Revisiting African philosophy’s classic questions, D. A. Masolo advances understandings of what it means to be human—whether of African or other origin. Masolo reframes indigenous knowledge as diversity: How are we to understand the place and structure of consciousness? How does the everyday color the world we know? Where are the boundaries between self and other, universal and particular, and individual and community? From here, he takes a dramatic turn toward Africa’s current political situation and considers why individual rights and (...) freedoms have not been recognized, respected, demanded, or enforced. Masolo offers solutions for containing socially destructive conduct and antisocial tendencies by engaging community. His unique thinking about community and the role of the individual extends African philosophy in new, global directions. (shrink)
In some languages every statement must contain a specification of the type of evidence on which it is based: for example, whether the speaker saw it, or heard it, or inferred it from indirect evidence, or learnt it from someone else. This grammatical reference to information source is called 'evidentiality', and is one of the least described grammatical categories. Evidentiality systems differ in how complex they are: some distinguish just two terms (eyewitness and noneyewitness, or reported and everything else), while (...) others have six or even more terms. Evidentiality is a category in its own right, and not a subcategory of epistemic or some other modality, nor of tense-aspect. Every language has some way of referring to the source of information, but not every language has grammatical evidentiality. In English expressions such as I guess, they say, I hear that, the alleged are not obligatory and do not constitute a grammatical system. Similar expressions in other languages may provide historical sources for evidentials. True evidentials, by contrast, form a grammatical system. In the North Arawak language Tariana an expression such as "the dog bit the man" must be augmented by a grammatical suffix indicating whether the event was seen, or heard, or assumed, or reported. This book provides the first exhaustive cross-linguistic typological study of how languages deal with the marking of information source. Examples are drawn from over 500 languages from all over the world, several of them based on the author's original fieldwork. Professor Aikhenvald also considers the role evidentiality plays in human cognition, and the ways in which evidentiality influences human perception of the world.. This is an important book on an intriguing subject. It will interest anthropologists, cognitive psychologists and philosophers, as well as linguists. (shrink)
Lexical Semantics is about the meaning of words. Although obviously a central concern of linguistics, the semantic behaviour of words has been unduly neglected in the current literature, which has tended to emphasize sentential semantics and its relation to formal systems of logic. In this textbook D. A. Cruse establishes in a principled and disciplined way the descriptive and generalizable facts about lexical relations that any formal theory of semantics will have to encompass. Among the topics covered in depth are (...) idiomaticity, lexical ambiguity, synonymy, hierarchical relations such as hyponymy and meronymy, and various types of oppositeness. Syntagmatic relations are also treated in some detail. The discussions are richly illustrated by examples drawn almost entirely from English. Although a familiarity with traditional grammar is assumed, readers with no technical linguistic background will find the exposition always accessible. All readers with an interest in semantics will find in this original text not only essential background but a stimulating new perspective on the field. (shrink)
A three-valued propositional logic is presented, within which the three values are read as ?true?, ?false? and ?nonsense?. A three-valued extended functional calculus, unrestricted by the theory of types, is then developed. Within the latter system, Bochvar analyzes the Russell paradox and the Grelling-Weyl paradox, formally demonstrating the meaninglessness of both.
