In this paper, the authors have detected a new effect in the area of geomagnetism, related to the behavior of a magnetic dipole freely floating on water surface. An experiment is described in the present paper in which a magnetic dipole fixed upon a float placed on non- magnetized water surface undergoes displacement along with reorientation caused by fine structure of the earth's magnetic field. This fact can probably be explained by secular decrease of the earth's major dipole moment. Further, (...) a detailed study of the phenomenon may create interesting premises for its practical use, particularly for the analysis of fine structure of geomagnetic field and its time-dependent anomalies. A strange behavior of some sea fish species prior to strong earthquakes may be explained if the fish are assumed as 'live magnetic dipoles'. (shrink)
This article discusses the photographs of torture conducted by American soldiers in Iraq, at Abu Ghraib prison, with a focus on the novelty of the phenomenon in which the participants seek to produce a collective representation of themselves performing the act of torturing prisoners. If one considers that these activities were, in many respects, staged for the camera, it is possible to interpret these images of atrocities as belonging to the tradition of amateur photography, particularly pornography. The publication of this (...) material is of immense ethical and political significance, as it shows the hidden side of American values as exported to Iraq. Although the Abu Ghraib archives represent something which is inherently unspeakable, ineffable, the images are enough to reveal what otherwise would have been denied. This seems especially evident in light of the fact that recent wars have been conducted with an unprecedented degree of visual censorship and government manipulation. (shrink)
Objective To determine the attitudes of Egyptian patients regarding their participation in research and with the collection, storage and future use of blood samples for research purposes. Design Cross-sectional survey. Study population Adult Egyptian patients (n=600) at rural and urban hospitals and clinics. Results Less than half of the study population (44.3%) felt that informed consent forms should provide research participants the option to have their blood samples stored for future research. Of these participants, 39.9% thought that consent forms should (...) include the option that future research be restricted to the illness being studied. A slight majority (66.2%) would donate their samples for future genetic research. Respondents were more favourable towards having their blood samples exported to other Arab countries (62.0%) compared with countries in Europe (41.8%, p<0.001) and to the USA (37.2%, p<0.001). Conclusions This study shows that many individuals do not favour the donation of a blood sample for future research. Of those who do approve of such future research, many favour a consent model that includes an option restricting the future research to the illness being studied. Also, many Egyptians were hesitant to have their blood samples donated for genetic research or exported out of the Arab region to the USA and European countries. Further qualitative research should be performed to determine the underlying reasons for many of our results. (shrink)
I am writing this page while attending the International Association of Bioethics biannual congress in Singapore and I am happy to be able to report that bioethics is still a thriving field worldwide. The congress is attended by scholars from more than 55 countries. The breadth of topics covered is truly amazing and the approaches often novel and illuminating. We hope that this vitality of the field will continue to be reflected in the JME in the future and that it (...) is already to some extent reflected in the current issue of the journal which contains contributions from a range of countries covering a wide range of issues and methodologies. Where should my samples go?The future research use of blood and tissue samples taken as part of clinical care is a currently contested question in medical ethics. Abou-Zeid and colleagues have investigated the views of Egyptian patients on this issue using survey methods. The results show that many do not favour future research use of samples at all, and that among those who …. (shrink)
ABSTRACTIn Foucault's later works, experience and embodiment become important for explaining the normative constitution of the subject: for norms to be effective, discourses are insufficient – they must be experienced and embodied. Practices of “discipline” inscribe power constellations and discourses into subjective experience and bodies. In his lectures on the Hermeneutics of the Subject, he turns this “violent” form of normative embodiment into an ethical perspective by referring to the Stoic tradition. Even though Foucault never developed a notion of experience (...) and embodiment himself, his ideas can be re-read and complemented from a phenomenological perspective.The article tries to investigate the role of bodily experience and practice in Foucault's Genealogy and to bring it into dialogue with Husserl and Merleau-Ponty's conceptions of the lived body. It will attempt to show that concepts like sedimentation and habituality can help to explain how cultural norms not only influence the way we think abou.. (shrink)
Ethics issues in the areas of science, technology and medicine have emerged during the last few decades. Many countries have responded by establishing ethics committees at the national level. Identification of National Ethics Committees (NECs) in the Eastern Mediterranean (EM) region and the extent of their functions and capacity would be helpful in developing capacity building programs that address the needs of these committees. Accordingly, we conducted a survey to determine the characteristics of existing NECs in the EM region.
