During the last 20 years, philosophers from different quarters and with very different approaches have begun to theorize human rights in an outpouring of authored and edited books and journal articles. In addition, among policy makers and in the legal arena—the so called workings fields of human rights—there have been noteworthy investigations of human rights that tackle philosophical issues. In this book, Anat Biletzki brings a systematic approach to the multitudinous philosophical analyses of human rights, offering a cohesive overview (...) and analysis of this diverse but now very active field. She explores both the conceptual and historical treatments of human rights and the roots of its practice and examines its derivation from classical theories of rights all the way to existing uses. The book is "contemporary" in two senses: it investigates the most current human rights issues and it addresses emerging criticism of human rights, now arising in various sectors. A long introduction provides background information on the history of human rights, a synopsis of modern-day documents, and an articulation of basic questions. This is followed by a section on the philosophical groundings of human rights, proceeding from a philosophy of rights, to specific theories of human rights, to the questions of universalism vs. relativism. The third sections focuses on specific philosophical issues in human rights, including cultural relativity, economic rights, women’s rights, group, indigenous, and minority rights, security, and sovereignty and humanitarian intervention. And a final section on critiques of human rights has separate chapters on postmodernism, anti-foundationalism, and human rights discourse and practice. (shrink)
Descartes notoriously characterizes substance in two ways: first, as an ultimate subject of properties ; second, as an independent entity. The characterizations have appeared to many to diverge on the definition as well as the scope of the notion of substance. For it is often thought that the ultimate subject of properties need not—and, in some cases, cannot—be independent. Drawing on a suite of historical, textual, and philosophical considerations, this essay argues for an interpretation that reconciles Descartes's two characterizations. It (...) proposes that both characterizations invoke a type of independence that obtains just in case there is no relation to another entity that holds by the nature of the entity in question. Even though the ultimate subject of properties is sometimes not independent in other respects, it satisfies this independence-by-nature condition. (shrink)
There is a familiar story about Spinoza on which his substance monism arises straightforwardly from Descartes’ own conception of substance, which the latter combines—not entirely consistently—with substance pluralism. I argue that this story is mistaken: substance pluralism is fully consistent with Descartes’ conception of substance; it is also consistent with his claim that the term ‘substance’ is non-univocal. In defense of these claims, I argue that Descartes denies, whereas Spinoza accepts, that causation precludes the kind of independence that is characteristic (...) of substance; further, I show how Descartes’ denial is based on his view that causal relations do not belong to the natures of their relata, whereas Spinoza’s acceptance follows from his commitment to an intimate link between causation and conception, which Descartes also rejects. (shrink)
the meditations on first philosophy presents us with an alleged proof for the existence of God that proceeds from the existence of an idea of an infinite being in the human mind—an idea of God—to the existence of God himself. Insofar as we have an idea of an infinite being, an idea with “infinite objective reality,” we can legitimately ask whence it came to us. The only possible cause of this idea, claims Descartes, is an infinite being, namely, God. The (...) occurrence of just this idea in the proof is essential. In fact, Descartes maintains that any such causal proof for God’s existence crucially relies on this idea: “it seems to me that all these proofs based on his effects are reducible to a single one; and also .. (shrink)
Many historical and philosophical studies treat infinity as an exclusively quantitative notion, whose proper domain of application is mathematics and physics. The main aim of this paper is to disentangle, by critically examining, three notions of infinity in the early modern period, and to argue that one—but only one—of them is quantitative. One of these non-quantitative notions concerns being or reality, while the other concerns a particular iterative property of an aggregate. These three notions will emerge through examination of three (...) central figures in the period: Locke, Descartes, and Leibniz. (shrink)
In Language and the Learning Curve, a leading researcher in the field offers a radical new view of language development, unusual in its combination of Chomskian linguistics and learning theory. Stimulating and accessible, it is an important new work that challenges many of our usual assumptions about syntactic development.
