We discuss the variety of sorts of sympathy Hume recognizes, the extent to which he thinks our sympathy with others’ feelings depends on inferences from the other’s expression, and from her perceived situation, and consider also whether he later changed his views about the nature and role of sympathy, in particular its role in morals.
David Hume has been invoked by those who want to found morality on human nature as well as by their critics. He is credited with showing us the fallacy of moving from premises about what is the case to conclusions about what ought to be the case; and yet, just a few pages after the famous is-ought remarks in A Treatise of Human Nature, he embarks on his equally famous derivation of the obligations of justice from facts about the cooperative (...) schemes accepted in human communities. Is he ambivalent on the relationship between facts about human nature and human evaluations? Does he contradict himself – and, if so, which part of his whole position is most valuable? Between the famous is-ought passage and the famous account of convention and the obligations arising from established cooperative schemes once they are morally endorsed, Hume discusses the various meanings of the term “natural.” “Shou'd it be ask'd, Whether we ought to search for these principles [upon which all our notions of morals are founded] in nature or whether we must look for them in some other origin? I wou'd reply, that our answer to this question depends upon the definition of the word, Nature, than which there is none more ambiguous and equivocal.” The natural can be opposed to the miraculous, the unusual, or the artificial. It is the last contrast that Hume wants, for his contrast between the “artificial” culturally variant, convention-dependent obligations of justice and the more invariant “natural virtues,” and what he says about that contrast in this preparation for his account of the “artificial” virtues, makes it clear why he can later refer to justice as “natural” and to the general content of the rules of justice – that is, of basic human conventions of cooperation – as “Laws of Nature”. (shrink)
What is it to deceive someone? And how is it possible to deceive oneself? Does self-deception require that people be taken in by a deceitful strategy that they know is deceitful? The literature is divided between those who argue that self-deception is intentional and those who argue that it is non-intentional. In this study, Annette Barnes offers a challenge to both the standard characterisation of other-deception and current characterizations of self-deception, examining the available explanations and exploring such questions as (...) the self-deceiver's false consciousness, bias, and the irrationality and objectionability of self-deception. She arrives at a non-intentional account of self-deception that is deeper and more complete than alternative non-intentional accounts and avoids the reduction of self-deceptive belief to wishful belief. (shrink)
_Postures of the Mind _was first published in 1985. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions. Annette Baier develops, in these essays, a posture in philosophy of mind and in ethics that grows out of her reading of Hume and the later Wittgenstein, and that challenges several Kantian or analytic articles of faith. She questions the assumption that intellect has authority over (...) all human feelings and traditions; that to recognize order we must recognize universal laws—descriptive or prescriptive; that the essential mental activity is representing; and that mental acts can be analyzed into discrete basic elements, combined according to statable rules of synthesis. In the first group of essays—"Varieties of Mental Postures"—Baier evaluates the positions taken by philosophers ranging from Descartes to Dennett and Davidson. Among her topics are remembering, intending, realizing, caring, representing, changing one's mind, justifying one's actions and feelings, and having conflicting reasons for them. The second group of essays—"Varieties of Moral Postures" - explores the sort of morality we get when all of these capacities become reflective and self-corrective. Some deal with particular moral issues—our treatment of animals, our policies regarding risk to human life, our contractual obligations; others, with more general questions on the role of moral philosophers and the place of moral theory. These essays respond to the theories of Hobbes, Kant, Rawls, and MacIntyre, but Baier's most positive reaction is to David Hume; _Postures of the Mind _ affirms and cultivates his version of a moral reflection that employs feeling and tradition as well as reason. (shrink)
