In Reasons and Persons, Parfit (1984) posed a challenge: provide a satisfying normative account that solves the Non-Identity Problem, avoids the Repugnant and Absurd Conclusions, and solves the Mere-Addition Paradox. In response, some have suggested that we look toward person-affecting views of morality for a solution. But the person-affecting views that have been offered so far have been unable to satisfy Parfit's four requirements, and these views have been subject to a number of independent complaints. This paper describes (...) a person-affecting account which meets Parfit's challenge. The account satisfies Parfit's four requirements, and avoids many of the criticisms that have been raised against person-affecting views. (shrink)
Derek Parfit has argued that (Teleological) Egalitarianism is objectionable by breaking a person-affecting claim to the effect that an outcome cannot be better in any respect - such as that of equality - if it is better for nobody. So, he presents the Priorty View, i.e., the policy of giving priority to benefiting the worse-off, which avoids this objection. But it is here argued, first, that there is another person-affecting claim that this view violates. Secondly, Egalitarianism can be (...) construed as person-affecting in a weaker sense. Thirdly, it is possible to construct a Relational version of the Priority View which incorporates the Egalitarian value of just equality in this sense. Two reasons are given for why this Relational View and Egalitarianism are superior to the Parfitian Absolute Priority View. However, no attempt is made to abjudicate between the first two views, the main point being that they both accept the value of just equality in the same sense. (shrink)
Traditional ethical theories have paradoxical implications in regards to questions concerning procreation and our moral duties to future people. It has been suggested that the crux of the problem resides in an all too ‘impersonal’ axiology and that the problems of population axiology can be solved by adopting a ‘Person Affecting Restriction’ which in its slogan form states that an outcome can only be better than another if it is better for people. This move has been especially popular in the (...) context of medical ethics where many of the problems of population axiology are actualized. Examples are embryo or egg selection, pre-implantation genetic testing, assisted reproduction programmes, abortion, just to mention a few. I discuss a number of different interpretations of the Restriction and in particular one interpretation which I call Comparativism. According to this view, we should draw a distinction between uniquely and non-uniquely realizable people. The former people only exist in one out of two possible outcomes, whereas the latter exist in both of the compared outcomes. The idea is that we should give more weight to the well-being of non-uniquely realizable people or take it into account in a different way as compared to the well-being of uniquely realizable people. I argue that the different versions of the Person Affecting Restriction and Comparativism either have counterintuitive implications of their own or are compatible with traditional theories such as Utilitarianism. (shrink)
In "Intrzmsitivity and thc Person-Affecting Principlc,"‘ (IPAP) Alastair Norcross attacks several key claims of my "Intransitivity and thc Merc Addition Paradox" (IMAP).2 This article suggests that N0rcross’s arguments despite: their appca1——lcavc IMAP’s claims mostly intact. Bcforc assessing N0rcross’s arguments, lct mc characterize two key notions distinguished in IMAP: an essentially comparative view of moral ideals and an intrinsic aspect view. On an essentially comparative view (ECU, different factors might bc relevant for comparing diffcrcnt alternatives regarding a given idcal. On (...) such a view, how bad a situation is regarding E1 given ideal is not an intrinsic feature of that situation. There is 110 fact of thc matter.. (shrink)
Philosophy journals and conferences have recently seen several attempts to argue that 'all-things-considered better than' does not obey strict transitivity. This paper focuses on Larry Temkin's argument in "Intransitivity and the Mere Addition Paradox." Although his argument is not aimed just at utilitarians or even consequentialists in general, it is of prticular significance to consequentialists. If 'all-things-considered better than' does not obey transitivity, there may be choice situations in which there is no optimal choice, which would seem to open the (...) door to a consequentialist account of moral dilemmas. Temkin's argument crucially appeals to what he calls "the Person-Affecting Principle (PAP)", which he roughly characterizes as follows, "On PAP, one outcome is worse than another only if it affects people for the worse" This paper argues that PAP, although plausible, does not hold in precisely those situations in which it would have to hold in order for Temkin's argument against transitivity to work. (shrink)
This article critically examines some of the inconsistency objections that have been put forward by John Broome, Larry Temkin and others against the so-called "person-affecting," or "person-based," restriction in normative ethics, including "extra people" problems and a version of the nonidentity problem from Kavka and Parfit. Certain Pareto principles and a version of the "mere addition paradox" are discussed along the way. The inconsistencies at issue can be avoided, it is argued, by situating the person-affecting intuition within a (...) non-additive form of maximizing consequentialism â a theory which then competes with such additive, or aggregative, forms of maximizing consequentialism as "totalism" and "averagism.". (shrink)
Where there is a fixed population (i.e., who exists does not depend on what choice an agent makes), the deontic version of anonymous Paretian egalitarianism holds that an option is just if and only if (1) it is anonymously Pareto optimal (i.e., no feasible alternative has a permutation that is Pareto superior), and (2) it is no less equal than any other anonymously Pareto optimal option. We shall develop and discuss a version of this approach for the variable population case (...) (i.e., where who exists does depend on what choice an agent makes). More specifically, we shall develop and discuss it in the context of a person-affecting framework—in which an option is just if and only if it wrongs no one according to certain plausible conditions on wronging. (shrink)
The Person Affecting Restriction, in its slogan form, states that an outcome can only be better than another if it is better for someone.1 It has a strong intuitive appeal and several theorists have suggested that the paradoxical implications in population ethics of “impersonal” welfarist theories, such as classical utilitarianism, could be avoided by adopting the restriction.
