Economics as a science of human behavior has been grounded in a remarkably parsimonious postulate: that of the self-interested, isolated individual who chooses freely and rationally between alternative courses of action after computing their prospective costs and benefits. In recent decades, a group of economists has shown considerable industry and ingenuity in applying this way of interpreting the social world to a series of ostensibly noneconomic phenomena, from crime to the family, and from collective action to democracy. The “economic” or (...) “rational-actor” approach has yielded some important insights, but its onward sweep has also revealed some of its intrinsic weaknesses. As a result, it has become possible to mount a critique which, ironically, can be carried all the way back to the heartland of the would-be conquering discipline. That the economic approach presents us with too simpleminded an account of even such fundamental economic processes as consumption and production is the basic thesis of the present paper. (shrink)
Western and Indian thought -- The historical Jesus -- The kingdom of God -- Religion in modern civilization -- The decay of civilization -- Civilization and ethics -- The optimistic world-view in Kant -- Schopenhauer and Nietzsche's quest for elementary ethics -- Reverence for life -- The ethics of reverence for life -- The problem of ethics in the evolution of human thought -- Bach and aesthetics -- Goethe the philosopher -- Gandhi and the force of nonviolence -- The problem (...) of peace in the world today -- My life is my argument. (shrink)
The major divide in contemporary epistemology is between those who embrace and those who reject a priori knowledge. Albert Casullo provides a systematic treatment of the primary epistemological issues associated with the controversy. By freeing the a priori from traditional assumptions about the nature of knowledge and justification, he offers a novel approach to resolving these issues which assigns a prominent role to empirical evidence. He concludes by arguing that traditional approaches to the a priori, which focus primarily on (...) the concepts of necessity and analyticity, are misguided. (shrink)
An anthology of the philosophical writings by one of the finest humanitarians and thinkers of the twentieth century includes essays on nature, the mystery of life, the will to live, respect for life, and the work of such artists as Bach and Goethe.
This collection of original papers on the special and general theories of relativity constitutes an indispensable part of a library on relativity. Here are the 11 papers that forged the general and special theories of relativity: seven papers by Einstein, plus two papers by Lorentz and one each by Minkowski and Weyl.
Bioethics represents a dramatic revision of the centuries-old professional ethics that governed the behavior of physicians and their relationships with patients. This venerable ethics code was challenged in the years after World War II by the remarkable advances in the biomedical sciences and medicine that raised questions about the definition of death, the use of life-support systems, organ transplantation, and reproductive interventions. In response, philosophers and theologians, lawyers and social scientists joined together with physicians and scientists to rethink and revise (...) the old standards. Governments established commissions to recommend policies. Courts heard arguments and legislatures passed laws. This book is the first broad history of the growing field of bioethics. Covering the period 1947-1987, it examines the origin and evolution of the debates over human experimentation, genetic engineering, organ transplantation, termination of life-sustaining treatment, and new reproductive technologies. It assesses the contributions of philosophy, theology, law and the social sciences to the expanding discourse of bioethics. Written by one of the field's founders, The Birth of Bioethics is based on extensive archival research into sources that are difficult to obtain and on interviews with many of the leading figures in the moral debates in medicine. A very readable and comprehensive account of the evolution of bioethics, this book stresses the history of ideas but does not neglect the social and cultural context and the people involved. It will serve the information needs of philosophers, ethicists, social historians, and everyone interested in the origins of some of today's most hotly debated issues. (shrink)
Leslie, E. A. Albert Cornelius Knudson, the man.--McConnell, F. J. Bowne and personalism.--Brightman, E. S. Personality as a metaphysical principle.--Hildebrand, C. D. Personalism and nature.--Ramsdell, E. T. The cultural integration of science and religion.--Ensley, F. G. The personality of God.--Harkness, G. Divine sovereignity and human freedom.--Pfeiffer, R. H. Personalistic elements in the Old Testament.--Flewelling, R. T. Personalism and the trend of history.--Muelder, W. G. Personality and Christian ethics.--King, W. J. Personalism and race.--Marlatt, E. B. Personalism and religious education.
