Since the last century, vaccination has been one of the most important tools we possess for the prevention and elimination of disease. Yet the tremendous gains from vaccination are now threatened by a growing hesitance to vaccinate based on a variety of concerns or objections. Geographic clustering of some families who choose not to vaccinate has led to a number of well-publicized outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Of note is that some of these outbreaks are centered within some Christian religious groups (...) that increasingly avoid vaccination due to moral concerns, fears about safety, or doubts about the necessity of vaccines. We argue from the perspective of Catholic social teaching on why there is a moral duty to vaccinate. (shrink)
In this paper, I challenge Casey Swank’s claim that what makes epistemic vices bad are deeper personal vices and not anything specifically epistemic. I argue that epistemic vices are bad on account of a lack of a good epistemic motive. Consequently, the source of the badness is specifically epistemic. I develop my argument through a consideration of Aquinas’s accounts of wonder and presumption, namely that what makes the latter bad is the lack of something thatthe former possesses. I then analyze (...) some representative epistemic virtues and vices in terms of the presence or privation of certain good epistemic motives. Finally, on the basis of the logic of the privation of something that should be present, I argue that a given vice’s lack of a good epistemic motive specifies the kind of badness present. In the case of an epistemic vice, then, the source of the problem is something specifically epistemic. (shrink)
St. Thomas Aquinas treats penance as both a sacrament and a virtue. In either form, penance’s principal human act is contrition—a willed sorrow for one’s sins and an intention to avoid future sins. A look at Aquinas’s understanding of penitential contrition reveals a complex interplay of the different objects of love, the gift of fear, and finally friendship with God. This article offers an analysis of Aquinas’s accounts of penance and contrition with respect to these key elements. I argue that (...) contrition performs a fundamental role in countering, restoring, and safeguarding a proper ordering of love and attainment of the ultimate good of union with God. In short, contrition is the act that directly counters the interior disorder wrought by sin and provides an ongoing counter to the threat of additional disorder. Sin’s disorder is the aversion to God and conversion to self, while contrition involves the aversion to self and a conversion to God. (shrink)
This paper addresses the connections between love of self and love of God in terms of their impact on personal subjectivity according to the thought of Thomas Aquinas. I argue that Aquinas’s understanding of self-love illuminates the experience of oneself as a person. Part of this argument relies on Aquinas’s notion that love of self is more basic than love of others. Aquinas further affirms that one ought to love God more than oneself. I explore the implications of this claim (...) for my interpretation concerning personal self-experience. I maintain that our participation in God causes a pull toward goodness and God within one’s experience of self. Also, friendship with God through charity offers the highest fulfillment of self-experience. (shrink)
Moody-Adams has written an in-depth and comprehensive book that scrutinizes relativists’ claims of the reality of “rationally irresolvable moral disagreement”. Tight arguments are offered challenging the misconceptions about morality, culture, and other anthropological issues that are employed to demonstrate the validity of moral relativism. Furthermore, there is an original reconception of the tasks of moral philosophy with an emphasis on the nature of moral inquiry.
