The foundation for a system of morals, this 1749 work is a landmark of moral and political thought. Its highly original theories of conscience, moral judgment, and virtue offer a reconstruction of the Enlightenment concept of social science, embracing both political economy and theories of law and government.
This thoughtful new abridgment is enriched by the brilliant commentary which accompanies it. In it, Laurence Dickey argues that the _Wealth of Nations_ contains--and conceals--a great deal of how Smith actually thought a commercial society works. Guided by his conviction that the so-called Adam Smith Problem--the relationship between ethics and economics in Smith's thinking--is a core element in the argument of the work itself, Dickey's commentary focuses on the devices Smith uses to ground his economics in broadly ethical and social (...) categories. An unparalleled guide to an often difficult and perplexing work. (shrink)
Recently, a number of philosophers have begun to question the commonly held view that choice or voluntary control is a precondition of moral responsibility. According to these philosophers, what really matters in determining a person’s responsibility for some thing is whether that thing can be seen as indicative or expressive of her judgments, values, or normative commitments. Such accounts might therefore be understood as updated versions of what Susan Wolf has called “real self views,” insofar as they attempt to ground (...) an agent’s responsibility for her actions and attitudes in the fact (when it is a fact) that they express who she is as a moral agent. As such, they seem to be open to some of the same objections Wolf originally raised to such accounts, and in particular to the objection that they cannot license the sorts of robust moral assessments involved in our current practices of moral responsibility. My aim in this paper is to try to respond to this challenge, by clarifying the kind of robust moral assessments I take to be licensed by (at least some) non-volitional accounts of responsibility and by explaining why these assessments do not in general require the agent to have voluntary control over everything for which she is held responsible. I also argue that the limited applicability of the distinction between “bad agents” and “blameworthy agents” on these accounts is in fact a mark in their favor. (shrink)
A number of philosophers have recently argued that we should interpret the debate over moral responsibility as a debate over the conditions under which it would be “fair” to blame a person for her attitudes or conduct. What is distinctive about these accounts is that they begin with the stance of the moral judge, rather than that of the agent who is judged, and make attributions of responsibility dependent upon whether it would be fair or appropriate for a moral judge (...) to react to the agent in various (negative) ways. This is problematic, I argue, because our intuitions about whether and when it would be fair to react negatively to another are sensitive to a host of considerations that appear to have little or nothing to do with an agent’s responsibility or culpability for her attitudes or behavior. If this is correct, then theories which make attributions of responsibility dependent upon the appropriateness of our reactions as moral judges will turn out to be fundamentally misguided. (shrink)
ABSTRACTIt has recently become fashionable among those who write on questions of moral responsibility to distinguish two different concepts, or senses, of moral responsibility via the labels ‘responsibility as attributability’ and ‘responsibility as accountability’. Gary Watson was perhaps the first to introduce this distinction in his influential 1996 article ‘Two Faces of Responsibility’ , but it has since been taken up by many other philosophers. My aim in this study is to raise some questions and doubts about this distinction and (...) to argue that it has led to confusion rather than clarification in debates over moral responsibility. In place of the attributability/accountability distinction, I propose that there is a single concept of moral responsibility underlying our actual moral practices. This core notion of moral responsibility, which I call ‘responsibility as answerability’, is well positioned to explain thos.. (shrink)
This paper considers the claim that perceptual experience is “transparent”, in the sense that nothing other than the apparent public objects of perception are available to introspection by the subject of such experience. I revive and strengthen the objection that blurred vision constitutes an insuperable objection to the claim, and counter recent responses to the general objection. Finally the bearing of this issue on representationalist accounts of the mind is considered.
There is an apparent tension in our everyday moral responsibility practices. On the one hand, it is commonly assumed that moral responsibility requires voluntary control: an agent can be morally responsible only for those things that fall within the scope of her voluntary control. On the other hand, we regularly praise and blame individuals for mental states and conditions that appear to fall outside the scope of their voluntary control, such as desires, emotions, beliefs, and other attitudes. In order to (...) resolve this apparent tension, many philosophers appeal to a tracing principle to argue that agents are morally responsible for those attitudes whose existence can be traced back, causally, to a voluntary action or omission in the past. My aim in this article is to critically evaluate this tracing strategy and to argue that it gives us a misguided picture of when and why we are morally responsible for our attitudes. I argue that we should accept a ‘judgment sensitivity’ condition of moral responsibility rather than a ‘voluntary control’ condition, and defend this account against various objections. (shrink)
D. D. Raphael and A. L. Macfie (1976) II An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, ed. R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner; textual editor W. B. Todd, 2 vols. (1976) III Essays on Philosophical Subjects, ed. W. P. D. Wightman ...
