In his original essay, The Form of Practical Knowledge, Stephen Engstrom argues for placing Kant’s ethics in the tradition of practical cognitivism. My remarks are intended to highlight the merits of his interpretation in contrast to intuitionism and constructivism, understood as ways of appropriating Kant’s legacy. In particular, I will focus on two issues: ﬁrst, the special character of practical knowledge—as opposed to theoretical knowledge and craft expertise; and second, the apparent tension between the demands of morality and (...) the requirements of instrumental reason, when this is understood as driven by concerns for happiness, prudence, and personal integrity. (shrink)
: Discussions of ethical approaches in nursing have been much enlivened in recent years, for instance by new developments in the theory of care. Nevertheless, many ethical concepts in nursing still need to be clarified. The purpose of this contribution is to develop a fundamental ethical view on nursing care considered as moral practice. Three main components are analyzed more deeply--i.e., the caring relationship, caring behavior as the integration of virtue and expert activity, and "good care" as the ultimate goal (...) of nursing practice. For the development of this philosophical-ethical interpretation of nursing, we have mainly drawn on the pioneering work of Anne Bishop and John Scudder, Alasdair MacIntyre, Lawrence Blum, and Louis Janssens. We will also show that the European philosophical background offers some original ideas for this endeavor. (shrink)
In this paper, I directly oppose Nietzsche’s endorsement of a morality of breeding to all forms of comparative, positive eugenics: the use of genetic selection to introduce positive improvement in individuals or the species, based on negatively or comparatively defined traits. I begin by explaining Nietzsche’s contrast between two broad categories of morality: breeding and taming. I argue that the ethical dangers of positive eugenics are grounded in their status as forms of taming, which preserves positively evaluated character (...) traits and types through the active de-selection of negatively evaluated ones. The morality of taming is not a form of selection, but de-selection: the production of counter or anti-traits and types. Consequently, in its attempt to improve humanity, it tends necessarily toward violence as the elimination of de-selected forms of human life. In contrast, Nietzsche’s morality of breeding selects traits and types by protecting them from de-selection—specifically, by attacking moral ideas, values, and practices designed to eliminate them. It tends not towards the destruction but preservation of types; its negativity targets not life but the ideas that disable, disempower, and eradicate forms of life. I argue, further, that the fundamental ethical difference between breeding and taming, and so between Nietzschean morality and eugenics, is found in their attitudes toward the natural world. The violence of eugenics as taming is grounded in its status as anti-natural, while Nietzsche’s morality of breeding resists violence through its foundational affirmation of the conditions and limitations of the natural world: its resolute moral naturalism. Finally, I apply my interpretation of breeding and taming to two cases of comparative, positive eugenics: the historical case of racial eugenics and the so-called “designer baby” case in contemporary liberal eugenics. Nietzsche must condemn both as forms of the anti-natural morality of taming, to which the morality of breeding is diametrically opposed. (shrink)
Argues that choice, as a form of interpretation, is completely intertwined with the development of both sexual orientation and sexual identity. Sexual orientation is not simply a given, or determined aspect of personality.
In this article, I discuss the manner in which Dieter Henrich’s theory of subjectivity has emerged from the fundamental questions of German Idealism, and in what manner and to what extent this theory effects a reinstatement of metaphysics. In so doing, I shall argue that Henrich’s position represents a viable refutation of the attempt of the physicalist explanation of the world to prove the concept of the subject to be superfluous. Henrich’s metaphysics of subjectivity is primarily focused on the ‘ultimate (...) questions’ which also compose “the deep levels of our subjectivity” and concern the factors that should promote stability in our emotional, moral and intellectual life. I argue with Henrich that the indisputable facticity of our conscious life is worthy of our special consideration and interpretation, explanation and clarification, just as the deeper meaning (the individual and collective subconscious structure) hidden beneath the layers of apparent comprehensibility calls for urgent investigation. Such interpretation and elucidation of life’s meaning has a tripartite character: first, it consists of clarification of the totality of human experience together with the realities playing a part in it; second, it builds on the process by which the contents of experience are cognized, and the knowledge thereof which results; thirdly, it embraces the transcendental precondition enabling each and every one of us to consciously lead our lives—for life, in a human sense, does not merely happen to one. Henrich’s metaphysical foundation of subjectivity is compared with Kolak‘s position, according to which individual consciousness is not insular, but integrated into the totality of overall unity that some have called “the Universal Self”, “the Noumenal Self”. (shrink)
In The Invention of Autonomy, Schneewind argues that a main development in early modern ethical thought is the transition from a conception of morality as obedience to a conception of morality as self-governance. I consider the presuppositions implicit in the latter conception and ask whether they can be maintained. Correspondence:c1 firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Searle has recently produced an argument for strong altruism which rests on the recognition that ‘I believe my need for help is a reason for you to help me’. The argument fails to recognize the difference between ‘a reason for me for you to help me’ and ‘a reason for you for you to help me.’ These are two logically distinct types of reason and the existence of one can never therefore be enough to establish the existence of the (...) other. The existence of this logical gap is a major obstacle for any argument for morality as a rational requirement that attempts to universalise from reasons individual persons have to act morally. (shrink)
This paper aims to analyse Husserl’s texts in order to evaluate his attempt to apply a model of intentionality as interpretation(Auffassung) of a content (Inhalt) he had earlier developed to explain a notion of timeconsciousness. In Husserl’s previous published work the Logical Investigations (1900‐01), he construed perceptual intentionality on the model of apprehending intention and apprehended sensual contents for an ordinary object. For later published work, the so‐called early lectures on The Phenomenology of Internal Time-Consciousness (1928), he continued to (...) apply the model to analyse temporal objects both in the awareness of duration and in the temporal flow. Brough presented that Husserl’s attempt to apply the model culminated in its rejection. The paper postulates that Husserl did not fail, but in fact was a success. Husserl succeeded in applying the model as a foundation method for investigating the occurrence of remembrance of elapsed temporal objects. In the end he found a suitable way to determine what is actually temporal now, before and after in the continuous stream of time‐consciousness. Without interpretation of a content model, the Husserlian phenomenology that everyone is conscious of the same thing, appearing as such, at the same time, cannot be possible. (shrink)
