We think that certain of our mental states represent the world around us, and represent it in determinate ways. My perception that there is salt in the pot before me, for example, represents my immediate environment as containing a certain object, a pot, with a certain kind of substance, salt, in it. My belief that salt dissolves in water represents something in the world around me, namely salt, as having a certain observational property, that of dissolving. But what exactly is (...) the relation between such states and the world beyond the surfaces of our skins? Specifically, what exactly is the relation between the contents of those states, and the world beyond our bodies? (shrink)
Self-knowledge is the focus of considerable attention from philosophers: Knowing Our Own Minds gives a much-needed overview of current work on the subject, bringing together new essays by leading figures. Knowledge of one's own sensations, desires, intentions, thoughts, beliefs, and other attitudes is characteristically different from other kinds of knowledge: it has greater immediacy, authority, and salience. The contributors examine philosophical questions raised by the distinctive character of self-knowledge, relating it to knowledge of other minds, to rationality and agency, externalist (...) theories of psychological content, and knowledge of language. Together these original, stimulating, and closely interlinked essays demonstrate the special relevance of self-knowledge to a broad range of issues in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language. (shrink)
In this book Macdonald elaborates a democratic framework based on the new theoretical concepts of 'public power', 'stakeholder communities' and 'non-electoral representation', and illustrates the practical implications of these proposals for projects of global institutional reform.
Though the relation of spirituality to self has long been recognized in established spiritual and religious systems, serious scientific interest in spirituality and its relation to identity has only started to grow in the past 20 years. This paper overviews the literature on spirituality and identity. Particular attention is given to describing and critiquing conventional and transpersonal perspectives with emphasis given to empirically testable theories. Using MacDonald’s five dimensional model of spirituality, a structural model of spirituality is proposed as (...) is a model of spiritual identity formation. (shrink)
A. J. Ayer was one of the foremost analytical philosophers of the twentieth century, and was known as a brilliant and engaging speaker. In essays based on his influential Dewey Lectures, Ayer addresses some of the most critical and controversial questions in epistemology and the philosophy of science, examining the nature of inductive reasoning and grappling with the issues that most concerned him as a philosopher. This edition contains revised and expanded versions of the lectures and two additional essays. Ayer (...) begins by considering Hume's formulation of the problem of induction and then explores the inferences on which we base our beliefs in factual matters. In other essays, he defines the three kinds of probability that inform inductive reasoning and examines the various criteria for verifiability and falsifiability. In his extensive introduction, Graham Macdonald discusses the arguments in _Probability and Evidence_, how they relate to Ayer's other works, and their influence in contemporary philosophy. He also provides a brief biographical sketch of Ayer, and includes a bibliography of works about and in response to _Probability and Evidence_. (shrink)
In Recovering Hegel from the Critique of Leo Strauss, Sara MacDonald and Barry Craig provide a study unique in its focus on Leo Strauss’s reading of Hegel. While MacDonald and Craig find value in Strauss’s thought, they argue that his pessimism concerning modernity lies in a misunderstanding of both modernity’s greatest philosophical advocate, G.W.F. Hegel, and modernity’s virtues.
The Existentialist Reader is a comprehensive anthology of classic philosophical writings from eight key existentialist thinkers: Sartre, Camus, Heidegger, de Beauvoir, Jaspers, Marcel, Merleau-Ponty, and Ortega y Gasset. These substantial and carefully selected readings consider the distinctive concerns of existentialism: absurdity, anxiety, alienation, death. A comprehensive introduction by Paul S. MacDonald illuminates the existentialist quest for individual freedom and authentic human experience with insight into the historical and intellectual background of these major figures. The Existentialist Reader is a valuable (...) guide to the provocative theories that shook the philosophical world in the 1930s and continue to profoundly shape the way we think about ourselves. (shrink)
An important function of the self is to identify external objects that are potentially personally relevant. We suggest that such objects may be identified through mere ownership. Extant research suggests that encoding information in a self-relevant context enhances memory , thus an experiment was designed to test the impact of ownership on memory performance. Participants either moved or observed the movement of picture cards into two baskets; one of which belonged to self and one which belonged to another participant. A (...) subsequent recognition test revealed that there was a significant memory advantage for objects that were owned by self. Acting on items had no impact on memory. Results are discussed with reference to the importance of self-object associations in cognition. (shrink)
A debate has been raging in the philosophy of mind for at least the past two decades. It concerns whether the mental can make a causal difference to the world. Suppose that I am reading the newspaper and it is getting dark. I switch on the light, and continue with my reading. One explanation of why my switching on of the light occurred is that a desiring with a particular content (that I continue reading), a noticing with a particular content (...) (that it is getting dark), and a believing with a particular content (that by switching on the light I could continue reading) occurred in me, and these events caused my switching on of the light. This explanation works by citing the intentional contents of mental phenomena as causes of that action. It is because the intentional causes have the contents that they do, and because those contents play a causal role in bringing about my action, that my action is causally explained. (shrink)
