Work in Argumentation Studies (AS) and Studies in Expertise and Experience (SEE) has been proceeding on converging trajectories, moving from resistance to expert authority to a cautious acceptance of its legitimacy. The two projects are therefore also converging on the need to account for how, in the course of complex and confused civic deliberations, nonexpert citizens can figure out which statements from purported experts deserve their trust. Both projects recognize that nonexperts cannot assess expertise directly; instead, the nonexpert must (...) judge whether to trust the expert. But how is this social judgment accomplished? A normative pragmatic approach from AS can complement and extend the work from SEE on this question, showing that the expert’s putting forward of his view and “bonding” it with his reputation for expertise works to force or “blackmail” his audience of citizens into heeding what he says. Appeals to authority thus produce the visibility and accountability we want for expert views in civic deliberations. (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)
Abstract More than most information?gathering professions, journalism depends on authorities as legitimate sources of information. Ironically, the journalistic appeal to authority is used to bolster the credibility of a reporter's story, even though the substitution of authoritative pronouncements for first?hand investigation makes reporters vulnerable to hoaxes and bias.
Certain restrictions on public funding for assisted reproductive technology (ART) are articulated and defended by recourse to a distinction between medical infertility and social infertility. We propose that underlying the prioritization of medical infertility is a vision of medicine whose proper role is to restore but not to improve upon nature. We go on to mark moral responses that speak of investments many continue to make in nature as properly an object of reverence and gratitude and therein (sometimes) a source (...) of moral guidance. We draw on the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein in arguing for the plausibility of an appeal to nature in opposition to the charge that it must contain a logical fallacy. We also invite consideration of the moral plausibility of some appeal to nature. Finally, we examine what follows in the case of ART. Should medicine respect as natural limits that should not be overcome: the need for a man and a woman in reproduction; menopause; and even declining fertility with age? We must first ask ourselves to what degree we should defer to nature in the conduct of medicine, at least in the particular if not the general case. This will involve also asking ourselves what we think is natural and in what instances and spirit might we defy nature. Divergent opinions and policies concerning who should receive ART treatment and public funding are more easily understood in view of the centrality, complexity and fundamental nature of these questions. (shrink)
The Appeal to Tradition, often considered to be unsound, frequently reflects sophisticated adaptations to the environment. Once developed, these adaptations are often transmitted culturally rather than as reasoned argument, so that people mayor may not be aware of why their traditions are wise. Tradition is more likely to be valid in a stable environment in which a wide range of variations have been available for past testing; however, traditions tend to become obsolete in a rapidly changing environment.
The appeal to pity, orargumentum ad misericordiam, has traditionally been classified by the logic textbooks as an informal fallacy. The particular case studied in this article is a description of a series of events in 1990–91 during the occupation of Kuwait by Iraqi forces. A fifteen-year-old Kuwaiti girl named Nayirah had a pivotal effect on the U.S. decision to invade Kuwait by testifying to a senate committee (while crying) that Iraqi soldiers had pulled babies out of incubators in a (...) hospital in Kuwait, and left them to die. Subsequent investigations revealed no basis for this claim, and that it was part of a public relations campaign, financed mainly by Kuwaitis, to get support for the invasion. The normative question studied in this case is whether or not the argument in it can correctly be evaluated as a fallacious appeal to pity. Part of the general issue is what is meant by the key word ‘fallacious.’. (shrink)
Why should all human beings have certain rights simply by virtue of being human? One justification is an appeal to religious authority. However, in increasingly secular societies this approach has its limits. An alternative answer is that human rights are justified through human dignity. This paper argues that human rights and human dignity are better separated for three reasons. First, the justification paradox: the concept of human dignity does not solve the justification problem for human rights but rather (...) aggravates it in secular societies. Second, the Kantian cul-de-sac: if human rights were based on Kant's concept of dignity rather than theist grounds, such rights would lose their universal validity. Third, hazard by association: human dignity is nowadays more controversial than the concept of human rights, especially given unresolved tensions between aspirational dignity and inviolable dignity. In conclusion, proponents of universal human rights will fare better with alternative frameworks to justify human rights rather than relying on the concept of dignity. (shrink)
It has become common, in both popular and scholarly discourse, to appeal to ‘delayed animation’ as an argument for abortion (DAAA). Augustine and Aquinas seemingly held that the rational soul was infused midway in pregnancy, and therefore did not regard early abortion as homicide. The authority of these thinkers is thus cited by some contemporary Christians as a reason to tolerate or, for proportionate reasons, to promote first-trimester abortion and embryo experimentation. The present essay is an exercise in (...) aetiology. It examines the origins of DAAA. Distinctions are drawn between different forms of DAAA in historical context, premises, and conclusions. Some forms raise important anthropological questions, though these arguments are not indefeasible. The most popular forms of DAAA, which are typically framed as appeals to precedent, are the weakest, in that there is little precedent for DAAA before 1950. The argument is in fact a novelty in the tradition. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that appeals to intuition are strong arguments just in case there is an agreement among the relevant philosophers concerning the intuition in question. Otherwise, appeals to intuition are weak arguments.
