This paper looks at two figures in the modern, European, eighteenth-century debate on luxury. It claims to better understand the differences between Francis Hutcheson and Bernard Mandeville by exploring how Hutcheson treated the topic of luxury as a distinction between two desires, thus differing from Mandeville's concept of luxury, and a concept of temperance based on moral sense. It explores why Hutcheson believed that luxury was a moral, social and political issue and particularly why he considered Mandeville the embodiment of (...) a threat that went beyond simple considerations of the content of The Fable of the Bees to touch on reflections on the equilibrium of a social and political system. It aims to show how the psychological and the moral dimension were connected to Hutcheson's political theory and how luxury was one of the key points of this connection. (shrink)
Le présent article a pour objectif de mettre en évidence un aspect de l’influence de Francis Hutcheson sur la troisième partie du Traité de la Nature Humaine de David Hume, consacrée à la morale : Hume écrit, en effet, que l’être humain est doté d’un sens moral. Cependant, la distinction qu’il opère entre la philosophie de l’anatomiste et celle du peintre, dans cette œuvre, montre qu’il se refuse à suivre totalement l’exemple de Hutcheson. Hume compte bien, au contraire, approfondir et (...) compléter une philosophie morale qu’il trouve encore superficielle chez son contemporain et même si cela implique de devoir toucher et réinterpréter les concepts clés de ce dernier. Pourtant, à y regarder de près, la notion de sympathie contribue, d’un certain point de vue, à rapprocher les deux philosophies. Le sens moral de Hume, dans le Traité, ne serait-il pas bien plus qu’une simple expression vide de contenu, comme on l’a trop souvent supposé ? Et que serait-il alors ? (shrink)
O que é “a outra perspectiva nas obras da natureza”, de que fala Hutcheson? De que forma a beleza provê acesso a ela? O presente artigo discute o lugar dessa “outra perspectiva” na teoria estética de Francis Hutcheson. Trata-se de compreender por que o desígnio (design) surge do belo através de uma reflexão sobre a beleza em sua Investigação sobre a origem de nossas ideias da beleza e da virtude, de 1725. Buscaremos determinar se essa teoria estética estaria subordinada aos (...) argumentos do desígnio ou se, em Hutcheson, esse campo de pesquisa filosófica já goza de alguma autonomia. (shrink)
This article investigates new convergences between animal ethics and environmental ethics by focusing on the effects as well as the causes of climate change. Its main objective is to show how a non-anthropocentric approach to climate ethics can increase the potential of collaboration between animal ethics theorists and environmental ethics theorists. It develops an approach that explains how animal ethics, environmental ethics and climate ethics can converge at the theoretical level on the common problem of livestock farming. Then it explains (...) how, from a practical point of view, the vegetarian and vegan diet as well as the vegan lifestyle can be a solution to this common problem. Finally, it replies to major objections in order to develop arguments in favour of a duty not to consume animal products. (shrink)
We challenge effective altruism (EA) on the basis that it should be more inclusive regarding the demands of altruism. EA should consider carefully agents’ intentions and the role those intentions can play in agents’ moral lives. Although we argue that good intentions play an instrumental role and can lead to better results, by adopting a Hutchesonian perspective, we show that intentions should, first and foremost, be considered for their intrinsic value. We examine offsetting and geoengineering, two so-called solutions to climate (...) change supported by EA, to highlight the limitations of a narrow understanding of altruism. (shrink)
In this interesting and engaging book, Shabel offers an interpretation of Kant's philosophy of mathematics as expressed in his critical writings. Shabel's analysis is based on the insight that Kant's philosophical standpoint on mathematics cannot be understood without an investigation into his perception of mathematical practice in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. She aims to illuminate Kant's theory of the construction of concepts in pure intuition—the basis for his conclusion that mathematical knowledge is synthetic a priori. She does this through (...) a contextualized interpretation of his notion of mathematical construction, which she argues can be approached by looking at Euclid's Elements and Christian Wolff's mathematical textbooks. The importance of the former for her interpretation is justified by the fact that nearly all of