The essays collected in this volume address a range of issues that arise when the focus of philosophical reflection on identity is shifted from metaphysical to practical and evaluative concerns. They also explore the usefulness of the notion of narrative for articulating and responding to these issues. The chapters, written by an outstanding roster of international scholars, address a range of complex philosophical issues concerning the relationship between practical and metaphysical identity, the embodied dimensions of the first-personal perspective, the kind (...) of reflexive agency involved in the self-constitution of one’s practical identity, the relationship between practical identity and normativity, and the temporal dimensions of identity and selfhood. In addressing these issues, contributors engage with debates in the literatures on personal identity, phenomenology, moral psychology, action theory, normative ethical theory, and feminist philosophy. (shrink)
The distinction between essential versus accidental properties has been characterized in various ways, but it is currently most commonly understood in modal terms: an essential property of an object is a property that it must have, while an accidental property of an object is one that it happens to have but that it could lack. Let’s call this the basic modal characterization, where a modal characterization of a notion is one that explains the notion in terms of necessity/possibility. In the (...) characterization just given of the distinction between essential and accidental properties, the use of the word “must” reflects the fact that necessity is invoked, while the use of the word “could” reflects that possibility is invoked. The notions of necessity and possibility are interdefinable: to say that something is necessary is to say that its negation is not possible; to say that something is possible is to say that its negation is not necessary; to say that an object must have a certain property is to say that it could not lack it; and to say that an object could have a certain property is to say that it is not the case that it must lack it. (shrink)
The orthodox view in contemporary epistemology is that Edmund Gettier refuted the JTB analysis of knowledge, according to which knowledge is justified true belief. In a recent paper Moti Mizrahi questions the orthodox view. According to Mizrahi, the cases that Gettier advanced against the JTB analysis are misleading. In this paper I defend the orthodox view.
Suspended judgment poses a serious problem for Russellianism. In this paper I examine several possible solutions to this problem and argue that none of them is satisfactory. Then I sketch a new solution. According to this solution, suspended judgment should be understood as a sui generis propositional attitude. By this I mean that it cannot be reduced to, or explained in terms of, other propositional attitudes, such as belief. Since suspended judgment is sui generis in this sense, sentences that ascribe (...) this attitude to someone should not be analyzed in terms of other attitude ascriptions, such as belief ascriptions. Instead they should be understood as involving a semantically primitive predicate, corresponding to the state of suspended judgment. (shrink)
Ethicists generally agree that there are supererogatory acts, which are morally good, but not morally obligatory. It is sometimes claimed that, in addition to supererogatory acts, there are suberogatory acts, which are morally bad, but not morally impermissible. According to Julia Driver (1992), the distinction between impermissible acts and suberogatory acts is legitimate and unjustly neglected by ethicists. She argues that certain cases are best explained in terms of the suberogatory. Hallie Rose Liberto (2012) denies the suberogatory on the grounds (...) that Driver's cases can be explained without invoking it. In order to make good on this claim, Liberto suggests an account of moral impermissibility that purportedly eliminates the need to posit suberogatory acts. We defend the suberogatory. Our defense is twofold. First, we argue that Liberto's account of moral impermissibility is dubious. Second, we attempt to show that it is possible to construct an argument against the supererogatory that is exactly analogous to Liberto's argument against the suberogatory. The upshot is that if the suberogatory is denied for the reasons that Liberto suggests, then the supererogatory should be denied as well. Few ethicists, however, are willing to deny the supererogatory. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThose who take ‘All lives matter’ to oppose ‘Black lives matter’ take the latter to mean something like ‘Only black lives matter.’ Those who regard this exclusionary construal as mistaken hold the error to be due to an ideology of color-blindness. It has further been argued that the ideologically-motivated suppression of racial discourse has resulted in an epistemic injustice, blinding objectors to the fact that ‘Black lives matter’ really means ‘Black lives matter, too’. I will argue that attempts to make (...) sense of this interpretive response in terms of color-blindness are mistaken. As I will discuss, the interpretive debates surrounding the words ‘Black lives matter’ are reminiscent of those surrounding ‘Black Power,’ which unfolded long before color-blindness could be said to have been a prevailing ethos. Critical affirmations such as ‘Black Power’ and ‘Black lives matter’ have proved difficult for many interpreters to understand because of the way that they manifest resistance to white suprema... (shrink)
Contemporary discussions of skepticism often frame the skeptic’s argument around an instance of the closure principle. Roughly, the closure principle states that if a subject knows p, and knows that p entails q, then the subject knows q. The main contention of this paper is that the closure argument for skepticism is defective. We explore several possible classifications of the defect. The closure argument might plausibly be classified as begging the question, as exhibiting transmission failure, or as structurally inefficient. Interestingly, (...) perhaps, each of these has been proposed as the correct classification of Moore’s proof of an external world. (shrink)
Although leadership of organizations rarely is discussed in terms of the religious construct of repentance, we propose that repentance and continuous improvement are closely related ideas that profoundly impact individuals and organizations. We identify six parallels between repentance and continuous improvement and then show how these parallels apply to the fundamental principles associated with highly regarded leadership perspectives. We conclude by identifying five contributions of the article to the management literature.