In this paper, I argue that arguments from expert opinion, i.e., inferences from “Expert E says that p” to “p,” where the truth value of p is unknown, are weak arguments. A weak argument is an argument in which the premises, even if true, provide weak support—or no support at all—for the conclusion. Such arguments from expert opinion are weak arguments unless the fact that an expert says that p makes p significantly more likely to be true. However, research on (...) expertise shows that expert opinions are only slightly more accurate than chance and much less accurate than decision procedures. If this is correct, then it follows that arguments from expert opinion are weak arguments. (shrink)
During the last few years a large number of companies have emerged offering DNA testing via the Internet “direct-to-consumer”. In this paper, I analyse the rhetoric appeal to personal identity put forward on the websites of some of these consumer genomics companies. The investigation is limited to non-health-related DNA testing and focuses on individualistic and communitarian—in a descriptive sense—visions of identity. The individualistic visions stress that each individual is unique and suggest that this uniqueness can be supported by, for (...) example, DNA fingerprinting. The communitarian visions emphasise that individuals are members of communities, in this case genetic communities. It is suggested that these visions can be supported by, for example, various types of tests for genetic ancestry tracing. The main part of the paper is devoted to an analysis of these communitarian visions of identity and the DNA tests they refer to. (shrink)
Some recent researches in experimental philosophy have posed a problem for philosophers’ appeal to intuition (hereinafter referred to as PAI); the aim of this paper is to offer an answer to this challenge. The thesis against PAI implies that, given some experimental results, intuition does not seem to be a reliable epistemic source, and —more importantly— given the actual state of knowledge about its operation, we do not have sufficient resources to mitigate its errors and thus establish its reliability. (...) That is why PAI is hopeless. Throughout this paper I will defend my own conception of PAI, which I have called the Deliberative Conception, and consequently, I will defend intersubjective agreement as a means to mitigate PAI errors, offering empirical evidence from recent studies on the Argumentative Theory of Reason that favor the conception I defend here. Finally, I will reply to some objections that might arise against the Deliberative Conception, which will lead me to discuss some metaphilosophical issues that are significantly relevant for the future of the dispute about the appeal to intuition. (shrink)
Jaegwon Kim has argued that unless mental events are reducible to subvening physical events, they are at best overdeterminers of their effects. Recently, nonreductive physicalists have endorsed this consequence claiming that the relationship between mental events and their physical bases is tight enough to render any such overdetermination nonredundant, and hence benign. I focus on instances of this strategy that appeal to the notion of constitution. Ultimately, I argue that there is no way to understand the relationship between irreducible (...) mental events and their physical bases such as to both eliminate causal redundancy and preserve the efficacy of mental events. (shrink)
This paper defends a coherentist approach to moral epistemology. In “The Immorality of Eating Meat” (2000), I offer a coherentist consistency argument to show that our own beliefs rationally commit us to the immorality of eating meat. Elsewhere, I use our own beliefs as premises to argue that we have positive duties to assist the poor (2004) and to argue that biomedical animal experimentation is wrong (2012). The present paper explores whether this consistency-based coherentist approach of grounding particular moral judgments (...) on beliefs we already hold, with no appeal to moral theory, is a legitimate way of doing practical ethics. I argue (i) that grounding particular moral judgments on our core moral convictions and other core nonmoral beliefs is a legitimate way to justify moral judgments, (ii) that these moral judgments possess as much epistemic justification and have as much claim to objectivity as moral judgments grounded on particular ethical theories, and (iii) that this internalistic coherentist method of grounding moral judgments is more likely to result in behavioral guidance than traditional theory-based approaches to practical ethics. By way of illustrating the approach, I briefly recapitulate my consistency-based argument for ethical vegetarianism. I then defend the coherentist approach implicit in the argument against a number of potentially fatal metatheoretical attacks. (shrink)
