The U.S. Constitution provides a framework for our laws, but what does it have to say about morality? PaulDeHart ferrets out that document’s implicit moral assumptions as he revisits the notion that constitutions are more than merely practical institutional arrangements. In _Uncovering the Constitution’s Moral Design_, he seeks to reveal, elaborate, and then evaluate the Constitution’s normative framework to determine whether it is philosophically sound—and whether it makes moral assumptions that correspond to reality. Rejecting the standard approach (...) of the intellectual historian, DeHart for the first time in constitutional theory applies the method of inference to the best explanation to ascertaining our Constitution’s moral meaning. He distinguishes the Constitution’s intention from the subjective intentions of the framers, teasing out presuppositions that the document makes about the nature of sovereignty, the common good, natural law, and natural rights. He then argues that the Constitution constrains popular sovereignty in a way that entails a real common good, transcendent of human willing and promotive of human well-being, but he points out that while the Constitution presupposes a real common good, it also implies a natural law that prescribes the common good. In critiquing previous attempts at describing and evaluating the Constitution’s normative framework, DeHart demonstrates that the Constitution’s moral framework corresponds largely to classical moral theory. He challenges the logical coherency of modern moral philosophy, normative positivism, and other theories that the Constitution has been argued to embody and offers a groundbreaking methodology that can be applied to uncovering the normative framework of other constitutions as well. This cogently argued study shows that the Constitution presupposes a natural law to which human law must conform, and it takes a major step in resolving current debates over the Constitution’s normative framework while remaining detached from the social issues that divide today’s political arena. _Uncovering the Constitution’s Moral Design_ is an original approach to the Constitution that marks a significant contribution to understanding the moral underpinnings of our form of government. (shrink)
While the dominant approaches to the current study of political philosophy are various, with some friendlier to religious belief than others, almost all place constraints on the philosophic and political role of revelation. Mainstream secular political theorists do not entirely disregard religion. But to the extent that they pay attention, their treatment of religious belief is seen more as a political or philosophic problem to be addressed rather than as a positive body of thought from which we might derive important (...) insights about the nature of politics and the truth of the human condition. In a one-of-a-kind collection, DeHart and Holloway bring together leading scholars from various fields, including political science, philosophy, and theology, to challenge the prevailing orthodoxy and to demonstrate the role that religion can and does play in political life. Contributing authors include such important thinkers as Peter Augustine Lawler, Robert C. Koons, J. Budziszewski, Francis J. Beckwith, and James Stoner. (shrink)
Early modern theorists linked the idea of sovereign power to a conception of absolute power developed during the medieval period. Ockham had reframed the already extant distinction between God's absolute and ordained powers in order to argue that God was free of moral constraint in ordaining natural law for human beings. Thus, the natural law could command the opposite of what God had ordained if He wished to make it so. Bodin extended Ockham's argument to earthly sovereigns, who do not (...) (he argued) have to obey civil law. However, Bodin undermined his absolutism by maintaining that civil law has to be consistent with natural and divine law. Hobbes more consistently argued that while mortal sovereigns are accountable to God, the power of sovereigns to command is not subject to moral constraints. Underlying Ockham's view of God's sovereignty, and Bodin's and Hobbes's view of earthly sovereigns, is a notion of the will's unconstrained power. But this notion is self-referentially incoherent. This incoherence, in turn, infects the very notion of sovereignty. (shrink)
This article explores the notion of the Web-extended mind, which is the idea that the technological and informational elements of the Web can sometimes serve as part of the mechanistic substrate that realizes human mental states and processes. It is argued that while current forms of the Web may not be particularly suited to the realization of Web-extended minds, new forms of user interaction technology as well as new approaches to information representation do provide promising new opportunities for Web-based forms (...) of cognitive extension. In addition, it is suggested that extended cognitive systems often rely on the emergence of social practices and conventions that shape how a technology is used. Web-extended minds may thus depend on forms of socio-technical co-evolution in which social forces and factors play just as important a role as do the processes of technology design and development. (shrink)
