptualizing hope and actualizing hoped for states of affairs. If positive moral action is the goal, hope is a vital concept for underwriting ecological philosophy and a practice requiring considerably more attention. (shrink)
G. W. Leibniz famously proclaimed that this is the best of all possible worlds. One of the properties of the best world is its increasing perfection. He gave a prominent role in his discussion of emotions to hope which is related to intellectual activity such as curiosity and courage which again is essential for the practice of science and promoting the common good. Leibniz regarded hope as a process where minute perceptions in the mind, that is, unconscious promises (...) or signs of a future pleasure of the mind or joy may accumulate to an expectation which we became aware of, the passion of hope. Related to a moral instinct of striving for joy and avoiding sorrow, hope motivates us to promote perfection which produces joy in us and eventually leads to happiness. (shrink)
How is hope to be found amid the ethical and political dilemmas of modern life? Writer and philosopher Mary Zournazi brought her questions to some of the most thoughtful intellectuals at work today. She discusses "joyful revolt" with Julia Kristeva, the idea of "the rest of the world" with Gayatri Spivak, the "art of living" with Michel Serres, the "carnival of the senses" with Michael Taussig, the relation of hope to passion and to politics with Chantal Mouffe and (...) Ernesto Laclau. A dozen stimulating minds weigh in with their visions of a better social and political order. The result is a collaboration - of writing, of thinking, and of politics - that demonstrates more clearly than any single-authored project could how ideas encountering one another can produce the vision needed for social change. (shrink)
How and why should hope play a key role in a twenty-first century democratic politics? Alan Mittleman offers a philosophical exploration of the theme, contending that a modern construction of hope as an emotion is deficient. He revives the medieval understanding of hope as a virtue, reconstructing this in a contemporary philosophical idiom. In this framework, hope is less a spontaneous reaction than it is a choice against despair; a decision to live with confidence and expectation, (...) based on a rational assessment of possibility and a faith in the underlying goodness of life. In cultures shaped by biblical teaching, hope is thought praiseworthy. Mittleman explores the religious origins of the concept of hope in the Hebrew Scriptures, New Testament, rabbinic literature and Augustine. He traces the roots of both the praise of hope, in Jewish and Christian thought, and the criticism of hope in Greco-Roman thought and in the tradition of philosophical pessimism. Arguing on behalf of a straightened, sober form of hope, he relates hope-as-a-virtue to the tasks of democratic citizenship. Without diminishing the wisdom found in tragedy, a strong argument emerges in favour of hope as a way of taking responsibility for the world. Drawing on insights from scriptural and classical texts, philosophers, and theologians - ancient and modern, Mittleman builds a compelling case for placing hope at the centre of democratic political systems. (shrink)
Despite the familiarity of hope in human experience, it is a phenomenon infrequently considered from a philosophical point of view. This book charts the centrality of hope in thought and action from first, second and third person perspectives. From everyday situations to extreme circumstances of trail and endings in life, the contours of hope are given a phenomenological description and subjected to conceptual analysis. This consistently secular account of hope sheds a different light on questions of (...) agency and meaning. (shrink)
Part 1. Eschatology and ethics. Introduction -- Apocalyptic eschatology -- Christological eschatology -- Separatist eschatology -- Transformative eschatology -- Part 2. An ethics of life. A culture of life -- Medical ethics -- Part 3. Earth ethics. In the space of the earth, what is the earth? -- The time of the earth -- Ecology -- Earth ethics -- Part 4. Ethics of just peace. Criteria for forming a judgment -- Divine and human righteousness and justice -- Dragon slaying and (...) peacemaking in Christianity -- Control is good, trust is better : liberty and security in the "free world" -- The righteousness of God and human and civil rights -- Part 5. Joy in God : aesthetic counterpoints. Sabbath : the feast of creation -- The jubilation of Christ's resurrection -- "And peace in the midst of strife.". (shrink)
