This article explores the implications of Bernhard Waldenfels’s responsive phenomenology for the discipline of cultural anthropology or ethnology, insofar as it understands itself as the “science of the culturally Other”. It discusses Waldenfels’s own engagement with ethnology and shows the compatibility of his approach with discussions within the discipline. The intertwining of ownness and alienness that is central to Waldenfels’s account of experience is applied to the problem of culture in ethnology. This leads to an acknowledgement of a domain (...) between cultures, a genuine interculturality, as the fundamental field of ethnological research, which, however, can only be addressed through indirect forms of representation. Such forms are identified in the practice of ethnographic citation, and through a reinterpretation of Horace Miner’s classical satire “Body Ritual among the Nacirema”, thus demonstrating the possibility of a prospective “responsive ethnology”. (shrink)
Egoism and altruism are unequal contenders in the explanation of human behaviour. While egoism tends to be viewed as natural and unproblematic, altruism has always been treated with suspicion, and it has often been argued that apparent cases of altruistic behaviour might really just be some special form of egoism. The reason for this is that egoism fits into our usual theoretical views of human behaviour in a way that altruism does not. This is true on the biological level, where (...) an evolutionary account seems to favour egoism, as well as on the psychological level, where an account of self-interested motivation is deeply rooted in folk psychology and in the economic model of human behaviour. While altruism has started to receive increasing support in both biological and psychological debates over the last decades, this paper focuses on yet another level, where egoism is still widely taken for granted. Philosophical egoism is the view that, on the ultimate level of intentional explanation, all action is motivated by one of the agent's desires. This view is supported by the standard notion that for a complex of behaviour to be an action, there has to be a way to account for that behaviour in terms of the agent's own pro-attitudes. Psychological altruists, it is claimed, are philosophical egoists in that they are motivated by desires that have the other's benefit rather than the agent's own for its ultimate object. This paper casts doubt on this thesis, arguing that empathetic agents act on other people's pro-attitudes in very much the same way as agents usually act on their own, and that while other-directed desires do play an important role in many cases of psychologically altruistic action, they are not necessary in explanations of some of the most basic and most pervasive types of human altruistic behaviour. The paper concludes with the claim that philosophical egoism is really a cultural value rather than a conceptual feature of action. (shrink)
I. The Confrontation of Terror and Play: An Intellectual-Historical Constellation in Early West Germany In September 1968, a conference took place in the castle of the town of Rheda , remote from German intellectual centers. Boasting illustrious names from the German history of ideas, such as Jean Bollack, Hans Robert Jauss, Wolfgang Iser, Hans Blumenberg, and Manfred Fuhrmann, this gathering of twenty-eight highly renowned scholars appears, in retrospect, to be one of the more memorable events in the intellectual history of (...) the Federal Republic of Germany. It had a lasting impact on German research in the fields…. (shrink)
Some types of solar radiation management (SRM) research are ethically problematic because they expose persons, animals, and ecosystems to significant risks. In our earlier work, we argued for ethical norms for SRM research based on norms for biomedical research. Biomedical researchers may not conduct research on persons without their consent, but universal consent is impractical for SRM research. We argue that instead of requiring universal consent, ethical norms for SRM research require only political legitimacy in decision-making about global SRM trials. (...) Using Allen Buchanan & Robert Keohane's model of global political legitimacy, we examine several existing global institutions as possible analogues for a politically legitimate SRM decision-making body. (shrink)
