Ethics researchers have scrutinized ethical business problems, which have been demonstrated through the actions of managers at Enron, WorldCom, and Arthur Andersen, among others. In response to these business transgressions, the US government has implemented the Sarbanes–Oxley Act to shore up businesses’ ethics infrastructures. However, universities, too, struggle with ethics problems. These include NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) violations, discrimination issues, sexual harassment, endowment admits, plagiarism, and research funding manipulation. Despite these problems, we have little knowledge regarding universities’ ethics infrastructures (...) and codes of conduct, and insignificant empirical research on academic ethics issues (Kelley & Chang, Journal of Higher Education, under review, 2006; Morgan & Korschgen, College Student Journal, Sept., 2001). This lack of knowledge exists despite the critical role universities play in shaping the moral behavior of future generations (Langlais, The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 13:B11, 2006; Woo, BizEd, May/June:22–27, 2003). In this paper, we conduct exploratory research to identify the elements of universities ethics’ infrastructures. From our research, we develop an understanding of the ethics policies and infrastructure elements in place at a representative group of universities. We compare these infrastructures to those in business as well as across Carnegie Classifications. We then conclude with recommendations for developing university ethics infrastructures and suggestions for future research. (shrink)
It is a pleasure for me to give this opening address to the Royal Institute of Philosophy Conference on ‘Explanation’ for two reasons. The first is that it is succeeded by exciting symposia and other papers concerned with various special aspects of the topic of explanation. The second is that the conference is being held in my old alma mater , the University of Glasgow, where I did my first degree. Especially due to C. A. Campbell and George Brown there (...) was in the Logic Department a big emphasis on absolute idealism, especially F. H. Bradley. My inclinations were to oppose this line of thought and to espouse the empiricism and realism of Russell, Broad and the like. Empiricism was represented in the department by D. R. Cousin, a modest man who published relatively little, but who was of quite extraordinary philosophical acumen and lucidity, and by Miss M. J. Levett, whose translation of Plato's Theaetetus formed an important part of the philosophy syllabus. (shrink)
It is a pleasure for me to give this opening address to the Royal Institute of Philosophy Conference on ‘Explanation’ for two reasons. The first is that it is succeeded by exciting symposia and other papers concerned with various special aspects of the topic of explanation. The second is that the conference is being held in my old alma mater, the University of Glasgow, where I did my first degree. Especially due to C. A. Campbell and George Brown there was (...) in the Logic Department a big emphasis on absolute idealism, especially F. H. Bradley. My inclinations were to oppose this line of thought and to espouse the empiricism and realism of Russell, Broad and the like. Empiricism was represented in the department by D. R. Cousin, a modest man who published relatively little, but who was of quite extraordinary philosophical acumen and lucidity, and by Miss M. J. Levett, whose translation of Plato's Theaetetus formed an important part of the philosophy syllabus. (shrink)
Résumé Le débat holisme-réductionnisme se structure autour de trois domaines sémantiques : l 'ontologie, la méthodologie et l'épistémologie. Généralement, une méthodologie analytique s'accompagne d'une ontologie atomiste et de la réduction des lois et théorie des niveaux d'organisation supérieurs aux lois et théorie des niveaux inférieurs. Par contre, une ontologie holiste, relationnelle peut s'accorder au concept d'émergence. En conséquence dans l'élaboration des lois et théories d'un phénomène appartenant à un niveau donné la prise en compte du niveau d'organisation supérieurs se révélera (...) déterminante. Les propositions philosophiques anti-mécanicistes de précurseur tels que Bradley, S. Alexander, A.N. Whitehead, C.L. Morgan, D.C. Broad, même en restant au niveau d'une forme de proto-émergentisme représentent le fondement épistémologique à partir duquel s'est développée une méthodologie véritablement émergentiste. Abstract The holism-reductionism debate is structured around three areas of semantics: ontology, methodology and epistemology. As a general rule, an analytical methodology goes with an atomist ontology, and the reduction of laws and theories from the higher levels of organisation to the laws and theories of lower levels. On the other hand, a holistic and relational ontology can be in unison with the concept of emergence. As a consequence, in elaborating laws and theories of a phenornenon of a given level, taking into account that the higher level of organisation will be determinant. The philosophical and anti-mechanistic propositions of precursors such as F. Bradley, S. Alexander, A.N. Whitehead, C.L. Morgan, D.C. Broad, even remaining at the level of a kind of proto-emergentism represent the epistemological basis on which a true emergentist methodology has been developed. (shrink)
