Psychiatric residents and psychiatrists have little difficulty in making judgments about a clinical course of action to take with patients. However, making ethical clinical decisions is more challenging, because psychiatric residents are usually provided little formal training in ethics. Further, many ethical dilemmas are complex, requiring knowledge of the psychiatric profession's ethics code, moral principles, law, and practice standards and of how they should be weighed in the decision-making process. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate this complexity in (...) regard to the identification of potential ethical dilemmas, understanding the issues that these dilemmas raise, and formulating potential solutions to them. Two common but important areas of treatment in which ethical dilemmas arise (informed consent and competence of care) are used as examples for our presentation. The article demonstrates that to successfully engage in ethical analysis in psychiatry is impossible without substantial formal training in the process. (shrink)
We are often told that we are morally obligated to produce equal opportunity for all. Therefore, it seems we should examine what power we have to produce that desirable state. For it would be nonsense to say we are required to provide what is beyond our power to provide. When we examine this question, we find our power limited by two sets of constraints. One set comprises formal constraints upon the idea itself of equal opportunity. We cannot do the logically (...) impossible. The other set comprises limits upon our ability to produce the directed socio-economic change, getting known outputs for known inputs. I illustrate the formal constraints by outlining the work of Douglas Rae. The constraints upon our abilities I illustrate with evidence from sociology and politics. At the end, we shall discover that our power to make opportunities equal is sharply though not unbearably limited. A critical but unbaised survey will reveal that in the past fifty years we have gone remarkably far towards doing all that we are presently capable of doing to equalize opportunities. Perhaps we shall go even farther when we learn how. The word ‘real’ in the title is opposed to ‘ideal’ or even ‘chimerical'. It may seem an interesting question what equality of opportunity should consist in were we able to produce directed socio-economic change at will. But we are not. Therefore, a more interesting and more important question is what equality of opportunity consists in given the very large number of constraints within which we must work to achieve it. (shrink)
I have chosen this title to set myself the task of commenting on the practice of philosophy in the light of my work as a philosopher in a university postgraduate department of war studies. I shall begin with some general remarks on how we are to understand ‘philosophy’, then discuss a neglected one-sidedness in the commentary which philosophers have attempted on such topics as the problems of the nuclear age.
Locke was once supposed to have argued that since the colours, sounds, odours, and other ‘secondary’ qualities things appear to have can vary greatly according to the state and position of the observer, it follows that our ideas of the ‘secondary’ qualities of things do not ‘resemble’ anything existing in the objects themselves. And Berkeley has been credited with the obvious objection that similar facts about the ‘relativity’ of our perception of ‘primary’ qualities show that they do not ‘resemble’ anything (...) existing in the objects either, so that both ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ qualities exist only ‘in the mind’. The falsity of this view of Locke has been amply demonstrated in recent years, but no corresponding revision has been made in what remains the standard interpretation of Berkeley's criticisms of Locke. His objections therefore appear to be based on misunderstanding and to be irrelevant to what is now seen to be Locke's actual view and his reasons for holding it. I think this account of Berkeley, like the old view of Locke, is a purely fictional chapter in the history of philosophy, and in this paper I try to show that Berkeley's criticisms involve no misunderstanding and amount to a direct denial of the view Locke actually held. (shrink)
Barry Schein proposes combining a second-order treatment of plurals with DonaldDavidson's suggestion that there are positions for reference to events in ordinary predicates inorder to account for several of the more puzzling features of ...
_Stream of Consciousness_ is about the phenomenology of conscious experience. Barry Dainton shows us that stream of consciousness is not a mosaic of discrete fragments of experience, but rather an interconnected flowing whole. Through a deep probing into the nature of awareness, introspection, phenomenal space and time consciousness, Dainton offers a truly original understanding of the nature of consciousness.
