Whilst some philosophical progress has been made on the ethical evaluation of playing video games, the exact subject matter of this enquiry remains surprisingly opaque. ‘Virtual murder’, simulation, representation and more are found in a literature yet to settle into a tested and cohesive terminology. Querying the language of the virtual in particular, I suggest that it is at once inexplicit and laden with presuppositions potentially liable to hinder anyone aiming to construct general philosophical claims about an ethics of gameplay, (...) for whom assumptions about the existence of ‘virtual’ counterparts to morally salient phenomena may prove untrustworthy. Ambiguously straddling the pictorial and the performative aspects of video gaming, the virtual leaves obscure the ways in which we become involved in gameplay, and particularly the natures of our intentions and attitudes whilst grappling with a game; furthermore, it remains unclear how we are to generalise across encounters with the virtual. I conclude by briefly noting one potential avenue of further enquiry into our modes of participation in games: into the differences which a moral examination of playfulness might make to ethical evaluation. (shrink)
The land and the people of the Pilbara in north-western Australia have been perceived, and the landscape conceptualized, used or abused (depending on one's perception), in a variety of ways through time. Differing perceptions have been reflected and modified by linguistic use, especially the metaphors applied, including the search for `a key to the country'; by conditions of observation, including the means of transport; by changing economic and utilitarian values; by images generated by painters and photographers; by the commodifications of (...) the tourist industry and by scientific research, especially in anthropology, archaeology, geology and ecology. Changing perceptions of the Pilbara play a significant part, not only in Australia's economic performance, but also in its sense of global positioning. Yet awareness of the Pilbara itself by contemporary Australians lacks the intimacy that its indigenous inhabitants once had: it has been premature to remove the words `Terra Incognita' from much of the map. (shrink)
This new translation of Epictetus' Handbook brings his ancient teachings to those who wish to live the philosophic life by finding a way to live happily in the world without being overwhelmed by it. This modern English translation of the complete Handbook is supported by the first thorough commentary since that of Simplicius, 1500 years ago, along with a detailed introduction, extensive glossary, index of key terms, and helpful tables that clarify Stoic ethical doctrines as a glance. Accompanying the Handbook (...) is the Tablet of Cebes , a curious and engaging text from an unknown author. In complete contrast to the Handbook 's more conventional philosophical presentation, the Tablet is an allegory that shows progress to philosophical wisdom as a journey through a landscape inhabited by personifications of Happiness, Fortune, the Virtues and Vices. (shrink)
‘The heavens’ are among the oldest and most enduring heritage of human cultures: a scene of ancient myths and modern space opera. That something is part of somebody’s cultural heritage implies that there may be ethical duties to conserve it or otherwise treat it with respect, and space is no exception to this principle: recent work by Tony Milligan asserts that the cultural significances of the Moon may count against any prospect of lunar mining on a significantly destructive scale. Current (...) literature on the ethics of cultural heritage, however, tends ordinarily to be suited to more familiar sorts of heritage: artefacts and places contested by terrestrial governments and settled ethnic groups, rather than the distant worlds above us. So long as space exploration is conducted by those same terrestrial governments and their agencies, current international agreements about protection of ‘the common heritage of mankind’ may seem adequate as a guiding light for their ethics in space. Private space exploration, however, introduces further difficulties. -/- Private individuals and corporations often have complex cultural affiliations of their own; and expansion into space may foster the development of identities not strongly grounded in the national and regional cultures of Earth. To look up and observe space is part of the heritage we share as human beings, whilst the names of the ‘heavenly bodies’ we perceive and the stories we tell about them are hallmarks of particular terrestrial cultures; but what responsibilities are borne towards this heritage by people who go out to explore and inhabit and exploit it? This essay considers in what ways, and to what extent, the roles which space has played within the cultures that have developed on Earth might place moral constraints upon private explorers of space. I argue that space qua heritage is best conceptualised as an intellectual resource: explorers will not find legendary heroes or crystal spheres, but it has been possible (for example) for human cultures to feature Moon Goddesses by virtue of the fact that there is a Moon. Drawing on ideas of stewardship which have been influential in archaeological ethics, I develop an account of how duties of conservation might put practical constraints upon the exploitation of this resource. (shrink)
