Graduate students often lack concrete advice on publishing. This essay is an attempt to fill this important gap. Advice is given on how to publish everything from book reviews to articles, replies to book chapters, and how to secure both edited book contracts and authored monograph contracts, along with plenty of helpful tips and advice on the publishing world (and how it works) along the way in what is meant to be a comprehensive, concrete guide to publishing (...) that should be of tremendous value to graduate students working in any area of the humanities and social sciences. (shrink)
Is there a mode of sincere advice in which the standards of the adviser are put aside in favor of the standards of the advisee? I consider two sorts of cases that appear to be such that the adviser is evaluating things from within the advisee’s system of standards even though this system conflicts with her own; and I argue that these cases are best interpreted in ways that dissolve this appearance. I then argue that the nature of sincere (...)advice precludes an adviser’s putting aside her own system of standards in favor of a competing system of standards. It follows that, contrary to what some have suggested, it cannot be that practical reason judgments—which are concerned with what an agent has reason to do or not to do and which can figure as advice— evaluate actions from within the agent’s (as opposed to the judger’s) system of standards. (shrink)
Since its founding in 1863, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has occupied a special niche in the complex ecology of advice-giving in the United States. Established as a small, private organization with special responsibilities and obligations vis à vis the American people and government, the Academy has expanded considerably in the past century and a half and now releases, through the National Research Council (NRC), its operating arm, more than 200 reports per year, on topics covering nearly the (...) entire range of science, engineering, health, and education. The development of the organization, its basic ethos, and its evolving structures and processes can be seen as examples of what Herbert Simon called procedural rationality : the pursuit of reasonably good solutions to complex problems based on appropriate deliberation. (shrink)
Company directors and executives seek legal advice outside the company on a regular basis. This advice is meant to be given within the context of the lawyers’ professional obligations and ethical practise. What clients may not appreciate is there is often a conflict of interest between the lawyers’ professional and ethical concerns and the legal advice business. If lawyers follow their business interests, their advice may be incomplete especially in relation to the ethical consequences of that (...)advice. This could lead to a compromise of the clients’ commercial interests and even raise doubts in relation to the legality of the clients’ proposed course of action. (shrink)
This article deals with scientific advice to the public where the relevant science is subject to public attention and uncertainty of knowledge. It focuses on a tension in the management and presentation of scientific uncertainty between the uncertain nature of science and the expectation that scientific advisers will provide clear public guidance. In the first part of the paper the tension is illustrated by the presentation of results from a recent interview study with nutrition scientists in Denmark. According to (...) the study, nutrition scientists feel their roles as ‘‘public advisers’’ and ‘‘scientists’’ differ in that the former involves an expectation that they will provide unambiguous advice of the kind that might relegate scientific uncertainty to the background. In the second, more general, part of the paper we provide a normative analysis of different strategies of dealing with the tension. The analysis is structured around the extremes of either total concealment or full openness regarding scientific uncertainty. The result of analysis is that scientific advisers should not simply ‘‘feed’’ scientific conclusions to the public. They should rather attempt to promote the ability and willingness of the public to assess and scrutinize scientific knowledge by displaying uncertainties in the scientific basis of advice. On the other hand, scientific advisers must accommodate the public’s need for guidance. Such guidance should be restricted by careful consideration of what it is relevant for the public to know in order to evaluate scientific advice in practical terms. (shrink)
Monists, pluralists, and particularists disagree about the structure of the best explanation of the rightness (wrongness) of actions. In this paper I argue that the availability of good moral advice gives us reason to prefer particularist theories and pluralist theories to monist theories. First, I identify two distinct roles of moral theorizing—explaining the rightness (wrongness) of actions, and providing moral advice—and I explain how these two roles are related. Next, I explain what monists, pluralists, and particularists disagree about. (...) Finally, I argue that particularists and pluralists are better situated than monists to explain why it is a good idea to think before we act, and that this gives us reason to favor particularism and pluralism over monism. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that ad hominem arguments are not always fallacious. More explicitly, in certain cases of practical reasoning, the circumstances of a person are relevant to whether or not the conclusion should be accepted. This occurs, I suggest, when a person gives advice to others or prescribes certain courses of action but fails to follow her own advice or act in accordance with her own prescriptions. This is not an instance of a fallacious tu quoque (...) provided that such circumstantial ad hominem arguments are construed as rebuttals to appeals (administrative) authority (of expertise), or so I argue. (shrink)
This paper explores the prospects of different forms of moral error theory. It is argued that only a suitably local error theory would make good sense of the fact that it is possible to give and receive genuinely good moral advice.
