Whereas previous studies have criticized low-quality products for inadequate safety, this paper considers only safe products, and it examines the ethics of designing and selling low-quality products. Product quality is defined as suitability to a general purpose. The duty that companies owe to consumers is summarized in the Consumer-Oriented Process principle: “to place an increase in the consumer’s quality of life as the primary goal for producing products.” This principle is applied in analyzing the primary ethical justifications for low-quality products: (...) availability and applicability. Finally, a low-quality product should be designed afresh, not by altering an existing high-quality product. (shrink)
This is an examination of the significance of Gandhi's social philosophy for development. It is argued that, when seen in light of Gandhi's social philosophy, the concepts of appropriate technology (A.T.) and basic needs take on new meaning. The Gandhian approach can be identified with theoriginal "basic needs" strategy for international development (Emmerij, 1981). Gandhi's approach helps to provide greater equity, or "distributive justice," by promoting technology that is appropriate to "basic needs" (food, clothing, shelter, health and basic education). (...) Gandhi's social philosophy (Erikson, 1968; Roy, 1985) has been neglected by most development specialists, with only a few exceptions (e.g., Chambers, 1983; Charles, 1983). This analysis attempts to draw out some aspects of M.K. Gandhi's background and his thinking aboutswadeshi (i.e. local self-reliance and use of local knowledge and abilities) andswaraj (i.e. independent development that leads to equity and justice). Gandhi's ideas, which emerged out of an "Indic" meta-cultural background, are based on an emphasis on equity. Gandhi's syncretic Indic background includes a belief in what Bateson (1972), writing about Bali, Indonesia, has called the "steady state." Development activities should be carried out in a phased manner that does not disturb the beneficial aspects of dynamic equilibrium, but that does promote "positive development." A.T. is particularly useful within the context of a basic needs approach to international development because use of A.T. is probably more likely to lead to equitable growth. The "economic growth" strategy, utilizing "advanced technology" (or even "high tech") exclusively, has caused unemployment and has not led to effective "trickle down," much less "high mass consumption." In many developing countries the poorest 20% of the population are worse off in 1990 than they were in 1980. By making use of the "advantage of backwardness" (Veblen, 1966) and viewing development in terms of long-term impacts, a basic needs approach using A.T. is more likely to lead to a positive impact on third world food systems than a pure "economic growth" strategy. (shrink)
This essay analyzes neo-liberal economic agreements and legal and political frameworks or what has been called the “new constitutionalism,” a governance framework that empowers market forces to reshape economic and social development worldwide. The article highlights some consequences of new constitutionalism for caring institutions specifically, and for what feminists call social reproduction more generally: the biological reproduction of the species; the reproduction of labor power; and the reproduction of social institutions and processes associated with the creation and maintenance of communities. (...) New constitutional governance frameworks fundamentally reshape conditions under which the care of human beings takes place. Caring institutions once governed by enabling professions geared to universal care are now determined increasingly by market values and private forces, and driven directly by the profit motive. This is one of the reasons why neo-liberalism is increasingly contested in both the North and the global South. (shrink)
This commentary argues that one specific but central concept in Lewis's theory, circular causality, is fundamentally flawed and should be discarded – first, because it does not make theoretical sense, and, second, because it leads to problems in practice, such as confounding the interaction between different systems with the relationship between different levels of analysis of a single system.
