In this paper I sketch a liberal studies course designed to explore our fundamental problem of thought and life: How can our human world exist and best flourish embedded as it is in the physical universe? The fundamental character of this problem provides one with the opportunity to explore a wide range of issues. What does physics tell us about the universe and ourselves? How do we account for everything physics leaves out? How can living brains be conscious? If everything (...) occurs in accordance with physical law, what becomes of free will? How does Darwin's theory of evolution contribute to the solution to the fundamental problem? What is the history of thought about this problem? What is of most value associated with human life? What kind of civilized world should we seek to help create? Why is the fundamental problem not a part of standard education in schools and universities? What are the most serious global problems confronting humanity? Can humanity learn to make progress towards as good a world as possible? These are some of the questions that can be tackled as an integral part of exploring the fundamental problem. But the course does not merely wander at random from one issue to another. Taking the fundamental problem as central provides the course with a coherent structure. The course would be conducted as a seminar, and it would respond to queries and suggestions from students. (shrink)
This article is a narrative exploration of ways to strengthen and deepen the MBA curriculum for the future. We argue that interdisciplinary approaches including anthropology, sociology, and the humanities into the curriculum will give a broader-based understanding of the complexities of ethical management and leadership. It is important to educate students not merely to maximize profits but also to face issues such as global sustainability, global prosperity, corporate social responsibility, and other challenges of being a global player. The humanities and (...) social sciences in addition to the traditional MBA curriculum provide us with auxiliary tools for more complex problem solving. These broader dimensions should be integrated into every course to provide a robust grounding for our students. It provides our new MBA graduates with the requisites to face emerging challenges in the workplace today and our global future. (shrink)
SUMMARYThis article transcripts and comments a hitherto unpublished letter from Dugald Stewart to Thomas Robert Malthus. In April 1820, Malthus published the first edition of his Principles of Political Economy and sent a copy to Stewart, who had turned away from political economy a few years previously. Our comment considers the seminal role that Stewart's teaching and writings played in the development of political economy at the beginning of the nineteenth century. It then sheds light on the reasons advanced (...) by Stewart in his letter to Malthus to explain his turning away from political economy after 1814. We conclude that in 1820, Stewart may have felt somewhat overwhelmed in the operation of transmuting principles of political economy to new problems, and left this task to David Ricardo and Malthus, to whom he paid a tribute. (shrink)
Hailed by Albert Camus as ‘the only great spirit of our times’, Simone Weil was one of great essayists and activists of the twentieth century. Her writings on the nature of religious faith and spirituality have inspired many subsequent thinkers. Wrestling with the moral dilemmas entailed by commitment to the Catholic Church, Letter to a Priest is a brilliant meditation on the perennial battle between faith and doubt and resonates today as much as when it was first written. This (...) edition also includes one of her most inspiring and celebrated essays, ‘Human Personality’, where Weil offers a moving and unorthodox account of the preciousness of human beings. With a new foreword by Raimond Gaita. (shrink)
This paper explores the political thought and literary devices contained in the pseudo-Platonic Eighth Letter, treating it as a later response to the political thought and literary style of Plato, particularly the exploration of the mixed constitution and the mechanisms for the restraint of monarchical power contained in the Laws. It examines the specific historical problems of this letter, and works through its supposed Sicilian context, its narrator's assessment of the situation, and the lengthy prosopopoeia of the dead (...) Syracusan politician Dion, before concluding with a consideration of its contribution to our knowledge of Greek political thought after Plato. (shrink)
Luce once declared that his and Jessop’s interpretation of Berkeley is “reflected in our edition of the Works.” The appearance of a recent article by Stephen Daniel draws attention to two examples of the implications of this interpretive model of editing. One is Luce’s and Jessop’s rejection of Alciphron as a reliable source for Berkeley’s philosophy, because we have access to his true philosophy elsewhere , and “it is idle to turn to Alciphron for Berkeleianism,” for he does not rest (...) his case there “on his own philosophy” . The other is the “correction” of Alciphron by incorporating an anonymous letter to Peter Browne “as a supplement” to Berkeley’s work—something that Daniel criticizes for circularity and lack of scholarly accuracy. The question arises as to whether Alciphron is the only example of a text in the Worksthat is biased in favor of the editors’ private interpretation. (shrink)