Liberal societies are characterized by respect for a fundamental value pluralism; i.e., respect for individuals’ rights to live by their own conception of the good. Still, the state must make decisions that privilege some values at the cost of others. When public ethics committees give substantial ethical advice on policy related issues, it is therefore important that this advice is well justified. The use of explicit tools for ethical assessment can contribute to justifying advice. In this article, (...) I will discuss one approach to ethical assessment, the ethical matrix method. This method is a variant of intuitionist balancing. Intuitionism is characterized by stressing the existence of several (at least two) fundamental prima facie moral principles, between which there is no given rank order. For some intuitionist approaches, coherentism has been proposed as a model of justification. This article will discuss justification of ethical advice and evaluate the appropriateness of coherentism as a justificatory approach to intuitionist tools. (shrink)
Beware of economists bearing advice. Though some of it is valuable, the framework of theoretical welfare economics from which economic advice usually issues has serious normative limitations and distortions. When economists go beyond identifying consequences of policies to making recommendations, they typically rely on a theory whose only normative concern is welfare and its distribution and that mistakenly identifies welfare with the satisfaction of preferences. Their advice about how to increase welfare must accordingly be regarded with caution, (...) and policy makers must not forget that increasing welfare should not be their only goal. (shrink)
This paper defends a model of the internalism requirement against Michael Smith's recent criticisms of it. On this "example model", what we have reason to do is what we would be motivated to do were we rational. After criticizing the example model, Smith argues that his "advice model", that what we have reason to do is what we would advise ourselves to do were we rational, is obviously preferable. The author argues that Smith's criticisms can quite easily be accommodated (...) by the example model. Moreover, to the extent that his model connects reasons to advice, it is not a model of the internalism requirement at all. Yet, to the extent that it connects reasons to motivation, his model collapses into the example model. The author ends by arguing that Smith's view simply proposes an unambitious conception of practical rationality, not an alternative construal of the internalism requirement. (shrink)
This paper launches a new criticism of Michael Smith's advice model of internalism. Whereas Robert Neal Johnson argues that Smith's advice model collapses into the example model of internalism, the author contends that taking advice seriously pushes us instead toward some version of externalism. The advice model of internalism misportrays the logic of accepting advice. Agents do not have epistemic access to what their fully rational selves would advise them to do, and so it is (...) necessary for a model of practical reason based upon advice to reflect the fact that agents take advice only from other people. This fact may or may not support internalism. Whether it does depends upon the content of the good adviser's advice, something we cannot know unless we ourselves are fully rational. We see in a new way, then, how the internalism/externalism debate depends upon the content of practical reason. (shrink)
One of our purposes here is to expose something of the elementary logical structure of abductive reasoning, and to do so in a way that helps orient theorists to the various tasks that a logic of abduction should concern itself with. We are mindful of criticisms that have been levelled against the very idea of a logic of abduction; so we think it prudent to proceed with a certain difﬁdence. That our own account of abduction is itself abductive is methodological (...) expression of this difﬁ- dence. A second objective is to test our conception of abduction’s logical structure against some of the more promising going accounts of abductive reasoning. We offer our various suggestions in a benignly advisory way. The primary targets of our advice is ourselves, meant as guides to work we have yet to complete or, in some instances, start. It is possible that our colleagues in the abduction research communities will ﬁnd our counsel to be of some interest. But we repeat that our ﬁrst concern is to try to get ourselves straight about what a logic of abduction should encompass. (shrink)
