The aim of this review is to show the fruitfulness of using images of facial expressions as experimental stimuli in order to study how neural systems support biologically relevant learning as it relates to social interactions. Here we consider facial expressions as naturally conditioned stimuli which, when presented in experimental paradigms, evoke activation in amygdala–prefrontal neural circuits that serve to decipher the predictive meaning of the expressions. Facial expressions offer a relatively innocuous strategy with which to investigate these normal variations (...) in affective information processing, as well as the promise of elucidating what role the aberrance of such processing might play in emotional disorders. (shrink)
Whether any property is internal to a particular object may be taken to depend upon the way in which the object is described. Thus it is not an internal property of Scott to have been the author of Waverley, neither is it an internal property of the author of Ivanhoe. But what of the author of Waverley? Is the proposition that the author of Waverley composed Waverley necessarily true? On one interpretation of it it surely is. Even so, one can (...) attach a sense to saying that the person who was in fact the author of Waverley might not have been so. All that is needed for this is that he be capable of being otherwise identified. (shrink)
The explanation of change or movement has always been a central concern of philosophers. Some, like Aristotle, have taken the movement of living things as their paradigm, and tried to explain all movement or change in that way. Others, after the fashion of Descartes, concentrate on the movement of inanimate things and generalise explanations of this to encompass all movement or change. For Aristotle, things have a principle of growth, organisation and movement in their own right. The movement or change (...) of a natural thing is explained by its tendency to move in that way. The line he draws is not, as the line which we would perhaps like to draw is, between organic and inorganic things, but between these grouped together as subject to the same kind of explanation and, on the other hand, artificial things. A problem that results from this division is that while it might seem plausible to explain changes which occur in a baby when it grows into a man by saying that babies naturally tend to grow into men, and if they do not then something has interfered with their natural development, it seems odd to treat inorganic things in this way. Restricted to the contrast between the natural and the artificial, the explanation of stones falling when unsupported is clearly going to provide some difficulty. Although it is true that Aristotle does not think that because in the case of man the form with which matter is formed to make that substance is called a soul, that therefore any kind of form joined with matter to make a substance is called a soul, nevertheless the explanation of things which are a combination, a natural combination, of form and matter is the same for both man and other substances. Confronted with the explanation of falling bodies in this way, it first of all seems implausible and then suggests that things should happen which in fact do not. If it is assumed that the principle of movement is in the stone, ought it not to be assumed that the principle of stopping is in it too? Babies grow into men because it is in their nature to do so perhaps, but that stones fall downwards because it is in their nature to do so has, as Molière noticed in the case of a similar explanation of why opium puts you to sleep, a hollow ring. (shrink)
It is widely agreed that because animals feel pain we should not make them suffer gratuitously. Some ethical theories go even further: because of the capacities that they possess, animals have the right not to be harmed or killed. These views concern what not to do to animals, but we also face questions about when we should, and should not, assist animals that are hungry or distressed. Should we feed a starving stray kitten? And if so, does this commit us, (...) if we are to be consistent, to feeding wild animals during a hard winter? In this controversial book, Clare Palmer advances a theory that claims, with respect to assisting animals, that what is owed to one is not necessarily owed to all, even if animals share similar psychological capacities. Context, history, and relation can be critical ethical factors. If animals live independently in the wild, their fate is not any of our moral business. Yet if humans create dependent animals, or destroy their habitats, we may have a responsibility to assist them. Such arguments are familiar in human cases-we think that parents have special obligations to their children, for example, or that some groups owe reparations to others. Palmer develops such relational concerns in the context of wild animals, domesticated animals, and urban scavengers, arguing that different contexts can create different moral relationships. (shrink)
John Palmer develops and defends a modal interpretation of Parmenides, according to which he was the first philosopher to distinguish in a rigorous manner the fundamental modalities of necessary being, necessary non-being or impossibility, and non-necessary or contingent being. This book accordingly reconsiders his place in the historical development of Presocratic philosophy in light of this new interpretation. Careful treatment of Parmenides' specification of the ways of inquiry that define his metaphysical and epistemological outlook paves the way for detailed (...) analyses of his arguments demonstrating the temporal and spatial attributes of what is and cannot not be. An appendix presents a Greek text of the fragments of Parmenides' poem with English translation and textual notes. (shrink)
We investigated cultural differences between U.S. and Japanese color preferences and the ecological factors that might influence them. Japanese and U.S. color preferences have both similarities and differences. Complex gender differences were also evident that did not conform to previously reported effects. Palmer and Schloss's weighted affective valence estimate procedure was used to test the Ecological Valence Theory's prediction that within-culture WAVE-preference correlations should be higher than between-culture WAVE-preference correlations. The results supported several, but not all, predictions. In the (...) second experiment, we tested color preferences of Japanese–U.S. multicultural participants who could read and speak both Japanese and English. Multicultural color preferences were intermediate between U.S. and Japanese preferences, consistent with the hypothesis that culturally specific personal experiences during one's lifetime influence color preferences. (shrink)
In this article, Palmer provides a clear survey of positions on killing domestic animals in animal shelters. She argues that there are three ways of understanding the killing that occurs in animal shelters: consequentialism, rights based, and relation based. She considers the relationship of humans and domesticated animals that leads to their killing in animal shelters as well as providing an ethical assessment of the practice.