Kant's mathematical examples in the Critique are Euclidean propositions. The importance of the latter is revealed through the fact that Wolff's textbooks were not only widely read and representative of the state of elementary mathematics during Kant's time; Kant was also intimately familiar with them. During the thirty years prior to the publication of the Critique, he used the textbooks in the college-level introductory courses in mathematics and physics that he taught.In the introduction to her book, Shabel helpfully distinguishes her approach to Kant's philosophy of mathematics from that of previous commentators. She points out that most commentators assessed Kant's thoughts on mathematics in terms of the ‘supposedly devastating effects of the discovery of non-Euclidean geometry on his theory of space’.1 Bertrand Russell, for example, criticized Kant for his lack of a proper …. (shrink)
Lisa Tessman's Burdened Virtues is a deeply original and provocative work that engages questions central to feminist theory and practice, from the perspective of Aristotelian ethics. Focused primarily on selves who endure and resist oppression, she addresses the ways in which devastating conditions confronted by these selves both limit and burden their moral goodness, and affect their possibilities of flourishing. She describes two different forms of "moral trouble" prevalent under oppression. The first is that the oppressed self may be (...) morally damaged, prevented from developing or exercising some of the virtues; the second is that the very conditions of oppression require the oppressed to develop a set of virtues that carry a moral cost to those who practice them--traits that Tessman refers to as "burdened virtues." These virtues have the unusual feature of being disjoined from their bearer's own well being. Tessman's work focuses on issues that have been missed by many feminist moral theories, and her use of the virtue ethics framework brings feminist concerns more closely into contact with mainstream ethical theory. This book will appeal to feminist theorists in philosophy and women's studies, but also more broadly, ethicists and social theorists. (shrink)
Moral Failure: On the Impossible Demands of Morality asks what happens when the sense that "I must" collides with the realization that "I can't." Bringing together philosophical and empirical work in moral psychology, Lisa Tessman here examines moral requirements that are non-negotiable and that contravene the principle that "ought implies can.".
Delusions are a common symptom of schizophrenia and dementia. Though most English dictionaries define a delusion as a false opinion or belief, there is currently a lively debate about whether delusions are really beliefs and indeed, whether they are even irrational. The book is an interdisciplinary exploration of the nature of delusions. It brings together the psychological literature on the aetiology and the behavioural manifestations of delusions, and the philosophical literature on belief ascription and rationality. The thesis of the book (...) is that delusions are continuous with ordinary beliefs, a thesis that could have important theoretical and practical implications for psychiatric classification and the clinical treatment of subjects with delusions. By bringing together recent work in philosophy of mind, cognitive psychology and psychiatry, the book offers a comprehensive review of the philosophical issues raised by the psychology of normal and abnormal cognition, defends the doxastic conception of delusions, and develops a theory about the role of judgements of rationality and of attributions of self-knowledge in belief ascription. Presenting a highly original analysis of the debate on the nature of delusions, this book will interest philosophers of mind, epistemologists, philosophers of science, cognitive scientists, psychiatrists, and mental health professionals. (shrink)
Prolonged solitary confinement has become a widespread and standard practice in U.S. prisons—even though it consistently drives healthy prisoners insane, makes the mentally ill sicker, and, according to the testimony of prisoners, threatens to reduce life to a living death. In this profoundly important and original book, Lisa Guenther examines the death-in-life experience of solitary confinement in America from the early nineteenth century to today’s supermax prisons. Documenting how solitary confinement undermines prisoners’ sense of identity and their ability to (...) understand the world, Guenther demonstrates the real effects of forcibly isolating a person for weeks, months, or years. -/- Drawing on the testimony of prisoners and the work of philosophers and social activists from Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau-Ponty to Frantz Fanon and Angela Davis, the author defines solitary confinement as a kind of social death. It argues that isolation exposes the relational structure of being by showing what happens when that structure is abused—when prisoners are deprived of the concrete relations with others on which our existence as sense-making creatures depends. Solitary confinement is beyond a form of racial or political violence; it is an assault on being. (shrink)
