In his 1958 seminal paper “Saints and Heroes”, J. O. Urmson argued that the then dominant tripartite deontic scheme of classifying actions as being exclusively either obligatory, or optional in the sense of being morally indifferent, or wrong, ought to be expanded to include the category of the supererogatory. Colloquially, this category includes actions that are “beyond the call of duty” and hence actions that one has no duty or obligation to perform. But it is a controversial category. Some have (...) argued that the concept of supererogation is paradoxical because on one hand, supererogatory actions are supposed to be morally good, indeed morally best, actions. But then if they are morally best, why aren't they morally required, contrary to the assumption that they are morally optional? In short: how can an action that is morally best to perform fail to be what one is morally required to do? The source of this alleged paradox has been dubbed the ‘good-ought tie-up’. In our article, we address this alleged paradox by first making a phenomenological case for the reality of instances of genuine supererogatory actions, and then, by reflecting on the relevant phenomenology, explaining why there is no genuine paradox. Our explanation appeals to the idea that moral reasons can play what we call a merit conferring role. The basic idea is that moral reasons that favor supererogatory actions function to confer merit on the actions they favor—they play a merit conferring role—and can do without also requiring the actions in question. Hence, supererogatory actions can be both good and morally meritorious to perform yet still be morally optional. Recognition of a merit conferring role unties the good-ought tie up, and there are good reasons, independent of helping to resolve the alleged paradox, for recognizing this sort of role that moral reasons may play. (shrink)
My topic is a long-standing tension in the interpretation of religion. On the one hand, it seems undeniable — seems almost to go without saying — that liturgical and sacrificial practices, sacred dance, divination, procession and pilgrimage are intentional actions undertaken by persons. Yet there is a distinguished tradition in the study of religion according to which religious activity is typically caused by forces over which the agent has little or no control. Visible, latter-day members of this tradition include Hume, (...) Nietzsche, Marx, Durkheim, Freud, and, in some moods, Wittgenstein, but its roster is by no means limited to the religiously unmusical. (shrink)
Andrew Collier is the boldest defender of objectivity - in science, knowledge, thought, action, politics, morality and religion. In this tribute and acknowledgement of the influence his work has had on a wide readership, his colleagues show that they have been stimulated by his thinking and offer challenging responses. This wide-ranging book covers key areas with which defenders of objectivity often have to engage. Sections are devoted to the following: 'objectivity of value', 'objectivity and everyday knowledge', 'objectivity in political (...) economy', 'objectivity and reflexivity', 'objectivity, postmodernism and feminism', 'objectivity and nature'. The diverse contributions range from social and political thought to philosophy, reflecting the central themes of Collier's work. (shrink)
This article summarizes the multitude of empirical studies that test ethical decision making in business and suggests additional research necessary to further theory in this area. The studies are categorized and related to current theoretical ethical decision making models. The studies are related to awareness, individual and organizational factors, intent, and the role of moral intensity in ethical decision making. Summary tables provide a quick reference for the sample, findings, and publication outlet. This review provides insights for understanding organizational ethical (...) decision constructs, where ethical decision making theory currently stands, and provides insights for future empirical work on organizational ethical decision making. (shrink)
Understanding Computers and Cognition presents an important and controversial new approach to understanding what computers do and how their functioning is related to human language, thought, and action. While it is a book about computers, Understanding Computers and Cognition goes beyond the specific issues of what computers can or can't do. It is a broad-ranging discussion exploring the background of understanding in which the discourse about computers and technology takes place. Understanding Computers and Cognition is written for a wide audience, (...) not just those professionals involved in computer design or artificial intelligence. It represents an important contribution to the ongoing discussion about what it means to be a machine, and what it means to be human. Book jacket. (shrink)
It is a mixed pleasure to see F. Matthias Alexander acknowledged in the fall 2007 issue of Education and Culture ("Dewey, women, and weirdoes: Or, the potential rewards for scholars who dialog across difference," 23, 27-62). As a professional descendant of Alexander who has been teaching the Alexander Technique (AT) for 30 years, I am glad to see Cunningham et al. including him in the list of positive influences in John Dewey's life. However, I believe Cunningham's contribution to this article, (...) "Shared explorations of body-mind: The reciprocal influences of Dewey and F. M. Alexander," falls short in its acknowledgement of Alexander and in one important aspect is incorrect. In this response, I hope to set the .. (shrink)