The "Notes of Dr. Smith's Rhetorick Lectures," discovered in 1958 by a University of Aberdeen professor, consists of lecture notes taken by two of Smith's students at the University of Glasgow in 1762-1763. There are thirty lectures in the collection, all on rhetoric and the different kinds or characteristics of style. The book is divided into "an examination of the several ways of communicating our thoughts by speech" and "an attention to the principles of those literary compositions which contribute to (...) persuasion or entertainment." The species of communication discussed include descriptive and narrative composition, poetry, demonstrative oratory, panegyric, didactic or scientific language, deliberative oratory, and judicial or forensic oratory. The subjects addressed in his teachings include the style and genius of some of the best of the ancient writers and poets, especially the historians and the English classics. (shrink)
It is argued that Husserl was an “externalist” in at least one sense. For it is argued that Husserl held that genuinely perceptual experiences—that is to say, experiences that are of some real object in the world—differ intrinsically, essentially and as a kind from any hallucinatory experiences. There is, therefore, no neutral “content” that such perceptual experiences share with hallucinations, differing from them only over whether some additional non-psychological condition holds or not. In short, it is argued that Husserl was (...) a “disjunctivist”. In addition, it is argued that Husserl held that the individual object of any experience, perceptual or hallucinatory, is essential to and partly constitutive of that experience. The argument focuses on three aspects of Husserl’s thought: his account of intentional objects, his notion of horizon, and his account of reality. (shrink)
This article explores how neutralisation can explain people's lack of commitment to buying Fair Trade (FT) products, even when they identify FT as an ethical concern. It examines the theoretical tenets of neutralisation theory and critically assesses its applicability to the purchase of FT products. Exploratory research provides illustrative examples of neutralisation techniques being used in the FT consumer context. A conceptual framework and research propositions delineate the role of neutralisation in explaining the attitude-behaviour discrepancies evident in relation to consumers' (...) FT purchase behaviour, providing direction for further research that will generate new knowledge of consumers' FT purchase behaviour and other aspects of ethical consumer behaviour. (shrink)
Cross-situational learning is a mechanism for learning the meaning of words across multiple exposures, despite exposure-by-exposure uncertainty as to the word's true meaning. We present experimental evidence showing that humans learn words effectively using cross-situational learning, even at high levels of referential uncertainty. Both overall success rates and the time taken to learn words are affected by the degree of referential uncertainty, with greater referential uncertainty leading to less reliable, slower learning. Words are also learned less successfully and more slowly (...) if they are presented interleaved with occurrences of other words, although this effect is relatively weak. We present additional analyses of participants’ trial-by-trial behavior showing that participants make use of various cross-situational learning strategies, depending on the difficulty of the word-learning task. When referential uncertainty is low, participants generally apply a rigorous eliminative approach to cross-situational learning. When referential uncertainty is high, or exposures to different words are interleaved, participants apply a frequentist approximation to this eliminative approach. We further suggest that these two ways of exploiting cross-situational information reside on a continuum of learning strategies, underpinned by a single simple associative learning mechanism. (shrink)
Husserl has enjoyed a revival of interest in recent years and the Cartesian Meditations is perhaps his most widely read text. The book is an introduction to Husserl's phenomenology and is based on Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy . Husserl attempts to show how Descartes discovered the "transcendental" perspective which is essential to any genuine philosophy. Until now there has never been a secondary text on this important and influential work on philosophy. This book, in conjunction with the text itself, (...) will serve as a proper introduction to Husserlian phenomenology. A.D. Smith introduces and assesses the key concepts that arise in the book in clear and engaging ways. His style is highly accessible and suitable for anyone coming to the Cartesian Meditations for the first time. (shrink)
This article explores how neutralisation can explain people's lack of commitment to buying Fair Trade products, even when they identify FT as an ethical concern. It examines the theoretical tenets of neutralisation theory and critically assesses its applicability to the purchase of FT products. Exploratory research provides illustrative examples of neutralisation techniques being used in the FT consumer context. A conceptual framework and research propositions delineate the role of neutralisation in explaining the attitude-behaviour discrepancies evident in relation to consumers' FT (...) purchase behaviour, providing direction for further research that will generate new knowledge of consumers' FT purchase behaviour and other aspects of ethical consumer behaviour. (shrink)
