Every year in this country, some 10,000 college and university courses are taught in applied ethics. And many professional organizations now have their own codes of ethics. Yet social science has had little impact upon applied ethics. This book promises to change that trend by illustrating how social science can make a contribution to applied ethics. The text reports psychological studies relevant to applied ethics for many professionals, including accountants, college students and teachers, counselors, dentists, doctors, journalists, nurses, school teachers, (...) athletes, and veterinarians. Each chapter begins with the research base of the cognitive-developmental approach--especially linked to Kohlberg and Rest's Defining Issues Test. Finally, the book summarizes recent research on the following issues: * moral judgment scores within and between professions, * pre- and post-test evaluations of ethics education programs, * moral judgment and moral behavior, * models of professional ethicseducation, and * models for developing new assessment tools. Researchers in different professional fields investigate different questions, develop different research strategies, and report different findings. Typically researchers of one professional field are not aware of research in other fields. An important aim of the present book is to bring this diverse research together so that cross-fertilization can occur and ideas from one field can transfer to another. (shrink)
Kohlberg's work in moral judgement has been criticised by many philosophers and psychologists. Building on Kohlberg's core assumptions, we propose a model of moral judgement (hereafter the neo-Kohlbergian approach) that addresses these concerns. Using 25 years of data gathered with the Defining Issues Test (DIT), we present an overview of Minnesota's neo-Kohlbergian approach, using Kohlberg's basic starting points, ideas from Cognitive Science (especially schema theory), and developments in moral philosophy.
Abstract Evidence is reviewed showing that college attendance is associated with development in moral judgement. Six interpretations of why college has this effect are discussed: (1) simple age/maturation; (2) socialization; (3) learning specific knowledge or skill; (4) generalized understanding; (5) intellectual stimulation; (6) self?selection. Findings from longitudinal, experimental, correlational, educational and life experience studies are used to evaluate the plausibility of each interpretation. The last three interpretations are favoured over the first three.
At the 1987 meeting, the governing board of the Association for Moral Education considered various ways of honouring Larry Kohlberg. Larry Kohlberg has been the guiding light and chief impetus for this organization and the board wanted to recognize this. There was a quick consensus that an on?going lecture series in Larry Kohlberg's name would be a fitting tribute. The annual lecture will be a device for breathing fresh life into the work of moral education; it will be a way (...) of infusing new ideas into the Association, in an ongoing way; a way of expanding our thinking and challenging us. The guest lecturer should be someone with new ideas about moral education or about the psychology of morality or about moral philosophy. Therefore the lecture series is not intended to reminisce each year about Larry Kohlberg, or to freeze Larry's accomplishments, or to rigidity Larry's thinking, or to cannonize Kohlbergian orthodoxy. Rather, in the years to come we expect to invite speakers who are not necessarily insiders of the Association and whose thinking may seem quite different from Larry Kohlberg's ideas of the 1980s. Larry's ideas were constantly being expanded and renewed. He himself claimed to be his own foremost revisionist. It is in this spirit that we intend to honour him with these lectures. (shrink)
Ethical decision-making research has centered on Rest’s framework that represents a rational, nonaffective model for ethical decision making. However, research in human cognition suggesting a “dual-processing” framework, composed of both rational and affective components, has been relatively ignored in the ethical decision-making literature. Examining dual-processing literature, it seems affect might be an important factor in decision making when a person’s mood is congruent with the task or situational context frame. Given that ethical decisions are serious and complex tasks, it (...) is proposed here that inducing a negative affective state might produce mood congruence, reinforce the salience of emotion for ethical decision makers, and lead to differences in decision processing. Evidence is presented documenting differences in the decisions made by ethical decision makers in a negative affective state as compared to those in either a positive or neutral affective state. (shrink)
