There is a thriving debate over what aspects of our capacity to produce and understand language are special. My concern here is a key part of this wider debate: Is speech special? In particular, my focus is on speech perception, and whether it is special. This isn’t just one but a number of different questions. Too frequently, these very different questions are not clearly distinguished and kept apart. I discuss a framework for distinguishing various versions of the question, Is speech (...) perceptually special? Focusing on a particular class of questions, I make a proposal about the sense in which speech is perceptually special. According to this account, the capacity to perceive speech is an acquired perceptual skill, and involves learning to hear language-specific types of biologically-significant sounds. This account illuminates the significance of interlocution in understanding what makes the perception of speech distinctive. (shrink)
The obligation of a court to follow the law of a superior court is commonly taken to be stronger than the obligation of the higher court to respect its own precedent. The Supreme Court has recently asserted this stronger obligation in the most forceful terms. What follows is an attempt to demonstrate that this is wrong as a matter of policy and as a matter of law.
In 1981 Eleonore Stump and Norman Kretzmann published a landmark article aimed at exploring the classical concept of divine eternity. 1 Taking Boethius as the primary spokesman for the traditional view, they analyse God's eternity as timeless yet as possessing duration. More recently Brian Leftow has seconded Stump and Kretzmann's interpretation of the medieval position and attempted to defend the notion of a durational eternity as a useful way of expressing the sort of life God leads. 2 However, there are (...) good reasons to reject the idea that divine timelessness should be thought of as having duration. The medievals probably did not accept it, as it contradicts a principle of classical metaphysics even more fundamental than the atemporality of the divine. In any case, it is not possible to express the notion of durational eternity in even a minimally coherent way, and the attempt to salvage the concept by appealing to the Thomistic doctrine of analogy is unsuccessful. The best analogy for God's eternity is still the one proposed by Augustine at the end of the fourth century. God lives in a timeless ‘present’, unextended like our temporal present, but immutable and encompassing all time. (shrink)
The relationship between John Locke and Isaac Newton, his co-founder of, in the apt phrase of one recent writer, ‘the Moderate Enlightenment’ of the eighteenth century, has many dimensions. There is their friendship, which began only after each had written his major work, and which had its stormy interlude. There is the difficult question of their mutual impact. In what ways did each draw intellectually on the other? That there was some debt of each to the other is almost certain, (...) but its exact extent is problematic. Questions may be asked over a whole range of intellectual issues, but not always answered. Thus their theology, which was in many respects close, and which forms the bulk of their surviving correspondence, may yet reveal mutual influence. There is the question of their political views, where both were firmly Whig. But it is upon their philosophy, and certain aspects of their philosophy in particular, that this paper will concentrate. My main theme is the nature of their empiricism, and my main contention is that between them they produced a powerful and comprehensive philosophy. (shrink)
Philosophy written in English is overwhelmingly analytic philosophy, and the techniques and predilections of analytic philosophy are not only unhistorical but anti-historical, and hostile to textual commentary. Analytic usually aspires to a very high degree of clarity and precision of formulation and argument, and it often seeks to be informed by, and consistent with, current natural science. In an earlier era, analytic philosophy aimed at agreement with ordinary linguistic intuitions or common sense beliefs, or both. All of these aspects of (...) the subject sit uneasily with the use of historical texts for philosophical illumination. In this book, ten distinguished philosophers explore the tensions between, and the possibilities of reconciling, analytic philosophy and history of philosophy. Contributors: M. R. Ayers, John Cottingham, Daniel Garber, Gary Hatfield, Anthony Kenny, Steven Nadler, G. A. J. Rogers, Tom Sorell, Catherine Wilson, Yves Charles Zarka. (shrink)
_The Undiscovered Dewey_ explores the profound influence of evolution and its corresponding ideas of contingency and uncertainty on John Dewey's philosophy of action, particularly its argument that inquiry proceeds from the uncertainty of human activity. Dewey separated the meaningfulness of inquiry from a larger metaphysical story concerning the certainty of human progress. He then connected this thread to the way in which our reflective capacities aid us in improving our lives. Dewey therefore launched a new understanding of the modern self (...) that encouraged intervention in social and natural environments but which nonetheless demanded courage and humility because of the intimate relationship between action and uncertainty. Melvin L. Rogers explicitly connects Dewey's theory of inquiry to his religious, moral, and political philosophy. He argues that, contrary to common belief, Dewey sought a place for religious commitment within a democratic society sensitive to modern pluralism. Against those who regard Dewey as indifferent to moral conflict, Rogers points to Dewey's appreciation for the incommensurability of our ethical commitments. His deep respect for modern pluralism, argues Rogers, led Dewey to articulate a negotiation between experts and the public so that power did not lapse into domination. Exhibiting an abiding faith in the reflective and contestable character of inquiry, Dewey strongly engaged with the complexity of our religious, moral, and political lives. (shrink)
