Michael Ignatieff draws on his extensive experience as a writer and commentator on world affairs to present a penetrating account of the successes, failures, and prospects of the human rights revolution. Since the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, this revolution has brought the world moral progress and broken the nation-state's monopoly on the conduct of international affairs. But it has also faced challenges. Ignatieff argues that human rights activists have rightly drawn criticism from Asia, (...) the Islamic world, and within the West itself for being overambitious and unwilling to accept limits. It is now time, he writes, for activists to embrace a more modest agenda and to reestablish the balance between the rights of states and the rights of citizens.Ignatieff begins by examining the politics of human rights, assessing when it is appropriate to use the fact of human rights abuse to justify intervention in other countries. He then explores the ideas that underpin human rights, warning that human rights must not become an idolatry. In the spirit of Isaiah Berlin, he argues that human rights can command universal assent only if they are designed to protect and enhance the capacity of individuals to lead the lives they wish. By embracing this approach and recognizing that state sovereignty is the best guarantee against chaos, Ignatieff concludes, Western nations will have a better chance of extending the real progress of the past fifty years. Throughout, Ignatieff balances idealism with a sure sense of practical reality earned from his years of travel in zones of war and political turmoil around the globe.Based on the Tanner Lectures that Ignatieff delivered at Princeton University's Center for Human Values in 2000, the book includes two chapters by Ignatieff, an introduction by Amy Gutmann, comments by four leading scholars--K. Anthony Appiah, David A. Hollinger, Thomas W. Laqueur, and Diane F. Orentlicher--and a response by Ignatieff. (shrink)
How do we know what we "know"? How did we –as individuals and as a society – come to accept certain knowledge as fact? In _Human Knowledge,_ Bertrand Russell questions the reliability of our assumptions on knowledge. This brilliant and controversial work investigates the relationship between ‘individual’ and ‘scientific’ knowledge. First published in 1948, this provocative work contributed significantly to an explosive intellectual discourse that continues to this day.
In Studying Human Behavior, Helen E. Longino enters into the complexities of human behavioral research, a domain still dominated by the age-old debate of “nature versus nurture.” Rather than supporting one side or another or attempting..
This article offers two arguments for the conclusion that we should refuse on moral grounds to establish a human presence on the surface of Mars. The first argument appeals to a principle constraining the use of invasive or destructive techniques of scientific investigation. The second appeals to a principle governing appropriate human behavior in wilderness. These arguments are prefaced by two preliminary sections. The first preliminary section argues that authors working in space ethics have good reason to shift their focus (...) away from theory-based arguments in favor of arguments that develop in terms of pretheoretic beliefs. The second argues that of the popular justifications for sending humans to Mars only appeals to scientific curiosity can survive reflective scrutiny. (shrink)
What should we make of claims by members of other groups to have moralities different from our own? Human Rights in Chinese Thought gives an extended answer to this question in the first study of its kind. It integrates a full account of the development of Chinese rights discourse - reaching back to important, though neglected, origins of that discourse in 17th and 18th century Confucianism - with philosophical consideration of how various communities should respond to contemporary Chinese claims about (...) the uniqueness of their human rights concepts. The book elaborates a plausible kind of moral pluralism and demonstrates that Chinese ideas of human rights do indeed have distinctive characteristics, but it nonetheless argues for the importance and promise of cross-cultural moral engagement. (shrink)
Proposals to make us smarter than the greatest geniuses or to add thousands of years to our life spans seem fit only for the spam folder or trash can. And yet this is what contemporary advocates of radical enhancement offer in all seriousness. They present a variety of technologies and therapies that will expand our capacities far beyond what is currently possible for human beings. In _Humanity's End,_ Nicholas Agar argues against radical enhancement, describing its destructive consequences. Agar examines the (...) proposals of four prominent radical enhancers: Ray Kurzweil, who argues that technology will enable our escape from human biology; Aubrey de Grey, who calls for anti-aging therapies that will achieve "longevity escape velocity"; Nick Bostrom, who defends the morality and rationality of enhancement; and James Hughes, who envisions a harmonious democracy of the enhanced and the unenhanced. Agar argues that the outcomes of radical enhancement could be darker than the rosy futures described by these thinkers. The most dramatic means of enhancing our cognitive powers could in fact kill us; the radical extension of our life span could eliminate experiences of great value from our lives; and a situation in which some humans are radically enhanced and others are not could lead to tyranny of posthumans over humans. (shrink)
In this original and provocative account of the evolutionary origins of human communication, Michael Tomasello connects the fundamentally cooperative structure of human communication (initially discovered by Paul Grice) to the especially ...