Hope obeys Aristotle's doctrine of the mean: one should neither hope too much, nor too little. But what determines what constitutes too much and what constitutes too little for a particular person at a particular time? The sceptic presents an argument to the effect that it is never rational to hope. An attempt to answer the sceptic leads us in different directions. Decision-theoretic and preference-theoretic arguments support the instrumental value of hope. An investigation into the nature (...) of hope permits us to assess the intrinsic value of hope. However, it must be granted to the sceptic that there is a tension between hope and epistemic rationality. I conclude with some reflections about the relationship between hope and character features that are constitutive of inner strength. (shrink)
For many religious people there is a problem of doubting various creedal statements contained in their religions. Often propositional beliefs are looked upon as a necessary, though not sufficient, condition, for salvation. This causes great anxiety in doubters and raises the question of the importance of belief in religion and in life in general. It is a question that has been neglected in philosophy of religion and Christian theology. In this paper I shall explore the question of the importance of (...) belief as a religious attitude and suggest that there is at least one other attitude which may be adequate for religious faith even in the absence of belief, that attitude being hope. I shall develop a concept of faith as hope as an alternative to the usual notion that makes prepositional belief that God exists a necessary condition for faith, as Plantinga implies in the quotation above. For simplicity’s sake I shall concentrate on the most important proposition in Western religious creeds, that which states that God exists (defined broadly as a benevolent, supreme Being, who is responsible for the creation of the universe), but the analysis could be applied mutatis mutandis to many other important propositions in religion (e.g., the Incarnation and the doctrine of the Trinity). (shrink)
Cultural devastation, and the proper response to it, is the central concern of "Radical Hope". I address an uncertainty in Lear's book, reflected in a wavering over the difference between a culture's way of life becoming impossible and its way of life becoming unintelligible. At his best, Lear asks the radical ontological question: when the cultural collapse is such that the old way of life has become not only impossible but retroactively unimaginable,—when nothing one can do (or did) makes (...) sense anymore,—how can one go on? In raising this question, Lear's book is a remarkable breakthrough; it comes close to raising the crucial ontological question of how to deal with the total collapse of a culture, and it may well become a classic by starting a conversation on the question: How should we live when our own culture is in the process of actually collapsing? Lear suggests that [w]hat would be required... would be a new Crow poet: one who could take up the Crow past and—rather than use it for nostalgia or ersatz mimesis—project it into vibrant new ways for the Crow to live and to be. (p. 51) Later Heidegger had a similar suggestion for us and I try to spell it out briefly. (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.
Philosophers and social scientists have focussed a great deal of attention on our human capacity to trust, but relatively little on the capacity to hope. This is a significant oversight, as hope and trust are importantly interconnected. This paper argues that, even though trust can and does feed our hopes, it is our empowering capacity to hope that significantly underwrites—and makes rational—our capacity to trust.
Sustaining hope in patients is an important element of health care, allowing improvement in patient welfare and quality of life. However in the palliative care context, with patients who are terminally ill, it might seem that in order to maintain hope the palliative care practitioner would sometimes have to deceive the patient about the full nature or prospects of their condition by providing a ‘false hope’. This possibility creates an ethical tension in palliative practice, where the beneficent (...) desire to improve patient welfare through sustaining hope appears to be in conflict with an autonomy-based requirement not to deceive patients about their condition. In order to resolve this ethical tension, we provide an analysis of the concept of hope and argue that there is at least one conception – the ‘absolute’ conception of hope – which when properly understood allows practitioners to foster hope in terminally-ill patients while avoiding any need to deceive them about their condition. Practitioners therefore do not need to shy away from using the language of hope in the palliative setting, as on this understanding of hope it can be used in a way that both promotes patient welfare and respects patient autonomy. (shrink)