The saying that `Australia rode to prosperity on the sheep's back' never had more than a small measure of truth; it is better rephrased as `Australia has enjoyed limited periods of modest prosperity through the near-destruction by sheep of a fragile native vegetation'. Sheep, however, have had a cultural role in Australia that needs to be understood if the failures of the wool industry leadership are to be grasped. This role has had a long history, in part Biblical (the Good (...) Shepherd, the episcopal crosier, pastoral care), greatly reinforced by the Enclosures of the 18th century in Britain, promoting an idealized landscape of trees and grass. Settlers found Arcady in eastern Australia, often prepared for them by Aboriginal land use; in came the sheep, the lawn-mowers of the day, and up went the place names, from Camden Park on. `Parks' had social status. Landscapes of trees and grass were much admired, but lacking an understorey, essentially rather sterile from an ecological point of view. The grassy open woodlands were painted by the likes of Hans Heysen, while Tom Roberts painted the shearers. They became the very image of Australia, but the landscapes are dying, and the isolated trees are not regenerating. Many of the images remain potent. But sentiment will not pay the bills of the new century, so it is farewell to Arcady. The nymphs are long departed. This essay, like Gaul, is divided into three parts, the first of which considers sheep and the pastoral industry as a land use: the second is about the politics of wool; the third, about Arcady in Australia, is a theme that helps to explain the first two. (shrink)
Health and health care problems can be addressed from multiple disciplinary perspectives. This raises challenges for how to do cross-disciplinary scholarship in ways that are still robust, rigorous and coherent. This paper sets out one particular approach to cross-cutting research—regulation—which has proved extremely fertile for scholars working in diverse fields, from coal mine safety to tax compliance. The first part of the paper considers how regulatory ideas might be applied to health and health care research in general. The second part (...) goes on to sketch out how a regulation perspective on one specific area, illicit drug policy, can open up new directions for research. In conclusion, a future research agenda is outlined for regulatory scholarship on health and health care. (shrink)
The purpose of this dissertation is to provide a defence of Aristotle's principle of contradiction against the critique made on it by Jan Lukasiewicz in an article he wrote in 1910 which was translated and published in the March 1971 number of The Review of Metaphysics. Lukasiewicz maintains in general that the law of contradiction has no logical worth. Specifically, he charges Aristotle with having several laws of contradiction instead of one as Aristotle claims; with attempting to prove the law (...) despite his claim that this is impossible and finally with failing in the very attempt to prove the law, or at least one of its formulations. In 20 chapters, each dealing with a respective section of Lukasiewicz's article, I attempt to show that all of Lukasiewicz's allegations are unfounded. My methodology is simply to follow Lukasiewicz through his 20 sections and compare what he says with what Aristotle actually wrote. If successful, this dissertation will show, in basic agreement with Professor Joseph Owens, that the best way to read Aristotle is on his own terms and not, as in the case of Lukasiewicz, via the latest developments in symbolic logic. I reiterate, with Aristotle, that the law of contradiction is the basic principle of being qua being and has logical worth precisely because of that fact. (shrink)
The purpose of this study is to examine F. S. C. Northrop's approach to Russian Communism via his analysis of the fundamental types of all possible concepts and how an exposition of the basic concepts of Russian Communism enable us to understand not only the past performances of the Soviet Union but also to predict what they are likely to do in the future. This goal is accomplished by an examination of three essays that Northrop penned over a period of (...) 14 years. Although a few critical remarks are tendered, my essay tends to be descriptive in an effort to introduce those unfamiliar with Northrop to the work of this vast mind. Readers of this journal will no doubt profit from exposure to Northrop's entire corpus. (shrink)
This paper attempts to answer Joseph B. McAllister’s critique o f the epistemology of F. S. C. Northrop. Toward this end an exposition of the essence of Northrop’s theory of knowledge is presented and a simple comparison with McAllister’s similar effort reveals the latter’s deficiencies. I also reveal how McAllister’s criticism of Northrop’s “supposed” realism depends on equating realism in general with one kind, direct realism. If this is so, then Northrop is neither a skeptic nor a moral or legal (...) relativist. (shrink)
The purpose of this study is to examine F. S. C. Northrop's approach to Russian Communism via his analysis of (1) the fundamental types of all possible concepts and (2) how an exposition of the basic concepts of Russian Communism enable us to understand not only the past performances of the Soviet Union but also to predict what they are likely to do in the future. This goal is accomplished by an examination of three essays that Northrop penned over a (...) period of 14 years. Although a few critical remarks are tendered, my essay tends to be descriptive in an effort to introduce those unfamiliar with Northrop to the work of this vast mind. Readers of this journal will no doubt profit from exposure to Northrop's entire corpus. (shrink)
This book is a qualitative, interpretive, phenomenological, and interdisciplinary, examination of food and food practices and their meanings in the modern world. Each chapter thematically focuses upon a particular food practice and on some key details of the examined practice, or on the practice’s social and cultural impact.
n this book, Fred Seddon critically examines the views of Ayn Rand and some of her fellow Objectivists on several of the major figures in the history of philosophy, viz., Plato, Augustine, Hume, Kant and Nietzsche. There is also a chapter dealing with Rand's aesthetics, as well as three appendixes, two on Plato and one detailing the philosophy of Ayn Rand.