I propose a taxonomy of arguments for the existence of God and survey those categories of arguments I identify as nontraditional. I conclude with two general observations about theistic arguments, followed by suggestions for going forward.
I argue that Social Trinitarians can and should conceive of God as a group person. They can by drawing on recent theories of group agency realism that show how groups can be not just agents but persons distinct from their members—albeit, I argue, persons of a different kind. They should because the resultant, novel view of the Trinity—that God is three ‘intrinsicist’ persons in one ‘functional’ person—is theologically sound, effectively counters the most trenchant criticisms of Social Trinitarianism, and enjoys independent (...) theological support from the Biblical notion of ‘corporate personality.’. (shrink)
Background: Priority setting is necessary in current healthcare services. Discussion of fair process has highlighted the value of developing reasons for allocation decisions on the basis of experience gained from real cases.Aim: To identify the reasons that those with experience of real decision-making concerning resource allocation think relevant in deciding on the priority of a new but expensive drug treatment.Methods: Semistructured interviews with members of committees with responsibility for making resource allocation decisions at a local level in the British National (...) Health Service, analysed using modified grounded theory.Results: 22 interviews were carried out. 14 reasons were identified. Four reasons were almost universally considered most important: cost effectiveness; clinical effectiveness; equality and gross cost. No one reason was considered dominant. Some considerations, such as political directives and fear of litigation, were thought by many participants to distort decision-making. There was a substantial lack of agreement over the relevance of some reasons, such as the absence of alternative treatment for the condition.Conclusions: There is a clear consensus on the importance and role of a limited number of reasons in allocation decisions among participants. A focus on the process of decision-making, however, does not obviate the need for those involved in the process to engage with problematical ethical issues, nor for the importance of further ethical analysis. (shrink)
This article shows how two concepts for which Blaise Pascal'sPensées are best known—divertissementandennui—inherited and transformed medical conceptions of melancholy along with one of melancholy's signature therapeutic protocols: diversion. Instead of limiting the genealogy of Pascal's concepts to more obvious textual sources, here they are read against the background of an epistemological paradigm dominant in his time: Galenic medicine. Drawing on a large corpus of early modern French medical texts, this article discloses how melancholy, stripped of its overt medical status, remerges (...) in Pascal's analysis of subjectivity, which valorized melancholicennuiagainst the values of a nascent civil society subservient to the monarchic order. Once used to describe outlying temperaments and exceptional pathologies, the discourse on melancholy becomes fundamental to the human being per se in Pascal's theological and anthropological perspective. Thus transformed, the older forms of melancholy and its remedies ensured the possibility of their survival—disguised and unrecognized—in modern theories of subjectivity and psychology. Understanding melancholy's latent presence in thePensées, in other words, sheds new light on the affective aspects of Pascal's social critique and invites us to investigate the modern afterlife of early modern melancholy. (shrink)
The purpose of this research is to examine the effect of two organizational variables, budget goal difficulty and promotion availability, on employee fraud. Limited research shows that difficult, specific goals result in more unethical behavior than general goals :422–432, 2004). We predict that goal difficulty and promotion availability will interact to affect employee fraud. Specifically, we contend that the availability of promotions will have little, if any, effect on employee fraud under easy goals but have a substantial effect on fraud (...) under extremely difficult goals. To test this prediction, we use an experiment in which participants play the role of production employees. All participants are assigned cost goals and are responsible for reporting costs to the organization. Information asymmetry exists such that the organization is unable to assess whether costs have been reported accurately, and any overstatement of costs directly increases the employee’s compensation at the expense of the organization. The results of our experiment support the prediction, even though the cost goal is not tied to current period compensation. Our results have implications for academics and practitioners concerned with factors that affect fraud in organizations. (shrink)
This ambitious book presents a new interpretation of Chinese thought guided both by a philosopher's sense of mystery and by a sound philosophical theory of meaning. That dual goal, Hansen argues, requires a unified translation theory. It must provide a single coherent account of the issues that motivated both the recently untangled Chinese linguistic analysis and the familiar moral-political disputes. Hansen's unified approach uncovers a philosophical sophistication in Daoism that traditional accounts have overlooked. The Daoist theory treats the imperious intuitionism (...) that alienates critical thinkers as a feature of Confucianism alone. Freed from the view that Confucianism is the core of Chinese thought and from myopic Confucian interpretations, Chinese thinkers emerge as unmistakably philosophical. (shrink)
The special composition question is the question, ‘When do some things compose something?’ The answers to this question in the literature have largely been at odds with common sense, either by allowing that any two things compose something, or by denying the existence of most ordinary composite objects. I propose a new ‘series-style’ answer to the special composition question that accords much more closely with common sense, and I defend this answer from van Inwagen's objections. Specifically, I will argue that (...) the proposed answer entails the transitivity of parthood, that it is non-circular, and that it casts some light on the ancient puzzle about the Ship of Theseus. (shrink)
Would the existence of extraterrestrial intelligent life conflict in any way with Christian belief? We identify six areas of potential conflict. If there be no conflict in any of these areas—and we argue ultimately there is not—we are confident in declaring that there is no conflict, period. This conclusion underwrites the integrity of theological explorations into the existence of ETI, which has become a topic of increasing interest among theologians in recent years.