In order to explore public views on nanobiotechnology (NBT), convergence seminars were held in four places in Europe; namely in Visby (Sweden), Sheffield (UK), Lublin (Poland), and Porto (Portugal). A convergence seminar is a new form of public participatory activity that can be used to deal systematically with the uncertainty associated for instance with the development of an emerging technology like nanobiotechnology. In its first phase, the participants are divided into three “scenario groups” that discuss different future scenarios. In the (...) second phase, the participants are regrouped into three “convergence groups”, each of which contains representatives from each of the three groups from the first phase. In the final third phase, all participants meet for a summary discussion. This pilot project had two aims: (1) to develop and assess the new methodology and (2) to gather advice and recommendations from the public that may be useful for future decisions on nanobiotechnology (NBT). Participants emphasized that they wanted the technology to focus on solutions to environmental and medical problems and to meet the needs of developing countries. The need for further public participation and deliberation on NBT issues seemed to be acknowledged by all participants. Many of them also raised equality concerns. Views on the means by which NBT should be steered into socially useful directions were more divided. In particular, different views were expressed on how much regulation of company activities is needed to curb unwanted developments. The participants’ responses in a questionnaire indicate that the methodology of the convergence seminars was successful for decision-making under uncertainty. In particular, the participants stated that their advice was influenced both by access to different possible future developments and by the points of view of their co-participants, which is what the method is specifically intended to achieve. (shrink)
In two experiments, we investigated how people interpret and reason with realistic conditionals in the form of inducements (i.e., promises and threats) and advice (i.e., tips and warnings). We found that inducements and advice differed with respect to the degree to which the speaker was perceived to have (a) control over the consequent, (b) a stake in the outcome, and (c) an obligation to ensure that the outcome occurs. Inducements and advice also differed with respect to perceived (...) sufficiency and necessity, as well as the degree to which these statements were perceived to be effective in changing the behaviour described in the antecedent of the conditional. Multiple regression analyses indicated that perceived control over the consequent, necessity, and sufficiency emerged as the best predictors of (a) the degree to which statements were perceived to be effective in changing the behaviour of the addressee, and (b) inference patterns on a conditional arguments task. (shrink)
Recently, philosophers have employed the notion of advice to tackle a variety of philosophical problems. In particular, Michael Smith and Nomy Arpaly have in different ways related the notion of advice to the notion of a reason for action. Here I argue that both accounts are flawed, because each operates with a simplistic picture of the way advice works. I conclude that it would be wise to take more time to analyze what advice is and how (...) it in fact works, before putting it to particular philosophical uses. (shrink)
This paper presents the results of an experiment on mutual versus common knowledge of advice in a two-player weak-link game with random matching. Our experimental subjects play in pairs for thirteen rounds. After a brief learning phase common to all treatments, we vary the knowledge levels associated with external advice given in the form of a suggestion to pick the strategy supporting the payoff-dominant equilibrium. Our results are somewhat surprising and can be summarized as follows: in all our (...) treatments both the choice of the efficiency-inducing action and the percentage of efficient equilibrium play are higher with respect to the control treatment, revealing that even a condition as weak as mutual knowledge of level 1 is sufficient to significantly increase the salience of the efficient equilibrium with respect to the absence of advice. Furthermore, and contrary to our hypothesis, mutual knowledge of level 2 induces, under suitable conditions, successful coordination more frequently than common knowledge. (shrink)
During the coming decades, life scientists will become involved more than ever in the public and private lives of patients and consumers, as health and food sciences shift from a collective approach towards individualization, from a curative to a preventive approach, and from being driven by desires rather than by technology. This means that the traditional relationships between the activities of life scientists – conducting research, advising industry, governments, and patients/consumers, consulting the public, and prescribing products, be it patents, drugs (...) or food products, information, or advice – are getting blurred. Traditional concepts of the individual, role, task, and collective responsibility have to be revised. This paper argues, from a pragmatic point of view, that the concept of public responsibility can contribute considerably in delineating new gray zones between the various roles of the life scientist: conducting research for governments or industry, giving advice, prescribing and selling products, and doing public consultation. The main issues are where new Chinese walls (not Berlin walls) need to be built between these activities, thereby increasing trust between life scientists and the public at large, and how to organize research agendas and to decide upon research topics. (shrink)