In this article I ask whether elaborated and systematized delusions emerging in the context of schizophrenia have the potential for epistemic innocence. Cognitions are epistemically innocent if they have significant epistemic benefits that could not be attained otherwise. In particular, I propose that a cognition is epistemically innocent if it delivers some significant epistemic benefit to a given agent at a given time, and if alternative cognitions delivering the same epistemic benefit are unavailable to that agent at that time. Elaborated (...) and systematized delusions in schizophrenia are typically false and exemplify failures of rationality and self-knowledge. Empirical studies suggest that they may have psychological benefits by relieving anxiety and enhancing meaningfulness. Moreover, these delusions have been considered as adaptive in virtue of the fact that they enable automated learning to resume after a significant disruption caused by incorrect prediction-error signalling. I argue that such psychological benefits and adaptive features also have positive epistemic consequences. More precisely, delusions can be a means to restoring epistemic functionality in agents who are overwhelmed by hypersalient experiences in the prodromal stage of psychosis. The analysis leads to a more complex view of the epistemic status of delusions than is found in the contemporary philosophical literature and has some implications for clinical practice. 1 Introduction2 Types of Delusions3 What Is Wrong with Elaborated and Systematized Delusions?4 Finding Life Meaningful5 Learning Resumed6 Epistemic Innocence7 Epistemic Benefit8 No Alternatives9 Conclusions and Implications. (shrink)
The Gift of the Other brings together a philosophical analysis of time, embodiment, and ethical responsibility with a feminist critique of the way women’s reproductive capacity has been theorized and represented in Western culture. Author Lisa Guenther develops the ethical and temporal implications of understanding birth as the gift of the Other, a gift which makes existence possible, and already orients this existence toward a radical responsibility for Others. Through an engagement with the work of Levinas, Beauvoir, Arendt, Irigaray, (...) and Kristeva, the author outlines an ethics of maternity based on the givenness of existence and a feminist politics of motherhood which critiques the exploitation of maternal generosity. (shrink)
In this accessible yet throught-provoking work, Lisa Tessman takes us through gripping examples of the impossible demands of morality -- some epic, and others quotidian -- whose central predicament is: How do we make decisions when morality demands we do something that we cannot?
Philosophers are interested in the phenomenon of thought insertion because it challenges the common assumption that one can ascribe to oneself the thoughts that one can access first-personally. In the standard philosophical analysis of thought insertion, the subject owns the ‘inserted’ thought but lacks a sense of agency towards it. In this paper we want to provide an alternative analysis of the condition, according to which subjects typically lack both ownership and authorship of the ‘inserted’ thoughts. We argue that by (...) appealing to a failure of ownership and authorship we can describe more accurately the phenomenology of thought insertion, and distinguish it from that of non-delusional beliefs that have not been deliberated about, and of other delusions of passivity. We can also start developing a more psychologically realistic account of the relation between intentionality, rationality and self knowledge in normal and abnormal cognition. (shrink)
Stem cell research. Drug company influence. Abortion. Contraception. Long-term and end-of-life care. Human participants research. Informed consent. The list of ethical issues in science, medicine, and public health is long and continually growing. These complex issues pose a daunting task for professionals in the expanding field of bioethics. But what of the practice of bioethics itself? What issues do ethicists and bioethicists confront in their efforts to facilitate sound moral reasoning and judgment in a variety of venues? Are those immersed (...) in the field capable of making the right decisions? How and why do they face moral challenge -- and even compromise -- as ethicists? What values should guide them? In The Ethics of Bioethics, Lisa A. Eckenwiler and Felicia G. Cohn tackle these questions head on, bringing together notable medical ethicists and people outside the discipline to discuss common criticisms, the field's inherent tensions, and efforts to assign values and assess success. Through twenty-five lively essays examining the field's history and trends, shortcomings and strengths, and the political and policy interplay within the bioethical realm, this comprehensive book begins a much-needed critical and constructive discussion of the moral landscape of bioethics. (shrink)