Gert offers a comprehensive and sophisticated account of the nature of morality and a strong justification of it. The starting point of the account is an analysis and clarification of what precisely a theory of morality includes and what it ought not to include. After these considerations, key concepts, which are presupposed and in part defined by moral theory, such as rationality, impartiality, goods, and evils, are decisively described and defined. Next, justifications for the moral theory espoused by Gert are (...) posed and defended. Throughout this, key moral concepts are analyzed, and his moral theory and its role in society and societal institutions, such as government, is examined. (shrink)
The ways in which mental concepts can seem problematic are various, and consequently the idea of a coherent body of issues forming one part of philosophy, namely the philosophy of mind, is highly misleading. When Ludwig Wittgenstein and Gilbert Ryle inaugurated the flood of recent writings about the concept of mind there was some similarity, although not identity, in the problems which led them to concentrate their attention on mental concepts. Wittgenstein saw that lack of clarity about such notions (...) as willing, thinking, feeling and imagining generated powerful but misleading pictures about logic—about the difference between sense and nonsense —so that if we were to become clear about one we should have to become clear about the other. Worries about logic generated his interest in what it is to have a mind. In the case of Ryle, if we are to accept his own autobiographical remarks, an exposition of the logic of mental concepts was undertaken to illustrate whatever clarity had already been achieved by him and others with regard to logic and logical investigations. ‘ The Concept of Mind was a philosophical book written with a meta-philosophical purpose’ . Although I think it should be open for speculation just why specifically mental notions were singled out by him for such an illustrative purpose. In each case questions about logic prompted writing about the mind. There remains an echo of this in some of the books under review, but, as often with deepseated changes, the original impetus can soon be lost, and debates about distinctions in which it was first embodied can take on a life of their own. (shrink)
Sport often seems to teeter on the edge, on one side of the entertainment industry, on the other of cheating violent aggression: from a make-believe simulacrum of serious play to a nasty chemically enhanced descent into a Hobbesian state of nature. Such perversions lend credibility to reductive views of sport itself as a metonymic feature of capitalism. But that sport as entertainment means fixing it to produce exciting outcomes and amplifying capacities to superhuman proportions, while sport as aggression means treating (...) rules as mere obstacles to brute dominance, shows how far we in fact are from these abysses, even in the days of the Coca Cola/Nike Olympics, Vinny Jones and cricket sledging. In this essay, I try to delineate through history— from Homer to … Gomer?—a common culture of sport and sportsmanship that, with its excesses and perversions, continues to operate as one, albeit complex, ideal of human excellence. (shrink)
An important work in the debate between materialists and dualists, the public correspondence between Anthony Collins and Samuel Clarke provided the framework for arguments over consciousness and personal identity in eighteenth-century Britain. In Clarke's view, mind and consciousness are so unified that they cannot be compounded into wholes or divided into parts, so mind and consciousness must be distinct from matter. Collins, by contrast, was a perceptive advocate of a materialist account of mind, who defended the possibility that thinking (...) and consciousness are emergent properties of the brain. Appendices include philosophical writings that influenced, and responded to, the correspondence. (shrink)
Appiah explores how the new empirical moral psychology relates to philosophical ethics. He elaborates a vision of naturalism that resists both temptations and traces an intellectual genealogy of the burgeoning discipline of 'experimental philosophy'.
While philosophers of mind have been arguing over the status of mental representations in cognitive science, cognitive scientists have been quietly engaged in studying perception, action, and cognition without explaining them in terms of mental representation. In this book, Anthony Chemero describes this nonrepresentational approach, puts it in historical and conceptual context, and applies it to traditional problems in the philosophy of mind. Radical embodied cognitive science is a direct descendant of the American naturalist psychology of William James and (...) John Dewey, and follows them in viewing perception and cognition to be understandable only in terms of action in the environment. Chemero argues that cognition should be described in terms of agent-environment dynamics rather than in terms of computation and representation. After outlining this orientation to cognition, Chemero proposes a methodology: dynamical systems theory, which would explain things dynamically and without reference to representation. He also advances a background theory: Gibsonian ecological psychology, "shored up" and clarified. Chemero then looks at some traditional philosophical problems through the lens of radical embodied cognitive science and concludes that the comparative ease with which it resolves these problems, combined with its empirical promise, makes this approach to cognitive science a rewarding one. "Jerry Fodor is my favorite philosopher," Chemero writes in his preface, adding, "I think that Jerry Fodor is wrong about nearly everything." With this book, Chemero explains nonrepresentational, dynamical, ecological cognitive science as clearly and as rigorously as Jerry Fodor explained computational cognitive science in his classic work The Language of Thought. (shrink)
Emotions are Janus-faced: their focus may switch from how a person is feeling deep inside her, to the busy world of actions, words, or gestures whose perception currently affects her. The intimate relation between the ‘inside’ and the ‘outside’ seems to call for a redrawing of the traditional distinction of mental states between those that can look out to the world, and those that are, supposedly, irredeemably blind.