Many of our actions will affect the welfare of future people. For instance, continued emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) may lead to future environmental degradation, which will negatively affect people's lives. If we continue GHG-emissions, are we harming future people? In light of the non-identity problem, apparently, we are not. This article assesses three recent attempts (by Carter, Page and Kumar) at grounding concern for future generations in person-affecting moral theory. Although these attempts are promising, the conclusion is that (...) none is completely successful. It seems, then, that we have reason to incorporate a limited measure of consequentialism into person-affecting morality. More precisely, I suggest that we should adopt a version of telic sufficientarianism. (shrink)
The paper returns to the question whether equality in distribution is valuable in itself, or, if you like, whether it is intrinsically valuable. Its bulk is an examination of two familiar arguments against the intrinsic value of distributional equality: the levelling down objection and the objection that equality violates some person-affecting condition, in that its realisation does not improve the lot of people.
Can it be better or worse for a person to be than not to be, that is, can it be better or worse to exist than not to exist at all? This old 'existential question' has been raised anew in contemporary moral philosophy. There are roughly two reasons for this renewed interest. Firstly, traditional so-called “impersonal” ethical theories, such as utilitarianism, have counter-intuitive implications in regard to questions concerning procreation and our moral duties to future, not yet existing people. Secondly, (...) it has seemed evident to many that an outcome can only be better than another if it is better for someone, and that only moral theories that are in this sense “person affecting” can be correct. The implications of this Person Affecting Restriction will differ radically, however, depending on which answer one gives to the existential question. Melinda Roberts (2003) and Matthew Adler (2009) have defended an affirmative answer to the existential question using an assumption that one can asribe a zero level of wellbeing to a person in a world in which that person doesn't exist. Contrariwise, Derek Parfit (1984), John Broome (1999), and others have worried that if we take a person’s life to be better for her than non-existence, then we would have to conclude that it would have been worse for her if she did not exist, which is absurd: Nothing would have been worse or better for a person if she had not existed. The paper suggests that an affirmative answer to the existential question can avoid such absurdities: One can claim that, say, it is better for a person to exist than not to exist, without implying that it would have been worse for a person if she had not existed or that her level of wellbeing would then have been lower. (shrink)
How Does the Environment Affect the Person? Mark H. Bickhard invited chapter in Children's Development within Social Contexts: Metatheoretical, Theoretical and Methodological Issues, Erlbaum. edited by L. T. Winegar, J. Valsiner, in press.
Changes between the learning and testing contexts affect learning, memory, and generalization. We examined whether a change (between learning and testing) in the person children were interacting with affects generalization. Three, 4-, and 5-year-old children were trained on eight novel noun categories by one experimenter. Children were tested for their ability to generalize the label to a new category member by either the same experimenter who trained them or by a novel experimenter. Three-year-old children’s performance was not affected by who (...) they were tested by. Four- and 5-year-old children’s performance was lower when tested by the novel experimenter. The results are discussed in terms of source monitoring and the effect of perceptual context change on category generalization. (shrink)
(written years later) I argue that the schematic concept of a person as found in discussions of personal identity could not be used by real humans of themselves, and is not much of a guide for imagining possible beings. Issues of demonstrative self-knowledge play a large role in the argument.
