Carey's book on conceptual change and the accompanying argument that children's biology initially is organized in terms of naïve psychology has sparked a great detail of research and debate. This body of research on children's biology has, however, been almost exclusively been based on urban, majority culture children in the US or in other industrialized nations. The development of folkbiological knowledge may depend on cultural and experiential background. If this is the case, then urban majority culture children may prove to (...) be the exception rather than the rule, because plants and animals do not play a significant role in their everyday life. Urban majority culture children, rural majority culture children, and rural Native American children were given a property projection task based on Carey's original paradigm. Each group produced a unique profile of development. Only urban children showed evidence for early anthropocentrism, suggesting that the co-mingling of psychology and biology may be a product of an impoverished experience with nature. In comparison to urban majority culture children even the youngest rural children generalized in terms of biological affinity. In addition, all ages of Native American children and the older rural majority culture children gave clear evidence of ecological reasoning. These results show that both culture and expertise play a role in the development of folkbiological thought. (shrink)
This paper explores the relevance of the debate about ethical expertise for the practice of clinical ethics. We present definitions, explain three theories of ethical expertise, and identify arguments that have been brought up to either support the concept of ethical expertise or call it into question. Finally, we discuss four theses: the debate is relevant for the practice of clinical ethics in that it (1) improves and specifies clinical ethicists' perception of their expertise; (2) contributes to improving the perception (...) of moral competence of non-ethicists; (3) gives insight into complementary styles of argumentation of ethicists and non-ethicists; and (4) contributes to the awareness of the problem of profession-building of (clinical) ethicists. (shrink)
The topic of this book is 'creation'. It breaks down into discussions of two distinct, but interrelated, questions: what does the universe look like, and what is its origin? The opinions about creation considered by Norbert Samuelson come from the Hebrew scriptures, Greek philosophy, Jewish philosophy, and contemporary physics. His perspective is Jewish, liberal, and philosophical. It is 'Jewish' because the foundation of the discussion is biblical texts interpreted in the light of traditional rabbinic texts. It is 'philosophical' because (...) the subject matter is important in both past and present philosophical texts, and to Jewish philosophy in particular. Finally, it is 'liberal' because the authorities consulted include heterodox as well as orthodox Jewish sources. The ensuing discussion leads to original conclusions about a diversity of topics, including the limits of human reason and religious faith, and the relevance of scientific models to religious doctrine. (shrink)
The moral psychologist Joshua Greene has proposed a number of arguments for the normative significance of empirical research and for the unreliability of deontological intuitions. For these arguments, much hinges on the combination of various components of Greene's research – namely the dual-process theory of moral judgement, ‘personalness’ as a factor in moral decision-making, and his functional understanding of deontology and consequentialism. Incorporating these components, I reconstruct three distinct arguments and show that the Personalness Argument for the claim that empirical (...) research can advance normative ethics and the Combined Argument against deontology are both sound and interesting in themselves. They do not, however, cast doubt on traditional deontology or reserve a specific role for neuroscience. The Indirect Route argument overcomes some of the other arguments’ limitations. It is, however, invalid. I conclude by pointing out the broader philosophical relevance of Greene's arguments as shedding light on second-order morality. (shrink)
The objective of this article is to analyse and compare four methods of ethical case deliberation. These include Clinical Pragmatism, The Nijmegen Method of ethical case deliberation, Hermeneutic dialogue, and Socratic dialogue. The origin of each method will be briefly sketched. Furthermore, the methods as well as the related protocols will be presented. Each method will then be evaluated against the background of those situations in which it is being used. The article aims to show that there is not one (...) ideal method of ethical case deliberation, which fits to all possible kinds of moral problems. Rather, as each of the methods highlights a limited number of morally relevant aspects, each method has its strengths and weaknesses as well. These strengths and weaknesses should be evaluated in relation to different types of situations, for instance moral problems in treatment decisions, moral uneasiness and residue, and the like. The suggestion arrived at on the basis of the findings of this paper is a reasonable methodological plurality. This means that a method can be chosen depending on the type of moral problem to be deliberated upon. At the same time it means, that by means of a method, deliberation should be facilitated. (shrink)
Michel Foucault entwickelt sich gegenwartig zweifellos zu einer der neuen Bezugsgrossen des padagogischen Diskurses: Nach einer langen Phase grosser Widerstande innerhalb der deutschsprachigen Erziehungswissenschaft werden jetzt die ...
Understanding Elias -- Origins of Elias's synthesis -- Norbert Elias and Karl Mannheim -- The civilizing process : the structure of a classic -- Involved detachment : knowledge and self-knowledge in Elias -- The symbol theory : secular humanism as a research programme -- Concluding remarks : the fourth blow to man's narcissism.
