In this article, we suggest an alternate approach to interpreting the US Constitution, using founding-era translations. We demonstrate how both symmetries and asymmetries in structure and vocabulary of the languages involved can help in deciding nowadays’ problems of constitutional interpretation. We select seven controversial passages of the US constitution to illustrate our approach: Art. I, § 8, cl. 3 ; Art. II, § 1, cl. 5 ; Art. II, § 2, cl. 3 ; Art. I, § 6, cl. 1/Art. I, (...) § 8, cl. 10/Art. IV, § 2 ; and Art. IV, § 2, cl. 1. Since these passages have recently been debated by constitutional scholars, reassessing them using our method can establish the additional value of our approach to constitutional practice. We presume that our approach is not limited to interpreting the US constitution, but suggest that constitutional hermeneutics in general could profit from adding a translation approach to the toolkit. (shrink)
It has become fashionable to try to prove the impossibility of there being a God. Findlay's celebrated ontological disproof has in the past quarter century given rise to vigorous controversy. More recently James Rachels has offered a moral argument intended to show that there could not be a being worthy of worship. In this paper I shall examine the position Rachels is arguing for in some detail. I shall endeavor to show that his argument is unsound and, more interestingly, that (...) the genuine philosophical perplexity which motivates it can be dispelled without too much difficulty. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Robert A. Oakes argues that a doctrine central to, and partially constitutive of, classical theism implies a certain sort of pantheism. The doctrine in question is a modal form of the claim that God conserves in existence the world of contingent things; alternatively, it is the view that all contingently existing things are necessarily continuously dependent upon God for their existence. And the variety of pantheism at stake is a modal form of the thesis that all (...) contingent things are, in some sense, included within the being of God. (shrink)
John Searle's Speech Acts made a highly original contribution to work in the philosophy of language. Expression and Meaning is a direct successor, concerned to develop and refine the account presented in Searle's earlier work, and to extend its application to other modes of discourse such as metaphor, fiction, reference, and indirect speech arts. Searle also presents a rational taxonomy of types of speech acts and explores the relation between the meanings of sentences and the contexts of their utterance. The (...) book points forward to a larger theme implicit in these problems - the basis certain features of speech have in the intentionality of mind, and even more generally, the relation of the philosophy of language to the philosophy of mind. (shrink)
This book is based on work on God and evil that Marilyn McCord Adams did over a period of more than a decade. In her acknowledgments Adams lists fourteen journal articles or book chapters, dating from 1986 to 1997, in which some of her key ideas were first introduced to readers. But the book is by no means a mere collection of previously published essays. As she observes, in the book most of these ideas “have undergone significant development, transformation and (...) recontextualization among new materials”. In addition, the book integrates them into a unified whole that highlights their coherence and displays connections among them. So even those who are very familiar with her earlier work on God and evil will profit from reading the book carefully. (shrink)
Warren Quinn was widely regarded as a moral philosopher of remarkable talent. This collection of his most important contributions to moral philosophy and the philosophy of action has been edited for publication by Philippa Foot. Quinn laid out the foundations for an anti-utilitarian moral philosophy that was critical of much contemporary work in ethics, such as the anti-realism of Gilbert Harman and the neo-subjectivism of Bernard Williams. Quinn's own distinctive moral theory is developed in the discussion of (...) substantial, practical moral issues. For example, there are important pieces here on the permissibility of abortion, the justification of punishing criminals when no particular good seems likely to result, and on the distinction between killing and allowing to die, a distinction crucial to the subject of euthanasia and other topics in medical ethics. The volume would be ideally suited to upper-level undergraduate courses and graduate seminars on the foundations of ethics. (shrink)
Another fine addition to the Blackwell Companions of Philosophy series has been published. I consider it a gold mine! Although it is designed to be “a guide to philosophy of religion for nonspecialists”, it will certainly engage “the specialist” as well. Quinn and Taliaferro have collected succinct essays from leading thinkers on the philosophy of religion—Ninian Smart, Scott MacDonald, Merold Westphal, Brian Hebblethwaite, Roger Trigg, Alvin Plantinga, Terence Penelhum, Paul Helm, Eleonore Stump, George Mavrodes, William Craig, Jonathan Kvanvig, (...) Basil Mitchell—to name only some of them. Each essay—seventy-eight in all—is cross-referenced with the volume’s other essays and is followed by a modest bibliography. In the back is a fairly thorough index. (shrink)