Species evolve, very slowly, through selection of genes which give rise to phenotypes well adapted to their environments. The cultures, including the languages, of human communities evolve, much faster, maintaining at least a minimum level of adaptedness to the external, non- cultural environment. In the phylogenetic evolution of species, the transmission of information across generations is via copying of molecules, and innovation is by mutation and sexual recombination. In cultural evolution, the transmission of information across generations is by learning, and (...) innovation is by sporadic invention or borrowing from other cultures. This much is the foundational bedrock of evolutionary theory. But things get more complicated; there can be gene-culture co-evolution. Prior to the rise of culture, the physical environment is the only force shaping biological evolution from outside the organism, and cultures themselves are clearly constrained by the evolved biological characteristics of their members. But cultures become part of the external environment, and influence the course of biological evolution. For example, altruistic cultures with developed medical knowledge reduce the cost to the individual of carrying genes disposing to certain pathologies (such as diabetes); and such genes become more widespread in the populations maintaining such cultures. Assortative mating can affect biological evolution, and particular cultures may influence the factors which are sorted for in mating. (For a careful discussion of the effects of cultural evolution on natural selection, see Cavalli-Sforza and Bodmer, 1971:774- 804). This paper examines mechanisms involved in the co-evolution of a biological trait, the critical period for language acquisition, and a property of human cultures, the size of their languages. A gene/culture interaction will be shown that can be described as a kind of symbiosis, but perhaps more aptly as an `arms race'. In this introduction, we will sketch the basic mechanics of the interaction in very broad terms; the rest of the paper will explain and justify the details. The implications of our model for second language acquisition are given toward the end of the paper. (shrink)
The reputations of scientists among their contemporaries depend not only on accomplishment, but also on interactions affected by influence and personality. The historical lore of most fields of scientific endeavor preserve these reputations, often through the identification of founders, innovators, and prolific workers whose contributions are considered fundamental to progress in the field. Historians frequently rely on the historical lore of scientists to guide their studies of the development of ideas, exhibiting justifiable caution in reassessing reputations in the light of (...) current knowledge. However, the transmission of historical lore can obscure the relative importance of accomplishment, influence and personality in shaping contemporary reputations, leaving the historian to either accept reputations at face value or attempt to reconstruct the context in which they were created. The science of taxonomy, because of its rules of priority, leaves a relatively accurate record of historical accomplishment through the persistence of taxa in catalogues and faunal guides. These records allow the modern historian an unbiased means to assess the relative accomplishments of historical figures and therefore a means to critically reassess reputations independent of personality and influence. In the historical lore of North American ichthyology, Louis Agassiz at Harvard and Spencer Baird at the Smithsonian emerge as central figures in the early development of the field during the mid-1800s, contributing not only through the quality and quantity of their science, but also through their roles as institutional leaders and mentors to workers who followed. Charles Girard, originally a student of Agassiz's and later a coworker with Baird, receives little notice in the history of ichthyology, and his reputation is that of a minor player in the initial description of the North American fish fauna, and one whose work appears to have been flawed or even careless when compared to his contemporaries. However, a review of both contemporary and modern taxonomic works reveals that Girard's productivity far exceeded that of either Agassiz or Baird. Furthermore, an examination of the tendency of Girard and his contemporaries to introduce synonymous names into the literature, which might reflect careless or uncritical work, suggests that Girard was among the more accomplished workers of his era, including Agassiz and Baird. Girard's low ranking in the folklore of North American ichthyology, therefore, can not be attributed to discernible shortcomings in his scientific work, but rather to a public and private campaign of criticism waged by Agassiz after Girard's departure from Harvard. While Agassiz's dispute with Girard stemmed from their personal interactions, he expressed them as criticisms of Girard's work, and thus helped shape Girard's scientific reputation as it has been transmitted through the lore of ichthyology. This case study reveals how scientific reputation may not always rest on accomplishment, but can be influenced by personal interactions obscured by time but nonetheless important to history. (shrink)
Adam Smith raised a series of obstacles to effective large-scale social planning. In this paper, I draw these Smithian obstacles together to construct what I call the “Great Mind Fallacy,” or the belief that there exists some person or persons who can overcome the obstacles Smith raises. The putative scope of the Great Mind Fallacy is larger than one might initially suppose, which I demonstrate by reviewing several contemporary thinkers who would seem to commit it. I then address two ways (...) the fallacy might be overcome, finding both wanting. I close the paper by suggesting that Smith's Great Mind Fallacy sheds interesting light on his “impartial spectator” standard of morality, including with respect to the specific issues of property and ownership. (shrink)