Barry Dainton presents a fascinating new account of the self, the key to which is experiential or phenomenal continuity. Provided our mental life continues we can easily imagine ourselves surviving the most dramatic physical alterations, or even moving from one body to another. It was this fact that led John Locke to conclude that a credible account of our persistence conditions - an account which reflects how we actually conceive of ourselves - should be framed in terms of mental (...) rather than material continuity. But mental continuity comes in different forms. Most of Locke's contemporary followers agree that our continued existence is secured by psychological continuity, which they take to be made up of memories, beliefs, intentions, personality traits, and the like. Dainton argues that that a better and more believable account can be framed in terms of the sort of continuity we find in our streams of consciousness from moment to moment. Why? Simply because provided this continuity is not lost - provided our streams of consciousness flow on - we can easily imagine ourselves surviving the most dramatic psychological alterations. Phenomenal continuity seems to provide a more reliable guide to our persistence than any form of continuity. The Phenomenal Self is a full-scale defence and elaboration of this premise. The first task is arriving at an adequate understanding of phenomenal unity and continuity. This achieved, Dainton turns to the most pressing problem facing any experience-based approach: losses of consciousness. How can we survive them? He shows how the problem can be solved in a satisfactory manner by construing ourselves as systems of experiential capacities. He then moves on to explore a range of further issues. How simple can a self be? How are we related to our bodies? Is our persistence an all-or-nothing affair? Do our minds consist of parts which could enjoy an independent existence? Is it metaphysically intelligible to construe ourselves as systems of capacities? The book concludes with a novel treatment of fission and fusion. (shrink)
It is plausible that there are epistemic reasons bearing on a distinctively epistemic standard of correctness for belief. It is also plausible that there are a range of practical reasons bearing on what to believe. These theses are often thought to be in tension with each other. Most significantly for our purposes, it is obscure how epistemic reasons and practical reasons might interact in the explanation of what one ought to believe. We draw an analogy with a similar distinction between (...) types of reasons for actions in the context of activities. The analogy motivates a two-level account of the structure of normativity that explains the interaction of correctness-based and other reasons. This account relies upon a distinction between normative reasons and authoritatively normative reasons. Only the latter play the reasons role in explaining what state one ought to be in. All and only practical reasons are authoritative reasons. Hence, in one important sense, all reasons for belief are practical reasons. But this account also preserves the autonomy and importance of epistemic reasons. Given the importance of having true beliefs about the world, our epistemic standard typically plays a key role in many cases in explaining what we ought to believe. In addition to reconciling (versions of) evidentialism and pragmatism, this two-level account has implications for a range of important debates in normative theory, including the interaction of right and wrong reasons for actions and other attitudes, the significance of reasons in understanding normativity and authoritative normativity, the distinction between ‘formal’ and ‘substantive’ normativity, and whether there is a unified source of authoritative normativity. (shrink)
These are just some of the fundamental questions addressed in Time and Space. Writing for a primary readership of advanced undergraduate and graduate philosophy students, Barry Dainton introduces the central ideas and arguments that make space and time such philosophically challenging topics. Although recognising that many issues in the philosophy of time and space involve technical features of physics, Dainton has been careful to keep the conceptual issues accessible to students with little scientific or mathematical training. Surveying historical debates (...) and ideas at the forefront of contemporary thinking, the book is unrivaled in its coverage. Topics include McTaggart's argument for the unreality of change; static, tensed, and dynamic time; time travel and causal arrows; space as void, motion, and curved spac; as well as a non-technical introduction to the special theory of relativity and the key features of general relativity, spacetime, and strings. Dainton also addresses the relationship between the philosophy of time and broader human concerns involving actions, ethics, fatalism, and death. (shrink)