Purpose: The aim of this research was to test whether Hong Kong science students would prefer a learning environment based on critical constructivism and whether a closer preferred-actual fit to such an environment would be associated with better learning outcomes. Method: The participants were 149 Hong Kong secondary school Chemistry students aged 16--19 years. They completed actual and preferred forms of a Chinese version of the Constructivist Learning Environment Survey and measures of self-efficacy and intrinsic value of their Chemistry course. (...) Their Chemistry examination scores were also obtained at the end of the course. Findings: Analysis showed that these students would prefer their Chemistry classrooms to be more personally relevant, to allow students more say and to share more control, and to encourage more negotiation with their teacher. Regression surface analysis showed that congruence of person environment fit did not influence examination results but was associated with greater valuing of the course and higher student self-efficacy. Research implications: Further research with a wider sampling from Hong Kong and elsewhere and focusing on other subject areas will be necessary to assess the generalizability of these findings. Practical implications: It seems that educational reforms based on critical constructivist principles may be of value in non-Western contexts. Original value: Educational reforms in Hong Kong and elsewhere currently are based on traditional constructivist principles. But this is the first research to support a more radical approach in what is usually regarded as a relatively conservative Asian educational context. (shrink)
It is my view that one essential difference between persons and other creatures is to be found in the structure of a person's will. Besides wanting and choosing and being moved to do this or that, men may also want to have (or not to have) certain desires and motives. They are capable of wanting to be different, in their preferences and purposes, from what they are. Many animals appear to have the capacity for what I shall call "first-order desires" (...) or "desires of the first order," which are simply desires to do or not to do one thing or another. No animal other than man, however, appears to have the capacity for reflective self-evaluation that is manifested in the formation of second-order desires. (shrink)
This article presents an interview method which enables us to bring a person, who may not even have been trained, to become aware of his or her subjective experience, and describe it with great precision. It is focused on the difficulties of becoming aware of one’s subjective experience and describing it, and on the processes used by this interview technique to overcome each of these difficulties. The article ends with a discussion of the criteria governing the validity of the descriptions (...) obtained, and then with a brief review of the functions of these descriptions. (shrink)
In recent work on contextdependency, it has been argued that certain types of sentences give rise to a notion of relative truth. In particular, sentences containing predicates of personal taste and moral or aesthetic evaluation as well as epistemic modals are held to express a proposition (relative to a context of use) which is true or false not only relative to a world of evaluation, but other parameters as well, such as standards of taste or knowledge or an agent. Thus, (...) a sentence like chocolate tastes good would express a proposition p that is true or false not only at a world of evaluation, but relative to the additional parameter as well, such as a parameter of taste or an agent. I will argue that the sentences that apparently give rise to relative truth should be understood by relating them in a certain way to the first person. More precisely, such sentences express what I will call firstpersonbased genericity, a form of generalization that is based on or directed toward an essential firstperson application of the predicate. The account differs from standard relative truth account in crucial respects: it is not the truth of the proposition expressed that is relative to the first person; the proposition expressed by a sentence with a predicate of taste rather has absolute truth conditions. Instead it is the propositional content itself that requires a firstpersonal cognitive access whenever it is entertained. This account, I will argue, avoids a range of problems that standard relative truth theories of the sentences in question face and explains a number of further peculiarities that such sentences display. (shrink)
Recent social psychology is skeptical about self-knowledge. Philosophers, on the other hand, have produced a new account of the source of the authority of self-ascriptions. On this account, it is not descriptive accuracy but authorship which funds the authority of one's self-ascriptions. The resulting view seems to ensure that self-ascriptions are authoritative, despite evidence of one's fallibility. However, a new wave of psychological studies presents a powerful challenge to the authorship account. This research suggests that one can author one's attitudes, (...) but one's self- ascriptions may lack authority. I present this new challenge from social psychology and use it to argue that first-person authority is agential authority: one's self-ascriptions are authoritative, in part anyway, because they are reliable expressions of those attitudes that govern further choices and behavior. (shrink)