In Section 1, I rehearse some arguments for the claim that morality should be ``action-guiding'', and try to state the conditions under which a moral theory is in fact action-guiding. I conclude that only agents who are cognitively and conatively ``ideal'' are in general able to use a moral theory as a guide to action. In Sections 2 and 3, I discuss whether moral ``actualism'' implies that morality cannot be action-guiding even for ideal agents. If actualism is true, (...) an ideal agent will know about her own future actions. Since such foreknowledge is often thought to be incompatible with deliberation, and since action-guidance presupposes the possibility of deliberation, there is an apparent difficulty in combining actualism with the requirement of action-guidance. In opposition to an argument by Jan Österberg, I try to show that actualism and action-guidance are in fact compatible. (shrink)
According to R. G. Collingwood in The Principles of Art, art is the expression of emotion--a much-criticized view. I attempt to provide some groundwork for a defensible modern version of such a theory via some novel further criticisms of Collingwood, including the exposure of multiple ambiguities in his main concept of expression of emotion, and a demonstration that, surprisingly enough, his view is unable to account for genuinely creative artistic activities. A key factor in the reconstruction is a replacement of (...) the concept of expression with that of interpretation: what artists do is to interpret, rather than express, their initial emotions, in creative ways that may go far beyond their initial impulses. Thus more broadly the paper attempts to show that the concept of interpretation is just as central to understanding artistic creativity as it is in the analysis of the critical appreciation of artworks. (shrink)
Abstract -/- Inclusive nonindexical context-dependence occurs when the preferred interpretation of an utterance implies its lexically-derived meaning. It is argued that the corresponding processes of free or lexically mandated enrichment can be modeled as abductive inference. A form of abduction is implemented in Simple Type Theory on the basis of a notion of plausibility, which is in turn regarded a preference relation over possible worlds. Since a preordering of doxastic alternatives taken for itself only amounts to a relatively vacuous (...) ad hoc model, it needs to be combined with a rational way of learning from new evidence. Lexicographic upgrade is implemented as an example of how an agent might revise his plausibility ordering in light of new evidence. Various examples are given how this apparatus may be used to model the contextual resolution of context-dependent or semantically incomplete utterances. The described form of abduction is limited and merely serves as a proof of concept, but the idea in general has good potential as one among many ways to build a bridge between semantics and pragmatics since inclusive context-dependence is ubiquitous. (shrink)
This article examines the interpretive dimensions of human action. Although it takes the reflexive sociology of Pierre Bourdieu as its starting point, the article attempts to develop a more robust hermeneutical account of the reflexivity of social actors and those who study them than Bourdieu himself has considered. It is argued that interpretation is best understood not as the homologous expression of inculcated structures but rather as context-sensitive and reflexively context-transforming actionor what the author wishes to characterize, respectively, as (...) first- and second-order thematizations of embeddedness. The article concludes by contrasting the author's position with the thick description of Clifford Geertz. (shrink)
Theorists at the interface of medicine and the humanities have recently suggested that interpretation as a literary activity can be applied to the practice of clinical medicine. This article reviews such theories and their literary metaphors and methods. In pushing these ideas further, it is proposed that a number of guidelines can be applied to interpretation as a practical activity for clinical medicine. Keywords: interpretation, literature, texts, clinical medicine CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
Abstract The commonly used notion of principled morality is interpreted philosophically and psychologically. Five sets of philosophical assumptions embedded in this notion are identified, dealing with the purpose of morality, the place of reason in morality, the autonomy of the moral agent, the autonomy of moral discourse and the nature of moral principles. An attempt is made to make these assumptions more meaningful to the non?philosophical reader by offering a phenomenological account of how they might be reflected (...) in the real processes of moral judgment. The interpretation emphasizes the dynamic nature of principled moral judgment. (shrink)
There has been growing interest in, and scholarly attention to, issues and questions that arise within the subject matter domain we may call "human rights theory". See, in particular, Amartya Sen, "Elements of a Theory of Human Rights," 32 Philosophy & Public Affairs 315 (2004); James W. Nickel, Making Sense of Human Rights (rev. ed. 2006); Michael J. Perry, Toward a Theory of Human Rights: Religion, Law, Courts (2007); James Griffin, On Human Rights (2008); Nicholas Wolterstorff, Justice: Rights and Wrongs (...) (2008). This essay - a version of which will appear in a multi-authored collection of essays to be published by Oxford University Press in 2009 - is intended as a contribution to human rights theory. These are the principal questions, or sets of questions, I address in the essay:1. What is the morality of human rights - by which I mean the morality that, according to the International Bill of Human Rights, is the principal warrant for the law of human rights?2. How does the morality of human rights warrant the law of human rights?3. Some human-rights-claims are legal claims, but some are moral claims, and some are both. What does a human-rights-claim of the legal sort mean? A human-rights-claim of the moral sort? And when does it make sense to think of a right that only some human beings have - children, for example - as a human right?4. Is there a plausible secular ground for the morality of human rights?5. At the end of the proverbial day, what difference does it make - why should we care - if there is no plausible secular ground for the morality of human rights?Comments and questions welcome. (shrink)
Contemporary caution against anachronism in intellectual history, and the currently momentous theoretical emphasis on subjectivity in the philosophy of mind, are two prevailing conditions that set puzzling constraints for studies in the history of philosophical psychology. The former urges against assuming ideas, motives, and concepts that are alien to the historical intellectual setting under study, and combined with the latter suggests caution in relying on our intuitions regarding subjectivity due to the historically contingent characterizations it has attained in contemporary philosophy (...) of mind. In the face of these conditions, our paper raises a question of what we call non-textual (as opposed to contextual) standards of interpretation of historical texts, and proceeds to explore subjectivity as such a standard. Non-textual standards are defined as (heuristic) postulations of features of the world or our experience of it that we must suppose to be immune to historical variation in order to understand a historical text. Although the postulation of such standards is often so obvious that the fact of our doing so is not noticed at all, we argue that the problems in certain special cases, such as that of subjectivity, force us to pay attention to the methodological questions involved. Taking into account both recent methodological discussion and the problems inherent in two de facto denials of the relevance of subjectivity for historical theories, we argue that there are good grounds for the adoption of subjectivity as a non-textual standard for historical work in philosophical psychology. (shrink)
There are close parallels between perception (the interpretation of sensory experience as representing physical objects) and hermeneutics (the interpretation of signs as having meaning). Perceptual illusions corresponds to ambiguities in texts; naive realism corresponds to fundamentalism; the scientist's reinterpretation of the "manifest image" to the global/local interplay of the "hermeneutic circle" in the interpretation of large texts.