The substantial work on cognitive moral development (CMD) by Lawrence Kohlberg and JamesRest popularized the use of this construct in the literature on business ethics. This construct has been prominently used in models attempting to explain ethical/unethical behavior in management, marketing, and accounting, even though Kohlberg did not intend for the construct to be used in that manner. As a predictor of behavior, CMD has been attacked on the theoretical level, and its empirical performance has been weak. (...) This article uses another established construct, which seems to satisfy the central criticisms of CMD, as a means of testing those complaints. The comparative multidimensional ethics scale (MES) substantially outperforms CMD, operationalized using Rest’s Defining Issues Test, in every test. These results seem to suggest that other options perform better than CMD when the purpose is to model ethical/unethical behavior or even ethical judgment. (shrink)
Mystics have always claimed that a very significant kind of self-perception is possible, at the end of certain spiritual disciplines. The self that is then supposed to be known is a unity, identical from one experience to the next, and not to be identified with any particular experiences, such as impressions or ideas, which the self has. In short, mystical testimony supports something like a theory of the essential self as simple and unchanging.
Knobe (2003a, 2003b, 2004b) and others have demonstrated the surprising fact that the valence of a side-effect action can affect intuitions about whether that action was performed intentionally. Here we report the results of an experiment that extends these findings by testing for an analogous effect regarding knowledge attributions. Our results suggest that subjects are less likely to find that an agent knows an action will bring about a side-effect when the effect is good than when it is bad. It (...) is further argued that these findings, while preliminary, have important implications for recent debates within epistemology about the relationship between knowledge and action. (shrink)
Since the late nineteenth century, studies of mysticism have presented us with two contrasting conclusions. The first is that mystics all over the world report basically the same experience, and the second is that there are great differences among the reports, and possibly among the experiences. On the positive side there are such works as Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy , with its claim that all mystics say that all beings are manifestations of a Divine Ground, that men learn of this (...) by direct intuition, that men have two natures, one phenomenal and one eternal, and that identification with his eternal nature is the purpose of man. Walter Stace supports this view, in a modified way, with his observation that, while each mystic seems to advance a peculiar explanation of his experience, their statements collectively exhibit strong similarities. Mystics commonly report a consciousness of unity, carrying with it feelings of objectivity, blessedness, and holiness. They describe their experience in paradoxical language, and say that ultimately it is ineffable. These twentieth-century observations are repetitions of those of William James, so that this basic point has become a cliché, and, as R. C. Zaehner says, ‘We have been told ad nauseum that mysticism is the highest expression of religion and that it appears in all ages and in all places in a more or less identical form, often in a religious milieu that would seem to be the reverse of propitious.’. (shrink)
Adam Smith wrote two books, one about economics and the other about morality. How do these books go together? How do markets and morality mix? James Otteson provides a comprehensive examination and interpretation of Smith's moral theory and demonstrates how his conception of morality applies to his understanding of markets, language and other social institutions. Considering Smith's notions of natural sympathy, the impartial spectator, human nature and human conscience, the author addresses whether Smith thinks that moral judgments enjoy a (...) transcendent sanction. (shrink)
We report the results of two studies that examine folk metaethical judgments about the objectivity of morality. We found that participants attributed almost as much objectivity to ethical statements as they did to statements of physical fact and significantly more objectivity to ethical statements than to statements about preferences or tastes. In both studies, younger participants attributed less objectivity to ethical statements than older participants. Females were observed to attribute slightly less objectivity to ethical statements than males, and we found (...) important interactions between attributions of objectivity and other factors, such as how strong participants’ moral opinions were and how much disagreement about the issue they perceived to exist within society. We believe our results have significant implications for debates about the nature of folk morality and about the nature of morality in general. (shrink)
In this paper I critically examine the Generality Problem and argue that it does not succeed as an objection to reliabilism. Although those who urge the Generality Problem are correct in claiming that any process token can be given indefinitely many descriptions that pick out indefinitely many process types, they are mistaken in thinking that reliabilists have no principled way to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant process types.
