This paper will argue for a conception of intrinsic value which, it is hoped, will do justice to the following issues: that Nature need not and should not be understood to refer only to what exists on this planet, Earth; that an environmental ethics informed by features unique to Earth may be misleading and prove inadequate as technology increasingly threatens to invade and colonize other planets in the solar system; that a comprehensive environmental ethics must encompass not only our attitude (...) to Earth, but to other planets as well—in other words, it must not simply be an Earthbound but virtually an astronomically bounded ethics. (shrink)
The following brief memoir of Wittgenstein needs a few preliminary words of explanation. Among those who attended his lectures and discussions in the years it covers was D. G. James, who later became Professor of English at Bristol University and then Vice-Chancellor of Southampton University. I met him both in Bristol and Southampton, and on one occasion suggested to him that some of us who had known Wittgenstein, but who had not become professional philosophers, might write down our recollections of (...) him, and that he and I should start. What prompted the suggestion was, I think, the publication of Norman Malcolm's book, and a feeling that the non-professionals might have something to contribute to the assessment of Wittgenstein, particularly as a person. I wrote a preliminary draft and sent it to James; but he never responded, there was much else to do, I let the matter rest, and now James is dead. I wrote in about the year 1960 on holiday and away from any books of reference and from my own notes of Wittgenstein's lectures and conversations. I have shown the typescript to a few interested people, but because of its preliminary and unfinished nature have not previously thought of publication. It has recently been suggested to me that it might be of more general interest, and I publish it now as it was written, with one or two trifling alterations. I am well aware of its limitations. It was intended to give an impression of Wittgenstein as a person rather than as a philosopher, and the rather miscellaneous collection of remarks in section 3 have that in view rather than any more strictly ‘philosophical’ intention. Others may well question some of the detail and disagree with some of the opinions expressed. And there are some things which I might put rather differently today. But if the memoir has any interest it is best left as it was written. (shrink)
Profoundly important ethical and political controversies turn on the question of whether biological life is an essential aspect of a human person, or only an extrinsic instrument. Lee and George argue that human beings are physical, animal organisms - albeit essentially rational and free - and examine the implications of this understanding of human beings for some of the most controversial issues in contemporary ethics and politics. The authors argue that human beings are animal organisms and that their personal identity (...) across time consists in the persistence of the animal organisms they are; they also argue that human beings are essentially rational and free and that there is a radical difference between human beings and other animals; criticize hedonism and hedonistic drug-taking; present detailed defenses of the prolife positions on abortion and euthanasia; and defend the traditional moral position on marriage and sexual acts. (shrink)
Recent studies of peacebuilding highlight the importance of attending to people’s local experiences of conflict and cooperation. This trend, however, raises the fundamental questions of how the local is and should be constituted and what the relationship is between institutions and individual actors of peace at the local level of politics. I turn to Hannah Arendt’s thoughts to address these issues. Arendt’s thinking provides a distinctive form of realism that calls for stable institutions but never depletes the spirit of resistance. (...) Peacebuilding guided by this insight seeks to enable parties in conflict to voice their competing opinions by acting agonistically in public and to help them align their disruptive yet creative voices with a desire to establish and sustain common institutions. Thus, Arendt’s thinking not only offers a way to increase sensitivity to local differences but also to provide direction to the politics of resistance. In the end, it offers a balanced insight into peacebuilding and local agency beyond the contemporary liberal and critical approaches to peace. (shrink)
At a time when the analytic/continental split dominates contemporary philosophy, this ambitious work offers a careful and clear-minded way to bridge that divide. Combining conceptual rigor and clarity of prose with historical erudition, A Thing of This World shows how one of the standard issues of analytic philosophy—realism and anti-realism—has also been at the heart of continental philosophy. Using a framework derived from prominent analytic thinkers, Lee Braver traces the roots of anti-realism to Kant's idea that the mind actively organizes (...) experience. He then shows in depth and in detail how this idea evolves through the works of Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, and Derrida. This narrative presents an illuminating account of the history of continental philosophy by explaining how these thinkers build on each other's attempts to develop new concepts of reality and truth in the wake of the rejection of realism. Braver demonstrates that the analytic and continental traditions have been discussing the same issues, albeit with different vocabularies, interests, and approaches. By developing a commensurate vocabulary, his book promotes a dialogue between the two branches of philosophy in which each can begin to learn from the other. (shrink)