One of the most actively discussed aspects of Keynes's thought during the last decade has been his concern with uncertainty and probability theory. As the concerns of current macroeconomic theorists have turned increasingly to the effects of expectations and uncertainty, interest has grown in the fact that Keynes was the author of A Treatise on Probability and that uncertainty plays a prominent role in Chapter 12 of The General Theory as well as in three 1937 papers in which he summarized (...) The General Theory's main point. Not surprisingly, though, there has been very little agreement in this recent discussion about exactly what the significance of Keynes's early work in probability was to his later work as an economist, or about what the roles of uncertainty and expectations are in The General Theory. (shrink)
Well-Being and Death addresses philosophical questions about death and the good life: what makes a life go well? Is death bad for the one who dies? How is this possible if we go out of existence when we die? Is it worse to die as an infant or as a young adult? Is it bad for animals and fetuses to die? Can the dead be harmed? Is there any way to make death less bad for us? Ben Bradley defends (...) the following views: pleasure, rather than achievement or the satisfaction of desire, is what makes life go well; death is generally bad for its victim, in virtue of depriving the victim of more of a good life; death is bad for its victim at times after death, in particular at all those times at which the victim would have been living well; death is worse the earlier it occurs, and hence it is worse to die as an infant than as an adult; death is usually bad for animals and fetuses, in just the same way it is bad for adult humans; things that happen after someone has died cannot harm that person; the only sensible way to make death less bad is to live so long that no more good life is possible. (shrink)
When making decisions, people naturally face uncertainty about the potential consequences of their actions due in part to limits in their capacity to represent, evaluate or deliberate. Nonetheless, they aim to make the best decisions possible. In Decision Theory with a Human Face, Richard Bradley develops new theories of agency and rational decision-making, offering guidance on how 'real' agents who are aware of their bounds should represent the uncertainty they face, how they should revise their opinions as a result (...) of experience and how they should make decisions when lacking full awareness of, or precise opinions on relevant contingencies. He engages with the strengths and flaws of Bayesian reasoning, and presents clear and comprehensive explorations of key issues in decision theory, from belief and desire to semantics and learning. His book draws on philosophy, economics, decision science and psychology, and will appeal to readers in all of these disciplines. (shrink)
How should we determine the distribution of psychological traits—such as Theory of Mind, episodic memory, and metacognition—throughout the Animal kingdom? Researchers have long worried about the distorting effects of anthropomorphic bias on this comparative project. A purported corrective against this bias was offered as a cornerstone of comparative psychology by C. Lloyd Morgan in his famous “Canon”. Also dangerous, however, is a distinct bias that loads the deck against animal mentality: our tendency to tie the competence criteria for cognitive (...) capacities to an exaggerated sense of typical human performance. I dub this error “anthropofabulation”, since it combines anthropocentrism with confabulation about our own prowess. Anthropofabulation has long distorted the debate about animal minds, but it is a bias that has been little discussed and against which the Canon provides no protection. Luckily, there is a venerable corrective against anthropofabulation: a principle offered long ago by David Hume, which I call “Hume’s Dictum”. In this paper, I argue that Hume’s Dictum deserves a privileged place next to Morgan’s Canon in the methodology of comparative psychology, illustrating my point through a discussion of the debate over Theory of Mind in nonhuman animals. (shrink)
In Discovering Levinas, Michael L. Morgan shows how this thinker faces in novel and provocative ways central philosophical problems of twentieth-century philosophy and religious thought. He tackles this task by placing Levinas in conversation with philosophers such as Donald Davidson, Stanley Cavell, John McDowell, Onora O'Neill, Charles Taylor, and Cora Diamond. He also seeks to understand Levinas within philosophical, religious, and political developments in the history of twentieth-century intellectual culture. Morgan demystifies Levinas by examining his unfamiliar and surprising (...) vocabulary, interpreting texts with an eye to clarity, and arguing that Levinas can be understood as a philosopher of the everyday. Morgan also shows that Levinas's ethics is not morally and politically irrelevant nor is it excessively narrow and demanding in unacceptable ways. Neither glib dismissal nor fawning acceptance, this book provides a sympathetic reading that can form a foundation for a responsible critique. (shrink)