The Hippocratic Aphorisms is a well-known treatise which was very popular throughout the ages. This paper studies the Arabic translation of [Hdotu]unayn ibn Ishaq, the renowned Arab translator, of the first book of the Aphorisms as well as the commentary of Ibn al-Nafis, the thirteenth-century Arab doctor, on the same book. This study highlights the difficulties that occasionally confronted the Arab commentator while commenting. The obscurity of a few Hippocratic sentences as well as [Hdotu]unayn's interpretation and alteration in meaning were (...) probable sources for those difficulties. Ibn al-Nafis, however, was unaware of the role played by [Hdotu]unayn in shaping the Arabic text. Ibn al-Nafis reflected a deep trust in the Arabic text to the degree of commenting on every single word. He used both his intellect and his knowledge of other commentaries to solve those problematic phrases. He did not exhibit an interest in philological matters to help explain the text. His commentaries reflect his respect and appreciation for both Hippocrates and Galen, the latter of whom exercised some influence on [Hdotu]unayn and Ibn al-Nafis in their understanding of the work. Nonetheless both [Hdotu]unayn and Ibn al-Nafis showed traces of independence from Galen's influence. (shrink)
This paper proposes a conceptual framework for understanding the implementation process of a complex intervention concerned with professional role change. The proposed framework holds that the intervention must address three interacting systems (socio-cultural, educational and disciplinary) through which a health professional role is evolved. Each system is operationalized by four dimensions (values, methods, actors and targets). As for the implementation, the framework posits that it can be analyzed, by depicting the barriers and facilitators located within the dimensions of the three (...) interacting systems and within the intervention involved in the process through using the “menu of constructs” approach suggested by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). The implications of this framework, on theoretical research and practical levels, are reviewed. (shrink)
Les musées contemporains sont en pleine mutation, ils passent du statut de « temples de l’art et de la culture » à celui de pourvoyeurs d’activités culturelles et ludiques. Censés instruire, ils s’engagent dans la voie controversée de plaire en vue d’exister, le but ultime étant de drainer le plus de « clients » possible pour assurer la continuation. Et dans la mouvance, ils n’hésitent pas à s’exporter au même titre que les enseignes commerciales vers des cités-nations à la recherche (...) d’une « présence » sur la mappemonde globalisée. Le Louvre-Abou Dabi est un exemple saillant de cette tendance mondialisée, tout comme Guggenheim, il devient un jalon mobile de l’art et de la culture. Dans cette phénoménologie de « l’existence par l’architecture », les œuvres architecturales deviennent des objets-outils de notoriété et de communication, plus inhérents au marketing qu’à la culture. Mais quelle part d’intérêt va pour les collections dans ce nouveau statut du musée ou le bâtiment est à lui seul un gage d’existence et de contemporanéité ? Et dans quelle mesure, la part de responsabilité publique qui incombe aux musées dans le développement culturel de la collectivité, risque-t-elle d’être compromise par les lois du marché?Contemporary museums are rapidly evolving from “temples of art and culture” to providers of cultural and recreational activities. Although supposed to be instructive, they are embarking on a controversial policy of pleasing the public in order to exist, the ultimate aim being to draw as many “customers” as possible to secure their future. And in pursuing these aims, they have been exporting themselves, just like any commercial brand, to nation-cities seeking a “place” on the globalised map. The Abu Dhabi Louvre is a striking example of this global trend, as is the Guggenheim, which has now become a movable landmark in the arts and culture landscape. This phenomenon of “existence through architecture” is turning architectural works into objects as well as tools to enhance communication and notoriety, a development that has more to do with marketing than with culture. But given this new status, where the building itself guarantees the museum’s existence and contemporaneity, how much interest is there in its collections? And to what extent is every museum’s share of public responsibility for collective cultural development likely to compromised by “market forces”? (shrink)
Objective reasons are given by the facts. Subjective reasons are given by one’s perspective on the facts. Subjective reasons, not objective reasons, determine what it is rational to do. In this paper, I argue against a prominent account of subjective reasons. The problem with that account, I suggest, is that it makes what one has subjective reason to do, and hence what it is rational to do, turn on matters outside or independent of one’s perspective. After explaining and establishing this (...) point, I offer a novel account of subjective reasons which avoids the problem. (shrink)
NGTHING DIES This very brief and simp|e ou'r|ine oi the author's Famous 'Time' theory has been written, by specia| re uesf, For 'rhose who wish 'ro now mere|y, without mathematics, 'whaf if is a" abou'r'. NOTHING DIES NOTHING DIES by ...
