Although the capability approach has had a tremendous impact on the development debate, it has had little to say about sustainable development. As several Human Development Reports have maintained, the last twenty years' gains in human development are not sustainable. The failure to include an integrate sustainability into the Human Development Index would thus give the wrong policy message. Drawing on the works of Amartya Sen and Thomas Scanlon, this article argues that sustainable development can be seen as a process (...) of increasing legitimate freedoms, the freedoms that others cannot reasonably reject. Thus, Sen's vision of development as freedom is amended to suggest limits to freedoms. Forms of development which are not sustainable can be reasonably rejected due, at least, to the harm and blighting entailed. Based on this, it is argued that at country level of comparison the Human Development Index should be combined with the Ecological Footprint to reflect sustainability, and that the Human Development Reports should give way to Sustainable Development Reports. (shrink)
This paper explores the perceptions and experiences of four doctoral researchers to examine how research ethics committee (REC) processes have shaped and influenced specific health-based ethnographic studies. This paper considers how a universal tightening of ethical REC scrutiny at university level, as well as those governing the health and social care sector in the United Kingdom, impacts upon social research involving the inclusion of participants from certain groups. Increased restrictions in ethics scrutiny is justified as protecting vulnerable people from intrusive (...) research and is embedded in legislation, specifically the UK Mental Capacity Act 2005. The general international trend towards greater ethical scrutiny is heralded as an uncontested social good, yet this unquestioned assumption is tested in relation to qualitative social research methodologies that seek to explore the experiences of ?vulnerable? individuals. It is consequently argued that ethics review restrictions are in danger of disenfranchising sectors of the community, excluding them from engaging in social research activities that would serve to highlight their experiential and lived conditions. The enhanced bureaucratic control of the doctoral process in conjunction with the REC is also discussed as inhibiting proposed studies. (shrink)
In An Essay upon Civil Government, Andrew Michael Ramsay mounted a sustained attack upon the development throughout English history of popular government. According to Ramsay, popular involvement in sovereignty had led to the decline of society and the revolutions of the seventeenth century. In his own time, Parliament had become a despotic instrument of government, riven with faction and driven by a multiplicity of laws that manifested a widespread corruption in the state. Ramsay's solution to this degeneracy was the (...) extirpation of Parliament, and its substitution with a monarchy moderated by an aristocratic senate. Ramsay's adoption of certain “Country” elements, including a return to the first principles of the constitution, claimed to reflect the principles of contemporary French aristocratic theory which called for the reform of government through the nobility. In his desire to exclude popular government, and reverse the decline of the state, however, Ramsay utilised the theory with which Bossuet had defended Louis XIV's absolute France. Intriguingly, traces of the natural law system which fortified Ramsay's theory can be found in Viscount Bolingbroke's subsequent attack on Walpole's Whig ministry and the corruption of the state. (shrink)
In Beyond Physicalism, an interdisciplinary group of physical scientists, behavioral and social scientists, and humanists from the Esalen Institute’s Center for Theory and Research argue that physicalism must be replaced by an expanded scientific naturalism that accommodates something spiritual at the heart of nature.
Modern discussions of natural resources focus on increasing public control over extractive industries proposing measures that range from increasing the public's share of the gain via royalties and taxes to regulating extractive activities to prevent environmental problems to outright expropriation of private investments. This article argues that such efforts are counterproductive because the fundamental economic problem of natural resources is producing the knowledge necessary to locate and extract resource deposits. The public benefit comes from enabling the use of the resources (...) and the increased economic activity their discovery produces rather than from royalties or expropriation. The key question in designing natural resource laws is thus their effects on the incentive to discover and manage resources. Private property rights in natural resources are the best way to provide such incentives. Fortunately, the combination of property rights and tort law principles enables property rights to solve environmental problems related to natural resource extraction as well. (shrink)
I argue for an account of the vulnerability of trust, as a product of our need for secure social attachments to individuals and to a group. This account seeks to explain why it is true that, when we trust or distrust someone, we are susceptible to being betrayed by them, rather than merely disappointed or frustrated in our goals. What we are concerned about in matters of trust is, at the basic level, whether we matter, in a non-instrumental way, to (...) that individual, or to the group of which they are a member. We have this concern as a result of a drive to form secure social attachments. This makes us vulnerable in the characteristic way of being susceptible to betrayal, because how the other acts in such matters can demonstrate our lack of worth to them, or to the group, thereby threatening the security of our attachment, and eliciting the reactive attitudes characteristic of betrayal. (shrink)
In his paper, ‘A critique of religious fictionalism’, Benjamin Cordry raises a series of objections to a fictionalist form of religious non-realism that I proposed in my earlier paper, ‘Can an atheist believe in God?’. They fall into two main categories: those alleging that an atheist would be unjustified in adopting fictionalism, and those alleging that fictionalism could not be successfully implemented, or practised communally. I argue that these objections can be met.