We report the results of a study that investigated the views of researchers working in seven scientific disciplines and in history and philosophy of science in regard to four hypothesized dimensions of scientific realism. Among other things, we found that natural scientists tended to express more strongly realist views than social scientists, that history and philosophy of science scholars tended to express more antirealist views than natural scientists, that van Fraassen’s characterization of scientific realism failed to cluster with more standard (...) characterizations, and that those who endorsed the pessimistic induction were no more or less likely to endorse antirealism. (shrink)
This book explores aspects of science from an economic point of view. The author begins with economic models of misconduct in science, moving on to discuss other important issues, including market failure and the market place of ideas.
The second in James Hurford's acclaimed two-volume exploration of the biological evolution of language explores the evolutionary and cultural preconditions and consequences of humanity's great leap into language.
Abductivists claim that explanatory considerations (e.g., simplicity, parsimony, explanatory breadth, etc.) favor belief in the external world over skeptical hypotheses involving evil demons and brains in vats. After showing how most versions of abductivism succumb fairly easily to obvious and fatal objections, I explain how rationalist versions of abductivism can avoid these difficulties. I then discuss the most pressing challenges facing abductivist appeals to the a priori and offer suggestions on how to overcome them.
Th e present article reports a series of experiments designed to extend the empirical investigation of folk metaethical intuitions by examining how different kinds of ethical disagreement can impact attributions of objectivity to ethical claims.
A number of researchers have begun to demonstrate that the widely discussed ?Knobe effect? (wherein participants are more likely to think that actions with bad side-effects are brought about intentionally than actions with good or neutral side-effects) can be found in theory of mind judgments that do not involve the concept of intentional action. In this article we report experimental results that show that attributions of knowledge can be influenced by the kinds of (non-epistemic) concerns that drive the Knobe effect. (...) Our findings suggest there is good reason to think that the epistemic version of the Knobe effect is a theoretically significant and robust effect, and that the goodness or badness of side-effects can often have greater influence on participant knowledge attributions than explicit information about objective probabilities. Thus, our work sheds light on important ways in which participant assessments of actions can affect the epistemic assessments participants make of agents? beliefs. (shrink)
Blackmail raises a pair of parallel legal and moral problems, sometimes referred to as the "paradox of blackmail". It is sometimes legal and morally permissible to ask someone for money, or to threaten to release harmful information about them, while it is illegal and morally impermissible to do these actions jointly. I address the moral version of this paradox by bringing instances of blackmail under a general account of wrongful coercion. According to this account, and contrary to the appearances which (...) give rise to the paradox, threatening the release of harmful information to constrain another's actions is almost never morally impermissible unless it is likewise impermissible to carry out one's threat. To defend this claim I identify a special wrong that arises in the paradoxical cases of threatened information release. The account also resolves a number of other puzzles about blackmail—for example, why profiting from a threat in blackmail can sometimes be impermissible, even though accepting identical payment from an independent offer to retain the same information can be permissible. (shrink)
Charles Griswold has written a comprehensive philosophical study of Smith's moral and political thought. Griswold sets Smith's work in the context of the Enlightenment and relates it to current discussions in moral and political philosophy. Smith's appropriation as well as criticism of ancient philosophy, and his carefully balanced defence of a liberal and humane moral and political outlook, are also explored. This 1999 book is a major philosophical and historical reassessment of a key figure in the Enlightenment that will be (...) of particular interest to philosophers and political and legal theorists, as well as historians of ideas, rhetoric, and political economy. (shrink)
In 2004 Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols and Stephen Stich published what has become one of the most widely discussed papers in experimental philosophy, in which they reported that East Asian and Western participants had different intuitions about the semantic reference of proper names. A flurry of criticisms of their work has emerged, and although various replications have been performed, many critics remain unconvinced. We review the current debate over Machery et al.’s (2004) results and take note of which (...) objections to their work have been satisfactorily answered and which ones still need to be addressed. We then report the results of studies that reveal significant cross-cultural and intra-cultural differences in semantic intuitions when we control for variables that critics allege have had a potentially distorting effect on Machery et al.’s findings. These variables include the epistemic perspective from which participants are supposed to understand the research materials, unintended anchoring effects of those materials, and pragmatic factors involved in the interpretation of speech acts within them. Our results confirm the robustness of the cross-cultural differences observed by Machery et al. and thereby strengthen the philosophical challenge they pose. (shrink)