Transcendental philosophy has traditionally sought to provide non-contingent grounds for (a 'rational' account of) certain aspects of cognitive, moral, and social life. Further, it has made a claim to being 'ultimately' grounded in the sense that its account of experience should provide a non-dogmatic account of its own possibility. Most current approaches to transcendental philosophy seek to do justice to these twin aspects of the project by making an 'intersubjective turn', taking the structure of dialogue or social practice rather than (...) the 'I think' or consciousness as the locus of ultimate grounds. After examining the recent debate over transcendental arguments in order to illuminate the relations between two important versions of transcendental philosophy- the neo-Kantian version oriented toward justification of principles and the phenomenological version oriented toward clarification of meaning- this paper criticizes internally connected aspects of the intersubjective turn in K. O. Apel, Bernhard Waldenfels, and a recent 'practical' interpretation of Husserl. It is shown that the twin demands of the project can be redeemed only if ultimate grounding is seen first of all not as an epistemological or ontological question but (as Levinas suggests) as an ethical one. This requires modification of the appeal to intersubjectivity and a qualified return to the first-person perspective. (shrink)
In genomic research the ideal standard of free, informed, prior, and explicit consent is believed to restrict important research studies. For certain types of genomic research other forms of consent are therefore proposed which are ethically justified by an appeal to the common good. This notion is often used in a general sense and this forms a weak basis for the use of weaker forms of consent. Here we examine how the notion of the common good can be related (...) to individual health, health care, and genomic research and we use this analysis to propose more precise criteria to justify forms of consent which diverge from the ideal standard. (shrink)
This essay distinguishes three types of appeals to experience in ethics, identifies problems with appealing to experience, and argues that appeals to experience must be open to critical assessment, if experientially-based arguments are to be useful. Unless competing and potentially irreconcilable experiences can be assessed and adjudicated, experientially-based arguments will be problematic. The paper recommends thinking of the appeal to experience as a kind of storytelling to be evaluated as other stories are.
This paper reports a phenomenological sub-study of a larger project investigating the way Hong Kong Chinese staff tackled their own ethical dilemmas at work. A special analysis was conducted of eight dilemma cases arising from a request by a boss or superiorauthority to do something regarded as ethically wrong. In reports of most such cases, staff expressed feelings of contractual orinterpersonally based obligation to obey. They sought to save face and preserve harmony in their relationship with authority by choosingbetween (...) “little potato” obedience, token obedience, and undercover disobedience. Only where no such obligation existed was face inrelation to authority unimportant, and open disobedience chosen. In Kohlbergian terms, ethical reasoning at the conventional stages (three and four) predominated in dilemmas of obedience. Findings imply that if corruption were to originate at the top, codes of conduct recently introduced into Hong Kong may be of limited effect in stalling it. (shrink)
“Arguments from nature” are used, and have historically been used, in popular responses to advances in technology and to environmental issues—there is a widely shared body of ethical intuitions that nature, or perhaps human nature, sets some limits on the kinds of ends that we should seek, the kinds of things that we should do, or the kinds of lives that we should lead. Virtue ethics can provide the context for a defensible form of the argument from nature, and one (...) that makes proper sense of its enduring role in debates concerning our relationship to technology and the environment. However, the notion of an ethics founded upon an account of the essential features of human nature is controversial. On the one hand, contemporary biological science no longer defines species by their essential characteristics, so from a biological point of view there just are no essential characteristics of human beings. On the other hand, it might be argued that humans have, in some sense, “transcended our biology,” so an understanding of humans as a biological species is extraneous to ethical questions. In this article, I examine and defend the argument from nature, as a way to ground an ethic of virtue, from some of the more common criticisms that are made against it. I argue that, properly interpreted as an appeal to an evaluative account of human nature, the argument from nature is defensible with the context of virtue ethics and, in this light, I show how arguments from nature made in popular responses to technological and environmental issues are best understood. (shrink)
