What is belief? "Beliefs aim at truth" is the commonly accepted starting point for philosophers who want to give an adequate account of this fundamental state of mind, but it raises as many questions as it answers. For example, in what sense can beliefs be said to have an aim of their own? If belief aims at truth, does it mean that reasons to believe must also be based on truth? Must beliefs be formed on the basis of evidence alone? (...) Is truth the constitutive norm of belief? Does aiming at truth bring in a normative dimension to the nature of belief? How can the aim of truth guide the formation of our beliefs? In what ways do partial beliefs aim at truth? Is truth the aim of epistemic justification? Last but not least, is it knowledge rather than truth which is the fundamental aim of belief? -/- In recent years, pursuing these questions has proved extremely fertile for our understanding of a wide range of current issues in philosophy of mind and action, epistemology, and meta-ethics. The Aim of Belief is the first book to be devoted to this fast-growing topic. It brings together eleven newly commissioned essays by leading authors on the aim of belief. -/- Contributors: Jonathan Adler, Krister Bykvist, TimothyChan, Pascal Engel, Kathrin Glüer, Anandi Hattiangadi, Michael Hicks, Paul Horwich, David Papineau, Andrew Reisner, Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen, Ralph Wedgwood, Åsa Wikforss, Daniel Whiting. (shrink)
A large body of research links testosterone and cortisol to male-male competition. Yet, little work has explored acute steroid hormone responses to coalitional, physical competition during middle childhood. Here, we investigate testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone, androstenedione, and cortisol release among ethnically Chinese boys in Hong Kong, aged 8–11 years, during a soccer match and an intrasquad soccer scrimmage, with 63 participants competing in both treatments. The soccer match and intrasquad soccer scrimmage represented out-group and in-group treatments, respectively. Results revealed that testosterone showed (...) no measurable change. DHEA increased during both treatments in the majority of participants and the degree of change had no relation to independent variables or covariate measures. Most boys experienced androstenedione increases during match play, but no significant differences during the intrasquad soccer scrimmage competitions. The magnitude of change differed significantly between treatments and was positively associated with age. These latter findings suggest boys’ androstenedione responses may be sensitive to competitor type. For most subjects, cortisol significantly increased during match play, decreased during the intrasquad soccer scrimmage, and differed significantly between treatments, suggesting each treatment promoted a different psychological state among competitors. Cortisol/DHEA molar ratio decreased during the intrasquad scrimmage, suggestive of a more relaxed mental state. These data shed new light on potential proximate mechanisms associated with coalitional competition among prepubescent boys, with relevance to adrenarche and life history theory. (shrink)
In this introductory chapter to the volume The Aim of Belief, the editor surveys the fundamental questions in current debates surrounding the aim of belief, and identifies the major theoretical approaches. The main arguments of the ten contributions to the volume are outlined and located in the context of the existing literature.
In this article I argue that two received accounts of belief and assertion cannot both be correct, because they entail mutually contradictory claims about Moore's Paradox. The two accounts in question are, first, the Action Theory of Belief, the functionalist view that belief must be manifested in dispositions to act, and second, the Belief Account of Assertion, the Gricean view that an asserter must present himself as believing what he asserts. It is generally accepted also that Moorean assertions are absurd, (...) and that BAA explains why they are. I shall argue that ATB implies that some Moorean assertions are, in some fairly ordinary contexts, well justified. Thus BAA and ATB are mutually inconsistent. In the concluding section I explore three possible ways of responding to the dilemma, and what implications they have for the nature of the constitutive relationships linking belief, assent and behavioural dispositions. (shrink)
Questions about sincerity play a central role in our lives. But what makes an assertion insincere? In this paper we argue that the answer to this question is not as straightforward as it has sometimes been taken to be. Until recently the dominant answer has been that a speaker makes an insincere assertion if and only if he does not believe the proposition asserted. There are, however, persuasive counterexamples to this simple account. It has been proposed instead that an insincere (...) assertion that p is one made by a speaker who (a) does not express his belief that p; or (b) does not believe that he believes that p; (c) does not assent to p; or (d) does not express any of these cognitive states. We show that these .. (shrink)