Ludwig Wittgenstein and Martin Heidegger are two of the most important--and two of the most difficult--philosophers of the twentieth century, indelibly influencing the course of continental and analytic philosophy, respectively. In _ Groundless Grounds_, Lee Braver argues that the views of both thinkers emerge from a fundamental attempt to create a philosophy that has dispensed with everything transcendent so that we may be satisfied with the human. Examining the central topics of their thought in detail, Braver finds that Wittgenstein and (...) Heidegger construct a philosophy based on _original_ _finitude_--finitude without the contrast of the infinite. In Braver's elegant analysis, these two difficult bodies of work offer mutual illumination rather than compounded obscurity. Moreover, bringing the most influential thinkers in continental and analytic philosophy into dialogue with each other may enable broader conversations between these two divergent branches of philosophy. Braver's meticulously researched and strongly argued account shows that both Wittgenstein and Heidegger strive to construct a new conception of reason, free of the illusions of the past and appropriate to the kind of beings that we are. Readers interested in either philosopher, or concerned more generally with the history of twentieth-century philosophy as well as questions of the nature of reason, will find _Groundless Grounds _of interest. (shrink)
In this article I describe the development of my collaboration with the textile artist Susie Freeman in the production of the visual arts project Pharmacopoeia. Over the last 3 years we have created a body of work that aims to provide information about common medical treatments in a way that engages the public imagination. The work is dominated by the use of active pharmaceuticals, both pills and capsules, which are incorporated into dramatic fabrics by a process known as pocket knitting. (...) These fabrics are then made into clothing and accessories, making their individual messages easier to ‘read’. The work aims to encourage people to think about their own medical and pharmacological history, and to reflect on their relationship with commonly prescribed drugs. It also reveals how dependent our society is on pharmaceuticals, how ambivalent we feel about them and yet how casually we use them. (shrink)
Are a material object, such as a statue, and its constituting matter, the clay, parts of one another? One wouldn't have thought so, and yet a number of philosophers have argued that they are. I review the arguments for this surprising claim showing how they all fail. I then consider two arguments against the view concluding that there are both pre-theoretical and theoretical considerations for denying that the statue and the clay are mutual parts.
Are counterfactuals with true antecedents and consequents automatically true? That is, is Conjunction Conditionalization: if (X & Y), then (X > Y) valid? Stalnaker and Lewis think so, but many others disagree. We note here that the extant arguments for Conjunction Conditionalization are unpersuasive, before presenting a family of more compelling arguments. These arguments rely on some standard theorems of the logic of counterfactuals as well as a plausible and popular semantic claim about certain semifactuals. Denying Conjunction Conditionalization, then, requires (...) rejecting other aspects of the standard logic of counterfactuals, or else our intuitive picture of semifactuals. (shrink)
I sketch here an intuitive picture of repeatable artworks as created types, which are individuated in part by historical paths (re)production. Although attractive, this view has been rejected by a number of authors on the basis of general claims about abstract objects. On consideration, however, these general claims are overgeneralizations, which whilst true of some abstracta, are not true of all abstract objects, and in particular, are not true of created types. The intuitive picture of repeatable artworks as created types (...) is, then, left in place. (shrink)
Is A & C sufficient for the truth of ‘if A were the case, C would be the case’? Jonathan Bennett thinks not, although the counterexample he gives is inconsistent with his own account of counterfactuals. In any case, I argue that anyone who accepts the case of Morgenbesser's coin, as Bennett does, should reject Bennett’s counterexample. Moreover, I show that the principle underlying his counterexample is unmotivated and indeed false. More generally, I argue that Morgenbesser’s coin commits us to (...) the sufficiency of A & C for the truth of the corresponding counterfactual. (shrink)
I present and discuss a counterexample to Kendall Walton's necessary condition for fictionality that arises from considering serial fictions. I argue that although Walton has not in fact provided a necessary condition for fictionality, a more complex version of Walton's condition is immune from the counterexample.