In this paper, I want to deal with the problem of how to find an adequate context of interpretation for indexical sentences that enables one to account for the intuitive truth-conditional content which some apparently puzzling indexical sentences like “I am not here now” as well as other such sentences contextually have. In this respect, I will pursue a fictionalist line. This line allows for shifts in interpretation contexts and urges that such shifts are governed by pretense, which (...) has to be understood in terms of socially shared make-believe games. By appealing to pretense so conceived, I will show that the fictionalist perspective is halfway between an intentionalist perspective, according to which the above indexical sentences have to be interpreted in a shifted intended context, (this perspective is primarily defined by Predelli 1998, Analysis 58, 107; Mind and Language 13, 400) and a conventionalist perspective, according to which indexical reference shifts in accordance with a conventional setting. (For this perspective, cf. Corazza et al. 2002, Philosophical Studies 107, See also Corazza 2004, Reflecting the Mind: Indexicality and Quasi-Indexicality, Oxford University Press). Finally, I will claim that the fictionalist analysis of cases of non-ordinary uses of indexicals like “here” and “now” can be retained in face of a new alternative analysis of those cases in terms of an ‘unbound anaphora’ – theory (cf. Corazza 2004, Synthese 138, 145). (shrink)
The conception of man as an economic animal is implied by the view that economic production is the determining “factor” or “sphere” of man or society. Against this conception can be put another, that of man as praxis. This takes account of man as a creative being, capable of realizing his freedom through his own activity. In this article the theory of the determining role of the “economic factor”, and the theory of factors in general have been examined. The economic (...)interpretation of history, a variant of the theory of factors, has been acknowledged as partly true for the self-alienated man and society, but the theory of factors in any variant has been found inadequate as a general theory of man, or society. The possibility of freedom cannot be reduced to the fact that the determining roles played by “factors”, vary, or to the hope that the economic “factor” can be subordinated to a “better” one. Man's freedom consists in his resolving the conflict of “factors”, and in realizing himself as an integral creative being, no longer split into independent and mutually opposed spheres. (shrink)
Is Knowledge a Duty? Yes, It Is, and We Also Have to “Respect People As Things”, At Least in Our Technological World: Response to Bernd Carsten Stahl’s Review of Morality in a Technological World: Knowledge as Duty Content Type Journal Article Pages 161-164 DOI 10.1007/s11023-010-9179-x Authors Lorenzo Magnani, University of Pavia Department of Philosophy Piazza Botta 6 27100 Pavia Italy Journal Minds and Machines Online ISSN 1572-8641 Print ISSN 0924-6495 Journal Volume Volume 20 Journal Issue Volume 20, Number 1.
Illative combinatory logic consists of the theory of combinators or lambda calculus extended by extra constants (and corresponding axioms and rules) intended to capture inference. In a preceding paper, , we considered 4 systems of illative combinatory logic that are sound for first order intuitionistic propositional and predicate logic. The interpretation from ordinary logic into the illative systems can be done in two ways: following the propositions-as-types paradigm, in which derivations become combinators, or in a more direct way, in (...) which derivations are not translated. Both translations are closely related in a canonical way. In the cited paper we proved completeness of the two direct translations. In the present paper we prove that also the two indirect translations are complete. These proofs are direct whereas in another version, , we proved completeness by showing that the two corresponding illative systems are conservative over the two systems for the direct translations. Moreover we shall prove that one of the systems is also complete for predicate calculus with higher type functions. (shrink)
The question whether, in the interim, the "socialist morality" allows adequate restraint on revolutionary action, cannot fairly be answered in abstraction from history, in this case our epoch. We submit that the group of projects called corporate "globalization" - imposing free trade, privatization, and dominance of transnational corporations - shapes that epoch. These projects are associated with polarization of wealth, deepening poverty, and an alarming new global U.S. military domination. Using 9/11 as pretext for a "war on terror," this (...) domination backs corporate globalization. If Nazi occupation of France and French occupation of Algeria made Sartre and Beauvoir assign moral primacy to overcoming oppressive systems, then U.S. global occupation should occasion rebirth of that commitment. Parallels among the three occupations are striking. France's turning of colonial and metropolitan working classes against each other is echoed by globalization's pitting of (e.g.) Chinese against Mexican workers in a race to lower wages to get investment. Seducing first-world workers with racial superiority and cheap imports from near-slavery producers once again conceals their thralldom to their own bosses. Nazi and French use of overwhelming force and even torture are re-cycled by the U.S. and its agents, again to hide the vulnerability of their small forces amidst their enemies. (shrink)
This explores the role of intention in interpreting designed artefacts. The relationship between how designers intend products to be interpreted and how they are subsequently interpreted has often been represented as a process of communication. However, such representations are attacked for allegedly implying that designers' intended meanings are somehow ‘contained’ in products and that those meanings are passively received by consumers. Instead, critics argue that consumers actively construct their own meanings as they engage with products, and therefore that designers' intentions (...) are not relevant to this process. In contrast, this article asserts the validity and utility of relating intention to interpretation by exploring the nature of that relationship in design practice and consumer response. Communicative perspectives on design are thereby defended and new avenues of empirical enquiry are proposed. (shrink)
In multicultural situations it is common for people to feel that their usual modes of coping are insufficient. They experience what is here called diversity stress. Today diversity stress is widely experienced in part because key management assumptions involving moral judgments are changing. Understanding diversity stress as a type of morality stress suggests particular patterns of causation, and of productive and counterproductive reactions on the part of individuals and organizations. – Deciding whom to appoint to a challenging new position (...) in Europe, a manager passes over an Asian employee and gives the job to a white male. He worries that there may be some prejudice in his own Judgment. – Because she wants to see more minorities in visible positions, a manager promotes a slightly less qualified minority candidate over a majority candidate, all the while feeling guilty. – A male manager hesitates to hug a longtime employee who has just lost her mother. (shrink)