Controversy continues to attach to the question whether an externalism about mental content is compatible with a traditional doctrine of privileged self-knowledge. By an externalism about mental content, I mean the view that what concepts our thoughts involve may depend not only on facts that are internal to us, but on facts about our environment. It is worth emphasizing, if only because it is still occasionally misperceived, that this thesis is supposed to apply at the level of sense and not (...) merely at that of reference: what concepts we think in terms of -- and not just what they happen to pick out -- is said by the externalist to depend upon environmental facts. By a traditional doctrine of privileged self-knowledge, I mean the view that we are able to know, without the benefit of empirical investigation, what our thoughts are in our own case. Suppose I entertain a thought that I would express with the sentence `Water is wet'. According to the traditional doctrine, I can know without empirical investigation (a) that I am entertaining a thought; (b) that it has a particular conceptual content, and (c) that its content is that water is wet. (shrink)
This paper proposes a view of time that takes passage to be the most basic temporal notion, instead of the usual A-theoretic and B-theoretic notions, and explores how we should think of a world that exhibits such a genuine temporal passage. It will be argued that an objective passage of time can only be made sense of from an atemporal point of view and only when it is able to constitute a genuine change of objects across time. This requires that (...) passage can flip one fact into a contrary fact, even though neither side of the temporal passage is privileged over the other. We can make sense of this if the world is inherently perspectival. Such an inherently perspectival world is characterized by fragmentalism, a view that has been introduced by Fine in his ‘Tense and Reality’ (2005). Unlike Fine's tense-theoretic fragmentalism though, the proposed view will be a fragmentalist view based in a primitive notion of passage. (shrink)
The philosophical literature on state legitimacy has recently seen a significant conceptual revision. Several philosophers have argued that the state's right to rule is better characterized not as a claim right to obedience, but as a power right. There have been few attempts to show that traditional justifications for the claim right might also be used to justify a power right, and there have been no such attempts involving the principle of fair play, which is widely regarded as the most (...) promising basis for a claim right to obedience. William Edmundson argues that the principle of fair play cannot generate power rights, and so any attempt at a fair play account of legitimacy must fail. I explain how fair play could generate a power right, owing to its stipulation that the rules of a cooperative scheme specify the form of participants' repayment. (shrink)
In this paper I argue for a priori conjectural scientific knowledge about the world. Physics persistently only accepts unified theories, even though endlessly many empirically more successful disunified rivals are always available. This persistent preference for unified theories, against empirical considerations, means that physics makes a substantial, persistent metaphysical assumption, to the effect that the universe has a (more or less) unified dynamic structure. In order to clarify what this assumption amounts to, I solve the problem of what it means (...) to say of a theory that it is unified. There are, I argue, eight different kinds of unity important in theoretical physics, all varieties of one basic idea. This provides us with a precise way of partially ordering physical theories with respect to their degree of unity. It also leads to a hierarchical view of physics, according to which physics makes a number of increasingly insubstantial metaphysical assumptions concerning the comprehensibility and knowability of the universe. Two of these are identified as constituting a priori conjectures. I conclude by arguing that the view developed in the paper resolves the traditional clash between empiricism and rationalism in the philosophy of science, and has important implications for science, and for academic inquiry more generally. (shrink)
The ethical climate in Turkey is beset by ethical problems. Bribery, environmental pollution, tax frauds, deceptive advertising, production of unsafe products, and the ethical violations that involved politicians and business professionals are just a few examples. The purpose of this study is to compare and contrast the ethical beliefs of American and Turkish consumers using the Ethical Position Questionnaire (EPQ) of Forsyth (1980), the Machiavellianism scale, and the Consumer Ethical Practices of Muncy and Vitell questionnaire (MVQ). A sample of 376 (...) subjects that consists of American consumers (n = 188) and Turkish consumers (n = 199) was used to compare the ethical beliefs and practices of the two samples. The MANOVA results for the two nationality groups found that five out of six criterion variables differed between the two groups. The implications of this study are intended to assist marketers to develop strategies that suit a particular market and lessen their risk of entry. (shrink)
