As my title implies, I think the verifiability criterion is indeed a criterion of something. I do not intend, therefore, merely to commemorate it. On the other hand I am not sure that those who put it forward in its more liberal forms as a criterion of ‘factual significance’ or ‘literal meaningfulness’ were right in what they identified as the consequence of a sentence's failing to satisfy it. What I want to argue for, in a somewhat reductionist spirit, is a (...) resurrected version of the ‘weak’ verifiability criterion. My resurrected version will certainly appear more rarefied, in so far as it is independent of empiricism. It will, I hope, also be purified of some of the mortal blemishes from which the criterion, as construed by members of the Vienna Circle, seems not to have recovered. (shrink)
To many Western students of India, svarāj and mokṣa have often seemed to represent two very different ideals of freedom, the former social, political, and modern; the latter individual, spiritual, and traditional. It is not surprising that the Hindu ideal of spiritual freedom is most commonly known by the term mokṣa , for it is this word that is usually listed as the fourth and supreme goal in the famous four ends of man . The first three ends, desire , (...) success , and morality , find their fulfillment within society, while mokṣa , it is generally said, takes one beyond society. It is pertinent to note, as Ingalls and others have pointed out, that mokṣa is a relatively late term, which came to be added to the older, first three goals of man. As a noun, mokṣa does not appear until the latest of the Upanisads, and then only three times, in Śvetāśvatara 6.16 and Maitrī 6.20 and 30. In addition, some orthodox schools did not accept the ideal of mokṣa for several more centuries, the Mīmāṁsā denying it until the eighth century A.D. (shrink)
In what sense can we not help thinking that every event has a cause? One answer is, that this begs the question: we can think of events as uncaused. Well, we can think of events in isolation from causes, and we can formulate the proposition that some events have no cause, or that no event needs a cause. But the first of these does not constitute thinking of an event as not caused , but thinking of an event not-as-caused ; (...) while the implications of the second, forming anti-causal propositions, are obscure. I can verbally formulate the proposition ‘some events are uncaused’; the question is, whether it makes sense to affirm it. Now I can verbally formulate the proposition ‘some triangles are quadrilateral’, and we must not say that this does not make sense ; for I know the criteria for being a triangle, and I know the criteria for being quadrilateral; and the proposition simply asserts that there are some figures which satisfy both sets of criteria. That this is logically impossible is true, but it is not unintelligible. It does not, however, make sense to affirm a logical impossibility, simply because I cannot meaningfully affirm what I do not understand and believe to be possible , and if I understand what it means to be both triangular and quadrilateral, I cannot also believe it to be possible, since to understand what it means for a plane figure to have three sides is to understand that this excludes its having any other number of sides, e.g. four. But ‘some events are not caused’ is not logically incoherent in this way, or not apparently so; for in thinking of an event I am by definition thinking of a happening in isolation from any cause; I am thinking of it not as caused . Thus ‘some events are uncaused’ is not incoherent ex vi terminorum. (shrink)
As late twentieth-century discourses of modernity and postmodernity invoke their Enlightenment heritage in a search for the origins of their present achievements and predicaments, Adam Smith's works are still seen as a canonic representative of that heritage. Smith has long been evoked as the ‘father’ of economics and the original proponent of laissez-faire capitalism, but the political changes in recent decades have reconstituted his iconic status. With the full range of Smith's published and unpublished writings and lectures now widely available, (...) there has been a huge growth in the scholarly literature on Smith which has subjected this traditional view to searching questions. The overwhelming conclusion to emerge is that Smith's works display a subtlety and complexity that is at odds with the received image of Smith as the spokesman of modernity, but the diversity of interpretation raises some difficult methodological issues. (shrink)
In this study, we comprehensively examine the relationships between ethical leadership, social exchange, and employee commitment. We find that organizational and supervisory ethical leadership are positively related to employee commitment to the organization and supervisor, respectively. We also find that different types of social exchange relationships mediate these relationships. Our results suggest that the application of a multifoci social exchange perspective to the context of ethical leadership is indeed useful: As hypothesized, within-foci effects (e.g., the relationship between organizational ethical leadership (...) and commitment to the organization) are stronger than cross-foci effects (e.g., the relationship between supervisory ethical leadership and commitment to the organization). In addition, in contrast to the “trickle down” model of ethical leadership (Mayer et al. in Org Behav Hum Decis Process 108:1–13, 2009), our results suggest that organizational ethical leadership is both directly and indirectly related to employee outcomes. (shrink)
The models girls like to make are often assumed to be different from boys’. A comparison of children's own descriptions of their models shows that there is little difference between boys’ and girls’ choices. The suggestion is made that effort should be directed toward developing enabling strategies rather than different contexts for girls’ model making.