CLARE PALMER | : This paper argues that there is no simple rift between animal liberation and environmental ethics in terms of strategies for environmental conservation. The situation is much more complicated, with multiple fault lines that can divide both environmental ethicists from one another and animal ethicists from one another—but that can also create unexpected convergences between these two groups. First, the paper gives an account of the alleged rift between animal liberation and environmental ethics. Then it’s argued (...) that this rift was always exaggerated. For instance, animal ethicists who prioritize aggregate animal welfare have always converged with environmental ethicists in supporting certain cases of hunting and culling, and, in doing so, they have diverged from animal rights theorists, who generally oppose these practices. Pervasive threats such as climate change make it likely that environmental ethicists will also diverge from one another in terms of the conservation strategies they support, depending on what values they prioritize. For instance, conservation strategies that protect species may not necessarily protect other environmental values such as ecosystem flourishing or wildness. The paper concludes that conservation under climate change is likely to bring both new divergences and new convergences, and that these are unlikely to take the form of a rift between animal liberation and environmental ethics. | : Cet article soutient qu’il n’existe pas un clivage simple entre le mouvement de la libération animale et l’éthique environnementale quant aux stratégies de conservation environnementale. La situation est bien plus complexe, de nombreuses lignes de faille pouvant d’une part diviser autant les spécialistes d’éthique environnementale que les spécialistes d’éthique animale et, d’autre part, créer des convergences inattendues entre ces deux groupes. L’article fait d’abord état du prétendu clivage entre le mouvement de la libération animale et l’éthique environnementale, pour ensuite démontrer l’exagération de ce clivage. Par exemple, les spécialistes d’éthique animale qui priorisent le bien-être global des animaux se sont toujours accordé avec les spécialistes d’éthique environnementale pour approuver certains cas de chasse et d’abattage, divergeant par là-même des théoriciens des droits des animaux, qui s’opposent généralement à ces pratiques. De plus, des menaces omniprésentes telles que le changement climatique auront vraisemblablement pour effet de diviser les éthiciens environnementaux selon les stratégies de conservation qu’ils préconisent en fonction de leurs valeurs prioritaires. Ainsi, les stratégies de conservation qui protègent certaines espèces ne protègeront pas nécessairement d’autres valeurs environnementales telles que l’épanouissement des écosystèmes ou la préservation de leur état sauvage. L’article tire la conclusion que, dans le contexte des changements climatiques, la question de la conservation est susceptible de soulever à la fois de nouvelles divergences et de nouvelles convergences, lesquelles ne prendront probablement pas toutefois la forme d’un clivage entre le mouvement de la libération animale et l’éthique environnementale. (shrink)
Michael Palmer provides a detailed account of two of the most important theories of religion in the history of psychology--those of Freud and Jung. The book first analyzes Freud's claim that religion is an obsessional neurosis, a psychological illness fueled by sexual repression. He then considers Jung's rejection of Freud's theory, and his own assertion that it is the absence of religion, not its presence, which leads to neurosis.
Recent philosophical discussion about the relation between fiction and reality pays little attention to our moral involvement with literature. Frank Palmer's purpose is to investigate how our appreciation of literary works calls upon and develops our capacity for moral understanding. He explores a wide range of philosophical questions about the relation of art to morality, and challenges theories that he regards as incompatible with a humane view of literary art. Palmer considers, in particular, the extent to which the (...) values and moral concepts involved in our understanding of human beings can be said to enter into our understanding of, and response to, fictional characters. The scope of his discussion encompasses literary aesthetics, ethics, and epistemology, and he makes extensive reference to literary examples. (shrink)
Frank Palmer, Richard Eldridge, and Martha Nussbaum explore the contributions that imaginative literature can make to ethics. From three different moral philosophical perspectives, they argue that reading literature can help persons to achieve greater moral understanding. This essay examines how each author conceives of moral understanding, particularly in its emotional dimension, and how each thinks that reading literature can promote moral understanding. The essay also considers some implications of this work for religious ethics.