In this discussion paper, I seek to challenge Hylarie Kochiras’ recent claims on Newton’s attitude towards action at a distance, which will be presented in Section 1. In doing so, I shall include the positions of Andrew Janiak and John Henry in my discussion and present my own tackle on the matter . Additionally, I seek to strengthen Kochiras’ argument that Newton sought to explain the cause of gravity in terms of secondary causation . I also provide some specification on (...) what Kochiras calls ‘Newton’s substance counting problem’ . In conclusion, I suggest a historical correction .Keywords: Isaac Newton ; Action at a distance; Cause of gravity; Fourth letter to Bentley. (shrink)
The Marburg neo-Kantians argue that Hermann von Helmholtz's empiricist account of the a priori does not account for certain knowledge, since it is based on a psychological phenomenon, trust in the regularities of nature. They argue that Helmholtz's account raises the 'problem of validity' (Gueltigkeitsproblem): how to establish a warranted claim that observed regularities are based on actual relations. I reconstruct Heinrich Hertz's and Ludwig Wittgenstein's Bild theoretic answer to the problem of validity: that scientists and philosophers can depict the (...) necessary a priori constraints on states of affairs in a given system, and can establish whether these relations are actual relations in nature. The analysis of necessity within a system is a lasting contribution of the Bild theory. However, Hertz and Wittgenstein argue that the logical and mathematical sentences of a Bild are rules, tools for constructing relations, and the rules themselves are meaningless outside the theory. Carnap revises the argument for validity by attempting to give semantic rules for translation between frameworks. Russell and Quine object that pragmatics better accounts for the role of a priori reasoning in translating between frameworks. The conclusion of the tale, then, is a partial vindication of Helmholtz's original account. (shrink)
Many expressions intuitively have different epistemic and modal profiles. For example, co-referring proper names are substitutable salva veritate in modal contexts but not in belief-contexts. Two-dimensional semantics, according to which terms have both a so-called primary and a secondary intension, is a framework that promises to accommodate and explain these diverging intuitions. The framework can be applied to indexicals, proper names or predicates. Graeme Forbes argues that the two-dimensional semantics of David Chalmers fails to account for so-called nested contexts. These (...) are linguistic contexts where a sentence is embedded under both epistemic and modal operators. Chalmers and Rabern suggest a two-dimensional solution to the problem. Their semantics solves the nesting-problem, but at the cost of invalidating certain plausible principles. We suggest a solution that is both simpler and avoids this cost. (shrink)
In his recent book, The Empirical Stance, Bas van Fraassen forcefully raises the question of what a philosophical position can or should be. He mainly discusses this question with regard to empiricism but his discussion makes it clear that he takes his proposed answer to be generalizable: not only empiricism but philosophical positions in general should be understood as stances rather than dogmata. The first part of this essay is devoted to an examination of van Fraassen’s critique of ‘naïve’ or (...) dogmatic empiricism, which represents an integral part of his argument for ‘stance’ empiricism. It will be argued that, contrary to van Fraassen’s view, not all versions of naïve empiricism run into the problems identified by him. In the second part of the paper the case will be made that, contrary to van Fraassen’s thesis, the stance empiricist is in at least as bad a position as the naïve empiricist with regard to the task of providing a radical critique of metaphysics, which van Fraassen takes to be an essential task that any empiricist should be able to accomplish. The third part of this essay concerns van Fraassen’s general proposal, and examines the question whether a philosophical position can possibly consist in a stance. It will be suggested that this is not the case. With regard to empiricism this has the implication that if one wants to be a philosopher and an empiricist at the same time one needs to subscribe to a form of naïve empiricism. Furthermore, it will be proposed that as a philosopher-empiricist one should want, or, at least, allow some form of metaphysical theorizing to be part of the philosophical enterprise after all. (shrink)
Review of Desmond M. Clarke. Descartes: A Biography. xi + 507 pp., apps., figs., bibl., index. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. $40 (cloth).; Richard Watson, Cogito, Ergo Sum: The Life of René Descartes. viii + 375 pp., figs., bibl., index. Boston: David R. Godine, 2002. $35 (cloth).