A dogma of contemporary ethical theory maintains that the nature of normative support for affective attitudes is the very same as the nature of normative support for actions. The prevailing view is that normative reasons provide the support across the board. I argue that the nature of normative support for affective attitudes is importantly different from the nature of normative support for actions. Actions are indeed supported by reasons. Reasons are gradable and contributory. The support relations for affective attitudes are (...) neither. So-called reasons of the right kind for affective attitudes are facts that make those very attitudes fitting. Unlike reasons, fit-making facts for affective attitudes do not conflict with each other or combine in the explanation of further normative facts. More fit-making facts just make a more complex set of reactions fitting. This result undermines various analyses and unity theses in the philosophy of normativity. (shrink)
This paper develops the Value-Based Theory of Reasons in some detail. The central part of the paper introduces a number of theoretically puzzling features of normative reasons. These include weight, transmission, overlap, and the promiscuity of reasons. It is argued that the Value-Based Theory of Reasons elegantly accounts for these features. This paper is programmatic. Its goal is to put the promising but surprisingly overlooked Value-Based Theory of Reasons on the table in discussions of normative reasons, and to draw attention (...) to a number of areas for fruitful further research. (shrink)
Since the 1970s Barry Stroud has been one of the most original contributors to the philosophical study of human knowledge. This volume presents the best of Stroud's essays in this area. Throughout, he seeks to clearly identify the question that philosophical theories of knowledge are meant to answer, and the role scepticism plays in making sense of that question. In these seminal essays, he suggests that people pursuing epistemology need to concern themselves with whether philosophical scepticism is true or (...) false. Stroud's discussion of these fundamental questions is essential reading for anyone whose work touches on the subject of human knowledge. (shrink)
We say "the grass is green" or "lemons are yellow" to state what everyone knows. But are the things we see around us really colored, or do they only look that way because of the effects of light rays on our eyes and brains? Is color somehow "unreal" or "subjective" and dependent on our human perceptions and the conditions under which we see things? Distinguished scholar Barry Stroud investigates these and related questions in The Quest for Reality. In this (...) long-awaited book, he examines what a person would have to do and believe in order to reach the conclusion that everyone's perceptions and beliefs about the color of things are "illusions" and do not accurately represent the way things are in the world as it is independently of us. Arguing that no such conclusion could be consistently reached, Stroud finds that the conditions of a successful unmasking of color cannot all be fulfilled. The discussion extends beyond color to present a serious challenge to many other philosophical attempts to discover the way things really are. A model of subtle, elegant, and rigorous philosophical writing, this study will attract a wide audience from all areas of philosophy. (shrink)
As the author of Justice as Impartiality, I am not ashamed to admit that I was delighted by the liveliness of the discussion generated by it at the meeting on which this symposium is based. I am likewise grateful to the six authors for finding the book worthy of the careful attention that they have bestowed on it. Between them, the symposiasts take up many more points than I can cover in this response. I shall therefore focus on some themes (...) that cluster round the contractual device that I associate with the notion of justice as impartiality. Is it necessary? If it is not necessary is it nevertheless useful? Within an overall contractual framework is the form of contract that I propose uniquely justifiable? And does the form of contract that I defend generate the implications that I claim for it? (shrink)
In Responding to Global Poverty: Harm, Responsibility, and Agency, Christian Barry and Gerhard Øverland address the two types of argument that have dominated discussion of the responsibilities of the affluent to respond to global poverty. The second type of argument appeals to ‘contribution-based responsibilities’: the affluent have a duty to do something about the plight of the global poor because they have contributed to that plight. Barry and Øverland rightly recognize that to assess contribution-based responsibility for global poverty, (...) we need to understand what it is for an agent to contribute to harm rather than merely failing to prevent it. Barry and Øverland argue that we should replace the traditional bipartite distinction doing and allowing with a bipartite distinction between doing, allowing and enabling. I argue that their discussion represents a significant contribution to this debate. However, more detail on their key ideas of ‘relevant action’ and ‘complete causal process’ is needed. Moreover, in cases involving the removal of barriers, the non-need based claims of those involved matter. (shrink)