Although recent research suggests that women are underrepresented in philosophy after initial philosophy courses, there have been relatively few empirical investigations into the factors that lead to this early drop-off in women’s representation. In this paper, we present the results of empirical investigations at a large American public university that explore various factors contributing to women’s underrepresentation in philosophy at the undergraduate level. We administered climate surveys to hundreds of students completing their Introduction to Philosophy course and examined differences in (...) women’s and men’s feelings of belonging, comfort, and confidence in the philosophy classroom. We present findings suggesting various factors that contribute to women’s lower willingness to continue in philosophy compared to men’s, including perceptions about intuition-based methods in philosophy, the usefulness of the philosophy major, philosophy as a male discipline, and philosophical abilities as innate talents. We conclude by providing some suggestions for improving undergraduate philosophy courses in ways that would increase women’s willingness to continue in philosophy and may improve the courses for all students. (shrink)
F. H. Bradley (1846-1924) was considered in his day to be the greatest British philosopher since Hume. For modern philosophers he continues to be an important and influential figure. However, the opposition to metaphysical thinking throughout most of the twentieth century has somewhat eclipsed his important place in the history of British thought. Consequently, although there is renewed interest in his ideas and role in the development of Western philosophy, his writings are often hard to find. This collection unites (...) all of his published works, much of which has long been out of print, together with selected notebooks, articles, and correspondence from his previously unpublished remains. The set therefore provides the opportunity to view his entire philosophy, both in the breadth of its scope - from critical history and ethics through logic to metaphysics and epistemology - and in its historical development - from the earliest Hegelian writings to the later more psychological and pragmatic work. In addition the set features introductions to Bradley's writings, life and character, providing the framework to assess his permanent importance in the history of philosophy. --the first ever publication of all Bradley's works --includes 5 volumes of reset material, mostly never before published --a collecton that all serious philosophy libraries should have --extremely comprehensive new editorial matter --volumes 4 & 5 are indexed by subject and name --collects Bradley's correspondence, spanning 50 years, with Russell, Samuel Alexander, Bosanquet, Haldane, William James, Andrew Seth Pringle-Pattison, and many others --includes Bradley's notes on Green's lectures on ethics, selected undergraduate essays, notebooks preparatory of his major works, lists of what Bradley read, essays that never reached publication, inventory of Bradley's papers, and a catalogue of Bradley's personal library. (shrink)
Questions about the function of consciousness have long been central to discussions of consciousness in philosophy and psychology. Intuitively, consciousness has an important role to play in the control of many everyday behaviors. However, this view has recently come under attack. In particular, it is becoming increasingly common for scientists and philosophers to argue that a significant body of data emerging from cognitive science shows that conscious states are not involved in the control of behavior. According to these theorists, nonconscious (...) states control most everyday behaviors. Andy Clark does an admirable job of summarizing and defending the most important data thought to support this view. In this paper, I argue that the evidence available does not in fact threaten the view that conscious states play an important and intimate role in the control of much everyday behavior. I thereby defend a philosophically intuitive view about the functions of conscious states in action. (shrink)
‘Morgan's canon’ is a rule for making inferences from animal behaviour about animal minds, proposed in 1892 by the Bristol geologist and zoologist C. Lloyd Morgan, and celebrated for promoting scepticism about the reasoning powers of animals. Here I offer a new account of the origins and early career of the canon. Built into the canon, I argue, is the doctrine of the Oxford philologist F. Max Müller that animals, lacking language, necessarily lack reason. Restoring the Müllerian origins (...) of the canon in turn illuminates a number of changes in Morgan's position between 1892 and 1894. I explain these changes as responses to the work of the American naturalist R. L. Garner. Where Morgan had a rule for interpreting experiments with animals, Garner had an instrument for doing them: the Edison cylinder phonograph. Using the phonograph, Garner claimed to provide experimental proof that animals indeed spoke and reasoned. (shrink)
Ever since F. H. Bradley first formulated his famous regress argument philosophers have been hard at work trying to refute it. The argument fails, it has been suggested, either because its conclusion just does not follow from its premises, or it fails because one or more of its premises should be given up. In this paper, the Bradleyan argument, as well as some of the many and varied reactions it has received, is scrutinized.