This article presents an edition, translation, and analysis of a prefatory letter addressed by the Galen translator Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq to one of his East-Syrian Christian patrons, the physician Salmawayh ibn Bunān. Ḥunayn composed this Letter to Salmawayh ibn Bunān in Syriac, but it survives only in his nephew's Arabic translation. Since its discovery over eighty years ago, the text has received little attention and has never before been published in its entirety. The Letter provides new insight (...) into Ḥunayn's early career and the Christian milieu in which he moved, demonstrating his indebtedness to the Syriac literary past exemplified by the prefaces of the earlier Galen translator Sergius of Rēšʿaynā. At the same time, the Letter indicates part of what made ʿAbbāsid-era translators like Ḥunayn different from their late ancient predecessors. This study argues that increased demand from patrons and Ḥunayn's close reading of Galen's Hippocratic commentaries yielded the Letter’s novel claim that readers of all abilities can and should have access to ancient Greek scientific texts. In this way, the Letter hints tantalizingly at Ḥunayn's understanding of his own literary and scientific project and its relationship with the ancient Greek tradition.RésuméCet article offre une édition, une traduction et une analyse d'une préface adressée par Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq, traducteur de Galien, à un mécène chrétien syro-oriental, le médecin Salmawayh ibn Bunān. Ḥunayn a composé cette Épître à Salmawayh ibn Bunān en syriaque, mais seule en a survécu une traduction arabe par son neveu. Le texte n'a reçu que peu d'attention depuis sa découverte, il y a plus de quatre-vingts ans; il n'a jamais été publié entièrement. L’Épître donne un nouvel aperçu des débuts de Ḥunayn et du milieu chrétien dans lequel il évoluait, en montrant ses attaches au passé littéraire syriaque, bien illustrées par les préfaces d'un autre traducteur de Galien, son prédécesseur Sergius de Rēšʿaynā ; mais l’Épître indique aussi des éléments qui distinguent de leur prédécesseur les traducteurs abbassides comme Ḥunayn. Cette étude soutient que la demande accrue des mécènes et la lecture attentive des commentaires hippocratiques de Galien ont suscité un nouveau discours, dans l’Épître, selon lequel des lecteurs de tout niveau peuvent et devraient avoir accès aux textes scientifiques grecs. Cette Épître montre ainsi comment Ḥunayn comprenait son propre projet littéraire et scientifique et sa relation à la tradition grecque de l'Antiquité. (shrink)
In their letter to the Editor in this issue, Kolstoe and Carpenter challenge a core aspect of our recently published case study of research approvals [BMC Medical Ethics 20:7] by arguing that we conflate research ethics with governance and funding processes. Amongst the key concerns of the authors are: 1) that our paper exemplifies a typical conflation of concepts such as governance, integrity and ethics, with significant consequences for claims around the responsibility and accountability of the organisations involved; 2) (...) that, as a consequence of this conflation, we misrepresent the ethics review process, including in fundamental aspects such as the ethics approval-opinion distinction; 3) that it is difficult to see scope for greater integration of processes such as applying for funding, research approvals, Patient and Public Involvement, etc., as suggested by us. Here we present an alternative point of view towards the concerns raised. (shrink)
This article is a reply to the three reviews of my book What Things Do: Philosophical Reflections on Technology, Agency, and Design (Verbeek 2005 ) in this symposium. It discusses the remarks made by the reviewers along five lines. The first is methodological and concerns the question of how to develop a philosophical approach to technology. The second line discusses the philosophical orientation of the book, and the relations between analytic and continental approaches. Third, I will discuss the metaphysical aspects (...) of the book, in particular the nature and value of the non-modernist approach it aims to set out. Fourth, I will discuss the social and political relevance of the book. Fifth, this will bring me to some concluding remarks about how the postphenomenological perspective developed in the book relates to liberalism, focusing on its suggestions to deliberately design our material environment in terms of mediation. (shrink)
This article is a reply to the three reviews of my book What Things Do: Philosophical Reflections on Technology, Agency, and Design in this symposium. It discusses the remarks made by the reviewers along five lines. The first is methodological and concerns the question of how to develop a philosophical approach to technology. The second line discusses the philosophical orientation of the book, and the relations between analytic and continental approaches. Third, I will discuss the metaphysical aspects of the book, (...) in particular the nature and value of the non-modernist approach it aims to set out. Fourth, I will discuss the social and political relevance of the book. Fifth, this will bring me to some concluding remarks about how the postphenomenological perspective developed in the book relates to liberalism, focusing on its suggestions to deliberately design our material environment in terms of mediation. (shrink)
Your letter has been received. Please give my regards to all the comrades-in-arms of Rebel Command Post of Henan Province [Henanzhaozhong]! Please also convey our deepest condolences to those comrades-in-arms who shed blood and sacrificed their lives while fighting under difficult and harsh circumstances.