Individuals who demonstrate organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) contribute to their organization’s ability to create wealth, but they also owe their organizations a complex set of ethical duties. Although, the academic literature has begun to address the ethical duties owed by organizational leaders to organizational citizens, very little has been written about the duties owed by those who practice OCB to their organizations. In this article, we identify an array of ethical duties owed by those who engage in extra-role behavior and (...) describe those duties in context with personality theory. We suggest that employees who understand the complex nature of OCB and the associated duties they owe to others are more likely to reach their potential and make greater contributions within their organizations. (shrink)
The narrative approach to identity has developed as a sophisticated philosophical response to the complexities and ambiguities of the human, lived situation, and is not – as has been naively suggested elsewhere – the imposition of a generic form of life or the attempt to imitate a fictional character. I argue that the narrative model of identity provides a more inclusive and exhaustive account of identity than the causal models employed by mainstream theorists of personal identity. Importantly for ethical subjectivity, (...) the narrative model gives a central and irreducible role to the first-person perspective. I will draw the connection between narrative identity and ethical subjectivity by way of an exposition of work by Paul Ricoeur and Marya Schechtman, and a brief consideration of Korsgaard’s work on practical identity and normative ethics. I argue that the first-person perspective – the reflective structure of human consciousness – arises from human embodiment, and therefore the model of identity required of embodied consciousness is more complex and irreducibly first-personal than that provided in a causal account. What is required is a self-constitution model of identity: a narrative model of identity. (shrink)
In this essay I take issue with Derek Parfit's reductionist account of personal identity.Parfit is concerned to respond to what he sees as flaws in the conception of the role of 'person' in self-interest theories. He attempts to show that the notion of a person as something over and above a totality of mental and physical states and events (in his words, a 'further fact'), is empty, and so, our ethical concerns must be based on something other than this. My (...) objections centre around the claim that Parfit employs an impoverished conception of 'life'. Parfit misconceives the connection between 'I' and one's body, and, so, despite his rejection of a metaphysical conception of 'self', remains within the logic of Cartesianism. What Parfit and other reductionists call an 'impersonal' perspective, I shall call the third-person perspective: a perspective which one in general may take. Against Parfit I shall offer a more complex conception of 'self' through the concept of 'bodily perspective'. I emphasize the irreducible ambiguities of human embodiment in order to show the presuppositions and the limitations of Parfit's view. Of interest is the conception of time and the model of continuity that is appropriate to an embodied subject's life. I employ Paul Ricoeur's concept of 'human time' to argue that the reflective character of human experience demands a model of temporality and continuity that differs significantly from the one Parfit employs. (shrink)
Charles Sanders Peirce proposed two different solutions to the Liar Paradox. He proposed the first in 1865 and the second in 1869. However, no one has yet noted in the literature that Peirce rejected his 1869 solution in 1903. Peirce never explicitly proposed a third solution to the Liar Paradox. Nonetheless, I shall argue he developed the resources for a third and novel solution to the Liar Paradox.In what follows, I will first explain the Liar Paradox. Second, I will briefly (...) rehearse Peirce's 1865 solution and his reasons for rejecting it.1 Third, I will review his 1869 solution and his reasons for rejecting it in 1903. Lastly, I will propose a novel solution to the Liar Paradox by drawing upon Peirce's later .. (shrink)