The ability of 3- and 4-year-old children to disregard advice from an overtly misleading informant was investigated across five studies (total n = 212). Previous studies have documented limitations in young children's ability to reject misleading advice. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that these limitations are primarily due to an inability to reject specific directions that are provided by others, rather than an inability to respond in a way that is opposite to what has been (...) indicated by a cue. In Studies 1 through 4, a puppet identified as The Big Bad Wolf offered advice to participants about which of two boxes contained a hidden sticker. Regardless of the form the advice took, 3-year olds performed poorly by failing to systematically reject it. However, when participants in Study 5 believed they were responding to a mechanical cue rather than the advice of the Wolf, they were better able to reject misleading advice, and individual differences in performance on the primary task were systematically correlated with measures of executive function. Results are interpreted as providing support for the communicative intent hypothesis, which posits that children find it especially difficult to reject deceptive information that they perceive as being intentionally communicated by others. (shrink)
This paper discusses the criticisms that exist about corporate use of ethics advice by bioscience companies and offers suggestions on how ethics advisors can be used so as to maximize their utility and avoid the criticism.
This article reports on considerable variety and diversity among discourses on their own jobs of boundary workers of several major Dutch institutes for science-based policy advice. Except for enlightenment, all types of boundary arrangements/work in the Wittrock-typology (Social knowledge and public policy: eight models of interaction. In: Wagner P (ed) Social sciences and modern states: national experiences and theoretical crossroads. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991) do occur. âDivergersâ experience a gap between science and politics/policymaking; and it is their (...) self-evident task to act as a bridge. They spread over four discourses: ârational facilitatorsâ, âknowledge brokersâ, âmegapolicy strategistsâ, and âpolicy analystsâ. Others aspire to âconvergenceâ; they believe science and politics ought to be natural allies in preparing collective decisions. But âpolicy advisorsâ excepted, âpostnormalistsâ and âdeliberative proceduralistsâ find this very hard to achieve. (shrink)
This book is a collection of essays with commentary and evaluative bibliography on Plutarch. Advice to the Bride and Groom and Consolation to His Wife along with the Greek texts and English translations. It is designed to help readers understand and appreciate two important documents for the study of gender and the family in the Graeco-Roman world and in later Western history. -/- To populate the dearth of prior scholarly discussion of Plutarch's works on the family, Pomeroy has assembled (...) a team of experts in Plutarch, the Hellenistic World, religion, cultural studies, and the family and gender, who use various historical and theoretical approaches in discussing the wide range of issues and questions raised by these texts. For example, what does one mean by "Roman" or "Greek" marriage in a Hellenistic context when Greeks and Romans were mutually influential? To begin to answer this question, it is imperative to take notice of Greek traditions, the Roman Imperial context, and the changing views of the family in Greek philosophy and early Christianity. Furthermore, for an understanding of the Consolation to His Wife it is necessary to understand Roman demography and to examine contemporary Latin consolatory literature. Though Plutarch addressed both these essays to individual Greeks whom he knew personally, he had a much wider audience in mind. -/- The commentary, essays, and bibliography are written so as to be accessible to those who are reading the English translation. (shrink)
This paper provides an informal guide to young researchers in science and engineering as they progress for their first 10 or so years from the time that they first started thinking about doing a PhD. This advice is drawn, with examples and anecdotes, from my own research career which started at the Cambridge Engineering Department in 1958, and progressed through 48 years at University College London to a part-time chair that I now hold in Aberdeen. I hope it may (...) encourage and help tomorrow's scientists on whom the Earth's future very much depends. (shrink)
The present ethical advice tackles the question as to how caregivers in a Catholic mental health service can take care of psychiatric patients requesting euthanasia because of their unbearable mental suffering. The question arises because the Belgian act on euthanasia allows euthanasia under certain conditions, while the Roman Catholic Church forbids euthanasia in all circumstances. The ethical advice is based on the assessment of fundamental values: the inviolability of life, the patient’s autonomy, and the care relationship between caregivers (...) and patient. To integrate these values, caregivers should in a timely fashion make clear that life is inviolable, attentively respect the patient’s autonomy, and provide the best possible care relationship, including counseling for existential questions. If the request for euthanasia persists, the only sensible option is to refer the patient to another physician, guaranteeing the continuity of the care relationship. In the tension between the inviolability of life and the patient’s autonomy, the care relationship is the binding value. (shrink)