Questions about the relevance and value of various liberal concepts are at the heart of important debates among feminist philosophers and social theorists. Although many feminists invoke concepts such as rights, equality, autonomy, and freedom in arguments for liberation, some attempt to avoid them, noting that they can also reinforce and perpetuate oppressive social structures. In _Challenging Liberalism _Schwartzman explores the reasons why concepts such as rights and equality can sometimes reinforce oppression. She argues that certain forms of abstraction and (...) individualism are central to liberal methodology and that these give rise to a number of problems. Drawing on the work of feminist moral, political, and legal theorists, she constructs an approach that employs these concepts, while viewing them from within a critique of social relations of power. (shrink)
This paper argues that a priori justification is, in principle, compatible with naturalism—if the a priori is understood in a way that is free of the inessential properties that, historically, have been associated with the concept. I argue that empirical indefeasibility is essential to the primary notion of the a priori ; however, the indefeasibility requirement should be interpreted in such a way that we can be fallibilist about apriori-justified claims. This fallibilist notion of the a priori accords with the (...) naturalist’s commitment to scientific methodology in that it allows for apriori-justified claims to be sensitive to further conceptual developments and the expansion of evidence. The fallibilist apriorist allows that an a priori claim is revisable in only a purely epistemic sense. This modal claim is weaker than what is required for a revisability thesis to establish empiricism, so fallibilist apriorism represents a distinct position. (shrink)
ABSTRACT:I reflect critically on the early modern philosophical canon in light of the entrenchment and homogeneity of the lineup of seven core figures: Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. After distinguishing three elements of a philosophical canon—a causal story, a set of core philosophical questions, and a set of distinctively philosophical works—I argue that recent efforts contextualizing the history of philosophy within the history of science subtly shift the central philosophical questions and allow for a greater range of (...) figures to be philosophically central. However, the history of science is but one context in which to situate philosophical works. Looking at the historical context of seventeenth-century philosophy of mind, one that weaves together questions of consciousness, rationality, and education, does more than shift the central questions—it brings new ones to light. It also shows that a range of genres can be properly philosophical and seamlessly diversifies the central philosophers of the period. (shrink)
Here I reply to the main points raised by the commentators on the arguments put forward in my Delusions and Other Irrational Beliefs (OUP, 2009). My response is aimed at defending a modest doxastic account of clinical delusions, and is articulated in three sections. First, I consider the view that delusions are inbetween perceptual and doxastic states, defended by Jacob Hohwy and Vivek Rajan, and the view that delusions are failed attempts at believing or not-quitebeliefs, proposed by Eric Schwitzgebel and (...) Maura Tumulty. Then, I address the relationship between the doxastic account of delusions and the role, nature, and prospects of folk psychology, which is discussed by Dominic Murphy, Keith Frankish, and Maura Tumulty in their contributions. In the final remarks, I turn to the continuity thesis and suggest that, although there are important differences between clinical delusions and non-pathological beliefs, these differences cannot be characterised satisfactorily in epistemic terms. (shrink)
Inventing the Market explores two paradigms of the market in the thought of Adam Smith and G.W.F. Hegel, bridging the gap between economics and philosophy, it shows that both disciplines can profit from a broader, more historically situated ...