Katherin A. Rogers presents a new theory of free will, based on the thought of Anselm of Canterbury. We did not originally produce ourselves. Yet, according to Anselm, we can engage in self-creation, freely and responsibly forming our characters by choosing 'from ourselves' between open options. Anselm introduces a new, agent-causal libertarianism which is parsimonious in that, unlike other agent-causal theories, it does not appeal to any unique and mysterious powers to explain how the free agent chooses. After setting (...) out Anselm's original theory, Rogers defends and develops it by addressing a series of standard problems levelled against libertarianism. Finally, as a theory about self-creation, Anselmian Libertarianism must defend the tracing thesis, the claim that an agent can be responsible for character-determined choices, if he, himself, formed his character through earlier a se choices. Throughout, Rogers defends and exemplifies a new methodological suggestion: someone debating free will ought to make his background world view explicit. In the on-going debate over the possibility of human freedom and responsibility, Anselmian Libertarianism constitutes a new and plausible approach. (shrink)
John Rogers explores the concepts of recognition, command and authority and tests their validity in several cases presented by Hobbes, ranging from parental authority to the omnipotence of God. The general thesis he defends is that, for Hobbes, autonomy always goes hand in hand with the possession of power. Even for the individuals in a civil society, there is no autonomy but in a condition of empowerment. But, at the same time, the strength of the laws of nature rests (...) in their rationality, and there can be no doubt that their compelling force comes from their being rational. The comparison with mathematical theorems furnishes an important element of understanding, since the laws of nature are conclusions concerning that which conduces to the conservation of oneself. Although there is an empirical element in the deduction of those practical theorems, this is no objection to the analogy being drawn, since this empirical element belongs to the learning process and not to the rationality of the law itself. In the light of this conception of natural law, Hobbes thus appears as a rationalist in morals and politics. (shrink)
Nineteenth‐ and twentieth‐century North Atlantic theology has seen a succession of Trinitarian revivals. Some observers take as an index of a theologian's success whether he or she has much interesting to say about the Holy Spirit, and some, including Robert Jenson, have also noted a tendency to announce the Spirit and talk about the Son. While Rogers shares that concern, he qualifies the characterization to note that authors in three traditions sometimes admit the charge and demur, claiming that is (...) how it should be, citing passages in Calvin, Rahner, and Pavel Florensky. Of these the boldest is Florensky, who anticipates Jenson's critique but, writing in 1913, makes it not of Barth but of Eastern Orthodox theology , even in its liturgy. Rogers leaves this puzzle unresolved. (shrink)
In _Interpreting Interpretation_, William E. Rogers searches for a model for literary education. This model should avoid both of two undesirable alternatives. First, it should not destroy any notion of discipline in the traditional sense, terminating in the stance of Rorty's "liberal ironist." Second, it should not regard literary education as an attempt to cause students to ingest a pre-determined mix of facts and cultural values, terminating in the stance of E. D. Hirsch's "cultural literate." From the semiotics of (...) C. S. Peirce, Rogers develops the notion of interpretive system. The interpretive system called textual hermeneutics is used to interpret interpretation. From that perspective, the world looks like a text. Applying the principle rigorously allows an articulation of the problematic relations among interpretation, philosophy, and language itself. _Interpreting Interpretation_ clarifies the conception of textual hermeneutics as an ascetic discipline by showing the consequences of this conception for interpreting canonical texts and for humanities education in general. Discussions of poetry by Robert Frost and by John Ashbery illustrate how this conception applies to an analysis of literary texts. Ultimately, the book offers a Peircean alternative to the educational theories implied in the pragmatism of John Dewey and of Richard Rorty. Rogers provides a new vocabulary for talking about what people are doing when they read, write, speak, and hear interpretive statements about texts. The new vocabulary acknowledges the great difficulty of "teaching texts" in the face of postmodern anxieties about pluralism, relativism, or nihilism. What emerges is not curriculum but method—an argument that the humanities teach not texts but interpretive systems. (shrink)