There has been a great deal of philosophical discussion about using people, using people intentionally, using people as a means to some end, and using people merely as a means to some end. In this paper, I defend the following claim about using people: NOT ALWAYS WRONG: using people—even merely as a means—is not always morally objectionable. Having defended that claim, I suggest that the following claim is also correct: NO ONE FEATURE: when it is morally objectionable to use people, (...) this is for many different kinds of reasons—there is no one wrong-making feature that every morally objectionable using has in common. After discussing these claims, I use them to present and motivate what I call the “precaution” theory of norms against using people. I conclude by considering a few cases from the criminal law context—cases that are naturally described as using people—to assess the moral appropriateness of this kind of use in these cases, and to demonstrate how the theory applies to the real world. (shrink)
This paper attempts to shed light on three sets of issues that bear directly on our understanding of Locke and Kant. The first is whether Kant believes Locke merely anticipates his distinction between analytic and synthetic judgments or also believes Locke anticipates his notion of synthetic a priori cognition. The second is what should we as readers of Kant and Locke should think about Kant’s view whatever it turns out to be, and the third is the nature of Kant’s justification (...) for the comparison he draws between his philosophy and Locke’s. I argue (1) that Kant believes Locke anticipates both the analytic-synthetic distinction and Kant’s notion of synthetic a priori cognition, (2) that the best justification for Kant’s claim draws on Locke’s distinction between trifling and instructive knowledge, (3) that the arguments against this claim developed by Carson, Allison, and Newman fail to undermine it, and (4) that Kant’s own justification for his claim is quite different from what many commentators have thought it was (or should have been). (shrink)
The concept of evil plays a central role in many of Peter French’s publications. He defines evil as “a human action that jeopardizes another person’s (or group’s) aspirations to live a worthwhile life (or lives) by the willful infliction of undeserved harm on that person(s)” (French 2011, 61, 95). Inspired by Harry Frankfurt’s work on the importance of what we care about, French argues that “the life a person leads is worthwhile if what he or she really gives a damn (...) about satisfies some condition(s) of value” (2011, 189). Through an analysis of the concept of “worthwhile”, I endeavor to show that French’s account of evil is correct although his definition of a worthwhile life is too demanding. Defining an evil act as one that willfully imperils another’s aspirations to live a worthwhile life is a welcome addition to the philosophical literature dedicated to the analysis of evil. Much of this literature identifies evil as severe, intolerable, or excessive harm, but these descriptions remain vague. When is harm precisely severe, intolerable, or excessive? French provides an original and plausible interpretation of these kinds of evil harm by explaining them in terms of an impediment to aspirations to live a worthwhile life. However, French’s definition of a worthwhile life is too strong and hence excludes unmistakable instances of evil. It is quite possible that someone who cares about nonvaluable things, or someone lacking cares altogether, or non-human animals (who might fall into either one of these two categories), could be victims of evil. Therefore, if evil is an act that jeopardizes another’s aspirations to live a worthwhile life, then the necessary condition of a worthwhile life cannot be that one gives a damn about something of value; it must be something far less demanding. In order to retain the central insight in French’s account of evil, I offer an alternative suggestion concerning what makes a life worthwhile. To this end, I distinguish a worthwhile life from a meaningful, valuable, significant, or good life. Focusing on the definition and use of the word “worthwhile”, I find that a worthwhile life is one that is worth the time and effort of the individual whose life it is. Jeopardizing another’s ability to make such a determination about her life lies at the hardened heart of evil. (shrink)
In our contribution we will observe phenomenal architecture of a mind and operational architectonics of the brain and will show their intimate connectedness within a single integrated metastable continuum. The notion of operation of different complexity is the fundamental and central one in bridging the gap between brain and mind: it is precisely by means of this notion that it is possible to identify what at the same time belongs to the phenomenal conscious level and to the neurophysiological level of (...) brain activity organization, and what mediates between them. Implications for linguistic semantics, self-organized distributed computing algorithms, artificial machine consciousness, and diagnosis of dynamic brain diseases will be discussed briefly. (shrink)