Bringing about desirable collisions (making interceptions) and avoiding unwanted collisions are critically important sensorimotor skills, which appear to require us to estimate the time remaining before collision occurs (time-to-collision). Until recently the theoretical approach to understanding time-to-collision estimation has been dominated by the tau-hypothesis, which has its origins in J.J. Gibson’s ecological approach to perception. The hypothesis proposes that a quantity (tau), present in the visual stimulus, provides the necessary time-to-collision information. Empirical results and formal analyses have now accumulated to (...) demonstrate conclusively that the tau-hypothesis is false. This article describes an alternative approach that is based on recent data showing that the information used in judging time-to-collision is task- and situation-dependent, is of many different origins (of which tau is just one) and is influenced by the information-processing constraints of the nervous system. (shrink)
I argue that on very weak assumptions about truth (in particular, that there are coherent norms governing the use of "true"), there is a proposition absolutely inexpressible with conventional language, or something very close. I argue for this claim "constructively": I use a variant of the Berry Paradox to reveal a particular thought for my readership to entertain that very strongly resists conventional expression. I gauge the severity of this expressive limitation within a taxonomy of expressive failures, and argue that (...) despite its strength there is nothing incoherent about admitting its existence. The argument forms part of a project of clarifying precisely what trade-offs are required to secure the kinds of expressive power truth theorists typically want, in the process showing that the admission of very strong expressive limitations may ultimately prove to be the lesser of two evils. (shrink)
Knobe (Analysis 63:190-193, 2003a, Philosophical Psychology 16:309-324, 2003b, Analysis 64:181-187, 2004b) found that people are more likely to attribute intentionality to agents whose actions resulted in negative side-effects that to agents whose actions resulted in positive ones. Subsequent investigation has extended this result to a variety of other folk psychological attributions. The present article reports experimental findings that demonstrate an analogous effect for belief ascriptions. Participants were found to be more likely to ascribe belief, higher degrees of belief, higher degrees (...) of rational belief, and dispositional belief to agents in central Knobe effect cases who bring about negative side-effects than to agents who bring about positive ones. These findings present a significant challenge to widely held views about the Knobe effect, since many explanations of it assume that agents in contrasting pairs of Knobe effect cases do not differ with respect to their beliefs. Participants were also found to be more confident that knowledge should be attributed than they were that belief or dispositional belief should be attributed. This finding strengthens the challenge that Myers-Schulz and Schwitzgebel (2013) have launched against the traditional view that knowledge entails belief. (shrink)
This study examines the ethical values of respondents by level in the organizational hierarchy of a single firm. It also explores the possible impacts of gender, education and years of experience on respondents' values as well as their perceptions of how the organization and professional associations influence their personal values. Results showed that, although there were differences in individuals' ethical values by hierarchical level, significantly more differences were observed by the length of tenure with the organization. While respondents, as a (...) whole, were rather ambivalent in their perception of the organization's and professional associations' influence on their values, sales/service persons frequently felt pressured to modify their values in order to achieve company goals. (shrink)
We develop an account of laboratory models, which have been central to the group selection controversy. We compare arguments for group selection in nature with Darwin's arguments for natural selection to argue that laboratory models provide important grounds for causal claims about selection. Biologists get information about causes and cause-effect relationships in the laboratory because of the special role their own causal agency plays there. They can also get information about patterns of effects and antecedent conditions in nature. But to (...) argue that some cause is actually responsible in nature, they require an inference from knowledge of causes in the laboratory context and of effects in the natural context. This process, cause detection, forms the core of an analogical argument for group selection. We discuss the differing roles of mathematical and laboratory models in constructing selective explanations at the group level and apply our discussion to the units of selection controversy to distinguish between the related problems of cause determination and evaluation of evidence. Because laboratory models are at the intersection of the two problems, their study is crucial for framing a coherent theory of explanation for evolutionary biology. (shrink)
