The “new” agricultural biotechnologies are presently high-priority items on the national research agenda. The promise of increased efficiency and productivity resulting from products and processes derived from biotech is thought to justify the commitment to R&D. Nevertheless, critics challenge the environmental safety as well as political-economic consequences of particular products of biotech, notably, ice-nucleating bacteria and the bovine growth hormone. In this paper the critics' arguments are analyzed in explicitly ethical terms, and assessed as to their relative merits. In some (...) cases, a principle of “do no foreseeable harm” as well as a clear determination of likely harms would force us to conclude that research, development, and diffusion of a product or process derived from biotechnology is ethically wrong. In all cases, one conclusion that can be reached is that everyone involved in research, development, marketing and adoption of biotech products is responsible for the results of their actions; thus, each individual has a responsibility to consider a broader range of values and goals that effect and are effected by the biotechnology effort. (shrink)
In the face of criticisms about the current generationof agricultural biotechnology products, some proponents ofagricultural biotechnology offer a ``future benefitsargument''''(FBA), which is a utilitarian ethical argument thatattempts to justify continued R&D. This paper analyzes severallogical implications of the FBA. Among these are that acceptanceof the FBA implies (1) acceptance of a precautionary approach torisk, (2) the need for a more proportional and equitabledistribution of the benefits of agricultural biotechnology, andmost important, (3) the need to reorient and restructurebiotechnology R&D institutions (and (...) the agriculturalbiotechnology community''s values and attitudes) so that futurebenefits are indeed achieved through agricultural biotechnology. (shrink)
: Implicit instruction about values occurs throughout scientific communication, whether in the university classroom or in the larger public forum. The concern of this paper is that the kind of values education that occurs includes "reverse moral education," the idea that moral considerations are at best extra scientific if not simply irrational. The (a)moral education that many scientists unwittingly foist on their "students" undergirds the scientific establishment's typical responses to larger social issues: "Huff!" In this paper I explain the nature (...) of moral education which occurs in the "science classroom" and argue that it is wrongheaded--though there are remedies for its negative effects. (shrink)
The concepts of sustainable agriculture, organic agriculture, regenerative agriculture, and alternative agriculture are receiving increasing attention in the academic and popular literature on present trends and future directions of agriculture. Whatever the reasons for this interest, there nevertheless remain differences of opinion concerning what counts as a sustainable agriculture. One of the reasons for these differences is that the moral underpinnings of a policy of sustainability are not clear. By understanding the moral obligatoriness of sustainability, we can come to understand (...) precisely what must be sustained, and by implication, how. This article discusses the arguments that can be advanced for sustaining anything and initially concludes that our obligations to future generations entail sustaining more than just sufficient food production or an adequate resource base. Indeed, a tradition of care and community must underlie whatever agricultural and resource strategies we are to develop under the rubric of sustainability. A consideration of the larger social and environmental system in which agriculture operates and the constraints this system places on agriculture forces us to recognize that sustainability has to do with larger institutional issues, including our ability to incorporate our common morality democratically into our institutions, practices, and technologies. (shrink)
Agricultural production in the western world in our time is primarily agribusiness. As such, a business ethics approach can be extended to agricultural production. Given the nature of the agricultural production system, however, not only are general principles for business ethics applicable, but more specific obligations need to be generated. A social contract approach such as Donaldson's, with modifications, serves to provide both the general principles for the ethical practice of agribusiness, as well as more specific obligations for agents in (...) the production system. An analysis of three cases is offered in order to highlight ethical issues particular to agribusiness, as well as to provide content for the principles which the social contract view regarding agribusiness can be seen to generate. (shrink)