Tillich has been accused of being an atheist and pantheist. This study shows mainly that once one studies Tillich's work with care and with an open mind, one can see clearly that his existential ontology is quite consistent in form and theistic in content, and that the terms which he uses to express the idea of God are not unduly vague at all. ; There are six chapters in this thesis. In the first chapter, I argue that Tillich is not (...) an atheist; his God above the God of theism is a more adequate concept than most traditional concepts of God. I show that, for Tillich, God as our ultimate concern expresses the appropriateness of a worshipping attitude towards God, and that God as being-itself shows that God is the ground of being that gives us the moral courage to affirm our being in spite of the fact of nonbeing. God is thus the "power of being" which conquers anxieties. ;In the second chapter, I show more clearly what being-itself means for Tillich. God as being-itself is not a being among beings. Beings are bound to the structure of being and the categories of finitude, but God as being-itself is not bound by them. Being-itself transcends the world and everything within it. Being-itself is not the kind of immanent God that pantheism holds. Thus I once again argue against the accusation that Tillich is an atheist or pantheist. I also argue against the idea that the Platonic or Aristotelian universal is adequate as a model to interpret Tillich's idea of being-itself. Being-itself, for Tillich, cannot be identified with the Platonic or Aristotelian universal. ;The third chapter shows how Tillich gives a philosophical-theological interpretation of religious symbols. Except for the claim that "God is being-itself" is a direct non-symbolic statement about God, everything we say about God is interpreted by Tillich as symbolic. In chapter four, I show in some detail why, for Tillich, the word "existence" cannot be applied to God. But when Tillich claims that God does not exist, he does not mean that there is no God. He only rejects the misleading combination of the word "existence" and "God." "Existence" should be applied only to finite beings, not to being-itself. Therefore I also argue that arguments for God's existence cannot be constructed out of Tillich's system as some commentators have claimed. In fact, for Tillich, God is presupposed necessarily; any argument for God's reality is impossible and unnecessary. ;Chapter five is a discussion of Tillich's idea of freedom in relation to God's transcendence. Only things are determined. Human being has finite freedom which is rooted in his destiny. And God is absolute freedom. However, God's absolute freedom does not destroy man's finite freedom. For Tillich, the crucial theistic assertion of God's transcendence is rooted in this reality of both human and divine freedom. ;In the final chapter, I discuss Tillich's proposed solution to the problem of evil and omnipotence. For Tillich, to say that God is omnipotent does not mean that God can do everything; rather it is to express our trust in God. It is to assert that God as the power of being can conquer nonbeing in all its expressions. The existence of evil does not constitute a reason for a believer to abandon his belief in God; it simply constitutes one of the mysteries of existence reflected in religion. The existence of evil is inevitable because it is implied in the creaturely finitude. To believe in God's providence, according to Tillich, is the only answer to the question of theodicy. Thus Tillich shows us how to face suffering. (shrink)
Since the very beginning, Confucianism has been troubled by a serious gap between its political ideals and the reality of societal circumstances. Contemporary Confucians must develop a viable method of governance that can retain the spirit of the Confucian ideal while tackling problems arising from nonideal modern situations. The best way to meet this challenge, Joseph Chan argues, is to adopt liberal democratic institutions that are shaped by the Confucian conception of the good rather than the liberal conception of (...) the right. -/- Confucian Perfectionism examines and reconstructs both Confucian political thought and liberal democratic institutions, blending them to form a new Confucian political philosophy. Chan decouples liberal democratic institutions from their popular liberal philosophical foundations in fundamental moral rights, such as popular sovereignty, political equality, and individual sovereignty. Instead, he grounds them on Confucian principles and redefines their roles and functions, thus mixing Confucianism with liberal democratic institutions in a way that strengthens both. Then he explores the implications of this new yet traditional political philosophy for fundamental issues in modern politics, including authority, democracy, human rights, civil liberties, and social justice. -/- Confucian Perfectionism critically reconfigures the Confucian political philosophy of the classical period for the contemporary era. (shrink)
Moore’s paradox in belief is the fact that beliefs of the form ‘ p and I do not believe that p ’ are ‘absurd’ yet possibly true. Writers on the paradox have nearly all taken the absurdity to be a form of irrationality. These include those who give what TimothyChan calls the ‘pragmatic solution’ to the paradox. This solution turns on the fact that having the Moorean belief falsifies its content. Chan, who also takes the absurdity (...) to be a form of irrationality, objects to this solution by arguing that it is circular and thus incomplete. This is because it must explain why Moorean beliefs are irrational yet, according to Chan, their grammatical third-person transpositions are not, even though the same proposition is believed. But the solution can only explain this asymmetry by relying on a formulation of the ground of the irrationality of Moorean beliefs that presupposes precisely such asymmetry. I reply that it is neither necessary