Eleven original essays discuss a range of puzzling philosophical questions about fictional characters, and more generally about fictional objects. For example, they ask questions like the following: Do they really exist? What would fictional objects be like if they existed? Do they exist eternally? Are they created? Who by? When and how? Can they be destroyed? If so, how? Are they abstract or concrete? Are they actual? Are they complete objects? Are they possible objects? How many fictional objects are there? (...) What are their identity conditions? What kinds of attitudes can we have towards them? This volume will be a landmark in the philosophical debate about fictional objects, and will influence higher-level debates within metaphysics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. (shrink)
[Richard Glauser] Shaftesbury's theory of aesthetic experience is based on his conception of a natural disposition to apprehend beauty, a real 'form' of things. I examine the implications of the disposition's naturalness. I argue that the disposition is not an extra faculty or a sixth sense, and attempt to situate Shaftesbury's position on this issue between those of Locke and Hutcheson. I argue that the natural disposition is to be perfected in many different ways in order to be exercised in (...) the perception of the different degrees of beauty within Shaftesbury's hierarchy. This leads to the conclusion that the exercise of the disposition depends, from case to case, on many different cognitive and affective conditions, that are realised by the collaborative functionings of our ordinary faculties. Essential to Shaftesbury's conception of aesthetic experience is a disinterested, contemplative love, that causes (or contains) what we may call a 'disinterested pleasure', but also an interested pleasure. I argue that, within any given aesthetic experience, the role of the disinterested pleasure is secondary to that of the disinterested love. However, an important function of the disinterested pleasure is that, in combination with the interested pleasure, it leads one to aspire to pass from the aesthetic experience of lower degrees of beauty to the experience of higher ones in the hierarchy. /// [Anthony Savile] (1) If Shaftesbury is to be seen as the doyen of modern aesthetics, his most valuable legacy to us may not so much be his viewing aesthetic response as a sui generis disinterested delight as his insistence on its turning 'wholly on [experience of] what is exterior and foreign to ourselves'. Not that we cannot experience ourselves, or what is our own, as a source of such admiration. Rather our responses, favourable or no, are improperly grounded in any essentially reflexive, or first-personal, ways of taking what engages us. The suggestion is tested against the case of Narcissus. (2) Glauser interestingly emphasizes Shaftesbury's neo-Platonic conception of a hierarchy of aesthetic experience that culminates in the joyful contemplation of God. That hierarchy must be something that is less unitary and systematic than Shaftesbury himself had supposed, even when his emphasis on the tie between aesthetic pleasure and contemplative experience is allowed to extend beyond perception and to encompass episodes of thought itself. (shrink)
Madness is a subject that ought to interest philosophers; but they have had surprisingly little to say about it. What they have said, although often interesting and important, has failed to penetrate to the properly philosophical centre of the topic. They have concerned themselves with its causes and effects, with its social and ethical implications, but they have said little that is useful or definitive about what it is in itself. Preoccupied with its accidents, they have failed to engage with (...) its essence. (shrink)
I first met Norman Malcolm in the fall of 1963 when, as a terrified sophomore, I took his course in Free Will and Determinism at Cornell. I believe I had already heard that Malcolm was a figure of almost legendary proportions.
Anthony Everett gives a philosophical defence of the common-sense view that there are no such things as fictional people, places, and things. He argues that our talk and thought about such fictional objects takes place within the scope of a pretense, and that we gain little but lose much by accepting fictional realism.