This study uses accounting professionals from an international setting to test the individualism and power distance cultural dimensions developed by Hofstede [Culture’s Consequences (Sage Publications, Beverly Hills, CA) 1980]. Six countries, which appropriately represented high and low values on the Hofstede dimensions, were chosen for the survey of ethical beliefs. Respondents (n = 249) from the six countries were requested to supply their agreement/disagreement with eight questionable behaviors associated with the work environment. Each of these behaviors contained an individualism and/or (...) power distance cultural component for the responding accountants to consider. The results of the cultural analysis indicated significance on five of the eight survey items. Results lend support for the presence of the individualism cultural element in the ethical responses of the accountants surveyed. (shrink)
This paper explores one facet of Paul Russell’s unique “critical compatibilist” position on moral responsibility, which concerns his rejection of R. Jay Wallace’s “narrow construal” of moral responsibility as a concept tied exclusively to the Strawsonian reactive attitudes of resentment, indignation, and guilt. After explaining Russell’s critique of Wallace’s view, the paper considers a Wallace-inspired challenge based on the idea that questions of moral responsibility raise distinct issues of “fairness” that apply only to a narrow subset of the Strawsonian reactive (...) attitudes. The paper offers a defense of Russell’s view against this challenge. (shrink)
Disjunctivism is the focus of a lively debate spanning the philosophy of perception, epistemology, and the philosophy of action. Adrian Haddock and Fiona Macpherson present 17 specially written essays, which examine the different forms of disjunctivism and explore the connections between them.
This study uses accounting professionals from an international setting to test the individualism and power distance cultural dimensions developed by Hofstede [Culture's Consequences 1980]. Six countries, which appropriately represented high and low values on the Hofstede dimensions, were chosen for the survey of ethical beliefs. Respondents from the six countries were requested to supply their agreement/disagreement with eight questionable behaviors associated with the work environment. Each of these behaviors contained an individualism and/or power distance cultural component for the responding accountants (...) to consider. The results of the cultural analysis indicated significance on five of the eight survey items. Results lend support for the presence of the individualism cultural element in the ethical responses of the accountants surveyed. (shrink)
An attempt is made to pinpoint the way in which perception is related to belief. Although, for familiar reasons, it is not true to say that we necessarily believe in the existence of the objects we perceive, nor that they actually have their ostensible characteristics, it is argued that the relation between perception and belief is more than merely contingent.There are two main issues to address. The first is that ‘collateral’ beliefs may impede perceptual belief. It is argued that this (...) still assigns an essential role to belief in perception, though the belief may be of an attenuated form. The second is Fred Dretske’s claim that even attenuated belief may be entirely absent from perception. It is argued that ‘non-epistemic’ perception can be understood only by employing the concept of ‘epistemic’ perception; that the former can occur only partially---i.e., within perceptions that are otherwise epistemic; and that by switching attention from the perception of objects to the Phenomenological tradition’s concern with the perception of world, we can see that perception must be entirely permeated with ‘doxastic’ force. (shrink)
This paper, which has both a historical and a polemical aspect, investigates the view, dominant throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, that the sense of sight is, originally, not phenomenally three-dimensional in character, and that we must come to interpret its properly two-dimensional data by reference to the sense of 'touch'. The principal argument for this claim, due to Berkeley, is examined and found wanting. The supposedly confirming findings concerning 'Molyneux subjects' are also investigated and are shown to be either (...) irrelevant or disconfirming. Recent investigations on infant and neonatal perception are discussed and are also found to be disconfirming. An innatist version of the theory is then considered and is shown to be undermined by the largely 'Gibsonian' character of early space-perception. Finally three recent arguments in favour of the theory - two from psychologists, one from a philosopher - are considered and answered. (shrink)
Continental philosophy of religion has been dominated for two decades by "postsecular" and "postmodern" thought. This volume brings together a vanguard of scholars to ask what comes after the postsecular and the postmodern that is, what is Continental philosophy of religion now? Against the subjugation of philosophy to theology, After the Postsecular and the Postmodern: New Essays in Continental Philosophy of Religion argues that philosophy of religion must either liberate itself from theological norms or mutate into a new practice of (...) thinking in order to confront the challenges religion presents for our time. The essays do not propose a new orthodoxy but set the stage for new debates by reclaiming a practice of philosophy of religion that recovers and draws on the insights of a distinctly modern tradition of Continental philosophy, confronts the challenge of rethinking the secular in the light of the postsecular event, and calls for a move from strictly critical to speculative thought in order to experiment with what philosophy can do. This collection of essays is indispensable for anyone interested in the relationship between philosophy and theology, political questions regarding religion and in what contemporary speculative Continental philosophy has to add to philosophy of religion. (shrink)
