Systems thinking has emerged as a means of conceptualizing and addressing complex public health problems, thereby challenging more commonplace understanding of problems and corresponding solutions as straightforward explanations of cause and effect. Systems thinking tries to address the complexity of problems through qualitative and quantitative modeling based on a variety of systems theories, each with their own assumptions and, more importantly, implicit and unexamined values. To date, however, there has been little engagement between systems scientists and those working in bioethics (...) and public health ethics. The goal of this paper is to begin to consider what it might mean to combine systems thinking with public health ethics to solve public health challenges. We argue that there is a role for ethics in systems thinking in public health as a means of elucidating implicit assumptions and facilitating ethics debate and dialogue with key stakeholders. (shrink)
The contribution of this book to the field of reconciliation is both theoretical and practical, recognizing that good theory guides effective practice and practice is the ground for compelling theory. Using a Girardian hermeneutic as a starting point, a new conceptual Gestalt emerges in these essays, one not fully integrated in a formal way but showing a clear understanding of some of the challenges and possibilities for dealing with the deep divisions, enmity, hatred, and other effects of violence. By situating (...) discourse about reconciliation within the context of Girardian thought, it becomes clear that like Peter who vowed he would never deny Jesus but ended up doing it three times any of us is susceptible to the siren call of angry resentment and retaliation. It is with a profound awareness of the power of violence that the emergence of mimetic discourse around reconciliation takes on particular urgency.". (shrink)
The contribution of this book to the field of reconciliation is both theoretical and practical, recognizing that good theory guides effective practice and practice is the ground for compelling theory. Using a Girardian hermeneutic as a starting point, a new conceptual Gestalt emerges in these essays, one not fully integrated in a formal way but showing a clear understanding of some of the challenges and possibilities for dealing with the deep divisions, enmity, hatred, and other effects of violence.
Schopenhauer argues, strikingly, that it would have been better if life had not come into existence. In this essay I consider this pessimistic judgment from a philosophical perspective. I take on the following three tasks. First, I consider whether such judgments, apparently products of temperament rather than reason, can be the subject of productive philosophical analysis. I argue that they can be, since, importantly, we can separate arguments for such judgments that establish them as plausible from those that do not. (...) Second, I evaluate Schopenhauer’s arguments for pessimism. I argue that although we must reject Schopenhauer’s main argument for pessimism, he has another, more plausible argument for pessimism that hitherto has been neglected by scholars. Finally, I argue that although pessimism can be established as the correct judgment about life in some possible worlds, in our world the question of pessimism or optimism cannot be definitively answered. (shrink)
The argument that cumulative technological culture originates in technical-reasoning skills is not the only alternative to social accounts; another possibility is that accumulation of both technical-reasoning skills and enhanced social skills stemmed from the onset of a more basic cognitive ability such as recursive representational redescription. The paper confuses individual learning of pre-existing information with creative generation of new information.
