In De Anima 2.4, Aristotle claims that nutritive soul encompasses two distinct biological functions: nutrition and reproduction. We challenge a pervasive interpretation which posits ‘nutrients’ as the correlative object of the nutritive capacity. Instead, the shared object of nutrition and reproduction is that which is nourished and reproduced: the ensouled body, qua ensouled. Both functions aim at preserving this object, and thus at preserving the form, life, and being of the individual organism. In each case, we show how Aristotle’s detailed (...) biological analysis supports this ontological argument. (shrink)
Plato’s references to Empedocles in the myth of the Statesman perform a crucial role in the overarching political argument of the dialogue. Empedocles conceives of the cosmos as structured like a democracy, where the constituent powers ‘rule in turn’, sharing the offices of rulership equally via a cyclical exchange of power. In a complex act of philosophical appropriation, Plato takes up Empedocles’ cosmic cycles of rule in order to ‘correct’ them: instead of a democracy in which rule is shared cyclically (...) amongst equal constituents, Plato’s cosmos undergoes cycles of the presence and absence of a single cosmic monarch who possesses ‘kingly epistēmē’. By means of a revision of Empedocles’ democratic cosmology, Plato’s richly woven myth is designed precisely to reject the appropriateness of democracy as a form of human political association and legitimate monarchy in its stead. (shrink)
A technological revolution with first order implications is undeniable and underway. That is the permeation of society by computers and telecommunications technology. For western society, committed to a social, economic, and value structure premised upon an industrial society, the move to an information society is more than disruptive; it is transformational. Current changes are so rapidly paced in relation to business planning that it creates major challenges and opportunities to reach out, influence, and guide the change.The telematics revolution will affect (...) every aspect of our society since it will affect every aspect of our world which involves the generation, production, storage, or handling of information. Many ethical issues are touched upon. To sum them up, the new immorality is to choose to act in ignorance of future consequences. (shrink)
Following P. F. Strawson, a number of philosophers have argued that if hard incompatibilism is true, then its truth would undermine the justification or value of our relationships with other persons. In this paper, I offer a novel defense of this claim. In particular, I argue that if hard incompatibilism is true, we cannot make sense of: the possibility of promissory obligation, the significance of consent, or the pro tanto wrongness of paternalistic intervention. Because these practices and normative commitments are (...) central to our relationships as we currently conceive of them, it follows that hard incompatibilism has radically revisionary conclusions. (shrink)
The subjective character of a given experience leaves open the question of its precise status. If it looks to a subject K as if there is an object of a kind F in front of him, the experience he is having could be veridical, or hallucinatory. Advocates of the Causal Theory of perception (whom I shall call.
In recent defenses of moral responsibility skepticism, which is the view that no human agents are morally responsible for their actions or character, a number of theorists have argued against Peter Strawson’s (and others’) claim that “the sort of love which two adults can sometimes be said to feel reciprocally, for each other” would be undermined if we were not morally responsible agents. Among them, Derk Pereboom (2001, 2009) and Tamler Sommers (2007, 2012) most forcefully argue against this conception of (...) love. However, in this paper, I plan to defend the claim that there is an essential connection between love and moral responsibility, a thesis I will call love internalism. To begin, I will specify the content and scope of love internalism, and consider ways in which other theorists have attempted to motivate it. I will then consider the various arguments that Pereboom and Sommers advance against love internalism. These arguments, it seems to me, offer us powerful reasons to reject several of the ways in which philosophers have tried to connect moral responsibility to love. Consequently, in light of these criticisms, I will further precisify the content of love internalism. And as we will see, love internalism (as I argue for it) is immune to Pereboom’s and Sommers’ criticisms. Moreover, when its content is sufficiently clarified, love internalism can serve as a plausible premise in an anti-skeptical argument. I thus conclude by arguing that this suitably reformulated statement of love internalism offers a significant challenge to moral responsibility skepticism of the sort Pereboom and Sommers endorse. (shrink)
Australian prisons are overpopulated with people suffering from numerous health problems. COVID-19 presents a significant threat to prisoner health. This article examines the current regulatory responses from Australian state and territory governments to COVID-19 and a recent case which tested the human rights of prisoners during a pandemic.
The doctrine of consent is built upon presumptions of mental capacity. Those presumptions must be tested according to legal rules that may be difficult to apply to COVID-19 patients during emergency presentations. We examine the principles of mental capacity and make recommendations on how to assess the capacity of COVID-19 patients to consent to emergency medical treatment. We term this the CARD approach.