Jean Hamburger (1909--1992) is considered the founder of the concept of medical intensive care (reanimation medicale) and the first to propose the name Nephrology for the branch of medicine dealing with kidney diseases. One of the first kidney grafts in the world (with short-term success), in 1953, and the first dialysis session in France, in 1955, were performed under his guidance. His achievements as a writer were at least comparable: Hamburger was awarded several important literary prizes, including prix Femina, prix (...) Balzac and the Cino del Duca prize (1979), awarded, among others, to Jorge Luis Borges and Konrad Lorenz.Here we would like to offer a selected reading of a "golden" book, "Conseils aux etudiants en medicine de mon service" ("Advice to the Medical Students in my Service"), the first book dedicated to patient-physician relationship in Nephrology, written when dialysis and transplantation were becoming clinical options (1963). The themes include: the central role of the patient, who should be known by name, profession, life style, and not by disease; the importance of the setting of the care; the need for truth-telling and for leaving hope; the role of research not only in the progression of science, but also in the daily clinical practice. (shrink)
In recent years, students of science policy in the Federal Republic of Germany have looked with increasing interest to the innovations of the 1960s. Key concepts such as democratization, participation, and planning mark the political and socio-cultural discourse of the time. For over two decades, the Studiengruppe für Systemforschung (Study Group for Systems Research – SfS) in Heidelberg gave a fresh impetus to policy advice. This essay continues our reflections on its history, traces its origins and development, and reflects (...) on its achievements. (shrink)
Agri-food clusters have generated great interest in recent years and prompted a new wave of research dedicated to ‘Localized Agri-Food Systems’ (SYALs in French). However, the specific nature of relations between firms who belong to SYALs has rarely been studied. Our purpose is to show how the analysis of company directors’ advice networks helps to better understand the specificity and innovative dynamics of SYALs. Our research was based on a case study in the Biterrois wine growing region of southern (...) France. We conducted a survey to collect information on advice relations between wine cooperative managers, who play a key role in the innovation process toward quality wine. Sociometric analysis of the advice relations, coupled with interviews, led to three main results: the first was that managers simultaneously cooperate on technical projects and compete for business ends. The second was a correlation between the innovations implemented by the cooperatives and the degree of centrality of the managers in the networks, revealing the relational and local conditions of innovations in SYALs. The third was that managers can modify their own network to improve the competitiveness of both their own cooperative and of the SYAL as a whole. In conclusion, we show that advice network analysis is an appropriate tool to describe the relational dimension of SYALs, to better understand their process of innovation, and to help managers improve the collective strategies they apply within the SYAL. (shrink)
This collection of eminently practical advice from the likes of Socrates, Plato, Diogenes, Pythagoras, and Aristotle covers subjects as diverse as money, child-raising, politics, philosophy, law, and relationships--all aspects of life and how to live it. Thomas Cleary has translated these sayings and aphorisms from the Arabic sources that preserved Greek thought throughout the Middle Ages. Many of the texts no longer exist in the original Greek. Included in the book is an appendix that presents resonant sayings and fragments (...) from Buddhist, Taoist, and Muslim sources, demonstrating the universal quality of the teachings of the Greek sages and hinting at the interaction between Western and Eastern cultures. (shrink)
Brian Huss argues that the consensus theory of argumentation is as good as, or better than, the epistemological approach at giving useful real-world advice about arguments. I describe these two ways of theorizing about arguments, describe the advice that Huss thinks the two theories can offer, make a case largely by means of examples for the view that the epistemological approach does yield useful real world advice, and then formulate and respond to Huss's arguments. I conclude with (...) a few brief comments on consensus and arguments. (shrink)
Unlike most books on the psychology and philosophy of humor, and following Ludwig Wittgenstein’s wonderful advice—"A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes," this book is replete with jokes, ...