The papers published in this issue were presented at North American Nietzsche Society (NANS) sessions held in conjunction with the divisional meetings of the American Philosophical Association from the end of 2007 through 2009. I would like to thank Richard Schacht and the other members of the program committee for their continued service to Nietzsche studies, and I thank CameronSmith for invaluable editorial assistance in the production of this issue. The first three papers published here were presented (...) on December 29, 2007 at the Eastern Division Meeting in Baltimore, where NANS held an ‘Author Meets Critics’ session devoted to a discussion of Robert B. Pippin’s Nietzsche, moraliste français: La conception .. (shrink)
Despite the fact that Ayn Rand did not influence the best artists, she did leave an important legacy for the American imagination and literary establishment. Rand's influence is arguably more multi-genre than any other author. Some multi-genre authors who were possibly influenced by Rand include: John Steinbeck (literature), Mickey Spillane and Ian Fleming (detective fiction), Ira Levin, Cameron Hawley, Erika Holzer and Kay Nolte Smith (popular fiction) and Terry Goodkind (science fiction). Her influence represents an important balance between (...) many various types of American Literature and is a credit to the hybrid and versatile nature of her fiction. (shrink)
Maynard Smith is right that one of the most striking features of contemporary biology is the ever-increasing prominence of the concept of information, along with related concepts like representation, programming, and coding. Maynard Smith is also right that this is surely a phenomenon which philosophers of science should examine closely. We should try to understand exactly what sorts of theoretical commitment are made when biological systems are described in these terms, and what connection there is between semantic descriptions (...) in biology and in other domains. (shrink)
Preface Introduction Christopher J. Berry: Adam Smith: Outline of Life, Times, and Legacy Part One: Adam Smith: Heritage and Contemporaries 1: Nicholas Phillipson: Adam Smith: A Biographer's Reflections 2: Leonidas Montes: Newtonianism and Adam Smith 3: Dennis C. Rasmussen: Adam Smith and Rousseau: Enlightenment and counter-Enlightenment 4: Christopher J. Berry: Adam Smith and Early Modern Thought Part Two: Adam Smith on Language, Art and Culture 5: Catherine Labio: Adam Smith's Aesthetics 6: James (...) Chandler: Adam Smith as Critic 7: Michael C. Amrozowicz: Adam Smith: History and Poetics 8: C. Jan Swearingen: Adam Smith on Language and Rhetoric: The Ethics of Style, Character, and Propriety Part Three: Adam Smith and Moral Philosophy 9: Christel Fricke: Adam Smith: The Sympathetic Process and the Origin and Function of Conscience 10: Duncan Kelly: Adam Smith and the Limits of Sympathy 11: Ryan Patrick Hanley: Adam Smith and Virtue 12: Eugene Heath: Adam Smith and Self-Interest Part Four: Adam Smith and Economics 13: Tony Aspromourgos: Adam Smith on Labour and Capital 14: Nerio Naldi: Adam Smith on Value and Prices 15: Hugh Rockoff: Adam Smith on Money, Banking, and the Price Level 16: Maria Pia Paganelli: Commercial Relations: from Adam Smith to Field Experiments Part Five: Adam Smith on History and Politics 17: Spiros Tegos: Adam Smith: Theorist of Corruption 18: David M. Levy & Sandra J. Peart: Adam Smith and the State: Language and Reform 19: Fabrizio Simon: Adam Smith and the Law 20: Edwin van de Haar: Adam Smith on Empire and International Relations Part Six: Adam Smith on Social Relations 21: Richard Boyd: Adam Smith, Civility, and Civil Society 22: Gavin Kennedy: Adam Smith on Religion 23: Samuel Fleischacker: Adam Smith and Equality 24: Maureen Harkin: Adam Smith and Women Part Seven; Adam Smith: Legacy and Influence 25: Spencer J. Pack: Adam Smith and Marx 26: Craig Smith: Adam Smith and the New Right 27: Tom Campbell: Adam Smith: Methods, Morals and Markets 28: Amartya Sen: The Contemporary Relevance of Adam Smith. (shrink)
This paper provides a critical overview of recent work on epistemic blame. The paper identifies key features of the concept of epistemic blame and discusses two ways of motivating the importance of this concept. Four different approaches to the nature of epistemic blame are examined. Central issues surrounding the ethics and value of epistemic blame are identified and briefly explored. In addition to providing an overview of the state of the art of this growing but controversial field, the paper highlights (...) areas where future work is needed. (shrink)
This thoughtful new abridgment is enriched by the brilliant commentary which accompanies it. In it, Laurence Dickey argues that the _Wealth of Nations_ contains--and conceals--a great deal of how Smith actually thought a commercial society works. Guided by his conviction that the so-called Adam Smith Problem--the relationship between ethics and economics in Smith's thinking--is a core element in the argument of the work itself, Dickey's commentary focuses on the devices Smith uses to ground his economics in (...) broadly ethical and social categories. An unparalleled guide to an often difficult and perplexing work. (shrink)
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.