A persistent challenge for nominally behavioral viewpoints in philosophical psychology is how to make sense of psychological terms that appeal to the mental. Two such viewpoints, logical behaviorism and conceptual analysis, hold that psychological terms appealing to the mental must be taken to mean (i.e., refer to) something that is publicly observable, such as underlying physiological states, publicly observable behavior, or dispositions to engage in publicly observable behavior, rather than mental events per se. However, they do so for slightly (...) different reasons. A third viewpoint, behavior analysis, agrees that (a) some terms are functionally related to (i.e., occasioned by) the link between publicly observable behavior and publicly observable features of the environment, (b) some terms are dispositional, and (c) a purely private language could not arise. However, behavior analysis also recognizes that some psychological terms relate to private behavioral events, such as occur when speakers report internal sensations or engage in covert behavior. (shrink)
The idea that law claims authority (LCA) has recently been forcefully criticized by a number of authors. These authors present a new and intriguing objection, arguing that law cannot be said to claim authority if such a claim is not justified. That is, these authors argue that the view that law does not have authority viciously conflicts with the view that law claims authority. I will call this the normative critique of LCA. In this article, I (...) assess the normative critique of LCA, focusing predominantly on the arguments presented by its most incisive proponent Philip Soper. I defend a twofold conclusion. First, LCA, understood roughly along the lines put forward by Joseph Raz, is part of the most attractive analysis of law. Second, proponents of the normative critique, and in particular Soper, are committed to accepting LCA. (shrink)
Paulo Freire's major work, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, owes adebt to psychoanalysis. In particular, as this paper argues,Freire's account of teacher authority needs to be understoodthrough psychoanalytic sensibilities. Paulo Freire maintains thatteacher authority can be ``on the side of freedom.'' This is ahighly charged claim given that liberalist traditions generallycast authority as the enemy of freedom. Breaking with liberalunderstandings of authority, Freire's ``authority on the sideof freedom'' is a matter of maintaining the delicate psychicbalance that (...) leads neither to domination nor to submission.This paper investigates how such an authoritative balance functions. (shrink)
It is no surprise that empirical psychology refutes, again and again, assumptions of uneducated common sense. But some puzzlement tends to arise when scientific results appear to call into question the very conceptual framework of the mental to which we have become accustomed. This paper shall examine a case in point: Experiments on colour-discrimination have recently been taken to refute an assumption of first-person authority that appears to be constitutive of our ordinary notion of perceptual experience. The paper is (...) to show that those experiments do not refute this assumption, and will suggest that the impression to the contrary is, ultimately, due to two factors: to misleading imagery and, above all, to mistaken translation from the technical idiom of empirical psychology into the plain English we use every day. This is to take the mystery out of what we shall see to constitute a pretty puzzle; it is to remind us just how careful we need to be when drawing conclusions from results of scientific psychology; and it is to bring out the virtues of methods commonly lumped together under the entirely misleading label of 'ordinary language philosophy', of methods far more useful than their common caricature would make one think. (shrink)
The tension between Kant’s egalitarian conception of persons as ends in themselves and his rejection of the right of revolution has been widely discussed. The crucial issue is more fundamental: Is Kant’s defense of absolute obedience consistent with his own principle of legitimate law, that legitimate law is compatible with the Categorical Imperative? Resolving this apparent inconsistency resolves the subsidiary inconsistencies that have been debated in the literature. I argue that Kant’s legal principles contain two distinct grounds of obligation to (...) obey political authority. One lies in his metaphysical principles of law, according to which there is only a duty to obey legitimate law or fully legitimate authorities. Another lies in his moral-pragmatic principles. He believes that membership in the state helps improve one’s character by counter-balancing one’s immoral inclinations. This is his ultimate ground for obedience to de facto, imperfectly legitimate states. On this ground, the duty to obey an actual state is conditional. Kant’s strong statements about the duty to obey actual states is explained by the ease with which he thinks the relevant condition is met by extant states. The apparent ambiguities in his discussion of obedience point to some important philosophical and historical shortcomings of his analysis of the division of govemmental powers and of judicial competence which hamper his analysis of the duty to obey the state. (shrink)