The conception of man as an economic animal is implied by the view that economic production is the determining ?factor? or ?sphere? of man or society. Against this conception can be put another, that of man as praxis. This takes account of man as a creative being, capable of realizing his freedom through his own activity. In this article the theory of the determining role of the ?economic factor?, and the theory of factors in general have been examined. The economic (...)interpretation of history, a variant of the theory of factors, has been acknowledged as partly true for the self?alienated man and society, but the theory of factors in any variant has been found inadequate as a general theory of man, or society. The possibility of freedom cannot be reduced to the fact that the determining roles played by ?factors?, vary, or to the hope that the economic ?factor? can be subordinated to a ?better? one. Man's freedom consists in his resolving the conflict of ?factors?, and in realizing himself as an integral creative being, no longer split into independent and mutually opposed spheres. (shrink)
This essay presents a possible interpretation of the concept of beauty in Kant’s Critique of Judgment, which was itself suggested by Kant in the two introductionsto the text and gained force among the Early German Romantics and Idealists, introducing an alternative point of view into the concept of beauty and the role it plays in the relationship between reason and sensibility, man and world. Through the analysis of the four moments of the Analytic of the Beautiful, beauty will manifest (...) itself as the realm in which a special encounter between human freedom and nature takes place. Therefore, and as an alternative to some traditional interpretations of Kant’s aesthetic investigation, which understand Kant’s judgment of taste exclusively on the basis of its subjective conditions, the judgment of beauty will present itself also in the relationship it establishes with the objects of nature. (shrink)
Following a brief historical account of the relationship between the PSSI and the TTP (as well as their respective authors), I provide a summary of Meyer’s arguments (in the first two parts of the PSSI) for his claim that philosophy provides the unique norm of interpretation for Scripture. My third section is devoted to an analysis of the analytic relations between the PSSI and the TTP. A brief closing section offers several speculations on the clarifications which Meyer’s work may (...) bring to Spinoza’s own development of a different account of scriptural exegesis in the TTP. (shrink)
There are three major reasons that ideas associated with ubuntu are often deemed to be an inappropriate basis for a public morality. One is that they are too vague, a second is that they fail to acknowledge the value of individual freedom, and a third is that they a fit traditional, small-scale culture more than a modern, industrial society. In this article, I provide a philosophical interpretation of ubuntu that is not vulnerable to these three objections. Specifically, I (...) construct a moral theory grounded on southern African worldviews, one that suggests a promising new conception of human dignity. According to this conception, typical human beings have a dignity in virtue of their capacity for community, understood as the combination of identifying with others and exhibiting solidarity with them, where human rights violations are egregious degradations of this capacity. I argue that this account of human rights violations straightforwardly entails and explains many different elements of South Africa’s Bill of Rights and naturally suggests certain ways of resolving contemporary moral dilemmas in South Africa and elsewhere relating to land reform, political power and deadly force. (shrink)
consequentialism." Whereas it is virtually impossible to do the hedonic calculus for ordinary pains and pleasures, there is no question about the long term good consequences of the virtues and good character, as compared to the long term pain that the vices bring. This means that attempts, such as Michael Slote's gallant..
Abstract It would be puzzling if the morally best agents were not so good after all. Yet one prominent account of the morally best agents ascribes to them the exact motivational defect that has famously been called a “fetish.” The supposed defect is a desire to do the right thing, where this is read de dicto . If the morally best agents really are driven by this de dicto desire, and if this de dicto desire is really a fetish, then (...) the morally best agents are moral fetishists. This is puzzling. I resolve the puzzle by showing that on a proper understanding of the interaction between de dicto and de re moral motivation, it is not only not fetishistic, but quite possibly desirable, to be motivated by a de dicto desire to do the right thing. My argument relies partly on an appeal to a non-buck-passing account of moral rightness, according to which rightness is itself an additional reason-giving property over and above the right-making properties of an action. If this account of moral rightness is correct, then we would expect the morally best agents to exhibit de dicto moral motivation. However, since their de dicto desire acts in concert with de re desires, there is no reason to consider it a fetish. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-19 DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9825-z Authors Vanessa Carbonell, Philosophy Department, University of Cincinnati, P.O. Box 210374, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0374, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116. (shrink)
Those of us who are sympathetic to Kantian ethics usually are so because we regard it as an ethics of autonomy, based on rational self-esteem and respect for the human capacity to direct one’s own life according to rational principles. Kantian ethical theory is grounded on the idea that the moral law is binding on me only because it is a law proceeding from my own will. The ground of a law of autonomy lies in the very will which is (...) to be subject to the law, and this leaves no room for any issue about why this will should obey the law. The idea of autonomy also identifies the authority of the law with the value constituting the content of the law, in that it bases the law on our esteem for the dignity of rational nature in ourselves, which makes every rational being an end in itself. (shrink)