Existentialist thinkers often publicly acknowledged Husserl’s phenomenology as one of their main points of departure for treatment of such themes as intentionality, comportment, transcendence, and the lifeworld. Several central elements of Husserl’s approach were adopted by the Existentialists, but equal to their gratitude were vigorous declamations of Husserl’s mistakes, dead-ends and failures. Many of the Existentialists’ criticisms of Husserl’s project are well-known and have been rehearsed in various surveys of 20th century thought, but less well-remarked are the discrepancies between their (...) complaints about Husserl’s aborted achievements and what Husserl actually delivered. This paper attempts to uncover the accuracy of some of their assessments of Husserl’s alleged failures and mistakes, whether or not Husserl actually held the position they claim he did, and especially whether or not Husserl was himself aware of some deficiency in his thematic analysis, and thus would have been able to offer a cogent response to critique. In doing so, a good case can be made that Heidegger, for example, quietly adopted some of Husserl’s main insights without credit, slanted his picture of Husserl’s work so that his own reversals had better purchase, or overlooked evidence that Husserl had already moved beyond that position. At least on some key topics, Husserl emerges as an exceptionally self-critical philosopher who had already gained the perspective more usually associated with an Existentialist orientation. Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology , Volume 1, Edition 1 April 2001. (shrink)
We respond to Moses Pava’s defense of the “Triple Bottom Line” concept against our earlier criticisms. We argue that, pacePava, the multiplicity of measures that go into evaluating ethical performance cannot reasonably be compared to the handful of standard methods for evaluating financial performance. We also question Pava’s claim that usage of the term “3BL” is somehow intended to be ironical or subversive.
: Care work straddles the divide between activities performed out of love and those performed for pay. The tensions created for workers by this divide raise questions concerning connections between recognition and redistribution. Through an analysis of mobilization among childcare workers, we argue that care workers can address redistribution and recognition simultaneously through vocabularies of both skill and virtue. We conclude with a discussion of strategies to overcome the false dichotomy between recognition and redistribution.
In this paper I outline and defend an introspectionist account of authoritative self-knowledge for a certain class of cases, ones in which a subject is both thinking and thinking about a current, conscious thought. My account is distinctive in a number of ways, one of which is that it is compatible with the truth of externalism.
It is widely accepted that knowledge of certain of one’s own mental states is authoritative in being epistemically more secure than knowledge of the mental states of others, and theories of self-knowledge have largely appealed to one or the other of two sources to explain this special epistemic status. The first, ‘detectivist’, position, appeals to an inner perception-like basis, whereas the second, ‘constitutivist’, one, appeals to the view that the special security awarded to certain self-knowledge is a conceptual matter. I (...) argue that there is a fundamental class of cases of authoritative self-knowledge, ones in which subjects are consciously thinking about their current, conscious intentional states, that is best accounted for in terms of a theory that is, broadly speaking, introspectionist and detectivist. The position developed has an intuitive plausibility that has inspired many who work in the Cartesian tradition, and the potential to yield a single treatment of the basis of authoritative self-knowledge for both intentional states and sensation states. (shrink)
Vulnerability is an important criterion to assess the ethical justification of the inclusion of participants in research trials. Currently, vulnerability is often understood as an attribute inherent to a participant by nature of a diagnosed condition. Accordingly, a common ethical concern relates to the participant’s decisionmaking capacity and ability to provide free and informed consent. We propose an expanded view of vulnerability that moves beyond a focus on consent and the intrinsic attributes of participants. We offer specific suggestions for how (...) relational aspects and the dynamic features of vulnerability could be more fully captured in current discussions and research practices. (shrink)
Current discussions of business ethics usually only consider deontological and utilitarian approaches. What is missing is a discussion of traditional teleology, often referred to as virtue ethics. While deontology and teleology are useful, they both suffer insufficiencies. Traditional teleology, while deontological in many respects, does not object to utilitarian style calculations as long as they are contained within a moral framework that is not utilitarian in its origin. It contains the best of both approaches and can be used to focus (...) on the individual''s role within an organization. More work is needed in exposing students and faculty to traditional teleology and its place in business ethic''s discussions. (shrink)
This paper looks at conflicts of interest in the not-for-profit sector. It examines the nature of conflicts of interest and why they are of ethical concern, and then focuses on the way not-for-profit organisations are especially prone to and vulnerable to conflict-of-interest scandals. Conflicts of interest corrode trust; and stakeholder trust (particularly from donors) is the lifeblood of most charities. We focus on some specific challenges faced by charitable organisations providing funding for scientific (usually medical) research, and examine a case (...) study involving such an organisation. One of the principal problems for charities of this kind is that they often distribute their funds within a relatively small research community (defined by the boundaries of a small region, like an American state or Spanish Autonomous region, or a small country), and it often proves difficult to find high-level researchers within the jurisdiction to adjudicate impartially the research grants. We suggest and recommend options appropriate for our case study and for many other organisations in similar situations. (shrink)
This volume provides an introduction to and review of key contemporary debates concerning connectionism, and the nature of explanation and methodology in cognitive psychology. The first debate centers on the question of whether human cognition is best modeled by classical or by connectionist architectures. The second centres on the question of the compatibility between folk, or commonsense, psychological explanation and explanations based on connectionist models of cognition. Each of the two sections includes a classic reading along with important responses, and (...) concludes with a specially commissioned reply by the main contributor. The editorial introductions provide a comprehensive survey and map through the debates. (shrink)
Teleosemantics seeks to explain meaning and other intentional phenomena in terms of their function in the life of the species. This volume of new essays from an impressive line-up of well-known contributors offers a valuable summary of the current state of the teleosemantics debate.