Developments in medical science have afforded us the opportunity to improve and enhance the human species in ways unthinkable to previous generations. Whether it's making changes to mitochondrial DNA in a human egg, being prescribed Prozac, or having a facelift, our desire to live longer, feel better and look good has presented philosophers, medical practitioners and policy-makers with considerable ethical challenges. But what exactly constitutes human improvement? What do we mean when we talk of making "better" humans? In this (...) book Michael Hauskeller explores these questions and the ideas of human good that underpin them. Posing some challenging questions about the nature of human enhancement, he interrogates the logic behind its processes and examines the justifications behind its criteria. Questioning common assumptions about what constitutes human improvement, Hauskeller asks whether the criteria proposed by its advocates are convincing. The book draws on recent research as well as popular representations of human enhancement from advertising to the internet, and provides a non-technical and accessible survey of the issues for readers and students interested in the ethics and politics of human enhancement. (shrink)
A work of striking originality bursting with unexpected insights, _The Human Condition_ is in many respects more relevant now than when it first appeared in 1958. In her study of the state of modern humanity, Hannah Arendt considers humankind from the perspective of the actions of which it is capable. The problems Arendt identified then—diminishing human agency and political freedom, the paradox that as human powers increase through technological and humanistic inquiry, we are less equipped to control the consequences of (...) our actions—continue to confront us today. This new edition, published to coincide with the fortieth anniversary of its original publication, contains an improved and expanded index and a new introduction by noted Arendt scholar Margaret Canovan which incisively analyzes the book's argument and examines its present relevance. A classic in political and social theory, _The Human Condition_ is a work that has proved both timeless and perpetually timely. Hannah Arendt was one of the leading social theorists in the United States. Her _Lectures on Kant's Political Philosophy_ and _Love and Saint Augustine_ are also published by the University of Chicago Press. (shrink)
Nicholas Agar offers a more nuanced view of the transformative potential of genetic and cybernetic technologies, making a case for moderate human enhancement—improvements to attributes and abilities that do not significantly exceed what ...
Many debates about the moral status of things—for example, debates about the natural rights of human fetuses or nonhuman animals—eventually migrate towards a discussion of the capacities of the things in question—for example, their capacities to feel pain, think, or love. Yet the move towards capacities is often controversial: if a human’s capacities are the basis of its moral status, how could a human having lesser capacities than you and I have the same "serious" moral status as you and I? (...) This book answers this question by arguing that if something is human, it has a set of typical human capacities; that if something has a set of typical human capacities, it has serious moral status; and thus all human beings have the same sort of serious moral status as you and I. Beginning from what our common intuitions tell us about situations involving "temporary incapacitation"—where a human organism has, then loses, then regains a certain capacity—this book argues for substantive conclusions regarding human fetuses and embryos, humans in a permanent vegetative state, humans suffering from brain diseases, and humans born with genetic disorders. Since these conclusions must have some impact on our ongoing moral and political debates about the proper treatment of such humans, this book will be useful to professionals and students in philosophy, bioethics, law, medicine, and public policy. (shrink)
Human microbiome research has revealed that legions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi live on our skin and within the cavities of our bodies. New knowledge from these recent studies shows that humans are superorganisms and that the microbiome is indispensible to our lives and our health. This volume explores some of the science on the human microbiome and considers the ethical, legal, and social concerns that are raised by this research.