Is there a distinctively epistemic kind of blame? It has become commonplace for epistemologists to talk about epistemic blame, and to rely on this notion for theoretical purposes. But not everyone is convinced. Some of the most compelling reasons for skepticism about epistemic blame focus on disanologies, or asymmetries, between the moral and epistemic domains. In this paper, I defend the idea that there is a distinctively epistemic kind of blame. I do so primarily by developing an account of the (...) nature of epistemic blame. My account draws on a prominent line of theorizing in moral philosophy that ties blame to our relationships with one another. I argue that with my account of epistemic blame on hand, the most compelling worries about epistemic blame can be deflated. There is a distinctively epistemic kind of blame. (shrink)
The theory of Gestalt qualities arose from the attempt to explain how a melody is distinct from the collection of the tones which it comprehends. In this essay from 1890 Christian von Ehrenfels coined the term 'Gestaltqualität' to capture the idea of a pattern which is comprehensible in a single experience. This idea can be applied not only to melodies and other occurrent patterns, but also to continuant patterns such as shapes and colour arrays such as the array of a (...) chess board. Ehrenfel's essay gave birth to the Gestalt movement in psychology. (shrink)
The chapter develops a taxonomy of views about the epistemic responsibilities of citizens in a democracy. Prominent approaches to epistemic democracy, epistocracy, epistemic libertarianism, and pure proceduralism are examined through the lens of this taxonomy. The primary aim is to explore options for developing an account of the epistemic responsibilities of citizens in a democracy. The chapter also argues that a number of recent attacks on democracy may not adequately register the availability of a minimal approach to the epistemic responsibilities (...) of citizens in a democracy. (shrink)
In Christ Meets Me Everywhere, Michael Cameron argues that Augustine wanted to train readers of Scripture to transpose themselves into the texts in the same way he did, by the same process of figuration that he found at its core. Tracking Augustine's developing practice of self-transposition into the figures of the biblical texts over the course of his entire career, Cameron shows that this practice is the key to Augustine's hermeneutics.
One challenge in developing an account of the nature of epistemic blame is to explain what differentiates epistemic blame from mere negative epistemic evaluation. The challenge is to explain the difference, without invoking practices or behaviors that seem out of place in the epistemic domain. In this paper, I examine whether the most sophisticated recent account of the nature of epistemic blame—due to Jessica Brown—is up for the challenge. I argue that the account ultimately falls short, but does so in (...) an instructive way. Drawing on the lessons learned, I put forward an alternative approach to the nature of epistemic blame. My account understands epistemic blame in terms of modifications to the intentions and expectations that comprise our “epistemic relationships” with one another. This approach has a number of attractions shared by Brown’s account, but it can also explain the significance of epistemic blame. (shrink)
The paper critically examines recent work on justifications and excuses in epistemology. I start with a discussion of Gerken’s claim that the “excuse maneuver” is ad hoc. Recent work from Timothy Williamson and Clayton Littlejohn provides resources to advance the debate. Focusing in particular on a key insight in Williamson’s view, I then consider an additional worry for the so-called excuse maneuver. I call it the “excuses are not enough” objection. Dealing with this objection generates pressure in two directions: one (...) is to show that excuses are a positive enough normative standing to help certain externalists with important cases; the other is to do so in a way that does not lead back to Gerken’s objection. I show how a Williamson-inspired framework is flexible enough to deal with both sources of pressure. Perhaps surprisingly, I draw on recent virtue epistemology. (shrink)