The first European Congress on Agriculturaland Food Ethics was held at Wageningen University andResearch Center (WUR), Wageningen, The Netherlands, March 4–6, 1999. This was the inaugural conference forthe newly forming European Society for Agricultural andFood Ethics – EUR-SAFE – and around two hundredpeople from across Europe (and a handful of NorthAmericans) participated. Following theCongress/conference, a small (16 people), two-dayworkshop funded in part by the US National ScienceFoundation focused on similarities and differencesbetween the US and the EU regarding publicdiscourse/debate on food (...) biotechnology. A briefoverview of the Congress and the follow-up workshopsuggests what lessons AFHVS and ASFS might learn fromEuropean experience of agricultural and food ethics. (shrink)
Scholarly critics such as Wendell Berry, as well as the popular media, frequently refer to problems associated with agriculture as the agricultural crisis or the farm crisis. Despite the identification of a problem or problems as symptomatic of this crisis, scant attention is paid to why the situation is a social crisis as opposed to a problem, tragedy, trend, or simple change in the structure of agriculture. This paper analyzes the use of social crisis as applied to the state of (...) modern agriculture and, by extension, other crises such as those in legitimation and morality. It concludes that, although important social values associated with farming as a way of life may be in danger of being lost, the crisis we may be facing with respect to agriculture is more properly understood as a sociopolitical crisis that has broader implications than simply the loss of farms or traditional farming values. Indeed, what is in danger of being lost is our ability to affect a secure and sustainable political-economic system. (shrink)
Richard Jeffrey is beyond dispute one of the most distinguished and influential philosophers working in the field of decision theory and the theory of knowledge. His work is distinctive in showing the interplay of epistemological concerns with probability and utility theory. Not only has he made use of standard probabilistic and decision theoretic tools to clarify concepts of evidential support and informed choice, he has also proposed significant modifications of the standard Bayesian position in order that it provide a (...) better fit with actual human experience. Probability logic is viewed not as a source of judgment but as a framework for explaining the implications of probabilistic judgments and their mutual compatability. This collection of essays spans a period of some 35 years and includes what have become some of the classic works in the literature. There is also one completely new piece, while in many instances Jeffrey includes afterthoughts on the older essays. (shrink)
This brief paperback is designed for symbolic/formal logic courses. It features the tree method proof system developed by Jeffrey. The new edition contains many more examples and exercises and is reorganized for greater accessibility.
Logicism Lite counts number‐theoretical laws as logical for the same sort of reason for which physical laws are counted as as empirical: because of the character of the data they are responsible to. In the case of number theory these are the data verifying or falsifying the simplest equations, which Logicism Lite counts as true or false depending on the logical validity or invalidity of first‐order argument forms in which no numbertheoretical notation appears.
This paper develops the outlines of a pragmatic, adaptive management-based approach toward the control of invasive nonnative species (INS) through a case study of Kings Bay/Crystal River, a large artesian springs ecosystem that is one of Florida’s most important habitats for endangered West Indian manatees ( Trichechus manatus ). Building upon recent critiques of invasion biology, principles of adaptive management, and our own interview and participant–observer research, we argue that this case study represents an example in which rigid application of (...) invasion biology’s a␣priori imperative to minimize INS has produced counterproductive results from both an ecological and social standpoint. As such, we recommend that INS control in Kings Bay should be relaxed in conjunction with an overall program of adaptive ecosystem management that includes meaningful participation and input from non-institutional stakeholders. However, we also note that adaptive management and INS control are by no means mutually exclusive, in Kings Bay or elsewhere. Instead, we suggest that adaptive management offers a means by which INS control efforts can emerge from—and be evaluated through—ongoing scientific research and participatory dialogue about the condition of specific places, rather than non-contextual assumptions about the harmfulness of INS as a general class. (shrink)
Isaac Levi and I have different views of probability and decision making. Here, without addressing the merits, I will try to answer some questions recently asked by Levi (1985) about what my view is, and how it relates to his.
