Ceci et al. draw conclusions that are inaccurate, analyze and report results inappropriately, fail to translate their scale into policy-relevant terms, and draw overly strong conclusions from their single study. They also attribute all the ills of academic appointments to tenure, and ignore problems with other aspects of the system. Their conclusion that tenure is not supported is at best premature. (Published Online February 8 2007).
The inaugural collection in an exciting new exchange between philosophers and geographers, this volume provides interdisciplinary approaches to the environment as space, place, and idea. Never before have philosophers and geographers approached each other's subjects in such a strong spirit of mutual understanding. The result is a concrete exploration of the human-nature relationship that embraces strong normative approaches to environmental problems.
Freedom and unity are the values James most wanted to protect and to extend. Roth agrees with this choice, and recommends James to his readers as the moral philosopher who can best show us how. James is presented as combining a principled morality with the responsiveness to particular cases characteristic of existentialism and situational ethics, and his ethics is found to yield what John Wild would call a "primary existential norm": Act so as to maximize freedom and (...) unity. While the philosophical foundations of James' theory are generally secondary to Roth's advocacy of it, the author shows how the norm is based on the following Jamesian concepts: human consciousness is selective and efficacious; the universe is unfinished; value is rooted in consciousness and choice; and the goal of ethics is to achieve unity or harmony among personal and communal choices. Roth mentions problems for James--for example, pointing out that the principle of satisfying as many value demands as possible while frustrating a few as necessary does not handle qualitative differences in demands, and showing how James' later work emends this principle. He also touches on the tough problem, developed by others following James, of "unity" as an ideal in a system in which both meaning and value are rooted in feeling, and feelings are "owned" by individual selves. The book is simply written and should present no difficulty for the reader with little background in philosophy.--M. B. M. (shrink)
In Branden Thornhill-Miller and Peter Millican’s challenging and provocative essay, we hear a considerably longer, more scholarly and less melodic rendition of John Lennon’s catchy tune—without religion, or at least without first-order supernaturalisms, there’d be significantly less intra-group violence. First-order supernaturalist beliefs, as defined by Thornhill-Miller and Peter Millican, are “beliefs that claim unique authority for some particular religious tradition in preference to all others”. According to M&M, first-order supernaturalist beliefs are exclusivist, dogmatic, empirically unsupported, and irrational. Moreover, again according (...) to M&M, we have perfectly natural explanations of the causes that underlie such beliefs. They then make a case for second-order supernaturalism, “which maintains that the universe in general, and the religious sensitivities of humanity in particular, have been formed by supernatural powers working through natural processes”. Second-order supernaturalism is a kind of theism, more closely akin to deism than, say, Christianity or Buddhism. It is, as such, universal, empirically supported, and beneficial. With respect to its pragmatic value, second-order supernaturalism, according to M&M, gets the good of religion without its bad. Second-order supernaturalism is thus rational and inconducive to violence. In this paper, I will examine just one small but important part of M&M’s argument: the claim that religion is a primary motivator of violence and that its elimination would eliminate or curtail a great deal of violence in the world. Imagine, they say, no religion, too. Janusz Salamon offers a friendly extension or clarification of M&M’s second-order theism, one that I think, with emendations, has promise. He argues that the core of first-order religions, the belief that Ultimate Reality is the Ultimate Good, is rational and, if widely conceded and endorsed by adherents of first-order religions, would reduce conflict in the world. While I favor the virtue of intellectual humility endorsed in both papers, I will argue contra M&M that belief in first-order religion is not a primary motivator of conflict and violence. Second, partly contra Salamon, who I think is half right, I will argue that the religious resources for compassion can and should come from within both the particular and the universal aspects of religious beliefs. Finally, I will argue that both are guilty, as I am, of the philosopher’s obsession with belief. (shrink)
Originally published in 1937, this book presents the philosophy of James Ward, the Professor of Mental Philosophy and Logic at the University of Cambridge. Ward was primarily concerned with the perceived antagonism between science and philosophy or religion, and Murray supplies a psychological background to Ward's thinking that helps to explain his interest in this topic. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in Ward or the duality of faith and reason.
R. M. Hare has argued 1 that there are conceivable circumstances in which it would be right not to abolish the institution of slavery: in the imaginary land of Juba established slave-plantations are managed by a benevolent elite for the good of all, no ‘cruel or unusual ’ punishments are in use, and citizens of the neighbouring island of Camaica, ‘free ’but impoverished, regularly seek to become slaves. Hare adds that it is unlikely, given human nature, that ‘masters ’would treat (...) ‘slaves ’humanely, and avoid a gradual corruption of their moral consciousness which would cancel out any possible advantages of the system. Slavery is wrong, he argues, not because it violates ‘fundamental human rights’, but I because it would in practice generally increase misery. (shrink)
In recent years a growing trend has emerged which has argued for a greater priority to be placed upon patient autonomy within the doctor-patient relationship. The patient self determination movement, which first began to emerge in the 1960s, helps to mark the start of this ground swell of patient power sentiment. In keeping with this idea, the recent book by Robert M. Veatch, Patient heal thyself: How the new medicine puts the patient in charge addresses this very idea, arguing for (...) and promoting a new paradigm for medicine which places the patient firmly at the centre of all decision making in terms of medical treatment and care. Veatch is one of the leading bioethicists in the USA, having previously held the position of Senior Associate at the Hastings Center before moving to the Kennedy Institute of Ethics where he has served as director and Professor of Medical Ethics. (shrink)