America is a wonderful and magnificent country that affords its citizens the broadest freedoms and the greatest prosperity in the world. But it also has its share of warts. It is embroiled in a war that many of its citizens consider unjust and even illegal. It continues to ravage the natural environment and ignore poverty both at home and abroad, and its culture is increasingly driven by materialism and consumerism. But America, for better or for worse, is still a nation (...) that we have built. So why then, asks Albert Borgmann in this most timely and urgent work, are we failing to take responsibility for it? In Real American Ethics , Borgmann asks us to reevaluate our role in the making of American values. Taking his cue from Winston Churchill—who once observed that we shape our buildings, and then our buildings shape us—Borgmann considers the power of our most enduring institutions and the condition of our present moral makeup to propose inspired new ways in which we, as ordinary citizens, can act to improve our country. This, he shows, includes everything from where we choose to live and what we spend our money on to daunting tasks like the reshaping of our cities—habits and actions that can guide us to more accomplished and virtuous lives. Using prose that is easy and direct throughout, Borgmann’s position is grounded neither by conservative nor liberal ideology, but in his understanding that he is a devoted citizen among many. In an age in which the blame game is the only game in town, this patriotic book is an eloquent reminder of the political strength we all wield when we work together. (shrink)
On April 1, 2016, at the Annual Meeting of the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association, a book symposium, organized by Alyssa Ney, was held in honor of David Albert’s After Physics. All participants agreed that it was a valuable and enlightening session. We have decided that it would be useful, for those who weren’t present, to make our remarks publicly available. Please bear in mind that what follows are remarks prepared for the session, and that on some (...) points participants may have changed their minds in light of the ensuing discussion. (shrink)
Relativity is the most important scientific idea of the twentieth century. Albert Einstein is the unquestioned founder of modern physics. His Special and General theories of Relativity introduced the idea to the world. In this classic short book he explains clearly, using the minimum amount of mathematical terms, the basic ideas and principles of his theory of Relativity. Unsurpassed by any subsequent books on Relativity, this remains the most popular and useful exposition of Einstein's immense contribution to human knowledge.
In this paper, I critically assess different interpretations of Bohmian mechanics that are not committed to an ontology based on the wave function being an actual physical object that inhabits configuration space. More specifically, my aim is to explore the connection between the denial of configuration space realism and another interpretive debate that is specific to Bohmian mechanics: the quantum potential versus guidance approaches. Whereas defenders of the quantum potential approach to the theory claim that Bohmian mechanics is better formulated (...) as quasi-Newtonian, via the postulation of forces proportional to acceleration; advocates of the guidance approach defend the notion that the theory is essentially first-order and incorporates some concepts akin to those of Aristotelian physics. Here I analyze whether the desideratum of an interpretation of Bohmian mechanics that is both explanatorily adequate and not committed to configuration space realism favors one of these two approaches to the theory over the other. Contrary to some recent claims in the literature, I argue that the quasi-Newtonian approach based on the idea of a quantum potential does not come out the winner. (shrink)
Albert Dzur proposes an approach he calls "democratic professionalism" to build bridges between specialists in domains like law, medicine, and journalism and the lay public in such a way as to enable and enhance broader public engagement ...
We develop a version of a direct perception account of emotion recognition on the basis of a metaphysical claim that emotions are individuated as patterns of characteristic features. On our account, emotion recognition relies on the same type of pattern recognition as is described for object recognition. The analogy allows us to distinguish two forms of directly perceiving emotions, namely perceiving an emotion in the absence of any top-down processes, and perceiving an emotion in a way that significantly involves some (...) top-down processes ; and, in addition, an inference-based evaluation of an emotion. Our model clarifies the epistemology of emotion recognition. (shrink)
In Necessary Beings, Bob Hale addresses two questions: What is the source of necessity? What is the source of our knowledge of it? He offers novel responses to them in terms of the metaphysical notion of nature or, more familiarly, essence. In this paper, I address Hale’s response to the first question. My assessment is negative. I argue that his essentialist explanation of the source of necessity suffers from three significant shortcomings. First, Hale’s leading example of an essentialist explanation merely (...) asserts that the nature of an entity explains some necessity, but leaves unexplained how it does so. Second, his essentialist explanation of particular necessities introduces new necessities that remain unexplained. Third, Hale’s version of essentialism presupposes a controversial metaphysical theory of properties, for which he offers no defense. (shrink)
In this eloquent guide to the meanings of the postmodern era, Albert Borgmann charts the options before us as we seek alternatives to the joyless and artificial culture of consumption. Borgmann connects the fundamental ideas driving his understanding of society's ills to every sphere of contemporary social life, and goes beyond the language of postmodern discourse to offer a powerfully articulated vision of what this new era, at its best, has in store. "[This] thoughtful book is the first remotely (...) realistic map out of the post modern labyrinth."—Joseph Coates, _The Chicago Tribune_ "Rather astoundingly large-minded vision of the nature of humanity, civilization and science."—_Kirkus Reviews_. (shrink)