In this paper we analyse some misleading theses concerning the oldcontroversy over the relation between mind and body presented incontemporary medical literature. We undertake an epistemologicalclarification of the axiomatic structure of medical methods. Thisclarification, in turn, requires a precise philosophical explanation ofthe presupposed concepts. This analysis will establish two results: (1)that the mind-body dualism cannot be understood as a kind of biologicalvariation of the subject-object dichotomy in physics, and (2) that thethesis of the incompatibility between somatic and psychosomatic medicineheld by (...) naturalists and others lacks solid epistemologicalfoundation. (shrink)
We present a general framework for representing belief-revision rules and use it to characterize Bayes's rule as a classical example and Jeffrey's rule as a non-classical one. In Jeffrey's rule, the input to a belief revision is not simply the information that some event has occurred, as in Bayes's rule, but a new assignment of probabilities to some events. Despite their differences, Bayes's and Jeffrey's rules can be characterized in terms of the same axioms: "responsiveness", which requires (...) that revised beliefs incorporate what has been learnt, and "conservativeness", which requires that beliefs on which the learnt input is "silent" do not change. To illustrate the use of non-Bayesian belief revision in economic theory, we sketch a simple decision-theoretic application. (shrink)
This essay explains Jeffrey Friedman's two fundamental and persistent philosophical errors concerning the libertarian conception of liberty and the lack of a "justification‟ of libertarianism. It is ironic that Friedman himself is thereby revealed to be guilty of both an “a priori” anti-libertarianism and an anti-libertarian “straddle.” Critical-rationalist, proactive-imposition-minimising libertarianism remains completely unchallenged by him.
I show that David Lewis’s principal principle is not preserved under Jeffrey conditionalization. Using this observation, I argue that Lewis’s reason for rejecting the desire as belief thesis and Adams’s thesis applies also to his own principal principle. 1 Introduction2 Adams’s Thesis, the Desire as Belief Thesis, and the Principal Principle3 Jeffrey Conditionalization4 The Principal Principles Not Preserved under Jeffrey Conditionalization5 Inadmissible Experiences.
Jonathan Weisberg has argued that Jeffrey Conditioning is inherently “anti-holistic” By this he means, inter alia, that JC does not allow us to take proper account of after-the-fact defeaters for our beliefs. His central example concerns the discovery that the lighting in a room is red-tinted and the relationship of that discovery to the belief that a jelly bean in the room is red. Weisberg’s argument that the rigidity required for JC blocks the defeating role of the red-tinted light (...) rests on the strong assumption that all posteriors within the distribution in this example are rigid on a partition over the proposition that the jelly bean is actually red. But individual JC updates of propositions do not require such a broad rigidity assumption. Jeffrey conditionalizers should consider the advantages of a modest project of targeted updating focused on particular propositions rather than seeking to update the entire distribution using one obvious partition. Although Weisberg’s example fails to show JC to be irrelevant or useless, other problems he raises for JC (the commutativity and inputs problems) remain and actually become more pressing when we recognize the important role of background information. (shrink)
This paper discusses simultaneous belief updates. I argue here that modeling such belief updates using the Principle of Minimum Information can be regarded as applying Jeffrey conditionalization successively, and so that, contrary to what many probabilists have thought, the simultaneous belief updates can be successfully modeled by means of Jeffrey conditionalization.
In his introduction, Jeffrey Metzger states that “at some point in the past 20 or 30 years … Nietzsche’s name [became] no longer associated primarily with nihilism” (1). Metzger is pointing to the increasing contemporary scholarly interest in Nietzsche’s epistemology, naturalism, and metaethics. The worthy aim of this volume is to ask us to examine once again the underlying philosophical problem to which these views are a response, namely, nihilism. This volume helpfully reminds us that Nietzsche’s philosophical motivation still (...) requires clarification, and that we can only fully understand Nietzsche’s particular views by grasping Nietzsche’s fundamental philosophical aims.As with so many edited volumes on .. (shrink)
We continue the investigations initiated in the recent papers where Bayes logics have been introduced to study the general laws of Bayesian belief revision. In Bayesian belief revision a Bayesian agent revises his prior belief by conditionalizing the prior on some evidence using the Bayes rule. In this paper we take the more general Jeffrey formula as a conditioning device and study the corresponding modal logics that we call Jeffrey logics, focusing mainly on the countable case. The containment (...) relations among these modal logics are determined and it is shown that the logic of Bayes and Jeffrey updating are very close. It is shown that the modal logic of belief revision determined by probabilities on a finite or countably infinite set of elementary propositions is not finitely axiomatizable. The significance of this result is that it clearly indicates that axiomatic approaches to belief revision might be severely limited. (shrink)