In this major book Martha Nussbaum, one of the most innovative and influential philosophical voices of our time, proposes a kind of feminism that is genuinely international, argues for an ethical underpinning to all thought about development planning and public policy, and dramatically moves beyond the abstractions of economists and philosophers to embed thought about justice in the concrete reality of the struggles of poor women. Nussbaum argues that international political and economic thought must be sensitive to gender difference as (...) a problem of justice, and that feminist thought must begin to focus on the problems of women in the third world. Taking as her point of departure the predicament of poor women in India, she shows how philosophy should undergird basic constitutional principles that should be respected and implemented by all governments, and used as a comparative measure of quality of life across nations. (shrink)
"Human dignity" has been enshrined in international agreements and national constitutions as a fundamental human right. The World Medical Association calls on physicians to respect human dignity and to discharge their duties with dignity. And yet human dignity is a term--like love, hope, and justice--that is intuitively grasped but never clearly defined. Some ethicists and bioethicists dismiss it; other thinkers point to its use in the service of particular ideologies. In this book, Michael Barilan offers an urgently needed, nonideological, and (...) thorough conceptual clarification of human dignity and human rights, relating these ideas to current issues in ethics, law, and bioethics. Combining social history, history of ideas, moral theology, applied ethics, and political theory, Barilan tells the story of human dignity as a background moral ethos to human rights. After setting the problem in its scholarly context, he offers a hermeneutics of the formative texts on Imago Dei; provides a philosophical explication of the value of human dignity and of vulnerability; presents a comprehensive theory of human rights from a natural, humanist perspective; explores issues of moral status; and examines the value of responsibility as a link between virtue ethics and human dignity and rights. Barilan accompanies his theoretical claim with numerous practical illustrations, linking his theory to such issues in bioethics as end-of-life care, cloning, abortion, torture, treatment of the mentally incapacitated, the right to health care, the human organ market, disability and notions of difference, and privacy, highlighting many relevant legal aspects in constitutional and humanitarian law. (shrink)
This essay examines the relationship between climate change and human rights. It argues that climate change is unjust, in part, because it jeopardizes several core rights – including the right to life, the right to food and the right to health. It then argues that adopting a human rights framework has six implications for climate policies. To give some examples, it argues that this helps us to understand the concept of “dangerous anthropogenic interference” (UNFCCC, Article 2). In addition to this, (...) it argues that if we adopt a human rights framework then any climate policies should also honour human rights, and so mitigation policies, for example, should not compromise people’s enjoyment of their human rights. A third implication, I argue, is that in addition to duties of mitigation and adaptation there will also be – if rights are violated – duties of compensation too. (shrink)
Thomas Reid, the Scottish natural and moral philosopher, was one of the founding members of the Aberdeen Philosophical Society and a significant figure in the Scottish Enlightenment. Reid believed that common sense should form the foundation of all philosophical inquiry. He criticised the sceptical philosophy propagated by his fellow Scot David Hume and the Anglo-Irish bishop George Berkeley, who asserted that the external world did not exist outside the human mind. Reid was also critical of the theory of ideas propagated (...) by Locke and Descartes, arguing that it was incompatible with physical and experiential facts. For Reid, our senses demonstrate that the external world must exist, and this work is organised in chapters examining each of the senses in turn. The book, based on his lectures, was first published in 1764 when Reid was a regent professor at King's College, Aberdeen, and was reissued in 1818. (shrink)
"These essays make a splendid book. Ignatieff's lectures are engaging and vigorous; they also combine some rather striking ideas with savvy perceptions about actual domestic and international politics.