In debates about criteria for human death, several camps have emerged, the main two focusing on either loss of the "organism as a whole" (the mainstream view) or loss of consciousness or "personhood." Controversies also rage over the proper definition of "irreversible" in criteria for death. The situation is reminiscent of the proverbial blind men palpating an elephant; each describes the creature according to the part he can touch. Similarly, each camp grasps some aspect of the complex reality of death. (...) The personhood camp, in contrast to the mainstream "organism" camp, recognizes that a human organism can still be a biological living whole even without brain function. The mainstream camp, in contrast to the personhood camp, recognizes that a person can be permanently, even irreversibly unconscious, and still be a living person so long as his/her body is alive. The author proposes that hylomorphic dualism incorporates both these key insights. But to complete the picture of the entire "death elephant," a fundamental paradigm shift is needed to make sense of other seemingly conflicting insights. The author proposes a "semantic bisection" of the concept of death, analogous to the traditional distinction at the beginning of life between "conception" and "birth." To avoid the semantic baggage associated with the term "death," the two new death-related concepts are referred to as "passing away" (or "deceased") and "deanimation," corresponding, respectively, to sociolegal ceasing-to-be (mirror image of birth) and ontological/theological ceasing-to-be of the bodily organism (mirror image of conception). Regarding criteria, the distinguishing feature is whether the cessation of function is permanent (passing away) or irreversible (deanimation). If the "dead donor rule" were renamed the "deceased donor rule" (both acronyms felicitously being "DDR"), the ethics of organ transplantation from non–heart-beating donors could, in principle, be validly governed by the DDR, even though the donors are not yet ontologically "deanimated." Thus, the paradigm shift satisfies both those who insist on maintaining the DDR and those who claim that it has all along been receiving only lip service and should be explicitly loosened to include those who are "as good as dead." Even so, a number of practical caveats remain to be worked out for non–heart-beating protocols. (shrink)
In this essay an ‘objective’ account of intrinsic value is proposed and partly defended. It is claimed that a kind of value exists which is, or may reasonably be supposed to be, a property of certain objects. The presence of such value is not to be wholly accounted for as the ‘projection’ of certain human feelings elicited by the object thought to be of value, nor by the object's meeting certain operative human conventions prescribing what is to be admired, nor (...) by its being conformable, in some way, to human needs or desires. Hume, of course, would have none of this. It is hoped to show that if one adopts Hume's account, then his attempt to show that there nevertheless will be convergence in the long run as to what is of aesthetic value is forced and unsuccessful. By contrast, on the ‘objective’ account convergence is to be expected. This, of course, only shows the superiority of the ‘objective’ account so long as there is an expectation of long-term convergence. This is not an expectation of most contemporary value ‘subjectivists’, and therefore the argument will not be directly relevant to their positions. (shrink)
If the world were wholly just, the following inductive definition would exhaustively cover the subject of justice in holdings. 1. A person who acquires a holding in accordance with the principle of justice in acquisition is entitled to that holding. 2. A person who acquires a holding in accordance with the principle of justice in transfer, from someone else entitled to the holding, is entitled to the holding. 3. No one is entitled to a holding except by applications of i (...) and 2. The complete principle of distributive justice would say simply that a distribution is just if everyone is entitled to the holdings they possess under the distribution. (shrink)
Mill says that the object of his essay On Liberty is to defend a certain principle, which I will call the ‘liberty principle’, and will take to say the following: ‘It is permissible, in principle, for the state or society to control the actions of individuals “only in respect to those actions of each, which concern the interest of other people”’. The liberty principle is a prescription of intermediate generality. Mill intends it to support more specific political prescriptions, such as (...) liberty of conscience, of expressing and publishing opinions, of framing a plan of life to suit our own character, and of combination for any purpose not involving harm to others. The liberty principle is more general than these prescriptions but less general than its possible moral foundations, such as utilitarianism. My concern will be with attempts to defend the liberty principle by showing it to be supported by an acceptable moral position. (shrink)