Rogers suggests that human spirituality comprises the interplay of three foundational human dynamics: suffering, interconnecting, and valuing. The spiritual orientations that result from these clusters of dynamics are primarily integrating or disintegrating. The dominant spiritual orientation in this country has been disintegrating; and this orientation has characterized the attitude of the majority population toward African Americans since the beginning of slavery, fostering radical separation, displacing the suffering of the majority onto a minority, and defining the experience and perspectives of (...) the majority as normative without regard for the minority. Rogers explores the effects of this disintegrating spiritual orientation in terms of the dynamics of oppression using the ideas of 'being' and 'non-being'. The key to ameliorating oppression is to recognize the liberating capacity of suffering as potentially subversive within ever-enlarging contexts addicted to increasing material consumption and sensual gratification. ;Chapter 1 is a general introduction to the dissertation. ;Chapter 2 provides an overview of the primary methodology for research in 'formation theory' as developed by Adrian van Kaam. Using issues from the philosophy of science, the chapter also discusses the basis for divergence from the standard methodology based in the anomalous character of the researcher's 'formative event' and perspective relative to concerns that have been researched using formation theory. ;Chapter 3 considers a conceptualization of spirit as questing for meaningfulness, which provides the experiential ground for relating spirituality and liberation: Since oppression precipitates meaninglessness through disintegration, the reaffirmation of an integrative spirituality provides the ground for meaningfulness, which in turn grounds liberation, or transcendence. ;Chapter 4 presents the construct of human spirituality using the three foundational foci of spiritual formation: suffering, relating, and valuing. ;Chapter 5 concludes the dissertation using the two principle laws of thermodynamics to develop an analogous understanding for the necessity of suffering in maintaining an integrative and liberating spirituality. It also considers implications of the dissertation for liberation of oppressed peoples, the development of science and social policy, and formation theory. (shrink)
The revival of interest in pragmatism and its practical relevance for democracy has prompted a reconsideration of John Dewey’s political philosophy. Dewey’s _The Public and Its Problems _ constitutes his richest and most systematic meditation on the future of democracy in an age of mass communication, governmental bureaucracy, social complexity, and pluralism. Drawing on his previous writings and prefiguring his later thinking, Dewey argues for the importance of civic participation and clarifies the meaning and role of the state, the proper (...) relationship between the public and experts, and the source of democracy’s legitimacy. These themes remain as important today as they were when Dewey first engaged them, and this is the work to which scholars consistently turn when assessing Dewey’s conception of democracy and what might be imagined for democracy in our own time. In this carefully annotated edition, Melvin L. Rogers provides an introductory essay that elucidates the philosophical and historical background of _The Public and Its Problems_ while explaining the key ideas of the book. He also provides a biographical outline of Dewey’s life and bibliographical notes to assist student and scholar alike. (shrink)
In this prcis we focus on phenomena central to the reaction against similarity-based theories that arose in the 1980s and that subsequently motivated the approach to semantic knowledge. Specifically, we consider (1) how concepts differentiate in early development, (2) why some groupings of items seem to form or coherent categories while others do not, (3) why different properties seem central or important to different concepts, (4) why children and adults sometimes attest to beliefs that seem to contradict their direct experience, (...) (5) how concepts reorganize between the ages of 4 and 10, and (6) the relationship between causal knowledge and semantic knowledge. The explanations our theory offers for these phenomena are illustrated with reference to a simple feed-forward connectionist model. The relationships between this simple model, the broader theory, and more general issues in cognitive science are discussed. (shrink)