This article discusses Profiat Duran's views on the ideal advisor as set forth in this Ma'aseh Efod (1403) and their possible sources. It will focus on 's use of the story of Absalom's revolt as a starting point for this account of the qualities of the exemplary advisor as personified by Ahitophel. By placing a distinct stress on the ability to find the proper means for reaching a certain end regardless of ethical considerations as the hallmark of a good advisor (...) for a prince, Duran stands on common ground with Nicole Oresme, who maintains that the function of advice consists of finding the meanings for arriving at a certain end. I argue that Oresme might have had a direct influence on Duran's political ideas in view of the fact that the latter belonged to the circle of Hasdai Crescas, who had access to Oresme's works. Duran's account of the ideal prince can be regarded as a combination of Moses Maimonides' notion of the relative character of good and bad and Oresme's views about the function of advice. (shrink)
_The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) is a working group of editors of selected medical journals that meets annually. Founded in Vancouver, Canada, in 1978, it currently consists of 11 member journals and a representative of the US National Library of Medicine. The major purpose of the Committee is to address and provide guidance for the conduct and publishing of biomedical research and the ethical tenets underpinning these activities. This advice is detailed in the Committee's _ Uniform (...) Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication (URM)._ Recently, the ICMJE has adopted an interventionist role to ensure transparency of conflict of interest revelations in the conduct and publication of industry supported research. It also pursues a policy for the lodgement with trial registries of specified details of Phase III clinical trials. Failure to comply would jeopardise publication of trial outcomes in ICMJE member journals. This policy has resulted in the coming on stream of trial registries, international agreement on trial minimal datasets and compliance with trial registration requirements._. (shrink)
We argue that Parfit's "Triviality Objection" against some naturalistic views of normativity is not compelling. We think that once one accepts, as one should, that identity statements can be informative in virtue of their pragmatics and not only in virtue of their semantics, Parfit's case against naturalism can be overcome.
This paper engages with two compelling challenges to physicalism, each designed to show that the nature of experience is elusive from the standpoint of physical science. It is argued that the physicalist is ultimately well placed to meet both challenges.
Objectivists and perspectivists disagree about the question of whether what an agent ought to do depends on the totality of facts or on the agent’s limited epistemic perspective. While objectivism fails to account for normative guidance, perspectivism faces the challenge of explaining phenomena (occurring most notably in advice, but also in first-personal deliberation) in which the use of “ought” is geared to evidence that is better than the evidence currently available to the agent. This paper aims to defend perspectivism (...) by developing a perspectivist account that captures the phenomena in question. (shrink)
Academic publishing is a world filled with more mystery than revelation. Often the best advice is made available only to those lucky enough to hear it by word of mouth. This is no less true with editing academic journals. I have enjoyed the honour of launching the Journal of Moral Philosophy and serving as its editor for the last ten years. I actively sought out the best advice on a number of issues from editors serving on leading journals (...) as well as their publishers. Despite the fact that most of the conversations focused on journals in the areas of law, philosophy, and political science, I believe that much of the general advice remains true for most disciplines. This editorial brings together some lessons learned over the years and reveals some secrets about the trade. My purpose is to improve the information available to share best practice and offer some insight into the minds of academic journal editors. This is a task I have performed previously on the topics of publishing advice and referee guidelines that I extend now to journal editing. I begin with a brief note about my background experiences before moving to advice on how to successfully propose a new journal to a publisher. I then discuss topics such as managing a journal launch before considering advice on the effective management of submissions received and further advice on journal development. (shrink)