Environmental ethicists often hold that organisms, species, ecosystems, and the like have goods of their own. But, even given that such goods exist, whether we ought to value them is controversial. Hence an environmental philosophy needs, in addition to an account of what sorts of values there are, an explanation what, how and why we morally ought to value—that is, an account of moral valuing. This paper presents one such an account. Specifically, I aim to show that unless there are (...) eternal goods (and maybe even if there are), we have a duty of self-transcendence toward nature—that is, a duty to value nature's goods as ends. This duty is owed, however, not to nature, but to ourselves. It is grounded in what I call an imperative of hope. The argument, in a nutshell, is that we have a duty to ourselves to (in a certain sense) optimize hope. This optimization requires self-transcendence toward entities whose goods are more diverse and enduring than any human goods. But unless there are eternal goods, such goods occur only in nature. (shrink)
The extent of the approval with which Western culture views the attitude of hope can scarcely be exaggerated. Hope is seen as that which sustains us through wartime, death camps, slavery, natural disaster, extreme disease and disability—it is a light, a beacon, the last spark that fuels us when all else has failed. Hope is also seen as a moral and spiritual virtue—hoping for moral progress in this world, and salvation in the next, is at the heart (...) of a meaningful human life. A positive view of hope infuses Western theology since Aquinas; utopian political philosophy, positive psychology, the self-help culture, the clinical research community, a wide range of activist groups, and a great deal of political rhetoric all maintain the affirmation of hope. The only qualm commonly expressed about hope is that it is sometimes “false:” that is, based on lies or misconceptions. False hope is bad because, first, it is bad to be deceived and, second, it may suck up resources better spent elsewhere. False hope, though, is not genuine hope, and genuine hope is an essential human good. My book Wanting to Pull Clouds will argue that the popular view of hope is vastly and dangerously oversimplified. Much more insidious than false hope is hope that is “genuine” and not based on lies or misconceptions, but that nevertheless bears important conceptual and empirical connections to passivity, inattention, excuse-making and wishful thinking. To be clear, this is not an anti-hope project. Rather, it examines the mechanisms that make hope desirable and virtuous, when it is these things; it becomes clear in the course of this examination that these very.. (shrink)
Both traditional accounts of hope and some of their recent critics analyze hope exclusively in terms of attitudes that a hoper bears towards a hoped-for prospect, such as desire and probability assignment. I argue that all of these accounts misidentify cases of despair as cases of hope, and so misconstrue the nature of hope. I show that a more satisfactory view is arrived at by noticing that in addition to the aforementioned attitudes, (...)hope involves a characteristic attitude towards an external factor, on whose operation the hoper takes the prospect's realization to depend causally. (shrink)
Chapter 1: "Reason for Hope (in the Post-modern World)" by Michael J. Murray Chapter 2: "Theistic Arguments" by William C. Davis Chapter 3: "A Scientific Argument for the Existence of God: The Fine- Tuning Design Argument" by Robin Collins Chapter 4: "God, Evil and Suffering" by Daniel Howard Snyder Chapter 5: "Arguments for Atheism" by John O'Leary Hawthorne Chapter 6: "Faith and Reason" by Caleb Miller Chapter 7: "Religious Pluralism" by Timothy O'Connor Chapter 8: "Eastern Religions" by Robin (...) Collins Chapter 9: "Divine Providence and Human Freedom" by Scott A. Davison Chapter 10: "The Incarnation and the Trinity" by Thomas D. Senor Chapter 11: "The Resurrection of the Body and the Life Everlasting" by Trenton Merricks Chapter 12: "Heaven and Hell" by Michael J. Murray Chapter 13: "Religion and Science" by W. Christopher Stewart Chapter 14: "Miracles and Christian Theism" by J. A. Cover Chapter 15: "Christianity and Ethics" by Frances Howard-Snyder Chapter 16: "The Authority of Scripture" by Douglas Blount.. (shrink)