Relativism, the position that things are for each as they seem to each, was first formulated in Western philosophy by Protagoras, the 5th century BC Greek orator and teacher. Mi-Kyoung Lee focuses on the challenge to the possibility of expert knowledge posed by Protagoras, together with responses by the three most important philosophers of the next generation, Plato, Aristotle, and Democritus. In his book Truth, Protagoras made vivid use of two provocative but imperfectly spelled out ideas: first, that we are (...) all "measures" of the truth and that we are each already capable of determining how things are for ourselves, since the senses are our best and most credible guides to the truth; second, given that things appear differently to different people, there is no basis on which to decide that one appearance is true rather than the other. Plato developed these ideas into a more fully worked-out theory, which he then subjected to refutation in the Theaetetus. Aristotle argued that Protagoras' ideas lead to skepticism in Metaphysics Book G, a chapter which reflects awareness of Plato's reaction in the Theaetetus. And finally Democritus incorporated modified Protagorean ideas and arguments into his theory of knowledge and perception. There have been many important recent studies of these thinkers in isolation. However, there has been no attempt to tell a single, coherent story about how Democritus, Plato, and Aristotle responded to Protagoras' striking claim, and to its perceived implications about knowledge, perception, and truth. By studying these four figures in relation to each other, we arrive at a better understanding of an important chapter in the development of Greek epistemology. (shrink)
The debate over Hypothetical Syllogism is locked in stalemate. Although putative natural language counterexamples to Hypothetical Syllogism abound, many philosophers defend Hypothetical Syllogism, arguing that the alleged counterexamples involve an illicit shift in context. The proper lesson to draw from the putative counterexamples, they argue, is that natural language conditionals are context-sensitive conditionals which obey Hypothetical Syllogism. In order to make progress on the issue, I consider and improve upon Morreau’s proof of the invalidity of Hypothetical Syllogism. The improved proof (...) relies upon the semantic claim that conditionals with antecedents irrelevant to the obtaining of an already true consequent are themselves true. Moreover, this semantic insight allows us to provide compelling counterexamples to Hypothetical Syllogism that are resistant to the usual contextualist response. (shrink)
Bartky draws on the experience of daily life to unmask the many disguises by which intimations of inferiority are visited upon women. She critiques both the male bias of current theory and the debilitating dominion held by notions of "proper femininity" over women and their bodies in patriarchal culture.
Throughout history, humans have always indulged in certain irrationalities and held some fairly wrong-headed beliefs. But in his newest book, philosopher Lee McIntyre shows how we've now reached a watershed moment for ignorance in the modern era, due to the volume of misinformation, the speed with which it can be digitally disseminated, and the savvy exploitation of our cognitive weaknesses by those who wish to advance their ideological agendas. In _Respecting Truth: Willful Ignorance in the Internet Age_, McIntyre issues a (...) call to fight back against this slide into the witless abyss. In the tradition of Galileo, the author champions the importance of using tested scientific methods for arriving at true beliefs, and shows how our future survival is dependent on a more widespread, reasonable world. (shrink)
For Hannah Arendt, the federal system is an effective mode of organizing different sources of power while avoiding sovereign politics. This article aims to contribute two specific claims to the burgeoning scholarship on Arendt’s international federalism. First, Arendt’s international thought calls for the balancing of two demands: the domestic need for human greatness and flourishing, and the international demand for regulation and cooperation. Second, her reflections on council-based federalism offer a nuanced position that views the dual elements of equality in (...) politics (intra-state and inter-state equality) as neither contradictory nor reconciliatory but rather as ideal types along a continuum. This study shows that, through the unique form of federalism emphasizing the need to balance two demands of free politics with a clear acknowledgement of its precariousness, Arendt’s thinking adds much-needed sensitivity to international discourse. (shrink)
Moti Mizrahi (2013) presents some novel counterexamples to Hypothetical Syllogism (HS) for indicative conditionals. I show that they are not compelling as they neglect the complicated ways in which conditionals and modals interact. I then briefly outline why HS should nevertheless be rejected.
