I hope to persuade Charles Fried to think again about his developing views on distributive justice. Since I live at a certain remove from Cambridge, the best I can offer is a hypothetical dialogue with an imaginary person whose views seem, to me at least, of a Friedian inspiration. My central question deals with the way Fried establishes his rights to things he candidly concedes he does not deserve. To present my problems, I shall begin with a simpler case than (...) those – involving kidneys and talents – that Fried makes central to his discussion. Rather than starting with these rather special goods, I find it clarifying to focus first on more garden variety commodities – which, to emphasize their character, I shall call apples. (shrink)
I respond to Jonathan Chimakonam’s paper in which he presents an approach to dialogue in philosophical space, and raises questions about my own approach. I raise four questions to his understanding of conversation. First, I ask him for more details on his conception of conversation. Second, what happens if not everyone cares to enter into conversation? Third, is conversation a prerequisite to philosophy, or a part of philosophy? And fourth, how does wonder fit into conversation in and about place?
John Stuart Mill's connection with the Irish question spanned more than four decades and embraced a variety of elements. Of his writings on Ireland, the best known are his forty-three Morning Chronicle articles of 1846–47 composed in response to the Famine, the section of the Principles of Political Economy that treats the issue of cottier tenancy and the problem of Irish land, and, most conspicuous of all, his radical pamphlet England and Ireland, published in 1868. All of these writings take (...) the land question as their paramount concern. The fairly absorbing interest in the subject disclosed by Mill during the second half of the 1840s arose from the fortuitous conjuncture of the disaster unfolding in Ireland and his engagement with the principles of political economy. Between 1848 and 1871 Mill's Principles went through seven editions and the substantive revisions he made in the section on Ireland from one edition to the next illumine both the essence and the accidentals of his bearing towards that country. Mill's cogent and controversial advocacy of fixity of tenure in England and Ireland constituted the heart of his answer to the Fenian challenge. The land question aside, Mill was drawn into the battle over the Irish university system in the 1860s largely through his friendship with John Elliot Cairnes, professor of jurisprudence and political economy at the Queen's College Galway. On this subject, however, Mill wrote almost nothing for publication. The longest single piece he ever drafted on Ireland was his first, an essay that predated the Morning Chronicle articles by two decades. In his own bibliography this essay is referred to as ‘An article on the Catholic Question which appeared in the Parliamentary Review for 1825’. Although the essay of 1825 could justly have borne the same title as the pamphlet of 1868, the particulars of course differ markedly. Ireland never ceased to pose a question during the course of the nineteenth century, but the dynamics shaping that question changed much between the mid-1820s and the late 1860s. Even so, the 1825 essay prefigures something of Mill's later involvement with the Irish question, and also invites examination as a quite remarkable piece of political journalism from the pen of a young man not yet twenty, who would subsequently establish himself as the most influential thinker of his generation. (shrink)
Bruce Janz, Jessica Locke, and Cynthia Willett interact in this exchange with different aspects of Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad’s book Human Being, Bodily Being. Through “constructive inter-cultural thinking”, they seek to engage with Ram-Prasad’s “lower-case p” phenomenology, which exemplifies “how to think otherwise about the nature and role of bodiliness in human experience”. This exchange, which includes Ram-Prasad’s reply to their interventions, pushes the reader to reflect more about different aspects of bodiliness.
In a recent article in Religious Studies, Professor P. W. Gooch attempts to wean the orthodox Christian from anthropological materialism by consideration of the question of the nature of the post-mortem person in the resurrection. He argues that the view that the resurrected person is a psychophysical organism who is in some physical sense the same as the ante-mortem person is inconsistent with the Pauline view of the resurrected body; rather, according to him, Paul's view is most consistent with that (...) which affirms the disembodied survival of the person. ‘I want to argue’, he writes, ‘for the thesis that a Pauline resurrection body may well be ontologically the same as a disembodied person.’ I intend to show that Professor Gooch has failed to provide any support for this view and indeed that his own view falls prey to the criticisms which he has raised against other views. (shrink)
One of the more sustained efforts to think beyond current academic structures has been launched by CIRET, the International Centre for Transdisciplinary Research, in Paris. This centre was involved in the First World Congress of Transdisciplinarity, in Portugal, 1994, and another international congress in Locarno, Switzerland, in early May 1997. They have a project with UNESCO on transdisciplinarity, and are involved in the World Conference on Higher Education, to be held in Paris at the end of September 1998.
