People talk about rats deserting a sinking ship, but they don't usually ask where the rats go. Perhaps this is only because the answer is so obvious: of course, most of the rats climb aboard the sounder ships, the ships that ride high in the water despite being laden with rich cargoes of cheese and grain and other things rats love, the ships that bring prosperity to ports like eighteenth-century Königsberg and firms such as Green & Motherby. By making the (...) insulting comparison - as I am in the course of doing – between us Kant scholars and a horde of noxious vermin, my more or less transparent aim is to mitigate, or at least to distract attention from, the collective immodesty of what I am saying about us. For my point is that, in the past half-century or so, Kant studies has become a very prosperous ship indeed. Its success has even been the chief thing that has buoyed all its sister ships in the fleet of modern philosophy, most of which are also doing very well. (shrink)
In his new book the eminent Kant scholar Henry Allison provides an innovative and comprehensive interpretation of Kant's concept of freedom. The author analyzes the concept and discusses the role it plays in Kant's moral philosophy and psychology. He also considers in full detail the critical literature on the subject from Kant's own time to the present day. In the first part Professor Allison argues that at the centre of the Critique of Pure Reason there is the foundation (...) for a coherent general theory of rational agency. The second part employs this account of rational agency as a key to understanding Kant's concept of moral agency and associated moral psychology. The third part focuses on Kant's attempt to ground both moral law and freedom in the Groundwork and the Critique of Practical Reason. This is a major contribution to the interpretation of Kant which will be of special interest to scholars and graduate students of Kant's moral theory. (shrink)
This book constitutes one of the most important contributions to recent Kant scholarship. In it, one of the pre-eminent interpreters of Kant, Henry Allison, offers a comprehensive, systematic, and philosophically astute account of all aspects of Kant's views on aesthetics. The first part of the book analyses Kant's conception of reflective judgment and its connections with both empirical knowledge and judgments of taste. The second and third parts treat two questions that Allison insists must be kept distinct: the (...) normativity of pure judgments of taste, and the moral and systematic significance of taste. The fourth part considers two important topics often neglected in the study of Kant's aesthetics: his conceptions of fine art, and the sublime. (shrink)
Henry E. Allison presents an analytical and historical commentary on Kant`s transcendental deduction of the pure concepts of the understanding in the Critique of Pure Reason. He argues that, rather than providing a new solution to an old problem, it addresses a new problem, and he traces the line of thought that led Kant to the recognition of the significance of this problem in his 'pre-critical' period. In addition to the developmental nature of the account of Kant`s views presented (...) here, two distinctive features of Allison's reading of the deduction are a defense of Kant`s oft criticized claim that the conformity of appearances to the categories must be unconditionally rather than merely conditionally necessary and an insistence that the argument cannot be separated from Kant`s transcendental idealism. (shrink)
Henry Allison is one of the foremost interpreters of the philosophy of Kant. This new volume collects all his recent essays on Kant's theoretical and practical philosophy. All the essays postdate Allison's two major books on Kant, and together they constitute an attempt to respond to critics and to clarify, develop and apply some of the central theses of those books. Two are published here for the first time. Special features of the collection are: a detailed defence of (...) the author's interpretation of transcendental idealism; a consideration of the Transcendental Deduction and some other recent interpretations thereof; further elaborations of the tensions between various aspects of Kant's conception of freedom and of the complex role of this conception within Kant's moral philosophy. (shrink)
This volume presents seventeen essays by one of the world's leading scholars on Kant. Henry E. Allison explores the nature of transcendental idealism, freedom of the will, and the concept of the purposiveness of nature. He places Kant's views in their historical context and explores their contemporary relevance to present day philosophers.