What we consider "nature" is always historical and relational, shaped in contingent configurations of representational and social practices. In the early twentieth century, the English ecologist A.G. Tansley lamented the pervasive problem of international misunderstandings concerning the nature of "nature." In order to create some consensus on the concepts and language of ecological plant geography, Tansley founded the International Phytogeographical Excursion, which brought together leading plant geographers and botanists from North America and Europe. The first IPE in August 1911 started (...) with the Norfolk Broads. It was led by Marietta Pallis, Tansley's former student at Cambridge. This trip and the work of Pallis, neglected in other accounts of this early period of the history of ecology, influenced the relations between Tansley and important American ecologists H.C. Cowles and F.E. Clements. Understanding "place" as a network of relations, our regional focus shows how taking international dialogue, travel and interchange into account enriches understanding of ecological practice. (shrink)
A. F. Norman has recently suggested that a hitherto overlooked passage in Suidas is a fragment from the history of Eunapius of Sardis. He is clearly correct in referring the passage to an incident at the siege of Maiozamalcha during the Persian campaign of the emperor Julian, but I am not so sure that he is right in ascribing it to Eunapius, or in the conclusions he draws from this ascription. I give in parallel columns the accounts of Ammianus Marcellinus, (...) Zosimus, and the passage from Suidas, together with a further version of the incident, unfortunately without names, from the pen of Libanius. (shrink)
In C.Q. N.S. xv, 293 f., in a discussion of the popularity of theyounger Pliny's Letters in the late fourth century, I adduced three passages of St. Jerome which reveal acquaintance with the Letters. The list may be extended.
What we consider “nature” is always historical and relational, shaped in contingent configurations of representational and social practices. In the early twentieth century, the English ecologist A.G. Tansley lamented the pervasive problem of international misunderstandings concerning the nature of “nature.” In order to create some consensus on the concepts and language of ecological plant geography, Tansley founded the International Phytogeographical Excursion, which brought together leading plant geographers and botanists from North America and Europe. The first IPE in August 1911 started (...) with the Norfolk Broads. It was led by Marietta Pallis, Tansley’s former student at Cambridge. This trip and the work of Pallis, neglected in other accounts of this early period of the history of ecology, influenced the relations between Tansley and important American ecologists H.C. Cowles and F.E. Clements. Understanding “place” as a network of relations, our regional focus shows how taking international dialogue, travel and interchange into account enriches understanding of ecological practice. (shrink)
While the terrorism studies literature speaks of a shape of terrorism unique to modernity, the exact nature of modern terrorism, let alone the nature of modernity or its starting point, remain much in dispute. In this article we suggest that the confusion and conflict within the literature arises from a tendency to focus on certain outward or inessential features associated with modernity. In order to truly answer the question of what makes modern terrorism modern, the question needs to be set (...) on a new footing, one which inquires into the necessary and not instrumental relationship between modernity and terrorism—i.e., that inquires into the possibility of an inner dynamic which can take us from the nature of modernity itself to terrorism. In this article we suggest that the intellectual resources for an understanding of modern terrorism in the fullest sense can be found within the preeminent nineteenth-century philosopher of the birth of the modern, G.W.F. Hegel. More specifically, through a reconstruction of Hegel’s account of the French Revolution we can uncover the possibility of understanding modern terrorism as an ontological rather than a temporal category. In other words, we can uncover resources that help us grasp what modern terrorism is, rather than in what age—with its instrumental possibilities given by, say, technology or ideology—it is found. What makes modern terrorism truly modern, we will argue, is a particular shape of self-consciousness that, Hegel shows us, stands as the deep structure of early modernity, and which contains within it an inner dynamic towards a uniquely modern shape of terrorism. While all terrorism that occurs within modernity is not modern, a truly modern terrorism can be identified. (shrink)
Title: Nietzsche’s Machiavellian PoliticsPublisher: Palgrave MacmillanISBN: 1403933677Author: Don DombowskyTitle: Political Writings of Friedrich NietzschePublisher: Palgrave MacmillanISBN: 9780230537736Author: Frank Cameron and Don Dombowsky.
D. Justin Coates argues that, in ‘Freedom and Resentment’, P. F. Strawson develops a modest transcendental argument for the legitimacy of our moral responsibility practices. I disagree with Coates’ claim that Strawson’s argument provides a justification, in Wittgenstein’s and/or Strawson’s sense of that term, of our responsibility practices. I argue that my interpretation of Strawson solves some difficulties with Coates’ argument, while retaining its advantages.
Paul Sheehy has argued that the modal realist cannot satisfactorily allow for the necessity of God's existence. In this short paper I show that she can, and that Sheehy only sees a problem because he has failed to appreciate all the resources available to the modal realist. God may be an abstract existent outside spacetime or He may not be: but either way, there is no problem for the modal realist to admit that He exists at every concrete possible world.
