This book provides a new interpretation of Kants critical work that shows Kants deep connection to Spinoza, and reveals new directions for thinking about Kant in relation to contemporary European philosophy.
Baruch Spinoza was born in Amsterdam during a period of unprecedented scientific, artistic, and intellectual discovery. Upon its release, Spinoza’s Ethics was banned; today it is the quintessential example of philosophical method. Although acknowledged as difficult, the book is widely taught in philosophy, literature, history, and politics. This introduction is designed to be read side by side with Spinoza's work. As a guide to the style, vocabulary, and arguments of the Ethics, it offers a range of interpretive possibilities to prepare (...) students to become conversant with Spinoza's philosophical method and his challenge to conventional thinking. (shrink)
We present a comprehensive model that integrates virtues, values, character strengths and ethical decision making (EDM). We describe how a largely consequentialist ethical framework has dominated most EDM scholarship to date. We suggest that reintroducing a virtue ethical perspective to existing EDM theories can help to illustrate deficiencies in existing decision-making models, and suggest that character strengths and motivational values can serve as natural bridges that link a virtue framework to EDM in organizations. In conjunction with the more fully formulated (...) extant research on situational determinants, we present and discuss our model that introduces a virtue based orientation to EDM. (shrink)
Increased productivity may have negative impacts on farm animal welfare in modern animal production systems. Efficiency gains in production are primarily thought to be due to the intensification of production, and this has been associated with an increased incidence of production diseases, which can negatively impact upon FAW. While there is a considerable body of research into consumer attitudes towards FAW, the extent to which this relates specifically to a reduction in production diseases in intensive systems, and whether the increased (...) incidence of diseases represents a barrier to consumer acceptance of their increased use, requires further investigation. Therefore a systematic review of public attitudes towards FAW was conducted, with a specific focus on production diseases in intensive systems. Four databases were searched to identify relevant studies. A screening process, using a set of pre-determined inclusion criteria, identified 80 studies, with the strength of evidence and uncertainty assessed for each. A thematic analysis led to the identification of 6 overarching themes constructed from 15 subthemes. The results demonstrate that the public are concerned about FAW in modern production systems. Concern varied in relation to age, gender, education and familiarity with farming. Naturalness and humane treatment were central to what was considered good welfare. An evidence gap was highlighted in relation to attitudes towards specific production diseases, with no studies specifically addressing this. However, the prophylactic use of antibiotics was identified as a concern. A number of dissonance strategies were adopted by consumers to enable guilt free meat consumption. (shrink)
This book focuses on material culture as a subject of philosophical inquiry and promotes the philosophical study of material culture by articulating some of the central and difficult issues raised by this topic and providing innovative solutions to them, most notably an account of improvised action and a non-intentionalist account of function in material culture. Preston argues that material culture essentially involves activities of production and use; she therefore adopts an action-theoretic foundation for a philosophy of material culture. Part 1 (...) illustrates this foundation through a critique, revision, and extension of existing philosophical theories of action. Part 2 investigates a salient feature of material culture itself—its functionality. A basic account of function in material culture is constructed by revising and extending existing theories of biological function to fit the cultural case. Here the adjustments are for the most part necessitated by special features of function in material culture. These two parts of the project are held together by a trio of overarching themes: the relationship between individual and society, the problem of centralized control, and creativity. (shrink)
Function theorists routinely speculate that a viable function theory will be equally applicable to biological traits and artifacts. However, artifact function has received only the most cursory scrutiny in its own right. Closer scrutiny reveals that only a pluralist theory comprising two distinct notions of function--proper function and system function--will serve as an adequate general theory. The first section describes these two notions of function. The second section shows why both notions are necessary, by showing that attempts to do away (...) with one of them fail. This demonstration draws on examples from the artifactual realm to motivate major points of the argument. The third section is an outline of artifact function. It confirms the conclusions of the second section, and also begins the task of describing some of the special features of artifact function needing accommodation within the general theory. (shrink)
According to accounts of the Passion, Christ cries out from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” The cry, I argue, manifests that Christ lacks a belief that God is with him. Given the standard view of faith—belief that p is required for faith that p—it would follow that Christ lost his faith that God is with him just before he died. In this paper, I challenge the standard view by looking at the cognitive requirement of (...) faith. Although faith that p requires some positive cognitive orientation toward p, that orientation need not be belief. I show that reliance is an alternative stance that fulfills the cognitive requirement of faith. Reliance aims at providing sensible guidance for action that is in accord with one’s values/ends. Thinking of the cognitive component of Christ’s faith in terms of reliance makes sense of the doubt manifested in his cry. (shrink)
_Wittgenstein's Art of Investigation_ is one of the first to focus on and provide an original and detailed analysis of Wittgenstein's grammatical investigations. Beth Sarkey offers us new insight into the historical context and influences on method which will help students understand the intricacies and depth of his work.