In the chapter of the Critique of Pure Reason entitled ‘The Discipline of Pure Reason in Dogmatic Use’, Kant contrasts mathematical and philosophical knowledge in order to show that pure reason does not (and, indeed, cannot) pursue philosophical truth according to the same method that it uses to pursue and attain the apodictically certain truths of mathematics. In the process of this comparison, Kant gives the most explicit statement of his critical philosophy of mathematics; accordingly, scholars have typically focused their (...) interpretations and criticisms of Kant’s conception of mathematics on this small section of the Critique. (shrink)
The attempt to critique the profession of clinical ethics consultation by establishing the impossibility of ethics expertise has been a red herring. Decisions made in clinical ethics cases are almost never based purely on moral judgments. Instead, they are all-things-considered judgments that involve determining how to balance other values as well. A standard of justified decision-making in this context would enable us to identify experts who could achieve these standards more often than others, and thus provide a basis for expertise (...) in clinical ethics consultation. This expertise relies in part on what Richard Zaner calls the “expert knowledge of ethical phenomena”. (shrink)
The question of whether clinical ethics consultants may engage in patient advocacy in the course of consultation has not been addressed, but it highlights for the field that consultants? allegiances, and the boundaries of appropriate professional practice, must be better understood. I consider arguments for and against patient advocacy in clinical ethics consultation, which demonstrate that patient advocacy is permissible, but not central to the practice of consultation. I then offer four recommendations for consultants who engage in patient advocacy, and (...) consider the implications of this issue for the field.1. (shrink)
Between the years 1643 and 1649, Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and René Descartes exchanged fifty-eight letters—thirty-two from Descartes and twenty-six from Elisabeth. Their correspondence contains the only known extant philosophical writings by Elisabeth, revealing her mastery of metaphysics, analytic geometry, and moral philosophy, as well as her keen interest in natural philosophy. The letters are essential reading for anyone interested in Descartes’s philosophy, in particular his account of the human being as a union of mind and body, as well as (...) his ethics. They also provide a unique insight into the character of their authors and the way ideas develop through intellectual collaboration. Philosophers have long been familiar with Descartes’s side of the correspondence. Now Elisabeth’s letters—never before available in translation in their entirety—emerge this volume, adding much-needed context and depth both to Descartes’s ideas and the legacy of the princess. Lisa Shapiro’s annotated edition—which also includes Elisabeth’s correspondence with the Quakers William Penn and Robert Barclay—will be heralded by students of philosophy, feminist theorists, and historians of the early modern period. (shrink)
Increased attention paid to inter-group genetic variability following completion of the Human Genome Project has provoked debate about race as a category of classification in biomedicine and as a biological phenomenon at the level of the genome. Philosophers of science favor a metaphysical approach relying on natural kind theorizing, the underlying assumptions of which structure the questions asked. Limitations arise the more metaphysically invested and less attuned to scientific practice these questions are. Other questions—arguably, those that matter most socially and (...) politically—remain unasked, not merely overlooked but systematically ignored and even foreclosed. Race fails as a postulated natural kind because it fails to meet expectations that as a category of classification it furnish an authoritative taxonomy that by depicting fundamental divisions in nature is conducive to fulfilling far-ranging explanatory aims. Racial, ethnic, and other group designations may nonetheless be projectible insofar as they support inductive inferences in biomedicine, but this does not render them any less social. Indeed, the statistical, contingent, accidental, localized, and interest-relative bases of such inferences serve to undercut the dichotomizing of race as either biological reality or social construct and favor the adoption of a pragmatic approach. (shrink)
The prominent place 0f corpuscularizm mechanism in L0ckc`s Essay is nowadays universally acknowledged} Certainly, L0ckc’s discussions 0f the primary/secondary quality distinction and 0f real essences cannot be understood without reference to the corpuscularizm science 0f his day, which held that all macroscopic bodily phenomena should bc explained in terms 0f the motions and impacts 0f submicroscopic particles, 0r corpuscles, each of which can bc fully characterized in terms of 21 strictly limited range 0f (primary) properties: size, shape, motion (or mobility), (...) and, perhaps, solidity 0r impcnctrability.2 Indeed, L0ckc’s lists 0f primary quali-. (shrink)