Drawing on examples from the history of warfare from the crusades to the present day, "The ethics of war" explores the limits and possibilities of the moral regulation of war. While resisting the commonly held view that 'war is hell', A.J. Coates focuses on the tensions which exist between war and morality. The argument is conducted from a just war standpoint, though the moral ambiguity and mixed record of that tradition is acknowledge and the dangers which an exaggerated view (...) of the justice or moral worth of war poses are underlined. In the first part, the broad image of the just war is compared with the competing images of realism, militarism and pacifism. In the second part, the moral issues associated both with the decision to go to war and with the manner in which war is conducted are explored. Was the allied decision to go to war in the Gulf premature? were economic sanctions a more effective and morally preferable option? was Britain justified in going to war over the Falklands? did the allied bombing of Germany in the Second World War constitute a war crime? should the IRA's claim to belligerent status be recognised? these questions and more are raised in this important book. (shrink)
Epistemic akrasia arises when one holds a belief even though one judges it to be irrational or unjustified. While there is some debate about whether epistemic akrasia is possible, this paper will assume for the sake of argument that it is in order to consider whether it can be rational. The paper will show that it can. More precisely, cases can arise in which both the belief one judges to be irrational and one’s judgment of it are epistemically rational in (...) the sense that both are supported by sufficient evidence. (shrink)
This is the first chapter to our edited collection of essays on the nature and ethics of blame. In this chapter we introduce the reader to contemporary discussions about blame and its relationship to other issues (e.g. free will and moral responsibility), and we situate the essays in this volume with respect to those discussions.
Ordinarily, we take moral responsibility to come in degrees. Despite this commonplace, theories of moral responsibility have focused on the minimum threshold conditions under which agents are morally responsible. But this cannot account for our practices of holding agents to be more or less responsible. In this paper we remedy this omission. More specifically, we extend an account of reasons-responsiveness due to John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza according to which an agent is morally responsible only if she is appropriately (...) receptive to and reactive to reasons for action. Building on this, we claim that the degree to which an agent is responsible will depend on the degree to which she is able to recognize and react to reasons. To analyze this, we appeal to relations of comparative similarity between possible worlds, arguing that the degree to which an agent is reasons-reactive depends on the nearest possible world in which given sufficient reason to do otherwise, she does so. Similarly, we argue that the degree to which an agent is reasons-receptive will depend on the intelligibility of her patterned recognition of reasons. By extending an account of reasons-responsiveness in these ways, we are able to rationalize our practice of judging people to be more or less responsible. (shrink)
Ross P. Cameron argues that the flow of time is a genuine feature of reality. He suggests that the best version of the A-Theory is a version of the Moving Spotlight view, according to which past and future beings are real, but there is nonetheless an objectively privileged present. Cameron argues that the Moving Spotlight theory should be viewed as having more in common with Presentism than with the B-Theory. Furthermore, it provides the best account of truthmakers for (...) claims about what was or will be the case. Cameron goes on to defend an account of the open future, and argues that this is a better account than that available to the Growing Block theory. (shrink)
Blame is usually discussed in the context of the free will problem, but recently moral philosophers have begun to examine it on its own terms. If, as many suppose, free will is to be understood as the control relevant to moral responsibility, and moral responsibility is to be understood in terms of whether blame is appropriate, then an independent inquiry into the nature and ethics of blame will be essential to solving (and, perhaps, even fully understanding) the free will problem. (...) In this article we first survey and categorize recent accounts of the nature of blame – is it action, belief, emotion, desire, or something else? – and then we look at several proposed requirements on appropriate blame that look beyond the transgressor himself, considerations that will form part of a full account of the ethics of blame. (shrink)
This book is an important study in the philosophy of the mind; drawing on the work of philosopher Wilfrid Sellars and the theory of critical realism to develop a novel argument for understanding perception and metaphysics.
According to the powerful qualities view, properties are both powerful and qualitative. Indeed, on this view the powerfulness of a property is identical to its qualitativity. Proponents claim that this view provides an attractive alternative to both the view that properties are pure powers and the view that they are pure qualities. It remains unclear, however, whether the claimed identity between powerfulness and qualitativity can be made coherent in a way that allows the powerful qualities view to constitute this sort (...) of alternative. I argue here that this can be done, given a particular conception of both the qualitativity and powerfulness of properties. On this conception, a property is qualitative just in the sense that its essence is fixed independently of any distinct properties, and it is powerful just if its essence grounds its dispositional role. (shrink)
Although Peter Strawson’s ‘Freedom and Resentment’ was published over fifty years ago and has been widely discussed, its main argument is still notoriously difficult to pin down. The most common – but in my view, mistaken – interpretation of Strawson’s argument takes him to be providing a ‘relentlessly’ naturalistic framework for our responsibility practices. To rectify this mistake, I offer an alternative interpretation of Strawson’s argument. As I see it, rather than offering a relentlessly naturalistic framework for moral responsibility, Strawson (...) actually develops a transcendental argument, which grounds our moral responsibility practices in the practical perspective of social agents. However, the aims of this essay are not purely interpretative. Strawson’s essay continues to have important implications for a number of issues that arise in the contemporary debates that concern free will and moral responsibility. In particular, it puts significant pressure on moral responsibility sceptics like Derk Pereboom [Living Without Free Will. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001] who think that the truth of moral responsibility scepticism has no worrisome implications for our lives with others. (shrink)