In his reading of Kant’s moral philosophy and its grounding in freedom of the will, Allison is best know for giving an exclusively “practical” reading to doctrines about noumenal agency, so that they are taken to have none of the outlandish metaphysical implications often thought to be associated with the Kantian conception of freedom. The central feature of Allison’s interpretation is that Kant operates with a theory of agency in which, from the agent’s standpoint, reasons do not act (...) as causes, but operate only insofar as they are taken up by the agent into principles or “maxims.” According to this “Incorporation Thesis,” sensuous impulses or desires are not causes of an action. So there is no reason to regard the motive of duty as a “noumenal” cause competing with sensuous or “phenomenal” causes. Instead, Kant’s “two standpoints theory” is to be understood as distinguishing the action as viewed from the agent’s practical standpoint from causal conceptions governing the theoretical standpoint. (shrink)
This literature review of professionalism was prepared by San Jose State University graduate student Marianne Allison as a research committee project of the Mass Communication and Society Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. The project was prepared under the guidance of Professor Diana Stover Tillinghast. It reviews the literature on two approaches to professionalism in general and of the professionalism of journalists in particular: the ?structural?functionalist approach?; and the ?power approach.?; Traditional and recent discussions of the (...) nature of professionalism in occupational sociology are presented. Studies of the professionalism of journalists both in the United States and cross?culturally are critiqued. The paper suggests several areas of fruitful research, and contains an extensive bibliography. (shrink)
Allison, Lyn; Cannold, Leslie It is great to see such a good turnout for this important occasion and I congratulate the Humanist Society again on this award. It really makes a difference to people's lives: when they get the award, when they know about it, when there is publicity for the person concerned. It is an all-round good thing to do and I congratulate you for it.
Today's digital revolution is a worldwide phenomenon, with profound and often differential implications for communities around the world and their relationships to one another. This book presents a new, explicitly international theory of media ethics, incorporating non-Western perspectives and drawing deeply on both moral philosophy and the philosophy of technology. Clifford Christians develops an ethics grounded in three principles - truth, human dignity, and non-violence - and shows how these principles can be applied across a wide range of cases (...) and domains. The book is a guide for media professionals, scholars, and educators who are concerned with the global ramifications of new technologies and with creating a more just world. (shrink)
A social responsibility (SR) theory of the press has emerged in various democratic societies worldwide since World War II. The Hutchins Commission in the United States is the source of this paradigm in some cases, but a similar emphasis on serving society rather than commerce or government has also arisen in parallel fashion without any connection to Hutchins. Professionalism and codes of professional ethics are too narrow to serve as the framework for a global SR paradigm of the 21st century. (...) Instead, universal ethical principles are the most appropriate framework, and the cross-cultural axis around which these principles revolve is the sacredness of human life. Embedded in the protonorm of human sacredness are such ethical principles as human dignity, truthtelling, and nonmaleficence. These principles are citizen ethics rather than professional ethics; they are set in the social domain where SR gets its rationale. They provide a frame of reference internationally for assessing local news media practices and formulating codes of ethics. (shrink)
Training in the responsible conduct of research (RCR) is required for many research trainees nationwide, but little is known about its effectiveness. For a preliminary assessment of the effectiveness of a short-term course in RCR, medical students participating in an NIH-funded summer research program at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) were surveyed using an instrument developed through focus group discussions. In the summer of 2003, surveys were administered before and after a short-term RCR course, as well as to (...) alumni of the courses given in the summers of 2002 and 2001. Survey responses were analyzed in the areas of knowledge, ethical decision-making skills, attitudes about responsible conduct of research, and frequency of discussions about RCR outside of class. The only statistically significant improvement associated with the course was an increase in knowledge, while there was a non-significant tendency toward improvements in ethical decision-making skills and attitudes about the importance of RCR training. The nominal impact of a short-term training course should not be surprising, but it does raise the possibility that other options for delivering information only, such as an Internet-based tutorial, might be considered as comparable alternatives when longer courses are not possible. (shrink)
Utilitarianism has dominated media ethics for a century. For Mill, individual autonomy and neutrality are the foundations of his On Liberty and System of Logic, as well as his Utilitarianism. These concepts fit naturally with media ethics theory and professional practice in a democratic society. However, the weaknesses in utilitarianism articulated by Ross and others direct us at this stage to a dialogic ethics of duty instead. Habermas's discourse ethics, feminist ethics, and communitarian ethics are examples of duty ethics rooted (...) in the dialogic relation that enable us to start over intellectually. (shrink)