Your letter has been received. Please give my regards to all the comrades-in-arms of Rebel Command Post of Henan Province [Henanzhaozhong]! Please also convey our deepest condolences to those comrades-in-arms who shed blood and sacrificed their lives while fighting under difficult and harsh circumstances.
A few weeks ago I received a copy of the PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES, containing a review of my book John Henry Newman, Our Way to Certitude, written by Fr. Boekraad. It was very unfavourable so that anybody reading it is sure to make up his mind never to buy the book.
Today is dedicated to the remembrance of the Holy Innocents, who were victims of a state sponsored terrorist attack at the very beginning of the Christian era. We believe this is an appropriate spiritual time to review and question the moral judgement of the Catholic Bishops of the United States of America that our nation's war on the people of Afghanistan is just. We do this in a spirit of fidelity to the teachings of the Catholic Church and to the (...) charism bequeathed to us as Catholic Workers by our founders, the Servants of God Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day of New York. Our statements, questions, and conclusions may seem startling to you, they may make you uncomfortable. This is because we come to you, not as the rich and powerful, but as the weak, poor, and powerless. (shrink)
“Room for His majesty! Room for His majesty! Whose voice is the conscience of the American people, and whole throne is in the American heart! I speak now of the Supreme Law of this Land! What is it? It is liberty, clad in the words, and manifested in the forms, of the written charter of our government, ordained to secure it [liberty] for us, and for our posterity! I mean by this, that the Supreme Law of this Land, declared to (...) be so in the charter itself, [What better proof can be required that it is the Supreme Law, than its own declaration that it is so!] is, by its observance, the true and only means of maintaining liberty in this land! Neglect it, forget it, disregard it, disobey it, weary of its commands, and you neglect, you disregard, and you will lose, liberty itself! Obey it, cherish it, studiously respect it, and liberty will flourish, and bless us and our posterity! I don’t think that these simple conditions can need more than this simple statement. [Oh, yes, they need a little proof.] They are sublime in their simplicity! They are incalculable in their value! They are mighty in their truth!”. (shrink)
In the first part of chapter 2 of book II of the Physics Aristotle addresses the issue of the difference between mathematics and physics. In the course of his discussion he says some things about astronomy and the ‘ ‘ more physical branches of mathematics”. In this paper I discuss historical issues concerning the text, translation, and interpretation of the passage, focusing on two cruxes, the first reference to astronomy at 193b25–26 and the reference to the more physical branches at 194a7–8. In (...) section I, I criticize Ross’s interpretation of the passage and point out that his alteration of has no warrant in the Greek manuscripts. In the next three sections I treat three other interpretations, all of which depart from Ross's: in section II that of Simplicius, which I commend; in section III that of Thomas Aquinas, which is importantly influenced by a mistranslation of, and in section IV that of Ibn Rushd, which is based on an Arabic text corresponding to that printed by Ross. In the concluding section of the paper I describe the modern history of the Greek text of our passage and translations of it from the early twelfth century until the appearance of Ross's text in 1936. (shrink)
We are addressing this letter to the editors of Philosophical Psychology after reading an article they decided to publish in the recent vol. 33, issue 1. The article is by Nathan Cofnas and is entitled “Research on group differences in intelligence: A defense of free inquiry” (2020). The purpose of our letter is not to invite Cofnas’s contribution into a broader dialogue, but to respectfully voice our concerns about the decision to publish the manuscript, which, in our opinion, (...) fails to meet a range of academic quality standards usually expected of academic publications. (shrink)