The idea that films can be philosophical, or in some sense 'do' philosophy, has recently found a number of prominent proponents. What is at stake here is generally more than the tepid claim that some documentaries about philosophy and related topics convey philosophically relevant content. Instead, the contention is that cinematic fictions, including popular movies such as The Matrix , make significant contributions to philosophy. Various more specific claims are linked to this basic idea. One, relatively weak, but pedagogically important (...) observation is that some films can be used to provide philosophy students with vivid and thought-provoking illustrations of philosophical issues. Film screenings stimulate discussion and may motivate renewed engagement with difficult philosophical texts. A stronger contention, however, seeks to link innovative and philosophically valuable thinking to 'the film itself' or to the 'specificity of the cinematic medium'. Such claims raise interesting questions, including questions about the status of the increasingly prevalent philosophically motivated interpretations of particular movies. Who is actually doing the philosophizing in such cases? Is it the audio-visual display, the film-maker, or the philosopher who devises an interpretation of the work? What is the role of specifically cinematic devices in the philosophical points made in such interpretations? Is there any tension between the goal of appreciating a film as a work of art and the goal of arguing that a film has significant implications for a position on a problem in philosophy? A course in the general area of cinema as philosophy can focus on issues related to the locus and status of cinematic philosophizing. It can also delve into specific films and film-makers and philosophically oriented interpretations of specific philosophical topics, such as personal identity. Issues pertaining to interpretation, meaning, and authorship can be usefully investigated in this connection, as can topics in meta-philosophy related to the very nature of philosophical insight or knowledge. Author Recommends Carroll, Noël and Jinhee Choi, eds. 2008. The Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures: An Anthology , Part VIII: Film and Knowledge. Malden, MA: Blackwell. 381–405. Inclues a brief introduction by Carroll followed by papers by Bruce Russell, Karen Hanson, and Lester H. Hunt. Kania, Andrew, ed. 2009. Memento . London: Routledge. A number of philosophers elucidate philosophical themes in Memento and discuss more general issues pertaining to cinema's philosophical significance. Livingston, Paisley. 2009. Cinema, Philosophy, Bergman: On Film as Philosophy . Oxford: Oxford University Press. Part 1 surveys arguments surrounding the cinema as philosophy theme, providing detailed criticisms of some of the bold theses in this area. Part 2 discusses issues related to cinematic authorship and the status of philosophically motivated interpretations of works of fiction, arguing for a partial intentionalist account of a work's meanings. Part 3 illustrates the intentionalist principles in a discussion of Ingmar Bergman's philosophical sources, providing insight into themes of motivated irrationality, inauthenticity, and self-knowledge in some of Bergman's works. Livingston, Paisley and Carl Plantinga, eds. 2009. The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film , Part IV: Film as Philosophy. London: Routledge. 547–659. Offers a succinct survey by Wartenberg as well as entries on Ingmar Bergman, Terrence Malick, and Andrei Tarkovsky, discussions of film and specific philosophical topics (morality, skepticism, personal identity, and practical wisdom), and examples of philosophically motivated interpretations of three specific films: The Five Obstructions , Gattaca , and Memento . Smith, Murray and Thomas E. Wartenberg, eds. 2006. Thinking Through Cinema: Film as Philosophy . Malden, MA: Blackwell. A collection of papers that combines essays devoted to general positions on the cinema as philosophy topic as well as specific interpretations of works in different genres. Turvey, Malcolm. 2008. Doubting Vision: Film and the Revelationist Tradition . Oxford: Oxford University Press. A probing critical investigation into the assumptions underlying influential philosophical claims about the epistemic value of cinema. Wartenberg, Thomas E. 2008. Thinking on Screen: Film as Philosophy . London: Routledge. Ably surveys and responds to arguments against the idea that films can 'do philosophy'. It defends a conditionalist form of intentionalism in response to the 'imposition objection' according to which it is only the commentator who reads philosophical themes 'into' the movie; illustrates the favored account of film as philosophy with interpretations of specific cinematic fictions. Online Materials Film-Philosophy http://www.film-philosophy.com/ > Founded in 1996, this peer-reviewed online journal is dedicated to philosophically oriented interpretations of films and cinema studies more generally. The e-mail salon encourages discussion of related topics. Includes essays, festival reports, calls for papers, conference and job information, and book reviews. The archive includes contributions from 1997 to the present. Wartenberg, Thomas E. 'Philosophy of Film.' The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy ; http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/film/ > A brief survey of a range of issues in the philosophy of cinema including a few paragraphs on the film as philosophy topic. Philosophical Films http://www.philfilms.utm.edu/2/filmlist.htm > A briefly annotated list of philosophical films grouped in rubrics such as 'The Meaning of Life' and 'Environmental Ethics'. Sample Syllabus What follows is a 4-week 'start-up module' followed by samples of optional units that focus on particular topics and cinematic examples. Introductory Module Week I: Introduction & Overview Livingston, Paisley. 'Recent Work on Cinema as Philosophy.' Philosophy Compass 3 (2008): 1–14, 20 (DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2008.00158.x ). Wartenberg, Thomas E. 2009. 'Film as Philosophy.' The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Ed. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 549–59. Russell, Bruce. 2008. 'The Philosophical Limits of Film.' The Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures: An Anthology . Ed. Noël Carroll and Jinhee Choi. Malden, MA: Blackwell. 387–390. Week II: The Bold Thesis on Film as Philosophy Reading: Livingston, Paisley, 'Theses on Cinema as Philosophy.' Cinema, Philosophy, Bergman, Chapter One. 11–38. Screening: October (dir. Sergei Eisenstein 1928). Week III: Debating the Bold Thesis: The Case of October Carroll, Noël. 1998. 'For God and Country.' Interpreting the Moving Image . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 80–91. Smuts, Aaron. 2009. 'Film as Philosophy: In Defense of a Bold Thesis.' Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism , 67:4: 409–20. Week IV: Cinema as Philosophy: Objections and Replies Livingston, Paisley. 2009. 'Arguing over Cinema as Philosophy.' Cinema, Philosophy, Bergman, Chapter Two. 39–59. Additional Optional Units Depending on the instructor's areas of interest and expertise, any of the following units could be added (and in some cases, easily expanded into longer segments). The Case of Ingmar Bergman Livingston, Paisley. 