In On Patience, MatthewPianalto explores the multiple aspects of patience and the relationship of patience to other virtues such as courage, love, and wisdom. Drawing from a wide range of sources and traditions, Pianalto develops a picture of this foundational virtue, according to which we can never be too patient.
Moral courage involves acting in the service of one?s convictions, in spite of the risk of retaliation or punishment. I suggest that moral courage also involves a capacity to face others as moral agents, and thus in a manner that does not objectify them. A moral stand can only be taken toward another moral agent. Often, we find ourselves unable to face others in this way, because to do so is frightening, or because we are consumed by blinding anger. But (...) without facing others as moral subjects, we risk moral cowardice on the one hand and moral fanaticism on the other. (shrink)
Abstract In the ?Lecture on ethics?, Wittgenstein declares that ethical statements are essentially nonsense. He later told Friedrich Waismann that it is essential to ?speak for oneself? on ethical matters. These comments might be taken to suggest that Wittgenstein shared an emotivist view of ethics?that one can only speak for oneself because there is no truth in ethics, only expressions of opinion (or emotions). I argue that this assimilation of Wittgenstein to emotivist thought is deeply misguided, and rests upon a (...) serious misunderstanding of what is implied by the nonsensicality of ethical claims on Wittgenstein's view. I develop a reading of Wittgenstein's remarks in the ?Lecture on ethics? on which ethical statements, despite their nonsensicality, reveal the perspective of the speaker. The purpose of ethical language is to elucidate a speaker's perspective. Such elucidations, and the perspectives they reveal, can be evaluated, criticized, and respected on principled grounds even if, as Wittgenstein insists, no ethical judgment can be (objectively) justified by any fact. I contrast Wittgenstein's comments on ethics with some comments made by Frank Ramsey (from the same period), which appear similar to Wittgenstein's remarks on value. Contra Ramsey's insistence that there is ?nothing to discuss? about (or within) ethics, a proper understanding of Wittgenstein's views does not commit us to passing over ethics in silence. (shrink)
Integrity is sometimes conceived in terms of the wholeness of the individual, such that persons who experience temptations or other sorts of inner conflicts, afflictions, or divisions of self would seem to lack integrity to a greater or lesser degree. I contrast this understanding of integrity—which I label psychological integrity —with a different conception which I call practical integrity . On the latter conception, persons can manifest integrity in spite of the various factors mentioned above, so long as they remain (...) true to their commitments in action and deliberation. Although psychological harmony is one feature reasonably associated with integrity, I suggest that practical integrity captures other features of character and action often (and reasonably) related to ascriptions of integrity. Practical integrity remains possible even for those who must confront, manage, and control factors that give rise to various kinds of inner conflict. (shrink)
We often praise people who stand by their convictions in the face of adversity and practice what they preach. However, strong moral convictions can also motivate atrocious acts. Two significant questions here are (1) whether conviction itself — taken as a mode of belief — has any distinctive value, or whether all the value of conviction derives from its substantive content, and (2) how conviction can be made responsible in a way that mitigates the risks of falling into dogmatism, fanaticism, (...) and other vices. In response to the first question, I suggest that conviction has instrumental value that derives from its relationship to integrity and courage. On the second question, I articulate the roles that reflection, discourse (engagement with others), and humility must play in the dialectical process of maintaining responsible convictions. (shrink)
In several posthumously published writings about the differences between humans and animals, Rush Rhees criticises the view that human lives are more important than (or superior to) animal lives. Rhees' views may seem to be in sympathy with more recent critiques of “speciesism.” However, the most commonly discussed anti-speciesist moral frameworks – which take the capacity of sentience as the criterion of moral considerability – are inadequate. Rhees' remark that both humans and animals can be loved points towards a different (...) way of accounting for the moral considerability of humans and animals that avoid the problems of the capacity-based approaches. (shrink)
The view that pleasure's value might be merely instrumental has not received much support from philosophers. Indeed, few things seem more clearly to be of intrinsic value than pleasure. However, MatthewPianalto has provided a sophisticated defense of the purely instrumental view. In this paper I respond to Pianalto's argument. I defend it from some recent criticism, while nevertheless ultimately concluding that it fails.