In a sense, all technology is biotechnology: machines interacting with human organisms. Technology is designed to overcome the frailties and limitations of human beings in a state of nature -- to make us faster, stronger, longer-lived, smarter, happier. And all technology raises questions about its real contribution to human welfare: are our lives really better for the existence of the automobile, television, nuclear power? These questions are ethical and political, as well as medical; and they even reach to the philosophical (...) and spiritual. On the whole, we seem pretty well adapted to our technology, at least on the face of it -- but there have always been doubts about whether the human soul thrives best in the oppressively technological world we have created for ourselves. (I am continually struck by how much time I have to spend fixing the machines that supposedly improve my life.). (shrink)
Destructive narcissism is recognized increasingly as a serious impairment to good corporate leadership and ethical conduct. The Chief Executive Officer’s letter to shareholders (an important formal corporate communications medium) has potential to provide linguistic traces of destructive narcissism and insight to aspects of corporate leadership and the ambient ethical culture of a company. We demonstrate this potential through selective analyses of the letters of the Chief Executive Officers of Enron, Starbucks, and General Motors.
We would like to thank Dolega and Dewhurst for a thought-provoking and informed deconstruction of our article, which we take as applause from valued members of our audience. In brief, we fully concur with the theatre-free formulation offered by Dolega and Dewhurst and take the opportunity to explain why we used the Cartesian theatre metaphor. We do this by drawing an analogy between consciousness and evolution. This analogy is used to emphasize the circular causality inherent in the free energy principle. (...) We conclude with a comment on the special forms of active inference that may be associated with selfawareness and how they may be especially informed by dream states. (shrink)
Metaphysicians should pay attention to quantum mechanics. Why? Not because it provides definitive answers to many metaphysical questions-the theory itself is remarkably silent on the nature of the physical world, and the various interpretations of the theory on offer present conflicting ontological pictures. Rather, quantum mechanics is essential to the metaphysician because it reshapes standard metaphysical debates and opens up unforeseen new metaphysical possibilities. Even if quantum mechanics provides few clear answers, there are good reasons to think that any adequate (...) understanding of the quantum world will result in a radical reshaping of our classical world-view in some way or other. Whatever the world is like at the atomic scale, it is almost certainly not the swarm of particles pushed around by forces that is often presupposed. This book guides readers through the theory of quantum mechanics and its implications for metaphysics in a clear and accessible way. The theory and its various interpretations are presented with a minimum of technicality. The consequences of these interpretations for metaphysical debates concerning realism, indeterminacy, causation, determinism, holism, and individuality are explored in detail, stressing the novel form that the debates take given the empirical facts in the quantum domain. While quantum mechanics may not deliver unconditional pronouncements on these issues, the range of possibilities consistent with our knowledge of the empirical world is relatively small-and each possibility is metaphysically revisionary in some way. This book will appeal to researchers, students, and anybody else interested in how science informs our world-view. (shrink)
This paper argues for the following disjunction: either we do not live in a world with a branching temporal structure, or backwards time travel is nomologically impossible, given the initial state of the universe, or backwards time travel to our space-time location is impossible given large-scale facts about space and time. A fortiori, if backwards time travel to our location is possible, we do not live in a branching universe.
