Over the past years, a number of probabilistic measures of coherence have been proposed. As shown in the paper, however, many of them do not conform to the intuitition that equivalent testimonies are highly coherent, regardless of their prior probability.
The fall of the Berlin Wall had enormous symbolic resonance, marking the collapse of Marxist politics and economics. Indeed, Marxist regimes have failed miserably, and with them, it seems, all reason to take the writings of Karl Marx seriously. Jonathan Wolff argues that if we detach Marx the critic of current society from Marx the prophet of some never-to-be-realized worker's paradise, he remains the most impressive critic we have of liberal, capitalist, bourgeois society. The author shows how Marx's main (...) ideas still shed light on wider concerns about culture and society and he guides the reader through Marx's notoriously difficult writings. Wolff also argues that the value of a great thinker does not depend on his or her views being true, but on other features such as originality, insight, and systematic vision. From this perspective, Marx still richly deserves to be read. Why Read Marx Today? reinstates Marx as an important critic of current society, and not just a figure of historical interest. (shrink)
The revised edition of this highly successful text provides a clear and accessible introduction to some of the most important questions of political philosophy. Organized around major issues, Wolff provides the structure that beginners need, while also introducing some distinctive ideas of his own.
In a paper published in this journal we proposed a method for resolving disputed land claims between two parties (Steiner and Wolff: 2003). In essence the proposal is to hold an auction between the disputants in which the land is given to the higher bidder, but the receipts of the auction to the under-bidder. We claimed that under such circumstances both parties can walk away happy: the higher bidder happy to pay the price bid for the land; the under-bidder (...) happier to have the receipts of the auction when the alternative is to pay for the land at a higher price. (shrink)
What does it mean to be disadvantaged? Is it possible to compare different disadvantages? What should governments do to move their societies in the direction of equality, where equality is to be understood both in distributional and social terms? Linking rigorous analytical philosophical theory with broad empirical studies, including interviews conducted for the purpose of this book, Wolff and de-Shalit show how taking theory and practice together is essential if the theory is to be rich enough to be applied (...) to the real world, and policy systematic enough to have purpose and justification. The book is in three parts. Part 1 presents a pluralist analysis of disadvantage, modifying the capability theory of Sen and Nussbaum to produce the 'genuine opportunity for secure functioning' view. This emphasises risk and insecurity as a central component of disadvantage. Part 2 shows how to identify the least advantaged in society even on a pluralist view. The authors suggest that disadvantage 'clusters' in the sense that some people are disadvantaged in several different respects. Thus identifying the least advantaged is not as problematic as it appears to be. Conversely, a society which has 'declustered disadvantaged' - in the sense that no group lacks secure functioning on a range of functionings - has made considerable progress in the direction of equality. Part 3 explores how to decluster disadvantage, by paying special attention to 'corrosive disadvantages' - those disadvantages which cause further disadvantages - and 'fertile functionings' - those which are likely to secure other functionings. In sum this books presents a refreshing new analysis of disadvantage, and puts forward proposals to help governments improve the lives of the least advantaged in their societies, thereby moving in the direction of equality. (shrink)
Plato's dialogues frequently criticize traditional Greek myth, yet Plato also integrates myth with his writing. Daniel S. Werner confronts this paradox through an in-depth analysis of the Phaedrus, Plato's most mythical dialogue. Werner argues that the myths of the Phaedrus serve several complex functions: they bring nonphilosophers into the philosophical life; they offer a starting point for philosophical inquiry; they unify the dialogue as a literary and dramatic whole; they draw attention to the limits of language and the (...) limits of knowledge; and they allow Plato to co-opt cultural authority as a way of defining and legitimating the practice of philosophy. Platonic myth, as a species of traditional tale, is thus both distinct from philosophical dialectic and similar to it. Ultimately, the most powerful effect of Platonic myth is the way in which it leads readers to participate in Plato's dialogues and to engage in a process of self-examination. (shrink)
The Simplicity and Power (SP) theory (Wolff 2003a) provides support for Pothos's proposals by illustrating how the effect of “rules” and “similarity” may be achieved within an integrated model that makes no explicit provision for either concept. The theory is described here in outline with simple examples to show how rules and similarity can emerge as properties of the system in learning, reasoning, categorization, and the parsing of language.