The standard semantics for counterfactuals ensures that any counterfactual with a true antecedent and true consequent is itself true. There have been many recent attempts to amend the standard semantics to avoid this result. I show that these proposals invalidate a number of further principles of the standard logic of counterfactuals. The case against the automatic truth of counterfactuals with true components does not extend to these further principles, however, so it is not clear that rejecting the latter should be (...) a consequence of rejecting the former. Instead I consider how one might defuse putative counterexamples to the truth of true-true counterfactuals. (shrink)
Are the circumstances in which moral testimony serves as evidence that our judgement-forming processes are unreliable the same circumstances in which mundane testimony serves as evidence that our mundane judgement-forming processes are unreliable? In answering this question, we distinguish two possible roles for testimony: (i) providing a legitimate basis for a judgement, (ii) providing (‘higher-order’) evidence that a judgement-forming process is unreliable. We explore the possibilities for a view according to which moral testimony does not, in contrast to mundane testimony (...) play role (i), but can play role (ii). We argue that standard motivations for rejecting this hybrid position are unpersuasive but suggest that a more compelling reason might be found in considering the social nature of morality. (shrink)
Exploring the intimate tie between body movement and space and time, Lee begins with the position that body movement generates space and time and explores the ethical implications of this responsibility for the situations one’s body movements generate. Whiteness theory has come to recognize the ethical responsibility for situations not of one’s own making and hence accountability for the results of more than one’s immediate personal conscious decisions. Because of our specific history, whites have developed a particular embodiment and body (...) movement that generates places that can only be characterized as more comfortable and more enabling to whites. (shrink)
In recent years, the ‘mechanistic view’ has developed as a popular alternative to the ‘semantic view’ concerning the identity of physical computation. However, semanticists have provided powerful arguments that suggest the mechanistic view fails to deliver essential distinctions between paradigmatic computational operations. This article reviews responses on behalf of the mechanist and uses this opportunity to propose a type of pluralism about computational identity. This pluralism contends that there are multiple ‘levels’ of properties and relations pertaining to computation that can (...) inform different kinds of individuation. As such, for the pluralist, there are multiple legitimate ways of classifying computation, depending on the nature of the system in question, and one’s own epistemic priorities. (shrink)
This paper presents a critical appraisal of the recent turn in comparative religious ethics to virtue theory; it argues that the specific aspirations of virtue ethicists to make ethics more contextual, interdisciplinary, and practice-centered has in large measure failed to match the rhetoric. I suggest that the focus on the category of the human and practices associated with self-formation along with a methodology grounded in “analogical imagination” has actually poeticized the subject matter into highly abstract textual studies on normative voices (...) within traditions, largely in isolation from considerations of socio-historical context, political and institutional pressures, and the lived ethics of non-elite moral actors. I conclude with some programmatic suggestions for how the field of comparative religious ethics can move forward. (shrink)
Public health ethics is a nascent field, emerging over the past decade as an applied field merging concepts of clinical and research ethics. Because the “patient” in public health is the population rather than the individual, existing principles might be weighted differently, or there might be different ethical principles to consider. This paper reviewed the evolution of public health ethics, the use of bioethics as its model, and the proposed frameworks for public health ethics through 2010. Review of 13 major (...) public health ethics frameworks published over the past 15 years yields a wide variety of theoretical approaches, some similar foundational values, and a few similar operating principles. Coming to a consensus on the reach, purpose, and ends of public health is necessary if we are to agree on what ethical underpinnings drive us, what foundational values bring us to these underpinnings, and what operating principles practitioners must implement to make ethical decisions. If public health is distinct enough from clinical medicine to warrant its own set of ethical and philosophical underpinnings, then a decision must be made as to whether a single approach is warranted or we can tolerate a variety of equal but different perspectives. (shrink)