Over the last twenty years, the idea that climate change – and indeed global environmental change more generally – is fundamentally a moral challenge has become mainstream. But most have supposed that the challenge is one of acting morally, rather than to our morality itself. Dale Jamieson is a notable exception to this trend. From the earliest days of climate ethics, he has argued that successfully addressing the problem will involve a fundamental paradigm shift in ethics. In general, Jamieson believes (...) that our current values evolved relatively recently in “low-population-density and low-technology societies, with seemingly unlimited access to land and other resources,” and so are ill-suited to a globalized world. More specifically, he asserts that these values include as a central component an account of responsibility which “presupposes that harms and their causes are individual, that they can be readily identified, and that they are local in time and space.” But, he claims, global environmental problems such as climate change fit none of these criteria, so that a new value system is needed, one which addresses “fundamental questions” about “how we ought to live, what kinds of societies we want, and how we should relate to nature and other forms of life.” In particular, he declares that there is little hope of success without direct appeal to a hitherto underappreciated “duty of respect for nature.” In my view, Jamieson is right to question the adequacy of conventional ethical thinking for addressing global environmental problems. However, I also contend that the situation with respect to responsibility is less clear cut than he suggests. In this paper, I offer several objections to Jamieson’s main arguments, and propose an alternative, less revisionary, account of our predicament. Nevertheless, I also suggest that much of the spirit of Jamieson’s position remains intact, so that my proposal is more of a “friendly amendment” to his view than an outright rejection of it. According to this amendment, climate change involves a failure of our attempts to delegate responsibility to political institutions charged with acting on our behalf. Such failures are jarring, since they throw many of our normal practices into doubt, and threaten to restore to us demanding social burdens to which we have become largely unaccustomed. This situation need not cast doubt on our basic account of ethical responsibility. Indeed, that account helps to illuminate what is going on. Still, it does imply that we face a large (although somewhat familiar) moral and political challenge. (shrink)
In 1768 H. B. de Saussure studied chemistry with Baumé in Paris, and subsequently, using precise quantitative methods, he analysed minerals collected during his alpine journeys. He began to use the blowpipe in 1784, and later adapted it so that with a microscope and micrometer he could examine the effects of high temperatures on minute specimens of minerals. Analyses of air carried out with a portable eudiometer convinced him that air from alpine valleys contained more oxygen, and was therefore healthier, (...) than air from either mountain tops or plains. In 1788 he accepted the antiphlogistic theory after reading the annotated French translation of Kirwan's Essay on Phlogiston; he announced his conversion in a letter to the translator, Madame Lavoisier, whose reply is discussed and published here for the first time. (shrink)
"Teaching after all is about knowing children well" -- from A Letter to Teachers "Perrone has given us a gift, a book worth reading over many times, an important reflection on his many years of close observation of schools and school people, parents, teachers, children, and their communities." -- Deborah W. Meier, principal, Central Park East Secondary School Simple, elegant and full of common sense, these reflections on the art of teaching address the deepest concerns teachers have for their (...) work with children and young people. (shrink)
This letter addresses the editorial decision to publish the article, “Research on group differences in intelligence: A defense of free inquiry” (Cofnas, 2020). Our letter points out several critical problems with Cofnas's article, which we believe should have either disqualified the manuscript upon submission or been addressed during the review process and resulted in substantial revisions.
A Tip of the Hat to Our Peer Reviewers Content Type Journal Article Category Editorial Pages 319-322 DOI 10.1007/s11673-011-9328-9 Authors Michael A. Ashby, Palliative Care and Persistent Pain Services, Royal Hobart Hospital, Southern Tasmania Area Health Service and School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, 1st Floor, Peacock Building, Repatriation Centre, 90 Davey St, Hobart, TAS 7000, Australia Leigh E. Rich, Department of Health Sciences (Public Health), Armstrong Atlantic State University, 11935 Abercorn Street, Savannah, GA 31419, USA (...) Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529 Journal Volume Volume 8 Journal Issue Volume 8, Number 4. (shrink)
This is a letter written in January 2008 by Adrian Johnston to Slavoj Žižek after the former had read a pre-publication draft version of the manuscript of In Defense of Lost Causes. Herein, Johnston outlines a series of his responses to various lines of argumentation contained in In Defense of Lost Causes.