As is well known, Wittgenstein pointed out an asymmetry between first- and third-person psychological statements: the first, unlike the latter, involve observation or a claim to knowledge and are constitutionally open to uncertainty. In this paper, I challenge this asymmetry and Wittgenstein's own affirmation of the constitutional uncertainty of third-person psychological statements, and argue that Wittgenstein ultimately did too. I first show that, on his view, most of our third-person psychological statements are noncognitive; they stem from a subjective certainty: a (...) certainty which, though not the result of an epistemic process, is not invulnerable to error in that it is a kind of assumption. I then trace Wittgenstein's realization that some third-person psychological certainties are not merely subjective but 'objective' (which means, as he uses the word, that they are logically indubitable): in some cases, we can be as logically certain that someone else is in pain than we are about ourselves being in pain. This positively reinforces Wittgenstein's rebuttal of other mind scepticism. I conclude with a response to objections about the legitimacy of calling an assurance that is logical (i.e., that does not have uncertainty or doubt on its flipside) a 'certainty', by suggesting that the flipside is to be found in pathological cases, and most pertinently here, in cases of dyssemia: a rare disorder affecting the ability to properly express or recognize basic physical expressions of feeling. (shrink)
First-person data have been both condemned and hailed because of their alleged privacy. Critics argue that science must be based on public evidence: since first-person data are private, they should be banned from science. Apologists reply that first-person data are necessary for understanding the mind: since first-person data are private, scientists must be allowed to use private evidence. I argue that both views rest on a false premise. In psychology and neuroscience, the subjects issuing first-person reports and other sources of (...) first-person data play the epistemic role of a (self-) measuring instrument. Data from measuring instruments are public and can be validated by public methods. Therefore, first-person data are as public as other scientific data: their use in science is legitimate, in accordance with standard scientific methodology. (shrink)
The fact that we can engage in first-person discourse about our own mental states seems, intuitively, to be bound up with consciousness. David Rosenthal draws upon this intuition in arguing for his higher-order thought theory of consciousness. Rosenthal's argument relies upon the assumption that the truth-conditions for "p" and "I think that p" differ. It is argued here that the truth-conditional schema debars "I think" from playing one of its (expressive) roles and thus is not a good test for (...) what is asserted when "I think" is employed in making an assertoric utterance. The critique of Rosenthal's argument allows us to make explicit the intuitions which shape higher-order representation theories of consciousness in general. Consciousness and first-person mental discourse seem to be connected primarily because consciousness is (and was) an epistemic term, used to denote first-person knowledge of minds. Higher-order thought theories of consciousness draw upon this epistemic notion of consciousness, and because self-knowledge seems to involve higher-order representation, the higher-order theorist can deploy what is in effect an "error theory" about conscious experience disguised as a kind of conceptual analysis of our ordinary concept of a conscious mental state. The conclusion reached is that there is unlikely to be a simple or direct path from considerations about mental discourse to conclusions about the nature of consciousness. (shrink)
How does an entity become a person? Forty years ago Carl Rogers answered this question by suggesting that human beings become persons through a process of personal growth and self-discovery. In the present paper I provide six different answers to this question, which form a hierarchy of empirical projects and associated criteria that can be used to understand human personhood. They are: (1) persons are constructed out of natural but organic materials; (2) persons emerge as a form of adaptation through (...) the process of evolution; (3) persons develop ontogenetically; (4) persons are created through the unifying activity of self-narrative ; (5) persons are constituted through socio-historical and cultural processes; and (6) the concept of person is a normative ideal . I suggest that it is important to consider all of these projects and related criteria in order to appreciate fully how an entity becomes a human person. (shrink)
The orthodox view in the study of representation is that a strictly third-person objective methodology must be employed. The acceptance of this methodology is shown to be a fundamental and debilitating error. Toward this end I defend what I call.