The Moral Media provides readers with preliminary answers to questions about ethical thinking in a professional environment. Representing one of the first publications of journalists' and advertising practitioners' response to the Defining Issues Test (DIT), this book compares thinking about ethics by these two groups with the thinking of other professionals. This text is divided into three parts: *Part I includes chapters that explain the DIT and place it within the larger history of three fields: psychology, philosophy, and mass communication. (...) It also provides both a statistical (quantitative) and narrative (qualitative) analysis of journalists' responses to the DIT. *Part II adds to scholarship theory building in these three disciplines and makes changes in the DIT that adds an element of visual information processing to the test. *Part III explores the larger meaning of this effort overall and links the results to theory and practice in these three fields. The Moral Media pursues connections among various intellectual disciplines, between the academy and the profession of journalism, and among those who believe that what journalists do is essential. As a result, this book is appropriate for aspiring journalists; scholars in journalism and mass communication; psychologists, particularly those interested in human development and behavior; and philosophers. (shrink)
What are the ethical principles underpinning the idea of a just war and how should they be adapted to changing social and military circumstances? In this book, Steven P. Lee presents the basic principles of just war theory, showing how they evolved historically and how they are applied today in global relations. He examines the role of state sovereignty and individual human rights in the moral foundations of just war theory and discusses a wide range of topics including humanitarian intervention, (...) preventive war, the moral status of civilians and enemy combatants, civil war and terrorism. He shows how just war theory relates to both pacifism and realism. Finally, he considers the future of war and the prospects for its obsolescence. His clear and wide-ranging discussion, richly illustrated with examples, will be invaluable for students and other readers interested in the ethical challenges posed by the changing nature of war. (shrink)
For over 100 years, the field of contemporary public health has existed to improve the health of communities and populations. As public health practitioners conduct their work – be it focused on preventing transmission of infectious diseases, or prevention of injury, or prevention of and cures for chronic conditions – ethical dimensions arise. Borrowing heavily from the ethical tools developed for research ethics and bioethics, the nascent field of public health ethics soon began to feel the limits of the clinical (...) model and began creating different frameworks to guide its ethical challenges. Several public health ethics frameworks have been introduced since the late 1990s, ranging from extensions of principle-based models to human rights and social justice perspectives to those based on political philosophy. None has coalesced as the framework of choice in the discipline of public health. This paper examines several of the most-known frameworks of public health ethics for their common theoretical underpinnings and values, and suggests next steps toward the formulation of a single framework. (shrink)
The ' argument from queerness', made famous by J. L. Mackie, remains one of the most influential arguments in metaethics. However, many philosophers focus on just one or two of its strands, while others assume a particular but by no means universal reading of it. This essay attempts to disentangle and evaluate all strands of the argument. Surprisingly, when this is done, not much is left as a distinct argument from queerness. Much of the argument collapses into other types of (...) argument, and what is left, though intuitively appealing, is not viable as philosophical argument. (shrink)
Moral luck, until recently, has been understood either explicitly or implicitly through using a lack of control account of luck. For example, a case of resultant moral luck is a case where an agent is morally blameworthy or more morally blameworthy or praiseworthy for an outcome despite that outcome being significantly beyond that agent's control . Due to a shift in understanding the concept of luck itself in terms of modal robustness, however, other accounts of moral luck have surfaced. Both (...) Duncan Pritchard and Julia Driver have offered an alternative way of understanding moral luck by employing versions of a modal account of luck. This essay considers some problems with these accounts and attempts to resolve them. (shrink)
In 2011 the Journal of Moral Education (JME) celebrated its 40th anniversary of publication. It seemed appropriate to examine and reflect on the JME?s achievements by reviewing its evolution and contribution to the emerging field of moral education and development. Moral education trends, as reflected in the 945 articles published in JME from 1971 to 2011, were investigated by content analysis. The research objectives were: to discover the trends in moral education as represented by published articles and special issues (by (...) analysis of disciplinary approaches, key topics, research methodologies and age-related educational levels) and to examine the international and gender-related development of the journal and the influence of its contributors (by analysis of first authors and editorial board members). The findings identify important concerns, key research topics and neglected areas in moral education and development. Analysis offers an insight into the contribution of JME as the main international interdisciplinary journal in this field, to the history of moral education, to theory and practice and in the changing socio-cultural contexts of the past 40 years. Discussion of the findings is offered, limitations are acknowledged and implications for future directions for the journal considered. (shrink)