We should give courage a more significant place in our understanding of how familiar virtues can and should be reshaped to capture what it is to be virtuous relative to the environment. MatthewPianalto’s account of moral courage helps explain what a specifically environmental form of moral courage would look like. There are three benefits to be gained by recognizing courage as an environmental virtue: it helps us to recognize the high stakes nature of much environmental activism and (...) to act accordingly; it can make environmental activism more appealing to a broader audience by helping us dismantle stereotypes associated with environmentalism, including sexist and homophobic ones; and it aides in the de-militarization of the concept of courage. (shrink)
Confirmation of a hypothesis by evidence can be measured by one of the so far known incremental measures of confirmation. As we show, incremental measures can be formally defined as the measures of confirmation satisfying a certain small set of basic conditions. Moreover, several kinds of incremental measure may be characterized on the basis of appropriate structural properties. In particular, we focus on the so-called Matthew properties: we introduce a family of six Matthew properties including the reverse (...) class='Hi'>Matthew effect; we further prove that incremental measures endowed with reverse Matthew effect are possible; finally, we shortly consider the problem of the plausibility of Matthew properties. (shrink)
Bayesian confirmation theory is rife with confirmation measures. Many of them differ from each other in important respects. It turns out, though, that all the standard confirmation measures in the literature run counter to the so-called “Reverse Matthew Effect” (“RME” for short). Suppose, to illustrate, that H1 and H2 are equally successful in predicting E in that p(E | H1)/p(E) = p(E | H2)/p(E) > 1. Suppose, further, that initially H1 is less probable than H2 in that p(H1) < (...) p(H2). Then by RME it follows that the degree to which E confirms H1 is greater than the degree to which it confirms H2. But by all the standard confirmation measures in the literature, in contrast, it follows that the degree to which E confirms H1 is less than or equal to the degree to which it confirms H2. It might seem, then, that RME should be rejected as implausible. Festa (2012), however, argues that there are scientific contexts in which RME holds. If Festa’s argument is sound, it follows that there are scientific contexts in which none of the standard confirmation measures in the literature is adequate. Festa’s argument is thus interesting, important, and deserving of careful examination. I consider five distinct respects in which E can be related to H, use them to construct five distinct ways of understanding confirmation measures, which I call “Increase in Probability”, “Partial Dependence”, “Partial Entailment”, “Partial Discrimination”, and “Popper Corroboration”, and argue that each such way runs counter to RME. The result is that it is not at all clear that there is a place in Bayesian confirmation theory for RME. (shrink)
There are numerous (Bayesian) confirmation measures in the literature. Festa provides a formal characterization of a certain class of such measures. He calls the members of this class “incremental measures”. Festa then introduces six rather interesting properties called “Matthew properties” and puts forward two theses, hereafter “T1” and “T2”, concerning which of the various extant incremental measures have which of the various Matthew properties. Festa’s discussion is potentially helpful with the problem of measure sensitivity. I argue, that, while (...) Festa’s discussion is illuminating on the whole and worthy of careful study, T1 and T2 are strictly speaking incorrect (though on the right track) and should be rejected in favor of two similar but distinct theses. (shrink)
Matthew D. Eddy and David Knight’s new edition of William Paley’s Natural Theology deserves to become the standard scholarly edition of what is a historically, theologically, and philosophically important work, despite a certain neglect of philosophical issues on the part of the editors.