The question asked in this paper is: How can we investigate our phenomenal experience in ways that are accurate, in principle repeatable, and produce experiences that help clarify what we understand about the processes of sensing, perceiving, moving, and being in the world? This sounds like an impossible task, given that introspection has so often in scientific circles been considered to be unreliable, and that first-person accounts are often coloured by mistaken ideas about what and how we are experiencing. The (...) first-person experiments I suggest are different from experiments done in the psychology laboratory in that there is no narrowing down of the experiments to looking at a singular aspect of a question, and that they are to be carried out in most instances in a natural or specially structured environment without strict task controls or statistical experimental design. There is no intent to replace formal second- and third-person investigation, but to use a phenomenological approach to conjoin with hard research, and to suggest ways of awareness training that can enhance the skills of researchers. I take as a model an informal phenomenological approach for experimentation. I also suggest that it is possible through directing and broadening the attention process to turn consciousness towards what is non-conscious or unattended to in order to develop an improved sensory awareness and an ability to be open to experiencing without prejudging and without expectations. The idea is to go back to experience without first creating a theoretical stance from which to interpret what happens. I conclude with some other examples of this approach. (shrink)
In this paper, I will argue that two kinds of first-person-oriented content are distinguished in more ways than usually thought and I propose an account that will shed new light on the distinction. The first kind consists of contents of attitudes de se (in a broad sense); the second kind consists of contents that give rise to intuitions of relative truth. I will present new data concerning the two kinds of first-person-oriented content, together with a novel account of propositional content (...) in general, namely based on the notion of an attitudinal object. That notion solves two major problems with Lewis's account of contents of attitudes de se and clarifies the difference between contents of attitudes de se and contents that give rise to intuitions of relative truth. I will propose an analysis of contents of the second kind in terms of what I call firstperson-based genericity, a form of genericity most explicitly expressed by sentences with generic one. I show how the overall account explains the particular semantic properties of sentences giving rise to intuitions of relative truth that distinguish them from sentences with expressions interpreted de se. I will start by introducing Lewis's account of attitudes de se and the problems that go along with that account. Introducing the notion of an attitudinal object, I will extend the account by an account of the truth conditions of the content of attitudes de se. I then discuss the second kind of first-person-oriented content, which is associated with intuitions of relative truth, and give an account of such contents on the basis of an analysis of generic one. Again making use of attitudinal objects, I will make clear what exactly distinguishes those contents from first-person-oriented contents of the first sort. (shrink)
Self-consciousness, many philosophers agree, is essential to being a person. There is not so much agreement, however, about how to understand what self-consciousness is. Philosophers in the field of cognitive science tend to write off self-consciousness as unproblematic. According to such philosophers, the real difficulty for the cognitive scientist is phenomenal consciousness--the fact that we (and other organisms) have states that feel a certain way. If we had a grip on phenomenal consciousness, they think, self-consciousness could be easily handled by (...) functionalist models. For example, recently Ned Block commented,. (shrink)
The issue of wrongful disability arises when parents face the choice whether to produce a child whose life will be unavoidably flawed by a serious disease or disorder (Down syndrome, for example, or Huntington’s disease) yet clearly worth living. The authors of From Chance to Choice claim, with certain restrictions, that the choice to produce such a child is morally wrong. They then argue that an intuitive moral approach––a “person-affecting” approach that pins wrongdoing to the harming of some existing (...) or future person––cannot account for that wrong since the choice to produce such a child cannot, under the logic of the nonidentity problem, harm that child. The authors propose that we supplement the person-affecting approach with an “impersonal” principle that takes the form of their well-known principle N. In this paper, I argue that the authors are mistaken to suppose that a plausibly articulated person-affecting approach cannot account for the wrong of wrongful disability. We can retain an intuitive, comparative, “worse for” account of harm and still identify serious harms imposed by the choice of wrongful disability. In particular, I argue that harm, both to the impaired child and to others, comes not in the form of that procreative choice’s procreative effect but rather in the form of its many distributive effects. I also argue that the rare, residual case in which a person-affecting approach would approve of the choice of wrongful disability does not function as a counterexample to that approach. As a separate matter, I address legal claims for wrongful disability, which are closely akin to claims for wrongful life. The legal claim is brought by the impaired child, not against the parents, but rather against health care providers whose negligent failure to diagnose or inform parents of an increased risk of a genetic or congenital impairment results in the birth of the impaired child. The authors’ treatment of the moral wrong that is done as impersonal in nature suggests that courts are correct to dismiss any such claim. Once we identify harm, however, the person-affecting approach can identify a clear foundation in the law for the wrongful disability claim. (shrink)