“My first long haul flight that didn’t fill up and an empty row for me. I have been blessed by the algorithm ”. The phrase ‘blessed by the algorithm’ expresses the feeling of having been fortunate in what appears on your feed on various social media platforms, or in the success or virality of your content as a creator, or in what gig economy jobs you are offered. However, we can also place it within wider public discourse employing theistic conceptions (...) of AI. Building on anthropological fieldwork into the ‘entanglements of AI and Religion’, this article will explore how ‘blessed by the algorithm’ tweets are indicative of the impact of theistic AI narratives: modes of thinking about AI in an implicitly religious way. This thinking also represents continuities that push back against the secularisation thesis and other grand narratives of disenchantment that claim secularity occurs because of technological and intellectual progress. This article will also explore new religious movements, where theistic conceptions of AI entangle technological aspirations with religious ones. (shrink)
A basic aim of E. Beth's work in philosophy of science was to explore the use of formal semantic methods in the analysis of physical theories. We hope to show that a general framework for Beth's semantic analysis is provided by the theory of semi-interpreted languages, introduced in a previous paper. After developing Beth's analysis of nonrelativistic physical theories in a more general form, we turn to the notion of the 'logic' of a physical theory. Here we (...) prove a result concerning the conditions under which semantic entailment in such a theory is finitary. We argue, finally, that Beth's approach provides a characterization of physical theory which is more faithful to current practice in foundational research in the sciences than the familiar picture of a partly interpreted axiomatic theory. (shrink)
The present paper is a study in abstract algebraic logic. We investigate the correspondence between the metalogical Beth property and the algebraic property of surjectivity of epimorphisms. It will be shown that this correspondence holds for the large class of equivalential logics. We apply our characterization theorem to relevance logics and many-valued logics.
On the difficulty of extracting the logical form of a seemingly simple sentence such as ‘If Andy went to the movie then Beth went too, but only if she found a taxi cab’, with some morals and questions on the nature of the difficulty.
This paper examines Spinoza's remarks on women in the Political Treatise in the context of his views in the Ethics about human community and similitude. Although these remarks appear to exclude women from democratic participation on the basis of essential incapacities, I aim to show that Spinoza intended these remarks not as true statements, but as prompts for critical consideration of the place of women in the progressive democratic polity. In common with other scholars, I argue that women, in Spinoza's (...) system, are deprived of freedom and political participation not by their essential natures, but by their social and historical circumstances. I differ from other scholars, however, in basing this conclusion on the different critical functions of the Political Treatise and the Ethics. Following that critical comparison, I consider Spinoza's views on the `natural right' of women and their equal capacity for political participation in terms of his arguments for the compositional similarity of men and women. Finally, I argue that Spinoza offers an explanation for women's actual disempowerment through his account of economic dependence within marriage. (shrink)
It has become commonplace to say that with the advent of technologies like synthetic biology the line between artifacts and living organisms, policed by metaphysicians since antiquity, is beginning to blur. But that line began to blur 10,000 years ago when plants and animals were first domesticated; and has been thoroughly blurred at least since agriculture became the dominant human subsistence pattern many millennia ago. Synthetic biology is ultimately only a late and unexceptional offshoot of this prehistoric development. From this (...) perspective, then, synthetic biology is a red herring, distracting us from more thorough philosophical consideration of the most truly revolutionary human practice—agriculture. In the first section of this paper I will make this case with regard to ontology, arguing that synthetic biology crosses no ontological lines that were not crossed already in the Neolithic. In the second section I will construct a parallel case with regard to cognition, arguing that synthetic biology as biological engineering represents no cognitive advance over what was required for domestication and the new agricultural subsistence pattern it grounds. In the final section I will make the case with regard to human existence, arguing that synthetic biology, even if wildly successful, is not in a position to cause significant existential change in what it is to be human over and above the massive existential change caused by the transition to agriculture. I conclude that a longer historical perspective casts new light on some important issues in philosophy of technology and environmental philosophy. (shrink)
Vermaas and Houkes advance four desiderata for theories of artifact function, and classify such theories into non-intentionalist reproduction theories on the one hand and intentionalist non-reproduction theories on the other. They argue that non-intentionalist reproduction theories fail to satisfy their fourth desideratum. They maintain that only an intentionalist non-reproduction theory can satisfy all the desiderata, and they offer a version that they believe does satisfy all of them. I reply that intentionalist non-reproduction theories, including their version, fail to satisfy their (...) first desideratum. Thus neither type of function theory satisfies all the desiderata. This suggests that the list of desiderata may well be inconsistent, and that ultimately we may have to decide whether to give up the first desideratum or the fourth one. I recommend giving up the fourth one on the grounds that this choice preserves the phenomenologically salient social aspects of artifact function. Vermaas and Houkes attempt to satisfy their desiderata Why this attempt fails What is to be done? (shrink)