Recent evidence in natural and semi-natural settings has revealed a variety of left-right perceptual asymmetries among vertebrates. These include preferential use of the left or right visual hemifield during activities such as searching for food, agonistic responses, or escape from predators in animals as different as fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. There are obvious disadvantages in showing such directional asymmetries because relevant stimuli may be located to the animal's left or right at random; there is no a priori association (...) between the meaning of a stimulus (e.g., its being a predator or a food item) and its being located to the animal's left or right. Moreover, other organisms (e.g., predators) could exploit the predictability of behavior that arises from population-level lateral biases. It might be argued that lateralization of function enhances cognitive capacity and efficiency of the brain, thus counteracting the ecological disadvantages of lateral biases in behavior. However, such an increase in brain efficiency could be obtained by each individual being lateralized without any need to align the direction of the asymmetry in the majority of the individuals of the population. Here we argue that the alignment of the direction of behavioral asymmetries at the population level arises as an “evolutionarily stable strategy” under “social” pressures occurring when individually asymmetrical organisms must coordinate their behavior with the behavior of other asymmetrical organisms of the same or different species. Key Words: asymmetry; brain evolution; brain lateralization; development; hemispheric specialization; laterality; lateralization of behavior; social behavior; theory of games. (shrink)
The OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (the OECD Convention) obligates signatory nations to make bribery of foreign public officials a criminal act on an extraterritorial basis. The purposes of this article are to describe the nature and consequences of bribery, outline the major provisions of the OECD Convention, and analyze its role in promoting transparency and accountability in international business. While the OECD Convention is not expected to totally eliminate the seeking or (...) taking of bribes, there are hopes that a uniform set of rules will curtail corrupt behavior, as long as those rules are both enforceable and enforced. (shrink)
Annual reports are an important element in the genre of corporate public discourse. The reporting practices mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission for all publicly traded corporations are intended to render the annual reports a legitimate and trustworthy medium through which management communicates information related to the financial performance of the firm. The following discussion represents an inaugural attempt to investigate the ethical characteristics of the discourse found in corporate annual reports using Habermas' principles of communicative action. In preparing (...) the Management's Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) portion of the report, managers are charged with providing narrative information for investors and other interested third parties relevant to assessing the firm's financial condition. Previous rhetorical studies of the narrative portions of annual reports argue that they serve as means for both legitimate and distorted communication. We investigate this communication medium through the lens of Habermas' norms for communicative action, which require communicators to be comprehensible, truthful, sincere, and legitimate. The study represents an initial attempt to operationalization Habermas' principles of communicative action and to employ a methodology that facilitates their application to research within a business context. From one perspective, consistent with agency theory as specified by neoclassical economics, it would seem that firms anticipating worse-than-expected financial performance would be less likely to exhibit the Habermasian principles necessary for undistorted communication because they would attempt to strategically influence the message being communicated about the firm's financial position. Instead, employing rhetorical analysis software, Diction 5.0, we found that firms expecting both good and bad earnings surprises exhibited a higher level of communicative action than a composite average firm. Although preliminary in nature, our findings suggest that firms anticipating large earnings surprises, either high or low, use the narrative portion of the annual report as a vehicle through which to communicate information about managements' veracity and trustworthiness as well as the firm's financial position. (shrink)
In this paper, I develop, motivate and offer a qualified defense of a version of satisficing consequentialism (SC). I develop the view primarily in light of objections to other versions of SC recently posed by Ben Bradley. I motivate the view by showing that it (1) accommodates the intuitions apparently supporting those objections, (2) is supported by certain ‘common sense’ moral intuitions about specific cases, and (3) captures the central ideas expressed by satisficing consequentialists in the recent literature. Finally, I (...) offer a qualified defense of the view that consists in showing that it meets Bradley’s criteria for being a version of satisficing consequentialism that is ‘worth considering’. Specifically, it is a version of SC that solves certain problems for maximizing consequentialism and yet does not permit the gratuitous prevention of goodness. (shrink)
Introduction -- Anselm's classical theism -- The Augustinian legacy -- The purpose, definition, and structure of free choice -- Alternative possibilities and primary agency -- The causes of sin and the intelligibility problem -- Creaturely freedom and God as Creator Omnium -- Grace and free will -- Foreknowledge, freedom, and eternity : part I, the problem and historical background -- Foreknowledge, freedom, and eternity : part II, Anselm's solution -- The freedom of God.