It has often been thought that our knowledge of ourselves is _different_ from, perhaps in some sense _better_ than, our knowledge of things other than ourselves. Indeed, there is a thriving research area in epistemology dedicated to seeking an account of self-knowledge that would articulate and explain its difference from, and superiority over, other knowledge. Such an account would thus illuminate the descriptive and normative difference between self-knowledge and other knowledge.<sup>1</sup> At the same time, self- knowledge has also encountered its (...) share of skeptics – philosophers who refuse to accord it any descriptive, let alone normative, distinction. In this paper, we argue that there is at least one _species_ of self-knowledge that is different from, and better than, other knowledge. It is a specific kind of knowledge of one’s concurrent phenomenal experiences. Call knowledge of one’s own phenomenal experiences _phenomenal knowledge_. Our claim is that some (though not all) phenomenal knowledge is different from, and better than, non-phenomenal knowledge. In other. (shrink)
The Phenomenology of Spirit is both one of Hegel's most widely read books and one of his most obscure. The book is the most detailed commentary on Hegel's work available. It develops an independent philosophical account of the general theory of knowledge, culture, and history presented in the Phenomenology. In a clear and straightforward style, Terry Pinkard reconstructs Hegel's theoretical philosophy and shows its connection to ethical and political theory. He sets the work in a historical context and shows the (...) contemporary relevance of Hegel's thought for European and Anglo-American philosophers. The principal audience for the book is teachers and students of philosophy, but the great interest in Hegel's work and the clarity of Pinkard's exposition ensure that historians of ideas, political scientists, and literary theorists will also read it. (shrink)
Terry Pinkard draws on Hegel's central works as well as his lectures on aesthetics, the history of philosophy, and the philosophy of history in this deeply informed and original exploration of Hegel's naturalism.
"On the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, assassination, his political thought remains underappreciated. Tommie Shelby and Brandon Terry, along with a cast of distinguished contributors, engage critically with King's understudied writings on a wide range of compelling, challenging topics and rethink the legacy of this towering figure."--Provided by publisher.
Neuhouser’s book is one of the most important contributions to the revival of Hegelian philosophy that has been taking place in Anglo-American philosophy over the last few years. Much of the debate in moral and political philosophy of the last few years has been set in terms of “the right” versus “the good,” and it is tempting to want to put Hegel in one of those categories and thereby also to classify him as either a “liberal,” a “communitarian,” or perhaps (...) a “romantic.” Neuhouser develops a powerful case for understanding him as none of these things. Instead he wants to understand Hegel as developing a social and political philosophy around the central conception of “self-determi- nation.” At first blush, that makes Hegel sound very much like the post-Kantian many now take him to be, but Neuhouser argues that, however true that might be, Hegel is best understood as continuing and developing certain key Rousseauian insights. In Neuhouser’s treatment, both Hegel and Kant are “post- Rousseauians,” and his understanding of what this means throws new and great light on understanding why Hegel’s social philosophy may still be of importance to us. (shrink)
This article takes as its starting point the observation that neoliberalism is a concept that is ‘oft-invoked but ill-defined’. It provides a taxonomy of uses of the term neoliberalism to include: an all-purpose denunciatory category; ‘the way things are’; an institutional framework characterizing particular forms of national capitalism, most notably the Anglo-American ones; a dominant ideology of global capitalism; a form of governmentality and hegemony; and a variant within the broad framework of liberalism as both theory and policy discourse. It (...) is argued that this sprawling set of definitions are not mutually compatible, and that uses of the term need to be dramatically narrowed from its current association with anything and everything that a particular author may find objectionable. In particular, it is argued that the uses of the term by Michel Foucault in his 1978–9 lectures, found in The Birth of Biopolitics, are not particularly compatible with its more recent status as a variant of dominant ideology or hegemony theories. It instead proposes understanding neoliberalism in terms of historical institutionalism, with Foucault’s account of historical change complementing Max Weber’s work identifying the distinctive economic sociology of national capitalisms. (shrink)
This is the only book that examines the theory and data on the development of implicit and explicit memory. It first describes the characteristics of implicit and explicit memory (including conscious recollection) and tasks used with adults to measure them. Next, it reviews the brain mechanisms thought to underlie implicit and explicit memory and the studies with amnesics that initially prompted the search for different neuroanatomically-based memory systems. Two chapters review the Jacksonian (first in, last out) principle and empirical evidence (...) for the hierarchical appearance and dissolution of two memory systems in animal models (rats, nonhuman primates), children, and normal/amnesic adults. Two chapters examine memory tasks used with human infants and evidence of implicit and explicit memory during early infancy. Three final chapters consider structural and processing accounts of adult memory dissociations, their applicability to infant memory dissociations, and implications of infant data for current concepts of implicit and explicit memory. (shrink)
In "Milk, Honey, and the Good Life on Moral Twin Earth", David Copp explores some ways in which a defender of synthetic moral naturalism might attempt to get around our Moral Twin Earth argument. Copp nicely brings out the force of our argument, not only through his exposition of it, but through his attempt to defeat it, since his efforts, we think, only help to make manifest the deep difficulties the Moral Twin Earth argument poses for the synthetic moral naturalist.