Between Summits I and II, media ethics established its legitimacy, summarized into recommendations for the field's future fluorescence. This history points to the challenges through which media ethics moves to another order of magnitude. A historical map of media ethics scholarship since 1980 divides into 5 domains, and each is introduced: theory, social philosophy, religious ethics, technology, and truth. From this content analysis of the literature, an agenda emerges for research and academic study that can raise media ethics to a (...) higher level. (shrink)
This paper contains a critical analysis of the interpretation of Kant's second edition version of the Transcendental Deduction offered by Béatrice Longuenesse in her recent book: Kant and the Capacity to Judge. Though agreeing with much of Longuenesse's analysis of the logical function of judgment, I question the way in which she tends to assign them the objectifying role traditionally given to the categories. More particularly, by way of defending my own interpretation of the Deduction against some of her criticisms, (...) I argue that Longuenesse fails to show how either part of the two-part proof may be plausibly thought to have established the necessity of the categories (as opposed to the logical functions). Finally, I question certain aspects of her 'radical' interpretation of the famous footnote at B160-1, where Kant distinguishes between 'form of intuition' and 'formal intuition'. (shrink)
This essay argues that the key to understanding Kant's transcendental idealism is to understand the transcendental realism with which he contrasts it. It maintains that the latter is not to be identified with a particular metaphysical thesis, but with the assumption that the proper objects of human cognitions are “objects in general” or “as such,” that is, objects considered simply qua objects of some understanding. Since this appears to conflict with Kant's own characterization of transcendental realism as the view that (...) (mistakenly) regards appearances as if they were things in themselves, the essay explicates the connection between the concepts of an object (or thing) considered as such and a thing considered as it is in itself. In light of this, it maintains that Kant's transcendental idealism is compatible with a robust empirical realism and that many of its critics are tacitly committed to a misguided transcendental realism. (shrink)
The longstanding debates aver how to enforce codes of ethics reflect a serious flaw in understanding the nature of ?accountability.?; Fuzziness aver that basic notion has allowed the quantity of codes to expand, without any improvement in their quality or in media behavior. The essay maintains that we repeat the same arguments today that moralistic journalists did in the 1920s, because we lack intellectual precision aver such issues as internal vis a vis external controls, ethics vis a vis First Amendment (...) freedoms, and different forms and degrees of accountability to government, to fellow professionals, and to the general public. Self?imposed media codes?with enforcement provisions?and thorough analysis of social ethics are recommended. (shrink)
Guyer argues for four major theses. First, in his early, pre-critical discussions of morality, Kant advocated a version of rational egoism, in which freedom, understood naturalistically as a freedom from domination by both one's own inclinations and from other people, rather than happiness, is the fundamental value. From this point of view, the function of the moral law is to prescribe rules best suited to the preservation and maximization of such freedom, just as on the traditional eudaemonistic account it is (...) to prescribe rules for the maximization of happiness. Second, in the Groundwork, Kant abandoned this naturalistic approach and while retaining the same substantive thesis as his early moral philosophy, "namely that freedom is the value that is realized by adherence to the moral law" (Guyer 455), attempted to provide a non-naturalistic (transcendental) grounding for this valuation of freedom. Third, this took the form of a transcendental deduction, closely modeled on that of the first Critique, which was intended to demonstrate that we are in fact (noumenally) free and the moral law is the "causal law" of this freedom. Fourth, this deduction is a disaster, indeed, one of Western philosophy's "most spectacular train wrecks" (Guyer 445). I shall discuss each in turn, devoting the bulk of my attention to the last. (shrink)
The first two sections of this paper are devoted respectively to the criticisms of my views raised by Stephen Engstrom and Andrews Reath at a symposium on Kant's Theory of Freedom held in Washington D.C. on 28 December 1992 under the auspices of the North American Kant Society. The third section contains my response to the remarks of Marcia Baron at a second symposium in Chicago on 24 April 1993 at the APA Western Division meetings. The fourth section deals with (...) some general criticisms of my treatment of Kant's theory of freedom and its connection with transcendental idealism that have been raised by Karl Ameriks, who was also a participant in the second symposium, in an earlier piece published in Inquiry and by Paul Guyer in a review. The paper as a whole is thus an attempt to reformulate and clarify some of the central claims of my book in light of the initial critical reaction. (shrink)
Can groups such as audiences be held collectively accountable in matters of ethics, or does it really distill down to the ethics of the individual? The author discusses individual and collective accountability, and then details a systematic approach to collective responsibility.