Over the last twenty-five years, Stephen Resnick and Richard Wolff have developed a groundbreaking interpretation of Marxian theory generally and of Marxian economics in particular. This book brings together their key contributions and underscores their different interpretations. In facing and trying to resolve contradictions and lapses within Marxism, the authors have confronted the basic incompatibilities among the dominant modern versions of Marxian theory, and the fact that Marxism seemed cut off from the criticisms of determinist modes of thought offered (...) by post-structuralism and post-modernism and even by some of Marxisms greatest theorists. (shrink)
Introduction: What is the critical spirit?--Utopianism, ancient and modern, by M.I. Finley.--Primitive society in its many dimensions, by S. Diamond.--Manicheanism in the Enlightenment, by R.H. Popkin.--Schopenhauer today, by M. Horkheimer.--Beginning in Hegel and today, by K.H. Wolff.--The social history of ideas: Ernst Cassirer and after, by P. Gay.--Policies of violence, from Montesquieu to the Terrorist, by E.V. Walter.--Thirty-nine articles: toward a theory of social theory, by J.R. Seeley.--History as private enterprise, by H. Zinn.--From Socrates to Plato, by H. Meyerhoff.--Rational (...) society and irrational art, by H. Read.--The quest for the Grail; Wagner and Morris, by C.E. Schorske.--Valéry; Monsieur Teste, by L. Goldmann.--History and existentialism in Sartre, by L. Krieger.--German popular biographies; culture's bargain counter, by L. Lowenthal.--The Rechtsstaat as magic wall, by O. Kirchheimer. (shrink)
The discussion of the adequacy of Karl Marx''s definition of exploitation has paid insufficient attention to a prior question: what is a definition? Once we understand Marx as offering a reference-fixing definition in a model we will realise that it is resistant to certain objections. A more general analysis of exploitation is offered here and it is suggested that Marx''s own definition is a particular instance of the general analysis which makes a number of controversial moral assumptions.
In this paper I want to do two things. One concerns Mill’s attitude to public indecency. In On Liberty Mill expresses the conventional view that certain actions, if conducted in public, are an affront to good manners, and can properly be prohibited. I want to come to an understanding of Mill’s position so that it allows him to defend this part of conventional morality, but does not disrupt certain of his liberal convictions: principally the conviction that what consenting adults do (...) in private is no-one ‘s concern but their own. The difficulty is to find an argument that Mill could have used to defend the position that some things which, though acceptable in private, can rightly be stopped if attempted in public. The other thing I want to do is consider the impact of Mill’s view of indecency on the interpretation of the Liberty Principle. There remain difficulties here which, to my knowledge, have not been adequately explored. So I want to look at a range of interpretative alternatives. In the first part of the paper I shall raise and explore the issue of the interpretative problems. In the second part I shall look at some ways of trying to justify Mill’s view of indecency on characteristically Millian grounds. And in the final part I shall explore the somewhat surprising consequences of the discussion of the second part for the interpretative questions raised in the first. (shrink)
Exchange is one thing, economic competition another. Exchange is possible without competition; and economic competition (of sorts) is possible without exchange. Put exchange and competition together and, roughly, you get the free market. There are many philosophical discussions of the free market; a sizeable number about free exchange; but - - aside from in the context of consequentialist defences of the market - - who this century has had much to say about economic competition?