Ethical perception involves seeing what is ethically salient about the particular details of the world. This kind of seeing is like informed judgment. It can be shaped by what we know and what we come to learn about, and by the development of moral virtue. I argue here that we can learn to see food justice, and I describe some ways to do so using three narrative case studies. The mechanism for acquiring this kind of vision is a “food justice (...) narrative” that is particular and concrete. These kinds of stories are counter narratives to a popular and dominant “script” about food that disguises the identity of people who eat, and obscures how constraints on free choice are created by particular lived circumstances. Food justice narratives specify the social and political location of individual people who are trying to nourish themselves. Once this contextual surround is included we are in a position to ask why this person, in this set of circumstances, is impeded in their access to nutritious food. This is not a question we are likely to consider if we leave out the identity of food consumers. Food justice narratives are forward looking as well because they bring into clearer focus what actions and kinds of social activism are appropriate responses to constraints on free choice. (shrink)
It is common to consider an area of science as a system of real or sup posed truths which not only continuously extends itself, but also needs periodical revision and therefore tests the inventive capacity of each generation of scholars anew. It sounds highly implausible that a science at one time would be completed, that at that point within its scope there would be no problems left to solve. Indeed, the solution of a scientific problem inevitably raises new questions, so (...) that our eagerness for knowledge will never find lasting satisfaction. Nevertheless there is one science which seems to form an exception to this rule, formal logic, the theory of rigorous argumentation. It seems to have reached the ideal endpoint of every scientific aspiration already very shortly after its inception; using the work of some predecessors, Aristotle, or so it is at least assumed by many, has brought this branch of science once and for all to a conclusion. Of course this doesn't sound that implausible. We apparently know what rigorous argumentation is; otherwise various sciences, in particular pure mathematics, would be completely impossible. And if we know what rigorous argumentation is, then it cannot be difficult to trace once and for all the rules which govern it. The unique subject of formal logic would therefore entail that this science, in variance with the rule which holds for all other sciences, has been able to reach completion at a certain point in history. (shrink)
Is appealing to emotions in argumentation ever legitimate and, if so, what is the best way to analyze and evaluate such appeals? After overviewing a normative pragmatic perspective on appealing to emotions in argumentation, I present answers to these questions from pragma-dialectical, informal logical, and rhetorical perspectives, and note positions shared and supplemented by a normative pragmatic perspective. A normative pragmatic perspective holds that appealing to emotions in argumentation may be relevant and non-manipulative; and that emotional appeals may be analyzed (...) as strategies that create pragmatic reasons and assessed by the standard of formal propriety or reasonability under the circumstances. I illustrate the explanatory power of the perspective by analyzing and evaluating some argumentation from Frederick Douglass’s “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July.” I conclude that a normative pragmatic perspective offers a more complete account of appealing to emotions in argumentation than a pragma-dialectial, informal logical, or rhetorical perspective alone, identifies a range of norms available to arguers, and explains why appealing to emotions may be legitimate in particular cases of argumentation. (shrink)
To address growing concerns about academic integrity, college students (n?=?758) at honor system and non-honor system institutions were presented with eight scenarios to determine the influence of an honor system on their perceptions of and responses to academic dishonesty. Main effects for honor code status emerged. Students from traditional honor system schools considered the behaviors to be more dishonest, and were more likely to respond that they would report the incident when compared to students attending modified and non-honor system institutions. (...) Findings suggest traditional honor systems, with specific rules and regulations in place, are more effective at cultivating academic integrity among students; modified honor systems may not be as effective as previous research suggests. (shrink)
Health-care providers frequently face clinical ethical dilemmas when working with transgender youth who require hormone therapy but lack parental support for this intervention. Through semi-structured interviews and grounded theory analysis, we explored ethical and clinical decision-making processes of health-care providers, as well as the health care experiences of trans youth with family discordance. We analyzed responses in relation to North American bioethics principles, best interests standard, and the harm principle, exploring issues of autonomy, evidence, and anti-trans bias. We propose an (...) ethically acceptable clinical approach termed parallel process hormone therapy initiation to address the needs of transgender youth with complex family situations. (shrink)