nor sufficient for the irrationality that the contents of Moorean beliefs be restricted to the grammatical first-person. What has to be explained is rather that such grammatical non-first-person transpositions sometimes, but not always, result in the disappearance of irrationality. Describing this phenomenon requires the grammatical first-person/non-first person distinction. The pragmatic solution explains the phenomenon once it is formulated in de se terms. But the grammatical first-person/non-first-person distinction is independent of, and a fortiori, different from, the de se /non- de se distinction presupposed by pragmatic solution, although both involve the first person broadly construed. Therefore the pragmatic solution is not circular. Building on the work of Green and Williams I also distinguish between the irrationality of Moorean beliefs and their absurdity. I argue that while all irrational Moorean beliefs are absurd, some Moorean beliefs are absurd but not irrational. I explain this absurdity in a way that is not circular either. (shrink)
Adapted from Chan's (2000) model depicting success of litigation, this paper argues that with the application of various legislation, health maintenance organizations' (HMOs') violations of service fairness to each group: enrollees, physicians, and hospitals give rise to each group's lawsuits against the HMOs. Various authors (Bowen et al., 1999; Seiders and Berry, 1998) indicate that justice concepts such as distributive, procedural, and interactional justice can be applied to the area of service fairness. The violation of these underlying justice principles (...) with HMOs' service unfairness to enrollees, physicians, and hospitals is examined. A general synopsis of the ethical issues in the managed care industry is provided. The various lawsuits launched by each group: enrollees, physicians, and hospitals together with the key statutes used are discussed. This paper also highlights the provisions and ramifications of the 11 April 2000 landmark agreement that Aetna made with Texas Attorney General John Cornyn to settle the 1998 lawsuit brought against the company. Lastly, the current ethical issues in the managed care industry are further discussed. The value of this paper can be adapted to the study of organizations' service fairness violations in other industries or in the educational, governmental, and not-for-profit sectors both nationally and internationally. (shrink)
Although America’s founders may have been inspired by the political thought of ancient Greece and Rome, the United States is more often characterized by its devotion to the pursuit of commerce. Some have even said that a modern commercial republic such as the United States unavoidably lowers its moral horizon to little more than a concern with securing peace and prosperity so that commerce can flourish. Michael Chan reconsiders this view of America through close readings of Aristotle and Alexander (...) Hamilton, showing that America at its founding was neither as modern nor as low as we have been led to believe. He challenges the virtue/commerce divide that dominates modern thought by demonstrating that the prevailing views of Aristotle and Hamilton on commerce reflect misleading half-truths. Chan first examines Aristotle’s views of economics as presented in the _Politics_, arguing that Aristotle was not as hostile to commerce as is commonly believed. He points out the philosopher’s belief in the value of commercial acquisition in the interest of supplying citizens with the “equipment of virtue,” citing Aristotle’s praise of commercial Carthage over agrarian but much-esteemed Sparta. Chan then turns to a detailed account of the political economy of Hamilton, a proponent of an advanced industrial republic modeled on Great Britain. While many take Hamilton’s advocacy of public credit, a national bank, and manufacturing as evidence of his rejection of classical republican thought in favor of modernity, Chan contends that Hamilton embraced a classically inspired economic statesmanship that transcended a concern with merely securing peace and prosperity. Leading the reader through the complexities of Hamilton’s thought, Chan shows that he intended commerce to pursue the wider classical goals of forming the character of citizens, establishing harmony and justice, and pursuing national greatness. Rather than attempting to brand Hamilton an Aristotelian, Chan seeks to incorporate into the study of Hamilton’s political economy what Aristotle himself regarded as the statesman’s characteristic virtue, prudence. By reflecting on Hamilton in the context of Aristotle’s own reflections on commerce, Chan casts him in a new light that cuts across the ongoing debate about liberal versus classical republican elements of the American founding. His cogent analysis also raises important questions regarding the American system as it is being challenged by conflicting worldviews. _Aristotle and Hamilton on Commerce and Statesmanship _makes a significant contribution to our understanding of both Hamiltonian thought and the moral worthiness of democratic capitalism. (shrink)
In re-examining the concepts of desire, intention, and trying, David K. Chan brings a fresh approach toward resolving many of the problems that have occupied philosophers of action for almost a century. This book not only presents a complete theory of human agency but also, by developing the conceptual tools needed to do moral philosophy, lays the groundwork for formulating an ethics that is rooted in a clear, intuitive, and coherent moral psychology.