Little is known about how and why corporate social responsibility (CSR) emerged in lesser developed countries. In order to address this knowledge gap, we used Chile as a test case and conducted a series of in-depth interviews with leaders of CSR initiatives. We also did an Internet and literature search to help provide support for the findings that emerged from our data. We discovered that while there are similarities in the drivers of CSR in developed countries, there are distinct differences (...) as well. In particular, we found that different sectors drive CSR in Chile. In contrast to other geographies where consumer demand and government regulation provided the impetus for CSR efforts, multinational companies (MNCs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are key actors in Chile. MNCs imported their CSR beliefs, skills, and processes into Chile. Their efforts resulted in a virtuous cycle. Once large domestic firms felt pressured by their MNC rivals, they too adopted CSR initiatives. The ability to manage relationships with multiple stakeholders and perceptions of authenticity were also critical to the success of CSR in Chile. Using network theory as a lens, we suggest that network density and centrality largely determine whether CSR efforts will be authentic. Based on these contentions, we suggest avenues for future research. (shrink)
Terry F. Godlove discovers in Immanuel Kant's theoretical philosophy resources that have much wider implications beyond Christianity and the philosophical issues that concern monotheism and its beliefs. For Godlove, Kant's insights, when properly applied, can help rejuvenate our understanding of the general study of religion and its challenges. He therefore bypasses what is usually considered to be the "Kantian philosophy of religion" and instead focuses on more fundamental issues, such as Kant's account of concepts, experience, and reason and their significance (...) in controversial matters. _Kant and the Meaning of Religion_ is a subtle and penetrating effort by a leading contemporary philosopher of religion to redefine and reshape the contours of his discipline through a sustained reflection on Kant's so-called "humanizing project.". (shrink)
The phrase "the meaning of life" for many seems a quaint notion fit for satirical mauling by Monty Python or Douglas Adams. But in this spirited, stimulating, and quirky enquiry, famed critic Terry Eagleton takes a serious if often amusing look at the question and offers his own surprising answer. Eagleton first examines how centuries of thinkers and writers--from Marx and Schopenhauer to Shakespeare, Sartre, and Beckett--have responded to the ultimate question of meaning. He suggests, however, that it is only (...) in modern times that the question has become problematic. But instead of tackling it head-on, many of us cope with the feelings of meaninglessness in our lives by filling them with everything from football to sex, Kabbala, Scientology, "New Age softheadedness," or fundamentalism. On the other hand, Eagleton notes, many educated people believe that life is an evolutionary accident that has no intrinsic meaning. If our lives have meaning, it is something with which we manage to invest them, not something with which they come ready made. Eagleton probes this view of meaning as a kind of private enterprise, and concludes that it fails to holds up. He argues instead that the meaning of life is not a solution to a problem, but a matter of living in a certain way. It is not metaphysical but ethical. It is not something separate from life, but what makes it worth living--that is, a certain quality, depth, abundance and intensity of life. Here then is a brilliant discussion of the problem of meaning by a leading thinker, who writes with a light and often irreverent touch, but with a very serious end in mind. "If you were to ask what provides some meaning in life nowadays for a great many people, especially men, you could do worse than reply 'football.' Not many of them perhaps would be willing to admit as much; but sport stands in for all those noble causes--religious faith, national sovereignty, personal honor, ethnic identity--for which, over the centuries, people have been prepared to go to their deaths. It is sport, not religion, which is now the opium of the people.". (shrink)
Humanity does not gradually progress from combat to combat until it arrives at universal reciprocity, where the rule of law finally replaces warfare; humanity installs each of its violences in a system of rules and thus proceeds from domination to domination. (Foucault, 1984, 85)In this essay, I take a note from Michel Foucault regarding the notion of biopolitics. For Foucault, biopolitics has both repressive and constitutive properties. Foucault's claim is that with the rise of modern government, the state became exceedingly (...) concerned about the body politic, the bodies that make up the polis, including the health of those bodies. However, Giorgio Agamben claims that Foucault and all western political philosophy misses the relationship between power and Sovereignty, with disastrous results and totalizing tendencies. I explore the case of Terri Schiavo claiming that the social conservatives have attempted to politicize bare life in its legal maneuverings, but I also show how the social liberals open an uncontrollable space between life and death. Both the left and the right miss the aporia at the heart of western political philosophy, and bioethics is complicit in the totalizing effects of contemporary medicine. (shrink)