IRBs and REBs use specialized language. A process of definition and re-definition of the situation occurs. That process of interpretation can usefully be considered from the perspective of interpretive social science models involving Symbolic Interaction, Semiotics and Hermeneutics. Seven examples are provided to flesh out the nuances of contextual decision making and the “casuistic” aspects of a balanced approach to complex problems. While many decisions are relatively unproblematic and can follow a template, it is not possible simply to apply a (...) fixed and mechanical approach. Hence, a socialization process occurs in which committee members must learn the actual application of the rules as opposed to the formal requirements. A “tightrope” between overly rigid and overly lax interpretations must be crossed and the more we understand the process of semiosis and the semiotic context the more likely it will be that truly ethical decisions will be “accomplished.” The lack of adequate survey data makes it all the more important to have good theoretical understanding of process. (shrink)
Though E. W. Beth is famous for his contributions to logic aspects of his philosophical reflections and details of its development are almost unknown. In his work four periods can be distinguished: the neo-kantian, the anti-kantian, the anti-irrationalist and the logical one. Within this framework it is possible to individuate a core around which Beth developed his reflections: it is the interplay between philosophy and the sciences. His philosophy was always linked to the sciences in two ways: He steadily checked (...) his philosophical ideas against the current situation in foundational research and he occupied himself with the general question of the relationship between philosophy and the sciences. (shrink)
Abstract Our growing demand for meat and dairy food products is unsustainable. It is hard to imagine that this global issue can be solved solely by more efficient technologies. Lowering our meat consumption seems inescapable. Yet, the question is whether modern consumers can be considered as reliable allies to achieve this shift in meat consumption pattern. Is there not a yawning gap between our responsible intentions as citizens and our hedonic desires as consumers? We will argue that consumers can and (...) should be considered as partners that must be involved in realizing new ways of protein consumption that contribute to a more sustainable world. In particular the large food consumer group of flexitarians offer promising opportunities for transforming our meat consumption patterns. We propose a pragmatic approach that explicitly goes beyond the standard suggestion of persuasion strategies and suggests different routes of change, coined sustainability by stealth, moderate involvement, and cultural change respectively. The recognition of more routes of change to a more plant-based diet implies that the ethical debate on meat should not only associate consumer change with rational persuasion strategies and food citizens that instantiate “strong” sustainable consumption. Such a focus narrows the debate on sustainable protein consumption and easily results in disappointment about consumers’ participation. A more wide-ranging concept of ethical consumption can leave the negative verdict behind that consumers are mainly an obstacle for sustainability and lead to a more optimistic view on modern consumers as allies and agents of change. Content Type Journal Article Category Articles Pages 1-18 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9345-z Authors Erik de Bakker, LEI Wageningen UR (Agricultural Economics Research Institute), P.O. Box 29703, 2505 LS The Hague, The Netherlands Hans Dagevos, LEI Wageningen UR (Agricultural Economics Research Institute), P.O. Box 29703, 2505 LS The Hague, The Netherlands Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863. (shrink)
This paper concentrates on some aspects of the history of the analytic-synthetic distinction from Kant to Bolzano and Frege. This history evinces considerable continuity but also some important discontinuities. The analytic-synthetic distinction has to be seen in the first place in relation to a science, i.e. an ordered system of cognition. Looking especially to the place and role of logic it will be argued that Kant, Bolzano and Frege each developed the analytic-synthetic distinction within the same conception of scientific rationality, (...) that is, within the Classical Model of Science: scientific knowledge as cognitio ex principiis . But as we will see, the way the distinction between analytic and synthetic judgments or propositions functions within this model turns out to differ considerably between them. (shrink)
Nelson Goodman defends the seemingly radical view that, in a certain sense, all facts depend on our perspective on the matter. We make the world, rather than merely find it. The aim of this contribution is three-fold: to make sense of Goodman's metaphysical perspectivalism, clearly explain how it differs from other branches of perspectivalism (epistemic and semantic), and put two issues on the agenda that deserve renewed attention.
The general view is that metaphysical explanation is asymmetric. For instance, if resemblance facts can be explained by facts about their relata, then, by the asymmetry of explanation, these latter facts cannot in turn be explained by the former. The question however is: is there any reason to hold on to the asymmetry? If so, what does it consist in? In the paper we approach these questions by comparing them to analogous questions that have been investigated for scientific explanations. Three (...) main asymmetry criteria have been proposed for the latter: (i) causation, (ii) unification, and (iii) explanatory dependence. We argue that the last criterion, but not the former two, can be of help to metaphysical explanation: metaphysical explanations are asymmetric if the explanatory dependence criterion (in modified format) holds of them. (shrink)
What is the Problem of Universals? In this paper we take up the classic question and proceed as follows. In Sect. 1 we consider three problem solving settings and define the notion of problem solving accordingly. Basically I say that to solve problems is to eliminate undesirable, unspecified, or apparently incoherent scenarios. In Sect. 2 we apply the general observations from Sect. 1 to the Problem of Universals. More specifically, we single out two accounts of the problem which are based (...) on the idea of eliminating apparently incoherent scenarios, and then propose modifications of those two accounts which, by contrast, are based on the idea of eliminating unspecified scenarios. In Sect. 3 we spell out two interesting ramifications. (shrink)
Important sceptical arguments by Sextus Empiricus, Hume and Boghossian (concerning disputes, induction, and relativism respectively) are based on circularities and infinite regresses. Yet, philosophers' practice does not keep circularities and infinite regresses clearly apart. In this metaphilosophical paper I show how circularity and infinite regress arguments can be made explicit, and shed light on two powerful tools of the sceptic.