This work proposes an analysis of the cognitive and motivational components of hope, its basic properties, and the affective dispositions and behaviors it is likely to induce. In our view current treatments of hope do not fully account for its specificity, by making hope overlap with positive expectation or some specification of positive expectation. In contrast, we attempt to highlight the distinctive features of hope, pointing to its differences from positive expectation, as well as from a (...) sense of successful agency, optimism, trust, and faith. Fear and anxiety are also addressed, and the latter is analyzed as a state of mind implying both fear and hope. Finally, the relationship between hope and motivation is explored, and “active” hope is compared with “passive” hope. Some concluding remarks summarize the results of our analysis, and stress the role of hope in fostering the individual’s well-being. (shrink)
Environmental changes can bear upon the environmental virtues, having effects not only on the conditions of their application but also altering the concepts themselves. I argue that impending radical changes in global climate will likely precipitate significant changes in the dominate world culture of consumerism and then consider how these changes could alter the moral landscape, particularly culturally thick conceptions of the environmental virtues. According to Jonathan Lear, as the last principal chief of the Crow Nation, Plenty Coups exhibited the (...) virtue of “radical hope,” a novel form of courage appropriate to a culture in crisis. I explore what radical hope may look like today, arguing how it should broadly affect our environmental character and that a framework for future environmental virtues will involve a diminished place for valuing naturalness as autonomy from human interference. (shrink)
What is hope? Though variously characterized as a cognitive attitude, an emotion, a disposition, and even a process or activity, hope, more deeply, a unifying and grounding force of human agency. We cannot live a human life without hope, therefore questions about the rationality of hope are properly recast as questions about what it means to hope well. This thesis is defended and elaborated as follows. First, it is argued that hope is an essential (...) and distinctive feature of human agency, both conceptually and developmentally. The author then explores a number of dimensions of agency that are critically implicated in the art of hoping well, drawing on several examples from George Eliot’s Middlemarch. The article concludes with a short section that suggests how hoping well in an individual context may be extended to hope at the collective level. (shrink)
This paper addresses the phenomenology of hopelessness. I distinguish two broad kinds of predicament that are easily confused: ‘loss of hopes’ and ‘loss of hope’. I argue that not all hope can be characterised as an intentional state of the form ‘I hope that p ’. It is possible to lose all hopes of that kind and yet retain another kind of hope. The hope that remains is not an intentional state or a non-intentional bodily (...) feeling. Rather, it is a ‘pre-intentional’ orientation or ‘existential feeling’, by which I mean something in the context of which certain kinds of intentional state, including intentional hope, are intelligible. I go on to discuss severe depression, lack of aspiration, demoralisation and loss of trust in the world, in order to distinguish some qualitatively different forms that loss of hope can take. (shrink)
The article considers how Richard Rorty's writings on religion dovetail with his views on the philosophical significance of hope. It begins with a reconstruction of the central features of Rorty's philosophy of religion, including its critique of theism and its attempt to rehabilitate religion within a pragmatist philosophical framework. It then presents some criticisms of Rorty's proposal. It is argued first that Rorty's "redescription" of the fulfilment of the religious impulse is so radical that it is hard to see (...) what remains of its specifically religious content. This casts doubt on Rorty's claim to have made pragmatism and religion compatible. The article then offers an analysis of Rorty's key notion of "unjustifiable hope". Different senses of unjustifiable hope are distinguished, in the course of which a tension between the "romantic" and "utilitarian" aspects of Rorty's pragmatist philosophy of religion comes into view. (shrink)
The Last Best Hope Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-14 DOI 10.1007/s11007-012-9221-1 Authors Steven Crowell, Rice University, Houston, TX, USA Journal Continental Philosophy Review Online ISSN 1573-1103 Print ISSN 1387-2842.