Abstract Emler and Reicher (1987) have argued that non?compliant or delinquent behaviour amongst adolescents is due to a failure, not in moral development, but in the efficacy of legal socialization in inculcating favourable attitudes towards institutional authority. They assert that consistent with this position, female adolescents are not only less prone to delinquent behaviour, but also more favourably disposed towards institutional authorities and ideologically more conservative. However, an examination of recent studies comparing male and female attitudes toward authority (...) among adolescents shows that there is only limited support for this assertion. Whilst studies conducted in Britain have suggested that, in general, female adolescents are more supportive of institutional authority than their male counterparts, elsewhere, in Australia and Canada, some results have indicated that there is little or no such attitudinal difference between the sexes. Moreover, in some comparisons, in Sri Lanka and Sweden, female adolescents have been reported as being less supportive of authority or less conservative than males. It is concluded that the relationship between gender and attitude to institutional authority tends to vary cross?culturally, and may depend upon the kind of socialization to which the sexes are exposed. (shrink)
In this paper we connect open-ended development, authority, agency, and motivation through 1) an analysis of the demands of existing in a complex world and 2) environmental appraisal in terms of affordance content and the complexity to select appropriate behavior. We do this by identifying a coherent core from a wide range of contributing fields. Open-ended development is a structured three-step process in which the agent first learns to master the body and then aims to make the mind into (...) a reliable tool. Preconditioned on success in step two, step three aims to effectively co-create an optimal living environment. We argue that these steps correspond to right-left-right hemispheric dominance, where the left hemisphere specializes in control and the right hemisphere in exploration. Control (e.g., problem solving) requires a closed and stable world that must be maintained by external authorities or, in step three, by the right hemisphere acting as internal authority. The three-step progression therefore corresponds to increasing autonomy and agency. Depending on how we appraise the environment, we formulate four qualitatively different motivational states: submission, control, exploration, and consolidation. Each of these four motivational states has associated reward signals of which the last three — successful control, discovery of novelty, and establishing new relations — form an open-ended development loop that, the more it is executed, helps the agent to become progressively more agentic and more able to co-create a pleasant-to-live-in world. We conclude that for autonomy to arise, the agent must exist in a (broad) transition region between order and disorder in which both danger and opportunity (and with that open-ended development and motivation) are defined. We conclude that a research agenda for artificial cognitive system research should include open-ended development through intrinsic motivations and ascribing more prominence to right hemispheric strengths. (shrink)
Abstract The classical case for market society appeals to the complementary goods of economic liberty and maximum wealth. A market society overgrown with economic firms, however, partly sacrifices liberty for the sake of wealth. This point was accepted by prewar, theorists of the economic firm, such as Frank Knight and Ronald Coase, and the attempt to moderate, or compensate for, the constriction of economic liberty was a central struggle of the Progressive Era. Since World War II, however, neoclassical economists have (...) tried to assimilate the firm to the theory of market exchange. Because they have failed, issues of authority and control have recently reassumed their place at the center of the theory of the firm. (shrink)
This article discusses the alleged anti-corruption effects of procurement reforms by presenting the European Act on Public Procurement and the increasing number of appeals filed by suppliers due to perceived misevaluations of tenders and perceived impairments of transparency. The delays and costs that arise from this right to appeal are studied in the Swedish context with the aim of contributing to the debate on corruption in two ways. First, instead of using the modern definition of corruption, the ancient definition (...) is introduced to explain anti-corruption efforts, focusing on corruption as deviations from a pristine standard as opposed to corruption as the abuse of public power for private gain. Second, it will be argued that the fight against corruption in the practical implementation of the European Act on Public Procurement jeopardizes efficiency and might devaluate competence. However, striving for the total elimination of corruption–an evil that has to be fought disregarding the consequences–is integral in the war against it. (shrink)