Evolutionary psychologists tend to view the mind as a large collection of evolved, functionally specialized mechanisms, or modules. Cosmides and Tooby (1994) have presented four arguments in favor of this model of the mind: the engineering argument, the error argument, the poverty of the stimulus argument, and combinatorial explosion. Fodor (2000) has discussed each of these four arguments and rejected them all. In the present paper, we present and discuss the arguments for and against the massive modularity hypothesis. We conclude (...) that Cosmides and Tooby's arguments have considerable force and are too easily dismissed by Fodor. (shrink)
Infinite regress arguments play an important role in many distinct philosophical debates. Yet, exactly how they are to be used to demonstrate anything is a matter of serious controversy. In this paper I take up this metaphilosophical debate, and demonstrate how infinite regress arguments can be used for two different purposes: either they can refute a universally quantified proposition (as the Paradox Theory says), or they can demonstrate that a solution never solves a given problem (as the Failure Theory says). (...) In the meantime, I show that Black’s view on infinite regress arguments (1996, this journal) is incomplete, and how his criticism of Passmore can be countered. (shrink)
I argue that John McDowell’s attempt to refute Wilfrid Sellars’s two-component analysis of perceptual experience and substitute for it a conception according to which perceptual experience is the “conceptual shaping of sensory consciousness” fails. McDowell does not recognize the subtle dialectic in Sellars’s thought between transcendental and empirical considerations in favor of a substantive conception of sense impressions, and McDowell’s own proposal seems to empty the notion of sensory consciousness of any real significance.
This paper is about the Problem of Order, which is basically the problem how to account for both the distinctness of facts like a’s preceding b and b’s preceding a, and the identity of facts like a’s preceding b and b’s succeeding a. It has been shown that the Standard View fails to account for the second part and is therefore to be replaced. One of the contenders is Anti-Positionalism. As has recently been pointed out, however, Anti-Positionalism falls prey to (...) a regress argument which is to prove its failure. In the paper we spell out this worry, show that the worry is a serious one, and distinguish four possible strategies for Anti-Positionalism to deal with it. (shrink)
Throughout more than two millennia philosophers adhered massively to ideal standards of scientific rationality going back ultimately to Aristotle’s Analytica posteriora . These standards got progressively shaped by and adapted to new scientific needs and tendencies. Nevertheless, a core of conditions capturing the fundamentals of what a proper science should look like remained remarkably constant all along. Call this cluster of conditions the Classical Model of Science . In this paper we will do two things. First of all, we will (...) propose a general and systematized account of the Classical Model of Science. Secondly, we will offer an analysis of the philosophical significance of this model at different historical junctures by giving an overview of the connections it has had with a number of important topics. The latter include the analytic-synthetic distinction, the axiomatic method, the hierarchical order of sciences and the status of logic as a science. Our claim is that particularly fruitful insights are gained by seeing themes such as these against the background of the Classical Model of Science. In an appendix we deal with the historiographical background of this model by considering the systematizations of Aristotle’s theory of science offered by Heinrich Scholz, and in his footsteps by Evert W. Beth. (shrink)
This dissertation is on infinite regress arguments in philosophy. Its main goals are to explain what such arguments from many distinct philosophical debates have in common, and to provide guidelines for using and evaluating them. Two theories are reviewed: the Paradox Theory and the Failure Theory. According to the Paradox Theory, infinite regress arguments can be used to refute an existentially or universally quantified statement (e.g. to refute the statement that at least one discussion is settled, or the statement that (...) discussions are settled only if there is an agreed-upon criterion to settle them). According to the Failure Theory, infinite regress arguments can be used to demonstrate that a certain solution fails to solve an existentially or universally quantified problem (e.g. to demonstrate that a certain solution fails to settle all discussions, or that it fails to settle even one discussion). In the literature, the Paradox Theory is fairly well-developed, and this dissertation provides the Failure Theory with the same tools. (shrink)
Quine's well-known ‘Two Dogmas of Empiricism’ (1951) plays a key role in the debate about the analytic-synthetic distinction. Taking to task the ideas of Carnap in particular, Quine shows that logical positivism works with a concept of scientific rationality that is based dogmatically on, among other things, the opposition analytic-synthetic.