Ontic structural realists hold that structure is all there is, or at least all there is fundamentally. This thesis has proved to be puzzling: What exactly does it say about the relationship between objects and structures? In this article, I look at different ways of articulating ontic structural realism in terms of the relation between structures and objects. I show that objects cannot be reduced to structure, and argue that ontological dependence cannot be used to establish strong forms of structural (...) realism. At the end, I show how a weaker, but controversial, form of structural realism can be articulated on the basis of ontological dependence. (shrink)
This paper reconsiders some themes and arguments from my earlier paper “Fairness, Respect and the Egalitarian Ethos.” That work is often considered to be part of a cluster of papers attacking “luck egalitarianism” on the grounds that insisting on luck egalitarianism's standards of fairness undermines relations of mutual respect among citizens. While this is an accurate reading, the earlier paper did not make its motivations clear, and the current paper attempts to explain the reasons that led me to write the (...) earlier paper, assesses the force of its arguments, and locates it in respect to work of Richard Arneson and Elizabeth Anderson. The paper concludes by bringing out what now appears to be the main message of the earlier paper: that the attempt to implement an “ideal” theory of equality can harm the very people that the theory is designed to help. (shrink)
In the first section the problem of political obligation is motivated, and in Section 2 the core structure of the problem is laid bare. A recognition ofthis structure prompts reflection that the problem will appear very different to different thinkers, depending on their moral theories. It also invites the speculation that the problem will be incapable of solution on some moral theories while trivial on others. This polarity does reflect the state of much of the literature until fairly recently. However (...) this picture is seen to be too crude, and in the third section it is shown how an interesting solution has been proposed by advocates of the ‘theory of fairness’. In Section 4 this theory is evaluated, concentrating particularly on George Klosko’s version, which is, in part, rejected. However it is argued that no version of the theory is able to guarantee universal political obligations. In Section 5 it is argued that this is an unnoticed advantage of the theory, for it may well be that, morally at least, we should allow those who do not benefit from the existence of the state to escape political obligations. The consequences of this view are examined and found not to be as threatening as they might first have appeared. (shrink)
There can be no doubt that Brian Barry has made an enormous contribution to the clarification of the ideas of justice current in contemporary political thought. In Barry’s Justice as Impartiality he explicitly distinguishes and sets in competition three models of justice: justice as mutual advantage; justice as reciprocity; and justice as impartiality (the ‘rational’, ‘fair’ and ‘reasonable’ of my title), and he argues that we should prefer the last of these. What I want to do here is to consider (...) four questions. First, what is this competition a competition about? Second, has Barry adequately characterised the contenders? Third, can the competition be won on the grounds Barry suggests? Fourth, is it a competition that we should want to be won by a single theory? By contrast I want to argue that there are advantages in retaining a pluralist perspective in which all three approaches remain in play. (shrink)
Philosophical disagreement about justice ranges over at least two questions. The most immediate is a substantial question, concerning the conditions under which particular distributive arrangements can be said to be just or unjust. The second, deeper, question concerns the nature of justice itself. What is justice? Here we can distinguish three views. First, justice as mutual advantage sees justice as essentially a matter of the outcome of a bargain. There are times when two parties can both be better off by (...) making some sort of agreement. Justice, on this view, concerns the distribution of the benefits and burdens of the agreement. Second, justice as reciprocity takes a different approach, looking not at bargaining but at the idea of a fair return or just price, attempting to capture the idea of justice as equal exchange. Finally justice as impartiality sees justice as ‘taking the other person’s point of view’ asking ‘how would you like it if it happened to you?’ Each model has significantly different consequences for the question of when issues of justice arise and how they should be settled. It is interesting to consider whether any of these models of justice could regulate behaviour between non-human animals. (shrink)
There is no doubt that Tim Scanlon has been an extremely influential figure in the recent development of egalitarian theory. His work has been cited in many of the leading contributions, and it is also clear that he has had an influence through discussions and communication with many of the most influential egalitarian theorists. Yet I think it is fair to say that when surveying the current debate, Scanlon’s position is not easy to identify. Whereas others have a view with (...) a distinctive descriptive name Scanlon’s contribution has not (yet) been of this type. This, I’m sure, reflects an admirable preference for truth over brand recognition, but it will be worthwhile to see what can be constructed from some of his writings. (shrink)
The regulation of drugs presents a challenge for liberalism: how can punishing a person for an action that harms only himself or herself be justified? For public policy a related difficulty is to justify the differential treatment of drugs and alcohol. Philosophical arguments suggest that current regulations are unjustified, and that some currently illegal drugs should be treated no more harshly than alcohol. However, such arguments make little or no impact in public policy discussions. This generates a further problem: to (...) understand the different perspectives of philosophical reasoning and public policy so that philosophical arguments can have a greater role in public policy debates. (shrink)