Numerous studies have examined the manner in which minority groups, including refugees, are depicted in the media discourse of the host countries or the dominant majority groups. The results of such studies indicate that media systematically discriminate these minority groups and deem them as a security, economic and hygiene threat to the majority groups. Through the use of Lakoff and Jonson’s conceptual metaphor theory, this study compares and contrasts the representation of Syrian refugees in the online media discourse of not (...) only host countries but also non-host countries, which, in this study, refers to nations that do not host Syrian refugees. The results show that statistical differences between the metaphors used by host and non-host countries only occur when using the metaphors that describe the entry of refugees and the burden they are inflicting on the host countries. This is clearly indicated by the p-values of the log-likelihood test. (shrink)
A major treatise on moral philosophy by Aristotle, this is the first time the Eudemian Ethics has been published in its entirety in any modern language. Equally important, the volume has been translated by Sir Anthony Kenny, one of Britain's most distinguished academics and philosophers, and a leading authority on Aristotle. In The Eudemian Ethics , Aristotle explores the factors that make life worth living. He considers the role of happiness, and what happiness consists of, and he analyzes various (...) aspects that contribute to it: human agency, the relation between action and virtue, and the concept of virtue itself. Aristotle classifies and examines the various moral and intellectual virtues, and he considers the roles of friendship and pleasure in a life well lived. Kenny's superb translation is accompanied by a fine introduction, in which he highlights the similarities and differences between this book and the better-known Nicomachean Ethics , with which it holds three books in common. There are also many useful explanatory notes which clarify the arguments and allusions that Aristotle makes. (shrink)
Rousseau seldom gets a mention as a philosopher in the conventional histories; if he appears at all it is in connection with that strange and rather suspect discipline ‘political philosophy’. Even then there is a tendency to look upon him as an unsystematic thinker, as a ‘ philosophy ’ rather than as a genuine philosopher. His ideas are held to be interesting, but the connections between them are thought to be emotional rather than logical. Again, Émile is read by students (...) of education, but not by those studying philosophy. This is both because the ‘philosophy of education’ is thought not to be of great importance and again because of Rousseau's lack of logical rigour. Now it is true that Rousseau himself was an emotional figure, and from reading his Confessions it is easy to get the idea that there is no point in looking for interesting philosophical points in his works. (shrink)
Counterfactuals are typically thought--given the force of Sobel sequences--to be variably strict conditionals. I go the other way. Sobel sequences and (what I call) Hegel sequences push us to a strict conditional analysis of counterfactuals: counterfactuals amount to some necessity modal scoped over a plain material conditional, just which modal being a function of context. To make this worth saying I need to say just how counterfactuals and context interact. No easy feat, but I have something to say on the (...) matter. (shrink)
Whether any property is internal to a particular object may be taken to depend upon the way in which the object is described. Thus it is not an internal property of Scott to have been the author of Waverley, neither is it an internal property of the author of Ivanhoe. But what of the author of Waverley? Is the proposition that the author of Waverley composed Waverley necessarily true? On one interpretation of it it surely is. Even so, one can (...) attach a sense to saying that the person who was in fact the author of Waverley might not have been so. All that is needed for this is that he be capable of being otherwise identified. (shrink)
The Importance of Religion reveals the significance of religion in modern times, showing how it provides people with meaning to their lives and helps guide them in their everyday moral choices Provides readers with a new understanding of religion, demonstrating how in its actions, texts and world views religion is enduring and vividly engages with the mystery of the world Offers striking arguments about the relationship of religion to science, art and politics Engagingly written by a highly respected scholar of (...) religion with an international reputation. (shrink)
Anthony Simon Laden explores the kind of reasoning we engage in when we live together: when we are responsive to others and neither commanding nor deferring to them. He argues for a new, social picture of the activity of reasoning, in which reasoning is a species of conversation--social, ongoing, and governed by a set of characteristic norms.