If an argument can be reconstructed in at least two different ways, then which reconstruction is to be preferred? In this paper I address this problem of argument reconstruction in terms of Ryle’s infinite regress argument against the view that knowledge-how requires knowledge-that. First, I demonstrate that Ryle’s initial statement of the argument does not fix its reconstruction as it admits two, structurally different reconstructions. On the basis of this case and infinite regress arguments generally, I defend a revisionary take (...) on argument reconstruction: argument reconstruction is mainly to be ruled by charity (viz. by general criteria which arguments have to fulfil in order to be good arguments) rather than interpretation. (shrink)
Until now, antirealists have offered sketches of a theory of truth, at best. In this paper, we present a probabilist account of antirealist truth in some formal detail, and we assess its ability to deal with the problems that are standardly taken to beset antirealism.
This essay is a response to Patrick Reider’s essay “Sellars on Perception, Science and Realism: A Critical Response.” Reider is correct that Sellars’s realism is in tension with his generally Kantian approach to issues of knowledge and mind, but I do not think Reider’s analysis correctly locates the sources of that tension or how Sellars himself hoped to be able to resolve it. Reider’s own account of idealism and the reasons supporting it are rooted in the epistemological tradition that informed (...) the British empiricists, rather than in the metaphysical reasons that ruled within the German tradition from Leibniz through Hegel that has much more in common with Sellars’s position. Thus, Reider takes Sellars’s notion of picturing to be just another version of the representationalism that has dominated the Anglo-American tradition since Locke, whereas, in my view, because picturing is a non-semantical relation, it is an important ingredient in naturalizing the coherentist theories of the idealists. (shrink)
After explaining the well-known two-envelope paradox by indicating the fallacy involved, we consider the two-envelope problem of evaluating the factual information provided to us in the form of the value contained by the envelope chosen first. We try to provide a synthesis of contributions from economy, psychology, logic, probability theory (in the form of Bayesian statistics), mathematical statistics (in the form of a decision-theoretic approach) and game theory. We conclude that the two-envelope problem does not allow a satisfactory solution. An (...) interpretation is made for statistical science at large. (shrink)
Much of present-day epistemology is divided between internalists and externalists. Different as these views are, they have in common that they strip justification from its dialectical component in order to block the skeptic’s argument from disagreement. That is, they allow that one may have justified beliefs even if one is not able to defend it against challenges and resolve the disagreements about them. Lammenranta (2008, 2011a) recently argued that neither internalism nor externalism convinces if we consider the argument in its (...) most interesting format. In this paper I zoom in on this debate, and fix further details of Lammenranta’s lead. Specifically, I will side with skepticism that justification is dialectical, yet only if certain conditions are in place. (shrink)
This paper investigates the viability of the Bayesian model of belief change. Van Benthem (2003) has shown that a particular kind of information change typical for dynamic epistemic logic cannot be modelled by Bayesian conditioning. I argue that the problems described by van Benthem come about because the information change alters the semantics in which the change is supposed to be modelled by conditioning: it induces a shift in meanings. I then show that meaning shifts can be modelled in terms (...) of conditioning by employing a semantics that makes these changes in meaning explicit, and that the appropriate probability kinematics can be described by Dempster’s rule. The new model thereby facilitates a better understanding between probabilistic epistemology and dynamic epistemic logic. (shrink)
Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of prescription drugs has been a heavily contested issue over the past decade, touching on several issues of responsibility facing the pharmaceutical industry. Much research has been conducted on DTCA, but hardly any studies have discussed this topic from a corporate social responsibility (CSR) perspective. In this article, we use several elements of CSR, emphasising consumer autonomy and safety, to analyse differences in DTCA practices within two different policy contexts, the United States of America and the European (...) Union (EU). Doing so results in an alternative analysis of the struggle between proponents and opponents of DTCA from a CSR perspective, adding an alternative view on this debate. (shrink)
According to Vallicella's 'Relations, Monism, and the Vindication of Bradley's Regress' (2002), if relations are to relate their relata, some special operator must do the relating. No other options will do. In this paper we reject Vallicella's conclusion by considering an important option that becomes visible only if we hold onto a precise distinction between the following three feature-pairs of relations: internality/externality, universality/particularity, relata-specificity/relata-unspecificity. The conclusion we reach is that if external relations are to relate their relata, they must be (...) relata-specific (and no special operator is needed). As it eschews unmereological complexes, this outcome is of relevance to defenders of the extensionality of composition. (shrink)
Sellars was committed to the irreducibility of the semantic, the intentional, and the normative. Nevertheless, he was also committed to naturalism, which is prima facie at odds with his other theses. This paper argues that Sellars maintained his naturalism by being linguistically pluralistic but ontologically monistic . There are irreducibly distinct forms of discourse, because there is an array of distinguishable functions that language and thought perform, but we are not ontologically committed to the array of apparently non-natural entities or (...) relations mentioned in the metalanguage. However, there is an underlying relation between language and world presupposed by all empirically meaningful language. In his early work Sellars sought to describe this relation in linguistic terms as a form of 'pure description', but inadequacies in that notion drove him towards the naturalistic relation between language and world that he came to call 'picturing'. (shrink)
In the following dialogue between TT - a foundationalist - and WdeV - a Sellarsian, we offer our differing assessments of the principle for observational knowledge proposed in Wilfrid Sellars's 'Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind'. Sellars writes: 'For a Konstatierung "This is green" to "express observational knowledge", not only must it be a symptom or sign of the presence of a green object in standard conditions, but the perceiver must know that tokens of "This is green" are symptoms of (...) the presence of green objects in conditions which are standard for visual perception.' In the ensuing dialogue, TT argues that it sets the bar too high when knowledge about perceptual conditions is required for ordinary observational knowledge - that young children, for example, are implausibly excluded as knowers given Sellars's principle. WdeV defends Sellars's metaknowledge requirement against these charges. Results from developmental psychology are surveyed for what they show about the actual capabilities of young children. The implications of these results for the success of Sellars's principle are debated. (shrink)
Rationality requires us to have certain propositional attitudes (beliefs, intentions, etc.) given certain other attitudes that we have. Carroll's Tortoise repeatedly shows up in this discussion. Following up on Brunero (2005, this journal), I ask what Carroll-style considerations actually prove. This paper rejects two existing suggestions, and defends a third.