This essay examines the main line of argument of Yirmiyahu Yovel's The Adventures of Immanence. Expressing general agreement with Yovel's central thesis that Spinoza's ?immanent revolution? marked an important tuming?point in the history of modernity and profoundly influenced subsequent thought, I none the less take issue with some of the details of the story. In particular, I question his omission of Lessing, his account of the relationship between Spinoza and Kant, and his treatment of Marx. In a final section I (...) present some objections to Yovel's guiding conception of a philosophy of immanence. (shrink)
The central question of this conference is whether the media can contribute to high quality social dialogue. The prospects for resolving that question positively in the “sound and fury” depend on recovering the idea of truth. At present the news media are lurching along from one crisis to another with an empty centre. We need to articulate a believable concept of truth as communication's master principle. As the norm of healing is to medicine, justice to politics, critical thinking to education, (...) craftsmanship to engineering, and stewardship to business, so truth-telling is the news profession's occupational norm. Truth-telling is the ethical framework that fundamentally reorders the media's professional culture and enables them to enrich social dialogue rather than undermine it.Historically the mainstream press has defined itself in terms of an objectivist worldview. Centred on human rationality and armed with the scientific method, the facts in news have been said to mirror reality. The aim has been true and incontrovertible accounts of a domain separate from human consciousness. In Bertrand Russell's formula, “truth consists in some form of correspondence between belief and fact” . In the received view, truth is defined in elementary epistemological terms as accurate representation. News corresponds to context-free neutral algorithms, and ethics is equated with impartiality.The attacks on this misguided view of human knowledge had already originated in Giambattista Vico's fantasia and Wilhelm Dilthey's verstehen in the counter-Enlightenment of the 18th century. They have continued with hermeneutics, critical theory in the Frankfurt School, American pragmatism, Wittgenstein's linguistic philosophy, Gramsci, and in their own way, Lyotard's denial of master narratives and Derrida's sliding signifiers; until the anti-foundationalism of our own day indicates a crisis in correspondence views of truth. Institutional structures remain Enlightenment-driven, but in principle the tide has turned currently toward restricting objectivism to the territory of mathematics, physics, and the natural sciences. In reporting, objectivity has become increasingly controversial as the working press' professional standard, though it will remain entrenched in our ordinary practices of news production and dissemination until an alternative mission for the press is convincingly formulated.The demise of correspondence views of truth has created a predicament for the notion of truth altogether. However, instead of appealing to coherence versions or abandoning the concept, truth needs to be relocated in the moral sphere. Truth is a problem of axiology rather than epistemology. With the dominant scheme no longer tenable, truth should become the province of ethicists who can reconstruct it as the news media's contribution to social dialogue.When truth is articulated in terms of a moral framework, we can mold its richly textured meaning around the Hebrew emeth , the Greek aletheia . In Serbo-Croatian the true is justified as with plumbline in carpentry. In the powerful wheel imagery of the Buddhist tradition, truth is the immovable axle. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa presumes that sufferings from apartheid can be healed through truthful testimony. In Ghandhi's “satyagrapha,” the power of truth through the human spirit eventually wins over force . Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Ethics contends correctly that a truthful account lays hold of the context, motives, and presuppositions involved .Telling the truth depends on the quality of discernment so that penultimates do not gain ultimacy. Truth means, in other words, to strike gold, to get at “the core, the essence, the nub, the heart of the matter” . For Henry David Thoreau – though addressing a different issue – when we are truthful, we attempt to “drive life into a corner and¼if it proves to be mean, why then to get the genuine meanness out of it and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by personal experience and be able to give a true account of the encounter” . For the former secretary general of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjold, “the most dangerous of all moral dilemmas is when we are obliged to conceal truth in order to help the truth be victorious” . In the Talmud, the liar's punishment is that no one believes him.Augustine , professor of rhetoric at Milan and later Bishop of Hippo, illustrates a non-correspondence view of truth. His rhetorical theory is a major contribution to the philosophy of communication, contradicting the highly secular and linear view of the ancient Greeks. As with Aristotle, rhetoric entails reasoned judgement for Augustine; however, he “break[s] away from Graeco-Roman rhetoric, moving instead toward ¼rhetoric as aletheiac act” . Rhetoric for him is not knowledge-producing or opinion-producing but truth-producing . The Epistolae Doctrina Christiana scourges the value-neutral, technical language of “word merchants” without wisdom.Truth is not fundamentally a prescriptive statement. The aletheiac act in Augustine “tends to be more relational than propositional, a dialogically interpersonal, sacramentally charitable act rather than a statement¼taking into account and being motivated by [the cardinal virtues] faith, hope, and charity” . The truth for him does not merely make things clear, but motivates us to belief and action. In truthful communication for Augustine, “it is not enough to seek to move men's minds, merely for the sake of power; instead, the power to move is to be used to lead men to truth”. (shrink)