We begin by asking what fallibilism about knowledge is, distinguishing several conceptions of fallibilism and giving reason to accept what we call strong epistemic fallibilism, the view that one can know that something is the case even if there remains an epistemic chance, for one, that it is not the case. The task of the paper, then, concerns how best to defend this sort of fallibilism from the objection that it is “mad,” that it licenses absurd claims such as “I (...) know that p but there’s a chance that not p ” and “ p but it there’s a chance that not p .” We argue that the best defense of fallibilism against this objection—a “pragmatist” defense—makes the following claims. First, while knowledge that p is compatible with an epistemic chance that not- p , it is compatible only with an insignificant such chance. Second, the insignificance of the chance that not- p is plausibly understood in terms of the irrelevance of that chance to p ’s serving as a ‘justifier’, for action as well as belief. In other words, if you know that p , then any chance for you that not p doesn’t stand in the way of p ’s being properly put to work as a basis for action and belief. (shrink)
Dutch Book Arguments. B is susceptibility to sure monetary loss (in a certain betting set-up), and F is the formal role played by non-Pr b’s in the DBT and the Converse DBT. Representation Theorem Arguments. B is having preferences that violate some of Savage’s axioms (and/or being unrepresentable as an expected utility maximizer), and F is the formal role played by non-Pr b’s in the RT.
Many metaphysicians tell us that our world is one in which persisting objects are four-dimensionally extended in time, and persist by being partially present at each moment at which they exist. Many normative theorists tell us that at least some of our core normative practices are justified only if the relation that holds between a person at one time, and that person at another time, is the relation of strict identity. If these metaphysicians are right about the nature of our (...) world, and these normative theorists are right about what justifies our normative practices, then we should be error theorists about the justification of at least some of our core normative practices and in turn, arguably we should eliminate those practices for which justification is lacking. This paper offers a way of resolving the tension between these two views that does not lead into the grips of error theory. It is a way that is amenable to “exceptionists” about persons: those who think there is something special about persons and the first-person perspective; that personhood cannot be explained naturalistically, and the first-person perspective is naturalistically irreducible. The conclusion is thus a conditional: given that one is an exceptionist, an attractive way to resolve this tension is to embrace the view that persons are sui generis ontological kinds. (shrink)
The general public in Europe seems tohave lost its confidence in food safety. Theremedy for this, as proposed by the Commissionof the EU, is a scientific rearmament. Thequestion, however, is whether more science willbe able to overturn the public distrust.Present experience seems to suggest thecontrary, because there is widespread distrustin the science-based governmental controlsystems. The answer to this problem is thecreation of an independent scientificFood Authority. However, we argue thatindependent scientific advice alone is unlikelyto re-establish public confidence. It is (...) muchmore important to make the scientific advicetransparent, i.e., to state explicitlythe factual and normative premises on which itis based. Risk assessments are based on arather narrow, but well-defined notion of risk.However, the public is concerned with a broadervalue context that comprises both benefits andrisks. Transparency and understanding of thepublic's perception of food risks is anecessary first step in establishing theurgently required public dialogue about thecomplex value questions involved in foodproduction. (shrink)
Jeremy Bentham provided a comprehensive list of the sources of pleasure and pain, rather in the manner of modern researchers into human well-being. He explicitly used the term well-being and made both qualitative and quantitative proposals for its measurement. Bentham insisted that the measurement of well-being should be firmly based on the concerns and subjective valuations of those directly concerned, in the context of a liberal society. Those who wished to superimpose other judgements were dismissed as "ipsedixitists." He also addressed, (...) though of course could not solve, some of the measurement problems more recently tackled by "neo-Benthamites." The paper concludes that many of Benthams observations about the measurement of well-being are still relevant to issues in current research. Key Words: utilitarianism Bentham well-being capabilities. (shrink)