It has been argued - most prominently in Harry Frankfurt's recent work - that the normative authority of personal commitments derives not from their intrinsic worth but from the way in which one's will is invested in what one cares about. In this essay, I argue that even if this approach is construed broadly and supplemented in various ways, its intrasubjective character leaves it ill-prepared to explain the normative grip of commitments in cases of purported self-betrayal. As an alternative, (...) I sketch a view that focuses on intersubjective constraints of intelligibility built into social practices and on the pragmatics of how those norms are contested in an ongoing fashion. (shrink)
In this paper I respond to Bernd Krehoff’s article ‘Legitimate Political Authority and Sovereignty: Why States Cannot Be the Whole Story’. I criticize Krehoff’s use of Raz’s theory of authority to evaluate the legitimacy of our political institutions. Krehoff argues that states cannot (always) claim exclusive authority and therefore cannot possess exclusive legitimacy. Although I agree with his conclusion, I argue that the questions of legitimacy and (Razian) authority are distinct and that we need to focus (...) more on the former in order to really support and defend Krehoff’s conclusions. (shrink)
Democracy can be a means to independently valuable ends and/or it can be intrinsically (or non-instrumentally) valuable. One powerful non-instrumental defence of democracy is based on the idea that only it can publicly justify political authority. I contend that this is an argument about the reasonable acceptability of political authority and about the requirements of publicity and that satisfying these requirements has nothing to do with whether a society is democratic or not. Democracy, then, plays no role in (...) publicly justifying political authority. I also show that any non-instrumental defence of democracy must make claims about what justice requires and make several further claims that require substantial justification. (shrink)
According to <span class='Hi'>William</span> Edmundson, a legitimatepolitical authority is one that claims tocreate in its subjects a general duty ofobedience to the law, and that succeeds increating in its subjects a duty to obey stateofficials when they apply the law in particularcases. His argument that legitimate politicalauthority does not require the state''s claim tobe true rests on his analysis of legitimatetheoretical authority, and the assumption thattheoretical and practical authority are thesame in the relevant respects, both of whichare (...) challenged here. In addition, Edmundsonfails to demonstrate that a general,content-independent, duty to obey officials whoadminister the law avoids the criticismsphilosophical anarchists pose to a general,content-independent duty to obey the law. Finally, Edmundson requires a legitimate stateto sincerely claim to create a generalduty to obey the law, yet he also argues thatin some cases the state ought to make literallyfalse claims regarding the particular dutiesincumbent upon its subjects. DespiteEdmundson''s recent efforts to reconcile thesetwo claims, the conflict remains. (shrink)
In this popular text, Joel Spring provocatively analyzes the ideas of traditional and non-traditional philosophers, from Plato to Paulo Freire, regarding the contribution of education to the creation of a democratic society. Each section focuses on an important theme: “Autocratic and Democratic Forms of Education;” “Dissenting Traditions in Education;” “The Politics of Culture;” “The Politics of Gender;” and “Education and Human Rights.” This edition features a special emphasis on human rights education. Spring advocates a legally binding right to an education (...) that includes an education in human rights. His argument is that until schools are required to fulfill a duty to protect human rights and teach others to protect human rights, government-operated schools will remain authoritarian rather than democratic institutions. Wheels in the Head: Educational Philosophies of Authority, Freedom, and Culture From Socrates to Human Rights, Second Edition , a critically original work, is widely used as a text for courses across the fields of philosophical, social, political, and historical foundations of education, and critical issues in education. Reflecting its global relevance, a Chinese translation was published by the University of Peking Press in 2005. (shrink)
The nature of authority is shifting in online scholarly communication. This examination of the history and future of peer review argues that effective online communication requires the development of an open, community?oriented, post?publication system of peer?to?peer review, transforming peer review from a process focused on gatekeeping to one concerned with filtering the wealth of scholarly material made available via the Internet.