The article aims to advance our understanding of what the early Heidegger had in mind when he spoke about technics. Taking GA 18, Grundbegriffe der aristotelischen Philosophie, as a guiding text, Heidegger's “destructive” reading of the two notions most directly associated with Aristotle's presentation of technics—τεχνη and εξις—will be examined, especially with reference to the portrayal of technics in the Nicomachean Ethics. It will be argued that Aristotle already exaggerated the distinction between virtue and skill and that, instead of insisting (...) on their similarities (as will be argued to be desirable), Heidegger drove the two notions even further apart. This enabled him to form a warped picture of technical life, which he exploited as a counter image to develop an unrealistically non-technical notion of πρα;ξις, which Heidegger implicitly advocates. (shrink)
Utilitarianism has a curious history. Its most celebrated founders – Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill – were radical progressives, straddling the worlds of academic philosophy, political science, economic theory and practical affairs. They made innumerable recommendations for legal, social, political and economic reform, often (especially in Bentham’s case) described in fine detail. Some of these recommendations were followed, sooner or later, and many of their radical ideas have become close to articles of faith of western liberalism. Furthermore many of (...) these recommendations were made expressly to improve the condition of the deprived, or of oppressed groups. Yet the moral theory which inspired this reforming zeal is, at least officially, utilitarianism, and when we teach this theory to our students we feel it our duty to point out the horrors that could be justified by any theory which assesses the moral quality of actions in terms of the maximisation of good consequences over bad. No consequence is so bad that it cannot, in principle, be outweighed by a large aggregation of smaller goods. Hence there are circumstances in which utilitarianism can require slavery, the punishment of the innocent, and redistribution of resources from the poor to the rich, or from the disabled and the sick to the able bodied and healthy. Indeed, in the right circumstances, it can justify pretty much anything you think of. For all their intelligence and imagination neither Bentham nor Mill seemed to recognise or discuss these catastrophic possibilities. (shrink)
It often appears that the most appropriate form of addressing disadvantage related to disability is through policies that can be called “status enhancements”: changes to the social, cultural and material environment so that the difﬁculties experienced by those with impairments are reduced, even eradicated. However, status enhancements can also have their limitations. This paper compares the relative merits of policies of status enhancement and “personal enhancement”: changes to the disabled person. It then takes up the question of how to assess (...) the priority of the claims of disabled people in the face of scarcity of resources for which there can be many competing social claims, arguing for the theory of “declustering disadvantage”. (shrink)
Along with the exploding attention to globalization, issues of global justice have become central elements in political philosophy. After decades in which debates were dominated by a state-centric paradigm, current debates in political philosophy also address issues of global inequality, global poverty, and the moral foundations of international law. As recent events have demonstrated, these issues also play an important role in the practice of international law. In fields such as peace and security, economic integration, environmental law, and human rights, (...) international lawyers are constantly confronted with questions of global justice and international legitimacy. This special issue contains four papers which address an important element of this emerging debate on cosmopolitan global justice, with much relevance for international law: the principle of sovereign equality, global economic inequality, and environmental law. (shrink)
This paper surveys the current philosophical discussion of the ethics of risk imposition, placing it in the context of relevant work in psychology, economics and social theory. The central philosophical problem starts from the observation that it is not practically possible to assign people individual rights not to be exposed to risk, as virtually all activity imposes some risk on others. This is the ‘problem of paralysis’. However, the obvious alternative theory that exposure to risk is justified when its total (...) benefits exceed its total costs faces the standard distributional challenges of consequentialism. Forms of contractualism have been proposed as a solution, but how exactly such theories can be formulated remains problematic, especially when confronted with the difficult cases of mass, novel, risk such as climate change. (shrink)
Karl Marx (1818-1883) is best known not as a philosopher but as a revolutionary communist, whose works inspired the foundation of many communist regimes in the twentieth century. It is hard to think of many who have had as much influence in the creation of the modern world. Trained as a philosopher, Marx turned away from philosophy in his mid-twenties, towards economics and politics. However, in addition to his overtly philosophical early work, his later writings have many points of contact (...) with contemporary philosophical debates, especially in the philosophy of history and the social sciences, and in moral and political philosophy. Historical materialism — Marx's theory of history — is centered around the idea that forms of society rise and fall as they further and then impede the development of human productive power. Marx sees the historical process as proceeding through a necessary series of modes of production, culminating in communism. Marx's economic analysis of capitalism is based on his version of the labour theory of value, and includes the analysis of capitalist profit as the extraction of surplus value from the exploited proletariat. The analysis of history and economics come together in Marx's prediction of the inevitable economic breakdown of capitalism, to be replaced by communism. However Marx refused to speculate in detail about the nature of communism, arguing that it would arise through historical processes, and was not the realisation of a pre-determined moral ideal. (shrink)