Through an argumentation analysis can one show how it is feasible to view a narrative religious text such as the Gospel of Matthew as a literary argument. The Gospel is not just good news but an elaborate argument for the standpoint that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah. It is shown why an argumentation analysis needs to be supplemented with a pragmatic literary analysis in order to describe how the evangelist presents his story so as to reach (...) his argumentative objective. The analysis also shows why in the case of historical religious literary texts, certain demands are put on the analyst that are not normally present. (shrink)
In Matthew 23:1-3, Jesus commands His disciples and the crowd to listen to the scribes and Pharisees even while not imitating their actions. Many modern interpreters have lessened the force of Matthew 23:1-3 by an assumption of irony on the part of Jesus. We presume that God could never ordain this for His people. However, this easier reading may not be the best reading. A more straightforward interpretation, but one that is difficult to hear, suggests that at times (...) we may need to sit under bad leadership as means of receiving God’s Word. Pre-critical and modern interpreters provide an understanding of the words of Jesus that is consistent with a theology of God’s providence in times of transition and bad leadership. In addition, there are instances of His direction in both the Old and New Testaments that reinforce this challenging path. It is through this more faithful stance that we grow and flourish in difficult times. (shrink)
The place of eros in Christian theology has always been a contested one, not least because it is positioned as being at odds with agape, the kind of love that embodies gospel ethics. Matthew 25:31–46 calls us to “feed the hungry,” “quench the thirsty,” “shelter the homeless,” “clothe the naked,” and “visit the imprisoned” as emblematic examples of agapic love. This essay shows how a queer act, specifically that of a woman breastfeeding a starving man as depicted in the (...) tradition of Caritas Romana, can fulfill the ethical demands in Matthew's pericope. It demonstrates how the action first narrated by Valerius Maximus and then represented by Paul Peter Rubens beautifully fulfills the Matthean agapic demands, and concludes that queer practices have the potential to fulfill the gospel demands, situating the erotic at the core of the agapic. (shrink)
Este artigo tematiza o apóstolo Pedro como personagem no evangelho de Mateus. O objetivo é identificar as nuances e transformações do personagem Pedro no evangelho. Para tanto, tomo como ponto de partida a pertença do evangelho ao gênero literário biografia greco-romana, que apresenta Jesus Cristo como protagonista. Os demais personagens são desenvolvidos em relação com ele. O mesmo se dá com o apóstolo Pedro. O texto se desenvolve a partir da teoria narrativa, de modo particular a caracterização de personagens. Identifico, (...) a partir de Erich Auerbach e Robert Alter, as características de personagens bíblicos, tecendo comparações com teorias do personagem no romance moderno. A análise de textos do evangelho de Mateus que retratam o personagem Pedro leva à conclusão que suas principais características são a complexidade e a inversão. Elas produzem uma visão geral da involução do personagem na narrativa do evangelho de Mateus. Palavras-chave: Pedro. Evangelho de Mateus. Teoria narrativa. Complexidade. Inversão.This article focuses on the apostle Peter as a character in the Gospel of Matthew. It aims at identifying the nuances and changes of the character Peter in the Gospel. For this purpose, I take as a starting point that the gospel belongs to the literary genre of ancient Greco-Roman Biography, which presents Jesus Christ as the protagonist. The other characters are developed in relationship with him. The same is true with the Apostle Peter. The article unfolds from narrative theory, in particular the categorization of characters. I categorize, based on Erich Auerbach and Robert Alter, the features of biblical characters, developing comparisons with theories of the character in the modern novel. The analysis of the main texts from the Gospel of Matthew that portray the character Peter leads to the conclusion that its main features are complexity and inversion. They produce an overview of the involution of the character in the narrative of the Gospel of Matthew. Key words: Peter. Gospel of Matthew. Narrative theory. Complexity. Inversion. (shrink)
This paper offers a new angle on the common idea that the process of science does not support epistemic diversity. Under minimal assumptions on the nature of journal editing, we prove that editorial procedures, even when impartial in themselves, disadvantage less prominent research programs. This purely statistical bias in article selection further skews existing differences in the success rate and hence attractiveness of research programs, and exacerbates the reputation difference between the programs. After a discussion of the modeling assumptions, the (...) paper ends with a number of recommendations that may help promote scientific diversity through editorial decision making. (shrink)