I argue that beliefs about what appears possible are justified in much the same way as beliefs about what appears actual. I do so by chisholming, and then modalizing, the epistemic principle associated with phenomenal conservatism. The principle is tested against a number of examples, and it gives the intuitively correct results. I conclude by considering how it can be used to defend two controversial modal arguments, a Cartesian argument for dualism and an ontological argument for the existence of God.
I will argue that internalism about justification entails the apparently absurd conclusion that it is possible to know specific facts about the external world—for example, that there is a tree in the quad—on the basis of introspection and a priori reflection. After a brief characterization of internalism (§1), I will set out the problem (§2). I will then discuss three replies: one that denies the form of doxastic voluntarism involved in the problem (§3), one that denies that knowledge of higher-order (...) facts about justification can justify corresponding first-order beliefs (§4), and, finally, one that involves biting the bullet (§5). I will argue that each reply fails. (shrink)
Our view is that the folk concept of knowing how is more complicated than many epistemologists assume. We present four studies that go some way towards supporting our view—that the folk concept of knowledge-how is a philosophical hybrid, comprising both intellectualist and anti-intellectualist features. One upshot is, if we are going to award a presumptive status to philosophical theories of know-how that best accord with the folk concept, it ought to go to those that combine intellectualist and anti-intellectualist elements.
Many philosophers have appealed to the PSR in arguments for a being that exists a se, a being whose explanation is in itself. But what does it mean, exactly, for something to have its explanation ‘in itself’? Contemporary philosophers have said next to nothing about this, relying instead on phrases plucked from the accounts of various historical figures. In this article, I analyse five such accounts – those of Anselm, Aquinas, Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz – and argue that none are (...) satisfactory. Should we abandon or restrict the PSR, then? I think that would be hasty, for many reasons. I therefore consider the prospects of explaining everything, including God, given the constraints of certain features of good explanations, and conclude with several observations about future approaches. (shrink)
This paper will begin with an explication of the central tenets of Nussbaum’s capabilities theory. The next section examines Nussbaum’s two-fold justification of capabilities; namely, the substantive good approach (or intuitionism), which serves as the primary justification, and a version of Kantian proceduralism, which provides ancillary support. The following section focuses on Jaggar’s critique of Nussbaum. Here, I will discuss three criteria of adequacy for a global ethic and their importance, why we should accept them and how both of Nussbaum’s (...) justification strategies fail to satisfy them. In the fifth section, I propose a version of discourse ethics as an alternative justification for capabilities that can satisfy the adequacy discerned from Jaggar’s critique. This account of discourse ethics reveals that intersubjective dialogue under certain conditions is more likely to provide adequate justification of capabilities, and those engaged in dialogue are also likely to develop practical reason and affiliation. So this method of justification does not merely ground the capabilities, but helps people realize them. Finally, the sixth section presents an example from the Self-Employed Women’s Association as a real-life case illustrating how this version of discourse ethics can be manifested. (shrink)
Politics, Philosophy & Economics, Volume 21, Issue 2, Page 165-189, May 2022. It is generally acknowledged that a certain amount of state intervention in health and health care is needed to address the significant market failures in these sectors; however, it is also thought that the primary rationale for state involvement in health must lie elsewhere, for example in an egalitarian commitment to equalizing access to health care for all citizens. This paper argues that a complete theory of justice in (...) health can be derived from a commitment to correcting market failure, or in other words promoting Pareto-efficiency, in the domain of health. This approach can address familiar problems around access to care, as well as problems related to resource allocation and rationing, the control of health care costs, and the foundations of public health. Egalitarian theories of justice in health cannot make sense of the depth and pervasiveness of state involvement in health and health care; only a theory rooted in the need to correct market failure can. (shrink)