As Vincent Hendricks remarks early on in this book, the formal and mainstream traditions of epistemic theorising have mostly evolved independently of each other. This initial impression is confirmed by a comparison of the main problems and methods practitioners in each tradition are concerned with. Mainstream epistemol- ogy engages in a dialectical game of proposing and challenging definitions of knowledge. Formal epistemologists proceed differently, as they design a wide variety of axiomatic and model-theoretic methods whose consequences they investigate independently (...) of the need of giving counterexample-free definitions of knowledge. Or at least, this is a common way to explain where both disciplines stand in the larger landscape of epistemic theorising, and why interactions between them remain scarce. The main ambition of this book is to show that the distinction between formal and mainstream approaches should not preclude a fruitful interaction, and that it only takes the right outlook on their respective practices to disclose plenty of room for interaction. (shrink)
In articulating a theological account of Christian hope faithful to its objective character, Pope Benedict XVI summons the authority of Thomas Aquinas, citing his comments on faith and hope as those terms occur in Hebrews 11:1. Benedict sets off Aquinas's understanding of hope-filled faith's objectivity by placing it in contrast with Luther's apparently more subjective interpretation of faith in Hebrews 11:1 as conviction. Closer analysis of both Aquinas and Luther, however, suggests a greater overlap in their exegetical (...) conclusions, opening the way for a more nuanced appreciation of a virtue whose living possession and exercise, as the rest of Spe Salvi confirms, involves both objective and subjective dimensions. (shrink)
I show that the two most devastating objections to Shogenji's formal account of coherence necessarily involve information sets of cardinality . Given this, I surmise that the problem with Shogenji's measure has more to do with his means of generalizing the measure than with the measure itself. I defend this claim by offering an alternative generalization of Shogenji's measure. This alternative retains the intuitive merits of the original measure while avoiding both of the relevant problems that befall it. In the (...) light of all of this, I suggest that there is new hope for Shogenji's analysis: Shogenji's early and influential attempt at measuring coherence, when generalized in a subset-sensitive way, is able to clear its most troubling objections. (shrink)
Imagine that you are on an intercontinental flight and that immediately after take‐off the pilot makes the following announcement: ‘Dear passengers, I hope you will join me in celebrating a wonderful achievement of one of our navigators. His name is Vincent. Vincent’s childhood dream was to become an airplane navigator but unfortunately he was declared unfit for the job because of his serious heart condition. True, he does occasionally have symptoms of heart disease like shortness of breath (...) and chest pain, yet he is certainly not the kind of person to be deterred from pursuing his dream so easily. Being quite convinced that he is up to the task and that everything would be fine Vincent decided to falsify his medical records. And indeed, with the clean bill of health readily forged and attached to his application, he smoothly managed to get the plum job and is very proud to take care of your safety today. Can we please get some applause for Vincent’s accomplishment and perseverance in the face of adversity? And, by the way, keep your seat belts tightly fastened during the entire flight.’. (shrink)
The paper contrasts two approaches to the analysis of hope: one that takes its departure from a view broadly shared by Hobbes, Locke and Hume, another that fits better with Aquinas's definition of hope. The former relies heavily on a sharp distinction between the cognitive and conative aspects of hope. It is argued that while this approach provides a valuable source of insights, its focus is too narrow and it rests on a problematic rationalistic psychology. The argument (...) is supported by a discussion of hope understood as a stance and by a consideration of the phenomenological contrast between expectation and anticipation. The paper concludes with some reflections on the relation between hope and illusion and the idea of responsible hope. (shrink)
A longitudinal study of 308 white-collar U.S. employees revealed that feelings of hope and gratitude increase concern for corporate social responsibility (CSR). In particular, employees with stronger hope and gratitude were found to have a greater sense of responsibility toward employee and societal issues; interestingly, employee hope and gratitude did not affect sense of responsibility toward economic and safety/quality issues. These findings offer an extension of research by Giacalone, Paul, and Jurkiewicz (2005, Journal of Business Ethics, (...) 58, 295-305). (shrink)
Objects of Hope brings ranging scholarship and refreshing candor to bear on the knotty issue of what can and cannot be achieved in the course of psychoanalytic therapy. It will be valued not only as an exemplary exercise in comparative psychoanaly.
