fusion theory challenges efforts to see theory as inhibiting by presenting an approach that is innovative, eclectic, and subtle in order to draw out competing and constellating ideas and opinions. This collected volume of essays examines fusion theory and demonstrates how the theory can be applied to the reading of various works of Indian English novelists.
Mill's most famous departure from Bentham is his distinction between higher and lower pleasures. This article argues that quality and quantity are independent and irreducible properties of pleasures that may be traded off against each other – as in the case of quality and quantity of wine. I argue that Mill is not committed to thinking that there are two distinct kinds of pleasure, or that ‘higher pleasures’ lexically dominate lower ones, and that the distinction is compatible with hedonism. I (...) show how this interpretation not only makes sense of Mill but allows him to respond to famous problems, such as Crisp's Haydn and the oyster and Nozick's experience machine. (shrink)
Consequentialists typically think that the moral quality of one's conduct depends on the difference one makes. But consequentialists may also think that even if one is not making a difference, the moral quality of one's conduct can still be affected by whether one is participating in an endeavour that does make a difference. Derek Parfit discusses this issue – the moral significance of what I call ‘participation’ – in the chapter of Reasons and Persons that he devotes to what he (...) calls ‘moral mathematics’. In my paper, I expose an inconsistency in Parfit's discussion of moral mathematics by showing how it gives conflicting answers to the question of whether participation matters. I conclude by showing how an appreciation of Parfit's error sheds some light on consequentialist thought generally, and on the debate between act- and rule-consequentialists specifically. (shrink)
Do people have free will, or this universal belief an illusion? If free will is more than an illusion, what kind of free will do people have? How can free will influence behavior? Can free will be studied, verified, and understood scientifically? How and why might a sense of free will have evolved? These are a few of the questions this book attempts to answer. People generally act as though they believe in their own free will: they don't feel like (...) automatons, and they don't treat one another as they might treat robots. While acknowledging many constraints and influences on behavior, people nonetheless act as if they (and their neighbors) are largely in control of many if not most of the decisions they make. Belief in free will also underpins the sense that people are responsible for their actions. Psychological explanations of behavior rarely mention free will as a factor, however. Can psychological science find room for free will? How do leading psychologists conceptualize free will, and what role do they believe free will plays in shaping behavior? In recent years a number of psychologists have tried to solve one or more of the puzzles surrounding free will. This book looks both at recent experimental and theoretical work directly related to free will and at ways leading psychologists from all branches of psychology deal with the philosophical problems long associated with the question of free will, such as the relationship between determinism and free will and the importance of consciousness in free will. It also includes commentaries by leading philosophers on what psychologists can contribute to long-running philosophical struggles with this most distinctly human belief. These essays should be of interest not only to social scientists, but to intelligent and thoughtful readers everywhere. (shrink)
One of the core debates concerning equity in the response to the threat of anthropogenic climate change is how the responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions should be allocated, or, correspondingly, how the right to emit greenhouse gases should be allocated. Two alternative approaches that have been widely promoted are, first, to assign obligations to the industrialized countries on the basis of both their ability to pay and their responsibility for the majority of prior emissions, or, second, to assign emissions (...) rights on a equal per capita basis. Both these proposals ignore intra-national distributional equity. Instead, we develop a policy framework we call 'Greenhouse Development Rights' which allocates obligations to pay for climate policies on the basis of an individually quantified metric of capacity and responsibility . Crucially, the GDRs framework looks at the distribution of income within countries and treats people of equal wealth similarly, whatever country they live in. Thus even poor countries have obligations proportional to the size and wealth of their middle and upper classes, defined relative to a 'development threshold'. While this method nominally identifies the 'right to development' as applying to people, not countries, as a proposal for a treaty among sovereign nations, there is no obvious way to give legal meaning to that right. In this paper, then, we raise some of the philosophical and political questions that arise in trying to quantify capacity and responsibility and to use the 'right to development' as a principle for allocating costs.*. (shrink)
We surveyed 223 APA members to investigate the roles of therapists' sex, theoretical orientation, interpersonal boundaries, and clients' sex in predicting therapists' assessments of the ethicality of nonerotic dual relationships with their clients. Results indicated that therapists' sex, interpersonal boundaries, and theoretical orientation influenced ethical judgments of these relationships. Theoretical and practical implications of our findings are discussed.