Even though just war theory is ostensibly intended to rule out some wars and some forms of warfare, Charles Brown argues that, because of its basis in value-hierarachical dualism, just war theory ultimately props up warfare by justifying it. By its nature, just war theory defines warfare as waged against an evildoer, thereby shutting down avenues for dialog and peaceful prevention of warfare: "Just war theory has always been developed with the noblest of motives only to end as part (...) of the legitimation of war [...] The value-hierarchical and dualist set of assumptions informing traditional just war theory creates the perspective of a master self and with it a monological rationality that makes just war theory incapable of judging when the basic just war requirements for justice have been met. Just war theory must then be reconstructed in light of a new model of self-identity and a dialogical rationality.". (shrink)
Ghostwriting is viewed by some as a necessary element for crafting an effective public image. Defenders of ghostwriting see no ethical dilemma in the practice because the audience knows the speechgiver is not necessarily the speechwriter. Alernatively, those regarding ghostwriting as unethical view the practice as deceitful. This group argues that the audience does not recognize the employment of a speechwriter and thus a speechgiver relies on the words of another to fortify personal ethos. This article examines several positions regarding (...) the ethics of ghostwriting and discusses an empirical study testing three major positions found in ghostwriting literature. Findings from the study indicate that respondents do recognize the use of speechwriters by certain individuals in certain circumstances. (shrink)
This article leverages insights from the body of Adam Smith’s work, including two lesser-known manuscripts—the Theory of Moral Sentiments and Lectures in Jurisprudence —to help answer the question as to how companies should morally prioritize corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and stakeholder claims. Smith makes philosophical distinctions between justice and beneficence and perfect and imperfect rights, and we leverage those distinctions to speak to contemporary CSR and stakeholder management theories. We address the often-neglected question as to how far a company (...) should be expected to go in pursuit of CSR initiatives and we offer a fresh perspective as to the role of business in relation to stakeholders and to society as a whole. Smith’s moral insights help us to propose a practical framework of legitimacy in stakeholder claims that can help managers select appropriate and responsible CSR activities. (shrink)
What is the origin of individual differences in ideology and personality? According to the parasite stress hypothesis, the structure of a society and the values of individuals within it are both influenced by the prevalence of infectious disease within the society's geographical region. High levels of infection threat are associated with more ethnocentric and collectivist social structures and greater adherence to social norms, as well as with socially conservative political ideology and less open but more conscientious personalities. Here we use (...) an agent-based model to explore a specific opportunities-parasites trade-off hypothesis, according to which utility-maximizing agents place themselves at an optimal point on a trade-off between the gains that may be achieved through accessing the resources of geographically or socially distant out-group members through openness to out-group interaction, and the losses arising due to consequently increased risks of exotic infection to which immunity has not been developed. We examine the evolution of cooperation and the formation of social groups within social networks, and we show that the groups that spontaneously form exhibit greater local rather than global cooperative networks when levels of infection are high. It is suggested that the OPTO model offers a first step toward understanding the specific mechanisms through which environmental conditions may influence cognition, ideology, personality, and social organization. (shrink)