2009. 'Ingmar Bergman.' The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Eds. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 560–568. Screening(s): Wild Strawberries (dir. Ingmar Bergman 1957), or The Seventh Seal (dir. Ingmar Bergman 1957), or Persona (dir. Ingmar Bergman 1966). Skepticism Fumerton, Richard. 2009. 'Skepticism.' In The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Eds. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 601–10. Screening: The Matrix (dir. Andy and Larry Wachowski 1999) or Total Recall (dir. Paul Verhoeven 1990). Ethics Kupfer, Joseph. 1999. Visions of Virtue in Popular Film . Boulder, CO: Westview. 35–60. Falzon, Chris. 2009. 'Why be Moral?' The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Eds. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 591–599. Screening: Groundhog Day (dir. <span class='Hi'>Harold</span> Ramis 1993), or Crimes and Misdemeanors (dir. Woody Allen 1989), or Hollow Man (dir. Paul Verhoeven 2000). Personal Identity Knight, Deborah. 2009. 'Personal Identity.' The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Eds. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 611–619. Hanley, Richard. 2009. ' Memento and Personal Identity: Are We Getting it Backwards?' Memento . Ed. Andrew Kania. London: Routledge. 107–126. Martin, Raymond. 2009. 'The Value of Memory: Reflections on Memento. ' Memento . Ed. Andrew Kania. London: Routledge. 87–106. Screening: Memento (dir. Christopher Nolan 2000). Freedom and (Genetic) Determinism Sesardic, Neven. 2009. 'Gattaca.' The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Eds. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 641–649. Screening: Gattaca (dir. Andrew Niccol 1997). Focus Questions • Is there anything special about the experience of fiction films that is especially well suited to the stimulation of worthwhile philosophical reflection? • Have any novel and philosophically significant ideas found their first expression in a cinematic work? • Under what circumstances can the film medium be used as an expression of a cinematic author's views? • What sort of background knowledge has to be in place for a film to be interpreted as articulating reasonably precise philosophical theses and arguments? • Does the goal of spelling out a film's philosophical meaning sometimes conflict with the goal of appreciating its value as a work of art? (shrink)
Standard models of visual perception hold that vision is an inferential or interpretative process. Such models are said to be superior to competing, non-inferential views in explanatory power. In particular, they are said to be capable of explaining a number of otherwise mysterious, visual phenomena such as multi-stable perception. Multi-stable perception paradigmatically occurs in the presence of ambiguous figures, single images that can give rise to two or more distinct percepts. Different interpretations are said to produce the different percepts. In (...) this paper, I argue that a non-inferential account of visual perception is just as capable of explaining multi-stable perception. I propose an embedded understanding of vision, and show how the embedded account can, after properly qualifying them, use the explanatory resources of the inferential view to explain just what such a view explains. (shrink)
Communicating with Confucius based on our own hermeneutical context, and reading the Analects as a text of philosophical hermeneutics, it can be concluded that as an epochal thinker, the contribution of Confuciusâ thought is that it initiated a humanistic moral ideal with cultural upbringing as its core. Based on this consciousness of humanistic moral ideal, Confucius thought and dealt positively with the human existential plight and social political problems that he faced during his own time, and his thought is more (...) creative than conservative. (shrink)
The present article discusses the relationship between might ( potentia ) and power ( potestas ) as it has unfolded throughout the modern age, from Thomas Hobbes to Carl Schmitt. Hobbes indicates the way forward for a progressive linguistic and conceptual coincidence of potentia and potestas : the goal of Hobbesian political philosophy (the search for peace and security) necessitates the reduction of potentia to potestas through the elimination of the content of actus . Schmitt accepts this reduction, by assigning (...) priority to potestas : the image of modern technology as a privileged dimension of potentia—potestas comes together as the modern state. Instead of taking the route of potentia understood as an opening-up to new possibilities and as human self-affirmation, the language of potentia—potestas has triggered a process, which is that of a naturalization of power relations, that is based on and justified by the social inequality arising from the differing extent of ownership of the instruments of technological production. (shrink)
It is argued in this paper that recent work on immanence and transcendence in Whitehead scholarship, notably by Basile and Nobo, provides helpful guidelines and ideas for work on problems regarding immanence in Deleuze's philosophy. By following arguments on theism and naturalism in the reception of Whitehead, it argues that Deleuze's philosophy depends on reciprocal relations between that actual and the virtual such that they cannot be considered as separate without also being incomplete. It is then shown that Deleuze's philosophy (...) allows for metaphysical terms such as ‘pure’ without having to concede a separate and self-sufficient pure realm. (shrink)
The syntax of Frege's scientific language iscommonly taken to be characterized by two oddities:the representation of the intended illocutionary roleof sentences by a special sign, the judgement-stroke,and the treatment of sentences as a species ofsingular terms. In this paper, an alternative view isdefended. The main theses are: (i) the syntax ofFrege's scientific language aims at an explication ofthe logical form of judgements; (ii) thejudgement-stroke is, therefore, a truth-operator, nota pragmatic operator; (iii) in Frege's first system,` ' expresses that the circumstance (...) is a fact, and in his second system that thetruth-value - is the True; (iv) in bothsystems, the judgement-stroke is construed as a signsui generis, not as a genuine predicate; (v) itscounterpart in natural language is the syntactic ``formof assertoric sentences'', not the (redundant)truth-predicate; (vi) neither in Frege's first nor inhis second system sentences are treated as singular terms. (shrink)
The technological advances of contemporary society have outpaced our moral understanding of the problems that they create. How will we deal with profound ecological changes, human cloning, hybrid people, and eroding cyberprivacy, just to name a few issues? In this book, Lorenzo Magnani argues that existing moral constructs often can not be applied to new technology. He proposes an entirely new ethical approach, one that blends epistemology with cognitive science.