Another striking deviation with regard to philosophical tradition consists in the fact that contemporary schools in the philosophy of mathematics, with the exception again of Brouwer's intuitionism, hardly ever refer to mathematical thought.
Tool use rivals language as an important domain of cognitive phenomena, and so as a source of insight into the nature of cognition in general. But the favoured current definition of tool use is inadequate because it does not carve the phenomena of interest at the joints. Heidegger's notion of equipment provides a more adequate theoretical framework. But Heidegger's account leads directly to a non-individualist view of the nature of cognition. Thus non-individualism is supported by concrete considerations about the nature (...) of tools and tool use. (shrink)
This paper studies definability within the theory of institutions, a version of abstract model theory that emerged in computing science studies of software specification and semantics. We generalise the concept of definability to arbitrary logics, formalised as institutions, and we develop three general definability results. One generalises the classical Beth theorem by relying on the interpolation properties of the institution. Another relies on a meta Birkhoff axiomatizability property of the institution and constitutes a source for many new actual definability (...) results, including definability in (fragments of) classical model theory. The third one gives a set of sufficient conditions for 'borrowing' definability properties from another institution via an 'adequate' encoding between institutions. The power of our general definability results is illustrated with several applications to (many-sorted) classical model theory and partial algebra, leading for example to definability results for (quasi-)varieties of models or partial algebras. Many other applications are expected for the multitude of logical systems formalised as institutions from computing science and logic. (shrink)
An increasing amount of research has emerged in recent years regarding the benefits that household pets have for individuals, much of which focuses on child?pet relationships. A number of studies have explored the role of pets in elementary classroom settings and what advantages their presence might have. Current curricula aimed at promoting humane education are also related to the use of animals as teaching tools in classrooms. This study examined teachers' attitudes and experiences regarding the use of pets in the (...) classroom. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected from approximately 75 elementary classroom teachers, revealing the way in which animals were used in their teaching practices, as well as their views on some of the advantages of using pets in the classroom. The majority of teachers surveyed believed that the use of live pets in the classroom contributed positively to increased empathy, as well as socio?emotional development, in students, much of which is supported by current research. Implications for further research are considered. (shrink)
For graduate students to succeed as professionals, they must develop a set of general “survival skills”. These include writing research articles, making oral presentations, obtaining employment and funding, supervising, and teaching. Traditionally, graduate programs have offered little training in many of these skills. Our educational model provides individuals with formal instruction in each area, including their ethical dimensions. Infusion of research ethics throughout a professional skills curriculum helps to emphasize that responsible conduct is integral to succeeding as a researcher. It (...) also leads to the consideration of ethical dimensions of professional life not covered in traditional ethics courses. (shrink)
Inherent in providing healthcare for youth lie tensions among best interests, decision-making capacity, rights, and legal authority. Transgender youth experience barriers to needed gender-affirming care, often rooted in ethical and legal issues, such as healthcare provider concerns regarding youth capacity and rights to consent to hormone therapy. Even when decision-making capacity is present, youth may lack the legal authority to give consent. The aims of this paper are therefore to provide an empirical analysis of minor trans youth capacity to consent (...) to hormone therapy and to address the normative question of whether there is ethical justification for granting trans youth the authority to consent to this care. Through qualitative content analysis of interviews with trans youth, parents, and healthcare providers, we found that trans youth demonstrated the understandings and abilities characteristic of the capacity to consent to hormone therapy and that they did consent to hormone therapy with positive outcomes. Employing deontological and consequentialist reasoning and drawing on a foundation of empirical evidence, human rights, and best interests we conclude that granting trans youth with decisional capacity both the right and the legal authority to consent to hormone therapy via the informed consent model of care is ethically justified. (shrink)
A version of this paper was first presented at the conference The Radical Enlightenment: the Big Picture and its Details in Brussels in May 2013. I would like to thank Steffen Ducheyne and the organizing team at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and to acknowledge the many helpful comments I received from listeners there and at subsequent events. Thanks also to the anonymous reviewer who suggested several helpful refinements.