In the recent literature on concepts, two extreme positions concerning animal minds are predominant: the one that animals possess neither concepts nor beliefs, and the one that some animals possess concepts as well as beliefs. A characteristic feature of this controversy is the lack of consensus on the criteria for possessing a concept or having a belief. Addressing this deficit, we propose a new theory of concepts which takes recent case studies of complex animal behavior into account. The main aim (...) of the paper is to present an epistemic theory of concepts and to defend a detailed theory of criteria for having concepts. The distinction between nonconceptual, conceptual, and propositional representations is inherent to this theory. Accordingly, it can be reasonably argued that some animals, e.g., grey parrots and apes, operate on conceptual representations. (shrink)
The debate about direct perception encompasses different topics, one of which concerns the richness of the contents of perceptual experiences. Can we directly perceive only low-level properties, like edges, colors etc., or can we perceive high-level properties and entities as well? The aim of the paper is to defend the claim that the content of our perceptual experience can include emotions and also person impressions. Using these examples, an argument is developed to defend a liberal-content view for core examples of (...) social cognition. This view is developed and contrasted with accounts which claim that in the case of registering another person’s emotion while seeing them, we have to describe the relevant content not as the content of a perceptual experience, but of a perceptual belief. The paper defends the view that perceptual experiences can have a rich content yet remain separable from beliefs formed on the basis of the experience. How liberal and enriched the content of a perceptual experience is will depend upon the expertise a person has developed in the field. This is supported by the argument that perceptual experiences can be systematically enriched by perceiving affordances of objects, by pattern recognition or by top-down processes, as analyzed by processes of cognitive penetration or predictive coding. (shrink)
A physician says, "I have an ethical obligation never to cause the death of a patient," another responds, "My ethical obligation is to relieve pain even if the patient dies." The current argument over the role of physicians in assisting patients to die constantly refers to the ethical duties of the profession. References to the Hippocratic Oath are often heard. Many modern problems, from assisted suicide to accessible health care, raise questions about the traditional ethics of medicine and the medical (...) profession. However, few know what the traditional ethics are and how they came into being. This book provides a brief tour of the complex story of medical ethics evolved over centuries in both Western and Eastern culture. It sets this story in the social and cultural contexts in which the work of healing was practiced and suggests that, behind the many different perceptions about the ethical duties of physicians, certain themes appear constantly, and may be relevant to modern debates. The book begins with the Hippocratic medicine of ancient Greece, moves through the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Enlightenment in Europe, and the long history of Indian and Chinese medicine, ending as the problems raised modern medical science and technology challenge the settled ethics of the long tradition. (shrink)
How much by way of economic reward is due to health care providers? Although this problem usually presents itself as a practical matter of policy, it has buried within it a number of philosophical issues, for it can be regarded as a question in the theory of economic justice. The formal principle of justice is that we should render persons what is due to them. But on what consideration in the case of health care providers can we make an assessment (...) of what is due? The answer we give to this question has significant implications for the ethical appraisal of the allocation of resources in the health care system. Some of the most difficult issues of ethical appraisal emerge when we consider the problems of allocating potentially life-saving resources between different groups of patients. Many of the most significant current issues in medical ethics—the role of QALYs, the meaning of equality and the economic evaluation of life—find their point of reference in the ‘tragic choices’ that are created when there are insufficient resources to meet apparently legitimate medical need. Yet, as Robert Evans has pointed out, it is a simple matter of accounting identity that health care expenditures must equal health providers' incomes. So, in asking how we limit or allocate costly health care resources, we are implicitly offering an answer to the question of how much we should pay providers. I hope by seeking an answer explicitly to that question to throw light on the problems that are raised when considering ethically the allocation of health care resources. (shrink)
This book is an important contribution to the contemporary epistemological literature. It is the only available book-length treatment of epistemological issues associated with the a priori. Moreover, it provides the most comprehensive articulation and defense of traditional rationalism. The book is tightly organized, crisply argued, and sets the standard against which competing accounts must be measured.
Bringing Pierre Bourdieu to Science and Technology Studies Content Type Journal Article Pages 263-273 DOI 10.1007/s11024-011-9174-2 Authors Mathieu Albert, Wilson Centre and Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, 200 Elizabeth Street , Eaton-South 1-581, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4, Canada Daniel Lee Kleinman, Department of Community and Environmental Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 348 Agricultural Hall 1450 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA Journal Minerva Online ISSN 1573-1871 Print ISSN 0026-4695 Journal Volume Volume 49 Journal Issue Volume 49, (...) Number 3. (shrink)
Standalone corporate social responsibility reports vary considerably in the content of information released due to their voluntary nature. In this study, we develop a disclosure score based on the tone, readability, length, and the numerical and horizon content of CSR report narratives, and examine the relationship between the CSR disclosure scores and analyst forecasts. We find that CSR reporters with high disclosure scores are associated with more accurate forecasts, whereas low score CSR reporters are not associated with more accurate forecasts (...) than firms who do not issue CSR reports. The findings are robust to controlling for firm characteristics including CSR activity ratings and financial narratives. The findings are driven by experienced CSR reporters rather than first-time CSR reporters. Together, our findings suggest that the content of CSR reports helps to improve analyst forecast accuracy, and this relationship is more pronounced for CSR reports with more substantial content. (shrink)