The article deals with Kant's understanding of personhood and autonomy. It highlights the connection of autonomy and human dignity within Kant's appreciation of morality, and indicates how his distinction between the empirical and transcendental spheres enables Kant to extend dignity even to humans who are not actually autonomous. Turning to contemporary approaches within ethics that refer to Kant but omit this transcendental framework, it defends the necessity of a trans-empirical frame within the Kantian system and hints at consequences for (...) bioethics. It concludes that Kant works with neither an absolutist notion of freedom in terms of solipsistic autarky, nor an empirical freedom and autonomy that begin and end at certain points of time. (shrink)
This paper reports on recent developments in the rise of bioethics in Japan. Much of the recent interest in bioethics in Japan is seen as a response to various civic movements. The women's liberation movement, access to equal opportunity, and the recognition of patients' rights and the importance of informed consent are among some of the movements influencing the development of bioethics in Japan. The author argues that this movement is to be encouraged and fostered by health care professionals, public (...) policy makers, as well as lay persons in Japan. Keywords: bioethics, Japan, patients' rights, informed consent CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Imagine the following situation: an act of violent assault has been committed. And there are only two possible suspects, of which one is a small and weak man and the other a big and strong man. The weak man will plead that he is not strong enough and therefore not likely to have committed the crime, which seems reasonable straight away. But there will also be a loophole for the strong man, as Aristotle tells us, who reports exactly that story (...) in book 2, chapter 24, of his Rhetoric. And he also has a name to assign to the inventor of that kind of argument (1402a17–20):The Art of Corax is composed of this topic. For if a man is not likely to be guilty of what he is accused of, for instance if, being weak, he is .. (shrink)
Though this is not a comparative study of Hegel and Heidegger, this article brings Heidegger's thinking of Being to shed light on some ambiguous parts of Hegel's Godtalk, which is fundamentally postmodern. Its main arguments are (1) as real, Hegel's God is not a metaphysical Being but an absolute activity; (2) as transcendent, Hegel's God is not beyond this world but immanent in this world to bring it beyond itself; and (3) as revealing, God is not external but internal to (...) human knowing. Largely a textual reinterpretation of Hegel in light of Heidegger, this article has in mind a theology that can take our postmodern condition into serious account. (shrink)
In this article, I argue that genomic programs are not substitutes for multi-causal molecular mechanistic explanations of inheritance, but abstract representations of the same sort as mechanism schemas already described in the philosophical literature. On this account, the program analogy is not reductionistic and does not ignore or underestimate the active contribution of epigenetic elements to phenotypes and development. Rather, genomic program representations specifically highlight the genomic determinants of inheritance and their organizational features at work in the wider context of (...) the mechanisms of genome expression. (shrink)
Objecting to a restrictive view of morality that limits moral philosophy and religious ethics to what can be logically displayed, this essay seeks to expand our understanding of morality in a way that permits one to account for intentionality in the moral life. It claims that religion makes a contribution to our moral behavior beyond that of motivating one to be moral. The author argues that a right understanding of the relationship of thought and action is essential (...) if we are correctly to understand the relationship of religion and morality. He concludes that "story" and principles have interdependent roles to play in the full variety of our moral life. (shrink)
Frederic Bastiat was an influential economic writer of the middle 1800s. In his work,Economic Sophisms (1848), Bastiat proposed a dual system of ethics, containing economic ethics and religious ethics.Bastiat first described the tendency of individuals toward plunder as a means of satisfying their economic needs. Men, he held, could work and produce what they needed by toil, but history had shown that men preferred to take what they could from others who had toiled. Bastiat identified two main types of plunder (...) — force and fraud. (shrink)
A definition of elementary interpretation, equivalent (up to isomorphisms) to the ones of  and , is given. The defining condition, used here, seems to confirm that intuitions agree with the choice of the class of elementary interpretations, which was done in .
Accounting ethics is a growing field which is devoted to how ethical norms are perceived, understood, and how they affect behavior of professional accountants and auditors. The field concerns what legal sociology could define as the effectiveness of a set of norms. The present study adopts a Luhmann-inspired theoretical framework and questions three assumptions that are common among the main thrust of empirical research on accounting ethics. This study proposes that the effectiveness of ethical norms in accounting as the outcome (...) of self-assessments, client-assessments and peer-assessments in which the ethical norms operate as a communication system. The perceived utility of the system of ethical norms appears to the individual as dependent on how capable the individual believes him/herself to be at communicating with the environment through ethical terminology. This system-theoretical definition of the effectiveness of ethical norms in accounting allows new research questions to be asked regarding how ethical norms become a viable alternative for solving accounting problems in practice. (shrink)
In this paper, I will perform a "step back" by showing how Derrida's analysis of forgiveness is rooted in Kantian moral philosophy and in Derrida's interpretation of Kierkegaard's concept of decision. This will require a discussion of the distinction that Kant draws in his Groundwork between price (the economic) and dignity (the incomparable), as well as a discussion of the underlying notion of singularity in Kant's text. In addition, Derrida universalizes Kierkegaard's concept of the agent so that, with this (...) perspective in view, the interpretation of Kantian morality as something that must be described in a paradoxical way, becomes fully transparent. Whereas the interpretation of Kantian morality will provide us with a concept of morality that remains a "blind spot" for the agent, with the help of Derrida's Kierkegaard interpretation we can see that the concept of decision remains ultimately ambivalent. In conclusion, both (a) the deconstructed concept of morality and (b) the concept of decision will finally (c) let us understand Derrida's radical concept of forgiveness, which is both a non-economic act of morality in the sense explained and an unpredictable, uncontrollable decision and event. (shrink)
This book offers a complete and internally cohesive interpretation of Religion. In contrast to the interpretations that characterize Religion as a litany of “wobbles”, fumbling between traditional Christianity and Enlightenment values, or a text that reduces religion into morality, the interpretation here offered defends the rich philosophical theology contained in each of Religion’s four parts and shows how the doctrines of the “Pure Rational System of Religion” are eminently compatible with the essential principles of Transcendental Idealism.