Climate engineering (CE), the intentional modification of the climate in order to reduce the effects of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, is sometimes touted as a potential response to climate change. Increasing interest in the topic has led to proposals for empirical tests of hypothesized CE techniques, which raise serious ethical concerns. We propose three ethical guidelines for CE researchers, derived from the ethics literature on research with human and animal subjects, applicable in the event that CE research progresses beyond computer (...) modeling. The Principle of Respect requires that the scientific community secure the global public's consent, voiced through their governmental representatives, before beginning any empirical research. The Principle of Beneficence and Justice requires that researchers strive for a favorable risk–benefit ratio and a fair distribution of risks and anticipated benefits, all while protecting the basic rights of affected individuals. Finally, the Minimization Principle requires that researchers minimize the extent and intensity of each experiment by ensuring that no experiments last longer, cover a greater geographical extent, or have a greater impact on the climate, ecosystem, or human welfare than is necessary to test the specific hypotheses in question. Field experiments that might affect humans or ecosystems in significant ways should not proceed until a full discussion of the ethics of CE research occurs and appropriate institutions for regulating such experiments are established. (shrink)
Bernhard Nickel presents a theory of generic sentences and the kind-directed modes of thought they express. The theory closely integrates compositional semantics with metaphysics to solve the problem that generics pose: what do generics mean? Generic sentences are extremely simple, yet if there are patterns to be discerned in terms of which are true and which are false, these patterns are subtle and complex. Ravens are black, and lions have manes: statistical measures cannot do justice to the facts, but (...) what else is there that has a hope of giving us insight into what we are capturing across so many domains? Nickel argues that generics are the top of a fundamentally explanatory iceberg, and that this explanatory framework is deeply intertwined with the semantics of the language we use to express them. In providing an integrated semantic and metaphysical theory of generics, he aims to solve old puzzles and draw attention to new phenomena. (shrink)
Introduction : facets of the alien -- The human as a liminal being -- Between pathos and response -- Response to the alien -- Corporeal experience between selfhood and otherness -- Thresholds of attention -- Between cultures.
Suppose you’d like to believe that p, whether or not it’s true. What can you do to help? A natural initial thought is that you could engage in Intentionally Biased Inquiry : you could look into whether p, but do so in a way that you expect to predominantly yield evidence in favour of p. This paper hopes to do two things. The first is to argue that this initial thought is mistaken: intentionally biased inquiry is impossible. The second is (...) to show that reflections on intentionally biased inquiry strongly support a controversial ‘access’ principle which states that, for all p, if p is part of our evidence, then that p is part of our evidence is itself part of our evidence. (shrink)
Epistemologists have recently noted a tension between (i) denying access internalism, and (ii) maintaining that rational agents cannot be epistemically akratic, believing claims akin to ‘p, but I shouldn’t believe p’. I bring out the tension, and develop a new way to resolve it. The basic strategy is to say that access internalism is false, but that counterexamples to it are ‘elusive’ in a way that prevents rational agents from suspecting that they themselves are counterexamples to the internalist principles. I (...) argue that this allows us to do justice to the motivations behind both (i) and (ii). And I explain in some detail what a view of evidence that implements this strategy, and makes it independently plausible, might look like. (shrink)
How Technologies of Imaging are Shaping Clinical Research and Practice in Neurology Content Type Journal Article Category Past & Present Pages 315-328 DOI 10.1007/s12376-010-0037-1 Authors Nicolas Kopp, Hôpital de l’HotelDieu Lyon University Hospitals, EspaceEthique Inter-régional 69288 Lyon, Cedex 02 France Journal Medicine Studies Online ISSN 1876-4541 Print ISSN 1876-4533 Journal Volume Volume 1 Journal Issue Volume 1, Number 4.