In recent years, there has been increased awareness of unethical consumer practices in Asian countries. Asian consumers have gained a bad reputation for buying counterfeit products, such as computer software, fashion clothing and watches. In 1993, the estimated losses to US software companies due to Chinese counterfeiting stood at US $322 million (Kohut, 1994). The present study uses a consumer ethics scale developed by Muncy and Vitell (1992) to investigate consumers' ethical judgments from a Chinese perspective. The result shows that (...) consumers in different cultures utilize similar rules to assess the ethicality of a given situation. However, findings also show certain cultural elements that are unique in influencing Chinese consumers' ethical judgments. The results also indicate the need for the continued development of and investment in consumer education in Asia. (shrink)
Three claims are defended. (1) There is a conception of moral autonomy in Confucian ethics that to a degree can support toleration and freedom. However, (2) Confucian moral autonomy is different from personal autonomy, and the latter gives a stronger justification for civil and personal liberties than does the former. (3) The contemporary appeal of Confucianism would be strengthened by including personal autonomy, and this need not be seen as forsaking Confucian ethics but rather as an internal revision in response (...) to new social circumstances. From this inclusion emerges a new theory of liberties that recognizes the value of personal autonomy and the importance of the ethical good that liberties instrumentally serve to promote. (shrink)
: Jing (respect) in ancient Confucianism can be seen as referring to either a frame of mind or an intentional state that includes the elements of singlemindedness, concentration, seriousness, caution, and a strong sense of responsibility. Hence, it can be seen as a due regard based on the perception of the worth of its object. It is the central element and the germ of li (ritual). A critical comparison is made between jing and the ideas of appraisal respect, recognition respect, (...) and identification respect as discussed in Western ethics. (shrink)
It is argued that shu involves one's identification with another person while one criticizes the latter's perspective based on one's own. A mechanism is proposed for developing this sort of critique, based on some significant Confucian values. Finally, shu is applied to the context of caring actions, and it is shown how it can help to solve some of the problems arising in caring for others.
This research study sought to identify and categorize international marketing ethical problems that confront business managers in Australia and Canada. The study focused on ten major ethical problems developed from previous exploratory research. Managers from both countries indicate that the most frequently cited ethical problem is "gifts/ favors/entertainment" and the most important ethical problem is "large-scale bribery". However, there exist significant differences in terms of rankings and mean values of frequency and importance ratings for other ethical problems.