Michael Eldridge's critique of the author's earlier paper on the place of theology in agricultural ethics at state universities fails in at least three places: (1) Eldridge presents an inadequate picture of how basic assumptions function in human thinking and misuses terms like “public,” “private,” “particular,” “empirical,” and “common experience”; (2) he wrongly distinguishes between philosophers and theologians on the bais of their openness to new data, ideas, and public criticism; (3) he misunderstands the meaning of the First Amendment. (...) class='Hi'>Baer argues that whenever faculty at a state university deal with the Big Questions—who we are, how we should live, and what it all means—they must be seen, for First Amendment purposes, as operating within the realm of religion. Without such a functional definition of religion, the state will inevitably give unfair advantage to nontheistic, secular answers to the Big Questions. Eldridge is wrong to claim that Dewey escapes the liabilities of particularity and parochialism in a way that theologians do not. He also misunderstands the nature of the First Amendment when he argues that public schools may legitimately propagate Dewey's naturalistic variety of “religion.” Baer claims that when state universities address the Big Questions, the demands of public justice will be met only if theologians participate in the discussion and debate. (shrink)
All statements describing physical reality are derived through interpretation of measurement results that requires a theory of the measuring instruments used to make the measurements. The ultimate measuring instrument is our body which displays its measurement results in our mind. Since a physical theory of our mind-body is unknown, the correct interpretation of its measurement results is unknown. The success of the physical sciences has led to a tendency to treat assumption in physics as indisputable facts. This tendency hampers the (...) development of new theories capable of addressing the foundations of mind. To show the possibility that false interpretations of experimental results have lead to equally false projections onto physical reality may have happened, the double slit experiment and special relativity experiments are examined in detail. I will show that strongly held a-priory beliefs characterizing measurement instruments have lead to unjustified but widely held concepts in physical theories. For example the assumption that material bodies have minds can change the interpretation of experiments to produce alternative physical theories. Since some material bodies have minds this paper calls for a review of the conscious observer’s role in the execution and interpretation of fundamental physics experiments in order to verify or challenge the basic beliefs adopted in standard physical theories. (shrink)
The themes of becoming male, becoming one, and becoming a virgin, although by no means dominant motifs in Philo's writings, were seen to be thoroughly consistent with his wider usage of the categories male and female. The earlier ...
In this article, I attempt to resuscitate the perennially unfashionable distinctive feeling theory of pleasure (and pain), according to which for an experience to be pleasant (or unpleasant) is just for it to involve or contain a distinctive kind of feeling. I do this in two ways. First, by offering powerful new arguments against its two chief rivals: attitude theories, on the one hand, and the phenomenological theories of Roger Crisp, Shelly Kagan, and Aaron Smuts, on the other. Second, by (...) showing how it can answer two important objections that have been made to it. First, the famous worry that there is no felt similarity to all pleasant (or unpleasant) experiences (sometimes called ‘the heterogeneity objection’). Second, what I call ‘Findlay’s objection’, the claim that it cannot explain the nature of our attraction to pleasure and aversion to pain. (shrink)
In this critical edition of An Inquiry Into the Human Mind, Reid’s classic eighteenth-century treatise in the philosophy of mind appears with supplementary manuscripts and correspondence which, along with a crack editing job, provide the context for a rich understanding of this work. Reid’s central concern in the Inquiry was to provide an alternative to the account of the mind handed down by the Cartesian tradition. Thus the book contains a considerable amount of polemical material. A main target is the (...) representational theory of perception, which he took to be the essential though unproved foundation of Berkeley’s idealism and Hume’s skepticism. Also singled out for criticism are Locke’s view of truth and formulation of the primary/secondary quality distinction, Hume’s reduction of all mental content to impressions and ideas, and the inability of prior philosophers to distinguish sensations properly from the objects they signify. This last is where Reid believes that he has made an important advance. The inability to distinguish between sensation and body has been, according to Reid, a main source of philosophical confusion. The Aristotelian tradition missed the distinction entirely, but the moderns have only partially grasped it. Locke, for example, believed that some of our sensations, though not all, resemble objects. Reid’s contribution to the discussion is to make the distinction clearly and to recognize that none of our sensations do or could resemble bodies insofar as they are entirely different things. Here he agrees with Berkeley. Reid, however, retains material objects as a first principle. This, in conjunction with his rejection of the “theory of ideas” animating representationalism, leads Reid to formulate a realism which is neither naive nor which has any tendency to degenerate into the idealism of Berkeley or skepticism of Hume. (shrink)