ABSTRACT:Deliberative democratic theory, commonly used to explore questions of “political” corporate social responsibility, has become prominent in the literature. This theory has been challenged previously for being overly sanguine about firm profit imperatives, but left unexamined is whether corporate contexts are appropriate contexts for deliberative theory in the first place. We explore this question using the case of Starbucks’ “Race Together” campaign to show that significant challenges exist to corporate deliberation, even in cases featuring genuinely committed firms. We return to (...) the underlying social theory to show that this is not an isolated case: for-profit firms are predictably hostile contexts for deliberation, and significant normative and strategic problems can be expected should deliberative theory be imported uncritically to corporate contexts. We close with recent advances in deliberative democratic theory that might help update the PCSR project, and accommodate the application of deliberation to the corporate context, albeit with significant alterations. (shrink)
When Adam Smith published his celebrated writings on economics and moral philosophy he famously referred to the operation of an invisible hand. Adam Smith's Political Philosophy makes visible the invisible hand by examining its significance in Smith's political philosophy and relating it to similar concepts used by other philosophers, revealing a distinctive approach to social theory that stresses the significance of the unintended consequences of human action. This book introduces greater conceptual clarity to the discussion of the (...) invisible hand and the related concept of unintended order in the work of Smith and in political theory more generally. By examining the application of spontaneous order ideas in the work of Smith, Hume, Hayek and Popper, Adam Smith's Political Philosophy traces similarities in approach and from these builds a conceptual, composite model of an invisible hand argument. While setting out a clear model of the idea of spontaneous order the book also builds the case for using the idea of spontaneous order as an explanatory social theory, with chapters on its application in the fields of science, moral philosophy, law and government. (shrink)
This edition of John M. Lothian’s transcription of an almost complete set of a student’s notes on Smith’s lectures given at the University of Glasgow in 1762–63 brings back into print not only an important discovery but a valuable contribution to eighteenth-century rhetorical theory.
We all think that science is special. Its products—its technological spin-off—dominate our lives which are thereby sometimes enriched and sometimes impoverished but always affected. Even the most outlandish critics of science such as Feyerabend implicitly recognize its success. Feyerabend told us that science was a congame. Scientists had so successfully hood-winked us into adopting its ideology that other equally legitimate forms of activity—alchemy, witchcraft and magic—lost out. He conjured up a vision of much enriched lives if only we could free (...) ourselves from the domination of the ‘one true ideology’ of science just as our ancestors freed us from the domination of the Church. But he told us these things in Switzerland and in California happily commuting between them in that most ubiquitous product of science—the aeroplane. (shrink)
In this stimulating introduction, David Woodruff Smith introduces the whole of Husserl’s thought, demonstrating his influence on philosophy of mind and language, on ontology and epistemology, and on philosophy of logic, mathematics and science. Starting with an overview of his life and works, and his place in twentieth-century philosophy, and in western philosophy as a whole, David Woodruff Smith introduces Husserl’s concept of phenomenology, explaining his influential theories of intentionality, objectivity and subjectivity. In subsequent chapters he covers Husserl’s (...) logic, metaphysics, realism and transcendental idealism, and epistemology. Finally, he assesses the significance and implications of Husserl’s work for contemporary philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Including a timeline, glossary and extensive suggestions for further reading, _Husserl_ is essential reading for anyone interested in this eminent philosopher, phenomenology or twentieth-century philosophy. (shrink)
Distinguishing between excuses and exemptions advances our understanding of a standard range of problem cases in debates about epistemic norms. But it leaves open a problem of accounting for blameless norm violation in ‘prospective agents’. By shifting focus in our theory of excuses from rational excellence to norms governing the dispositions of agents, we can account for a fuller range of normative phenomena at play in debates about epistemic norms.