The modern slavery literature engages with history in an extremely limited fashion. Our paper demonstrates to the utility of historical research to modern slavery researchers by explaining the rise and fall of the ethics-driven market category of “free-grown sugar” in nineteenth-century Britain. In the first decades of the century, the market category of “free-grown sugar” enabled consumers who were opposed to slavery to pay a premium for a more ethical product. After circa 1840, this market category disappeared, even though considerable (...) quantities of slave-grown sugar continued to arrive into the UK. We explain the disappearance of the market category. Our paper contributes to the on-going debates about slavery in management by historicizing and thus problematizing the concept of “slavery”. The paper challenges those modern slavery scholars who argue that lack of consumer knowledge about product provenance is the main barrier to the elimination of slavery from today’s international supply chains. The historical research presented in this paper suggests that consumer indifference, rather than simply ignorance, may be the more fundamental problem. The paper challenges the optimistic historical metanarrative that pervades much of the research on ethical consumption. It highlights the fragility of ethics-driven market categories, offering lessons for researchers and practitioners seeking to tackle modern slavery. (shrink)
What is it to be morally responsible for something? Recent philosophical work reveals considerable disagreement on the question. Indeed, some theorists claim to distinguish several varieties of moral responsibility, with different conditions that must be satisfied if one is to bear responsibility of one or another of these kinds. -/- Debate on this point turns partly on disagreement about the kinds of responses made appropriate when one is blameworthy or praiseworthy. It is generally agreed that these include "reactive attitudes" such (...) as resentment and gratitude, but theorists disagree about the nature of these attitudes. They dispute the connections between moral responsibility, desert, and the justification of punishment as well. -/- Many theorists take it that, whatever the appropriate responses are, they are responses to an agent's "quality of will," but there is no consensus on what this comes to. Are the agent's beliefs about the moral status of her behavior what matter, or is it what she cares about, or what she judges important? -/- This volume presents twelve original essays from participants in these debates. The contributors include prominent established figures as well as influential younger philosophers. A substantive introduction by the editors surveys recent debates and situates the contributions within it. (shrink)
Laclau and Mouffe: The Radical Democratic Imaginary is the first full-length overview of the important work of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. Anna Marie Smith clearly shows how Laclau and Mouffe's work has brought Gramscian, poststructuralist and psychoanalytic perspectives to revitalize traditional political theory. With clarity and insight, she shows how they have constructed a highly effective theory of identity formation and power relations that carefully draws from the criticism of political theory from postmodern anti-foundationalist political theory.
An attempt is made to pinpoint the way in which perception is related to belief. Although, for familiar reasons, it is not true to say that we necessarily believe in the existence of the objects we perceive, nor that they actually have their ostensible characteristics, it is argued that the relation between perception and belief is more than merely contingent There are two main issues to address. The first is that `collateral' beliefs may impede perceptual belief. It is argued that (...) this still assigns an essential role to belief in perception, though the belief may be of an attenuated form. The second is Fred Dretske's claim that even attenuated belief may be entirely absent from perception. It is argued that `non-epistemic' perception can be understood only by employing the concept of `epistemic' perception; that the former can occur only partially-i.e., within perceptions that are otherwise epistemic; and that by switching attention from the perception of objects to the Phenomenological tradition's concern with the perception of world, we can see that perception must be entirely permeated with `doxastic' force. (shrink)
Learning to map words onto their referents is difficult, because there are multiple possibilities for forming these mappings. Cross-situational learning studies have shown that word-object mappings can be learned across multiple situations, as can verbs when presented in a syntactic context. However, these previous studies have presented either nouns or verbs in ambiguous contexts and thus bypass much of the complexity of multiple grammatical categories in speech. We show that noun word learning in adults is robust when objects are moving, (...) and that verbs can also be learned from similar scenes without additional syntactic information. Furthermore, we show that both nouns and verbs can be acquired simultaneously, thus resolving category-level as well as individual word-level ambiguity. However, nouns were learned more quickly than verbs, and we discuss this in light of previous studies investigating the noun advantage in word learning. (shrink)