The central focus of this research is: The growing corporate espionage activities due to fierce competition lead to highly controlling security measures and intensive employee monitoring which bring about distrust in the workplace. The paper examines various research works on trust and distrust. It highlights the conflictful demands managers face. They have to deter espionage activities, but at the same time, build trusting relationships in the workplace. The paper also describes various operations, personnel, physical and technical countermeasuresto combat corporate espionage (...) together with three espionage case examples which illustrate the importance of some of these countermeasures. Various authors'' trust and distrust arguments are used to assess the cases. The paper ends with suggestions for future research. (shrink)
The debate between Hans-Georg Gadamer and Jürgen Habermas provides a fresh perspective from which Confucian philosophy may be approached. In this paper, focusing on the Lunyu (Analects), I argue that the sayings of Confucius reflect an essentially 'conservative' orientation, finding in tradition a reservoir of insight and truth. There is a critical dimension to it in that ethical reflection and self-cultivation would enable the individual to challenge particular claims of tradition. However, can self-cultivation transcend tradition as a whole and enable (...) the individual to effect radical change? Following the strategy of Habermas' critique of Gadamer, what happens if tradition is systemically corrupt? In this discussion, rather than taking tradition generally I will focus on the concept of ritual (li) to suggest how the Lunyu seeks to crystallise the wisdom of the past into an ethical guide. The conclusion I draw is in the main a Gadamerian one. Committed to a critical appropriation of tradition, Confucian philosophy seeks ethical renewal from within, on the premise that through incremental change self-cultivation can make a real difference in the quest for moral excellence. (shrink)
This article reveals the outcome of a study on the perceptions of elders, family members, and healthcare professionals and administration providing care in a range of different long-term care facilities in Hong Kong with primary focus on the concepts of autonomy and dignity of elders, quality and location of care, decision making, and financing of long term care. It was found that aging in place and family care were considered the best approaches to long term care insofar as procuring and (...) balancing the values of dignity, autonomy, family integrity and social sustainability were concerned. An elder having the final say was generally accepted. The results also initiated the importance of sharing of financial responsibility among elders, children and government albeit the emphasis was placed on individuals. Furthermore, dignity of elders was not considered purely a synonym of autonomy, but it had also to do with respect, family and social connections. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that the conception of gender as illustrated in the Analects and the Mencius is basically a functional one that assigns women a domestic role. I show how this conception might imply the exclusion of women from the moral ideal of chun-tzu, which would result in the further subordination of women as wives to men as husbands in the context of the Confucian role system. On the other hand, I show how the Confucian role system can (...) have a positive influence on the status of women through its elements of reciprocity and respect. Finally, I argue that the conception itself is not justified. (shrink)
I argue that the moral distinction in double effect cases rests on a difference not in intention as traditionally stated in the Doctrine of Double Effect (DDE), but in desire. The traditional DDE has difficulty ensuring that an agent intends the bad effect just in those cases where what he does is morally objectionable. I show firstly that the mental state of a rational agent who is certain that a side-effect will occur satisfies Bratman's criteria for intending that effect. I (...) then clarify the nature of the moral distinction in double effect cases and how it can be used to evaluate the moral blameworthiness of agents rather than the moral status of acts. The agent's blameworthiness is reduced not by his lack of intention but by his desire not to bring about the side-effect, and the 'counterfactual test' can be used to determine whether he desires the effect in acting. In my version, the DDE has its rationale in virtue ethics; it is not liable to abuse as the traditional version is; and it makes more plausible distinctions when applied to standard examples. (shrink)
An extrinsic desire is defined as a desire for something, not for its own sake, but for its supposed propensity to secure something else that one desires. I argue that the notion of ‘extrinsic desire’ is theoretically redundant. I begin by defining desire as a propositional attitude with a desirability characterization. The roles of desire and intention in practical reasoning are distinguished. I show that extrinsic desire does not have its own motivational role. I also show that extrinsic desire is (...) not needed for other roles besides motivation to carry out the means, and is not generated by reason. Finally, I argue that an account of extrinsic motivation in terms of intention is preferable to an account in terms of extrinsic desire. Because of the fundamental differences between extrinsic desire and intrinsic desire, it is more advantageous to distinguish between them as different kinds of mental states: intention and desire. (shrink)
Recent ethical and legal challenges have arisen concerning the rights of individuals over their IVF embryos, leading to questions about how, when the wishes of parents regarding their embryos conflict, such situations ought to be resolved. A notion commonly invoked in relation to frozen embryo disputes is that of reproductive rights: a right to have (or not to have) children. This has sometimes been interpreted to mean a right to have, or not to have, one's own genetic children. But can (...) such rights legitimately be asserted to give rise to claims over embryos? We examine the question of property in genetic material as applied to gametes and embryos, and whether rights over genetic information extend to grant control over IVF embryos. In particular we consider the purported right not to have one's own genetically related children from a property-based perspective. We argue that even if we concede that such (property) rights do exist, those rights become limited in scope and application upon engaging in reproduction. We want to show that once an IVF embryo is created for the purpose of reproduction, any right not to have genetically-related children that may be based in property rights over genetic information is ceded. There is thus no right to prevent one's IVF embryos from being brought to birth on the basis of a right to avoid having one's own genetic children. Although there may be reproductive rights over gametes and embryos, these are not grounded in genetic information. (shrink)