The question I wish to explore is this: Does idealism conflict with common sense? Unfortunately, the answer I give may seem like a rather banal one: It depends. What do we mean by ‘idealism’ and ‘common sense?’ I distinguish three main varieties of idealism: absolute idealism, Berkeleyan idealism, and dualistic idealism. After clarifying what is meant by common sense, I consider whether our three idealisms run afoul of it. The first does, but the latter two don’t. I conclude that while (...) Moore’s famous common sense critique is sound against external world skepticism, against Berkeleyan idealism and dualist idealism it is unavailing. (shrink)
In his book Das Recht der Freiheit, Axel Honneth develops a theory of social justice that incorporates negative, reflexive and social forms of freedom as well as the institutional conditions necessary for their reproduction. This account enables the identification of social pathologies or systemic normative deficits that frustrate individual efforts to relate their actions reflexively to a normative order and inhibits their ability to recognize the freedom of others as a condition of their own. In this article I utilize Honneth’s (...) theory in the diagnosis of a contemporary social pathology, which impedes social recognition and thereby contributes to social injustice. I argue that this particular social pathology – associated with the Second Amendment right to bear arms – has given rise to a pernicious form of subjectivity, which I call self-defensive. I conclude with some remarks concerning what this application reveals about the strengths and weaknesses of Honneth’s account. (shrink)
It is argued that core areas of philosophy can benefit from reflection on cross-disciplinary research (CDR). We start by giving a brief account of CDR, describing its variability and some of the ways in which philosophers can interact with it. We then provide an argument in principle for the conclusion that CDR is philosophically fecund, arguing that since CDR highlights fundamental differences among disciplinary research worldviews, it can be used to motivate new philosophical problems and supply new insights into old (...) problems. We close by providing an argument by example that uses the epistemology of peer disagreement to establish the potential of CDR for core philosophical areas. With this argument, we aim to demonstrate how the complex research contexts that CDR affords can point the way toward important avenues of epistemological research by highlighting potential limitations of key epistemological components, such as peerage and uniqueness. (shrink)
This article argues that the Homeric scholia preserve the title of a lost monograph by the second-century BC Alexandrian scholar Aristarchus on the date of Hesiod¿s life. Apparent references to the contents of this monograph occur in the Homeric as well as the Hesiodic scholia, and demonstrate that Aristarchus compared the works of the two poets and concluded that Hesiod had lived sometime near 700 BC.
The prevailing normative model of contemporary journalism, drawn primarily from a liberal enlightenment tradition emphasizing universal notions of rights, contributes to what many perceive as a crisis in contemporary journalism; at the least, Kantian models are too "thin" to provide an adequate ethical standard. We consider the extent to which an ethic of care, reconceived to address weaknesses identified in recent scholarly critiques, provides journalists with an alternative framework for moral decision making. We use the concept of unequal ethical pull (...) to rework caring and to promote caring for distant others because caring that remains at the personal level is inadequate as a moral value. We conclude by noting that public journalism and our retooled ethic of care share several important ideals. We suggest a program of mutually beneficial exploration, one that might help today's journalists cultivate the virtue of care as they work toward justice. (shrink)
A standard conception of metaphysical modality accepts that Some de re modal claims are true, These should be understood in terms of a possible worlds semantics, and There is trans-world identity. For instance, it seems true that Humphrey could have won the election. In possible worlds speak, we say that there exists a possible world where Humphrey wins the election. Furthermore, had that possibility been actualized instead of this one, Humphrey—our Humphrey, the very same man—would still have existed. Here, I (...) argue that this way of understanding de re modal claims, in conjunction with certain other plausible assumptions, entails that The World is a necessary being. (shrink)
The paper presents an approach for developing multi-agent reinforcement learning systems that are made up of a coalition of modular agents. We focus on learning to segment sequences (sequential decision tasks) to create modular structures, through a bidding process that is based on reinforcements received during task execution. The approach segments sequences (and divides them up among agents) to facilitate the learning of the overall task. Notably, our approach does not rely on a priori knowledge or a priori structures. Initial (...) experiments demonstrated the basic promise of the approach. This work shows how bidding and reinforcement learning can be usefully combined, thus pointing to a new research direction. (shrink)