Hope is a precious resource. But, deluded, not based on a sober appraisal of the relevant realities, hope can also be lethal. One kind of hope is utopian hope. It does not exhaust what social hope is, or should be, about. The hope of remedying the most terrible injustices makes an urgent call on our attention. The world has travelled some way from the time when tyrannical governments could act with impunity in dealing with (...) those under their jurisdiction. But it has not travelled far enough. There remain a number of deficits in the system of international law: "thresholds of inhumanity". (shrink)
In this article I argue that hope is rightly numbered by Hesiod among the evils, as hope cannot be separated from an awareness of the inadequacy of one's current state. Political hope for democrats in particular is tied to the awareness that we have not yet realized ourselves, that, to paraphrase Pindar, we have not yet become who we are. I argue that, although Rorty comes close to articulating this in his book Achieving Our Country, his emphasis (...) on pride ultimately obscures more than it reveals. I conclude that Thoreau's anguished reflection in Walden on the failures of his fellow citizens is a better place to look for instruction on the question of political hope. (shrink)
The attempt to connect philosophy and social hope has been one of the key distinguishing features of critical theory as a tradition of enquiry. This connection has been questioned forcefully from the perspective of a post-philosophical pragmatism, as articulated by Rorty. In this article I consider two strategies that have been adopted by critical theorists in seeking to reject Affection Rorty's suggestion that we should abandon the attempt to ground social hope in philosophical reason. We consider argumentative strategies (...) of the philosophical anthropologist and of the rational proceduralist. Once the exchanges between Rorty and these two strands of critical theory have been reconstructed and assessed, an alternative perspective emerges. It is argued that philosophical reasoning best helps to sustain social hope in a rapidly changing world when we consider it in terms of the practice of democratic criticism. (shrink)
How do we encourage patients to be hopeful without exploiting their hope? A medical researcher or a pharmaceutical company can take unfair advantage of someone's hope by much subtler means than simply giving misinformation. Hope shapes deliberation, and therefore can make deliberation better or worse, by the deliberator's own standards of deliberation.
Although the role of imagination in moral reasoning is often neglected, recent literature, mostly of pragmatist signature, points to imagination as one of its central elements. In this article we develop some of their arguments by looking at the moral role of imagination in practice, in particular the practice of neonatal intensive care. Drawing on empirical research, we analyze a decision-making process in various stages: delivery, staff meeting, and reflection afterwards. We show how imagination aids medical practitioners demarcating moral categories, (...) tuning their actions, and exploring long-range consequences of decisions. We argue that imagination helps to bring about at least four kinds of integration in the moral decision-making process: personal integration by creating a moral self-image in moments of reflection; social integration by aiding the conciliation of the diverging perspectives of the people involved; temporal integration by facilitating the parties to transcend the present moment and connect past, present, and future; and epistemological integration by helping to combine the various forms of knowledge and experience needed to make moral decisions. Furthermore, we argue that the role of imagination in these moral decision-processes is limited in several significant ways. Rather than being a solution itself, it is merely an aid and cannot replace the decision itself. Finally, there are also limits to the practical relevance of this theoretical reflection. In the end, it is up to care professionals as reflective practitioners to re-imagine the practice of intensive care and make the right decisions with hope and imagination. (shrink)
In this uplifting book, David Halpin suggests ways of putting the hope back into education, exploring the value of and need for utopian thinking in discussions of the purpose of education and school policy.
Vincent Brümmer has recently, by taking his starting-point in the writings of Wittgenstein, defended the idea that the debate about the truth or falsehood of the claim that God exists has no future. I suggest that the arguments Brümmer develops to support this claim fail. This is so because he does not show why any attempt to prove or disprove the truth or falsehood of the belief in the existence of God is circular or how the purported non-provability of (...) the belief that God exists entails that the theism-atheism debate of the truth or falsehood of this belief has no future. In addition, Brümmer does not acknowledge that there are many different religious language-games, that within the theistic language-games the claim that God exists is used in many different ways and that, as a result, it is not true that, within the religious language-game, the belief in the existence of God cannot be doubted, denied, or treated as a hypothesis. (shrink)