This paper discusses “impartiality thought experiments”, i.e., thought experiments that attempt to generate intuitions which are unaffected by personal characteristics such as age, gender or race. We focus on the most prominent impartiality thought experiment, the Veil of Ignorance, and show that both in its original Rawlsian version and in a more generic version, empirical investigations can be normatively relevant in two ways: First, on the assumption that the VOI is effective and robust, if subjects dominantly favor a certain normative (...) judgment behind the VOI this provides evidence in favor of that judgment; if, on the other hand, they do not dominantly favor a judgment this reduces our justification for it. Second, empirical investigations can also contribute to assessing the effectiveness and robustness of the VOI in the first place, thereby supporting or undermining its applications across the board. (shrink)
The idea that thinking is a form of talking to oneself was discussed in classical Greece, analyzed by the Medievals and treated as a central issue by the American pragmatists. But whether inner speech is a language unto itself, distinct from outer language, has not been determined. To this end I ask how Saussure's defining ideas about language apply to inner speech. I show that Saussure's ideas, while partly usable, are mainly a poor fit. Inner speech is a variety of (...) language, or perhaps of dialect, with its own unique structure. Given that it is a unique window into human consciousness, I briefly discuss some of the research areas on which it sheds light. (shrink)
In this article, the question is discussed if and how Healthcare Ethics Committees (HECs) should be regulated. The paper consists of two parts. First, authors from eight EC member countries describe the status quo in their respective countries, and give reasons as to the form of regulation they consider most adequate. In the second part, the country reports are analysed. It is suggested that regulation of HECs should be central and weak. Central regulation is argued to be apt to improve (...) HECs’ accountability, relevance and comparability. To facilitate biomedical citizenship and ethical reflection, regulation should at the same time be weak rather than strict. Independence of HECs to deliberate about ethical questions, and to give solicited and unsolicited advice, should be supported and only interfered with by way of exception. One exception is when circumstances become temporary adversarial to ethical deliberation in healthcare institutions. In view of European unification, steps should be taken to develop consistent policies for both Eastern and Western European countries. (shrink)
Many contemporary ethicists use case-based reasoning to reach consistent beliefs about ethical matters. The idea is that particular cases elicit moral intuitions, which provide defeasible reasons to believe in their content. However, most proponents of case-based moral reasoning are not very explicit about how they resolve inconsistencies and how they abstract principles from judgments about particular cases. The aim of this article is to outline a methodology—called Consistency Reasoning Casuistry—for case-based reasoning in ethics. This methodology draws on Richmond Campbell and (...) Victor Kumar’s naturalistic model for the resolution of inconsistencies between the content of intuitions about particular cases. I argue that reasons similar to those that motivate their model also support a more abstract form of moral reasoning that goes beyond mere resolutions of inconsistencies between case judgments and demands the formulation of more abstract moral norms. Consistency Reasoning Casuistry, it is argued, is a good candidate for a methodology for case-based moral reasoning that is in harmony with paradigms of contemporary moral psychology and that can accommodate the methodology implicit in the work of many contemporary ethicists. (shrink)
Anwander questions "the role that Pogge assigns to benefiting from injustice in the determination of our duties toward the victims of injustice... challenging his claim that there is a negative duty not to benefit from injustice.".
What should we do if climate change or global injustice require radical policy changes not supported by the majority of citizens? And what if science shows that the lacking support is largely due to shortcomings in citizens’ individual psychology such as cognitive biases that lead to temporal and geographical parochialism? Could then a plausible case for enhancing the morality of the electorate—even against their will –be made? But can a democratic government manipulate the will of the people without losing democratic (...) legitimacy? This paper explores the problems that governmental manipulation of voters pose for democratic legitimacy and the tensions between non-manipulated input and morally acceptable output. These venerable issues of political theory resurface in light of recent suggestions to tackle today’s global mega-problems by Ingmar Persson and Julian Savulescu. They suggest that to avert the looming catastrophe, governments should alter psychological traits of the citizenry through biomedical means, from pharmaceuticals to genetics. However, we argue that a government cannot rule with democratic legitimacy if elected by a will of the people it manipulated before. Normatively, conferring power from the governed onto governors is a one-directional relation that is incompatible with manipulation. But while it is tempting to rebut suggestions to morally enhance the people as antithetical to essential ideas of democracy, swift rebuttals tend to overlook the deeper challenge: Majoritarian decision-making may lead to inacceptable outcomes. The dilemma between input and output runs through major works in political theory. Rather than wishfully ignoring the dangers of democracy, democratic theory has to provide answers. (shrink)
