Can we understand what makes someone the same person without understanding what it is to be a person? Prereflectively we might not think so, but philosophers often accord these questions separate treatments, with personal-identity theorists claiming the first question and free-will theorists the second. Yet much of what is of interest to a person—the possibility of survival over time, compensation for past hardships, concern for future projects, or moral responsibility—is not obviously intelligible from the perspective of either question alone. Marya (...) Schechtman encourages us to adopt a more unified perspective. (shrink)
Typically, public discussions of questions of social import exhibit two im- portant properties: they are influenced by conformity bias, and the influence of conformity is expressed via social networks. We examine how social learning on net- works proceeds under the influence of conformity bias. In our model, heterogeneous agents express public opinions where those expressions are driven by the competing priorities of accuracy and of conformity to one’s peers. Agents learn, by Bayesian con- ditionalization, from private evidence from nature, and (...) from the public declarations of other agents. Our key findings are that networks that produce configurations of social relationships that sustain a diversity of opinions empower honest communication and reliable acquisition of true beliefs, and that the networks that do this best turn out to be those which are both less centralized and less connected. (shrink)
Science education researchers have long advocated the central role of the nature of science for our understanding of scientific literacy. NOS is often interpreted narrowly to refer to a host of epistemological issues associated with the process of science and the limitations of scientific knowledge. Despite its importance, practitioners and researchers alike acknowledge that students have difficulty learning NOS and that this in part reflects how difficult it is to teach. One particularly promising method for teaching NOS involves an explicit (...) and reflective approach using the history of science. The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of a historically based genetics unit on undergraduates’ understanding of NOS. The three-class unit developed for this study introduces students to Mendelian genetics using the story of Gregor Mendel’s work. NOS learning objectives were emphasized through discussion questions and investigations. The unit was administered to undergraduates in an introductory biology course for pre-service elementary teachers. The influence of the unit was determined by students’ responses to the SUSSI instrument, which was administered pre- and post-intervention. In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted that focused on changes in students’ responses from pre- to post-test. Data collected indicated that students showed improved NOS understanding related to observations, inferences, and the influence of culture on science. (shrink)
Concepts related to the nature of science have been considered an important part of scientific literacy as reflected in its inclusion in curriculum documents. A significant amount of science education research has focused on improving learners’ understanding of NOS. One approach that has often been advocated is an explicit and reflective approach. Some researchers have used the history of science to provide learners with explicit and reflective experiences with NOS concepts. Previous research on using the history of science in science (...) instruction has approached HOS in many different ways and consequently has led to inconsistent findings regarding its utility for improving learning. One promising method for overcoming this inconsistency and teaching NOS with more traditional science content is using stories based in the history of science. A mixed method approach was used to determine whether and how the use of science stories influences undergraduates’ understanding of NOS. Particular attention was paid to the explanations that students used for their understandings. Intervention and control groups completed the Student Understanding of Science and Scientific Inquiry instrument. The intervention group was taught using two historical narratives while the control group was taught using minimal history. A subset of both groups was also interviewed regarding their SUSSI responses and their experiences in the course. Results indicated that the introduction of science stories helped participants gain a better understanding of the role of imagination and creativity in science. Participants mentioned science stories in their explanations for why they changed towards more informed views on SUSSI items related to imagination and creativity. The current study adds to a growing body of literature regarding the use of stories in the science classroom. (shrink)
A study in philosophical logic of the meaning of 'true'. Dr Williams demonstrates the shortcomings of various analyses which interpret 'true' as a predicate or truth as a relational property, and clears up a number of important points about propositions, quantification, definite descriptions and correspondence. This 'deflationary metaphysics' is interwoven with a positive theory of his own, which seeks to develop ideas about the late Arthur Prior. The work is marked throughout by great clarity, precision and thoroughness.
