Early in Peter Abelard's Dialogue between a Philosopher, a Jew, and a Christian, the philosopher and the Christian easily come to agreement about what the point of ethics is: “[T]he culmination of true ethics … is gathered together in this: that it reveal where the ultimate good is and by what road we are to arrive there.” They also agree that, since the enjoyment of this ultimate good “comprises true blessedness,” ethics “far surpasses other teachings in both usefulness and worthiness.” (...) As Abelard understood them, both fundamental elements of his twelfth-century ethical culture — Greek philosophy and Christian religion — held a common view of the nature of ethical inquiry, one that was so obvious to them that his characters do not even state it in a fully explicit way. They take for granted, as we take the ground we stand on, the premise that the most important function of ethical theory is to tell you what sort of life is most desirable, or most worth living. That is, the point of ethics is that it is good for you, that it serves your self-interest. (shrink)
The general philosophical problem with most versions of social libertarianism and how this essay will proceed. The specific problem with liberty explained by a thought-experiment. The abstract (non-propertarian and non-normative) theory of interpersonal liberty-in-itself as ‘the absence of interpersonal proactively-imposed constraints on want-satisfaction’, for short ‘no (proactive) impositions’. The individualistic liberty-maximisation theory solves the problems of clashes, defences, and rectifications without entailing libertarian consequentialism. The practical implications of instantiating liberty: three rules of liberty-in-practice, 1) initial ultimate control of one’s body, (...) 2) initial ultimate control of one’s used resources, 3) consensual interpersonal interactions and resource transfers. These rules are economically efficient and maximise general want-satisfaction. Private property and legal remedies are additional practical institutional aspects, but to which ‘proactive impositions’ then apply prima facie. Libertarian law is often mistaken for complete libertarianism. Moral explanations are a separate issue. The three main moral theories imply libertarianism, but it can be morally posited independently of them. Critical rationalism and its application. No empirical or argumentative support for theories. An important ambiguity with ‘justification’. How the epistemology applies to the libertarian theory but remains separate in principle. Conclusion: there are further published explanations but this should be enough to generate useful criticism. (shrink)
We show that data collected from corpuses of documents violate the Clauser-Horne-Shimony-Holt version of Bell’s inequality and therefore indicate the presence of quantum entanglement in their structure. We obtain this result by considering two concepts and their combination and coincidence operations consisting of searches of co-occurrences of exemplars of these concepts in specific corpuses of documents. Measuring the frequencies of these co-occurrences and calculating the relative frequencies as approximate probabilities entering in the CHSH inequality, we obtain manifest violations of the (...) latter for all considered corpuses of documents. In comparing these violations with those analogously obtained in an earlier work for the same combined concepts in psychological coincidence experiments with human participants, also violating the CHSH inequality, we identify the entanglement as being carried by the meaning connection between the two considered concepts within the combination they form. We explain the stronger violation for the corpuses of documents, as compared to the violation in the psychology experiments, as being due to the superior meaning domain of the human mind and, on the other side, to the latter reaching a broader domain of meaning and being possibly also actively influenced during the experimentation. We mention some of the issues to be analyzed in future work such as the violations of the CHSH inequality being larger than the ‘Cirel’son bound’ for all of the considered corpuses of documents. (shrink)
As its title suggests, the subject of this book is the nature of self-fulfillment, which the author defines as “carrying to fruition one’s deepest desires or one’s worthiest capacities”. It treats this subject as a specifically ethical one. The motivation behind it lies in the author’s conviction that all other norms and ideals have value only insofar as they serve to advance this one.