What do we owe to our descendants? How do we balance their needs against our own? Tim Mulgan develops a new theory of our obligations to future generations, based on a new rule-consequentialist account of the morality of individual reproduction. He also brings together several different contemporary philosophical discussions, including the demands of morality and international justice. His aim is to produce a coherent, intuitively plausible moral theory that is not unreasonably demanding, even when extended to cover future people. While (...) the book focuses on developing this new account, there are also substantial discussions of alternative views, especially contract-based accounts of intergenerational justice and competing forms of consequentialism. (shrink)
We appreciate the thoughtful responses we have received on ?Disclosing New Worlds?. We will respond to the concerns raised by grouping them under three general themes. First, a number of questions arise from lack of clarity about how the matters we undertook to discuss ? especially solidarity ? appear when one starts by thinking about the primacy of skills and practices. Under this heading we consider (a) whether we need more case studies to make our points, and (b) whether national (...) and other solidarities require willingness to die for the values that produce that solidarity. Second, we take up questions concerning the historical character of the skills of entrepreneurs, virtuous citizens, and culture figures. Here we shall (a) emphasize how we distinguish ourselves from earlier writers on these subjects, (b) consider essentialism, relational identities, and exclusion, (c) answer a number of Habermasian concerns raised by Hoy, (d) speak to Taylor's concern regarding the contingency of solidarity and forgetting, and (e) take up Grant's objection that we are both formalists and relativists. Third, we shall take up the concern, raised mostly by Borgmann, that historical disclosing, that is to say history as the West has known it, is over, and that now all that can be done by those who transform the practices is to make them more and more technological. (shrink)
ABSTRACTIn a recent paper published in this journal, Eric Funkhouser argues that some of our beliefs have the primary function of signaling to others, rather than allowing us to navigate the world. Funkhouser’s case is persuasive. However, his account of beliefs as signals is underinclusive, omitting both beliefs that are signals to the self and less than full-fledged beliefs as signals. The latter set of beliefs, moreover, has a better claim to being considered as constituting a psychological kind in its (...) own right than the set of beliefs Funkhouser identifies. (shrink)
The publication of a new intellectual biography of George Cheyne provides a "propitious" occasion for "a thoroughly skeptical review" of the question which has long exercised Hume scholars, whether Cheyne was the intended recipient of David Hume's fascinating pre-Treatise Letter to a Physician, the letter which describes his own hypochondriacal physical and mental symptoms and gives an account of his early philosophical development. Hume's nineteenth-century biographer, John Hill Burton, argued that Hume was probably writing to Cheyne, while Ernest (...) Mossner claimed to definitively refute that hypothesis in an article entitled "Hume's Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot," published in 1944. Anita Guerrini's intellectual biography does not discuss Cheyne as a possible recipient of Hume's letter, but she does present a well-rounded picture of this interesting eighteenth-century physician from which we can judge his appropriateness as its addressee. In the following discussion I will make use of the biographical material found in this new biography of Cheyne, as well as other sources, to show that Mossner's arguments are less than definitive, and that it would be wrong to dismiss the possibility that the letter was sent to George Cheyne. This is a possibility that, for reasons that I will make clear, makes good biographical and philosophical sense. At the same time, it is important to keep a proper suspense of judgment as Burton did, for the evidence that the letter was either intended for or actually sent to Cheyne is not definitive. (shrink)
Among the correspondence between Husserl and Brentano kept at the Houghton Library of Harvard University there is a letter from Husserl to Brentano from 29 XII 1889, whose contents were completely unknown until now. The letter is of some significance, both historically as well as systematically for Husserl’s early development, painting a vivid picture of his relation and indebtedness to his teacher Franz Brentano. As in his letter to Stumpf from February 1890, Husserl describes the issues he (...) had encountered during the elaboration of his habilitation work into the Philosophy of Arithmetic, but also announces that he has finally found "clarity" regarding the arithmetica universalis. (shrink)