In today'sbioethical debates, the concept of the person plays a major role. However, it does not hold this role justly. The purpose of this paper is to argue that the concept of the person is unsuited to be a central concept in bioethical debates, because its use is connected with serious problems. First, the concept is superfluous. Secondly, it is a confusing concept and it lacks pragmatic use. Thirdly, its use leads to simplifications. Finally, the concept can easily be used (...) as a cover-up concept. Therefore, it is argued that relinquishing the concept of the person could enhance the clarity and quality of bioethical debate. Moreover, the historic origin of much of the present confusion surrounding the concept of the person is clarified. It is demonstrated that three influences resulting from Locke'sideas on the person and personal identity can be determined as contributing factors to the confusion and controversy within the present bioethical debates centering around the person. (shrink)
In the first part of this article, I argue that even those entities that in their own right and for their own sake give us reason not to destroy them and to help them are sometimes substitutable for the good of other entities. In so arguing, I consider the idea of being valuable as an end in virtue of intrinsic and extrinsic properties. I also conclude that entities that have claims to things and against others are especially nonsubstitutable. In the (...) second part, I argue that cloning poses no threat to the nonsubstitutability of these entities (and in this sense, to the dignity of persons). I also consider the relation between cloning and (what I called) holistic identity, and between the latter and genetic identity. In the concluding part of the article, I try to distinguish cases where identity over time and so-called person-affecting acts have and do not have greater moral significance than nonidentity over time and nonperson-affecting acts. I try to apply my results to cases involving embryos, future generations, and to the so-called Non-Identity Problem. (shrink)
This article explores a problem of the articulation of an adequate account of the human person in both philosophical and nursing theory. It follows the lead of philosopher Norris Clarke in suggesting that there has been a significant division in the way philosophers have looked at the human person and goes on to suggest that this division is paralleled in prominent nursing theories. The paper reviews and argues for the synthesis of two contemporary philosophic theories of the person that arise (...) from the traditional philosophical division, and uses Clarke's account to show the ontological need for such a synthesis if we are to have a more adequate account of the human person. Next, accounts of the person identified in a number of the prominent theories of nursing are briefly reviewed revealing the vast complexity of the person encountered in nursing practice. It is suggested that each new theory of nursing is founded, at least in part, on the need to account for attributes of the person missing from prior nursing theories. It will be seen that the synthesized account of the person argued for here more adequately accounts for the various attributes identified in these nursing accounts and it is hoped that this synthesized account will serve as a somewhat more complete basis for a continued exploration of the persons encountered in nursing practice in its many and varied manifestations. (shrink)
Non-Identity arguments have a pervasive but sometimes counter-intuitive grip on certain key areas in ethics. As a result, there has been limited success in supporting the alternative view that our choices concerning future generations can be considered harmful on any sort of person-affecting principle. However, as the Non-Identity Problem relies overtly on certain metaphysical assumptions, plausible alternatives to these foundations can substantially undermine the Non-Identity argument itself. In this paper, I show how the pervasive force and nature of Non-Identity (...) arguments rely upon a specific adoption of a theory of modality and identity and how adopting an alternative account of modality can be used to reject many conclusions formed through Non-Identity type arguments. By using Lewis’s counterpart-theoretic account to understand ways we might have been, I outline the basis of a modal account of harm that incorporates a person-affecting aspect. This, in turn, has significant implications for ethical decision-making in areas such as reproductive choice and the welfare of future generations. (shrink)
R. G. Collingwood's theory of re-enactment has long been understood as an important contribution to the philosophy of history. It has also been challenging to understand how re-enactment is operationalized in the practice of understanding past actors or, indeed, other minds occupying less remote regions of our experiences. Sebastian Rödl has recently articulated a compelling defence of second person ascription, arguing that it is, in form, analogous to first person understanding. By Rödl's lights, second person understanding follows the same order (...) of reason as its first person counterpart. In this paper I argue that Rödl's case for second person understanding, and its relationship to the first person point of view, is at once compelling in its own right but also helpful in explaining how re-enactment may be operationalized. (shrink)