In opposition to traditional forms of dualism and monism, the author holds that our bodily self includes certain aspects of otherness. This is shown concerning the phenomenological issues of intentionality, of self-awareness and of intersubjectivity, by emphasizing the dimension of pathos. We are affected by what happens to us before being able to respond to it by acts or actions. Every sense, myself and others are born out of pathos. The original alienness of our own body, including neurological processes, creates (...) shifting degrees of nearness and remoteness, and allows for pathological deviations such as depersonalisation, paranoia or trauma. Such a phenomenology of body crosses the borderlines of different disciplines. (shrink)
Traditional approaches to human information processing tend to deal with perception and action planning in isolation, so that an adequate account of the perception-action interface is still missing. On the perceptual side, the dominant cognitive view largely underestimates, and thus fails to account for, the impact of action-related processes on both the processing of perceptual information and on perceptual learning. On the action side, most approaches conceive of action planning as a mere continuation of stimulus processing, thus failing to account (...) for the goal-directedness of even the simplest reaction in an experimental task. We propose a new framework for a more adequate theoretical treatment of perception and action planning, in which perceptual contents and action plans are coded in a common representational medium by feature codes with distal reference. Perceived events (perceptions) and to-be-produced events (actions) are equally represented by integrated, task-tuned networks of feature codes – cognitive structures we call event codes. We give an overview of evidence from a wide variety of empirical domains, such as spatial stimulus-response compatibility, sensorimotor synchronization, and ideomotor action, showing that our main assumptions are well supported by the data. Key Words: action planning; binding; common coding; event coding; feature integration; perception; perception-action interface. (shrink)
Sometimes changes in an agent's partial values can cast a positive light on an earlier action, which was wrong when it was performed. Based on independent reflections about the role of partiality in determining when blame is appropriate, I argue that in such cases the agent shouldn't feel remorse about her action and that others can't legitimately blame her for it, even though that action was wrong. The action thus receives a certain kind of retrospective justification.
The status of the knowledge iteration principles in the account provided by Lewis in “Elusive Knowledge” is disputed. By distinguishing carefully between what in the account describes the contribution of the attributor’s context and what describes the contribution of the subject’s situation, we can resolve this dispute in favour of Holliday’s claim that the iteration principles are rendered invalid. However, that is not the end of the story. For Lewis’s account still predicts that counterexamples to the negative iteration principle ) (...) come out as elusive: such counterexamples can occur only in possibilities which the attributors of knowledge are ignoring. This consequence is more defensible than it might look at first sight. (shrink)
The application of evolutionary perspectives to analyzing sex differences in aggressive behavior and dominance hierarchies has been found useful in multiple areas. We draw attention to the parallel of gender differences in the worsening health status of restructuring societies. Drastic socio-economic changes are interpreted as examples of hierarchy disruption, having differential psychological and behavioral impact on women and men, and leading to different changes in health status.
Electronic technologies, in general, and computer-oriented technologies specifically have had a tremendous impact on all aspects of business. One area of increased concern is the protection of intellectual properties -- notably copyrights -- within the boundaries of the broadly defined technology industry. While the ability to share copyrighted information has always existed at the most basic levels, the advent of the information age has allowed the sharing of this information to take place in potentially greater quantities and without a loss (...) of quality. As such, copying creates a major threat to industries dealing in the production and distribution of copyrightable creations. The focus of this paper is to better understand how the ethical judgments of employees regarding the opportunities to recreate copyrighted works via traditional and newer technologies impact assessments of copying behavior in the workplace. (shrink)
This chapter covers the traditional role of responsibility, and the possible connections between response and responsibility. These connections are explored through the advance of trust and the surplus of the extraordinary in relation to the Third Party. The idea of responsibility comes from the sphere of juridical law, and has a theological touch. The classical conception presented suffers from a permanent erosion that is reinforced by systemic constraints. Trust is a natural element of every community that is together applied by (...) common aims in life. The phenomenon of trust refers to the bond, the nexus, which holds together the members of a community, creating the requisite solidarity. The term ‘trust’ or ‘confidence’ should not primarily read as a substantive, but as a verb or as the derivative of a verb. Furthermore, it is noted that the responsive ethics proposed could function as a permanent corrective. (shrink)
I contrast two approaches to the interpretation of generics such as ‘ravens are black:’ majority-based views, on which they are about what is the case most of the time, and inquiry-based views, on which they are about a feature we focus on in inquiry. I argue that majority-based views face far more systematic counterexamples than has previously been supposed. They cannot account for generics about kinds with multiple characteristic properties, such as ‘elephants live in Africa and Asia.’ I then go (...) on to sketch an inquiry-based view. (shrink)