Professional ethics, a contemporary topic of conversation among business professionals, is discussed using the perceptions of college business students as the focal point. This research relates to the issues of college instruction in professional ethics, differences in perceptions of ethical behavior attributed to gender, and whether or not students' perceptions of ethical behavior can be modified. After presenting a review of the more important historical developments and research related to professional ethics, this paper focuses on the results of a study (...) that compared a set of ethical responses of various groups of college students with each other. The results of hypotheses testing show an ethics maturation process from students' initial exposure to business courses through the graduate level. These tests also show that formal ethics training, i.e., a separate professional ethics course or unit is an existing course, is not a significant factor in this process. However, one may conclude that the students' perceptions of proper ethical behavior matures toward society's expectations during college life. (shrink)
Drawing upon work in evolutionary game theory and experimental philosophy, I argue that one of the roles the concept of knowledge plays in our social cognitive ecology is that of enabling us to make adaptively important distinctions between different kinds of blameworthy and blameless behaviors. In particular, I argue that knowledge enables us to distinguish which agents are most worthy of blame for inflicting harms, violating social norms, or cheating in situations of social exchange.
Internationally, governments, health and exercise practitioners are struggling with the threat posed by physical inactivity leading to worsening outcomes in health and life expectancy and the associated high economic costs. To meet this challenge it is important to enhance the quality, and quantity, of participation in sports and physical activity throughout the life course to sustain healthy and active lifestyles. This paper supports the need to develop a physically literate population, who meaningfully engage in play and physical activity through the (...) development of functional movement skills in enriched environments. This is a shift away from reductionist approaches to physical activity engagement and maintenance to an ecological dynamics approach that focuses on enrichment to support functional movement skill learning and development. This is an embedded approach to physical literacy that allows learners the space and time to “explore–discover” within environments that will lead to a concomitant self-organization of highly intricate network of co-dependent sub-systems resulting in functional movement solutions for the performance task and enduring positive adaptations to subsystems supporting the physical literacy journey across the life course. “Explore-discover adapt” is at the heart of two contemporary learner-centered pedagogies: Non-linear Pedagogy and the Athletic Skills Model. Both emphasize the importance of enrichment experiences from an early age, and throughout life course, and both appreciate the inherent complexity involved in the learning process and the importance of designing a rich and varied range of athletic, participatory experiences that will support the embedded development of physical literacy leading to ongoing physical activity for all. The final part of this paper will demonstrate the potential of an ecological dynamics approach for supporting the concept of physical literacy by providing a roadmap for a reliable and valid measurement of physical literacy when considered from both an ecological dynamics perspective and the phenomenology understanding of physical literacy. (shrink)
The results of four experiments provide evidence for controlled processing in the absence of awareness. Participants identified the colour of a neutral distracter word. Each of four words was presented in one of the four colours 75% of the time or 50% of the time . Colour identification was faster when the words appeared in the colour they were most often presented in relative to when they appeared in another colour, even for participants who were subjectively unaware of any contingencies (...) between the words and the colours. An analysis of sequence effects showed that participants who were unaware of the relation between distracter words and colours nonetheless controlled the impact of the word on performance depending on the nature of the previous trial. A block analysis of contingency-unaware participants revealed that contingencies were learned rapidly in the first block of trials. Experiment 3 showed that the contingency effect does not depend on the level of awareness, thus ruling out explicit strategy accounts. Finally, Experiment 4 showed that the contingency effect results from behavioural control and not from semantic association or stimulus familiarity. These results thus provide evidence for implicit control. (shrink)
This paper reports the results of a four year study to measure the effect of a Business and Society course on the ethical judgment of students. The research involves a matched pre/post survey with control design, with the Business and Society course functioning as the treatment variable. The subjects were undergraduate and graduate (M.B.A.) business students (n=460). The answer to the question posed by the title of this paper is yes, in a more ethical direction.