The paper argues for a pragmatic account of genetic explanation. This is to say that when a disease or other trait is termed genetic, the reasons for singling out genes as causes over other, also necessary, genetic and nongenetic conditions are not wholly theoretical but include pragmatic dimensions. Whether the explanation is the presence of a trait in an individual or differences in a trait among individuals, genetic explanations are context-dependent in three ways: they are relative to a causal background (...) of genetic and nongenetic factors; they are relative to a population; and they are relative to the present state of knowledge. Criteria like causal priority, nonstandardness, and causal efficacy that purport to distinguish objectively between genetic causes and nongenetic conditions either incorporate pragmatic elements or fail for other reasons. When the pragmatic dimensions of genetic explanations are recognized, we come to understand the current phenomenon of geneticization to be a reflection of increased technological capacities to manipulate genes in the laboratory, and potentially the clinic, rather than theoretical progress in understanding how diseases and other traits arise. This calls into question the value of the search for theoretical definitions of designations like genetic disease or genetic susceptibility as directives for action. (shrink)
This paper will consider the right not to know in the context of psychiatric disorders. It will outline the arguments for and against acquiring knowledge about the results of genetic testing for conditions such as breast cancer and Huntington’s disease, and examine whether similar considerations apply to disclosing to clients the results of genetic testing for psychiatric disorders such as depression and Alzheimer’s disease. The right not to know will also be examined in the context of the diagnosis of psychiatric (...) disorders that are associated with stigma or for which there is no effective treatment. (shrink)
In this paper we address Bernard Williams' argument for the undesirability of immortality. Williams argues that unavoidable and pervasive boredom would characterise the immortal life of an individual with unchanging categorical desires. We resist this conclusion on the basis of the distinction between habitual and situational boredom and a psychologically realistic account of significant factors in the formation of boredom. We conclude that Williams has offered no persuasive argument for the necessity of boredom in the immortal life. 1.
A consensus view appears to prevail among academics from diverse disciplines that biological races do not exist, at least in humans, and that race -concepts and race -objects are socially constructed. The consensus view has been challenged recently by Robin O. Andreasen's cladistic account of biological race. This paper argues that from a scientific viewpoint there are methodological, empirical, and conceptual problems with Andreasen's position, and that from a philosophical perspective Andreasen's adherence to rigid dichotomies between science and society, facts (...) and values, nature and culture, and the biological and the social needs to be relinquished. DNA forensics is just one field of research that reveals how race remains both idea and object for human population biologists, an indication that it is premature to accept the existence of a no- race consensus across the disciplines. DNA forensics research also demonstrates ways in which race is reified by scientists by the representation of what is cultural or social as natural or biological, and of what is dynamic, relative, and continuous as static, absolute, and discrete. The philosophical analysis of foundational concepts of human population biology such as population, race, and ethnic group is best served by foregoing traditional objectivist approaches for a critical stance that recognises the inextricability of the biological and the social. Introduction Consensus view: biological races do not exist Andreasen's defence of the biological reality of races as clades Biological permutations of race Conclusion. (shrink)
Psychological construction constitutes a different paradigm for the scientific study of emotion when compared to the current paradigm that is inspired by faculty psychology. This new paradigm is more consistent with the post-Darwinian conceptual framework in biology that includes a focus on (a) population thinking (vs. typologies), (b) domain-general core systems (vs. physical essences), and (c) constructive analysis (vs. reductionism). Three psychological construction approaches (the OCC model, the iterative reprocessing model, and the conceptual act theory) are discussed with respect to (...) these ideas. (shrink)