HLA Hart has sometimes been associated with the false proposition that there is 'no necessary connection between law and morality'. Nigel Simmonds is the latest critic to make the association. He offers an 'ironic' interpretation of a famous passage in Hart's The Concept of Law in which the proposition is apparently rejected as false by Hart. In this paper I explain why, even if Simmonds's ironic interpretation is tenable, it does not associate Hart with the proposition in (...) the way that Simmonds believes that it does. More affirmatively, I show that among several necessary connections between law and morality that Hart defends, there is an important indirect one that runs from law to legality, from legality to justice, and from justice to morality. (shrink)
Immanuel Kant's work changed the course of modern philosophy; Karl Ameriks examines how. He compares the philosophical system set out in Kant's Critiques with the work of the major philosophers before and after Kant. Individual essays provide case studies in support of Ameriks's thesis that late 18th-century reactions to Kant initiated an "historical turn," after which historical and systematic considerations became joined in a way that fundamentally distinguishes philosophy from science and art.
Cognitive theories of metaphor understanding are typically described in terms of the mappings between different kinds of abstract, schematic, disembodied knowledge. My claim in this paper is that part of our ability to make sense of metaphorical language, both individual utterances and extended narratives, resides in the automatic construction of a simulation whereby we imagine performing the bodily actions referred to in the language. Thus, understanding metaphorical expressions like ‘grasp a concept’ or ‘get over’ an emotion involve simulating what it (...) must be like to engage in these specific activities, even though these actions are, strictly speaking, impossible to physically perform. This process of building a simulation, one that is fundamentally embodied in being constrained by past and present bodily experiences, has specific consequences for how verbal metaphors are understood, and how cognitive scientists, more generally, characterize the nature of metaphorical language and thought. (shrink)
Appeals to the actual author's intention in order to legitimate an interpretation of a work of literary narrative fiction have generally been considered extraneous in Anglo-American philosophy of literature since Wimsatt and Beardsley's well-known manifesto from the 1940s. For over sixty years now so-called anti-intentionalists have argued that the author's intentions – plans, aims, and purposes considering her work – are highly irrelevant to interpretation. In this paper, I shall argue that the relevance of the actual author's intentions (...) varies in different approaches to fiction, and suggest that fictions are legitimately interpreted intentionally as conversations in a certain kind of reading. My aim is to show that the so-called conversational approach is valid when emphasizing the cognitive content of a fiction and truths it seem to convey, for example, in a philosophical approach to fictions which contain philosophical purport using Sartre's fictional works as paradigmatic, and that anti-intentionalists' arguments against intentionalism do not threaten such an approach. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that, on Kant's view, the work of genius serves as a sensible exhibition of the Idea of the highest good. In other words, the work of genius serves as a special sign that the world is hospitable to our moral ends and that the realization of our moral vocation in such a world may indeed be possible. In the first part of the paper, I demonstrate that the purpose of the highest good is not to (...) strengthen our motivation to accept the moral law as binding for us but, rather, to strengthen our motivation to persist in our already existent moral dispositions. In the second part, I show that the works of genius exhibit the Idea of the highest good and, consequently, strengthen our hope in its realization. Drawing on the results of the second part, the third part of the paper demonstrates that beauty, of both art and nature, symbolizes morality in a more substantive sense than that suggested by Henry Allison's “formalistic” interpretation. Since, on my view, fine art in Kant serves as a sensible representation of an undetermined conceptual content, or the Idea of the highest good, the fourth part of the paper addresses the vexed question of whether Kant's account of fine art already anticipates the cognitive role later attributed to it by the German Idealists. (shrink)
This work seeks to develop a Kantian ethical theory in terms of a general ontology of values and norms together with a metaphysics of the person that makes sense of this ontology. It takes as its starting point Kant’s assertion that a good will is the only thing that has an unconditioned value and his accompanying view that the highest good consists in virtue and happiness in proportion to virtue. The soundness of Kant’s position on the value of the good (...) will is defended against criticisms directed against it by G. E. Moore and it is argued that there is an ambiguity in Moore’s notion of ‘intrinsic value’ that makes him unable to fully understand and appreciate the Kantian view. It is also argued that the special value of moral goodness has been unduly neglected in modern moral philosophy, even by those working in the Kantian tradition, and it is suggested that the possibility of a Kantian ethical theory centred on the notion of the highest good remains to be explored. In order to lay the ground for such a theory a Kantian approach to reasons for action and the metaphysics of the person is developed and defended, albeit in a way that, in contrast to Kant himself, emphasizes the social dimension inherent in being a person and acting on reasons. It is also argued that there exists what Henry Sidgwick has called a dualism of practical reason, which means that there are two systematic modes, the self-interested and the moral, of approaching action. These two modes correspond to the two components of the highest good as understood by Kant and it is argued that the highest good represents a reasonable way of unifying them. These two parts of the highest good are then considered, each in turn, and Kantian models for understanding them are elaborated and defended against main rivals. On the matter of happiness, it is argued that standard philosophical theories fail to properly account for the way in which a subject’s own opinions about what constitutes her happiness are important in determining where her happiness actually lies. On the matter of morality, Kantianism is contrasted with consequentialism, the other leading theory that understands morality in terms of an ideal of impartiality and it is argued that the Kantian ideal, which can be called ‘impartiality as universalizability’ is superior to the consequentialist one, which can be called ‘impartiality as impersonality’. A version of Kantian ethics that places its emphasis on the Formula of Universal Law is then elaborated and it is argued that it is reasonable to understand maxims, or at least those maxims eligible for the universalizability test, as having to do with the basic general principles according to which we live. This kind of interpretation creates a large room for the exercise of judgment on the part of the agent and it is suggested that the standards according to which such judgment is exercised are largely determined through our actual moral practices and discourses. (shrink)