It has become increasingly common to talk about the second person in the theory of mind debate. While theory theory and simulation theory are described as third person and first person accounts respectively, a second person account suggests itself as a viable, though wrongfully neglected third option. In this paper I argue that this way of framing the debate is misleading. Although defenders of second person accounts make use of the vocabulary of the theory of mind debate, they understand some (...) of the core expressions in a different way. I will illustrate this claim by focusing on Reddy’s and Gallagher’s accounts and argue that these authors use the notions of knowing and of understanding other minds differently than traditionally assumed. As a consequence, second person accounts thus conceived do not directly address the questions that gave rise to the theory of mind debate. They invite us, however, to critically reflect upon the way the debate has been set up. (shrink)
The problem of the legal person is a central issue in legal philosophy and the theory of law. In this article I examine the semantic meaning of the concept of the person in Russian philosophy at the turn of the twentieth century, considered to be the "Golden Age" of Russian legal thought. This provides an overview of the conception of the personality in the context of different legal approaches (theory of natural law, legal positivism, the psychological legal doctrine, and the (...) sociological school of law). I indicate a polemic among the theories of the person and attempts to create an integral concept of the legal subject. In addition I present an analysis of the relation between the concepts of the legal subject and the moral person, which personify fundamental features of law and morality. In order to demarcate the notions of individual and the legal subject, I focus on doctrines of the artificial person or the juridical person. (shrink)
The purpose of this study was to assess the relationships among ethical context, organizational commitment, and person-organization fit using a sample of 304 young working adults. Results indicated that corporate ethical values signifying different cultural aspects of an ethical context were positively related to both organizational commitment and person-organization fit. Organizational commitment was also positively related to person-organization fit. The findings suggest that the development and promotion of an ethical context might enhance employees' workplace experiences, and companies should consider adopting (...) ethical policies that support principled conduct, punish unethical actions, and increase individual perceptions of an ethical company environment. (shrink)
In Values and the Reflective Point of View (2006), Robert Dunn defends a certain expressivist view about evaluative beliefs from which some implications about self-knowledge are explicitly derived. He thus distinguishes between an observational and a deliberative attitude towards oneself, so that the latter involves a purely first-person point of view that gives rise to an especially authoritative, but wholly non-observational, kind of self-knowledge. Even though I sympathize with many aspects of Dunn's approach to evaluative beliefs and also with his (...) stress on the practical significance of self-knowledge, I argue that his proposal seriously misinterprets the role of observation and evidence within the first-person point of view and, derivatively, in the formation of evaluative beliefs. (shrink)
This paper provides a concise description and discussion of bottom–up and top–down approaches to misattribution of agency in schizophrenia. It explores if first-person accounts of passivity phenomena can provide support for one of these approaches. The focus is on excerpts in which the writers specifically examine their experiences of external influence. None of the accounts provides arguments that fit easily with only one of the possible approaches, which is in line with current attempts to theoretical integration.
We report the results of a cross-cultural investigation of person-body reasoning in the United Kingdom and northern Brazilian Amazon (Marajó Island). The study provides evidence that directly bears upon divergent theoretical claims in cognitive psychology and anthropology, respectively, on the cognitive origins and cross-cultural incidence of mind-body dualism. In a novel reasoning task, we found that participants across the two sample populations parsed a wide range of capacities similarly in terms of the capacities’ perceived anchoring to bodily function. Patterns of (...) reasoning concerning the respective roles of physical and biological properties in sustaining various capacities did vary between sample populations, however. Further, the data challenge prior ad-hoc categorizations in the empirical literature on the developmental origins of and cognitive constraints on psycho-physical reasoning (e.g., in afterlife concepts). We suggest cross-culturally validated categories of “Body Dependent” and “Body Independent” items for future developmental and cross-cultural research in this emerging area. (shrink)
Criminal law commonly requires judges and juries to decide whether defendants acted reasonably. Nevertheless, issues of reasonableness fall into two distinct categories: (1) where reasonableness concerns events and states, including risks of which an actor is conscious, that can be justly assessed without regard to the actorâs individual traits, and (2) where reasonableness concerns culpable mental states and emotions that cannot justly be assessed without reference to the actorâs capacities. This distinction is significant because, while the reasonable person by which (...) category-1 cases are assessed is a disembodied and impersonal ideal that consists of nothing but the uncompromising values of the jurisdiction, the reasonable person by which category-2 cases are measured must necessarily incorporate some of an actorâs individual traits or risk blaming the blameless. Courts and commentators have thus far approached the task of individualizing or subjectivizing reasonableness in category 2 by trying to determine in advance which individual traits are generally relevant and which are not. I propose an alternative approach that, in addition to applying to negligence and voluntary manslaughter cases alike, derives its content from the social practice of blaming. I propose that a reasonable person in category-2 cases consists of every physical, psychological, and emotional trait an actor possesses, with one exceptionâthe exception being that he possesses proper respect for the values of the people of the state as reflected and incorporated in the statute at hand. (shrink)