We talk about irrationality when behaviour defies explanation or prediction, when decisions are driven by emotions or instinct rather than by reflection, when reasoning fails to conform to basic principles of logic and probability, and when beliefs lack coherence or empirical support. Depending on the context, agents exhibiting irrational behaviour may be described as foolish, ignorant, unwise or even insane. -/- In this clear and engaging introduction to current debates on irrationality, Lisa Bortolotti presents the many facets of the (...) concept and offers an original account of the importance of judgements of irrationality as value judgements. The book examines the standards against which we measure human behaviour, and reviews the often serious implications of judgements of irrationality for ethics and policy. Bortolotti argues that we should adopt a more critical stance towards accepted standards of rationality in the light of the often surprising outcomes of philosophical inquiry and cognitive science research into decision making. -/- Irrationality is an accessible guide to the concept and will be essential reading for students and scholars interested in the limitations of human cognition and human agency. (shrink)
There is no satisfactory account for the general phenomenon of confabulation, for the following reasons: (1) confabulation occurs in a number of pathological and non-pathological conditions; (2) impairments giving rise to confabulation are likely to have different neural bases; and (3) there is no unique theory explaining the aetiology of confabulations. An epistemic approach to defining confabulation could solve all of these issues, by focusing on the surface features of the phenomenon. However, existing epistemic accounts are unable to offer sufficient (...) conditions for confabulation and tend to emphasise only its epistemic disadvantages. In this paper, we argue that a satisfactory epistemic account of confabulation should also acknowledge those features which are (potentially) epistemically advantageous. For example, confabulation may allow subjects to exercise some control over their own cognitive life which is instrumental to the construction or preservation of their sense of self. (shrink)
To reduce the global burden of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an urgent need to develop a safe vaccine. Vaccine development usually takes many years as it goes through several different phases. To hasten COVID-19 vaccine development, it has been suggested that the final stage could be replaced with a human challenge trial. Volunteers would be intentionally infected with SARS-CoV-2 to see how the vaccine candidate works. To intentionally infect a healthy human being with a potentially deadly virus is contrary (...) to the highest ethical standards in medical research. This article highlights the benefits and risks of COVID-19 HCTs and summarises what research ethics committees need to consider during the ethical assessment of such trials including risk reduction, strict containment measures, specific informed consent measures and avoiding high monetary inducements. (shrink)
This paper argues, on the basis of data from St'át'imcets (Lillooet Salish), for a theory of wide-scope indefinites which is similar, though not identical, to that proposed by Kratzer (1998). I show that a subset of S'át'imcets indefinites takes obligatory wide scope with respect to if-clauses, negation, and modals, and is unable to be distributed over by quantificational phrases. These wide-scope effects cannot be accounted for by movement, but require an analysis involving choice functions (Reinhart 1995, 1997). However, Reinhart's particular (...) choice function analysis is unable to account for the St'át'imcets data. A Kratzer-style theory, on the other hand, accounts not only for the wide-scope effects, but also for the emergence of narrower-than-widest interpretations for indefinites which contain bound variables. I depart from Kratzer's analysis in claiming that St'át'imcets choice function indefinites are not 'specific'; the discourse context does not provide a value for the function variable. Therefore, I utilize wide- scope existential closure over choice functions rather than leaving the variables free. However, my analysis provides support for Kratzer's claim that English indefinites are ambiguous between a choice function interpretation and a quantificational interpretation, since St'át'imcets determiners overtly encode the English ambiguity. I conclude by suggesting that the proposed analysis of wide-scope indefinites may be universally valid. (shrink)
At least below the level of species, biological populations are not mind‐independent objects that scientists discover. Rather, biological populations are pragmatically constructed as objects of investigation according to the aims, interests, and values that inform particular research contexts. The relations among organisms that are constitutive of population‐level phenomena (e.g., mating propensity, genealogy, and competition) occur as matters of degree and so give rise to statistically defined open‐ended biological systems. These systems are rendered discrete units to satisfy practical needs and theoretical (...) preferences associated with specific contexts of investigation. While it may be possible to defend a realist position regarding biological relations among organisms, biological populations are “made” when contextual features determine which kinds and degrees of relations to privilege over others, and so how to bound genes in space and time. Consequently, the objectivity of population‐based approaches to species genome diversity cannot rest in the mind‐independence of populations themselves. (shrink)