Business ethics as an applied inquiry requires an expanded normative method which allows both philosophical and religious ethical considerations to be employed in resolving complex issues or cases. The proposed foundational normative method provides a comprehensive framework composed of major philosophical and religious ethical theories. An extensive rationale from the current trends in business ethics and metaethical considerations supports the development of this method which is illustrated in several case studies. By using this method, scholars and business persons gain greater (...) certitude about the ethical quality of their deliberations and decision making than what may be achieved with current nonsystematic or nascent normative methods. (shrink)
This essay goes through Frederick 2015 (F15) in some detail, responding to the various paraphrases and criticisms therein. It is argued that in each case F15 is mistaken about what Lester 2012 (L12) says, or about what F15 presents as a sound criticism, or both. It is concluded that the philosophical theory of new-paradigm libertarianism that L12 (etc.) comprises has yet to be given adequate critical consideration, and that almost all libertarian texts still fall foul of the three fundamental (...) errors that L12 (etc.) has explained and corrected at length in response to many texts. (shrink)
David Friedman posed a number of libertarian philosophical problems (Friedman 1989). This essay criticizes Walter Block’s Rothbardian responses (Block 2011) and compares them with J C Lester’s critical-rationalist, libertarian-theory responses (Lester  2012). The main issues are as follows. 1. Critical rationalism and how it applies to libertarianism. 2.1. How libertarianism is not inherently about law and is inherently about morals. 2.2. How liberty relates to property and can be maximized: carbon dioxide and radio waves. 2.3. Applying the (...) theory to flashlights. 2.4. Applying the theory to the probability of imposed risks. 2.5. “Homesteading” or initial acquisition. 2.6 What is “essential” for a “true libertarian.” 2.7. Crime and punishment. 2.8. Extent of punishment. 2.9. The libertarian response to a madman with a gun. 2.10. How contradictions in rights are possible. 2.11. The draft. 3.1. Utilitarian libertarianism and “nose counting”. 3.2. How interpersonal comparisons of utility are possible and utility monsters are not a threat. 3.3. Why it is not utilitarian in practice to kill an innocent prisoner to prevent a riot. 3.4. Why David Friedman should not be forced to give up one of his eyes. 3.5. How utilitarians can be libertarians. Conclusion: a proper theory of liberty combined with critical rationalism offers superior solutions to Friedman’s problems. Appendix: replies to two commentators. (shrink)
Frederick 2013 (F13) offers criticisms of the Lester 2012 (L12) theory of libertarian liberty and of its compatibility with preference-utilitarian welfare and private-property anarchy. This reply to F13 first explains the underlying philosophical problem with libertarian liberty and L12’s solution. It then goes through F13 in detail showing that it does not grasp the problem or the solution and offers only misrepresentations and unsound criticisms.
It is vital that social workers have a deep and critical understanding of the social work value-base, and are able to analyse and apply values and ethics to their everyday practice. This fully-revised edition of one of our best-selling titles identifies current issues in social work and then applies an ethical dimension. These issues are then investigated further within an anti-discriminatory framework and against the background of the code of practice for social care workers and employers. Traditional value perspectives are (...) clearly explained and current developments in virtue theory and the ethics of care for social work are also introduced. (shrink)
Liberty is what libertarians advocate. Both because of the inherent value of human liberty and because of the increasing wealth and welfare it brings to all. They see the aggressive coercion of the state as the main enemy of liberty. The solution is to roll back the state until there is little or no state left. Libertarianism has been rapidly growing since the 1970s. But it is still not commonly understood or even given a proper hearing. However, you will increasingly (...) come across it. Often it will be through state enthusiasts disingenuously claiming to be libertarians . At other times it will be through state enthusiasts attacking libertarianism as an extremist ideology. And very occasionally it will be real libertarians explaining and defending their views. J C Lester is a libertarian philosopher who has been writing about why liberty is preferable to politics for many years. This book contains many of his shorter writings on the subject. These range from the populist to the philosophical. Together they function as a miscellaneous introduction to libertarianism. The various different topics and approaches should give the reader a good cross-reference grasp of the subject. (shrink)
1) Introduction. 2) The key libertarian insight into property and orthodox libertarianism’s philosophical confusion. 3) Clearer distinctions for applying to what follows: abstract liberty; practical liberty; moral defences; and critical rationalism. 4) The two dominant (‘Lockean’ and ‘Hobbesian’) conceptions of interpersonal liberty. 5) A general account of libertarianism as a subset of classical liberalism and defended from a narrower view. 6) Two abstract (non-propertarian, non-normative) theories of interpersonal liberty developed and defended: ‘the absence of interpersonal proactively-imposed constraints on want-satisfaction’, abbreviated (...) to ‘no proactively imposed costs’; and ‘no imposed costs’. 7) Practical implications for both main abstract conceptions of liberty derived and compared. 8) How this positive analysis relates to morals. 9) Concluding conjectures: the main abstract theory of liberty captures the relevant interpersonal conception; the new paradigm of libertarianism solves the old one’s problems. (shrink)