In this study, Clare Palmer challenges the belief that the process thinking of writers like A.N. Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne has offered an unambiguously positive contribution to environmental ethics. She compares process ethics to a variety of other forms of environmental ethics, as well as deep ecology, and reveals a number of difficulties associated with process thinking about the environment.
This primer on authentic education explores how mind and heart can work together in the learning process. Moving beyond the bankruptcy of our current model of education, Parker Palmer finds the soul of education through a lifelong cultivation of the wisdom each of us possesses and can share to benefit others.
When the first edition of Semantics appeared in 1976, the developments in this aspect of language study were exciting interest not only among linguists, but among philosophers, psychologists and logicians. Professor Palmer's straightforward and comprehensive book was immediately welcomed as one of the best introductions to the subject. Interest in Semantics has been further stimulated recently by a number of significant, and often contriversial, theoretical advances; and the publication of this second edition has enabled Professor Palmer to bring (...) his survey thoroughly up to date. There is also an important new chapter on 'Semantics and logic', showing clearly and simply the influence that logical models have had on the study of meaning. Professor Palmer always illustrates his argument with helpful examples, and his non-technical explanations will be readily intelligible to the interested layman as well as to beginning students of language and linguistics. (shrink)
Invited contributions were asked for statements of how they came to be acquainted with Wittgenstein’s work, the influence it had on their own work, and how they see Wittgenstein in relation to prevalent trends in contemporary philosophy. The weight given to the various elements in the invitation was left to the discretion of the contributors. Contributions have also been included from the Rush Rhees and Peter Winch archives. Articles by: Stanley Cavell, James Conant, Cora Diamond, İlham Dilman, P.M.S. Hacker, B.F. (...) McGuinness, Anthony Palmer, D.Z. Phillips, Rush Rhees, Joachim Schulte, Eike von Savigny, Georg Henrik von Wright, and Peter Winch. (shrink)
John Palmer presents a new and original account of Plato's uses and understanding of his most important Presocratic predecessor, Parmenides. Adopting an innovative approach to the appraisal of intellectual influence, Palmer first explores the Eleatic underpinnings of central elements in Plato's middle-period epistemology and metaphysics and then shows how in the later dialogues Plato confronts various sophistic appropriations of Parmenides.
This paper responds to Elijah Weber’s “Vulnerability, Dependence, and Special Obligations to Domesticated Animals: A Reply to Palmer”. Weber’s paper develops significant objections to the account of special obligations I developed in my book Animal Ethics in Context, in particular concerning our obligations to companion animals. In this book, I made wide-ranging claims about how we may acquire special obligations to animals, including being a beneficiary of an institution that creates vulnerable and dependent animals, and sharing in attitudes that (...) contribute to causing harms or to creating vulnerable animals. Weber finds these claims implausible, and offers an alternative, much narrower, voluntarist account, on which we only have special positive obligations if, in some way, we have agreed to them. In this paper, I defend, against Weber, a non-voluntarist account of at least some special obligations towards animals, and I respond to some of his more specific objections to my account. (shrink)
(Unpublished writing, 2007) This article briefly introduces a new argument concerning corporate social responsibility, based in an analysis of values expressed by the recent and contemporary liberal economists Milton Friedman and Michael Jensen. I will provide the gist of the argument by considering implications of Friedman’s very familiar view, that “…there is one and only one social responsibility of business - to use its resources and engage in activities to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules (...) of the game.” Harvard professor Michael Jensen has argued from slightly different premises to a similar conclusion, that “social welfare is maximized when all firms in an economy attempt to maximize their own total firm value.” Vestiges of such influential argument are also easily spotted in American corporate culture (See Palmer, 2007). I suggest that these authors’ positions allow for possibilities that undermine their broader fundamental values, however. I will concentate especially on Friedman’s classic treatment of liberal politics and capitalist economics, Capitalism and Freedom, in which he alludes to the importance of accepting and promoting individual freedom. Such values demand governmental and social stability, and so, in some cases, particularly where business activity may destabilize society, it would appear that freedom may be seriously threatened by corporate activity that follows Friedman’s narrow prescription. Nowhere is this more evident, at present, than in the Niger River Delta, where the promise and profits of oil have produced a society in great disarray. A case study of the delta situation indicates the problems of the narrow view of business goals and business responsibility, and this article will go on to consider possible solutions to those problems that delineate general sorts of responsibilities. The solutions require corporations to take a much broader view of their activity: I suggest that Friedman’s flaw reflects a general weakness of liberal individualism, nicely exposed in Amartya Sen’s arguments that lead to the conclusion that, “we have to see individual freedom as a social commitment.” That social commitment includes the goal of promoting individual freedom, but reaching for the goal may proceed along lines that are not so narrowly economic as Friedman would have, indicating new roles for business and government cooperation even in less extreme cases than that of the Niger Delta. (shrink)