This article argues that the life-works of Norbert Elias and Franz Borkenau can best be understood together, as they were developed in close interaction during the 1930s. Deriving inspiration from Freud, they took up the project formulated by Weber at the end of his `Anticritical Last Word'. However, in two significant respects they went beyond the Weberian problematics. First, overcoming the centrality attributed to economic concerns, they rooted the Western civilizing process in the long-term attempt to harness the violence (...) that was escalated by the emergence and then collapse of the Roman Empire. Second, they emphasized the crucial importance of periods of transition that follow an overall dissolution of order and mark the possible future course of events. (shrink)
This article challenges E.P. Thompson's definition of ‘moral economy’ as a traditional consensus of crowd rights that were swept away by market forces. Instead, it suggests that the concept has the potential of improving the understanding of modern civil society. Moral economy was a term invented in the eighteenth century to describe many things. Thompson's approach reflects only a minor part of this conceptual history. His understanding of moral economy is conditioned by a dichotomous view of history and by the (...) acceptance of a model according to which modern economy is not subject to moral concerns. It is on principle problematic to confine a term conjoining two concepts as general as ‘moral’ and ‘economy’ to a specific historical and social setting. Recent approaches that frame moral economy as an emotively defined order of morals are also misleading since they do not address economic issues in the way they are commonly understood. The most promising current approaches appear to be those that consider t.. (shrink)
This paper deals with the question of the logicality of modal logics from a proof-theoretic perspective. It is argued that if Dos̆en’s analysis of logical constants as punctuation marks is embraced, it is possible to show that all the modalities in the cube of normal modal logics are indeed logical constants. It will be proved that the display calculus for each displayable modality admits a purely structural presentation based on double-line rules which, following Dos̆en’s analysis, allows us to claim that (...) the corresponding modal operators are logical constants. (shrink)
This article elaborates on the relation between ethical casuistry and common law reasoning. Despite the frequent talk of casuistry as common law morality, remarks on this issue largely remain at the purely metaphorical level. The article outlines and scrutinizes Albert Jonsen and Stephen Toulmin’s version of casuistry and its basic elements. Drawing lessons for casuistry from common law reasoning, it is argued that one generally has to be faithful to ethical paradigms. There are, however, limitations for the binding force of (...) paradigms. The most important limitations—the possibilities of overruling and distinguishing paradigm norms—are similar in common law and in casuistry, or so it is argued. These limitations explain why casuistry is not necessarily overly conservative and conventional, which is one line of criticism to which casuists can now better respond. Another line of criticism has it that the very reasoning from case to case is extremely unclear in casuistry. I suggest a certain model of analogical reasoning to address this critique. All my suggestions to understand and to enhance casuistry make use of common law reasoning whilst remaining faithful to Jonsen and Toulmin’s main ideas and commitments. Further developed along these lines, casuistry can appropriately be called “common law morality.”. (shrink)
Over 90% of the organs transplanted in China before 2010 were procured from prisoners. Although Chinese officials announced in December 2014 that the country would completely cease using organs harvested from prisoners, no regulatory adjustments or changes in China’s organ donation laws followed. As a result, the use of prisoner organs remains legal in China if consent is obtained. We have collected and analysed available evidence on human rights violations in the organ procurement practice in China. We demonstrate that the (...) practice not only violates international ethics standards, it is also associated with a large scale neglect of fundamental human rights. This includes organ procurement without consent from prisoners or their families as well as procurement of organs from incompletely executed, still-living prisoners. The human rights critique of these practices will also address the specific situatedness of prisoners, often conditioned and traumatized by a cascade of human rights abuses in judicial structures. To end the unethical practice and the abuse associated with it, we suggest to inextricably bind the use of human organs procured in the Chinese transplant system to enacting Chinese legislation prohibiting the use of organs from executed prisoners and making explicit rules for law enforcement. Other than that, the international community must cease to abet the continuation of the present system by demanding an authoritative ban on the use of organs from executed Chinese prisoners. (shrink)
In 1826, Joseph Diez Gergonne, who founded the Annales de mathématiques pures et appliquées in 1810 in Nîmes , wrote to W.H. Talbot. In his letters, he spoke about the others journals of mathematics. We will study these journals of mathematics in the first part of the nineteenth century in Europe. We will study their dynamic of transmission, their public, the leading role of the first editors of mathematics: Gergonne, Garnier and Quetelet, Crelle, Liouville, Robert Leslie Ellis and Thomson, etc. (...) We will do an history of mathematical Europe through its first journals.RésuméEn 1826, Joseph Diez Gergonne, le fondateur des Annales de mathématiques pures et appliquées en 1810 à Nîmes , écrit à W.H. Talbot. Dans ses lettres, il évoque les autres journaux mathématiques. Dans cet article, nous étudierons ces « premiers » journaux de mathématiques de la première moitié du XIXe siècle, en Europe. Nous étudions leur dynamique éditoriale, leur public et le rôle des premiers patrons de presse : Gergonne, Garnier et Quetelet, Crelle, Liouville, Robert Leslie Ellis et Thomson, etc. Il s’agit donc d’étudier une Europe mathématique en construction par le biais de ses journaux. (shrink)