It is argued that, based on Kant's descriptive metaphysics, one can prescribe the necessary metaphysical underpinnings for the possibility of conscious experience in an artificial system. This project is developed by giving an account of the a priori concepts of the understanding in such a system. A specification and implementation of the nomological conditions for a conscious system allows one to know a priori that any system possessing this structure will be conscious; thus enabling us to avoid possible false-indicators of (...) consciousness like that offered in a behaviouristic analysis. This is an alternative approach to the bottom-up or top-down approaches adopted by, for example CYC (Lenat and Feigenbaum 1992) and COG (Brooks 1994; Brooks and Stein 1993), neither of which, alone, or in some hybrid form, have proved productive. (shrink)
Purpose: Commenting on the transcript of a lecture. Findings: The document reconstructs the development of the original 1973 lecture by Heinz von Foerster into his best-known paper, On Constructing a Reality. Many aspects of that paper can be identified as being shaped through interaction with the audience. Implications: The lecture documented here was a forerunner of a central paper in constructivism.
Simone de Beauvoir’s early enthusiasm for the philosophy of Henri Bergson (1859-1941)—denied in her 1958 autobiography, Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter—is a surprising discovery in her 1927 handwritten student diary, as I reported in 1999 and explored at more length in 2003 (Simons 1999; Simons 2003). Discovered by Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir after Beauvoir’s death in 1986 and now housed in the Bibliothèque nationale, Beauvoir’s student diary first appeared in print in the 2006 volume, Diary of a Philosophy Student: (...) 1926-27, followed in 2008 by the French publication, Cahiers de jeunesse: 1926-1930. Since my 1999 analysis of the 1927 diary, the publication of the 1926 diary and other posthumously discovered texts has deepened and complicated the evidence of Bergson’s influence.1 In this chapter, I propose to take up and expand upon my earlier analyses in the light of this new evidence, arguing that Beauvoir’s methodological turn to the description of immediate experience, especially her method of writing philosophy in literature and her lifelong interest in describing the subjective experience of time, drew upon Bergson’s philosophy before her first encounter with Husserl’s phenomenology which may have come as early as 1927; that her concept of bad faith and interest in exposing distortions in perception and thinking, as in the chapters in The Second Sex on myths about women, drew upon Bergson’s philosophy long before she had read Marx; and that her earliest formulation of the problem of the Other drew upon Bergson’s distinction between the “social self and the deep self,” two years before she met Jean-Paul Sartre and two decades before she first read Hegel’s Phenomenology. (shrink)
A. J. Ayer, who died in 1989, was acknowledged as one of Britain's most distinguished philosophers. In this memorial collection of essays leading Western philosophers reflect on Ayer's place in the history of philosophy and explore aspects of his thought and teaching. The volume also includes a posthumous essay by Ayer himself: 'A defence of empiricism'. These essays are undoubtedly a fitting tribute to a major figure, but the collection is not simply retrospective; rather it looks forward to present and (...) future developments in philosophical thought that Ayer's work has stimulated. (shrink)
Larry A. Hickman is Emeritus Professor of philosophy at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where he was the director of the Center for Dewey Studies from 1993 until his retirement in 2016. His monographs include: Modern Theories of Higher Level Predicates ; John Dewey's Pragmatic Technology ; Philosophical Tools for Technological Culture ; and Pragmatism as Post-Postmodernism. His edited volumes include Technology and Human Affairs ; Reading Dewey ; The Essential Dewey ; and The Correspondence of John Dewey. He has also (...) authored many articles on technology, environmental philosophy, critical theory, pragmatism, education, film studies, and philosophy of religion. This interview was conducted via email in the Spring of 2017. Hickman’s responses have not been altered in any way. (shrink)
We consider a natural-language sentence that cannot be formally represented in a first- order language for epistemic two-dimensional semantics. We also prove this claim in the appendix. It turns out, however, that the most natural ways to repair the expressive inadequacy of the first-order language render moot the original philosophical motivation of formalizing a priori knowability as necessity along the diagonal.