This is Palmer 2004 years come to Taiwan, Lo Fu Jen Catholic University in light of the second lecture series lecture, described as vulgar different flow history of Western hermeneutics. This means a comprehensive history of hermeneutics unifying different from the contemporary general domain of hermeneutics for individual study. This ancient Egypt, Rome hope臘nervous, then interpretation of the Bible, the Protestant development, the liberation of neural science, until the liberation of Latin America contemporary neural science, etc., all kinds of (...) important interpretation of the provision of interpretation of the form of sperm Jie. Tirelessly road ahead, not only the context of the history of hermeneutics with management and to clarify the effect of comb, more understanding of how hermeneutics itself with the meaning of integration, resulting in program like dragon eye-dotting enlightening. This article is the second lecture made by Richard Palmer in Taiwan in 2004, entitled as "An Unconventional History of Hermeneutics in the West," indicating that such a general history of hermeneutics is different from the various hermeneutic studies on individual fields. This paper makes outstanding explications on those important hermeneutic forms of ancient Egypt mythology, Greek and Roman mythology, Biblical interpretation, the development of the Protestant, liberation theology and even the contemporary liberation theology of Latin America, not only sorting out and clarifying the historical contexts of hermeneutics but also inspiring us on how to understand and unify the meanings of hermeneutics itself. (shrink)
These two volumes, taken together, reflect a whole new phase in hermeneutic reflection. The first volume, The Hermeneutic Tradition, keys on Schleiermacher, Dilthey, Heidegger, and Gadamer, following closely the account of the hermeneutic tradition presented in Palmer's Hermeneutics and offering important selections from that tradition, including a number of essays surrounding the Gadamer-Habermas debate. It covers its selected thinkers in unusual depth and thus serves well its purpose of providing the "hermeneutic context" whose transformation it envisions in the second (...) volume. (shrink)
“In its less dramatic versions,” writes author Dan Palmer, “structuralism is just a method of studying language, society, and the works of artists and novelists. But in its most exuberant form, it is a philosophy, an overall worldview that provides an account of reality and knowledge.” Poststructuralism is a loosely knit intellectual movement, comprised mainly of ex-structuralists who either became dissatisfied with the theory or felt they could improve it. Structuralism and Poststructuralism For Beginners is an illustrated tour through (...) the mysterious landscape of these two theories. The book’s starting point is the linguistic theory of Ferdinand de Saussure. The book moves on to the anthropologist and literary critic Claude Levi-Strauss; the semiologist and literary critic Roland Barthes; the Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser; the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan; the deconstructionist Jacques Derrida. The book concludes by examining the postmodern obsession with language and with the radical claim of the disappearance of the individual–obsessions that unite the work of all of these theorists. (shrink)
An orthodox view in marketing ethics is that it is morally impermissible to market goods to specially vulnerable populations in ways that take advantage of their vulnerabilities. In his signature article “Marketing and the Vulnerable,” Brenkert (Bus Ethics Q Ruffin Ser 1:7–20, 1998) provided the first substantive defense of this position, one which has become a well-established view in marketing ethics. In what follows, we throw new light on marketing to the vulnerable by critically evaluating key components of Brenkert’s general (...) arguments. Specifically, we contend that Brenkert has failed to offer us any persuasive reasons to think that it is immoral to market to the vulnerable in ways that take advantage of their vulnerability. Although Brenkert does highlight the fact that the specially vulnerable are at greater risk of being harmed by already immoral marketing practices (e.g., deception, manipulation), he fails to establish that the specially vulnerable are a unique moral category of market clients or that there are special moral standards that apply to them. Moreover, even if Brenkert’s position were theoretically defensible, the practical implications of his position are far less tenable than he suggests. If our criticisms are sound, then Brenkert and others who endorse his position are seriously mistaken regarding how one can permissibly market products to vulnerable populations, and, in addition, they have improperly categorized certain morally permissible marketing practices as being immoral. (shrink)
The relations among consciousness, brain, behavior, and scientific explanation are explored in the domain of color perception. Current scientific knowledge about color similarity, color composition, dimensional structure, unique colors, and color categories is used to assess Locke.