One of the founders of modern philosophical thought Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel has gained the reputation of being one of the most abstruse and impenetrable of thinkers. This major biography of Hegel offers not only a complete account of the life, but also a perspicuous overview of the key philosophical concepts in Hegel's work in a style that will be accessible to professionals and non-professionals alike. Terry Pinkard situates Hegel firmly in the historical context of his times. The story of (...) that life is of an ambitious, powerful thinker living in a period of great tumult dominated by the figure of Napoleon. The Hegel who emerges from this account is a complex, fascinating figure of European modernity, who offers us a still compelling examination of that new world born out of the political, industrial, social, and scientific revolutions of his period. (shrink)
Hegel is one of the most often cited and least read of all major philosophers. He is alternately regarded as the best and the worst that philosophy has produced. Nobody, however, disputes his influence. In Hegel's Dialectic, Terry Pinkard offers a new interpretation of Hegel's program that assesses his conception of the role of philosophy, his method, and some of the specific theses that he defended. Hegel's dialectic is interpreted as offering explanations of the possibility of basic categories. Pinkard argues (...) that the traditional standard reading of Hegel as the esoteric metaphysician of Absolute Spirit overlooks major elements of his thought. In presenting this alternative reading of Hegel, Pinkard offers a new understanding of the role of history in Hegel's thought and a new perspective on his moral and political thought. Departing from the tradition of explicating Hegel exclusively in Hegelian terms, Pinkard discusses the much disputed philosopher in a way that is accessible and appealing to both analytic and non-analytic philosophers. Hegel's Dialectic is not just an interpretation of Hegel's thought: it is also a reconstruction and defense of Hegel's philosophy as having something of importance to say to late twentieth-century philosophers. (shrink)
Two principles, concerning custodianship and no retrospective right of ownership, will be fundamental to the just management of natural assets in future. Because natural assets are not man-made, the rights of ownership are not confined to the present generation that controls their exploitation. I have proposed an ethical requirement of custodianship towards future generations in which the present generation compensates future generations for the exploitation of natural assets by bequeathing the equivalent value of man-made assets. Because natural assets are discovered (...) through a geological lottery, prior to search there is a natural veil of ignorance as to which locations will be endowed favourably and unfavourably. This creates a useful role for a polity to secure a just distribution of resource rents for all citizens rather than let them be dissipated through search and accrue highly unequally. But justice requires that ex post, well-endowed regions forfeit the right of ownership over those natural assets which have been discovered. Justice requires the rule of no retrospective right of ownership. (shrink)
Different religious traditions offer apparently very different pictures of the world. How are we to make sense of this radical diversity of religious belief? In this book, Professor Godlove argues that religions are alternative conceptual frameworks, the categories of which organise experience in diverse ways. He traces the history of this idea from Kant to Durkheim, and then proceeds to discuss two constraints on the diversity of all human judgment and belief: first that human experience is made possible by shared, (...) a priori rules, and second, that as language-users we must presuppose that we hold the vast bulk of our beliefs in common. Given these unavoidable constraints, it is clear how religions may offer encompassing symbolic systems that often diverge dramatically from one another. 'An original and brilliant critique of Durkheim and Kant from within the framework of Davidson's semantic theory. This book is required reading for anyone interested in the academic study of religion, and the problems of relativism and the diversity of belief.' -- Hans H. Penner, Dartmouth CollegeDifferent religious traditions offer apparently very different pictures of the world. How are we to make sense of this radical diversity of religious belief? In this book, Professor Godlove argues that religions are alternative conceptual frameworks, the categories of which organise experience in diverse ways. He traces the history of this idea from Kant to Durkheim, and then proceeds to discuss two constraints on the diversity of all human judgment and belief: first that human experience is made possible by shared, a priori rules, and second, that as language-users we must presuppose that we hold the vast bulk of our beliefs in common. Given these unavoidable constraints, it is clear how religions may offer encompassing symbolic systems that often diverge dramatically from one another. 'An original and brilliant critique of Durkheim and Kant from within the framework of Davidson's semantic theory. This book is required reading for anyone interested in the academic study of religion, and the problems of relativism and the diversity of belief.' -- Hans H. Penner, Dartmouth College. (shrink)
In this book Macdonald elaborates a democratic framework based on the new theoretical concepts of 'public power', 'stakeholder communities' and 'non-electoral representation', and illustrates the practical implications of these proposals for projects of global institutional reform.