Recently, researchers have begun to empirically investigate the gender gap in philosophy and provide potential explanations for the underrepresentation of women in philosophy relative to their representation in other disciplines. This empirical research as well as research on the gender gap in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics fields has shed light on a priori, armchair explanations of the gender gap. For example, implicit bias and stereotype threat may contribute much less to the philosophy gender gap than previously thought. However, new (...) candidate contributing factors have emerged. Drawing on the theoretical resources concerning fixed mindsets in response to difficult tasks, a new theory suggests that practitioners in various fields, including philosophy, hold the belief that success in their fields requires natural brilliance. Further, the extent to which members of a field hold that belief predicts the diversity of the members of that field. Initial findings suggest that among the set of students who hold these beliefs, women are disproportionately disinterested in continuing in philosophy. Other hypotheses seem plausible, such as the idea that lay people hold gendered schemas about philosophy, but require more empirical support to be partial explanations. Future empirical research should focus on these plausible hypotheses, replications of previous findings, and investigating the effects of intersectionality within the gender gap. (shrink)
Many philosophers and psychologists have attempted to elucidate the nature of mental representation by appealing to notions like isomorphism or abstract structural resemblance. The ‘structural representations’ that these theorists champion are said to count as representations by virtue of functioning as internal models of distal systems. In his 2007 book, Representation Reconsidered, William Ramsey endorses the structural conception of mental representation, but uses it to develop a novel argument against representationalism, the widespread view that cognition essentially involves the manipulation of (...) mental representations. Ramsey argues that although theories within the ‘classical’ tradition of cognitive science once posited structural representations, these theories are being superseded by newer theories, within the tradition of connectionism and cognitive neuroscience, which rarely if ever appeal to structural representations. Instead, these theories seem to be explaining cognition by invoking so-called ‘receptor representations’, which, Ramsey claims, aren’t genuine representations at all—despite being called representations, these mechanisms function more as triggers or causal relays than as genuine stand-ins for distal systems. I argue that when the notions of structural and receptor representation are properly explicated, there turns out to be no distinction between them. There only appears to be a distinction between receptor and structural representations because the latter are tacitly conflated with the ‘mental models’ ostensibly involved in offline cognitive processes such as episodic memory and mental imagery. While structural representations might count as genuine representations, they aren’t distinctively mental representations, for they can be found in all sorts of non-intentional systems such as plants. Thus to explain the kinds of offline cognitive capacities that have motivated talk of mental models, we must develop richer conceptions of mental representation than those provided by the notions of structural and receptor representation. (shrink)
In this paper, I articulate and argue for a new truthmaker view of ontological commitment, which I call the “General Truthmaker View”: when one affirms a sentence, one is ontologically committed to there being something that makes true the proposition expressed by the sentence. This view comes apart from Quinean orthodoxy in that we are not ontologically committed to the things over which we quantify, and it comes apart from extant truthmaker views of ontological commitment in that we are not (...) ontologically committed to the truthmakers of our sentences. (shrink)