The _Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Religion_ features fourteen new essays written by some of the most prominent philosophers working in the field. Contributors include Linda Zabzeski, Hugh McCann, Brian Leftow, Gareth B. Matthews, William L. Rowe, Elliott Sober, Derk Pereboom, Alfred J. Freddoso, William P. Alston, William J. Wainwright, Peter van Inwagen, Philip Kitcher and Philip Quinn. Features fourteen newly commissioned essays. Provides a comprehensive treatment of the major problems in the philosophy of religion. Surveys the (...) field and presents distinctive arguments. (shrink)
Richard Swinburne is one of the most distinguished philosophers of religion of our day. In this volume, many notable philosophers in Britain and america unite to honour him and to discuss various topics to which he has contributed significantly. These include general topics in the philosophy of religion such as revelation, and faith and reason, and the specifically Christian doctrines of the Trinity, the Incarnation, and atonement. In the spirit of the movement which Richard Swinburned has spearheaded, the essays in (...) this collection use analytic philosophical methods to examine doctrines in particular religious traditions, expanding upon traditional discussions of theism. As such, this volume represents a field-report on the interaction of philosophy and Christian thought in the English-speaking world: a fitting tribute to the Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of Christian Religion at the University of Oxford. Richard Swinburne has himself contributed and individual and personal Intellectural Autobiography.Contributors: William P. Alston, David Brown, Richard M. Gale, Rom Harré, Brian Hebblethwaite, John Hick, Peter van Inwagen, J. R. Lucas, David McNaughton, Philip L. Quinn, Eleonore Stump, William J. Wainwright, C. J. F. Williams. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Part I -- Doctors -- Dr. Joseph Messer -- Dr. Sharon Sandell -- ER -- Dr. John Barrett -- Marc and Noreen Levison, a paramedic and a nurse -- Lloyd (Pete) Haywood, a former gangbanger -- Claire Hellstern, a nurse -- Ed Reardon, a paramedic -- Law and Order -- Robert Soreghan, a homicide detective -- Delbert Lee Tibbs, a former death-row inmate -- War -- Dr. Frank Raila -- Haskell Wexler, a cinematographer -- Tammy Snider, (...) a Hiroshima survivor (hibakusha) -- Mothers and Sons -- V.I.M. (Victor Israel Marquez), a Vietnam vet -- Angelina Rossi, his mother -- Guadalupe Reyes, a mother -- God's Shepherds -- Rev. Willie T. Barrow -- Father Leonard Dubi -- Rabbi Robert Marx -- Pastor Tom Kok -- Rev. Ed Townley -- The Stranger -- Rick Rundle, a city sanitation worker -- Part II -- Seeing Things -- Randy Buescher, an associate architect -- Chaz Ebert, a lawyer -- Antoinette Korotko-Hatch, a church worker -- Karen Thompson, a student -- Dimitri Mihalas, an astronomer and physicist -- A View from the Bridge -- Hank Oettinger, a retired printer -- Ira Glass, a radio journalist -- Kid Pharaoh, a retired "collector" -- Quinn Brisben, a retired teacher -- Kurt Vonnegut, a writer -- The Boomer -- Bruce Bendinger, an advertising executive and writer -- Part III -- Fathers and Sons -- Doc Watson, a folksinger -- Vernon Jarrett, a journalist -- Country Women -- Peggy Terry, a retired mountain woman -- Bessie Jones, a Georgia Sea Island Singer (1972) -- Rosalie Sorrels, a traveling folksinger -- The Plague I -- Tico Valle, a young man -- Lori Cannon, "curator" of the Open Hand Society -- Brian Matthews, an ex-bartender, writer for a gay weekly -- Jewell Jenkins, a hospital aide -- Justin Hayford, a journalist, musician -- Matta Kelly, a case manager -- The Old Guy -- Jim Hapgood -- The Plague II -- Nancy Lanoue -- Out There -- Dr. Gary Slutkin -- Day of the Dead -- Carlos Cortez, a painter and poet -- Vine Deloria, a writer and teacher -- Helen Sclair, a cemetery familiar -- The Other Son -- Steve Young, a father -- Maurine Young, a mother -- The Job -- William Herdegen, an undertaker -- Rory Moina, a hospice nurse -- The End and the Beginning -- Mamie Mobley, a mother -- Dr. Marvin Jackson, a son -- Epilogue -- Kathy Fagan and Linda Gagnon, mothers. (shrink)