Some accounts of moral responsibility hold that an agent's responsibility is completely determined by some aspect of the agent's mental life at the time of action. For example, some hold that an agent is responsible if and only if there is an appropriate mesh among the agent's particular psychological elements. It is often objected that the particular features of the agent's mental life to which these theorists appeal (such as a particular structure or mesh) are not necessary for responsibility. This (...) is because there appear to be cases in which an agent acts at an earlier time which causes her to lack the appropriate psychological features at some later time and yet, intuitively, she is responsible at that later .. (shrink)
In this essay I describe how contractarianism might approach interspecies welfare conflicts. I start by discussing a contractarian account of the moral status of nonhuman animals. I argue that contractors can agree to norms that would acknowledge the “moral standing” of some animals. I then discuss how the norms emerging from contractarian agreement might constrain any comparison of welfare between humans and animals. Contractarian agreement is likely to express some partiality to humans in a way that discounts the welfare of (...) some or all animals. While the norms emerging from the contract might be silent or inconsistent in some tragic or catastrophic cases, in most ordinary conflicts of welfare, contractors will agree to norms that produce some determinate resolution. What the agreement says can evolve depending upon how the contractors or the circumstances change. I close with some remarks on contractarian indeterminacy. (shrink)
Practically every contemporary mainstream scientist presumes that all aspects of mind are generated by brain activity. We demonstrate the inadequacy of this picture by assembling evidence for a variety of empirical phenomena which it cannot explain. We further show that an alternative picture developed by F. W. H. Myers and William James successfully accommodates these phenomena, ratifies the common sense view of ourselves as causally effective conscious agents, and is fully compatible with contemporary physics and neuroscience.
Kriegel described the problem of intentional inexistence as one of the ‘perennial problems of philosophy’, 307–340, 2007: 307). In the same paper, Kriegel alluded to a modal realist solution to the problem of intentional inexistence. However, Kriegel does not state by name who defends the kind of modal realist solution he has in mind. Kriegel also points out that even what he believes to be the strongest version of modal realism does not pass the ‘principle of representation’ and thus modal (...) realism is not an adequate solution to the problem of intentional inexistence. In this paper, I respond to Kriegel by defending a modal realist solution that he did not consider in 2007, called ‘extended modal realism’. EMR is a version of modal realism where possible worlds are not completely isolated as they are under the Lewisian model. Rather, under EMR worlds are, in a way, spatiotemporally related. The fact EMR worlds are related allows EMR to sufficiently pass the principle of representation and thus can be deemed a legitimate solution to the problem of intentional inexistence. I conclude that either EMR can pass the principle of representation in some cases or, and I think the more sensible option, we give up on the principle of representation altogether. (shrink)
Andrew Collier is the boldest defender of objectivity - in science, knowledge, thought, action, politics, morality and religion. In this tribute and acknowledgement of the influence his work has had on a wide readership, his colleagues show that they have been stimulated by his thinking and offer challenging responses. This wide-ranging book covers key areas with which defenders of objectivity often have to engage. Sections are devoted to the following: 'objectivity of value', 'objectivity and everyday knowledge', 'objectivity in political (...) economy', 'objectivity and reflexivity', 'objectivity, postmodernism and feminism', 'objectivity and nature'. The diverse contributions range from social and political thought to philosophy, reflecting the central themes of Collier's work. (shrink)
ABSTRACTRecent critics have suggested that character education is overly individualised and, as a result, fails to engage adequately with the political. In this paper, I offer an account of character education which takes issue with such criticisms, and seeks to make clear connections between the moral and the political necessary for character formation and expression. Drawing on an Aristotelian understanding of the political, I argue that individuals are intimately connected with their social associations, which in contemporary plural, westernised democracies include (...) the sort of engagement with the political advocated by critics of character education. Through a focus on civic virtue and deliberative engagement, it is argued that an Aristotelian-inspired account of character addresses the precise concerns, including recognising and challenging social injustices and deliberative engagement with difference, which critics suggest are lacking from character education. (shrink)
The aim of the paper is to examine the limits of Aristotle’s and Arendt’s contributions to a philosophical anthropology. By focusing on the concept of ‘potentiality’—and thus the ‘good life’ as a potentiality awaiting actualization—the limit emerges from the way Aristotle understands ‘life.’ His discussion of slavery is pivotal in this regard.