Primordial emotions are the subjective element of the instincts which are the genetically programmed behaviour patterns which contrive homeostasis. They include thirst, hunger for air, hunger for food, pain and hunger for specific minerals etc.There are two constituents of a primordial emotion—the specific sensation which when severe may be imperious, and the compelling intention for gratification by a consummatory act. They may dominate the stream of consciousness, and can have plenipotentiary power over behaviour.It is hypothesized that early in animal evolution (...) complex reflex mechanisms in the basal brain subserving homeostatic responses, in concert with elements of the reticular activating system subserving arousal, melded functionally with regions embodied in the progressive rostral development of the telencephalon. This included the emergent limbic and paralimbic areas, and the insula. This phylogenetically ancient organization subserved the origin of consciousness as the primordial emotion, which signalled that the organisms existence was immediately threatened. Neuroimaging confirms major activations in regions of the basal brain during primordial emotions in humans. The behaviour of decorticate humans and animals is discussed in relation to the possible existence of primitive awareness.Neuroimaging of the primordial emotions reveals that rapid gratification of intention by a consummatory act such as ingestion causes precipitate decline of both the initiating sensation and the intention. There is contemporaneous rapid disappearance of particular regions of brain activation which suggests they may be part of the jointly sufficient and severally necessary activations and deactivations which correlate with consciousness [Crick, F. & Koch, C. . A framework for consciousness. NatureNeuroscience,6, 119–126]. (shrink)
Recent research has relied on trolley-type sacrificial moral dilemmas to study utilitarian versus nonutili- tarian modes of moral decision-making. This research has generated important insights into people’s attitudes toward instrumental harm—that is, the sacrifice of an individual to save a greater number. But this approach also has serious limitations. Most notably, it ignores the positive, altruistic core of utilitarianism, which is characterized by impartial concern for the well-being of everyone, whether near or far. Here, we develop, refine, and validate a (...) new scale—the Oxford Utilitarianism Scale—to dissociate individual differences in the ‘negative’ (permissive attitude toward instrumental harm) and ‘positive’ (impartial concern for the greater good) dimensions of utilitarian thinking as manifested in the general population. We show that these are two independent dimensions of proto-utilitarian tendencies in the lay population, each exhibiting a distinct psychological profile. Empathic concern, identification with the whole of humanity, and concern for future generations were positively associated with impartial beneficence but negatively associated with instrumental harm; and although instrumental harm was associated with subclinical psychopathy, impartial beneficence was associated with higher religiosity. Importantly, although these two dimensions were independent in the lay population, they were closely associated in a sample of moral philosophers. Acknowledging this dissociation between the instrumental harm and impartial beneficence components of utilitarian thinking in ordinary people can clarify existing debates about the nature of moral psychology and its relation to moral philosophy as well as generate fruitful avenues for further research. (shrink)
This article is written from within the Catholic, and more particularly the Augustinian/Thomist tradition of moral theology. It analyses the response of the Catholic Magisterium to the prospect of germline-genetic engineering (GGE). This is a very new issue and the Church has little definitive teaching on it. The statements of Popes and Vatican congregations or commissions have not settled the key questions. An analysis of theological themes drawn from secular writers points beyond pragmatic safety considerations toward intrinsic ethical limits to (...) GGE. Given the impossibility of identifying would-have-been-created persons who would be “treated” by this intervention, altering the human genome for the sake of future generations cannot be regarded as “therapy.” Further theological considerations suggest that GGE may not be morally permissible, even in the case of identifiable genetic diseases. This is an area where more theological reflection is needed. (shrink)
Building on nearly eighty years of scientific work, The Handbook of Emotional Intelligence is the first definitive resource that brings together a stellar panel of academics, researchers, and practitioners, in the field. Sweeping in scope, the text presents information on the most important conceptual models, reviews and evaluates the most valid and reliable methods for assessing emotional intelligence, and offers specific guidelines for applying the principles of Emotional Intelligence in a variety of settings.
Introduction Tourette Syndrome is a childhood onset disorder characterized by vocal and motor tics and often remits spontaneously during adolescence. For treatment refractory patients, Deep Brain Stimulation may be considered. Methods and Results We discuss ethical problems encountered in two adolescent TS patients treated with DBS and systematically review the literature on the topic. Following surgery one patient experienced side effects without sufficient therapeutic effects and the stimulator was turned off. After a second series of behavioural treatment, he experienced a (...) tic reduction of more than 50%. The second patient went through a period of behavioural disturbances that interfered with optimal programming, but eventually experienced a 70% tic reduction. Sixteen DBS surgeries in adolescent TS patients have been reported, none of which pays attention to ethical aspects. Discussion Specific ethical issues arise in adolescent TS patients undergoing DBS relating both to clinical practice as well as to research. Attention should be paid to selecting patients fairly, thorough examination and weighing of risks and benefits, protecting the health of children and adolescents receiving DBS, special issues concerning patient’s autonomy, and the normative impact of quality of life. In research, registration of all TS cases in a central database covering a range of standardized information will facilitate further development of DBS for this indication. Conclusion Clinical practice should be accompanied by ongoing ethical reflection, preferably covering not only theoretical thought but providing also insights in the views and perspectives of those concerned, that is patients, family members and professionals. (shrink)