In his paper The Opposite of Human Enhancement: Nanotechnology and the Blind Chicken problem (Nanoethics 2:305–316, 2008) Paul Thompson argues that the possibility of disenhancing animals in order to improve animal welfare poses a philosophical conundrum. Although many people intuitively think such disenhancement would be morally impermissible, it’s difficult to find good arguments to support such intuitions. In this brief response to Thompson, I accept that there’s a conundrum here. But I argue that if we seriously consider whether creating beings (...) can harm or benefit them, and introduce the non-identity problem to discussions of animal disehancement, the conundrum is even deeper than Thompson suggests. (shrink)
Over the past hundred years, a number of scientific investigators claim to have adduced experimental evidence for phenomena information” seems to behave like a weak signal that has to compete for the information-processing resources of the organism, a reduction of ongoing sensorimotor activity may facilitate ESP detection. Such a meaningful convergence of results suggests that psi phenomena may represent a unitary, coherent process whose nature and compatibility with current physical theory have yet to be determined. The theoretical implications and potential (...) practical applications of psi could be significant, irrespective of the small magnitude of psi effects in laboratory settings. (shrink)
According to the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP), a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise. In what follows, I want to defend this principle against an apparent counterexample offered recently by Derk Pereboom (Living without free will, 2001; Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 29: 228-247, 2005). Pereboom's case, a variant of what are known as Trankfurt cases,' is important for it attempts to overcome a dilemma posed for earlier alleged counterexamples to (...) PAP. However, I will argue that by paying closer attention to the details of Pereboom's example, we see that his example fails to show a way between the horns of the dilemma posed for the earlier Frankfurt examples. (shrink)
Although Business Ethics has become a topic of wide discussion in both academia and the corporate world, questions remain as how to present ethical issues in a manner that will effectively influence the decisions and behavior of business employees. In this paper we argue that the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (FSG) offer a unique opportunity for bridging the gap between the theory and practice of business ethics. We first explain what the FSG are and how they apply to organizations. We then (...) show how discussions of the FSG might be used in business ethics courses in a way that is both theoretically sound and practically applicable. Finally, we show how the requirements of the FSG can be used by companies to develop effective ethical compliance programs. As such, we maintain that the FSG provide a powerful heuristic tool for the teaching and training of business ethics. (shrink)
Investigation of neural and cognitive processes underlying individual variation in moral preferences is underway, with notable similarities emerging between moral- and risk-based decision-making. Here we specifically assessed moral distributive justice preferences and non-moral financial gambling preferences in the same individuals, and report an association between these seemingly disparate forms of decision-making. Moreover, we find this association between distributive justice and risky decision-making exists primarily when the latter is assessed with the Iowa Gambling Task. These findings are consistent with neuroimaging studies (...) of brain function during moral and risky decision-making. This research also constitutes the first replication of a novel experimental measure of distributive justice decision-making, for which individual variation in performance was found. Further examination of decision-making processes across different contexts may lead to an improved understanding of the factors affecting moral behaviour. (shrink)
I explore how some aspects of Foucoult’s work on power can be applied to human/animal power relations. First, I argue that because animals behave as “beings that react” and can respond in different ways to human actions, in principle at least, Foucoult’s work can offer insights into human/animal power relations. However, many of these relations fall into the category of “domination,” in which animals are unable to respond. Second, I examine different kinds of human power practices, in particular, ways in (...) which humans construct animal constitutions and animal subjectivities. Finally, I use a case study of a pet cat to show how such power practices may come together in a single instance. (shrink)
This paper explores the usefulness of the 'ethical matrix', proposed by Ben Mepham, as a tool in technology assessment, specifically in food ethics. We consider what the matrix is, how it might be useful as a tool in ethical decision-making, and what drawbacks might be associated with it. We suggest that it is helpful for fact-finding in ethical debates relating to food ethics; but that it is much less helpful in terms of weighing the different ethical problems that it uncovers. (...) Despite this drawback, we maintain that, with some modifications, the ethical matrix can be a useful tool in debates in food ethics. We argue that useful modifications might be to include future generations amongst the stakeholders in the matrix, and to substitute the principle of solidarity for the principle of justice. (shrink)
Social and structural inequities shape health and illness; they are an everyday presence within the doctor-patient encounter yet, there is limited ethical guidance on what individual physicians should do. This paper draws on a study that explored how doctors and their professional associations ought to respond to the issue of social health inequities.