On rationalist infallibilism, a wide range of both (i) analytic and (ii) synthetic a priori propositions can be infallibly justified (or absolutely warranted), i.e., justified to a degree that entails their truth and precludes their falsity. Though rationalist infallibilism is indisputably running its course, adherence to at least one of the two species of infallible a priori justification refuses to disappear from mainstream epistemology. Among others, Putnam (1978) still professes the a priori infallibility of some category (i) propositions, while Burge (...) (1986, 1988, 1996) and Lewis (1996) have recently affirmed the a priori infallibility of some category (ii) propositions. In this paper, I take aim at rationalist infallibilism by calling into question the a priori infallibility of both analytic and synthetic propositions. The upshot will be twofold: first, rationalist infallibilism unsurprisingly emerges as a defective epistemological doctrine, and second, more importantly, the case for the a priori infallibility of one or both categories of propositions turns out to lack cogency. (shrink)
Most known technology serves to ingeniously adapt the world to the physical and mental limitations of human beings. Humankind has acquired awesome power with its rather limited means. Nanotechnological capabilities further this power. On some accounts, however, nanotechnological research will contribute to a rather different kind of technological development, namely one that changes human beings so as to remove or reduce their physical and mental limitations. The prospect of this technological development has inspired a fair amount of ethical debate. Here, (...) proponents and opponents of such visions of human enhancement are criticized alike for engaging in speculative ethics. This critique exposes a general pattern that extends to other nano-, bio-, or neuroethical debates. While it does not apply to all discussions of “enhancement technologies” it does apply to all ethical discourse that constructs and validates an incredible future which it only then proceeds to endorse or critique. This discourse violates conditions of intelligibility, squanders the scarce and valuable resource of ethical concern, and misleads by casting remote possibilities or philosophical thought-experiments as foresight about likely technical developments. In effect, it deflects consideration from the transformative technologies of the present. (shrink)
This paper presents a new argument against A-theories of time. A-theorists hold that there is an objective now (present moment) and an objective flow of time, the latter constituted by the movement of the objective now through time. A-theorists therefore want to draw different pictures of reality—showing the objective now in different positions—depending upon the time at which the picture is drawn. In this paper it is argued that the times at which the different pictures are drawn may be taken (...) to be normal times or hypertimes. If they are normal times then the A-theory is inconsistent, or else collapses to the B-theory—and appealing to primitive tense operators will not help A-theorists avoid this conclusion. If the times are hypertimes then the A-theory is consistent, but deeply problematic none the less. (shrink)
Business relations rely on shared perceptions of what is acceptable/expected norms of behavior. Immense expansion in transnational business made rudimentary consensus on acceptable business practices across cultural boundaries particularly important. Nonetheless, as more and more nations with different cultural and historical experiences interact in the global economy, the potential for misunderstandings based on different expectations is magnified. Such misunderstandings emerge in a growing literature on "improper" business practices – articulated from a narrow cultural perspective. This paper reports an ongoing research (...) on the cultural and contextual aspects of business ethics. The objective is to investigate how the perception/attitudes of business students towards the ethical dimension of doing business varies in different countries; Whether there are socio-cultural factors that influence the perception of ethicality in business practices. Research findings among business students in six countries: China, Egypt, Finland, Korea, Russia, and the U.S.A. are reported. While all groups had basic agreement on what constitutes ethical business practices, differences are found in the respondents'' tolerance to damage resulting from "unethical" behavior. Without underestimating the role of national culture, variations in research results also point to the importance of current socio-political developments in the relevant countries. Implications for business teaching and management development are discussed. (shrink)