In this paper, I address some of the shortcomings of established clinical ethics centring on personal autonomy and consent and what I label the Doctrine of Respecting Personal Autonomy in Healthcare. I discuss two implications of this doctrine: 1) the practice for treating patients who are considered to have borderline decision-making competence and 2) the practice of surrogate decision-making in general. I argue that none of these practices are currently aligned with respectful treatment of vulnerable individuals. Because of ‘structural arbitrariness’ (...) in the whole process of how we assess decision-making competence, this area is open to disrespectful treatment of people. The practice of surrogate decision- making on the basis of a single person's judgment is arguably not consistent with ethical and political requirements derived from the doctrine itself. In response to the inadequacies of the doctrine, I suggest a framework for reasonableness in surrogate decision-making which might allow practice to avoid the problems above. I conclude by suggesting an extended concept of Patient Autonomy which integrates both personal autonomy and the regulative idea of morality that is required by reasonableness in deciding for non-competent others. (shrink)
Ben Fine traces the origins of social capital through the work of Becker, Bourdieu and Coleman and comprehensively reviews the literature across the social sciences. The text is uniquely critical of social capital, explaining how it avoids a proper confrontation with political economy and has become chaotic. This highly topical text addresses some major themes, including the shifting relationship between economics and other social sciences, the 'publish or perish' concept currently burdening scholarly integrity, and how a social science interdisciplinarity requires (...) a place for political economy together with cultural and social theory. (shrink)
In this book, Ben-Yami reassesses the way Descartes developed and justified some of his revolutionary philosophical ideas. The first part of the book shows that one of Descartes' most innovative and influential ideas was that of representation without resemblance. Ben-Yami shows how Descartes transfers insights originating in his work on analytic geometry to his theory of perception. The second part shows how Descartes was influenced by the technology of the period, notably clockwork automata, in holding life to be a mechanical (...) phenomenon, reducing the soul to the mind and considering it immaterial. Ben-Yami explores the later role of the digital computer in Turing's criticism of Descartes' ideas. The last part discusses the Meditations: far from starting everything afresh without presupposing anything that can be doubted, Descartes' innovations in the dream argument, the cogito and elsewhere are modifications of old ideas based upon considerations issuing from his separately developed theories, formed under the influence of the technology, mathematics and science of his age. (shrink)
The 'Hard Problem' of consciousness and its 'Explanatory Gap' can only be explained if we develop a physical theory which recognizes the Universe as a cognitive being and is based upon a fundamental process that transforms mind into body and back again. The physical requirements needed to realize such a transformation cycle are investigated and an explicit implementation of the consciousness process is presented. This implementation consists of an integrated mind-body activity that explains mental experiences with a model of the (...) activity itself. Such a self-referential loop is shown to be both a fundamental physical process and a container of primitive self- awareness from which complex experiences can be built. Explaining consciousness requires an expansion of current physical theories. To develop this expansion I will first associate the components of the consciousness process with individual operations occurring in the architecture of quantum theory. This will provide explicit mathematical equations required to describe conscious phenomena and show their limits. Because quantum equations apply to the content of space, but not to the sensation of space itself, they can only represent an approximate description of the consciousness process and are hence incomplete. I will, therefore, go on to discuss the approximations which limit quantum theory from providing a complete explanation of consciousness and suggest the metaphysical underpinnings required to expand quantum physics into a more complete description of reality. Lastly, I will discuss the implications of a reality model in which all parts of the universe, including the reader, are fundamentally self- measurement processes and the sensation of space is not that of an a priori container, but rather a 'what it feels like' to be a time-stable event. (shrink)
Frege's invention of the predicate calculus has been the most influential event in the history of modern logic. The calculus' place in logic is so central that many philosophers think, in fact, of it when they think of logic. This book challenges the position in contemporary logic and philosophy of language of the predicate calculus claiming that it is based on mistaken assumptions. Ben-Yami shows that the predicate calculus is different from natural language in its fundamental semantic characteristics, primarily in (...) its treatment of reference and quantification, and that as a result the calculus is inadequate for the analysis of the semantics and logic of natural language. Ben-Yami develops both an alternative analysis of the semantics of natural language and an alternative deductive system comparable in its deductive power to first order predicate calculus but more adequate than it for the representation of the logic of natural language. Ben-Yami's book is a challenge to classical first order predicate calculus, casting doubt on many of the central claims of modern logic. (shrink)