As plagiarism is a notion specific to a particular culture and epoch, and is also understood in a variety of ways by individuals, particular attention must be paid to the putting of the phenomenological question, What is plagiarism in its appearing? Resolution of this issue leads us to locate students' perceptions and opinions within the lifeworld, and to seek an initially idiographic set of descriptions. Of twelve interview analyses, three are presented. A student who took an especially anxious line, his (...) morality having to do with the fear of being shamed were he to be accused of plagiarism in his work. A student who saw academic development as the movement from dependence on respected authors such that the novice's work is near plagiaristic, to autonomy and self-assured originality. A student whose degree involved painting and art history—disciplines with very distinct understandings of plagiarism. To combat plagiarism, then, one must not assume that students have a prior grasp of the unequivocal meaning of the notion, but must accept that a process of acculturation is required. (shrink)
This article seeks an improved understanding of nurse autonomy by looking at nursing through the lens of what recent feminist scholars have called ‘relational’ autonomy. A relational understanding of autonomy means a shift away from older views focused on individuals achieving independence, towards a view that seeks meaningful self-direction within a context of interdependency. The main claim made here is that nurse autonomy is, indeed, relational. The article begins with an explanation of the notion of relational autonomy. It then explains (...) both the collective and the individual application of the term ‘professional autonomy’. Finally, it argues that both senses of professional autonomy are best understood as relational, and suggests some implications of this conclusion. (shrink)
Traditionally, physicians and parents made decisions about children’s health care based on western practices. More recently, with legal and ethical development of informed consent and recognition for decision making, children are becoming active participants in their care. The extent to which this is happening is however blurred by lack of clarity about what children — of diverse levels of cognitive development — are capable of understanding. Moreover, when there are multiple surrogate decision makers, parental and professional conflict can arise concerning (...) children’s ‘best interest’. Giving children a voice and offering choice promotes their dignity and quality of life. Nevertheless, it also presents with many challenges. Case studies using pseudonyms and changed situational identities are used in this article to illuminate the complexity of ethical challenges facing nurses in end-of-life care with children and families. (shrink)
Whereas representative democratic mechanisms have generally been built around preexisting institutional structures of sovereign states, the global political domain lacks any firmly constitutionalized or sovereign structures that could constitute an analogous institutional backbone within a democratic global order. Instead, global public power can best be characterized as "pluralist" in structure. Some recent commentators have argued that if global democratization is to succeed at all, it must proceed along a trajectory beginning with the construction of global sovereign institutions and culminating in (...) the establishment of representative institutions to control them. This paper challenges this view of the preconditions for global democratization, arguing that democratization can indeed proceed at a global level in the absence of sovereign structures of public power. In order to gain firmer traction on these questions, analysis focuses on the prospects for democratic control of corporate power, as constituted and exercised in one particular institutional context: sectoral supply chain systems of production and trade. It is argued that global democratization cannot be straightforwardly achieved simply by replicating familiar representative democratic institutions (based on constitutional separations of powers and electoral control) on a global scale. Rather, it is necessary to explore alternative institutional means for establishing representative democratic institutions at the global level within the present pluralist structure of global power. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore briefly the "secular priesthood" metaphor often applied to bioethicists. I next ask: if, despite our discomfort with the metaphor, we were to embrace the best aspects of the priesthood(s) ? which I identify as the missionaries' willingness to work among sinners and lepers, at their own peril ? would we be able to live up to that standard of bravery? I then draw a parallel with the fears of contagion currently be voiced (by Carl Elliott (...) and others), with regard to bioethicists working in or near corporate settings. I argue that such fears may themselves have a number of deleterious effects, and I suggest several possible positive steps in response to that fear. (shrink)