This article investigates the importance of the evolution of Adornos interpretation of Husserl for the formation of his own philosophy. The weakness of Husserl notion of immediate data is revealed within the light of Hans Corneliuss Transcendentale Systematik . When Adorno discovers in his Habilitationsschrift the importance of the social setting and ideological function of theory, he departs from Cornelius transcendentalism as norm for his reflection - and this insight is deployed against Husserl. Henceforth, Husserls philosophy is interpreted as idealist, (...) as a prima philosophia , as a philosophy of identity and totality and ultimately in service of the totalitarian political tendencies Key Words: Theodor Adorno Hans Cornelius critical theory first philosophy Edmund Husserl phenomenology transcendental idealism. (shrink)
Theorists of global justice confront an apparent dilemma. If citizens in the developed world have duties of (socio-economic) justice to those elsewhere on the globe, then it is supposed that the duties must be very extensive indeed, requiring the same concern to be shown for everyone on earth. Those who deny that global obligations are as extensive as domestic obligations seem therefore to have to concede that any obligations beyond borders must be based on charity, rather than justice. The assumption (...) on which this dilemma is based is that 'justice is uniform'. In this paper I argue that such an assumption should be rejected in favour of the view that justice is relative to norms of cooperation. Consequently it is possible to develop a view of 'justice but not the same justice': the ‘layers of justice’ view. (shrink)
The question of when people may impose risks on each other is of fundamental moral importance. Forms of “quantified risk assessment,” especially risk cost-benefit analysis, provide one powerful approach to providing a systematic answer. It is also well known that such techniques can show that existing resources could be used more effectively to reduce risk overall. Thus it is often argued that some current practices are irrational. On the other hand critics of quantified risk assessment argue that it cannot adequately (...) capture all relevant features, such as “societal concern” and so should be abandoned. In this paper I argue that current forms of quantified risk assessment are inadequate, and in themselves, therefore, insufficient to demonstrate that current practices are irrational. In particular, I will argue that insufficient attention has been given to the cause of a hazard, which needs to be treated as a primary variable in its own right. However rather than reject quantified risk assessment I wish to supplement it by proposing a framework to make explicit the role causation plays in the understanding of risk, and how it interacts with factors which influence perception of risks and other attitudes to risk control. Once an improved description of risk perception is available it will become possible to have a more informed debate about the normative question: how safety should be regulated. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to contribute to a philosophy of technics by proposing an answer to the following question: what is the nature of the human body as an element of technical systems? The argument focuses on an examination of the phenomenon of bodily technics. This examination is guided by the conviction that Pierre Bourdieu's social theory can be read as contributing significantly to an answer to the above question. However, since Bourdieu's project is not directly aimed at (...) enhancing our understanding of the technicity of the human body, a reading of Marcel Mauss's seminal essay on bodily technics is also discussed to set the stage for an examination of the technicity of the body and to justify the manner in which Bourdieu's theory is read here. Through a careful study of the key notions of habitus, field, practice, time and rule, Bourdieu's social theory is systematically presented and explored for its contribution to an understanding of the question raised in this article. In conclusion, a number of remarks are made on how the relation between Mauss and Bourdieu is to be understood and on the argumentative strength of Bourdieu's work. (shrink)
Abstract If one values freedom, what sort of regime of property should one favor: libertarianism, socialism, or something else again? Debate on this topic has been hampered by a failure to distinguish freedom and liberty, which are both of great value, but can come into conflict. Furthermore there are many similar concepts?distinct from both liberty and freedom, yet each representing something we rightly value?which may also come into conflict with each other and with freedom and liberty. Consequently (...) the question posed above has no easy answer. (shrink)
The human right to health has been established in international law since 1976. However, philosophers have often regarded human rights doctrine as a marginal contribution to political philosophy, or have attempted to distinguish ‘human rights proper’ from ‘aspirations’, with the human right to health often considered as falling into the latter category. Here the human right to health is defended as an attractive approach to global health, and responses are offered to a series of criticisms concerning its demandingness.