We perceive the objective world through a subjective perceptual veil. Various perceived properties, particularly “secondary qualities” like colours and tastes, are mind-dependent. Although mind-dependent, our knowledge of many facts about the perceptual veil is immediate and secure. These are well-known facets of sense-datum theory. My aim is to carve out a conception of sense-datum theory that does not require the immediate and secure knowledge of a wealth of facts about experienced sense-data (§1). Such a theory is of value on its (...) own, given well-known challenges to epistemic foundationalism. Beyond this such a theory helps demonstrate how sense-datum theory can accommodate challenging perceptual phenomena like shape and size constancies (§3). These ideas are bridged by the roots of perceptual ambiguity (§2). In brief, tapering acquaintance knowledge creates space for perceptual representation to resolve the ambiguities in presented objects seemingly inherent in scenarios involving perceptual constancies. Thus, I offer a two-factor (acquaintance-representation) sense-datum theory to meet the challenge posed by constancies. Following Smith (2002), from whom this challenge is drawn, my focus is on shape and size constancies. Other constancies, notably colour constancy, are treated elsewhere (Brown 2014). (shrink)
This paper investigates the extent of gender differences in subject choice patterns at GCSE and A level between 1970 and 1995. A Gender Inequality Index is derived to analyse national examination entry data, in particular to compare the impact of the Sex Discrimination Act and National Curriculum on the overall time trends. The paper finds that the GII slopes downwards over time, but that neither intervention had a significant impact on the rate of decline at A level and only the (...) National Curriculum did so at GCSE level. (shrink)
Several forms of naturalism are currently extant. Proponents of the various approaches disagree on matters of strategy and detail but one theme is common: we have not received any revelations about the nature of the world -- including our own nature. Whatever knowledge we have has been acquired through a fallible process of conjecture and revision. This common theme will bring to mind the writings of Karl Popper and, in many respects, Popper is the father of contemporary naturalism. Along with (...) Popper, the form of naturalism that I would defend is realistic in the following sense: it considers the acquisition of knowledge of the nature of the world to be a pursuable long-term goal of our epistemic activities. (See Brown [1987, 1988, 1990].) Popper's central interest in truth has led him to object to the pervasive concern with concepts among contemporary philosophers. Truth, Popper insists, is the fundamental epistemic concern; propositions are the bearers of truth; and the evaluation of propositions should be at the center of our epistemic focus (e.g., 1965, pp. 18-21; 1972, pp. 123-24). Concern with concepts, Popper maintains, is a distraction. Yet, this leaves us in an odd position. When we study a particular subject matter, one of our main problems is to determine what kinds of entities and processes occur in that domain. But the kinds of entities and processes we attribute to a domain will be captured in the concepts we use for describing that domain and, from a naturalistic point of view, concepts are no more available through revelation than are propositions. As our knowledge develops, we must not only propose and evaluate propositions, we must also propose and evaluate concepts. (shrink)
Many modes of religious expression and experience have a markedly aesthetic component, even though aesthetic delight itself often appears to be free of moral or religious interests. In this ground-breaking work, Frank Burch Brown shows how aesthetics, no less than ethics, can play a central role in the study of religion and in the practice of theology.