In this paper, we are concerned with the morality of killing human shields. Many moral philosophers seem to believe that knowingly killing human shields necessarily involves intentionally targeting human shields. If we assume that the distinction between intention and foresight is morally significant, then this view would entail that it is generally harder to justify a military operation in which human shields are knowingly killed than a military operation in which the same number of casualties result as a merely foreseen (...) side effect. We argue, however, that only some cases of knowingly killing human shields should be regarded as intentionally targeting human shields, and thus only those cases face higher bars of justification. We shall formulate different principles that help us to distinguish between cases where a military operation involves the deliberate harming of human shields and cases where it does not. As we shall see, these principles are relevant in scenarios that are all too realistic and common, such as the bombing of legitimate military targets located amid civilian populations. (shrink)
: This essay shows that Peirce's (more or less) final classification of the sciences arises from the systematic application of his Categories of Firstness, Secondness and Thirdness to the classification of the sciences themselves and that he does not do so until his 1903's "An Outline Classification of the Sciences." The essay proceeds by: First, making some preliminary comments regarding Peirce's notion of an architectonic, or classification of the sciences; Second, briefly explaining Peirce's Categories of Firstness, Secondness and Thirdness; Third, (...) examining how Peirce classifies the sciences in 1902 and 1903—and specifically how the 1903 classification utilizes the Categories; Fourth and finally, showing that he is only led to classify the sciences in this fashion as result of his philosophical inquiries during those intervening months—especially as a result of his Harvard Lectures on Pragmatism. (shrink)
This book is part of the growing field of practical approaches to philosophical questions relating to identity, agency and ethics, working across continental and analytical traditions. Kim Atkins explains and justifies the basis of the practical approach through an explication of the structures of human embodiment and an account of how those structures necessitate a narrative model of selfhood, understanding and ethics. She highlights how recent work on agency and autonomy implicitly draws upon conceptions of embodiment and intersubjectivity that underpin (...) the narrative view. (shrink)
In the first part of this essay (The Pluralist 7.2, Summer 2012, pp. 1-29), I argued against the Narrow Conception of phaneroscopy by showing that it is not to be found in Peirce's writings and that several passages in Peirce's writings indicate the Narrow Conception is false. As a consequence, we must broaden our understanding of phaneroscopy's aim. In this part, I shall argue that we should broaden our understanding of phaneroscopy's method, that is, our understanding of phaneroscopic observation, description, (...) and analysis.However, before proceeding, I should reply to one claim that has cropped up every now and then. Some interpreters of Peirce have commented in correspondence with me that Peirce's phaneroscopy .. (shrink)
There has been an increase in recent years in the use of empirical methods in healthcare ethics. Appeals to empirical data cannot answer moral questions, but insights into the knowledge, attitudes, experience, preferences and practice of interested parties can play an important part in the development of healthcare ethics. In particular, while we may establish a general ethical principle to provide explanatory and normative guidance for healthcare professionals, the interpretation and application of such general principles to actual practice still requires (...) interpretation and judgement. And many situations in healthcare practice are complex and may involve a variety of principles, each of which may conflict with the others. Simple surveys or interview studies may not be sufficient if we wish to develop a nuanced approach to ethical practice that can be set out in guidelines, codes or directives. We do not resolve moral questions by plebiscite. In this paper, the authors argue for the use of consensus methods to develop shared understanding of ethical practice, and they argue further for the combination of the Delphi method with the use of vignettes to illustrate the kind of situations that may occur in practice. They develop their argument in part by reference to their experience of using this approach in their recent research. (shrink)
Moti Mizrahi has argued that Gettier cases are misleading, since they involve a certain kind of semantic failure. In a recent paper, I criticized Mizrahi’s argument. Mizrahi has since responded. This is a response to his response.