The constitutions of many nations have been explicitly or implicitly founded upon principles of the social contract derived from Thomas Hobbes. The Hobbesian egoism at the base of the contract fairly accurately represents the structure of market enterprise. A contractarian analysis may, then, allow for justified or rationally acceptable universal standards to which businesses should conform. This paper proposes general rational restrictions upon multi-national enterprises, and includes a critique of unjustified restrictions recently proposed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and (...) Development (OECD). I propose restrictions that may be tighter than the OECD and international law currently demand, because reason requires that the activities of enterprises accord with standards of environmental and governmental sustainability in addition to consortium, national law and international law agreements. I argue that it is justifiable that indictments may be presented by a citizen or a government against the local arm of a multinational enterprise in response to violations committed by an arm within a different country. (shrink)
According to the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP), a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise. Pereboom (Living without free will, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2001, Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29:228–247, 2005) has developed an influential version of a Frankfurt case, known as “Tax Evasion,” which he believes is a counterexample to PAP. Ginet (Journal of Ethics 6:305–309, 2002) raises a key objection against Pereboom’s case, known as “the timing objection.” The (...) main claim of the timing objection is that we need to pay close attention to the precise time at which people act in order to determine what they can, and cannot, be morally responsible for. Recently, Pereboom (The philosophy of free will, Oxford University Press, New York, 2012) has defended his position against this objection by developing a new Frankfurt case called “Tax Cut.” In this paper, I assess this new development. I argue that Tax Cut is just as vulnerable to the timing objection as Pereboom’s original case, Tax Evasion. Thus, Pereboom’s response to the timing objection fails, leaving PAP intact from the threat of both of his Frankfurt cases. Along the way, I further motivate and develop the timing objection, and explore the distinction between derivative and non-derivative responsibility. (shrink)
In this ambitious and highly original study, McCabe presents an intricately structured argument designed to demonstrate Plato’s concern with fundamental issues of rationality and personhood. In doing so, she pursues themes announced in her Plato’s Individuals and in Form and Argument in Late Plato, a collection she co-edited with Christopher Gill. The development of her position via consideration of the philosophical importance of characterization and the dialogue form in the Theaetetus, Sophist, Statesman, and Philebus leads her to focus in particular (...) on Plato’s depiction of his predecessors. These include, firstly, the Theaetetus’s Protagoras and Heraclitean flux theorists and the Sophist’s Parmenides and materialist giants, all “mean-minded opponents” whose views threaten the very possibility of rational inquiry. Refutation of them, accordingly, is Plato’s means of establishing certain basic principles of reason. (shrink)
According to the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP), a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise. Widerker (Philosophical Perspectives 14: 181-201, 2000) offers an intriguing argument for PAP as it applies to moral blameworthiness. His argument is known as the “What-should-he-have-done defense” of PAP or the “W-defense” for short. In a recent article, Capes (Philosophical Studies 150: 61-77, 2010) attacks Widerker’s argument by rejecting the central premise on which it rests, namely, (...) the premise that a person is blameworthy for his action only if in the circumstances it would be morally reasonable to expect him not to have acted as he did. In this paper, I show that Capes’ criticism does not undermine this premise and, to this extent, Widerker’s argument is safe from Capes’ attack. (shrink)
Milton Friedman’s famous comment on Corporate Social Responsibility is that “there is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game.” I reply to Friedman, Michael Jensen, and others, in argument that accepts their implicit premise—that business can be a virtuous mechanism of free society—but that denies their delimitation of responsibility. The reply hinges upon precisely the virtue of “freedom” (...) these authors clearly value. In the extreme case where maximizing profits would place government under threat, such activity will not coincide with maximizing social value and would undermine the freedoms these authors claim to value. Responsibilities will also apply in less extreme cases, if we develop Amartya Sen’s argument showing that, “we have to see individual freedom as a social commitment.”. (shrink)