Twentieth century philosophers introduced the distinction between “objective rightness” and “subjective rightness” to achieve two primary goals. The first goal is to reduce the paradoxical tension between our judgments of what is best for an agent to do in light of the actual circumstances in which she acts and what is wisest for her to do in light of her mistaken or uncertain beliefs about her circumstances. The second goal is to provide moral guidance to an agent who may be (...) uncertain about the circumstances in which she acts, and hence is unable to use her standard moral principle directly in deciding what to do. This paper distinguishes two important senses of “moral guidance”; proposes criteria of adequacy for accounts of subjective rightness; canvasses existing definitions for “subjective rightness”; finds them all deficient; and proposes a new and more successful account. It argues that each comprehensive moral theory must include multiple principles of subjective rightness to address the epistemic situations of the full range of moral decision-makers, and shows that accounts of subjective rightness formulated in terms of what it would reasonable for the agent to believe cannot provide that guidance. (shrink)
There is an undercurrent to be detected in Anselm's record of the meditative experience that issued in the Ontological Argument and, although it points to a profound and perennial problem in the interpretation of religion, this undercurrent has been largely ignored. The Argument, as is well known, moves entirely within the medium of reflective meaning focused on the idea of God and, unlike the cosmological arguments of later theologians, it makes no appeal whatever to a principle of causality or to (...) the discovery of a sufficient reason for finite existence. Anselm seems to have had his own sense of what one may call the unadulterated rationalism of the Argument when, in his own words, he wondered, ‘if perhaps it might be possible to find one single argument that for its proof required no other save itself, and that by itself would suffice to prove that God really exists’. Here we are entirely within that inner chamber of the mind so dear to the Augustinian tradition, a mind from which one is to exclude all thought save that of God. The task of the one who reflects is to penetrate the inner meaning of this thought in order to discover what it implies beyond what is evident on the surface. With such an eminently rational or logical aim occupying the centre of attention, it is quite understandable that the presence of another, and quite opposed, concern should have been overlooked - Anselm's concern, namely, to transcend, as it were, the medium of thought itself, and enter into the presence of God. The reason that this concern introduces a tension in the search for a proof is that the realization of presence would seem to render proof superfluous, while the inference in an argument - especially one moving towards existence – inevitably suggests, in some sense and to some degree, the absence of what is sought for. (shrink)
Some decades ago in his intriguing book on Jonathan Edwards, Perry Miller used to great effect the device of supposing a two-fold biography of Edwards, an external one consisting of the historical record embracing the major events of his life and times, and an internal one aimed at an interpretation of the mind of Edwards and the development of his thought.
A plausible condition on having the standing to blame someone is that the target of blame's wrongdoing must in some sense be your “business”—the wrong must in some sense harm or affect you, or others close to you. This is known as the business condition on standing to blame. Many cases of epistemic blame discussed in the literature do not obviously involve examples of someone harming or affecting another. As such, not enough has been said about how an individual's epistemic (...) failing can really count as another person's business. In this paper, I deploy a relationship-based account of epistemic blame to clarify the conditions under which the business condition can be met in the epistemic domain. The basic idea is that one person's epistemic failing can be another's business in virtue of the way it impairs their epistemic relationship. (shrink)
There is a distinction between merely having the right belief, and further basing that belief on the right reasons. Any adequate epistemology needs to be able to accommodate the basing relation that marks this distinction. However, trouble arises for Bayesianism. I argue that when we combine Bayesianism with the standard approaches to the basing relation, we get the result that no agent forms their credences in the right way; indeed, no agent even gets close. This is a serious problem, for (...) it prevents us from making epistemic distinctions between agents that are doing a reasonably good job at forming their credences and those that are forming them in clearly bad ways. I argue that if this result holds, then we have a problem for Bayesianism. However, I show how the Bayesian can avoid this problem by rejecting the standard approaches to the basing relation. By drawing on recent work on the basing relation, we can develop an account of the relation that allows us to avoid the result that no agent comes close to forming their credences in the right way. The Bayesian can successfully accommodate the basing relation. (shrink)
Governing Animals explores the role of the liberal state in protecting animal welfare. Examining liberal concepts such as the social contract, property rights, and representation, Kimberly K. Smith argues that liberalism properly understood can recognize the moral status and social meaning of animals and provides guidance in fashioning animal policy.