Gary Ostertag has presented a new puzzle for Russellianism about belief reports. He argues that Russellians do not have the resources to solve this puzzle in terms of pragmatic phenomena. I argue to the contrary that the puzzle can be solved according to Nathan Salmon’s pragmatic account of belief reports, provided that the account is properly understood. Specifically, the puzzle can be solved so long as Salmon’s guises are not identified with sentences.
ABSTRACT: Cheryl Misak has offered a pragmatic argument against a position she calls Scientific transcendentalists hold that truth is something different from what would be believed at the end of inquiry; more specifically, they adhere to a correspondence theory of truth. Misak thinks scientific transcendentalists thereby undermine the connection between truth and inquiry, for (a) pragmatically speaking, it adds nothing to truth and inquiry to ask whether what would be the results of sufficiently rigorous inquiry are really true and (b) (...) they can only accept it as an article of faith that inquiry leads us to truth. I defend against Misak’s objections. (shrink)
Due largely to the influence of Perry (1979) and Lewis (1979), many philosophers now believe that certain attitudes are ‘essentially indexical’, and that this fact is philosophically significant. Going against the conventional wisdom, Cappelen and Dever (2013) (henceforth ‘C&D’) have two goals. The modest goal is to show that Perry, Lewis and their followers have failed to establish any clear ‘essential indexicality’ thesis. The ambitious goal is to show that indexicality is ‘shallow’, in that it does not play any interesting (...) explanatory role in philosophy. They admit that the ambitious goal is too ambitious to be fully achieved in a single work, but they hope to have made a significant step toward its eventual achievement. (shrink)
Anthony Brueckner and Jon Altschul suggest a version of skepticism according to which the skeptic posits a distinct skeptical hypothesis for each external world proposition that a person claims to know. In a recent issue of this journal, Eric Yang argues against this piecemeal approach. In this note, I show that Yang’s argument against piecemeal skepticism is fallacious.
General practitioners (GPs) have to negotiate a range of challenges when they suspect child abuse or neglect. This article details findings from a Delphi exercise that was part of a larger study exploring the conflicts of interest that arise for UK GPs in safeguarding children. The specific objectives of the Delphi exercise were to understand how these conflicts of interest are seen from the perspectives of an expert panel, and to identify best practice for GPs. The Delphi exercise involved four (...) iterative rounds with questionnaires completed by an expert panel. Results from each round were distilled and findings sent to panel members until consensus was reached. Panel members shared insights regarding their understanding of conflicts of interest in relation to GPs and safeguarding children and responses when conflicts of interests arise. Findings suggested a broader understanding of conflicts of interest (intrapersonal, interpersonal, interprofessional and interagency), the importance of professional judgement in uncertain situations when both action and inaction have potentially negative consequences and the importance of trust. The Delphi exercise was an effective means to bring together a wide range of professional and disciplinary perspectives on a complex topic. Findings caution against the oversimplification of the conceptual and practical issues, emphasise the importance of professional judgement, and support the development of open and trusting relationships with families and among professionals in health and social care agencies. (shrink)
_Self and Subjectivity_ is a collection of seminal essays with commentary that traces the development of conceptions of 'self' and 'subjectivity' in European and Anglo-American philosophical traditions, including feminist scholarship, from Descartes to the present.
In 1898, Peirce delivered a series of lectures titled Reasoning and the Logic of Things. Peirce scholars have found the first of those lectures—titled “Philosophy and the Conduct of Life”—especially perplexing.Some scholars have a decidedly negative assessment of Peirce’s lecture. Cornelis de Waal, for example, maintains that Peirce’s claims in the lecture are doubtful. He states that “Peirce... takes a radical stance, arguing emphatically that science should stay away from ‘matters of vital importance,’ moral problems among them, thereby denying the (...) validity of a science of ethics”. He goes on to say that “on Peirce’s account, the ethics of inquiry seems to preclude ethical inquiry. The scientific.. (shrink)