While most large companies around the world now have a code of ethics, reported ethical malpractice among some of these does not appear to be abating. The reasons for this are explored, using academic studies, survey reports as well as insights gained from the Institute of Business Ethics' work with large corporations. These indicate that there is a gap between the existence of explicit ethical values and principles, often expressed in the form of a code, and the attitudes and behaviour (...) of the organisation. The paper suggests that two basic reasons appear to be at the heart of the problem: ineffective ethics programmes and deficiencies in corporate culture. The paper concludes that successfully embedded corporate ethical values requires well-designed ethics policies, sustained ethical leadership and incorporation of ethics in organisational processes and strategy as part of an ethical culture at all levels of the organisation. It makes some practical suggestions on how this can be achieved. (shrink)
Health-related Quality of Life measures have recently been attacked from two directions, both of which criticize the preference-based method of evaluating health states they typically incorporate. One attack, based on work by Daniel Kahneman and others, argues that ‘experience’ is a better basis for evaluation. The other, inspired by Amartya Sen, argues that ‘capability’ should be the guiding concept. In addition, opinion differs as to whether health evaluation measures are best derived from consultations with the general public, with patients, or (...) with health professionals. And there is disagreement about whether these opinions should be solicited individually and aggregated, or derived instead from a process of collective deliberation. These distinctions yield a wide variety of possible approaches, with potentially differing policy implications. We consider some areas of disagreement between some of these approaches. We show that many of the perspectives seem to capture something important, such that it may be a mistake to reject any of them. Instead we suggest that some of the existing ‘instruments’ designed to measure HR QoLs may in fact successfully already combine these attributes, and with further refinement such instruments may be able to provide a reasonable reconciliation between the perspectives. (shrink)
Is it possible and desirable to translate the basic principles underlying cosmopolitanism as a moral standard into eff ective global institutions? Will the ideals of inclusiveness and equal moral concern for all survive the marriage between cosmopolitanism and institutional power? What are the eff ects of such bureaucratization of cosmopolitan ideals? Th is book examines the strained relationship between cosmopolitanism as a moral standard and the legal institutions in which cosmopolitan norms and principles are to be implemented. Five areas of (...) global concern are analyzed: environmental protection; economic regulation; peace and security; the fight against international crimes; and migration. -/- . (shrink)
Abstract Western philosophical and psychological thinking lacks an accepted theory of human personality; it has produced conflicting and inadequate notions, such as the religious one of a soul, the vague concept of the ?mind? and biological theories basing their understanding of man on the functions of the nervous system, particularly the brain, or dealing with his mental dimension only in terms of behavioural patterns. This paper explores the notions of personality in Indian systems and finds that virtually all of them (...) understand it, despite differing terminology, as a fluid complex of functions or living forces characterised by intrinsic intelligence and coordinated by a dynamic structural principle, operating on three levels of reality: phenomenal material, phenomenal immaterial and noumenal or absolute. One can say that the Indian tradition fully appreciated the complexity of the problem and produced theories of personality which are more comprehensive than western ones and merit study as well as attention from the point of view of contemporary creative philosophical thinking. . (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to compare the contents of the Lotus Stra and the style of presentation of its message with the thrust of the Buddha's teachings as they are preserved in the early Buddhist sources, particularly the Sutta Piaka of the Pāli Canon, and also in the Pāli commentarial literature. In the process it attempts to identify in the early sources the precedents of some of the bold statements in the Lotus Stra which appear as complete innovations, (...) but may be elaborations of elements contained in Pāli sources in germinal form. Despite the difference in style, language and mythological imagery, the conclusion is that both the Sutta Piaka and the Lotus Stra express in their respective manners the true spirit of the Buddhist message. Attention is drawn also to the striking parallels between the Buddhist picture of the multiple universe and modern cosmological theories. (shrink)