IN THIS ESSAY WE ARGUE FOR A RECONFIGURATION OF JUST WAR THEORY around the principle of just intention. A just intention—based just war theory can overcome problems inherent in two alternative "ideal-typical" accounts of just war theory. The "internationalist" account argues for the promotion of justice, by analogy to its pursuit in domestic politics. The "realist" account, on the other hand, favors the particular manifestations of justice within states. Taken together, these two accounts complement each other and emphasize genuine goods. (...) The possibility of taken them together, however, arises only out of consideration of just war theory as a peacemaking activity, ordered to the end, or intention, of this political act. If just war theory is not so understood, there is no possibility of drawing together these two complementary accounts. (shrink)
This essay challenges a "meta-theory" in just war analysis that purports to bridge the divide between just war and pacifism. According to the meta-theory, just war and pacifism share a common presumption against killing that can be overridden only under conditions stipulated by the just war criteria. Proponents of this meta-theory purport that their interpretation leads to ecumenical consensus between "just warriors" and pacifists, and makes the just war theory more effective in reducing recourse to war. Engagement with the new (...) meta-theory reveals, however, that these purported advantages are illusory, made possible only by ignoring fundamental questions about the nature and function of political authority that are crucial to all moral reflection on the problem of war. (shrink)
The daring idea that convention - human decision - lies at the root both of necessary truths and much of empirical science reverberates through twentieth-century philosophy, constituting a revolution comparable to Kant's Copernican revolution. This is the first comprehensive study of Conventionalism. Drawing a distinction between two conventionalist theses, the under-determination of science by empirical fact, and the linguistic account of necessity, Yemima Ben-Menahem traces the evolution of both ideas to their origins in Poincare;'s geometric conventionalism. She argues that the (...) radical extrapolations of Poincare;'s ideas by later thinkers, including Wittgenstein, Quine, and Carnap, eventually led to the decline of conventionalism. This book provides a new perspective on twentieth-century philosophy. Many of the major themes of contemporary philosophy emerge in this book as arising from engagement with the challenge of conventionalism. (shrink)
Augustine's treatment of neighbor - love in De doctrina Christiana has been the subject of much criticism in twentieth-century scholarship. Specifically, Augustine is criticized for reducing neighbor - love to an instrumental "use" of the neighbor as a tool in one's personal project of salvation. This paper argues that careful attention to the relationship between Christ and the uti-frui distinction in book 1 of De doctrina reveals a much different conception of "use." Far from advancing an instrumental treatment of the (...) other, Augustine, when he speaks of "using" the neighbor, is developing language to describe acts of charity. (shrink)
In this paper, I reconstruct Robert Nozick's experience machine objection to hedonism about well-being. I then explain and briefly discuss the most important recent criticisms that have been made of it. Finally, I question the conventional wisdom that the experience machine, while it neatly disposes of hedonism, poses no problem for desire-based theories of well-being.
In Parts of Classes and "Mathematics is Megethology" David Lewis shows how the ideology of set membership can be dispensed with in favor of parthood and plural quantification. Lewis's theory has it that singletons are mereologically simple and leaves the relationship between a thing and its singleton unexplained. We show how, by exploiting Kit Fine's mereology, we can resolve Lewis's mysteries about the singleton relation and vindicate the claim that a thing is a part of its singleton.
The issue of whether emotions are rational is at the centre of philosophical and psychological discussions. I believe that emotions are rational, but that they follow different principles to those of intellectual reasoning. The purpose of this paper is to reveal the unique logic of emotions. I begin by suggesting that we should conceive of emotions as a general mode of the mental system; other modes are the perceptual and intellectual modes. One feature distinguishing one mode from another is the (...) logical principles underlying its information processing mechanism. Before describing these principles, I clarify the notion of ‘rationality,’ arguing that in an important sense emotions can be rational. (shrink)
The historical sciences, such as geology, evolutionary biology, and archaeology, appear to have no means to test hypotheses. However, on closer examination, reasoning in the historical sciences relies upon regularities, regularities that can be tested. I outline the role of regularities in the historical sciences, and in the process, blur the distinction between the historical sciences and the experimental sciences: all sciences deploy theories about the world in their investigations.
The Humean Theory of Reasons, according to which all of our reasons for action are explained by our desires, has been criticized for not being able to account for “moral reasons,” namely, overriding reasons to act on moral demands regardless of one's desires. My aim in this paper is to utilize ideas from Adam Smith's moral philosophy in order to offer a novel and alternative account of moral reasons that is both desire-based and accommodating of an adequate version of the (...) requirement that moral demands have overriding reason-giving force. In particular, I argue that the standpoint of what Smith calls “the impartial spectator” can both determine what is morally appropriate and inappropriate and provide the basis for normative reasons for action—including reasons to act on moral demands—to nearly all reason-responsive agents and, furthermore, that these reasons have the correct weight. The upshot of the proposed account is that it offers an interesting middle road out of a dilemma pertaining to the explanatory and normative dimensions of reasons for informed-desire Humean theorists. (shrink)