Mereological nihilism is the view that no objects have proper parts. Despite how counter‐intuitive it is, it is taken quite seriously, largely because it solves a number of puzzles in the metaphysics of material objects – or so its proponents claim. In this article, I show that for every puzzle that mereological nihilism solves, there is a similar puzzle that (a) it doesn’t solve, and (b) every other solution to the original puzzle does solve. Since the solutions to the new (...) puzzles apply just as well to the old puzzles, the old puzzles provide no motivation to be a mereological nihilist. (shrink)
Emmanuel Levinas conceives of our lives as fundamentally interpersonal and ethical, claiming that our responsibilities to one another should shape all of our actions. While many scholars believe that Levinas failed to develop a robust view of political ethics, Michael L. Morgan argues against understandings of Levinas’s thought that find him politically wanting or even antipolitical. Morgan examines Levinas’s ethical critique of the political as well as his Jewish writings—including those on Zionism and the founding of the Jewish (...) state—which are controversial reflections of Levinas’s political expression. Unlike others who dismiss Levinas as irrelevant or anarchical, Morgan is the first to give extensive treatment to Levinas as a serious social political thinker whose ethics must be understood in terms of its political implications. Morgan reveals Levinas’s political commitments to liberalism and democracy as well as his revolutionary conception of human life as deeply interconnected on philosophical, political, and religious grounds. (shrink)
A variety of ethical objections have been raised against the military employment of uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAVs, drones). Some of these objections are technological concerns over UAVs abilities’ to function on par with their inhabited counterparts. This paper sets such concerns aside and instead focuses on supposed objections to the use of UAVs in principle. I examine several such objections currently on offer and show them all to be wanting. Indeed, I argue that we have a duty to protect an (...) agent engaged in a justified act from harm to the greatest extent possible, so long as that protection does not interfere with the agent's ability to act justly. UAVs afford precisely such protection. Therefore, we are obligated to employ UAV weapon systems if it can be shown that their use does not significantly reduce a warfighter's operational capability. Of course, if a given military action is unjustified to begin with, then carrying out that act via UAVs is wrong, just as it would be with any weapon. But the point of this paper is to show that there is nothing wrong in principle with using a UAV and that, other things being equal, using such technology is, in fact, obligatory. (shrink)
In recent years, many philosophers of religion have turned their attention to the topic of faith. Given the ubiquity of the word “faith” both in and out of religious contexts, many of them have chosen to begin their forays by offering an analysis of faith. But it seems that there are many kinds of faith: religious faith, non‐religious faith, interpersonal faith, and propositional faith, to name a few. In this article, I discuss analyses of faith that have been offered and (...) point out the dimensions along which they differ. (shrink)
Epicurus seems to have thought that death is not bad for the one who dies, since its badness cannot be located in time. I show that Epicurus’ argument presupposes Presentism, and I argue that death is bad for its victim at all and only those times when the person would have been living a life worth living had she not died when she did. I argue that my account is superior to competing accounts given by Thomas Nagel, Fred Feldman and (...) Neil Feit. (shrink)
The paper identifies the phenomenal rise of increasingly invasive forms of elective cosmetic surgery targeted primarily at women and explores its significance in the context of contemporary biotechnology. A Foucauldian analysis of the significance of the normalization of technologized women's bodies is argued for. Three "Paradoxes of Choice" affecting women who "elect" cosmetic surgery are examined. Finally, two utopian feminist political responses are discussed: a Response of Refusal and a Response of Appropriation.
Monism about being says that there is one way to be. Pluralism about being says that there are many ways to be. Recently, Trenton Merricks and David Builes have offered arguments against Pluralism. In this paper, I show how Pluralists who appeal to the relative naturalness of quantifiers can respond to these arguments.