This article on mystery and hope at the boundary of reason in the postmodern situation responds to the challenge of postmodern thinking to philosophyby a recourse to the works of Gabriel Marcel and his best disciple, Paul Ricoeur. It develops along the lines of their interpretation of hope as a central phenomenon in human experience and existence, thus shedding light on the philosophical enterprise for the future. It is our purpose to dwell briefly on this postmodern challenge and (...) then, incorporating its positive contribution, to present theirs as an alternative philosophy at the boundary of reason. (shrink)
This article attempts to respond to Simon Critchley's claim in a recent debate with Richard Rorty, that the latter, by not fully recognizing its indebtedness to Levinas, misunderstands the political import of the work of Jacques Derrida. I maintain, pace Critchley, that trying to push the Derrida-Levinas connection too far will not only further compound Rorty's view of Derrida as a thinker devoid of political efficacy, but that it will moreover serve to obscure the significant differences which exist between (...) Levinas and Derrida - differences which cannot be overlooked in any serious discussion of the two thinkers in question. In the second half, I try to convince Critchley that what separates Derrida from Levinas is precisely what hooks him up with Rorty at a political level. Both, I argue, are committed to a civic religion of social hope. In so doing, I try to convince Rorty that his caricature of Derrida as a private writer without political consequence, ought now to be seriously reconsidered. Key Words: community Critchley democracy Derrida ethics justice law Levinas politics religion Rorty sentiment singularity social hope. (shrink)
Low opportunity cost, weak influence of quality of life in the face of death, the social value of life extension to others, shifting psychological reference points, and hope have been proposed as factors to explain why people apparently perceive marginal life extension at the end of life to have disproportionately greater value than its length. Such value may help to explain why medical spending to extend life at the end of life is as high as it is, and the (...) various factors behind this value might provide normative rationale for that spending. Upon critical analysis, however, most of these factors turn out to be questionable or incompletely conceived; this includes hope, which is examined here in special detail. These factors help to explain complexity and nuance in the normative issues, but they do not provide adequate justification for spending as high as it often is. In any case, two additional factors must be added to the descriptive explanation of high spending, and they throw its normative justification into further doubt: the “insurance effect” and provider-created demand. Overall, the perception of especially high value of life at the end of life provides some normative justification for high spending, but seldom strong justification, and not for spending as high as it often is. (shrink)
This paper assesses the extent to which the category of hope assists in preserving and redefining the vestiges of utopian thought in critical social theory. Hope has never had a systematic position among the categories of critical social theory, although it has sometimes acquired considerable prominence. It will be argued that the current philosophical and everyday interest in social hope can be traced to the limited capacity of liberal conceptions of freedom to articulate a vision of social (...) transformation apposite to contemporary suffering and indignity. The background to these experiences is the structural changes associated with the injustices of globalisation, the mobilisation of the capitalist imaginary and the uncertainties of the risk society. The category of hope could assist in sustaining the utopianism of critical theory through conjoining normative principles with a temporal orientation. Yet, the paradoxes of the current phase of capitalist modernisation have further denuded notions of progress. Since the theological background to the category of hope constitutes a major limitation, the utopian orientation of critique is clarified in relation to the antinomies of the turn to social hope and the potential of Habermas' discourse theory of democracy, law and morality. Despite Castoriadis' profound critique of the category of hope, its present usage in social analyses will be seen to have affinities with Honneth's conception of the struggle for recognition. (shrink)
In the wake of two recent developments in stem cell research, it is a fitting time to reassess the claim that stem cells will radically transform the concept and function of medicine. The first is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s decision in January 2009 to approve Geron Corporation’s Phase I clinical trial using human embryonic stem cells for patients with spinal cord injuries. The second is the National Institutes of Health’s decision to permit federal funding of research using donated (...) IVF human embryos in their July 2009 Guidelines on Human Stem Cell Research. We are now poised to see whether stem cell research can deliver on what it promises. However, what exactly does it promise and how? Moreover, who is doing the promising? Turning to the use of metaphor can help us to answer these questions and enable us to develop a better appreciation of the unique features of promised stem cell therapies. Indeed, metaphors have exerted profound influence in medicine, and it is fitting that we seek new metaphors for new therapies where appropriate. In this case, other metaphors such as magic bullets or the Holy Grail cannot capture what is unique about stem cells. Accordingly, I propose a new metaphor: the stem cell superhero. Stem cell superheroes are characterized by the following traits: they are seemingly capable of fighting the evil of virtually all disease (unlike “magic bullets”) and they seem to be our only hope of doing so, although to summon them we must make difficult moral choices. In the course of assessing the merits of three recent yet covert references to the superhero metaphor, I conclude that this powerful new paradigm employs a problematic logic (i.e., we cannot know that something is “our only hope”), but that the aspiration as such is a good one. (shrink)