In an attempt to make the idea of surviving one's own death in a disembodied state intelligible, H. H. Price has presented a possible description of what the afterlife might be like for a disembodied self or consciousness. Price suggests that the world of the disembodied self might be a kind of dream or image world. In it he would replace his present sense-perception by activating his image-producing powers, which are now inhibited by their continuous bombardment by sensory stimuli, to (...) produce mental images. Though he would be cut off from any new supply of sensory material, he might be able to draw upon his memory of his previous physical existence to create an entire environment of images. A nexus of perspectively inter-related images would constitute an object; this would serve as a substitute for the material objects which he perceived in his past life. The entire environment of the disembodied individual would be composed of such families of mental images and would serve to constitute his world. It need not, however, be a solipsistic world, for by means of telepathy the discarnate individual could communicate with other disembodied selves and in this way acquire new information. Price notes that since this world would be as real to the discarnate self as our present world is to our embodied self, in the afterlife the disembodied self in effect would create for itself a real world, though of course if it took it to be anything other than an image world it would be deceiving itself. (shrink)
Restorative Free Will examines free will as an adaptive capacity that evolved in humans and many other species, and restores free will to species excluded by claims of human uniqueness. Restorative Free Will recognizes the basic biological value of both libertarian and compatibilist elements of free will, and explains how these traditionally opposed accounts of free will capture an essential element of foraging animals' free will.
When I write about ‘American philosophy’ in this paper, I refer not to the practice of philosophizing in a certain geographic area during a certain time. Rather I mean a scholarly field defined by certain conventions, standard arguments, and major works. I hope primarily to show that that area of inquiry is befuddled. I also want to suggest, however, that it may be unhelpful to try to write about the practice of philosophizing in a certain geographic area—the continental United States—in (...) anything like the way scholars now write about it. (shrink)
This comprehensively updated and expanded revision of the successful second edition continues to provide detailed coverage of the ever-growing range of research topics in vision. In Part I, the treatment of visual physiology has been extensively revised with an updated account of retinal processing, a new section explaining the principles of spatial and temporal filtering which underlie discussions in later chapters, and an up-to-date account of the primate visual pathway. Part II contains four largely new chapters which cover recent psychophysical (...) evidence and computational model of early vision: edge detection, perceptual grouping, depth perception, and motion perception. The models discussed are extensively integrated with physiological evidence. All other chapters in Parts II, III, and IV have also been thoroughly updated. (shrink)
The subject of Stefan Collini's Absent Minds is a “rich tradition of debate about the question of intellectuals” in twentieth-century Britain, in particular debate about “their absence or comparative insignificance”. The debate begins with the Dreyfus Affair and its unpredictable British reception, simmers intriguingly through the 1920s and 1930s, and becomes positively effervescent in the 1950s, perhaps because of a new democratization of the public sphere. Collini is less interested in the possible historical causes than in the rhetorical structure that (...) persists, swirling around figures as different as T. S. Eliot, R. G. Collingwood, George Orwell, A. J. P. Taylor, and A. J. Ayer, each of whom gets a full-length profile. Other chapters mix shorter profiles—for example, the devastatingly funny discussion of Colin Wilson and the authorities who briefly and embarrassingly made him a star in their firmament—with synthesis of the debate over intellectuals at different scales and in different national settings. Coming closer to the present, Collini admires Edward Said for what he did as an intellectual while disputing what he said about intellectuals—a celebration of rigorous exile from all social belonging, which could only leave the category of the intellectual looking almost totally uninhabited. The move turns out to be characteristic: it is as if Collini felt he could win a proper admiration for what intellectuals do only by rejecting most of their self-images, or evasion thereof. (shrink)