Despite the emphasis on the state in the history of political philosophy, the twentieth century has been characterized by a remarkable lack of philosophical reflection on the concept. Until recently analytical philosophy had eschewed those evaluative arguments about political obligation and the limits of state authority that were typical of political theory in the past in favour of the explication of the meaning of the concept. However, even here the results have been disappointing. Logical Positivist attempts to locate some unique (...) empirical phenomenon which the word state described proved unsuccessful, and indeed led to the odd conclusion that there was nothing about the state that distinguished it from some other social institutions. For example, its coercive power was said to be not unique: in some circumstances trade unions and Churches exercised similar power over their members. Ordinary language philosophers were far more interested in the complexities that surround words such as law, authority and power than in the state. In all this there was perhaps the fear that to concentrate attention on the state was implicitly to give credence to the discredited doctrine that it stood for some metaphysical entity; propositions about which could not be translated into propositions about the actions of individuals , and which represented higher values than those of ordinary human agents. (shrink)
Perhaps the most remarkable event in social thought of the last twenty years has been the resurgence of various strands of individualism as political doctrines. The term ‘individualism’ is a kind of general rubric that encompasses elements of nineteenth century classical liberalism, laissez-faire economics, the theory of the minimal state, and an extreme mutation out of this intellectual gene pool, anarcho-capitalism. The term libertarianism itself is applied indiscriminately to all of those doctrines. It has no precise meaning, except that in (...) a general sort of way libertarianism describes a more rigorous commitment to moral and economic individualism and a more ideological approach to social affairs than conventional liberalism. I suspect that its current usage largely reflects the fact that the word with the better historical pedigree, liberalism, has been associated, in America especially, with economic doctrines that are alien to the individualist tradition. (shrink)
Barry Taylor's book mounts a major new argument against one of the fundamental tenets of much contemporary philosophy, the idea that we can make sense of reality as existing objectively, independently of our capacities to come to know it. He concludes that there is no defensible notion of truth which preserves the theses of traditional realism, nor any extant position sufficiently true to the ideals of that doctrine to inherit its title. In presenting his case Taylor engages with many (...) key works of contemporary metaphysics, semantics, and philosophical logic, so his book will be of interest to a broad spectrum of scholars and students. (shrink)
Barry Allen explores the concept of knowledge in Chinese thought over two millennia and compares the different philosophical imperatives that have driven Chinese and Western thought. Challenging the hyperspecialized epistemology of modern Western philosophy, he urges his readers toward an ethical appreciation of why knowledge is worth pursuing.
In an article in Cognition, Machery, Mallon, Nichols, and Stich [Machery et al., 2004] present data which purports to show that “East Asian” native Cantonese speakers tend to have descriptivist intuitions about the referents of proper names, while “Western” native English speakers tend to have causal-historical intuitions about proper names. Machery et al take this finding to support the view that some intuitions, the universality of which they claim is central to philosophical theories, vary according to cultural background. Machery et (...) al hypothesize that the differences in intuitions about reference stem from general psychological differences between Eastern and Western subjects. Machery et al conclude from their findings that the philosophical methodology of consulting intuitions about hypothetical cases is flawed vis ` a vis the goal of determining truths about some philosophical domains. To quote Machery et al, “our data indicate that philosophers must radically revise their methodology” because “the intuitions philosophers pronounce from their armchairs are likely to be a product of their own culture and their academic training” ( [Machery et al., 2004] pp.B9). “The evidence suggests that it is wrong for philosophers to assume a priori the universality of their own semantic intuitions” ( [Machery et al., 2004] pp. B8). In the following study, I present data incompatible with Machery et al’s results. Native Cantonese-speaking immigrants from a Cantonese diaspora 1 in Southern California do not have descriptivist intuitions about the referents of proper names when presented with a Cantonese story and Cantonese questions about reference and truth-value. This data raises questions about the quality of Machery et al’s study and the conclusions they draw from it. (shrink)
Distinguished scholar Barry Stroud presents a sustained and intricate philosophical argument based upon the question of whether physical objects are 'actually' coloured, or whether they merely appear to be so. He demonstrates how this specific question is inextricably linked to some of the most fundamental issues in metaphysics. He also questions the very nature and constitution of these specific metaphysical issues. This long-awaited model of subtle, elegant, and rigorous philosophical writing ahould have a wide readership among philosophers working in (...) all areas of philosophy. (shrink)