At the end of her book, Pragmatism and Social Hope, Judith Green asks why one should want to spend time on expanding opportunities for participation in democratic governance (248). The reason, according to her, is a desire that a "deeper rationality of human spirit" would direct decision-making in the world. We are currently captives of economic/military/political rationality, according to her. Only through participatory democracy, or "second-strand democracy" can the spell be broken (195). Although this does not become apparent until (...) one has read a good deal of the book, the author is primarily interested in democratic participation as a way to "deepen" democracy. Yet the (perhaps rhetorically intended) question .. (shrink)
Michael Barilan’s article “From Hope in Palliative Care to Hope as a Virtue and a Life Skill” is an interesting and informative contribution to the debate on the nature of ‘a good death.’ Broadly speaking, the author seeks to explore “the roles and meanings of promotion focus goals in human life” and how hope can aid in alleviating suffering (Barilan 2012, 171). The subject is topical and courtesy of being clinically active, Barilan is able to add a (...) welcome perspective. Very briefly, the article sets out to develop a more inclusive idea of hope, involving ‘personal freedom’ and ‘valuation.’ for example, and then proceeds to explore the role of hope, in this version, for the patients in palliative care .. (shrink)
People may have open minds on whether a life-extending drug or technology is going to be developed before their sixties and may strongly desire that development. Do they therefore hope that it occurs? Do they hope for it in the substantive sense of “pinning their hopes” on the development? No, they do not. Hoping for a prospect in that sense certainly presupposes having an open mind on whether it will occur and having a desire for its occurrence. But, (...) more crucially, it means investing the prospect with a characteristic, galvanizing, and orientating role: it involves setting aside doubts about the possible nonoccurrence of the prospect and acting accordingly. This article offers a characterization of hope in that substantive sense and argues both that it can be rational and that it is ubiquitous. (shrink)
According to Kant, there are limits to possible hope. For example, hope for a contradiction is obviously not a logically possible hope. However, Kant goes much further and restricts possible hope to what can be possibly experienced. The line between what can and cannot be constructed as an image in space and time limits what can be thought rather than what can be merely mentioned. The apparently modern distinction between use and mention (generally attributed to Frege) (...) is used by Kant to distinguish phenomena and noumena as well as real and fictitious concepts. I propose a definition of hope that is consistent with Kant’s concept of reasonable and unreasonable hopes. I then consider some applications of this definition to Kant’s view of world peace, grace, and miracles. Despite notions of secondorder hope and transcendental hope, all possible hope lies within the limits of possible experience. (shrink)
In the first part of the paper I consider the relative neglect of hope in the tradition of critical theory. I attribute this neglect to a low estimation of the cognitive, aesthetic, and moral value of hope, and to the strong—but, I argue, contingent—association that holds between hope and religion. I then distinguish three strategies for thinking about the justification of social hope; one which appeals to a notion of unfulfilled or frustrated natural human capacities, another (...) which invokes a providential order, and a third which questions the very appropriateness of justification, turning instead to a notion of ungroundable hope. Different senses of ungroundable hope are distinguished and by way of conclusion I briefly consider their relevance for the project of critique today. (shrink)
The Concept “hope,” (Greek), appears in two of Heraclitus’s fragments. This essay offers an attentive reading of these fragments and examines the role of hope in Heraclitus’s thinking. The essay is divided into two parts. The first part examines the meaning of the Greek notion for hope, (Greek), by looking into archaic and classical sources, particularly the myth about the origin of hope in Hesiod’s Works and Days. Based upon the renewed understanding of the concept, the (...) second part of the essay examines Heraclitus’s use of the concept of hope and demonstrates the central role of hope in Heraclitus’s thinking. (shrink)
This essay follows Richard Schaeffler in identifying Kant’s moral philosophy as a possible framework for a Catholic theology of hope. Whereas Ernst Bloch criticized Kant for failing to sever his theory of hope from its religious ties, Jürgen Moltmann criticizes Kant for failing to appreciate the true meaning of Christian hope for the kingdom of God. The present essay argues that Moltmann neglects, as much as Bloch did, the significance of God to Kant’s account of the kingdom. (...) A Catholic theology of hope would have to lie somewhere in-between the atheist utopianism of Bloch and the evangelical certainty of Moltmann, and that is precisely what Kant’s concept of hope does. (shrink)