Should laws about sex and pornography be based on social conventions about what is disgusting? Should felons be required to display bumper stickers or wear T-shirts that announce their crimes? This powerful and elegantly written book, by one of America's most influential philosophers, presents a critique of the role that shame and disgust play in our individual and social lives and, in particular, in the law.Martha Nussbaum argues that we should be wary of these emotions because they are associated in (...) troubling ways with a desire to hide from our humanity, embodying an unrealistic and sometimes pathological wish to be invulnerable. Nussbaum argues that the thought-content of disgust embodies "magical ideas of contamination, and impossible aspirations to purity that are just not in line with human life as we know it." She argues that disgust should never be the basis for criminalizing an act, or play either the aggravating or the mitigating role in criminal law it currently does. She writes that we should be similarly suspicious of what she calls "primitive shame," a shame "at the very fact of human imperfection," and she is harshly critical of the role that such shame plays in certain punishments.Drawing on an extraordinarily rich variety of philosophical, psychological, and historical references--from Aristotle and Freud to Nazi ideas about purity--and on legal examples as diverse as the trials of Oscar Wilde and the Martha Stewart insider trading case, this is a major work of legal and moral philosophy. (shrink)
Schumaker (philosophy, science and technology department, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) examines how the terms of posture encompass all the major disciplines and investigates a variety of philosophical topics: abstract thought, ...
The causal theory of action is widely recognized in the literature of the philosophy of action as the "standard story" of human action and agency -- the nearest approximation in the field to a theoretical orthodoxy. This volume brings together leading figures working in action theory today to discuss issues relating to the CTA and its applications, which range from experimental philosophy to moral psychology. Some of the contributors defend the theory while others criticize it; some draw from historical sources (...) while others focus on recent developments; some rely on the tools of analytic philosophy while others cite the latest empirical research on human action. All agree, however, on the centrality of the CTA in the philosophy of action. The contributors first consider metaphysical issues, then reasons-explanations of action, and, finally, new directions for thinking about the CTA. They discuss such topics as the tenability of some alternatives to the CTA; basic causal deviance; the etiology of action ; teleologism and anticausalism; and the compatibility of the CTA with theories of embodied cognition. Two contributors engage in an exchange of views on intentional omissions that stretches over four essays, directly responding to each other in their follow-up essays. As the action -oriented perspective becomes more influential in philosophy of mind and philosophy of cognitive science, this volume offers a long-needed debate over foundational issues. Contributors: Fred Adams, Jesús H. Aguilar, John Bishop, Andrei A. Buckareff, Randolph Clarke, Jennifer Hornsby, Alicia Juarrero, Alfred R. Mele, Michael S. Moore, Thomas Nadelhoffer, Josef Perner, Johannes Roessler, David-Hillel Ruben, Carolina Sartorio, Michael Smith, Rowland Stout The hardcover edition does not include a dust jacket. (shrink)
Human rights have a rich life in the world around us. Political rhetoric pays tribute to them, or scorns them. Citizens and activists strive for them. The law enshrines them. And they live inside us too. For many of us, human rights form part of how we understand the world and what must (or must not) be done within it. -/- The ubiquity of human rights raises questions for the philosopher. If we want to understand these rights, where do we (...) look? As a set of moral norms, it is tempting to think they can be grasped strictly from the armchair, say, by appeal to moral intuition. But what, if anything, can that kind of inquiry tell us about the human rights of contemporary politics, law, and civil society — that is, human rights as we ordinarily know them? -/- This volume brings together a distinguished, interdisciplinary group of scholars to address philosophical questions raised by the many facets of human rights: moral, legal, political, and historical. Its original chapters, each accompanied by a critical commentary, explore topics including: the purpose and methods of a philosophical theory of human rights; the "Orthodox-Political" debate; the relevance of history to philosophy; the relationship between human rights morality and law; and the value of political critiques of human rights. (shrink)
Humans are not model epistemic citizens. Our reasoning can be careless, our beliefs eccentric, and our desires irrational. Quassim Cassam develops a new account of self-knowledge which recognises this feature of human life. He argues that self-knowledge is a genuine cognitive achievement, and that self-ignorance is almost always on the cards.