I distinguish two ways of explaining our capacity for ‘transparent’ knowledge of our own present beliefs, perceptions, and intentions: an inferential and a reflective approach. Alex Byrne (2011) has defended an inferential approach, but I argue that this approach faces a basic difficulty, and that a reflective approach avoids the difficulty. I conclude with a brief sketch and defence of a reflective approach to our transparent self-knowledge, and I show how this approach is connected with the thesis that we must (...) distinguish between a kind of self-knowledge that is of oneself as agent and another kind that is of oneself as patient. (shrink)
Philosophy for Children arose in the 1970s in the US as an educational programme. This programme, initiated by Matthew Lipman, was devoted to exploring the relationship between the notions ‘philosophy’ and ‘childhood’, with the implicit practical goal of establishing philosophy as a full-fledged ‘content area’ in public schools. Over 40 years, the programme has spread worldwide, and the theory and practice of doing philosophy for or with children and young people appears to be of growing interest in the field (...) of education and, by implication, in society as a whole. This article focuses on this growing interest by offering a survey of the main arguments and ideas that have given shape to the idea of philosophy for children in recent decades. This aim is twofold: first, to make more familiar an actual educational practice that is not at all well known in the field of academic philosophy itself; and second, to invite a re-thinking of the relationship between philosophy and the child ‘after Lipman’. (shrink)
Robert Merton observed that better-known scientists tend to get more credit than less well-known scientists for the same achievements; he called this the Matthew effect. Scientists themselves, even those eminent researchers who enjoy its benefits, regard the effect as a pathology: it results, they believe, in a misallocation of credit. If so, why do scientists continue to bestow credit in the manner described by the effect? This paper advocates an explanation of the effect on which it turns out to (...) allocate credit fairly after all, while at the same time making sense of scientists' opinions to the contrary. (shrink)
In recent years, many non-consequentialists such as Frances Kamm and Thomas Scanlon have been puzzling over what has come to be known as the Number Problem, which is how to show that the greater number in a rescue situation should be saved without aggregating the claims of the many, a typical kind of consequentialist move that seems to violate the separateness of persons. In this article, I argue that these non-consequentialists may be making the task more difficult than necessary, because (...) allowing aggregation does not prevent one from being a non-consequentialist. I shall explain how a non-consequentialist can still respect the separateness of persons while allowing for aggregation. (shrink)
It is argued that instrumentalizing the value of art does an injustice to artistic appreciation and provides a hostage to fortune. Whilst aestheticism offers an intellectual bulwark against such an approach, it focuses on what is distinctive of art at the expense of broader artistic values. It is argued that artistic appreciation and creativity involve not just skills but excellences of character. The nature of particular artistic or appreciative virtues and vices are briefly explored, such as snobbery, aestheticism and creativity, (...) in order to motivate a virtue theoretic approach. Artistic virtues are intrinsically valuable excellences of character that enable us to create or appreciate all sorts of things from everyday recipes to the finest achievements of humankind. Such an approach offers a new way to resist the age old temptation to instrumentalize the values of art. (shrink)
In Loyalty to Loyalty: Josiah Royce and the Genuine Moral Life, Matthew Foust richly examines the nature of a controversial virtue: loyalty. It is well known that for Royce loyalty was not only a fundamental moral concept but an anthropological one since, in his view, loyalty to a cause allows individuals to become selves, creatures with unity of purpose in life. However, this ground level of loyalty is not the only one existing for him. Simultaneously to a particular cause (...) one must adhere to loyalty to loyalty, a universal cause that is a moral obligation for each human being. Foust attempts to recover this dual aspect of the Roycean conception of loyalty with the purpose of defending his contemporary relevance .. (shrink)