IntroductionTourette Syndrome is a childhood onset disorder characterized by vocal and motor tics and often remits spontaneously during adolescence. For treatment refractory patients, Deep Brain Stimulation may be considered.Methods and ResultsWe discuss ethical problems encountered in two adolescent TS patients treated with DBS and systematically review the literature on the topic. Following surgery one patient experienced side effects without sufficient therapeutic effects and the stimulator was turned off. After a second series of behavioural treatment, he experienced a tic reduction of (...) more than 50%. The second patient went through a period of behavioural disturbances that interfered with optimal programming, but eventually experienced a 70% tic reduction. Sixteen DBS surgeries in adolescent TS patients have been reported, none of which pays attention to ethical aspects.DiscussionSpecific ethical issues arise in adolescent TS patients undergoing DBS relating both to clinical practice as well as to research. Attention should be paid to selecting patients fairly, thorough examination and weighing of risks and benefits, protecting the health of children and adolescents receiving DBS, special issues concerning patient’s autonomy, and the normative impact of quality of life. In research, registration of all TS cases in a central database covering a range of standardized information will facilitate further development of DBS for this indication.ConclusionClinical practice should be accompanied by ongoing ethical reflection, preferably covering not only theoretical thought but providing also insights in the views and perspectives of those concerned, that is patients, family members and professionals. (shrink)
A comprehensive introduction to the ways in which meaning is conveyed in language. Alan Cruse covers semantic matters, but also deals with topics that are usually considered to fall under pragmatics. A major aim is to highlight the richness and subtlety of meaning phenomena, rather than to expound any particular theory. Rich in examples and exercises, Meaning in Language provides an invaluable descriptive approach to this area of linguistics for undergraduates and postgraduates alike.
Physicians have developed a number of implicit and explicit approaches to complex medical decisions. Decision analysis is an explicit, quantitative method of clinical decision making that involves the separation of the probabilities of events from their relative values, or utilities. Its use can help physicians make difficult choices in a manner that promotes true patient participation. Decision analysis also provides a framework for the incorporation of data from multiple sources and for the assessment of the impact of uncertain data on (...) the final decision. Although this approach is imperfect, it represents a significant advance in clinical decision making. (shrink)
Objectives: To discover the current state of opinion and practice among doctors in Victoria, Australia, regarding end-of-life decisions and the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia. Longitudinal comparison with similar 1987 and 1993 studies.Design and participants: Cross-sectional postal survey of doctors in Victoria.Results: 53% of doctors in Victoria support the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia. Of doctors who have experienced requests from patients to hasten death, 35% have administered drugs with the intention of hastening death. There is substantial disagreement among doctors concerning the (...) definition of euthanasia.Conclusions: Disagreement among doctors concerning the meaning of the term euthanasia may contribute to misunderstanding in the debate over voluntary euthanasia. Among doctors in Victoria, support for the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia appears to have weakened slightly over the past 17 years. Opinion on this issue is sharply polarised. (shrink)
To gain insight into human nature philosophers often discuss the inferior performance that results from deficits such as blindsight or amnesia. Less often do they look at superior abilities. A notable exception is Herbert Dreyfus who has developed a theory of expertise according to which expert action generally proceeds automatically and unreflectively. We address one of Dreyfus’s primary examples of expertise: chess. At first glance, chess would seem an obvious counterexample to Dreyfus’s view since, clearly, chess experts are engaged in (...) deep strategic thought. However, Dreyfus’s argument is subtle. He accepts that analysis and deliberation play a role in chess, yet he thinks that all such thought is predicated on intuitive, arational expert perception, and action. We argue that even the so-called intuitive aspect of chess is rational through and through. (shrink)
This book is the fifty-first volume of Current Legal Problems and contains the now customary selection of high quality essays by a group of outstanding scholars. This volume gathers together a galaxy of stars from the academic firmament to provide in a particularly valuable and broad-ranging set of contributions a stimulating study of legal theory at the end of the millennium.
In a published exchange, Richard Robinson and Roy A. Sorenson debate the matter of whether begging the question is a fallacy; Robinson thinks it is not, but Sorenson argues that it is. Norman Ten attempts to resolve this debate by making a distinction between begging the question and fallaciously begging the question. While Teng is right to note that Robinson and Sorenson are talking past each other, he incorrectly diagnoses the source of this miscommunication. In this paper, then, I offer (...) what I take to be a more illuminating distinction 3; viz. that between logical and rhetorical fallacies 3; and employ that distinction to resolve the debate. (shrink)
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