Rapid tissue donation (RTD) is an advancing oncology research procedure for collecting tumors, metastases, and unaffected tissue 2–6 h after death. Researchers can better determine rates of progression, response to treatment, and polymorphic differences among patients. Cancer patients may inquire about posthumous body donation for research to offer a personal contribution to research; however, there are barriers to recruiting for an RTD program. Physicians must reassure the patient that their treatment options and quality of care will not be compromised due (...) to participating in RTD. In this commentary we discuss how theories of altruism may explain cancer patients’ desire to participate in an RTD program, the ethical concerns of health care professionals and patients and the use of altruism as a recruitment strategy. We offer recommendations for examining the cultural and ethical climate of the institution prior to initiating such a program such as examining the relationship of healthcare professionals and patients, identifying ethical concerns, and examining ways to promote acceptance and buy-in across professionals, patients, and families. (shrink)
Over the last two decades, William Lycan’s work on the semantics of conditionals has been distinguished by his careful attention to the connection between syntax and semantics, and more generally by his impeccable methodology. Lycan takes compositionality seriously, so he requires that the meaning of compound expressions like ‘even if’ be a combination of the constituent expressions, here ‘even’ and ‘if’. After reading his work, it’s hard to take seriously work that does not share this methodology.
David DeGrazia’s stated purposes for Taking Animals Seriously are to apply a coherentist methodology to animal ethics, to do the philosophical work necessary for discussing animal minds, and to fill in some of the gaps in the existing literature on animal ethics.
Philip Quinn, John A. O’Brien Professor at the University of Notre Dame from 1985 until his death in 2004, was well known for his work in the philosophy of religion, political philosophy, and core areas of analytic philosophy. Although the breadth of his interests was so great that it would be virtually impossible to identify any subset of them as representative, the contributors to this volume provide an excellent introduction to, and advance the discussion of, some of the questions (...) of central importance to Quinn in the last years of his working life. Paul J. Weithman argues in his introduction that Quinn’s interest and analyses in many areas grew out of a distinctive and underlying sensibility that we might call “liberal faith.” It included belief in the value of a liberal education and in rigorous intellectual inquiry, the acceptance of enduring religious, cultural, and political pluralism, along with a keen awareness of problems posed by pluralism, and a deeply held but non-utopian faith in liberal democratic politics. These provocative essays, at the cutting edge of epistemology, the philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, and political philosophy, explore the tenets of liberal faith and invite continuing engagement with the philosophical issues. “Philip Quinn was admired enormously throughout the world of professional philosophy.... His reputation for rigor, his tireless service to the profession, and his essentially ‘non-dogmatic,’ but philosophically sophisticated faith is widely admired... The essays in this volume are first-rate contemporary philosophy along with an excellent introduction to Quinn’s work.” —_Charles Taliaferro, St. Olaf College_ "The papers that form _Liberal Faith_ give insightful treatments of three types of questions: first, how can we conscientiously believe something when there are many people we admire who do not believe it, and what is the underlying relation here between justification and rationality; second, what does it mean to desire union with God, and can Christians properly believe in the possibility of eternal self-annihilation; third, how should liberal democracy accommodate the religious convictions of its members, whether some comprehensive doctrine such as a religion is required to justify a commitment to human equality, and whether there is an absolute moral prohibition on the state use of torture. The volume has an unusually good introduction putting the papers into dialog with each other and with the work of Philip Quinn. The papers are cohesive because the central themes of Philip Quinn's work hold together into a picture of how Christianity and Liberal Democracy fit together." —_John Hare, Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology, Yale Divinity School _ “This is a collection of high quality essays dealing with various topics related to Philip Quinn’s work. The book makes an original contribution by virtue of its individual papers, each of which is new. These essays will be of interest to scholars and students who followed Quinn’s work, especially in philosophy of religion and political philosophy.“ —_John Greco, The Leonard and Elizabeth Eslick Chair in Philosophy, Saint Louis University _. (shrink)
Moral Appraisability is not quite such a good book as its confident and lucid introduction leads one to hope, but it is work of both substance and promise. Ishtiyaque Haji’s main project is to determine sufficient conditions for moral appraisability: that is, for the propriety of holding an agent praiseworthy or blameworthy for an action. Identifying three primary conditions—control, autonomy, and epistemic—he refines them with the aid of a meticulous analysis of recent discussions and a range of vivid examples, and (...) applies them in his closing chapters to such vexed questions as the responsibility of addicts for their addictive behavior, the justification of cross-cultural attributions of blame, and our appraisability for our thoughts when dreaming. (shrink)