The most important Jewish source for Hermann Cohen's rational theology of Judaism is Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed . Indeed, the Guide is of such importance that Cohen bases his entire idealistic interpretation of the Jewish religion on it. In particular, Cohen derives his discussion of the continued authority of Mosaic law from the Guide . What follows focuses on Cohen's discussion of the “Law” in his Religion of Reason out of the Sources of Judaism , and attempts to (...) fill a gap in recent Cohen research by dealing with questions of halakhah and the interpretation of rabbinical sources. Cohen's original reading of, inter alia, Guide III.31-32 led him to formulate a theory wherein Mosaic law—and by extension Judaism—guarantees the highest end of human morality. In identifying God with this end, Cohen eventually finds the ultimate criterion for the decision of how much of traditional Jewish law must still be observed in the need for the preservation of the purest monotheism—another central point in Maimonides' philosophy. (shrink)
Abstract The article criticizes the trend of reformulating the traditional just-war criterion of Proper Authority, which was designed to de-legitimize force by non-state actors, into a requirement that decisions to resort to force be multilateral. The article illustrates several shortcomings of the judgment processes of the UN Security Council and General Assembly, the World Court, and states? populations, and argues among other things that reformulating Proper Authority would render other criteria meaningless, especially Just Cause. Finally, the article rebuts (...) the strongest objection to a system in which states judge their own causes for war: the problem of invincible ignorance. (shrink)
This essay focuses on some important concepts in Beauvoir's philosophy: ambiguity, desire, and appeal (appel). Ambiguity and appeal, concepts originating in Beauvoir's moral philosophy, are in The Second Sex connected to the female body and feminine desire. This indicates the complexity of Beauvoir's image of femininity. This essay also proposes a comparative reading of Beauvoir's and Sartre's concepts of appeal, a reading that indicates differences in their views of the relationship among ethics, desire, and gender.
: This essay focuses on some important concepts in Beauvoir's philosophy: ambiguity, desire, and appeal (appel). Ambiguity and appeal, concepts originating in Beauvoir's moral philosophy, are in The Second Sex connected to the female body and feminine desire. This indicates the complexity of Beauvoir's image of femininity. This essay also proposes a comparative reading of Beauvoir's and Sartre's concepts of appeal, a reading that indicates differences in their views of the relationship among ethics, desire, and gender.
The debate over futility is driven, in part, by physicians' desire to recover some measure of decision-making authority from their patients. The standard approach begins by noting that certain interventions are futile for certain patients and then asserts that doctors have no obligation to provide futile treatment. The concept of futility is a complex one, and many commentators find it useful to distinguish ‘physiological futility’ from ‘qualitative futility’. The assertion that physicians can decide to withhold physiologically futile treatment generates (...) little controversy. The claim that they can withhold qualitatively futile treatment runs afoul of standard objections to medical paternalism. There is reason to believe that the conceptual distinction will not be maintained in clinical practice. This paper contends that the scientific data which would support a physician's unilateral decision to withhold physiologically futile treatment also provide support for an institutional policy restricting access to the treatment. The data the doctor uses to take decision-making power out of the hands of the patient can be used by the administrator to take power out of the hands of the doctor. While this loss of power is unproblematic, there is reason to believe that the ambiguity in the term ‘futility’ will allow a much greater loss of physicians' power. Keywords: futility, physician authority CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Open Secrets reflects on contemporary humanistic pedagogy by examining the limits of the teachable in this domain. The Goethean motif of the open secret refers not to a revealed mystery but to an utterance that is not understood, the likely fate of any instruction based purely on authority. Revisiting the European Bildungsroman, it studies the pedagogical relationship from the point of view of the tutor or mentor figure rather than with the usual focus on the young hero. The argument (...) is not confined to works of fiction, however, but examines texts in which the category of fiction has a crucial and constitutive function, for a growing awareness of limited authority on the part of the mentor figures is closely related to fictive self-consciousness in the texts. Rousseau's Emile, as a semi-novelised treatise, whose fictiveness is at once overt and yet unmarked, is relatively unaware of the imaginary nature of its envisaged authority. Passing through Laurence Sterne, C. M. Wieland, Goethe and Nietzsche, the situation is gradually reversed, culminating with the conscious impasse of authority in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. All these writers have achieved their pedagogical impact despite, indeed by means of, their internal scepticism. By contrast, in the three subsequent writers, D. H. Lawrence, F. R. Leavis and J. M. Coetzee, the impasse of pedagogical authority becomes more literal as the authority of Bildung is eroded in the wider culture. The awareness of pedagogical authority as a species of fiction, to be conducted in an aesthetic spirit, remains a significant prophylactic against the perennial pressure of reductive conceptions of the education as form of instructional 'production'. (shrink)