I prefer to put this in a letter to you instead of writing an article that would lead one to believe that I have any authority to speak on the subject of what has, in a roundabout way, become the H. and H. affair . In other words, a cause of extreme seriousness, already discussed many times although certainly endless in nature, has been taken up by a storm of media attention, which has brought us to the lowest of (...) passions, intense emotions, and even violence. I understand why people are talking about Victor Farias, who has contributed some unpublished information—with a polemical intent, it is true, that does not help one to appreciate its true value. But how has it happened that Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe’s book, published in 1987, was greeted by a silence that I am perhaps the first to break?1 It is because he avoids anecdotal accounts, all the while citing and situating most of the facts mentioned by Farias. He is severe and rigorous. He lays essential questions before us. 1. Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, La Fiction du politique: Heidegger, l’art et la politique . I also cite Lacoue-Labarthe’s book, La Poésie comme experience , devoted to Paul Celan. Maurice Blanchot, one of France’s preeminent writers, has written, among many other books, The Last Man, Death Sentence, The Madness of the Day, and The Gaze of Orpheus and Other Literary Essays. Paula Wissing, a free-lance translator and editor, has recently translated Paul Veyne’s Did the Greeks Believe in Their Myths? (shrink)
: Those who are morally opposed to abortion generally make several pivotal assumptions. This paper focuses on the assumption that we have full moral status throughout our existence. Coupled with the assumption that we come into existence at conception, the assumption about moral status entails that all human fetuses have full moral status, including a right to life. Is the assumption about moral status correct? In addressing this question, I respond to several arguments advanced, in this journal and other venues, (...) by Alfonso Gómez-Lobo. Gómez-Lobo's reasoning resolves into two basic arguments: (1) an appeal to the practical necessity of early moral protection and (2) an appeal to our kind membership and potentiality. I respond to these in turn before offering further reflections. (shrink)
This article describes how we seem to live in a willed blindness towards the effects that our meat production and consumption have on animals, the environment and the climate. A willed blindness that cannot be explained by either lack of knowledge or scientific uncertainty. The blindness enables us to see ourselves as moral beings although our lack of reaction to the effects of our actions tells another story. The article describes the consequences of intensive meat production and consumption to animal (...) welfare and environmental degradation and discusses different strategies to overcome the willed blindness focusing on the development of either a new moral vision of our obligations or new visions of what a good life is. (shrink)
BASTARD TONGUES: A Trailblazing Linguist Finds Clues to Our Common Humanity in the World’s Lowliest Languages. Author: Derek Bickerton (270 pp. Hill & Wang. New York - 2008. $ 26.) Review by Leonardo Caffo.
The author argues that Jose Rizal’s “Letter to the young women of Malolos” is a vindication of Filipino women’s rights during his time. The author examines the situation of the Filipino women as depicted in the “Letter.” Then she presents Mary Wollstonecraft’s notion of vindication of women’s rights to demonstrate that Rizal’s “Letter” is an instance of such a vindication as it calls for Filipina empowerment.
In Coming to Our Senses, Michael Devitt insists that if we are going to argue about what meanings are, we should know why we care. He reasonably observes that unless we agree about this, we are likely to be arguing past one another. The meanings Devitt discusses are token meanings of individual thoughts and utterances. He holds that these meanings are properties, and that we have two purposes for attributing them to thoughts and utterances: to predict and explain a subject’s (...) behavior, and to learn about the world. If a property attributed to a thought by means of a t-clause serves either of these purposes then that property plays a semantic role. A meaning is any property that plays a semantic role. (shrink)
RESUMO:A réplica rousseauniana a d’Alembert, autor do verbete Genebra da Enciclopédia, foi batizada como Carta sobre os espetáculos, em respeito ao tema nela tratado após os dez primeiros parágrafos, os quais abordam explicitamente o tema da intolerância religiosa. Contudo, o presente artigo apresenta, sob a perspectiva de uma moral da tolerância que não se resume às questões religiosas, a defesa de que a Carta a d’Alembert é uma integral e avançada Carta sobre a Tolerância, por contemplar, além do discurso iluminista (...) de recusa à inquirição ou inspeção da fé alheia em matéria de religião, uma atualizada recusa multiculturalista ao etnocentrismo. ABSTRACT:Rousseau’s letter to d’Alembert, author of the Encyclopedia entry on Geneva, is known as the Letter on Spectacles. The title subject is dealt with after the letter’s first ten paragraphs, which explicitly address the issue of religious intolerance. The present article presents, from a perspective of a moral tolerance that is not limited to religious affairs, the argument that the letter to d’Alembert is a comprehensive and advanced Letter on Tolerance. In addition to its Enlightenment discourse of refusal of inquiry or inspection of the faith of others on religious matters, the letter contains an up-to-date multiculturalist rejection of ethnocentrism. (shrink)