Research from the fields of criminology and social psychology suggests that the deterrent effect of security countermeasures is not uniform across individuals. In this study, we examine whether certain individual characteristics (i. e., computer self-efficacy) or work arrangement (i. e., virtual status) moderate the influence of security policies, security education, training, and awareness (SETA) program, and computer monitoring on information systems misuse. The results suggest that computer savvy individuals are less deterred by SETA programs and computer monitoring, while these countermeasures (...) are also less influential (from a deterrence perspective) on employees that spend more working days outside the office. Implications for both the research and practice of information security are discussed. (shrink)
We present an ideal profile of an emerging organizational function: the Ethics Officer. We argue that the main contribution of an EO is to provide management with a broad perspective of the organization's stakeholders – one that emphasizes the interests of all stakeholders, including those not affiliated with the dominant coalitions in the organization. In order to avoid turning the EO into a rubber stamp for management activities, we suggest that certain conditions prevail to enable the person in this position (...) to exercise impartial, independent judgment. These conditions are embodied in our profile, which maintains that an ideal EO should have appropriate organizational status, functional independence, professionalism, knowledge of organizational issues, and knowledge of ethics theory. We suggest that the function of EO may be performed by a professional who is already employed by the organization, and we use the internal auditor as an example. (shrink)
On Anatomy is the shortest treatise preserved in the Hippocratic Corpus . It describes the internal configuration of the human trunk. The account is for the most part descriptive, function being largely disregarded and speculation completely eschewed. Though systematic it is unsophisticated: two orifices for ingestion are linked by miscellaneous organs, vessels, and viscera to two orifices for evacuation. There is a clear progression in two parallel sections: first, trachea to lung, lung described, location of heart, heart described, kidneys to (...) bladder, bladder described, bladder to genitals, conclusion; and second, oesophagus to belly, location of diaphragm, location of spleen, location and description of belly , belly to intestine/colon, colon to rectum and anus, conclusion. The text offers good basic topographical or regional anatomy . That the work is concerned with human anatomy is certain from the precise description of lung and liver, with features peculiar to human organs; and is corroborated by frequent references to comparative anatomy, with which familiarity is apparently assumed. Such anatomical knowledge, based on extensive observation of animals , may have been corroborated by some human dissection, perhaps of the aborted foetus or exposed infant, in conjunction with opportunistic observation of war wounded and accident victims. While the syntax is bald, telegraphic, and asyndetic, the vocabulary is recondite, and poetic. There is erratic omission of the article and recurrent use of compendious comparisons. These features suggest that Anat. may be an abridgement of a fuller and more flowery account; this hypothesis is supported by several passages where erroneous or unclear information apparently results from excessive compression or imperfect comprehension of a source. (shrink)
This unique collection looks at analytic philosophy in its historical context. Prominent philosophers discuss key figures, including Russell and Wittgenstein, methods and results in analytic philosophy to present its story. This volume assesses the challenge posed by changing cultural and philosophical trends and movements.
(Over)Interpreting Wittgenstein will be read by philosophers investigating Wittgenstein and by scholars, interpreters, students, and specialists, in both analytic and continental philosophy. It will intrigue readers interested in issues of interpretation and cultural studies. This book tells the story - as yet untold - of Wittgenstein interpretation during the past eighty years. It provides different interpretations, chronologies, developments, and controversies. It aims to discover the (socio-cultural rather than psychological) motives and motivations behind the philosophical community's project of interpreting Wittgenstein. As (...) a cultural history of ideas, it traces the parallelism between Wittgenstein interpretation and the move from metaphysics, to language, to postmodernism effected in the twentieth century. (shrink)
Hartmut Vollmer and Barbara Wright argue that women Expressionist poets have been largely neglected and forgotten. The article seeks to make a modest contribution towards remedying this scholarly lacuna by examining Hedwig Caspari’s poetry, while focusing on the relationship between Poet and God as reflected in her poetry. Caspari was a German-Jewish poet who lived and worked in Berlin. During her lifetime, she published two books—a play entitled Salomos Abfall and a volume of poetry entitled Elohim. Like her play, most (...) of her poetry deals with biblical themes. Caspari’s multifaceted relationship with God informs her poetry from the earliest to the latest poems. This article wishes to expose Caspari’s unique fe/male voice, showing her stance as a “prophet,” “lover,” and “Psalmist”, and attempts to explain why as a modernist poet she decided to write spiritual poetry. (shrink)