In his article “It's a Wonderful Life,” Ronald Hall connects Wittgenstein's last words with Frank Capra's 1946 film. His analysis focuses on the concept of wonder, but he misses one of the most important aspects of both the film and Wittgenstein's last words: the significance of friendship. This is philosophically (and biographically) important because it raises questions about aspect-seeing, friendship and everyday life. Wittgenstein's final words provide a striking example of the philosophical complexity of his life and work.
Spinoza recognizes that in a democracy, ideals of freedom and equality shape our thoughts about ourselves as human beings. This paper examines Spinoza’s concept of equality in the Theological-Political Treatise, and considers its complexities and ambiguities in light of his theories of freedom and democracy there and in the Ethics. Because Spinoza takes human beings to have unequal power, he does not believe we are naturally or intrinsically equal. Nor does he think equality is good in itself. Equality is good (...) to the extent that it promotes human flourishing. The kind of equality Spinoza endorses is economic equality, which encourages human beings to become more powerful, virtuous, and free. I demonstrate this with reference to Spinoza’s discussion of the state of nature, democracy, and the Hebrew state in the Theological-Political Treatise and his remarks on charity, economic exchange, and their associated affects in the Ethics. (shrink)
Broadly speaking, it seems plausible to say that fear appeals are designed to induce action—to generate persuasive force for addressees to act in order to avoid a fearful outcome (Walton 2000, 1-2, 20, 22, 143; Witte 1994, 113; Witte 1992, 329). Because a fear appeal is a kind of argument about harmful consequences, and because arguments about harmful consequences are commonplace in deliberations, fear appeals are practically inevitable in civic discourse. And, as some scholars have recently confirmed, making fear appeals (...) may be appropriate in civic discourse (Walton 2000, 139; Pfau 2007, 228). The challenge is to explain how they generate persuasive force—how they reasonably pressure addressees to act as the .. (shrink)
Beth has tried to vindicate the kantian doctrine of mathematical intuition in the frame of contemporary logic. The paper proposes a critical evaluation of this attempt. The theory of mathematical intuition that is exposed in the Critic of Pure Reason is twofold: on one hand, the intuition of the "first principles", as it is analyzed in the Aesthetics, on the other hand, the intuition which is involved in the proofs, as it is analyzed in the Methodology. Contrasting with most (...) defenders of Kant, who try to show that the first kind of intuition remains, in some way, compatible with the non-euclidean geometries, Beth wants to defend the second kind of intuition, by suggesting that it is nothing else than the "instanciation" method, well-known in the predicate calculus. I show that this strategy of defending Kant is unsuccessful. (shrink)
The year is 1901. Two minor celebrities from opposite corners of the globe share an evening meal in Chicago. Both are politically left-leaning, both are evolutionists of a sort, both are concerned with the plight of the poor in the face of the escalation of the Industrial Revolution. The Russian man has been giving a series of lectures to the people of Chicago; he is staying at the American woman's settlement house-Hull House. They are Jane Addams, Chicago's activist social worker (...) and Petr Kropotkin, Russian nobleman by birth, anarchist in politics, and naturalist by inclination. Each awaits publication of their first full-length book concerning politics and moral development: Democracy and Social Ethics (1902) on .. (shrink)
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