Cairns presents a plausible two-part, step by step, approach seemingly developed in Husserl’s “workshop” to transcendental phenomenology that is independent of culture and history, refines a concept of knowledge and its references to worldly things, encounters a difficulty, and resolves it through recognition of a non-worldly apodictic core of consciousness distinct from being in the real temporal, spatial, and causal world.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, sociology was becoming established as a discipline in the United States and Great Britain. This article looks closely at the lives and work of two prominent sociologists at this time, Patrick Geddes and Lester F. Ward. As sociology was becoming established in academic departments, neither Ward’s nor Geddes’ thought managed to survive intact. A number of factors played into this process, especially the overall broadness of their perspectives, as well as the (...) incompatibility of several of their key concerns, including gender, religion, race and education, with the eventual trajectory of the sociology and the scholars who were involved in consolidating the discipline as such. (shrink)
New employees face a variety of life and career transitions in early adulthood. This paper explores these transitions that shape personal and career identity. A supervisor can play a central role in facilitating employee development during these times but may be unwilling or ill-prepared to do so. At other times he/she may provide assistance that is unwanted and inappropriate to the employee's developmental needs. The paper develops a framework for examining the supervisor's ethical responsibility to facilitate employee development and provides (...) guidelines for managing these transitions. (shrink)
We model a piece of text of human language telling a story by means of the quantum structure describing a Bose gas in a state close to a Bose–Einstein condensate near absolute zero temperature. For this we introduce energy levels for the words used in the story and we also introduce the new notion of ‘cogniton’ as the quantum of human thought. Words are then cognitons in different energy states as it is the case for photons in different energy states, (...) or states of different radiative frequency, when the considered boson gas is that of the quanta of the electromagnetic field. We show that Bose–Einstein statistics delivers a very good model for these pieces of texts telling stories, both for short stories and for long stories of the size of novels. We analyze an unexpected connection with Zipf’s law in human language, the Zipf ranking relating to the energy levels of the words, and the Bose–Einstein graph coinciding with the Zipf graph. We investigate the issue of ‘identity and indistinguishability’ from this new perspective and conjecture that the way one can easily understand how two of ‘the same concepts’ are ‘absolutely identical and indistinguishable’ in human language is also the way in which quantum particles are absolutely identical and indistinguishable in physical reality, providing in this way new evidence for our conceptuality interpretation of quantum theory. (shrink)
Embree claimed that Schutz did not remain a methodological individualist during all of his academic life since he came to consider the individual as an abstractum abstracted from a concrete collective life. In this view, the socio-historical world cannot be understood as a mere structure of individuals because it also contains groups that are related one to another in diverse ways and which are the concrete subject of the social world. I stress three major contributions of Embree to social phenomenology: (...) to have shown the deficiencies of methodological individualism because it conceals that the social world is a world of groups; to have found a phenomenological way to speak of collective subjects not involving metaphysical mystifications; and to have found a different way to access phenomena by re-specifying the first person perspective as “first person plural.”. (shrink)
Epistemology is often a problem for libertarianism. Many libertarian texts assume that they need to do more than explain and defend the libertarian conjecture. Instead, they try to offer epistemological support for it (whether empirically or morally); which falsificationism and, more broadly, critical rationalism explains is not possible. Moreover, they often mistake this attempt at support for an explanation of libertarianism (which ought to include an abstract theory of liberty and how it relates to liberty in practice). Therefore, when a (...) criticism of falsificationism appears on a libertarian website it seems useful to reply to it (even though no discussion of libertarianism itself is involved). (shrink)
In _Ecce Homo_ Friedrich Nietzsche calls himself "the first immoralist" and adds "that makes me the annihilator _par excellence_". Lester Hunt examines this and other radical claims in order to show that Nietzsche does have a coherent ethical and political philosophy. He uses Nietzsche's writings as a starting point for a critique of a wider, contemporary ethical project - one that should inform our lives as well as our thoughts.