Despite the swirling tide of controversy surrounding the work of Machery et al. , the cross-cultural differences they observed in semantic intuitions about the reference of proper names have proven to be robust. In the present article, we report cross-cultural and individual differences in semantic intuitions obtained using new experimental materials. In light of the pervasiveness of the Knobe effect and the fact that Machery et al.’s original materials incorporated elements of wrongdoing but did not control for their influence, we (...) also examined the question of whether the moral valence of actions described in experimental materials might affect participants’ responses. Our results suggest that uncontrolled moral valence did not distort participants’ judgments in previous research. Our findings provide further confirmation of the robustness of cross-cultural and intra-cultural differences in semantic intuitions and strengthen the philosophical challenge that they pose. (shrink)
In this article, I argue that while Christians should share Engelhardt’s disappointment in how bioethics functions in the world, they should not share his exasperation. I begin by outlining the general argument in After God, its understanding of secularism, and of how such secularism has impacted bioethics. Next, I suggest that Englehardt appears to lean toward disengagement or at least an extremely suspicious sectarianism. Rather, I claim that it is possible for Christians to morally engage in a useful way with (...) others and still base their own moral activity on proper life telos. Such cooperation is not to serve a commonly-held ultimate purpose, but shared proximate ends. That said, the moral discourse with those outside the Church may be necessarily limited by shallow moral acquaintanceship. I argue that the concept of “middle axioms” can be used as a mechanism for engagement with others in this society. Importantly, this approach does not require abandoning distinctive Christian commitments and foundational assumptions. (shrink)
Truth-value gaps have received little attention from a foundational perspective, a fact which has rightfully opened up gap theories to charges of vacuousness. This paper develops an account of the foundations of gap-like behavior which has some hope of avoiding such charges. I begin by reviewing and sharpening a powerful argument of Dummett’s to constrain the options that gap theorists have to make sense of their views. I then show that within these strictures, we can give an account of gaps (...) by drawing on elements of a broadly Stalnakerian framework for assertion and using gaps to track an amalgamation of assertoric effects. The discussion reveals that we may need special resources in our theories of assertion to posit gaps, that gaps may be unusable in characterizing the structure of mental states, and that gaps may have heterogeneous linguistic sources that result in equally heterogeneous projective and inferential behavior. (shrink)
All forms of beauty create appeal or enticement with moral significance. Sublime beauty draws one into a deep relationship that properly promotes the good and true. Parents tend to experience such beauty in their children, as eloquently described in works such as the 14th-century poem ‘The Pearl’, and they see this even when their children are desperately ill or dying. The experience of beauty in one’s child creates or reinforces the morality of caring. Unfortunately, at the end of modernity, the (...) framing of beauty as only instrumental and subjective generally works against any recognition of dignity or respect for the very small pediatric patient. Practitioners who believe in the intrinsic value and dignity of persons as general concepts should recognize parental drawing toward their children as a particularization of a transcendental value. (shrink)
We report experimental results showing that participants are more likely to attribute knowledge in familiar Gettier cases when the would-be knowers are performing actions that are negative in some way (e.g. harmful, blameworthy, norm-violating) than when they are performing positive or neutral actions. Our experiments bring together important elements from the Gettier case literature in epistemology and the Knobe effect literature in experimental philosophy and reveal new insights into folk patterns of knowledge attribution.
This article focuses on mirror self-recognition, the ability to recognize one's own image in a mirror. It presents the result of the first experiment on mirror self-recognition which showed that chimpanzees are able to learn that the chimps they see in the mirror are not other chimps, but themselves, as evidenced by self-directed behaviour. It reviews evidence for neural network for self-recognition and self-other differentiation and cites evidence that frontal cortex and cortical midline structures are implicated in self-recognition tasks. It (...) also suggests that the mirror self-recognition ability correlates to large brain size relative to the animal's body size. (shrink)