Public health ethics is a nascent field, emerging over the past decade as an applied field merging concepts of clinical and research ethics. Because the “patient” in public health is the population rather than the individual, existing principles might be weighted differently, or there might be different ethical principles to consider. This paper reviewed the evolution of public health ethics, the use of bioethics as its model, and the proposed frameworks for public health ethics through 2010. Review of 13 major (...) public health ethics frameworks published over the past 15 years yields a wide variety of theoretical approaches, some similar foundational values, and a few similar operating principles. Coming to a consensus on the reach, purpose, and ends of public health is necessary if we are to agree on what ethical underpinnings drive us, what foundational values bring us to these underpinnings, and what operating principles practitioners must implement to make ethical decisions. If public health is distinct enough from clinical medicine to warrant its own set of ethical and philosophical underpinnings, then a decision must be made as to whether a single approach is warranted or we can tolerate a variety of equal but different perspectives. (shrink)
This article analyses a hitherto neglected problem at the transition from ideal to non‐ideal theory: the problem of knowledge. Ideal theories often make idealising assumptions about the availability of knowledge, for example knowledge of social scientific facts. This can lead to problems when this knowledge turns out not to be available at the non‐ideal level. Knowledge can be unavailable in a number of ways: in principle, for practical reasons, or because there are normative reasons not to use it. This can (...) make it necessary to revise ideal theories, because the principle of ‘ought implies can’ rules out certain theories, at least insofar as they are understood as action‐guiding. I discuss a number of examples and argue that there are two tendencies that will increase the relevance of this problem in the future: the availability of large amounts of sensitive data whose use is problematic from a normative point of view, and the increasing complexity of an interrelated world that makes it harder to predict the effects of institutional changes. To address these issues, philosophers need to cooperate with social scientists and philosophers of the social sciences. Normative theorising can then be understood as one step in a long process that includes thinkers from different disciplines. Ideal theory can respond to many of the charges raised against it if it is understood along these lines and if it takes the problem of knowledge and its implications seriously. (shrink)
Despite increasing public attention to animal suffering, little seems to have changed: human beings continue to exploit billions of animals in factory farms, medical laboratories, and elsewhere. In this wide-ranging and perceptive study, Lisa Kemmerer shows how spiritual writings and teachings in seven major religious traditions can help people to consider their ethical obligations towards other creatures.
: Kant's 'argument from geometry' is usually interpreted to be a regressive transcendental argument in support of the claim that we have a pure intuition of space. In this paper I defend an alternative interpretation of this argument according to which it is rather a progressive synthetic argument meant to identify and establish the essential role of pure spatial intuition in geometric cognition. In the course of reinterpreting the 'argument from geometry' I reassess the arguments of the Aesthetic and illustrate (...) the origin of Kant's view of the role of pure intuition in geometry. (shrink)
Shame is notoriously ambivalent. On one hand, it operates as a mechanism of normalization and social exclusion, installing or reinforcing patterns of silence and invisibility; on the other hand, the capacity for shame may be indispensible for ethical life insofar as it attests to the subject’s constitutive relationality and its openness to the provocation of others. Sartre, Levinas and Beauvoir each offer phenomenological analyses of shame in which its basic structure emerges as a feeling of being exposed to others and (...) bound to one’s own identity. For Sartre, shame is an ontological provocation, constitutive of subjectivity as a being-for-Others. For Levinas, ontological shame takes the form of an inability to escape one’s own relation to being; this predicament is altered by the ethical provocation of an Other who puts my freedom in question and commands me to justify myself. For Beauvoir, shame is an effect of oppression, both for the woman whose embodied existence is marked as shameful, and for the beneficiary of colonial domination who feels ashamed of her privilege. For each thinker, shame articulates the temporality of social life in both its promise and its danger. (shrink)