Philosophical writing on the welfare state has taken a defensive turn in recent years, largely in response to two related phenomena: the re-emergence of pro-market ideologies in the larger political culture and the imperiled condition of real world welfare states in a global economy in which national governments have diminishing capacities for shaping the social and economic lives of their citizens. But thanks in part to the tireless advocacy of Philippe Van Parijs, an even more radically redistributive form of public (...) provision than the welfare state has come onto the intellectual agenda—and the political agenda too, at least in Belgium and the Netherlands. Van Parijs proposes that all citizens be accorded an unconditional “basic income grant” as large as is compatible with the need to generate as much wealth as possible for redistribution. By now, this idea has many defenders. It also boasts a genealogy extending back to such writers as Tom Paine, François Huet, Edward Bellamy and G. D. H. Cole. But Van Parijs has become its best-known and most adept philosophical proponent, and this book represents his most sustained effort to date to investigate its normative foundations. (shrink)
This important collection of essays by Andrew Feenberg presents his critical theory of technology, an innovative approach to philosophy and sociology of technology based on a synthesis of ideas drawn from STS and Frankfurt School Critical Theory. The volume includes chapters on citizenship, modernity, and Heidegger and Marcuse.
The volume consists of two parts, of which the former describes the two central elements of Locke’s account. First, Sreenivasan explains how he understands Locke’s attempt to show that common ownership of natural resources is consistent with the existence of a procedure whereby private ownership rights can be acquired without universal agreement. Solving this consent problem, Locke construes common ownership as involving merely a right to those conditions necessary for self-preservation. He then argues that where non-appropriators are left with enough (...) to achieve subsistence, unilateral appropriation does not violate such a right. Locke’s sufficiency condition ensures this by requiring that the able-bodied must have access to the relevant production or employment opportunities, while the disabled must be capable of subsisting through charity. (shrink)
By what steps, historically, did morality emerge? Our remote ancestors evolved into social animals. Sociality requires, among other things, restraints on disruptive sexual, hostile, aggressive, vengeful, and acquisitive behavior. Since we are innately social and not social by convention, we can assume the biological evolution of the emotional equipment – numerous predispositions to want, fear, feel anxious or secure – required for social living, just as we can assume cultural evolution of various means to control antisocial behavior and reinforce the (...) prosocial kind. Small clans consisting, say, of several extended families whose members cooperated in hunting, gathering, defense, and child-rearing could not exist without a combination of innate and social restraints on individual behavior. I shall argue for a naturalistic theory of morality, by which I do not mean the definitional claims G.E. Moore sought to refute, but a broader and more complex theory that maintains that a sufficient understanding of human nature, history, and culture can fully explain morality; that nothing is left hanging. A theory that coherently brings together the needed biological, psychological, and cultural facts I shall call a philosophical anthropology; it is a theory that: 1) takes the good for humans – both an ultimate good and other important goods – to depend on human nature; 2) argues that a rudimentary but improving scientific and philosophical theory of human nature now exists, and thus denies that people are “essenceless”; 3) takes this theory to be evolutionary and historical, making the question “How did morality originate?” pivotal for ethical theory, but leaves open the empirical question of the relative importance of biological and cultural evolution; and 4) takes the origin of the moral ideas to be explainable in terms of human nature and history. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to provide a normative model for the assessment of the exercise of power by Big Pharma. By drawing on the work of Steven Lukes, it will be argued that while Big Pharma is overtly highly regulated, so that its power is indeed restricted in the interests of patients and the general public, the industry is still able to exercise what Lukes describes as a third dimension of power. This entails concealing the conflicts of interest (...) and grievances that Big Pharma may have with the health care system, physicians and patients, crucially through rhetorical engagements with Patient Advocacy Groups that seek to shape public opinion, and also by marginalising certain groups, excluding them from debates over health care resource allocation. Three issues will be examined: the construction of a conception of the patient as expert patient or consumer; the phenomenon of disease mongering; the suppression or distortion of debates over resource allocation. (shrink)
Contemporary philosophical debates surrounding toleration have revolved around three issues: What is toleration? Should we tolerate and, if so, why? What should be tolerated? These questions are of central importance to social and political thought.
What is time? Neither the numbering of the motion of things nor their schema, but their way of being. In language, time shows itself as tense. But every verb has both tense and aspect. So what is aspect? Irreducible to tense, it is the way in which anything is at any time whatsoever. Thus the way things are, their being, is not merely temporal – for it is just as aspectual.