There is currently a growing interest in the philosophy and political thought of Baruch de Spinoza following many years of comparative neglect, particularly within political philosophy. The focus of this paper is Spinoza's major work, the Ethics, and its relation to his political writings. It explores Spinoza's distinctive formulations of imagination and affect and considers some of the ways in which these impact upon his political thought, specifically via his reflections upon democracy and knowledge. The discussion draws particular attention to (...) the aporetic status of imagination and its tendency towards ambivalence. It argues that this dynamic account of imagination introduces provisionality and contingency into Spinoza's reflections upon politics that may, in turn, enrich discussions seeking to introduce an awareness of the affective resonances of communication and identification to democratic theory. (shrink)
This study seeks to understand women's use of makeup in the workplace. The authors analyze 20 in-depth interviews with a diverse group of women who work in a variety of settings to examine the appearance rules that women confront at work and how these rules reproduce assumptions about sexuality and gender. The authors found that appropriate makeup use is strongly associated with assumptions about health, heterosexuality, and credibility in the workplace. They describe how these norms shape women's personal choices to (...) wear makeup. Next, they examine how some women transform the meanings of wearing makeup and, in rare instances, attempt to subvert the institutionalized norms. Although many women find pleasure in wearing makeup, the authors conclude that the institutional constraints imposed by the workplace effectively limit the possibilities for resistance. (shrink)
We examined cynicism as a mediator of the influence of managers’ mission-congruent communication and behavior about ethical standards (a form of supervisory behavioral integrity) on employee attitudes and intended behavior. Results indicated that cynicism partially mediates the relationship between supervisory behavioral integrity and organizational commitment, but not the relationship between supervisory behavioral integrity and intent to comply with organizational expectations for employee conduct.
There is increasing evidence for the efficacy of non-medical strategies to improve mental health and well-being. Get into Reading is a shared reading intervention which has demonstrable acceptability and feasibility. This paper explores potential catalysts for change resulting from Get into Reading. Two weekly reading groups ran for 12 months, in a GP surgery and a mental health drop-in centre, for people with a GP diagnosis of depression and a validated severity measure. Data collection included quantitative measures at the outset (...) and end of the study, digital recording of sessions, observation and reflective diaries. Qualitative data were analysed thematically and critically compared with digital recordings. The evidence suggested a reduction in depressive symptoms for Get into Reading group participants. Three potential catalysts for change were identified: literary form and content, including the balance between prose and poetry; group facilitation, including social awareness and communicative skills; and group processes, including reflective and syntactic mirroring. This study has generated hypotheses about potential change processes of Get into Reading groups. Evidence of clinical efficacy was limited by small sample size, participant attrition and lack of controls. The focus on depression limited the generalisability of findings to other clinical groups or in non-clinical settings. Further research is needed, including assessment of the social and economic impact and substantial trials of the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of this intervention. (shrink)
The relationship between corporate executives and shareholders has riveted the attention of business ethicists since the inception of the field. Most ethicists agree that corporate executives owe their investors the duties of loyalty, candor, and care. These fiduciary duties undergird the promises made to shareholders at the time of incorporation, placing on executives moral obligations to engage in fair dealing and to avoid conflicts of interest.We concur that executives owe all of their existing shareholders both promise-keeping and fiduciary duties and (...) argue that some corporateexecutives violate these responsibilities by attempting to withhold information from or limit information to some shareholders while courting others. We analyze the ethical implications of six techniques and tools that executives use to attract certain types of shareholders while deterring others. We conclude with recommended structural and behavioral changes to these current managerial and investor practices. (shrink)
Gender scholars draw on the “theory of gendered organizations” to explain persistent gender inequality in the workplace. This theory argues that gender inequality is built into work organizations in which jobs are characterized by long-term security, standardized career ladders and job descriptions, and management controlled evaluations. Over the past few decades, this basic organizational logic has been transformed. In the so-called new economy, work is increasingly characterized by job insecurity, teamwork, career maps, and networking. Using a case study of geoscientists (...) in the oil and gas industry, we apply a gender lens to this evolving organization of work. This article extends Acker’s theory of gendered organizations by identifying the mechanisms that reproduce gender inequality in the twenty-first-century workplace, and by suggesting appropriate policy approaches to remedy these disparities. (shrink)