In Against Moral Responsibility, Bruce Waller launches a spirited attack on a system that is profoundly entrenched in our society and its institutions, deeply rooted in our emotions, and vigorously defended by philosophers from ancient times to the present. Waller argues that, despite the creative defenses of it by contemporary thinkers, moral responsibility cannot survive in our naturalistic-scientific system. The scientific understanding of human behavior and the causes that shape human character, he contends, leaves no room for moral responsibility. (...) Waller argues that moral responsibility in all its forms--including criminal justice, distributive justice, and all claims of just deserts--is fundamentally unfair and harmful and that its abolition will be liberating and beneficial. What we really want--natural human free will, moral judgments, meaningful human relationships, creative abilities--would survive and flourish without moral responsibility. In the course of his argument, Waller examines the origins of the basic belief in moral responsibility, proposes a naturalistic understanding of free will, offers a detailed argument against moral responsibility and critiques arguments in favor of it, gives a general account of what a world without moral responsibility would look like, and examines the social and psychological aspects of abolishing moral responsibility. Waller not only mounts a vigorous, and philosophically rigorous, attack on the moral responsibility system, but also celebrates the benefits that would result from its total abolition. (shrink)
What do the philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche, Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Marion have in common with Christianity? Surprisingly, they are all concerned about idolatry, about the tendency we have to create God in our own image and about what we can do about it. Can we faithfully speak of God at all without interposing ourselves? If so, how? Bruce Ellis Benson explores this common concern by clearly laying out the thought of each of these postmodern thinkers against the background of (...) modern philosophers such as Descartes, Locke and Hume and in light of the rise of phenomenology as developed by Husserl and Heidegger. All these thinkers he brings into conversation with a full range of biblical teaching. The result is an illuminating survey of some key postmodern thinkers and profound insight into the nature of conceptual idolatry. Benson also exposes some of the limitations inherent in postmodern attempts to provide a purely philosophical solution to the problem of ideological idolatry. Ultimately, he argues, there is a need for something greater than human philosophy, religion or theology--namely, the biblical revelation of God in Jesus Christ. (shrink)
Despite being co-opted by economists and politicians for their own purposes, ‘welfare’ traditionally refers to well-being, and it is in this sense that L. W. Sumner understands the term. His book is a clear, careful, and well-crafted investigation into major theories of welfare, accompanied by a one-chapter defense of “welfarism,” the view that welfare is the only foundational value necessary for ethics. Sumner himself is attracted to utilitarianism, but he makes no commitment to it in this work, which will be (...) of interest to many moral philosophers. (shrink)
Since the introduction of mathematical population genetics, its machinery has shaped our fundamental understanding of natural selection. Selection is taken to occur when differential fitnesses produce differential rates of reproductive success, where fitnesses are understood as parameters in a population genetics model. To understand selection is to understand what these parameter values measure and how differences in them lead to frequency changes. I argue that this traditional view is mistaken. The descriptions of natural selection rendered by population genetics models are (...) in general neither predictive nor explanatory and introduce avoidable conceptual confusions. I conclude that a correct understanding of natural selection requires explicitly causal models of reproductive success. *Received May 2006; revised December 2006. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Kansas State University, 201 Dickens Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506; e‐mail: [email protected] . (shrink)
In this book, Bruce Waller attacks two prevalent philosophical beliefs. First, he argues that moral responsibility must be rejected; there is no room for such a notion within our naturalist framework. Second, he denies the common assumption that moral responsibility is inseparably linked with individual freedom. Rejection of moral responsibility does not entail the demise of individual freedom; instead, individual freedom is enhanced by the rejection of moral responsibility. According to this theory of "no-fault naturalism," no one deserves either (...) blame or reward.In the course of arguing against moral responsibility, Waller critiques major compatibilist arguments-by Dennett, Frankfurt, Strawson, Bennett, Wolf, Hampshire, Glover, Rachels, Sher, and others. In addition, the implications of denying moral responsibility-for individual freedom, for moral judgments and moral behavior, and for social justice-are examined; the supposed dire consequences of the denial of moral responsibility are challenged; and the benefits of denying moral responsibility are described. Author note: Bruce N. Waller, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio, is the author of Critical Thinking: Consider the Verdict. (shrink)