Background Empirical studies of surrogate decision-making tend to assume that surrogates should make only a 'substituted judgement'—that is, judge what the patient would want if they were mentally competent. Objectives To explore what people want in a surrogate decision-maker whom they themselves select and to test the assumption that people want their chosen surrogate to make only a substituted judgement. Methods 30 undergraduate students were recruited. They were presented with a hypothetical scenario about their expected loss of mental capacity in (...) the future and asked to answer some questions about their choice of surrogate. These data were analysed qualitatively using thematic content analysis. Results Most respondents talked about choosing someone who was caring and competent in certain ways, giving interesting evidence for their judgements. Surprisingly few highlighted how well they thought their chosen surrogate knew their preferences and would be able to make a substituted judgement. Moreover, few specified that their chosen surrogate had similar attitudes and values to their own and so would make a similar decision to theirs in the circumstances presented. Some respondents also referred to the social role of their chosen surrogate or the social dynamics of their situation which influenced their choices, as well as to ideas of reciprocity and characteristics of honesty and loyalty. Conclusion In the event that they lose mental capacity, many people will not select a surrogate to decide about medical treatments on their behalf solely on the basis that they expect their surrogate to make a substituted judgement. (shrink)
Normal systems of modal logic, interpreted as deontic logics, are unsuitable for a logic of conflicting obligations. By using modal operators based on a more complex semantics, however, we can provide for conflicting obligations, as in , which is formally similar to a fragment of the logic of ability later given in , Having gone that far, we may find it desirable to be able to express and consider claims about the comparative strengths, or degrees of urgency, of the conflicting (...) obligations under which we stand. This paper, building on the formalism of the logic of ability in , provides a complete and decidable system for such a language. (shrink)
Deborah J. Brown - Descartes as a Moral Thinker: Christianity, Technology, Nihilism - Journal of the History of Philosophy 46:1 Journal of the History of Philosophy 46.1 173-175 Muse Search Journals This Journal Contents Reviewed by Deborah Brown University of Queensland Gary Steiner. Descartes as a Moral Thinker: Christianity, Technology, Nihilism. JHP Book Series. Amherst, NY: Humanity Books, 2004. Pp. 352. Cloth, $60.00. This work takes as its starting point the need to ground Descartes's moral philosophy in something (...) more fundamental than human reason. Finding inspiration in Heidegger's lament, "In what soil do the roots of tree of philosophy find their support?" , Steiner proceeds to ground the "concrete content and absolute authority" of Descartes's moral principles in his Christian faith . This is a book with a mission: to keep the secularizing readers of Descartes's philosophy from the Church door. It stands as an important reminder that in understanding Descartes we cannot ignore his theology and achieves this goal in a lucid and erudite fashion. But the central tenet of the book—that Descartes subordinated much of his thinking about morals to the authority of religion—is, in my view, fundamentally mistaken. Steiner's Descartes is the pivotal transitional figure between the orthodox Christianity of the late scholastic period and the secular modernism of.. (shrink)
Mentoring Away the Glass Ceiling in Academia: A Cultured Critique describes how women of diverse backgrounds perceive their mentoring experiences or the lack of mentoring experiences in the academy. This book provides a space for envisioning strategies and practices to improve mentoring practices and the collegiate environment.
When a handful of people thrive while whole industries implode and millions suffer, it is clear that something is wrong with our economy. The wealth of the few is disconnected from the misery of the many. In Civilizing the Economy, Marvin Brown traces the origin of this economics of dissociation to early capitalism, showing how this is illustrated in Adam Smith's denial of the central role of slavery in wealth creation. In place of the Smithian economics of property, (...) class='Hi'>Brown proposes that we turn to the original meaning of economics as household management. He presents a new framework for the global economy that reframes its purpose as the making of provisions instead of the accumulation of property. This bold new vision establishes the civic sphere as the platform for organizing an inclusive economy and as a way to move toward a more just and sustainable world. (shrink)
After reviewing the basis for urgency of assuring that nations reduce their ghg emissions to their fair share of safe global emissions, this paper examines the outcome of UNFCCC COP-20 in Lima in regard to getting traction for ethics and justice in national formulation of climate change commitments. In light of what is actually known about how nations have considered ethics and justice in formulating national climate change policies, this paper critically reviews elements of a Lima decision on what information (...) nations must include when they submit their emissions reductions commitments, now known as Intended Nationally Determined Commitments. The paper argues that some developing countries seeking to preserve distinctions between duties of developed versus developing countries set out in the UNFCCC may have inadvertently undermined a mechanism that had some significant potential to improve the compliance of high-emitting nations on the basis of equity and justice. Relying on recent research on the.. (shrink)