From the diverse work and often competing insights of women's human rights activists, Brooke Ackerly has written a feminist and a universal theory of human rights that bridges the relativists' concerns about universalizing from particulars and the activists' commitment to justice. Unlike universal theories that rely on shared commitments to divine authority or to an 'enlightened' way of reasoning, Ackerly's theory relies on rigorous methodological attention to difference and disagreement. She sets out human rights as at once a research ethic, (...) a tool for criticism of injustice and a call to recognize our obligations to promote justice through our actions. This book will be of great interest to political theorists, feminist and gender studies scholars and researchers of social movements. (shrink)
Most philosophers writing about personal identity in recent years claim that what it takes for us to persist through time is a matter of psychology. In this groundbreaking new book, Eric Olson argues that such approaches face daunting problems, and he defends in their place a radically non-psychological account of personal identity. He defines human beings as biological organisms, and claims that no psychological relation is either sufficient or necessary for an organism to persist. Olson rejects several famous thought-experiments dealing (...) with personal identity. He argues, instead, that one could survive the destruction of all of one's psychological contents and capabilities as long as the human organism remains alive--as long as its vital functions, such as breathing, circulation, and metabolism, continue. (shrink)
This paper affirms human enhancement in principle, but questions the inordinate attention paid to two particular forms of enhancement: life extension and raising IQ. The argument is not about whether these enhancements are possible or not; instead, I question the aspirations behind the denial of death and the stress on one particular type of intelligence: the logico-analytic. Death is a form of finitude, and finitude is a crucially defining part of human life. As for intelligence, Howard Gardner and Daniel Goleman (...) show us the importance of multiple intelligences. After clarifying the notion of different psychological types, the paper takes five specimens of a distinct type and then studies the traits of that type through their examples. Seeking a pattern connecting those traits, the paper finds them bound together by the embrace of the computational metaphor for human cognition and then argues that the computational metaphor does not do a good job of describing human intelligence. Enlisting the works of Jaron Lanier and Ellen Ullman, the paper ends with a caution against pushing human intelligence toward machine intelligence, and points toward the human potential movement as a possible ally and wise guide for the transhumanist movement. (shrink)
Despite being a seemingly straightforward moral concept (that all humans have certain rights by virtue of their humanity), human rights is a contested concept in theory and practice. Theorists debate (among other things) the meaning of “rights,” the priority of rights, whether collective rights are universal, the foundations of rights, and whether there are universal human rights at all. These debates are of relatively greater interest to theorists; however, a given meaning of “human rights” implies a corresponding theory of (...) change and through that can be an important guide to the practice of human rights activists and their funders. In practice, any organization can describe their work as “rights based.” This article clarifies the practices of human rights activists and their funders that are consistent with a theory of human rights as (1) universal, (2) interdependent across groups and categories of people, (3) indivisible across issue areas and claims, and (4) measured by the enjoyment of rights. (shrink)
Perhaps everything we think, feel, and do is determined, and humans--like stones or clouds--are slaves to the laws of nature. Would that be a terrible state? Philosophers who take the incompatibilist position think so, arguing that a deterministic world would be one without moral responsibility and perhaps without true love, meaningful art, and real rationality. But compatibilists and semicompatibilists argue that determinism need not worry us. As long as our actions stem, in an appropriate way, from us, or respond (...) in some way to reasons, our actions are meaningful and can be judged on their moral merit. In this highly original work, Nomy Arpaly argues that a deterministic world does not preclude moral responsibility, rationality, and love--in short, meaningful lives--but that there would still be something lamentable about a deterministic world. A person may respond well to reasons, and her actions may faithfully reflect her true self or values, but she may still feel that she is not free. Arpaly argues that compatibilists and semicompatibilists are wrong to dismiss this feeling--for which there are no philosophical consolations--as philosophically irrelevant. On the way to this bittersweet conclusion, Arpaly sets forth surprising theories about acting for reasons, the widely accepted idea that "ought implies can," moral blame, and more. (shrink)