Clinicians and policy makers the world over are embracing evidence-based medicine. The promise of EBM is to use summaries of research evidence to determine which healthcare interventions are effective and which are not, so that patients may benefit from effective interventions and be protected from useless or harmful ones. EBM provides an ostensibly rational and objective means of deciding whether or not an intervention should be provided on the basis of its effectiveness, in theory leading to fair and effective healthcare (...) for all. In this paper I closely examine these claims from the perspective of healthcare for women, using relevant examples. I argue that the current processes of evidence-based medicine contain a number of biases against women. These biases occur in the production of the research that informs evidence-based medicine, in the methods used to analyse and synthesise the evidence, and in the application of EBM through the use of guidelines. Finally, the biomedical model of health that underpins most of the medical research used by EBM ignores the social and political context which contributes so much to the ill-health of women. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that it is morally important for doctors to trust patients. Doctors' trust of patients lays the foundation for medical relationships which support the exercise of patient autonomy, and which lead to an enriched understanding of patients' interests. Despite the moral and practical desirability of trust, distrust may occur for reasons relating to the nature of medicine, and the social and cultural context within which medical care is provided. Whilst it may not be possible to trust (...) at will, the conscious adoption of a trusting stance is both possible and warranted as the burdens of misplaced trust fall more heavily upon patients than doctors. (shrink)
This article examines the implicit promises of fairness in evidence based medicine , namely to avoid discrimination through objective processes, and to distribute effective treatments fairly. The relationship between EBM and vulnerable groups is examined. Several aspects of EBM are explored: the way evidence is created , and the way evidence is applied in clinical care and health policy. This analysis suggests that EBM turns our attention away from social and cultural factors that influence health and focuses on a narrow (...) biomedical and individualistic model of health. Those with the greatest burden of ill health are left disenfranchised, as there is little research that is relevant to them, there is poor access to treatments, and attention is diverted away from activities that might have a much greater impact on their health. (shrink)
We provide first-order axioms for the theories of finite trees with bounded branching and finite trees with arbitrary (finite) branching. The signature is chosen to express, in a natural way, those properties of trees most relevant to linguistic theories. These axioms provide a foundation for results in linguistics that are based on reasoning formally about such properties. We include some observations on the expressive power of these theories relative to traditional language complexity classes.
Anselm holds that God is timeless, time is tenseless, and humans have libertarian freedom. This combination of commitments is largely undefended incontemporary philosophy of religion. Here I explain Anselmian eternalism with its entailment of tenseless time, offer reasons for accepting it, and defend it against criticisms from William Hasker and other Open Theists. I argue that the tenseless view is coherent, that God’s eternal omniscience is consistent with libertarian freedom, that being eternal greatly enhances divine sovereignty, and that the Anselmian (...) view supports the contention that the Bible is relevant today far better than does Open Theism. (shrink)
This research presents findings from a study of gender-based differences in an ethical decision situation. The study focuses on gender as it relates to situational factors and accounting experience. The primary element of interest is how the gender of the actor (the person described in each vignette) influences the evaluation/assessment of the ethical/unethical decisions. While previous research has provided evidence of ethical differences relating to the gender of the responding subjects, limited evidence has been presented relating to situational issues that (...) may influence assessments of ethical decisions.This research uses four accounting environment vignettes to survey the responses of accountants and accounting students to the ethical/unethical nature of the actions that are taken. In addition, how likely the accountants believe they are to take the same actions is also surveyed. The subjects are a representative sample of practicing accountants in the U.S. and senior/graduate accounting majors at a state university in the southwestern United States. (shrink)
It is often argued that the eternalist solution to the freedom/foreknowledge dilemma fails. If God's knowledge of your choices is eternally fixed, your choices are necessary and cannot be free. Anselm of Canterbury proposes an eternalist view which entails that all of time is equally real and truly present to God. God's knowledge of your choices entails only a ‘consequent’ necessity which does not conflict with libertarian freedom. I argue this by showing that if consequent necessity does conflict with libertarian (...) freedom then God's knowledge in the present would conflict with the freedom of a present choice. Absurd. (Published Online January 15 2007). (shrink)