Claudia Card’s The Unnatural Lottery is a fluently written and intricately argued study of the importance of historical difference for moral thought and action. It moves from theoretical and methodological arguments, in which the philosophical interest of the work largely resides, into a series of applications, mainly in the field of sexual politics, which are always at least thought-provoking.
In the preface to his book God the Problem , Gordon Kaufman writes ‘Although the notion of God as agent seems presupposed by most contemporary theologians … Austin Farrer has been almost alone in trying to specify carefully and consistently just what this might be understood to mean.’.
This paper argues that "moral luck", understood as a susceptibility of moral desert to lucky or unlucky outcomes, does not exist. The argument turns on the claim that epistemic inquiry is an indissoluble part of moral responsibility, and that judgment on the moral decision making of others should and can adjust for this fact; test cases which aim to isolate moral dilemmas from epistemic consideration misrepresent our moral experience. If the phenomena believed by some philosophers to exemplify the need to (...) admit moral luck as part of their explanation are analysed in the light of this insight, the case for "moral luck" dissolves. (shrink)
In this wide-ranging study, Quinn argues that human moral autonomy is compatible with unqualified obedience to divine commands. He formulates several versions of the crucial assumptions of divine command ethics, defending them against a battery of objections often expressed in the philosophical literature.
This paper will attempt to provide an overview of Bentham's fundamental thinking with regard to the relief of indigence. The manuscripts on which it draws form the texts of unpublished works, namely a set of ‘Three Essays on the Poor Laws’, which were completed by Bentham, and ‘Pauper Systems Compared’, which remains in a comparatively unfinished state. In the ‘Essays’, Bentham considers first the question of whether the relief of indigence should be a public responsibility, and, having concluded that it (...) should, moves on to consider what conditions should be attached to that relief. In ‘Systems Compared’, Bentham analyzes different systems of provision in terms of their compatibility with these conditions. (shrink)
Suppose that a person P 1 dies some time during 1978. Many years later, the resurrection world, a perennial object of Christian concern, begins on the morning of the day of judgment. On its first morning there are in that world distinct persons, P 2 and P 3 , each of whom is related in remarkably intimate ways to P 1 . You are to imagine that each of them satisfies each of the criteria or conditions necessary for identity with (...) P 1 to some extent, that both of them satisfy these conditions to exactly the same extent, and that every other denizen of the resurrection world satisfies each of these conditions to a lesser extent than P 2 and P 3 do. Thus, for example, philosophers often claim that bodily continuity is a necessary condition for personal identity. If it is, you might assume that the body P 2 has on the morning of the day of judgment contains some of the same atoms the body of P1 1 contained when P 1 died, and that P 2 's body on that day contains exactly n atoms from P 1 's body at the time of death just in case P 3 's body on that day contains exactly n atoms from P 1 's body at the time of death. Or, again, some philosophers hold that connectedness of memory is necessary for personal identity. If so, you are to suppose that on the morning of the day of judgment P 3 seems to remember some of the events in the life of P 1 having happened to him, and that P 3 seems to remember a certain event in the life of P 1 having happened to him just in case P 2 seems to remember that very event in the life of P 1 having happened to him. You are to fill in the details by adding complete parity between P 2 and P 3 with respect to similarity of DNA molecules, character traits and whatever else you deem relevant to personal identity. And, finally, you are to complete the story by imagining that P 2 and P 3 live very different sorts of lives in the resurrection world. To heighten the poignancy of the story, you might imagine that P 2 enjoys forever after the beatitude promised to the blessed while P 3 suffers the everlasting torments reserved for the damned. (shrink)
William Hasker replies to my arguments against Social Trinitarianism, offers some criticism of my own view, and begins a sketch of another account of the Trinity. I reply with some defence of my own theory and some questions about his.