Challenging commonly held biological, religious, and ethical beliefs, internationally well known historian of science Roger Smith boldly argues that human nature is not some "thing" awaiting discovery but is active in understanding itself. According to Smith, "being human" is a self-creation made possible through a reflective circle of thought and action, with a past and a future, and studying this "history" from a range of perspectives is fundamental to human self-understanding. Smith's argument brings together historical and contemporary debates concerning materialism (...) and human nature and the relations of the different fields of knowledge. He draws on classic writings from across the human sciences, touching on sociology, anthropology, brain sciences, history, philosophical hermeneutics, and critical theory, and demonstrates that there is no position outside history for an absolutely objective or eternally valid view of human nature. The question "what is human?" does not have and could not possible have one answer. Instead, there exists a variety of answers for different purposes, and there are good reasons for the many conceptions of what it is to be human. Smith does not treat human nature as only biological, economic, or moral, but as a multidimensional subject that should be considered in its proper historical context. By understanding this context, Smith believes, we can come to a truer understanding of ourselves. Persuasively and elegantly written, _Being Human_ takes an important new turn in the philosophical study of being human. (shrink)
The question 'What is intelligence?' may seem simple to answer, but the study and measurement of human intelligence is one of the most controversial subjects in psychology. For much of its history, the focus has been on differences between people, on what it means for one person to be more intelligent than another, and how such differences might have arisen, obscuring efforts to understand the general nature of intelligence. These are obviously fundamental questions, still widely debated and misunderstood. New definitions (...) of intelligence and new factors affecting intelligence are frequently being described, while psychometric testing is applied in most large industries.IQ and Human Intelligence provides a clear, authoritative overview of the main issues surrounding this fascinating area, including the development of IQ tests, the heritability of intelligence, theories of intelligence, environmental effects on IQ, factor analysis, relationship of cognitive psychology to measuring IQ, and intelligence in the social context. The clear, accessible style and numerous explanatory boxes make this the ideal text for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in psychology. Online Resource CentreThe Online Resource Centre to accompany IQ and Human Intelligence features the following resources:For registered adopters of the text:- Figures from the book, available to downloadFor students:- Hyperlinks to primary literature articles cited in the and 'Further Reading' sections of the book. (shrink)
John Dupre warns that our understanding of human nature is being distorted by two faulty and harmful forms of pseudo-scientific thinking. Not just in the academic world but in everyday life, we find one set of experts who seek to explain the ends at which humans aim in terms of evolutionary theory, while the other set uses economic models to give rules of how we act to achieve those ends. Dupre demonstrates that these theorists' explanations do not work and (...) that, if taken seriously, their theories tend to have dangerous social and political consequences. For these reasons, it is important to resist scientism: an exaggerated conception of what science can be expected to do for us. Dupre restores sanity to the study of human nature by pointing the way to a proper understanding of humans in the societies that are our natural and necessary environments. Anyone interested in science and human life will enjoy this book--unless they are its targets. (shrink)
Written by one of the instrumental figures in environmental ethics, Nature as Subject traces the development of an ethical policy that is centered not on human beings, but on itself. Katz applies this idea to contemporary environmental problems, introducing themes of justice, domination, imperialism, and the Holocaust. This volume will stand as a foundational work for environmental scholars, government and industry policy makers, activists, and students in advanced philosophy and environmental studies courses.