Joseph Raz's famous theory of authority is grounded in three claims about the nature and justification of authority. According to the Preemption Thesis, authoritative directives purport to replace the subject's judgments about what she should do. According to the Dependence Thesis, authoritative directives should be based on reasons that actually apply to the subjects of the directive. According to the Normal Justification Thesis (NJT), authority is justified to the extent that subjects are more likely to comply with (...) right reason by following the authority's directives than by following their own judgments about what right reason requires.1In this article, I consider a number of ways in which NJT might be construed as a justification for authority. First, I evaluate NJT construed as a principle that would provide a practical justification for an individual to accept or recognize a particular person or persons as a preemptive authority. Second, I evaluate NJT construed as a principle that describes the conditions under which a state or legal system is morally legitimate. I argue that NJT is true under none of these interpretations.2. (shrink)
Central to the Cowdin-Tuohey paper is the concept of a moral authority proper to medical practitioners. Much as I agree with the authors in refusing to degrade doctors to the status of mere technicians, I argue that one does not succeed in retrieving the moral dimension of medical practice by investing doctors with moral authority. I show that none of the cases brought forth by Cowdin-Tuohey really amounts to a case of moral authority. Then I try to (...) explain why no such cases can be found. Developing an insight that is common to all the major moral thinkers in the philosophia perennis, I show that doctors are professionally competent with respect only to a part of the human good; morally wise persons are competent with respect to that which makes man good as man. I try to show why it follows that a) professional expertise has no natural tendency to pass over into moral understanding, and that b) doctor and non-doctor alike start from the same point in developing their understanding of medical morality. It follows that the authors fail in their attempt to de-center the moral magisterium of the Church by setting up centers of moral authority outside of the Church. (shrink)
This paper develops a model of the nurse/physician authority relationship presented in an earlier issue of this journal, and responds to criticisms raised against that model in commentaries on that article. Specifically, I examine the discrepancy which exists between medical knowledge and nursing education, and show this discrepancy to be a difference in type, not quality. The implication is that improvements in nursing education will not affect the authority relationship between physician and nurse. To affect this relationship the (...) nature of nursing education must change. (shrink)
Disputes about theory in bioethics almost invariablyrevolve around different understandings of morality or practicalreasoning; I here suggest that the field would do well to becomemore explicitly contentious about knowledge, and start the taskof putting together a clinical epistemology. By way of providingsome motivation for such a discussion, I consider two cases ofresistance to shifts in clinical practice that are, by and large,not ethically controversial, highlighting how differentconceptions of epistemic authority may contribute to clinicians'unwillingness to adopt these changes, and sketching (...) out someinitial suggestions for epistemic analysis of clinical practice. (shrink)
Standards for professional training and practice are defined by accrediting organisations or statutory bodies. These describe the arena in which the practitioner may speak with authority. The sphere of authorised practice is further delineated by the external resources available. Within this explicit framework, unconscious mental processes can affect the professional response in potentially adverse ways. This is particularly important in mental health practice. Professionals must be prepared to examine their own responses on this basis in order to enhance their (...) knowledge of the patient and minimise the possibilities of the patient becoming the victim of the professional's own psychopathology. The maintenance of such a position in an institution or organisation requires a similar process within its structure in order to provide the necessary setting and define the limits of good practice. In this paper, the field of adolescent mental health is specifically examined. (shrink)