orman Daniels’ theory of justice and health faces a serious practical problem: his theory can ground the special moral importance of health and allows distinguishing just from unjust health inequalities, but it provides little practical guidance for allocating resources when they are especially scarce. Daniels’ solution to this problem is a fair process that he specifies as "accountability for reasonableness". Daniels claims that accountability for reasonableness makes limit-setting decisions in healthcare not only legitimate, but also fair. This paper assesses the (...) latter claim. Does accountability for reasonableness result in fair limit-setting decisions? It is argued that the answer to this question is not a clear yes. Daniels is remarkably unclear about the criterion of fairness that accountability for reasonableness satisfies. The paper discusses different options for resolving this lack of clarity and examines how they apply to Daniels’ accountability for reasonableness framework. It is concluded, first, that accountability for reasonableness is not a paradigm case of any of the classic notions of procedural justice; second, that what might be called "constrained pure procedural justice" best reflects how accountability for reasonableness results in fair limit-setting decisions; and third, that the procedural conditions of accountability for reasonableness must be further specified and amended to better achieve a fair process, and hence fair limit-setting decisions. (shrink)
This excerpt from our collective biography emerges from a dialogue that commenced when Noel interjected the concept of ‘becoming-cyborg’ into our conversations about Annette’s experiences of breast cancer, which initially prompted her to interpret her experiences as a ‘chaos narrative’ of cyborgian and environmental embodiment in education contexts. The materialisation of Donna Haraway’s figuration of the cyborg in Annette’s changing body enabled new appreciations of its interpretive power, and functioned in some ways as a successor project to Noel’s (...) earlier deployment of cyborgs in what he now recognises as a ‘posthumanising’ of curriculum inquiry. Noel’s subsequent experiences with throat cancer drew us towards exploring the possibilities that concepts such as Deleuze and Guattari’s machinic assemblage and Karen Barad’s ontoepistemology offer as a mean of thinking the meetings of bodies and technologies in educational inquiry beyond Haraway’s hybrid cyborg. Through both collective biography and playfully scripted conversations with other theorists we explore what it means to perform diffractive interpretations and analyses in posthumanist educational inquiry. Our essay also contributes to contemporary conversations about the uses of collaborative biographical writing as a method of inquiry in educational research. (shrink)
One of the key ethical requirements for biomedical research is that it have an acceptable risk-benefit profile (Emanuel, Wendler, and Grady 2000). The International Conference of Harmonization guidelines mandate that clinical trials should be initiated and continued only if “the anticipated benefits justify the risks” (1996). Guidelines from the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences state that biomedical research is acceptable only if the “potential benefits and risks are reasonably balanced” (2002). U.S. federal regulations require that the “risks to (...) subjects” be “reasonable in relation to anticipated benefits, if any, to subjects and the importance of the knowledge” to be gained from the .. (shrink)
ZusammenfassungDie aktuellen Entwicklungen und Anforderungen in der pflegeberuflichen Bildung, das Ausbildungsziel im Pflegeberufegesetz vom 17. Juli 2017 und die Explikationen in der dazugehörigen Ausbildungs- und Prüfungsverordnung für die Pflegeberufe fordern eine stärkere Ausrichtung auf die Entwicklung ethischer Kompetenzen explizit ein. Bislang liegen tendenziell übergreifende Definitionen und Darlegungen zu ethischen Kompetenzen in der Pflege vor, deren Verdienst es ist, das Spezifische der Pflegeethik zu konturieren und erstmals ethische Kompetenzen für das Feld zu konkretisieren. In methodischer und didaktischer Hinsicht ist indes eine (...) spezifische Differenzierung gemäß unterschiedlicher Bildungsniveaus relevant. Lehrende werden ihre Lehre nicht mehr nur im Sinne einer allgemeinen Förderung ethischer Kompetenz entwickeln können, sondern müssen dabei den jeweiligen Verantwortungsbereich und das angezielte Qualifikationsniveau der Lernenden berücksichtigen. Ziel der Darlegungen ist es, konkrete Kompetenzniveaus für die Anbahnung professionsethischer Kompetenzen zu operationalisieren, die einerseits die Anforderungen aus dem zukünftigen Pflegeberufegesetz aufgreifen und andererseits anstehende curriculare Entwicklungsprozesse unterstützen. (shrink)
The pioneering moral philosopher Annette Baier presents a series of new and recent essays in ethics, broadly conceived to include both engagements with other philosophers and personal meditations on life. Baier's unique voice and insight illuminate topics ranging from patriotism and future generations to honesty, trust, hope, and friendship.