The traditional description of A- and B-time is that the former consists of a mind-independent past, present, and future, and that the latter consists solely of the time relations--earlier than, simultaneous with, and later than. Although this description makes it look as if there are two clearly contrasting concepts of time, it does not differentiate the passage of A-time from the succession in B-time. Nor does it explain what it means for events in B-time to be equally real and for (...) events in A-time not to be equally real. I argue that although McTaggart and numerous others have thought that there is a difference between the two kinds of time, it remains undescribed. (shrink)
Research has shown that a majority of employed women experience sexual harassment and suffer negative repercussions because of it; yet only a minority of these women label their experiences “sexual harassment.” To investigate how people identify sexual harassment, in-depth interviews were conducted with 18 waitpeople in restaurants in Austin, Texas. Most respondents worked in highly sexualized work environments. Respondents labeled sexual advances as sexual harassment only in four specific contexts: when perpetrated by someone who exploited their powerful position for personal (...) sexual gain; when the perpetrator was of a different race/ethnicity than the victim—typically a minority man harassing a white woman; when the perpetrator was of a different sexual orientation than the victim—typically a gay man harassing a straight man; or when violence or the threat of violence was used. The authors argue that the hegemonic norms of acceptable sexual activity privilege heterosexual relationships, legitimize institutionalized forms of sexual exploitation in the workplace, and may protect assailants of the same race and sexual orientation as their victims from charges of sexual harassment. (shrink)
This article reviews practitioners’ evaluations of in-hospital ethics seminars. A qualitative study included 11 innovative in-hospital ethics seminars, preceded and followed by interviews with most participants. The settings were obstetric, neonatal and haematology units in a teaching hospital and a district general hospital in England. Fifty-six health service staff in obstetric, neonatal, haematology, and related community and management services participated; 12 attended two seminars, giving a total of 68 attendances and 59 follow-up evaluation interviews. The 11 seminars facilitated by an (...) ethicist addressed the key local concerns of staff about the social and ethical consequences of advances in genetics and their impact on professional policies and practice. Seminar agendas were drawn from prior interviews with 70 staff members. During evaluation interviews, participants commented on general aspects that they had enjoyed, how the sessions could be improved, timing, the mix of participants, the quality of the facilitation, whether sessions should be more challenging, after-effects of sessions, and interest in attending seminars and contacting the ethicist in future. Participants valued the increased interprofessional understanding and coherent discussion of many pressing issues that addressed important though seldom discussed ethical questions. The seminars worked well in the different hospitals and specialties. (shrink)
I argue that our experience of time supports the B-Theory of time and not the A-Theory of time. We do not experience pastness, presentness, and futurity as mind-independent properties of events. My method in supporting this experiential claim is to show that our experience of presentness is like our experience of hereness--in neither case are we aware of a mind-independent property over and above the events or objects to which we ascribe the presentness or hereness.
The concept of identity has been seen to lead to paradox: we cannot truly and usefully say that a thing is the same either as itself or as something else. This book is a full examination of this paradox in philosophical logic, and of its implications for the philosophy of mathematics, the philosphy of mind, and relativism about identity. The author's account involves detailed discussion of the views of Wittgenstein, Russell, Frege, and Hintikka.
When women work in male-dominated professions, they encounter a “glass ceiling” that prevents their ascension into the top jobs. Twenty years ago, I introduced the concept of the “glass escalator,” my term for the advantages that men receive in the so-called women’s professions, including the assumption that they are better suited than women for leadership positions. In this article, I revisit my original analysis and identify two major limitations of the concept: it fails to adequately address intersectionality; in particular, it (...) fails to theorize race, sexuality, and class; and it was based on the assumptions of traditional work organizations, which are undergoing rapid transformation in our neoliberal era. The glass escalator assumes stable employment, career ladders, and widespread support for public institutions —which no longer characterize the job market today. Drawing on my studies of the oil and gas industry and the retail industry, I argue that new concepts are needed to understand workplace gender inequality in the 21st century. (shrink)