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:1. The present state of the questionEsser's turnaboutIn his collection of studies on the writings of Francis, published in 1973, Kajetan Esser, the acknowledged master of Franciscan textual criticism, wrote that in verse 13 of Francis's Letter to the Clergy there exists "a striking difference, that is difficult to explain," between the oldest manuscript which originally belonged to the Benedictine abbey of Subiaco and was written before 1238, (...) and the famous manuscript Assisi 338 which originated between 1250 and 1260. However, Esser considered this difference "a too weak basis to accept a double version of the Letter to the Clergy." It is therefore somewhat strange, to say the least, that in his textcritical edition of the writings of Francis, published only three years later in 1976, the same Esser concludes, without any further explanation, that the differences are "so serious that one has to accept two versions of one and the same letter."Esser's conclusion immediately raises the question about which one of the two versions would be the first. Esser opted for the Subiaco manuscript as the first version and the Assisi manuscript as the second. An important reason for Esser's option was the fact that the Assisi manuscript of the Letter to the Clergy added in verse 13 that the clerics have to observe all of these matters "according to the precepts of the Lord and the constitutions of holy mother Church ." With "the constitutions of holy mother Church" Francis referred, according to Esser, to the papal bull Sane cum olim, issued by pope Honorius III on November 22, 1219. And as this bull, in Esser's view, also "contained references to the will of God as laid down in Holy Scripture," Francis decided to insert both a reference to the papal bull and to "the precepts of the Lord" in a new, second version of the letter. This would imply that Francis, who in the summer of 1219 left for Egypt, wrote the second version only after his return from the Middle East in the spring of 1220. For it was only then that he came to know about the existence of the papal bull issued during his absence from Italy, and could refer to it in order to strengthen his appeal to the clergy to show greater reverence for the Eucharist. At the same time, however, the absence of these important additions in the first version implies that this version was written before the papal bull of Honorius was issued and thus also before Francis's departure for the Middle East in the summer of 1219.Present reception of Esser's theoryThe latest English translation, published in 1999, follows Esser and contains a separate translation of both versions, the first of which was written before 1219 and the second in 1220. In the most recent German translation Leonhard Lehmann acknowledges the existence of two versions but the differences between the two are so small that it suffices to print only the text of the oldest manuscript, that of Subiaco, written before 1238. He agrees, though, that the addition constitutiones sanctae matris Ecclesiae in the second version refers to the papal bull Sane cum olim and that the earlier version may have been written before 1219. The revised edition of the Fonti Francescane still follows Esser's theory as regards the existence of two versions, the early date of the first version and the reference of the second version to Sane cum olim. However, in a lengthy article on Francis's letters, C. Paolazzi, the author of the introduction to the Letters in FF, revised his previous opinion in 2008. He still accepts the existence of two versions but dates both after Sane cum olim and therewith also after Francis's return from the Middle East in 1220. His main argument is that theimplicit quotations.. (shrink)
A landmark of Enlightenment thought, Hume's _An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding_ is accompanied here by two shorter works that shed light on it: _A Letter from a Gentleman to His Friend in Edinburgh_, Hume's response to those accusing him of atheism, of advocating extreme skepticism, and of undermining the foundations of morality; and hisof _A Treatise of Human Nature_, which anticipates discussions developed in the _Enquiry_. In his concise Introduction, Eric Steinberg explores the conditions that led Hume to write (...) the Enquiry and the work's important relationship to Book I of Hume's _A Treatise of Human Nature_. (shrink)