This paper sets out a framework in which we can distinguish between four types of redistributive attention to the disadvantaged: compensation; personal enhancement; targeted resource enhancement; and status enhancement. It is argued that in certain cases many of us will have strong intuitions in favour or against one or more strategies for addressing disadvantage, and it is further argued that in such cases it is likely that our reactions are based on assumptions about the human good. Hence the two issues (...) — addressing disadvantage and the human good — shed light on one another . (shrink)
Institutional theory of law (ITL) reflects both continuity and change of Kelsen's legal positivism. The main alteration results from the way ITL extends Hart's linguistic turn towards ordinary language philosophy (OLP). Hart holds – like Kelsen – that law cannot be reduced to brute fact nor morality, but because of its attempt to reconstruct social practices his theory is more inclusive. By introducing the notion of law as an extra-linguistic institution ITL takes a next step in legal positivism and accounts (...) for the relationship between action and validity within the legal system. There are, however, some problems yet unresolved by ITL. One of them is its theory of meaning. An other is the way it accounts for change and development. Answers may be based on the pragmatic philosophy of Charles Sanders Peirce, who emphasises the intrinsic relation between the meaning of speech acts and the process of habit formation. (shrink)
In an earlier article (s. J Gen Philos Sci 40:341–355, 2009), I have rejected an interpretation of Aristotle’s syllogistic which (since Patzig) is predominant in the literature on Aristotle, but wrong in my view. According to this interpretation, the distinguishing feature of perfect syllogisms is their being evident. Theodor Ebert has attempted to defend this interpretation by means of objections (s. J Gen Philos Sci 40:357–365, 2009) which I will try to refute in part  of the following article. I (...) want to show that (1) according to Aristotle’s Prior Analytics perfect and imperfect syllogisms do not differ by their being evident, but by the reason for their being evident, (2) Aristotle uses the same words to denote proofs of the validity of perfect and imperfect syllogisms („ apodeixis “, “ deiknusthai ” etc.), (3) accordingly, Aristotle defines perfect syllogisms not as being evident, but as “requiring nothing beyond the things taken in order to make the necessity evident“, i.e. as not “requiring one or more things that are necessary because of the terms assumed, but that have not been taken among the propositions” ( APr. I. 1), (4) the proofs by which the validity of perfect assertoric syllogisms can be shown according to APr. I. 4 are based on the Dictum de omni et nullo , (5) the fact that Aristotle describes these proofs only in rough outlines corresponds to the fact that his proofs of the validity of other fundamental rules are likewise produced in rough outlines, e.g . his proof of the validity of conversio simplex in APr. I. 2, which usually has been misunderstood (also by Ebert): (6) Aristotle does not prove the convertibility of E -sentences by presupposing the convertibility of I -sentences; only the reverse is true. (shrink)
This paper considers the range of possible policy options that are available if we wish to attempt to treat people with cognitive disabilities as equal members of society. It is suggested that the goal of policy should be allow each disabled person to establish a worthwhile place in the world and sets out four policy options: cash compensation, personal enhancement, status enhancement and targeted resource enhancement. The paper argues for the social policy of targeted resource enhancement for individuals with cognitive (...) disabilities, in the form of providing cash with some limits on its use. Taking the example from the UK of ‘self-directed support’ it is argued that such policies can be cost-effective and advance the autonomy of people with cognitive disabilities, especially when compared with current policies of centrally provided services. (shrink)
The paper describes a project in which the thesis of the social determinants of health is used in order to help identify groups that will be among the least advantaged members of society, when disadvantage is understood in terms of lack of genuine opportunity for secure functioning. The analysis is derived from the author's work with Avner de-Shalit in Disadvantage (Oxford University Press, 2007).