It has recently been proposed to incorporate the use of a “Patient Preference Predictor” (PPP) into the process of making treatment decisions for incapacitated patients. A PPP would predict which treatment option a given incapacitated patient would most likely prefer, based on the individual’s characteristics and information on what treatment preferences are correlated with these characteristics. Including a PPP in the shared decision-making process between clinicians and surrogates has the potential to better realize important ethical goals for making treatment decisions (...) for incapacitated patients. However, developing and implementing a PPP poses significant practical challenges. The present paper discusses these practical challenges and considers ways to address them. (shrink)
Background: It is often claimed that a regulated kidney market would significantly reduce the kidney shortage, thus saving or improving many lives. Data are lacking, however, on how many people would consider selling a kidney in such a market. Methods: A survey instrument, developed to assess behavioural dispositions to and attitudes about a hypothetical regulated kidney market, was given to Swiss third-year medical students. Results: Respondents’ median age was 23 years. Their socioeconomic status was high or middle. 48 considered selling (...) a kidney in a regulated kidney market, of whom 31 would sell only to overcome a particularly difficult financial situation. High social status and male gender was the strongest predictor of a disposition to sell. 32 of all respondents supported legalising a regulated kidney market. This attitude was not associated with a disposition to sell a kidney. 5 respondents endorsed a market and considered providing a kidney to a stranger if and only if paid. 4 of those 5 would sell only under financial duress. Conclusions: Current understanding of a regulated kidney market is insufficient. It is unclear whether a regulated market would result in a net gain of kidneys. Most possible kidney vendors would only sell in a particularly difficult financial situation, raising concerns about the validity of consent and inequities in the provision of organs. Further empirical and normative analysis of these issues is required. Any calls to implement and evaluate a regulated kidney market in pilot studies are therefore premature. (shrink)
Hume’s version, in An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals, section 9,, of the viewpoint from which moral assessments are made, and from which traits are recognized as virtues or vices, is that it is one which activates a “universal principle of the human frame,” the “principle of humanity.” It displays “the force of many sympathies,” and depends upon our possession of “some propensity to the good of mankind”. Does this represent a revision, on Hume’s part, of his Treatise claim (...) that sympathy with a person’s “narrow circle” is what enables us to judge that person’s moral goodness? A humanity-wide circle is scarcely “narrow,” even if it is not wide enough for those who see our treatment of animals as relevant to our moral merit or demerit. (shrink)
Cultural safety is a relatively new concept that has emerged in the New Zealand nursing context and is being taken up in various ways in Canadian health care discourses. Our research team has been exploring the relevance of cultural safety in the Canadian context, most recently in relation to a knowledge-translation study conducted with nurses practising in a large tertiary hospital. We were drawn to using cultural safety because we conceptualized it as being compatible with critical theoretical perspectives that foster (...) a focus on power imbalances and inequitable social relationships in health care; the interrelated problems of culturalism and racialization; and a commitment to social justice as central to the social mandate of nursing. Engaging in this knowledge-translation study has provided new perspectives on the complexities, ambiguities and tensions that need to be considered when using the concept of cultural safety to draw attention to racialization, culturalism, and health and health care inequities. The philosophic analysis discussed in this paper represents an epistemological grounding for the concept of cultural safety that links directly to particular moral ends with social justice implications. Although cultural safety is a concept that we have firmly positioned within the paradigm of critical inquiry, ambiguities associated with the notions of 'culture', 'safety', and 'cultural safety' need to be anticipated and addressed if they are to be effectively used to draw attention to critical social justice issues in practice settings. Using cultural safety in practice settings to draw attention to and prompt critical reflection on politicized knowledge, therefore, brings an added layer of complexity. To address these complexities, we propose that what may be required to effectively use cultural safety in the knowledge-translation process is a 'social justice curriculum for practice' that would foster a philosophical stance of critical inquiry at both the individual and institutional levels. (shrink)
The paper investigates whether it is plausible to hold the late stage demented criminally responsible for past actions. The concern is based on the fact that policy makers in the United States and in Britain are starting to wonder what to do with prison inmates in the later stages of dementia who do not remember their crimes anymore. The problem has to be expected to become more urgent as the population ages and the number of dementia patients increases. This paper (...) argues that the late-stage demented should not be punished for past crimes. Applicable theories of punishment, especially theories with an appropriate expressivist, or communicative element, fail to justify the imprisonment of the late-stage demented. Further imprisonment would require a capacity for comprehension on the part of the punished, and, under certain narrowly specified conditions, even a capacity to be at least in principle capable of recalling the crime again. (shrink)
Both a morality, like Kant's, which relies on wrongdoers' guilt feelings and expectation of punishment, as enforcement for its requirements, and one which, like Hume's, relies on the feelings of shame and expectation of their fellows' contempt which will be felt by those showing lack of the moral virtues, seem to merit the charge that morality is an intrinsically cruel institution. The prospects for a gentle non-punitive morality are explored, and Hume's views found more promising, for this purpose, than Kant's.