A new ensemble interpretation of quantum mechanics is proposed according to which the ensemble associated to a quantum state really exists: it is the ensemble of all the systems in the same quantum state in the universe. Individual systems within the ensemble have microscopic states, described by beables. The probabilities of quantum theory turn out to be just ordinary relative frequencies probabilities in these ensembles. Laws for the evolution of the beables of individual systems are given such that their ensemble (...) relative frequencies evolve in a way that reproduces the predictions of quantum mechanics.These laws are highly non-local and involve a new kind of interaction between the members of an ensemble that define a quantum state. These include a stochastic process by which individual systems copy the beables of other systems in the ensembles of which they are a member. The probabilities for these copy processes do not depend on where the systems are in space, but do depend on the distribution of beables in the ensemble.Macroscopic systems then are distinguished by being large and complex enough that they have no copies in the universe. They then cannot evolve by the copy law, and hence do not evolve stochastically according to quantum dynamics. This implies novel departures from quantum mechanics for systems in quantum states that can be expected to have few copies in the universe. At the same time, we are able to argue that the center of masses of large macroscopic systems do satisfy Newton’s laws. (shrink)
According to the truth-conduciveness problem of coherentism, the coherence theory of justification can hardly show that coherentist justification is truth-conducive. This problem is generally conceived as the most recalcitrant problem with the coherence theory. The purpose of this paper is to show that it does not pose a serious problem for a certain version of coherentism, namely a Sellarsian explanatory coherence theory of justification combined with the deflationary theory of truth. On this version of coherentism, our epistemic goal is to (...) gradually improve our conceptual framework so as to maximize its explanatory coherence, and there is no substantial norm of truth independent of the norms of justification, so that we cannot evaluate the truth-conduciveness of a belief independently of the norms of justification. I argue that this version of coherentism can cope with the truth-conduciveness problem. (shrink)
This book explains the importance of embodiment in understanding the function of race. With chapters by expert contributors and coverage of the most recent thinking in philosophy of race, the book is ideal for upper-level students in Phenomenology, Philosophy of Race and Critical Race Theory.
The standard versions of predicativism are committed to the following two theses: proper names are count nouns in all their occurrences, and names do not refer to objects but express name-bearing properties. The main motivation for predicativism is to provide a uniform explanation of referential names and predicative names. According to predicativism, predicative names are fundamental and referential names are explained by appealing to a null determiner functioning like “the” or “that.” This paper has two goals. The first is to (...) reject the predicativists’ explanation of the two types of names. I present three syntactic counterexamples to the predicativists’ account of referential names: incorporation, modification, and measure phrase uses. The second goal is to present a novel strategy to explain the two types of names. I propose that referential names are fundamental but that there are null morphemes available for transforming a name into a count noun. (shrink)
War, Richard Norman reminds us, is treated as the great exception to the strong moral prohibition against the killing of other humans. Despite the widespread belief that war is, in many cases, permissible, its morally exceptional character suggests that there is a strong presumption against its permissibility. Norman argues that this presumption cannot be successfully rebutted and, in particular, that just-war theory, which attempts to provide such a rebuttal, fails in this endeavor. But Norman’s work is more than a critique (...) of just-war theory. He also takes up the more general task of demonstrating the basis of the moral presumption against war, that is, the basis and the nature of the prohibition against killing. This is a necessary preliminary, for only when we understand the prohibition can we adequately address the question whether the presumption against war that it establishes can be sustained. Norman provides interesting and subtle arguments concerning both the prohibition against killing and the just-war rebuttal to the presumption against war, but in the end it is not clear that his position can be coherently distinguished from the just-war position he criticizes. (shrink)
I discuss the historical roots of the landscape problem and propose criteria for its successful resolution. This provides a perspective to evaluate the possibility to solve it in several of the speculative cosmological scenarios under study including eternal inflation, cosmological natural selection and cyclic cosmologies.Invited contribution for a special issue of Foundations of Physics titled Forty Years Of String Theory: Reflecting On the Foundations.
Leibniz was a divine concurrentist. That is to say, when it came to the question of how God’s causal power relates to the natural causal activity of creatures, Leibniz held that both God and the creature are directly involved in the occurrence of these effects.