Using astrology as a case study, this paper attempts to establish a criterion for demarcating science from pseudoscience. Numerous reasons for considering astrology to be a pseudoscience are evaluated and rejected; verifiability and falsifiability are briefly discussed. A theory is said to be pseudoscientific if and only if (1) it has been less progressive than alternative theories over a long period of time, and faces many unsolved problems, but (2) the community of practitioners makes little attempt to develop the theory (...) towards solutions of the problems, shows no concern for attempts to evaluate the theory in relation to others, and is selective in considering confirmations and disconfirmations. This criterion has the interesting consequence that a theory can be scientific at one time but pseudoscientific at another. (shrink)
Substantially revised to include a wealth of new material, the second edition of this highly acclaimed work provides a concise, coherent introduction that brings structure to an increasingly fragmented and amorphous discipline. Paul R. McHugh and Phillip R. Slavney offer an approach that emphasizes psychiatry's unifying concepts while accommodating its diversity. Recognizing that there may never be a single, all-encompassing theory, the book distills psychiatric practice into four explanatory methods: diseases, dimensions of personality, goal-directed behaviors, and life stories. These (...) perspectives, argue the authors, underlie the principles and practice of all psychiatry. With an understanding of these fundamental methods, readers will be equipped to organize and evaluate psychiatric information and to develop a confident approach to practice and research. Praise for the original edition: "This brilliant book illuminates psychiatry more clearly than any other work I know.... This is the best (and the shortest) single volume on psychiatry that anyone could read."-- New England Journal of Medicine "Every psychiatry department, regardless of ideology, should build a course around this... work. Open-mindedness might become fashionable."-- Journal of Clinical Psychiatry "An elegantly reasoned and eloquently written book that enriches our understanding of clinical events.... [It provides] an opportunity to open our eyes to new possibilities."-- Hospital and Community Psychiatry. (shrink)
"Confucianism" presents the history and salient tenets of Confucian thought, and discusses its viability, from both a social and a philosophical point of view, in the modern world. Despite most of the major Confucian texts having been translated into English, there remains a surprising lack of straightforward textbooks on Confucian philosophy in any Western language. Those that do exist are often oriented from the point of view of Western philosophy - or, worse, a peculiar school of thought within Western philosophy (...) - and advance correspondingly skewed interpretations of Confucianism. This book seeks to rectify this situation. It guides readers through the philosophies of the three major classical Confucians: Confucius , Mencius and Xunzi , and concludes with an overview of later Confucian revivals and the standing of Confucianism today. (shrink)
This paper argues that questions concerning the nature of concepts that are central in cognitive psychology are also important to epistemology and that there is more to conceptual change than mere belief revision. Understanding of epistemic change requires appreciation of the complex ways in which concepts are structured and organized and of how this organization can affect belief revision. Following a brief summary of the psychological functions of concepts and a discussion of some recent accounts of what concepts are, I (...) propose a view of concepts as complex computational structures. This account suggests that conceptual change can come in varying degrees, with the most extreme consisting of fundamental conceptual reorganizations. These degrees of conceptual change are illustrated by the development of the concept of an acid. (shrink)
Responding to Randall and Gibson''s (1990) call for more rigorous methodologies in empirically-based ethics research, this paper develops propositions — based on both previous ethics research as well as the larger organizational behavior literature — examining the impact of attitudes, leadership, presence/absence of ethical codes and organizational size on corporate ethical behavior. The results, which come from a mail survey of 149 companies in a major U.S. service industry, indicate that attitudes and organizational size are the best predictors of ethical (...) behavior. Leadership and ethical codes contribute little to predicting ethical behavior. The paper concludes with an assessment of the relevant propositions, as well as a delineation of future research needs. (shrink)
To all appearances, the basic building blocks of reality tend to keep existing unless something intervenes to destroy them. In other words, basic things seem to have existential inertia. But why might this be? This paper considers a number of arguments for and against existential inertia. It discusses arguments inspired by Aquinas, Descartes, and Spinoza, as well as considerations deriving from Occam’s Razor, entropy, and certain views about the nature of time and change.
Since Plato, most philosophers have drawn a sharp line between reason and emotion, assuming that emotions interfere with rationality and have nothing to contribute to good reasoning. In his dialogue the Phaedrus, Plato compared the rational part of the soul to a charioteer who must control his steeds, which correspond to the emotional parts of the soul (Plato 1961, p. 499). Today, scientists are often taken as the paragons of rationality, and scientific thought is generally assumed to be independent of (...) emotional thinking. (shrink)
This edited volume on the thinker, his views on politics and philosophy, and the tensions of his relations with Confucianism (which he derided) is the first of its kind in English.Featuring contributions from specialists in various ...