This paper analyses the relationship between Hobbes's theory of language and his theory of science and method. It is shown that Hobbes, at least in his Computatio sive Logica (1655), deviates in some measure from the traditional (Aristotelian) model of language. In this model speech is considered to be a fairly unproblematic expression of thought, which itself is independent of language. Basing himself on a nominalist account of universals, Hobbes states that the demonstration or assertion of universal propositions presupposes speech (...) (more especially, the use of names as marks). This insight turns out to be essential for Hobbes's (rationalist) view of scientific method. (shrink)
Van Fraassen's Judy Benjamin problem has generally been taken to show that not all rational changes of belief can be modelled in a probabilistic framework if the available update rules are restricted to Bayes's rule and Jeffrey's generalization thereof. But alternative rules based on distance functions between probability assignments that allegedly can handle the problem seem to have counterintuitive consequences. Taking our cue from a recent proposal by Bradley, we argue that Jeffrey's rule can solve the Judy Benjamin problem after (...) all. Moreover, we show that the specific instance of Jeffrey's rule that solves the Judy Benjamin problem can be underpinned by a particular distance function. Finally, we extend the set of distance functions to ones that take into account the varying degrees to which propositions may be epistemically entrenched. (shrink)
Sellars claims completeness for both the “manifest” and the “scientific images” in a way that tempts one to assume that they are independent of each other, while, in fact, they must share at least one common element: the language of individual and community intentions. I argue that this significantly muddies the waters concerning his claim of ontological primacy for the scientific image, though not in favor of the ontological primacy of the manifest image. The lesson I draw is that we (...) need to reassess the aims of ontology. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Preface; Introduction; Part I. Global Health, Definitions and Descriptions: 1. What is global health? Solly Benatar and Ross Upshur; 2. The state of global health in a radically unequal world: patterns and prospects Ron Labonte and Ted Schrecker; 3. Addressing the societal determinants of health: the key global health ethics imperative of our times Anne-Emmanuelle Birn; 4. Gender and global health: inequality and differences Lesley Doyal and Sarah Payne; 5. Heath systems and health Martin McKee; Part (...) II. Global Health Ethics, Responsibilities and Justice: Some Central Issues: 6. Is there a need for global health ethics? For and against David Hunter and Angus Dawson; 7. Justice, infectious disease and globalisation Michael Selgelid; 8. International health inequalities and global justice: toward a middle ground Norman Daniels; 9. The human right to health Jonathan Wolff; 10. Responsibility for global health? Allen Buchanan and Matt DeCamp; 11. Global health ethics: the rationale for mutual caring Solly Benatar, Abdallah Daar and Peter Singer; Part III. Analyzing Some Reasons for Poor Health: 12. Trade and health: the ethics of global rights, regulation and redistribution Meri Koivusalo; 13. Debt, structural adjustment and health Jeff Rudin and David Sanders; 14. The international arms trade and global health Salahaddin Mahmudi-Azer; 15. Allocating resources in humanitarian medicine Samia Hurst, Nathalie Mezger and Alex Mauron; 16. International aid and global health Anthony Zwi; 17. Climate change and health: risks and inequities Sharon Friel, Colin Butler and Anthony McMichael; 18. Animals, the environment and global health David Benatar; 19. The global crisis and global health Stephen Gill and Isabella Bakker; Part IV. Shaping the Future: 20. Health impact fund: how to make new medicines accessible to all Thomas Pogge; 21. Biotechnology and global health Hassan Masun, Justin Chakma and Abdallah Daar; 22. Food security and global health Lynn McIntyre and Krista Rondeau; 23. International taxation Gillian Brock; 24. Global health research: changing the agenda Tikki Pang; 25. Justice and research in developing countries Alex John London; 26. Values in global health governance Kearsley Stewart, Gerald T. Keusch and Arthur Kleinman; 27. Poverty, distance and two dimensions of ethics Jonathan Glover; 28. Teaching global health ethics James Dwyer; 29. Towards a new common sense: the need for new paradigms of global health Isabella Bakker and Stephen Gill; Index. (shrink)
Pyrrhonism is the view that we should suspend all our beliefs in order to be rational and reach peace of mind. One of the main objections against this view is that it makes action impossible. One cannot suspend all beliefs and act normally at once. Yet, the question is: What is it about actions that they require beliefs? This issue has hardly been clarified in the literature. This is a bad situation, for if the objection fails and it turns out (...) that the Pyrrhonists found a way to secure peace of mind, we better know the details. In the following, I take up this systematic query and show how the objection can be made precise. Despite Sextus Empiricus? ingenious appearance/reality distinction, which is to ensure Pyrrhonism in this, I eventually argue that a life by appearances is quite unlike a normal life. (shrink)
Jackendoff's scenario of the evolution of language is a major contribution towards a more rigorous theory of the origins of language, because it is theoretically constrained by a testable theory of modern language. However, the theoretical constraints from evolutionary theory are not really recognized in his work. We hope that Jackendoff's lead will be followed by intensive cooperation between linguistic theorists and evolutionary modellers.