Christology seems to fall fairly clearly into two divisions. The first is concerned with the truth of the two propositions: ‘Christ is God’ and ‘Christ is a man’. The second is concerned with the mutual compatibility of these propositions. The first part of Christology tends to confine itself to what is sometimes called ‘positive theology’: that is to say, it is largely given over to examining the Jons revelationis —let us not prejudge currently burning issues by asking what this is—to (...) see what evidence can be found for the truth of these propositions. Clearly, the methods used will be above all those of New Testament exegesis. The second part of Christology will necessarily consist entirely of that speculative theology which is contrasted with positive theology. Even if the earliest speculation on this topic is to be found in the New Testament itself and thus becomes fair game for the exegetes, any attempt to relate the primary truths, ‘Christ is God’ and ‘Christ is a man’, to eachother is a work of reflection, and in the terminology I am using speculative. (shrink)
This paper aims to make an empirically informed analytical contribution to the development of a more socially embedded bioethics. Drawing upon 10 interviews with cutting edge stem cell researchers (5 scientists and 5 clinicians) it explores and illustrates the ways in which the role positions of translational researchers are shaped by the ‘normative structures’ of science and medicine respectively and in combination. The empirical data is used to illuminate three overlapping themes of ethical relevance: what matters in stem cell research, (...) experimental treatment, and responsible claim making (as contrasted with ‘hype’. Finally, we suggest that this kind of ‘descriptive’ ethical analysis has potential relevance for understanding other substantive areas of stem cell ethics in practice, and we briefly consider the questions our analysis raises about role positions and ethical agency, and the implications for bioethics as a field of scholarship. (shrink)
Philosophers have met with many problems in discussing the interconnected concepts being, identity, and truth, and have advanced many theories to deal with them. Williams argues that most of these problems and theories result from an inadequate appreciation of the ways in which the words "be," "same," and "true" work. By means of linguistic analysis he shows that being and truth are not properties, and identity is not a relation. He is thus able to demystify a number of metaphysical issues (...) concerning the meaning of the word "I," the relation between the mental and the physical, objects of thought, times and places, and the nature of reality. Williams presents his views clearly, with a minimum of technicality, and with rich and apt examples, so that they will be accessible to readers not versed in symbolic logic. (shrink)
Whilst the concept of the subject has been called into question by many diverse approaches within contemporary political and social theory, there remains a focus upon agency, now attributable to reformulated subjectivities or assemblages. I query the persistence of this grammar of agency and ask whether politics can do without a ‘scene of the subject’. Spinoza’s philosophy, in particular, his conception of conatus, has inspired and offered some basis for rethinking agency. I examine two such prominent positions and argue that (...) ultimately neither captures the political promise of Spinoza’s philosophy. Configuring a concept of morphology to analyse this scene, my argument detaches the conatus from a narrow focus upon human desire, and focuses attention upon the scene of the subject as it folded into a wider complex body. My approach also returns a study of power to the discussion: the conatus is the power to persist, but it is also a differential force and site of conflict. By placing the spotlight on the scene of subjectivity in this way, the contemporary political theorist avoids the false antinomy between agency and structure, whilst continuing to track the production and composition of subjectivity in new political forms. (shrink)
In this paper we contribute to “sociology in bioethics” and help clarify the range of ways sociological work can contribute to ethics scholarship. We do this using a case study of an innovative neurotechnology, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and its use to attempt to diagnose and communicate with severely brain-injured patients. We compare empirical data from interviews with relatives of patients who have a severe brain injury with perspectives from mainstream bioethics scholars. We use the notion of an “ethical landscape” (...) as an analogy for the different ethical positions subjects can take—whereby a person’s position relative to the landscape makes a difference to the way they experience and interact with it. We show that, in comparison to studying abstract ethics “from above” the ethical landscape, which involves universal generalizations and global judgements, studying ethics empirically “from the ground,” within the ethical landscape foregrounds a more plural and differentiated picture. We argue it is important not to treat empirical ethics as secondary to abstract ethics, to treat on-the-ground perspectives as useful only insofar as they can inform ethics from above. Rather, empirical perspectives can illuminate the plural vantage points in ethical judgments, highlight the “lived” nature of ethical reasoning, and point to all ethical vantage points as being significant. This is of epistemic importance to normative ethics, since researchers who pay attention to the various positions in and trajectories through the ethical landscape are unlikely to think about ethics in terms of abstract agency—as can happen with top-down ethics—or to elide agency with the agency of policymakers. Moreover, empirical perspectives may have transformative implications for people on the ground, especially where focus on the potential harms and benefits they face brings their experiences and interests to the forefront of ethical and policy discussion. (shrink)