A few years ago, I wrote on the need for expansion of the environmental areas of bioethics, and covered some of the topics touched on here. Sadly, although it is possible to find some notable exceptions, bioethics does not provide much of an ethical base for considering human-nature relationships. Here I’m not going to deal with these philosophical issues or others about the nature of ethical decision-making. The rapid worsening of the human predicament means that applied ethical issues with a (...) significant environmental connection (what I call “ecoethics”), must be dealt with without waiting for the more interesting theoretical issues to be resolved. I define ecoethics very broadly to deal with dilemmas over a vast range of scales, and believe they now should penetrate virtually all areas of human activities. Ecoethics must struggle with issues of intra-generational (and interperson/group/nation) equity and the dilemmas of discounting by distance (valuing distant persons/events/costs/benefits less than those closer to the observer in physical or mental distance). Ecoethics also deals with the difficult dilemma of inter-generational equity—of discounting the future. That is especially troublesome when actions today can have significant environmental consequences 50 or more generations from now. Here I would like to highlight the ubiquity of those questions and the importance of seeking answers. (shrink)
"Confucianism" presents the history and salient tenets of Confucian thought, and discusses its viability, from both a social and a philosophical point of view, in the modern world. Despite most of the major Confucian texts having been translated into English, there remains a surprising lack of straightforward textbooks on Confucian philosophy in any Western language. Those that do exist are often oriented from the point of view of Western philosophy - or, worse, a peculiar school of thought within Western philosophy (...) - and advance correspondingly skewed interpretations of Confucianism. This book seeks to rectify this situation. It guides readers through the philosophies of the three major classical Confucians: Confucius, Mencius and Xunzi, and concludes with an overview of later Confucian revivals and the standing of Confucianism today. (shrink)
This paper proposes that self-deception results from the emotional coherence of beliefs with subjective goals. We apply the HOTCO computational model of emotional coherence to simulate a rich case of self-deception from Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter.We argue that this model is more psychologically realistic than other available accounts of self-deception, and discuss related issues such as wishful thinking, intention, and the division of the self.
Conceptual combinations range from the utterly mundane to the sublimely creative. Mundane combinations include a myriad of adjective-noun and noun-noun juxtapositions that crop up in everyday speaking and writing, such as blue car, cooked carrots, and radio phone. Creative combinations include some of the most important theoretical constructions in science, such as sound wave, bacterial infection, and natural selection. Both mundane and creative conceptual combinations are essential to our attempts to make sense of the world and people's utterances about it. (...) This paper will show how the various aspects of conceptual combination discussed by Hampton (this volume), Shoben and Gagn. (shrink)
L. J. Savage and I. J. Good have each demonstrated that the expected utility of free information is never negative for a decision maker who updates her degrees of belief by conditionalization on propositions learned for certain. In this paper Good's argument is generalized to show the same result for a decision maker who updates her degrees of belief on the basis of uncertain information by Richard Jeffrey's probability kinematics. The Savage/Good result is shown to be a special case of (...) the more general result. (shrink)
Management theory and practice are facing unprecedented challenges. The lack of sustainability, the increasing inequity, and the continuous decline in societal trust pose a threat to ‘business as usual’. Capitalism is at a crossroad and scholars, practitioners, and policy makers are called to rethink business strategy in light of major external changes. In the following, we review an alternative view of human beings that is based on a renewed Darwinian theory developed by Lawrence and Nohria. We label this alternative view (...) ‘humanistic’ and draw distinctions to current ‘economistic’ conceptions. We then develop the consequences that this humanistic view has for business organizations, examining business strategy, governance structures, leadership forms, and organizational culture. Afterward, we outline the influences of humanism on management in the past and the present, and suggest options for humanism to shape the future of management. In this manner, we will contribute to the discussion of alternative management paradigms that help solve the current crises. (shrink)
Chapter 49 of the Han Feizi, entitled 'Wudu', includes one of the earliest discussions in Chinese history of the concepts of gong and si: Han Fei takes si to mean 'acting in one's own interest'. Gong is simply what opposes si. 'Acting in one's own interest' is not inherently reprehensible in Han Fei's view; but a ruler must remember why ministers propose their policies: they are concerned only with enriching themselves, and look upon the ruler as nothing more than a (...) resource to be exploited in their quest for material aggrandizement. The interests of the ministers and the ruler are diametrically opposed. Ministers hope for a comfortable career; a ruler must weed out the posers in his search for those rare and invaluable adjuvants who are genuinely capable of administering the state. In short, if si is the self-interest of the minister, gong is the self-interest of the ruler. (shrink)
In preparing to address the question posed to the various divisions regarding the extent and character of theoretical and philosophical concerns in the various areas of psychology, I informally solicited input from about 20 Division 14 members. Almost without exception I received the same response: the observation that philosophical issues are not central to the daily activities of most I/O psychologists. After a bit more thought, most were able to identify areas or issues within I/O psychology to which philosophical issues (...) are relevant. In the comments which follow, I will make no attempt to be systematic or complete in presenting the philosophical/theoretical issues facing I/O psychology. I will present examples of different types of issues facing the field. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
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