In a world which can be increasingly described as a “society of organizations,” it is incumbent upon organizational researchers to account for the role of organizations in determining the well-being of societies and the individuals that comprise them. Workplace spirituality is a young area of inquiry with potentially strong relevance to the well-being of individuals, organizations, and societies. Previous literature has not examined ethical dilemmas related to workplace spirituality that organizations might expect based upon the co-existence of multiple ethical work (...) climates, nor has previous literature accounted for the relevance of the cosmopolitan (external, societal) source of moral reasoning in the ethical treatment of workplace spirituality. The purpose of this paper is to address these gaps by articulating two such ethical dilemmas related to workplace spirituality: the “quiet desperation” dilemma and the instrumentality dilemma. Moreover, I propose two theoretical contexts that foster “both-and” rather than “either-or” thinking, thereby mitigating (moderating) the relationships between climate combinations and conflictual aspects of the ethical dilemmas. For the “quiet desperation” dilemma, I propose a person–organization fit perspective to emphasize diversity of individual preferences instead of a managerially prescribed uniformity of spirituality. For the instrumentality dilemma, I propose a multiparadigm approach to workplace spirituality research to avoid the privileging of one research interest over another (e.g., instrumentality, individual fulfillment, societal good). I conclude with suggestions for future research. (shrink)
In this paper Animalism is analysed. It will be argued that Animalism is correct in claiming (i) that being of a certain sort of animal S is a fundamental individuative substance sortal concept (animal of the species Homo Sapiens), (ii) that this implies that Animalism is correct in claiming that persons such as us are, by necessity, human beings, (iii) that remaining the same animal is a necessary condition for our identity over time. Contrary to Animalism it will be argued (...) that this does not imply that person should be understood as a phased sortal concept. It will be argued that Animalism rests upon a prior conception of person, and that this implies that person must be understood as a basic substance sortal concept through which we have to individuate ourselves and others. It is further argued that this, together with the insights of Animalism, implies that persons, by necessity, are beings of a biological nature. (shrink)
I describe an ethic for business administration based on the social tradition of the Catholic Church. I find that much current thinking about business falters for its conceit of truth. Abstractions such as the shareholder-value model contain truth - namely, that business is an economic enterprise to manage for the wealth of its owners. But, as in all abstractions, this truth comes at the expense of falsehood -namely, that persons are assets to deploy on behalf of owners. This last is (...) "wrong" in both senses of the word - it is factually wrong in that persons are far more than business assets, they are supernatural beings, children of God; and it is morally wrong in that it is an injustice to treat them as the former when they are the latter. I draw upon the social tradition of the Catholic Church to recognize that the business of business is not business, but is instead the human person. Following Church teachings, I describe a person-centered ethic of business based upon eight social principles that both correct and enlarge the shareholder-centered ethic of much current business thinking. I discuss implications of this person-centered ethic for business administration. (shrink)
This study examined how leaders’ moral competence is linked to employees’ task performance and organizational citizenship behaviors. Based on a sample of 102 employee–supervisor pairs from seven organizations in South Korea, the results of this study revealed that leaders’ moral competence was positively associated with employees’ task performance and organizational citizenship behaviors toward leaders (OCBS). As expected, employees’ psychological empowerment partially mediated the relationship between leaders’ moral competence and employees’ task performance and OCBS. Furthermore, person–supervisor fit (PS fit) moderated the (...) relationship between leaders’ moral competence and employees’ psychological empowerment such that the relationships became stronger for individuals higher rather than lower in PS fit. (shrink)
Although Descartes apparently needs first person authority for his anti-skeptical project, his scattered remarks on it appear to be inconsistent. Why did he neglect this issue? According to E M Aurley, Descartes was answering Pyrrhonian skeptics, who could not consistently challenge him on it. This paper argues instead that Descartes assumed that his first person premises were certain qua clear and distinct perceptions, leaving first person authority a side issue.
This paper presents a systematic account of ethical issues actualised in different areas, as well as at different levels and stages of health care, by introducing organisational and other procedures that embody a shift towards person centred care and shared decision-making (PCC/SDM). The analysis builds on general ethical theory and earlier work on aspects of PCC/SDM relevant from an ethics perspective. This account leads up to a number of theoretical as well as empirical and practice oriented issues that, in view (...) of broad advancements towards PCC/SDM, need to be considered by health care ethics researchers. Given a PCC/SDM-based reorientation of health care practice, such ethics research is essential from a quality assurance perspective. (shrink)