Professionalism is initially understood as a historical process, through which certain commercial services sought to improve their social status (and economic reward) by separating themselves from mere crafts or trades. This process may be traced clearly with the aspiration of British portrait painters (headed by Sir Joshua Reynolds), in the eighteenth century, to acquire a social status akin to that of already established professionals, such as clerics and doctors. This may be understood, to a significant degree, as a process of (...) gentrification. The values of the professional thereby lie as much in the etiquette and other social skills with which they deal with their clients, than with any distinctive form of skill or value. Professionalisation as gentrification seemingly says little about the nature of modern professionalism. However, if this process is also construed as one in which the goals and achievements of the profession come to be subject to radical reflection, then something significant about professional values emerges. On this account, the profession is distinguished from craft or trade on the grounds that the goals of the profession, and the effectiveness of any attempt to realise them, are not transparent to the client. While a lay person will typically have the competence necessary to judge whether or not a craft worker has achieved their goal, that person will not necessarily be able to recognise the values that determine the success of a medical operation. It will be concluded that the values of a profession are articulated intrinsically to the profession, in terms of the contested understanding that the professionals themselves have of the meaning of the profession and the narratives within which its history is to be told. (shrink)
Cost-benefit analysis makes the assumption that everything from consumer goods to endangered species may in principle be given a value by which its worth can be compared with that of anything else, even though the actual measurement of such value may be difficult in practice. The assumption is shown to fail, even in simple cases, and the analysis to be incapable of taking into account the transformative value of new experiences. Several kinds of value are identified, by no means all (...) commensurable with one another – a situation with which both economics and contemporary ethical theory must come to terms. A radical moral pluralism is recommended as in no way incompatible with the requirements of rationality, which allows that the business of living decently involves many kinds of principles and various sorts of responsibilities. In environmental ethics, pluralism offers the hope of reconciling various rival theories, even if none of them is universally applicable. (shrink)
.This paper responds to the Expert Patient initiative by questioning its over-reliance on instrumental forms of reasoning. It will be suggested that expertise of the patient suffering from chronic illness should not be exclusively seen in terms of a model of technical knowledge derived from the natural sciences, but should rather include an awareness of the hermeneutic skills that the patient needs in order to make sense of their illness and the impact that the illness has upon their sense of (...) self-identity. By appealing to MacIntyre’s concepts of “virtue” and “practice”, as well as Frank’s notion of the “wounded story-teller”, it will be argued that chronic illness can be constituted as a practice, by building a culture of honest and courageous story-telling about the experience of chronic suffering. The building of such a practice will renew the cultural resources available to the patient, the physician and the rest of the community in understanding illness and patient-hood. (shrink)
Being and Time’s emphasis on practical activities has attracted much attention as an approach to meaning not modelled exclusively on language. However, understanding this emphasis is made more difficult by Heidegger’s notion of Rede, which he routinely characterizes as both language-like and basic to all disclosure. This paper assesses whether this notion can be both interpreted coherently and reconciled with Heidegger’s emphasis on intelligent nonlinguistic behaviours. It begins by identifying two functions of Articulacy – the demonstrative and articulatory – and (...) a potential source of incoherence in Heidegger’s analysis. Having reviewed some standard approaches to Heideggerian Articulacy, I show how Heidegger’s discussion of predicative judgements implies that language can be linked with different kinds of content. This allows Heidegger’s analysis to be read coherently, provided Articulacy is understood as having distinct purposive and predicative modes. The final section shows how this reading preserves a close connection between Articulacy and language while accommodating intelligent nonlinguistic behaviours. (shrink)
This paper reports on-going work in the eSCAPE Project (Esprit Long Term Research Project 25377) directed to the research and development of electronic landscapes for public use. Our concern here is to elucidate a sociologically informed approach towards the design of electronic landscapes or virtual worlds. We suggest — and demonstrate through ethnographic studies of virtual technologies at a multimedia art museum and information technology trade show — that members sense of space is produced through social practices tied to the (...) accomplishment of activities occurring within the locations their actions are situated. Space, in other words, is socially constructed and shaped through members’ practices for accomplishing situated activities. We explicate, by practical examples, an approach to discovering social practices in and through which a sense of space is constructed and outline how such understandings may be used to formulate requirements for the design of electronic landscapes. In explicating our ethnographically informed approach, we outline how future technologies may bedeveloped through the situated evaluation of experimental prototypes in public use. (shrink)