Our trust in the word of others is often dismissed as unworthy, because the illusory ideal of "autonomous knowledge" has prevailed in the debate about the nature of knowledge. Yet we are profoundly dependent on others for a vast amount of what any of us claim to know. Coady explores the nature of testimony in order to show how it might be justified as a source of knowledge, and uses the insights that he has developed to challenge certain widespread assumptions (...) in the areas of history, law, mathematics, and psychology. (shrink)
Context: Although ethics consultation is commonplace in United States (U.S.) hospitals, descriptive data about this health service are lacking. Objective: To describe the prevalence, practitioners, and processes of ethics consultation in U.S. hospitals. Design: A 56-item phone or questionnaire survey of the "best informant" within each hospital. Participants: Random sample of 600 U.S. general hospitals, stratified by bed size. Results: The response rate was 87.4%. Ethics consultation services (ECSs) were found in 81% of all general hospitals in the U.S., and (...) in 100% of hospitals with more than 400 beds. The median number of consults performed by ECSs in the year prior to survey was 3. Most individuals performing ethics consultation were physicians (34%), nurses (31%), social workers (11%), or chaplains (10%). Only 41% had formal supervised training in ethics consultation. Consultation practices varied widely both within and between ECSs. For example, 65% of ECSs always made recommendations, whereas 6% never did. These findings highlight a need to clarify standards for ethics consultation practices. (shrink)
The article starts by arguing that seeing the firm as a mere nexus of contracts or as an abstract entity where different stakeholder interests concur is insufficient for a “humanistic business ethos”, which entails a complete view of the human being. It seems more appropriate to understand the firm as a human community, a concept which can be found in several sources, including managerial literature, business ethics scholars, and Catholic Social Teaching. In addition, there are also philosophical grounds that support (...) the idea of business as a human community. Extending this concept, and drawing from some Phenomenological-Personalist philosophers, we propose that the firm should be seen as a particular “community of persons” oriented to providing goods and services efficiently and profitably. Being a “community of persons” emphasizes both individuals and the whole, and makes explicit the uniqueness, conscience, free will, dignity, and openness to human flourishing. This requires appropriate communication about and participation in matters which affect people’s life, and makes it essential to cooperate for the common good of the business firm and the society. (shrink)
Epistemic two-dimensional semantics (E2D), advocated by Chalmers (2006) and Jackson (1998), among others, aims to restore the link between necessity and a priority seemingly broken by Kripke (1972/1980), by showing how armchair access to semantic intensions provides a basis for knowledge of necessary a posteriori truths (among other modal claims). The most compelling objections to E2D are that, for one or other reason, the requisite intensions are not accessible from the armchair (see, e.g., Wilson 1982, Melnyk 2008). As we substantiate (...) here, existing versions of E2D are indeed subject to such access-based objections. But, we moreover argue, the difficulty lies not with E2D but with the typically presupposed conceiving-based epistemology of intensions. Freed from that epistemology, and given the right alternative---one where inference to the best explanation (i.e., abduction) provides the operative guide to intensions---E2D can meet access-based objections, and fulfill its promise of restoring the desirable link between necessity and a priority. This result serves as a central application of Biggs and Wilson 2016 (summarized here), according to which abduction is an a priori mode of inference. (shrink)