Here I attempt to clarify the general sense of the question that forms the background of Hegel's section on contradiction: What is the essence of contradiction? To what extent does this question pose a philosophical problem for Hegel? By considering this problem can we come to understand contradiction as a relation pertaining to "objective logic"? Translated by Erin Flynn & Kenneth R. Westphal. Originally published as "Über Hegels Lehre vom Widerspruch," in: Dieter Henrich, ed., Probleme der Hegelschen Logik (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, (...) 1986), 107-28. (shrink)
Metaphor has a double life. It can be described as a directional process in which a stable, familiar base domain provides inferential structure to a less clearly specified target. But metaphor is also described as a process of finding commonalities, an inherently symmetric process. In this second view, both concepts may be altered by the metaphorical comparison. Whereas most theories of metaphor capture one of these aspects, we offer a model based on structure-mapping that captures both sides of metaphor processing. (...) This predicts (a) an initial processing stage of symmetric alignment; and (b) a later directional phase in which inferences are projected to the target. To test these claims, we collected comprehensibility judgments for forward (e.g., “A rumor is a virus”) and reversed (“A virus is a rumor”) metaphors at early and late stages of processing, using a deadline procedure. We found an advantage for the forward direction late in processing, but no directional preference early in processing. Implications for metaphor theory are discussed. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to compare the contents of the Lotus S?tra and the style of presentation of its message with the thrust of the Buddha's teachings as they are preserved in the early Buddhist sources, particularly the Sutta Pi aka of the P?li Canon, and also in the P?li commentarial literature. In the process it attempts to identify in the early sources the precedents of some of the bold statements in the Lotus S?tra which appear as complete (...) innovations, but may be elaborations of elements contained in P?li sources in germinal form. Despite the difference in style, language and mythological imagery, the conclusion is that both the Sutta Pi aka and the Lotus S?tra express in their respective manners the true spirit of the Buddhist message. Attention is drawn also to the striking parallels between the Buddhist picture of the multiple universe and modern cosmological theories. (shrink)
Social inequalities in health in the UK persist despite attempts to reduce them. We argue that work and pensions constitutes an area of intervention where there is potential to make change happen. We propose that workers who are exposed to significant health risks through their occupation should be allowed to draw their state pension earlier, based on a minimum number of years in the workforce. We model this proposal on similar policies in other European countries. In our modification, the pension (...) age and the retirement age would be separated, such that workers can receive a state pension whether or not they choose to continue working. This arrangement may encourage workers either to reduce their working hours or to change to less demanding or harmful work. The health of these workers would thereby benefit from reduced exposure to a harmful work environment, reduced stress and more opportunities for rest and relaxation. However, it has also been suggested that retirement is bad for mental health. In response, our proposal enables workers to phase in full retirement over a period of part-time work, and we believe that this would counter any potential negative effects on health caused by retirement. (shrink)
One can no longer truly say that virtue theory is the neglected tradition in moral philosophy. I won’t say much about the reasons for its revival, although the reasons for its temporary , though long, decline interest me. Now there are very many things that could be said here. For example, it is often thought that virtue theory requires some sort of teleology, but with the decline of Aristotelian physics and its replacement with the mechanical philosophy of the seventeenth century, (...) notions of function and purpose were given an ever-diminishing role throughout intellectual life. (MacIntyre 1982) Alternatively, or in addition, one might see virtue theory condemned through guilt by association with Aristotle. Pursuing this line it might be predicted that a developing discontent with forms of reductionist naturalism in metaphysics might also give weight to a new respect for Aristotelian themes in ethics. But while I want to paint here with a reasonably broad brush, I want to draw the focus in a little. Thinking specifically now about the relation between virtue theory and the twentieth century, one can see various ways in which virtue theory was out of keeping with the spirit of the age. As we shall see, however, some of the criticisms seem to be somewhat at odds with each other. One general line of criticism, which has several parts to it, starts from a philosophical view about the nature of morality. The second general 2 line is harder to characterise but might be thought to derive from reflection about the model of moral agent that virtue theory offers. There are several related but distinct ways in which virtue ethics has been out of step with modern moral theory. First, a developing consensus - - though one now strongly challenged - - supposes that there are certain constraints on what is to count as moral behaviour. It presupposes that the central problem of morality is that there is a conflict, to put it crudely, between morality and self-interest.. (shrink)
This paper presents a succinct review of the movement for moral genesis in business that arose in the 1970s. The moral genesis movement is characterized by: (a) the rejection of the premise that business and ethics are antagonistic; (b) the rise of the Issues Management approach, which stresses the social responsibility of the corporation: (c) disdain of government regulation as a means of business moralization, and (d) a (...) search for control measures aimed at improving organization moral behavior. This movement now begins to give rise to a new organizational model, the Self-Moralizing Corporation, which transcends existing paradigms of corporate rectitude. The tenets of the Self-Moralizing Corporation are that: (a) the moral behavior of members is a requisite to the attainment of organization goals; (b) individual moral behavior is an asset which must be managed and developed by the corporation; (c) individual moral development is a collectively and individually shared responsibility; and, (d) the maintenance of moral values is more important than the preservation of organization structure. (shrink)