The work of Henri Bergson, the foremost French philosopher of the early twentieth century, is not usually explored for its political dimensions. Indeed, Bergson is best known for his writings on time, evolution, and creativity. This book concentrates instead on his political philosophy—and especially on his late masterpiece, _The Two Sources of Morality and Religion_—from which Alexandre Lefebvre develops an original approach to human rights. We tend to think of human rights as the urgent international project of protecting all people (...) everywhere from harm. Bergson shows us that human rights can also serve as a medium of personal transformation and self-care. For Bergson, the main purpose of human rights is to initiate all human beings into love. Forging connections between human rights scholarship and philosophy as self-care, Lefebvre uses human rights to channel the whole of Bergson's philosophy. (shrink)
The starting point of this paper is the need to promote a people-centred corporate social responsibility framework in a context where many human needs and rights remain unsatisfied and where businesses may have both a positive and a negative impact on the quality of life of human beings today and tomorrow and may even lead to irreversible damage. Our normative definition of CSR is consistent with the criteria established by the EU Commission in 2011. We conceive CSR as a responsibility (...) towards human development in two complementary ways: a holistic responsibility shared by companies together with other actors to safeguard humanity and a direct liability of each company for its impact on stakeholders' capabilities. We apply Nussbaum's list of central capabilities and concept of thresholds to specify the nature and extent of corporate responsibilities towards employees, subcontractors, investors, customers, and humanity as a whole. In addition, we leverage fieldwork in developing and developed countries to analyse the effect of business activities on human capabilities. We demonstrate that by quantifying the impact of businesses' activities on various dimensions of stakeholders' lives, and especially on the most vulnerable ones, these businesses can be held accountable for the negative externalities they produce. (shrink)
Although the AAMC requires annual reporting of medical humanities teaching, most literature is based on single-school case reports and studies using information reported on schools’ websites. This study sought to discover what medical humanities is offered in North American allopathic and osteopathic undergraduate medical schools. An 18-question, semi-structured survey was distributed to all 146 member schools of the American Association of Medical Colleges and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. The survey sought information on required and elective humanities (...) content, hours of humanities instruction, types of disciplines, participation rates, and humanities administrative structure. The survey was completed by 134 schools. 70.8% of schools offered required and 80.6% offered electives in humanities. Global health and writing were the most common disciplines. Schools required 43.9 mean and 30 median hours in humanities. In the first two years, most humanities are integrated into other course work; most electives are offered as stand-alone classes. 50.0% of schools report only 0-25% of students participating in humanities electives. Presence of a certificate, concentration or arts journal increased likelihood of humanities content but decreased mean hours. Schools with a medical humanities MA had a higher number of required humanities hours. Medical humanities content in undergraduate curriculum is lower than is indicated in the AAMC annual report. Schools with a formal structure have a greater humanities presence in the curriculum and are taken by more students. (shrink)
In Happiness for Humans , Daniel C. Russell takes a fresh look at happiness from a practical perspective: the perspective of someone trying to solve the wonderful problem of how to give himself a good life. From this perspective, "happiness" is the name of a solution to that problem for practical deliberation. Russell's approach to happiness falls within a tradition that reaches back to ancient Greek and Roman philosophers--a tradition now called "eudaimonism." Beginning with Aristotle's seminal discussion of the (...) role of happiness in practical reasoning, Russell asks what sort of good happiness would have to be in order to play the role in our practical economies that it actually does play. Looking at happiness from this perspective, Russell argues that happiness is a life of activity, with three main features: it is acting for the sake of ends we can live for, and living for them wisely; it is fulfilling for us, both as humans and as unique individuals; and it is inextricable from our connections with the particular persons, pursuits, and places that make us who we are. By returning to this ancient perspective on happiness, Russell finds new directions for contemporary thought about the good lives we want for ourselves. (shrink)
The notion of 'natural kinds' has been central to contemporary discussions of metaphysics and philosophy of science. Although explicitly articulated by nineteenth-century philosophers like Mill, Whewell and Venn, it has a much older history dating back to Plato and Aristotle. In recent years, essentialism has been the dominant account of natural kinds among philosophers, but the essentialist view has encountered resistance, especially among naturalist metaphysicians and philosophers of science. Informed by detailed examination of classification in the natural and social sciences, (...) this book argues against essentialism and for a naturalist account of natural kinds. By looking at case studies drawn from diverse scientific disciplines, from fluid mechanics to virology and polymer science to psychiatry, the author argues that natural kinds are nodes in causal networks. On the basis of this account, he maintains that there can be natural kinds in the social sciences as well as the natural sciences. (shrink)