In a departure from the traditional studies of corporate philanthropy that focus on board composition, advertising, and social networks, the authors investigate the financial correlates of corporate philanthropy. The research design controls for firm size and industry while observing firms from a variety of industries. The sample contains matched pairs of generous and less generous corporate givers. The authors find, as hypothesized, a positive relationship between a firm''s cash resources available and cash donations, but no significant relationship between corporate philanthropy (...) and firm financial performance, regardless of whether corporate philanthropy is measured as cash payouts or the aggregate contributions that charities actually receive, and regardless of whether financial performance is gauged using accounting measures or market measures. Whereas the link between available resources and corporate philanthropy is well accepted in the literature on corporate social responsibility, it has been rarely tested and never so definitively found as in this research. (shrink)
This article provides a narrative review of the scholarly writings on professional ethics education for future teachers. Against the background of a widespread belief among scholars working in this area that longstanding and sustained research and reflection on the ethics of teaching have had little impact on the teacher education curriculum, the article takes stock of the field by synthesizing viewpoints on key aspects of teaching ethics to teacher candidates—the role ethics plays in teacher education, the primary objectives of ethics (...) education for teachers, recommended teaching and learning strategies, and challenges to introducing ethics curriculum—and maps out how opinions on these matters have evolved over the three decades since the initial publication of Strike and Soltis’ seminal book, The Ethics of Teaching. In light of the review’s results, the article identifies critical deficits in this literature and proposes a set of recommendations for future inquiry. (shrink)
Transcranial magnetic stimulation was used to test the functional role of parietal and prefrontal cortical regions activated during a playing card Guilty Knowledge Task. Single-pulse TMS was applied to 15 healthy volunteers at each of three target sites: left and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and midline parietal cortex. TMS pulses were applied at each of five latencies after the onset of a card stimulus. TMS applied to the parietal cortex exerted a latency-specific increase in inverse efficiency score and in reaction (...) time when subjects were instructed to lie relative to when asked to respond with the truth, and this effect was specific to when TMS was applied at 240 ms after stimulus onset. No effects of TMS were detected at left or right DLPFC sites. This manipulation with TMS of performance in a deception task appears to support a critical role for the parietal cortex in intentional false responding, particularly in stimulus selection processes needed to execute a deceptive response in the context of a GKT. However, this interpretation is only preliminary, as further experiments are needed to compare performance within and outside of a deceptive context to clarify the effects of deceptive intent. (shrink)
Philosophy in an African Place shifts the central question of African philosophy from "Is there an African philosophy?" to "What is it to do philosophy in this place?" This book both opens up new questions within the field and also establishes "philosophy-in-place", a mode of philosophy which begins from the places in which concepts have currency and shows how a truly creative philosophy can emerge from focusing on questioning, listening, and attention to difference.
Since its publication in 1982, _Beyond Positivism _has become established as one of the definitive statements on economic methodology. The book’s rejection of positivism and its advocacy of pluralism were to have a profound influence in the flowering of work methodology that has taken place in economics in the decade since its publication. This edition contains a new preface outlining the major developments in the area since the book’s first appearance. The book provides the first comprehensive treatment of twentieth century (...) philosophy of science which emphasizes the issues relevant to economics. It proceeds to demonstrate this relevance by reviewing some of the key debates in the area. Having concluded that positivism has to be rejected, the author examines possible alternative bases for economic methodology. Arguing that there is no best method, he advocates methodological pluralism. (shrink)
A revitalized practice of natural philosophy can help people to live a better life and promote a flourishing ecosystem. Such a philosophy is natural in two senses. First, it is natural by seeking to understand the whole of nature, including mental phenomena. Thus, a comprehensive natural philosophy should address the phenomena of sentience by embracing first- and second-person methods of investigation. Moreover, to expand our understanding of the world, natural philosophy should embrace a full panoply of explanations, similar to Aristotle’s (...) four causes. Second, such a philosophy is natural by being grounded in human nature, taking full account of human capacities and limitations. Future natural philosophers should also make use of all human capacities, including emotion and intuition, as well as reason and perception, to investigate nature. Finally, since the majority of our brain’s activities are unconscious, natural philosophy should explore the unconscious mind with the aim of deepening our relation with the rest of nature and of enhancing well-being. (shrink)