Bare plural generic sentences pervade ordinary talk. And yet it is extremely controversial what semantics to assign to such sentences. In this paper, I achieve two tasks. First, I develop a novel classification of the various standard uses to which bare plurals may be put. This “variety data” is important—it gives rise to much of the difficulty in systematically theorizing about bare plurals. Second, I develop a novel account of bare plurals, the radical account. On this account, all bare plurals (...) fail to express propositions. The content of a bare plural has to be pragmatically “completed” by a speaker in order for her to make an assertion. At least the content of a quantifier expression has to be supplied. But sometimes, the content of a sentential operator or modal verb is also supplied. The radical account straightforwardly explains the variety data: Speakers’ communicative intentions vary wildly across different contexts. (shrink)
It is appropriate that a lecture in a series on ‘Philosophy and Practice’ should open by considering Bentham's ideas on imprisonment. For Bentham, incontestably a philosopher, was equally incontestably a practical reformer. This, indeed, is a received idea among philosophers; that is to say, most philosophers know that Bentham designed ‘a model prison of novel design’, but few have actually considered the design, its implications or its effects. Most are content, like Warnock, with observing that the panopticon plan was formally (...) rejected, before passing on to the abstraction of Bentham's felicific calculus, his notion of utility, and his ideas about the foundations of law. Yet, strange as it may seem, the underlying idea of the panopticon has never been completely abandoned. One aspect of the idea pervades penal thinking, even while prison practice is still influenced by Bentham's practical proposals; moreover, the panoptic ideal has taken root far beyond the walls of actual prisons. Here is philosophy in practice, and yet, in many ways, practically and intellectually a failure. (shrink)
Moral Emotions builds upon the philosophical theory of persons begun in _Phenomenology and Mysticism _and marks a new stage of phenomenology. Author Anthony J. Steinbock finds personhood analyzing key emotions, called moral emotions. _Moral Emotions _offers a systematic account of the moral emotions, described here as pride, shame, and guilt as emotions of self-givenness; repentance, hope, and despair as emotions of possibility; and trusting, loving, and humility as emotions of otherness. The author argues these reveal basic structures of interpersonal (...) experience. By exhibiting their own kind of cognition and evidence, the moral emotions not only help to clarify the meaning of person, they reveal novel concepts of freedom, critique, and normativity. As such, they are able to engage our contemporary social imaginaries at the impasse of modernity and postmodernity. (shrink)
Anthony J. Lisska presents a new analysis of Thomas Aquinas's theory of perception. While much work has been undertaken on Aquinas's texts, little has been devoted principally to his theory of perception and less still on a discussion of inner sense. The thesis of intentionality serves as the philosophical backdrop of this analysis while incorporating insights from Brentano and from recent scholarship. The principal thrust is on the importance of inner sense, a much-overlooked area of Aquinas's philosophy of mind, (...) with special reference to the vis cogitativa. Approaching the texts of Aquinas from contemporary analytic philosophy, Lisska suggests a modest 'innate' or 'structured' interpretation for the role of this inner sense faculty. He argues that were it not for the vis cogitativa, Aquinas would be unable to account for an awareness of the principal ontological category in his metaphysics. (shrink)
This is not the first time the title ‘Art and Technology’ has been used, but to distinguish what I have to say from Walter Gropius's Bauhaus exhibition of 1923, I am subtitling my paper ‘an old tension’, where the architect spoke of ‘a new unity’. In a way, Gropius has been proved right; the structures of the future avoiding all romantic embellishment and whimsy, the cathedrals of socialism, the corporate planning of comprehensive Utopian designs have all gone up and some (...) come down. We have a mass media culture also largely made possible by technology. Corporatist architecture, whether statist ‘social housing’ or freemarket inspired, films, videos, modern recording and musical techniques are all due to technological advances made mostly this century. Only in a very puritanical sense could what has happened be thought of as inevitably bringing with it enslavement. All kinds of possibilities are now open to artists and architects, which would have been imaginable a few decades ago. No one is forced to use these possibilities in any specific way. (shrink)
Much of recent ethics has been thoroughly formalistic in character. In the first place it has confined itself to the investigation of the general logical properties of møral discourse and has largely ignored the broad psychological context of motives and purposes in which that kind of discourse has its life. Secondly, it has sought to distinguish the field of discourse that it takes as its subject-matter in a formalistic way, in terms of such properties as its universalisability, its autonomy and (...) its overridingness, without reference to the concrete and specific human interests with which moral discourse is connected and which it might serve to promote. (shrink)
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