In teaching jurisprudence, I typically distinguish between two different families of theories of adjudication—theories of how judges do or should decide cases. “Formalist” theories claim that the law is “rationally” determinate, that is, the class of legitimate legal reasons available for a judge to offer in support of his or her decision justifies one and only one outcome either in all cases or in some significant and contested range of cases ; and adjudication is thus “autonomous” from other kinds of (...) reasoning, that is, the judge can reach the required decision without recourse to nonlegal normative considerations of morality or political philosophy. I also note that “formalism” is sometimes associated with the idea that judicial decision-making involves nothing more than mechanical deduction on the model of the syllogism—Beccaria, for example, expresses such a view. I call the latter “Vulgar Formalism” to emphasize that it is not a view to which anyone today cares to subscribe. (shrink)
To date, the study of business ethics has been largely the study of the ethics of large companies. This paper is concerned with owner/managers of small firms and the link between the personal ethics of the owner/manager and his or her attitude to ethical problems in business. By using active membership of an organisation with an overt ethical dimension as a surrogate for personal ethics the research provides some, though not unequivocal, support for the models of Trevino and others that (...) suggest a link between personal ethics and business ethics. (shrink)
This volume collects the principal works of the late Warren Quinn. The papers cover a broad range of topics and may, for present purposes, be divided three ways, as variously concerning problems of metaethics, of the rationality of morality, and of substantive or practical ethics. I will not discuss Quinn’s great papers on abortion, punishment, double effect, and the distinction between killing and letting die—except to remark that they are united by an underlying anticonsequentialist program. They are, I (...) think, his best-known works. (shrink)
In ‘The ethics of belief and Christian faith as commitment to assumptions’, Rik Peels attacks the views that I advanced in ‘Christianity and the ethics of belief’. Here, I rebut his criticisms of the claim that it is wrong to believe without sufficient evidence, of the contention that Christians are committed to that claim, and of the notion of that faith is not belief but commitment to assumptions in the hope of salvation. My original conclusions still stand.
As the author of Justice as Impartiality, I am not ashamed to admit that I was delighted by the liveliness of the discussion generated by it at the meeting on which this symposium is based. I am likewise grateful to the six authors for finding the book worthy of the careful attention that they have bestowed on it. Between them, the symposiasts take up many more points than I can cover in this response. I shall therefore focus on some themes (...) that cluster round the contractual device that I associate with the notion of justice as impartiality. Is it necessary? If it is not necessary is it nevertheless useful? Within an overall contractual framework is the form of contract that I propose uniquely justifiable? And does the form of contract that I defend generate the implications that I claim for it? (shrink)
We report on the case of a 2-year-old female, the youngest person ever to undergo ovarian tissue cryopreservation (OTC). This patient was diagnosed with a rare form of sickle cell disease, which required a bone-marrow transplant, and late effects included high risk of future infertility or complete sterility. Ethical concerns are raised, as the patient's mother made the decision for OTC on the patient's behalf with the intention that this would secure the option of biological childbearing in the future. Based (...) on Beauchamp and Childress's principlism approach of respect for autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, and justice, pursing OTC was ethically justified. (shrink)