Persons and passions : an introduction / Christopher Williams What are the passions doing in the Meditations? / Lisa Shapiro Love in the ruins : passion in Descartes’ Meditations / William Beardsley The passionate intellect : reading the opposition of reason and emotions in Descartes / Amy Schmitter Material falsity and the arguments for God’s existence in Descartes’ Meditations / Cecilia Wee Reason unhinged : passion and precipice from Montaigne to Hume / Saul Traiger Reflection and ideas in Hume’s account (...) of the passions / Lilli Alanen Sympathy and the unity of Hume’s idea of self / Donald Ainslie Hume’s voyage / Janet Broughton Artifice, desire, and their relationship : Hume against Aristotle / Alasdair MacIntyre Hume and morality’s "useful purpose" / David Gauthier Reflection and well-being / Robert Shaver Friendship and the law of reason : Baier and Kant on love and principles / Sergio Tenenbaum Cruelty, respect, and unsentimental love / Michele Moody-Adams Trust as an affective attitude / Karen Jones Trusting "first" and "second" selves : Aristotelian reflections on Virginia Woolf and Annette Baier / Jennifer Whiting. (shrink)
This paper reports from an ongoing multidisciplinary, ethnographic study that is exploring the views, values and practices (the ethical frameworks) drawn on by professional staff in assisted conception units and stem cell laboratories in relation to embryo donation for research purposes, particularly human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research, in the UK. We focus here on the connection between possible incidental findings and the circumstances in which embryos are donated for hESC research, and report some of the uncertainties and dilemmas of (...) our staff participants. We explore the views of our study participants in relation to two themes: (1) rights to information and anticipating how donors might be informed about future research findings and (2) occupational work goals and trust. (shrink)
When people think about perversion, sexual examples come readily to mind, and this is probably as it should be. Sexual attraction centrally involves a range of desires, some of them typically intense, for the object of the attraction; and such desires are, if anything can be, candidates for being perverted. Philosophers who investigate perversion, too, are drawn to sexual instances of perversion, doubtless for similar reasons. Up to a point, I shall conform to this tendency myself, but my chief interest (...) lies in resisting a sexual focus, and in spending more time on the general idea of a perversion, which can be considered independently of sexual examples. (shrink)
At Theaetetus 163d-164b Socrates objects to the thesis that knowledge is perception by pointing out that a man who has seen something can still remember it, and so has knowledge of it; but this is impossible, if knowledge is perception, since he is no longer perceiving it.To this Protagoras is made to reply with two sentences at 166b 1–4: .Cornford translates ‘ For instance, do you think you will find anyone to admit that one's present memory of a past impression (...) is an impression of the same character as one had during the original experience, which is now over? It is nothing of the sort’.Cornford understands this as the suggestion that the memory and the original perception are of different things: ‘ All that the objection in fact established was that “ perception” must be stretched to include awareness of memory images’. So too Lee: ‘Protagoras’ “way out”… appears to be to say that what we now know is not properly X but rather our memory trace of X - some present πά θ ο ς quite distinct from X and very different from that ’. McDowel. (shrink)
Debate between the A- and B-theories has rested on the supposition that there is a clear difference between A- and B-time. I argue that this supposition is mistaken for two reasons. We cannot distinguish the two conceptions of time by means of Bergsonian intuition. Unless we can do so, we cannot distinguish them at all. I defend by imagining various ways to intuit the two kinds of time, and maintaining that none of them works. I defend by showing that the (...) issue is an experiential one, unlike metaphysical issues that are less connected to experience. My conclusion is that no progress will be made in the debate between the two theories until it becomes clear what the difference is between the two kinds of time. (shrink)
The common assumption in the debate between the A- and B-theories is that there is a difference between A- and B-time. A-time has been said to be characterized by a flow, whereas B-time has been said not to consist of a flow. This way of construing the debate, however, is mistaken. Both A- and B-time possess "flow" or transition. But if this is so, we need to ask how B-time flow differs from A-time flow. I argue that none of the (...) ways in which the difference has been characterized is satisfactory. My conclusion is that the debate between A- and B-time either needs to be recast or given up. (shrink)
I argue that the proper way to think of the difference between A- and B-time is not as the difference between transition and the lack of transition, as is common, but as A-transition and B-transition. However, it is not evident what the difference is between these two kinds of transition. Thus, it is not evident what the difference is between A- and B-time.