Matthew Walker’s book argues that contemplation is not useless as “traditionally” claimed, but serves the crucial function of guiding what Walker frequently refers to as human life activities, most importantly the self-maintenance of the human organism. By this phrase, he includes the full range of psychic functions essential to a perishable organism, extending down to nourishment and reproduction. As such, contemplation not only becomes the central organizing principle of Aristotle’s ethics, but also must be understood in connection with Aristotle’s (...) natural philosophy.The book’s early chapters strike me as following something like the order of the De anima, leading from what is perhaps... (shrink)
In this review essay, the author commends Matthew Ratcliffe for his masterful and highly valuable account of the emotional phenomenology of existential change—of shifts in our experience of belonging to a shared world of possibilities—but criticizes him for his commitments to two frameworks that are actually extraneous and inimical to his project and that perpetuate remnants of Cartesian isolated-mind thinking—Husserlian ‘‘pure phenomenology’’ and traditional diagnostic psychiatry. The author contends that Ratcliffe’s devotion to a decontextualizing psychiatric language in particular conceals (...) the contexts of severe emotional trauma in which the existential feelings that he so beautifully elucidates take form. (shrink)
:It is now well over a decade since the artist Matthew Barney's epic work the Cremaster Cycle was completed. This essay returns to the post-human becomings of man that populate Barney's elaborately cross-referenced, aesthetic pluriverse, in particular addressing how the man-form labours amidst and on his environment-worlds, inclusive of the architectural augmentations that assist in the production of such worlds. Revisiting Barney's Cremaster Cycle now offers the opportunity to ask what becomes of the exclusionary and exhaustive world-making performances of (...) the Anthrop once he has placed extreme stress on himself and his mental, social and environmental ecologies, so that any mutual support system is brought to the threshold of exhaustion. (shrink)
Robert Koons and Matthew O’Brien have leveled a number of objections against the New Natural Law account of human action and intention. In this paper, I discuss five areas in which I believe that the Koons-O’Brien criticism of the New Natural Law theory is mistaken, or in which their own view is problematic. I hope to show, inter alia, that the New Natural Law approach is not committed to a number of theses attributed to it by Koons and O’Brien; (...) that their own view suffers from many ambiguities and difficulties; that passages from St. Thomas on which they draw to support their own view are in fact fully compatible with the New Natural Law account; and that neither the New Natural Law account of the controversial Phoenix abortion case, nor their account of the casuistry surrounding the acceptance of side-effects, is deficient in the ways asserted by Koons and O’Brien. (shrink)
In this symposium introduction we outline the central arguments of Matthew Kramer's Liberalism with Excellence, and situate the articles in the symposium with respect to the book and the wider debate between perfectionists and anti-perfectionists.
Recently Robert Forman has attempted to muster support for the largely abandoned position that mystical experiences cross-culturally include an unmediated, non-relative core. To reopen the debate he has solicited essays from likeminded scholars for his book, The Problem of Pure Consciousness. Predictably the focus of the volume rests on the refutation of the position most notably expounded by Steven Katz in his influential article of 1978, ‘Language, Epistemology and Mysticism’.
In Practice in Christianity, Søren Kierkegaard's pseudonym, Anti-Climacus enters into an extended engagement with Matthew 11.6, ‘Blessed is he who takes no offense at me’. In so doing, he comes to an understanding that ‘the possibility of offense’ characterises the ‘crossroad’ at which one either comes to faith in Christ's revelation or rejects it. Such a choice, as he is well aware, cannot be made from a neutral standpoint, and so he is led to propose that it is ‘the (...) thoughts of the heart’ (i.e. a person's disposition) that constitute the pivotal factor in determining whether or not God will reconcile a person into the Christian faith. In this paper, I discuss Anti-Climacus' interpretation of Mt. 11.6 and consider his reasons for interpreting a person's predisposition as being so decisive for faith. (shrink)
Matthew Liao is to be commended for editing Moral Brains, a fine collection showcasing truly 12 excellent chapters by, among others, James Woodward, Molly Crocket, and Jana Schaich 13 Borg. In addition to Liao’s detailed, fair-minded, and comprehensive introduction, the book 14 has fourteen chapters. Of these, one is a reprint (Joshua Greene ch. 4), one a re-articulation of 15 previously published arguments (Walter Sinnott-Armstrong ch. 14), and one a literature review 16 (Oliveira-Souza, Zahn, and Moll ch. 9). The (...) rest are original contributions to the rapidly 17 developing field of neuroethics. (shrink)