This paper sketches an account of public health ethics drawing upon established scholarship in feminist ethics. Health inequities are one of the central problems in public health ethics; a feminist approach leads us to examine not only the connections between gender, disadvantage, and health, but also the distribution of power in the processes of public health, from policy making through to programme delivery. The complexity of public health demands investigation using multiple perspectives and an attention to detail that is capable (...) of identifying the health issues that are important to women, and investigating ways to address these issues. Finally, a feminist account of public health ethics embraces rather than avoids the inescapable political dimensions of public health. (shrink)
Dewey's conception of inquiry is often criticized for misdescribing the complexities of life that outstrip the reach of intelligence. This article argues that we can ascertain his subtle account of inquiry if we read it as a transformation of Aristotle's categories of knowledge: episteme, phronesis, and techne. For Dewey, inquiry is the process by which practical as well as theoretical knowledge emerges. He thus extends the contingency Aristotle attributes to ethical and political life to all domains of action. Knowledge claims (...) become experimental, the result of which makes them revisable in the context of experience. As a result, when we say a person (e.g., scientist, craftsman, or citizen) displays practical wisdom we are reading their judgments within a complex horizon, whose success as judgments require alertness and discernment of salient features in response to an uncertain environment. Contrary to his critics, he seeks to make us attuned to the world's inescapable, and sometimes, tragic complexity. (shrink)
Distributed Cognition is a hybrid approach to studying all aspects of cognition, from a cognitive, social and organisational perspective. The most well known level of analysis is to account for complex socially distributed cognitive activities, of which a diversity of technological artefacts and other tools and representations are an indispensable part.
In this paper we consider the use of cases in medical ethics research and teaching. To date, there has been little discussion about the consent or confidentiality requirements that ought to govern the use of cases in these areas. This is in marked contrast to the requirements for consent to publish cases in clinical journals, or to use personal information in research. There are a number of reasons why it might be difficult to obtain consent to use cases in ethics. (...) Many cases concern people who are incompetent, and thus unable to give consent. Often the material is of a sensitive nature, it is not clear who should give consent, or the ethicist has no access to those involved. We argue that the use of cases in ethics research and teaching can be justified by appeal to the public interest argument, and suggest a number of areas for discussion and clarification. (shrink)
It is common to assume that if Locke is to be regarded as a consistent epistemologist he must be read as holding that either ideas are the objects of perception or that (physical) objects are. He must either be a direct realist or a representationalist. But perhaps, paradoxical as it at first sounds, there is no reason to suppose that he could not hold both to be true. We see physical objects and when we do so we have ideas. We (...) see or hear birds and bells but we also have visual and auditory ideas of birds and bells. This suggestion is explored through examination of what Locke says about perception in his Elements of Natural Philosophy and the accounts offered both by Locke in the Essay Concerning Human Understanding and by some of Locke's successors. (shrink)
This paper draws on evidence from Alverno's longitudinal research to make the case that the DIT is best characterised as measuring growth in moral reasoning rather than a broader construct of moral development. As a broader moral development construct, the cognitive developmental construction of moral judgement appears to be integrated within the even broader developmental and subjective construction of self as meaning-maker. Factorial and other evidence from the battery of instruments supports reconceptualizing the moral growth of the person and suggests (...) key areas for further validity inquiry on the DIT. Although this evidence challenges current DIT theory, including aspects of the Four Component Model, it is also consistent with prevailing substantive interpretations of growth on the DIT described by Rest and his colleagues. (shrink)
The interaction between evidence-based medicineand doctors' duty of care to patients iscomplex. One the one hand, there is surely anobligation to take account of the bestavailable evidence when offering health care topatients. On the other hand, it is equallyimportant to be aware of important shortcomingsin the processes and practices ofevidence-based medicine. There are tensionsbetween the population focus of evidence-basedmedicine and the duties that doctors have toindividual patients. Implementingevidence-based medicine may have unpredictableconsequences upon the overall quality of healthcare. Patients may have (...) a range of reasons forpreferring one form of treatment over another,not all of which are captured by currentformulations of evidence. This paper examinesthese issues, using relevant examples fromevidence-based medicine. (shrink)