The paper proposes a formal account of Aristotle's trichotomy of verbs, in terms of properties of their continuous tensings, into S(state)-verbs, K(kinesis)-verbs, and E-(energeia)-verbs. Within a Fregean tense framework in which predicates are relativized to times, an account of the continuous tenses is presented and a preliminary account of the trichotomy devised, which permits an illuminating analogy to be drawn between the temporal properties of E- and K-verbs and the spatial properties of stuffs and substances. This analogy is drawn upon (...) in constructing a sophisticated version of the preliminary theory accommodating more of the linguistic data. (shrink)
We use normative reasons in a bewildering variety of different ways. And yet, as many recent theorists have shown, one can discern systematic distinctions underlying this complexity. This paper is a contribution to this project of constructive normative metaphysics. We aim to bring a black sheep back into the flock: the balancing model of weighing reasons. This model is threatened by a variety of cases in which distinct reasons overlap, in the sense that they do not contribute separate weight for (...) or against an option. Our response is to distinguish between derivative reasons and load-bearing reasons, only the latter of which contribute non-overlapping weight to an option. This distinction is close at hand for analyses of reasons in terms of the promotion of significant outcomes. But we also develop an account of this distinction for fundamentalist theories of normative reasons. (shrink)
This study investigated several issues with 1498 managers nationwide regarding, for example, how ethical they felt their organizations were and whether their personal principles must be compromised for the organization's sake. In addition their decision criteria for two scenarios involving ethical implications were articulated.
The explanatory role of natural selection is one of the long-term debates in evolutionary biology. Nevertheless, the consensus has been slippery because conceptual confusions and the absence of a unified, formal causal model that integrates different explanatory scopes of natural selection. In this study we attempt to examine two questions: (i) What can the theory of natural selection explain? and (ii) Is there a causal or explanatory model that integrates all natural selection explananda? For the first question, we argue that (...) five explananda have been assigned to the theory of natural selection and that four of them may be actually considered explananda of natural selection. For the second question, we claim that a probabilistic conception of causality and the statistical relevance concept of explanation are both good models for understanding the explanatory role of natural selection. We review the biological and philosophical disputes about the explanatory role of natural selection and formalize some explananda in probabilistic terms using classical results from population genetics. Most of these explananda have been discussed in philosophical terms but some of them have been mixed up and confused. We analyze and set the limits of these problems. (shrink)
In Finite and Infinite Goods, Adams develops a sophisticated and richly detailed Platonic-theistic framework for ethics. The view is Platonic in virtue of being Good-centered; it is theistic both in identifying God with the Good and, more distinctively, in including a divine command theory of moral obligation. Readers familiar with Adams’s earlier divine command theory will recall that in response to the worry that God might command something evil, Adams introduced an independent value constraint, claiming that only the commands of (...) a loving God were fit to constitute moral obligations. In Finite and Infinite Goods he develops this notion of a loving and good God in what is now a fundamentally Good-centered ethical framework with a subordinate divine command theory of moral obligation. There is much of worth here, especially for theists wishing to think through the merits of a good-based theistic ethics, but also for those nontheists like myself who have a general interest in the nature of value and obligation. (shrink)
Our aim in this essay is to critically examine Iris Young’s arguments in her important posthumously published book against what she calls the liability model for attributing responsibility, as well as the arguments that she marshals in support of what she calls the social connection model of political responsibility. We contend that her arguments against the liability model of conceiving responsibility are not convincing, and that her alternative to it is vulnerable to damaging objections.
Following the research of Liedtka (1989), this paper examines the impact of her values congruence model on managers'' work attitudes and perceptions of ethical practices within their firms. A nationwide cross-section of managers (N=1,059) provides the sample for the study. Consonance or clarity about both personal value systems and organizational value systems were found to be more important and, in the absence of one or the other, clarity of personal values were shown to have a more positive impact than organizational (...) value clarity. (shrink)