At lunch one day a colleague and I had a friendly argument over occupational licensing. I attacked it for being anticompetitive, arguing that licensing boards raise occupational incomes by restricting entry, advertising, and commercialization. My colleague, while acknowledging anticompetitive aspects, affirmed the need for licensing on the grounds of protecting the consumer from frauds and quacks. In many areas of infrequent and specialized dealing, consumers are not able, ex ante or even ex post, to evaluate competence. I countered by suggesting (...) voluntary means by which reputational problems might be handled and by returning to the offensive. I said that in fact the impetus for licensing usually comes from the practitioners, not their customers, and that licensing boards seldom devote their time to ferreting out incompetence but rather simply to prosecuting unlicensed practitioners. I mentioned cross-sectional findings, such as those on state licensure, prices, and occupational incomes. Overall, I characterized the professional establishment as a group of dastardly operators, who set the standards, write the codes, and enforce behavior to enhance their own material wellbeing - in brief, as venal rent-seekers. (shrink)
Abstract Academic social scientists overwhelmingly vote Democratic, and the Democratic hegemony has increased significantly since 1970. Moreover, the policy preferences of a large sample of the members of the scholarly associations in anthropology, economics, history, legal and political philosophy, political science, and sociology generally bear out conjectures about the correspondence of partisan identification with left/right ideal types; although across the board, both Democratic and Republican academics favor government action more than the ideal types might suggest. Variations in policy views among (...) Democrats is smaller than among Republicans. Ideological diversity (as judged not only by voting behavior, but by policy views) is by far the greatest within economics. Social scientists who deviate from left?wing views are as likely to be libertarian as conservative. (shrink)
Ex-Jew, eternal Jew: early representations of the Jewish Spinoza -- Refining Spinoza: Moses Mendelssohn's response to the Amsterdam heretic -- The first modern Jew: Berthold Auerbach's Spinoza and the beginnings of an image -- A rebel against the past, a revealer of secrets: Salomon Rubin and the east European Maskilic Spinoza -- From the heights of Mount Scopus: Yosef Klausner and the Zionist rehabilitation of Spinoza -- Farewell, Spinoza: I. B. Singer and the tragicomedy of the Jewish Spinozist.
Virtue ethics seems to be a promising moral theory for understanding and interpreting the development and behavior of artificial moral agents. Virtuous artificial agents would blur traditional distinctions between different sorts of moral machines and could make a claim to membership in the moral community. Accordingly, we investigate the “machine question” by studying whether virtue or vice can be attributed to artificial intelligence; that is, are people willing to judge machines as possessing moral character? An experiment describes situations where either (...) human or AI agents engage in virtuous or vicious behavior and experiment participants then judge their level of virtue or vice. The scenarios represent different virtue ethics domains of truth, justice, fear, wealth, and honor. Quantitative and qualitative analyses show that moral attributions are weakened for AIs compared to humans, and the reasoning and explanations for the attributions are varied and more complex. On “relational” views of membership in the moral community, virtuous machines would indeed be included, even if they are indeed weakened. Hence, while our moral relationships with artificial agents may be of the same types, they may yet remain substantively different than our relationships to human beings. (shrink)
ABSTRACTAdam Smith infused the expression ‘impartial spectator’ with a plexus of related meanings, one of which is a super-being, which bears parallels to monotheistic ideas of God. As for any genuine, identified, human spectator, he can be deemed impartial only presumptively. Such presumptive impartiality as regards the incident does not of itself carry extensive implications about his intelligence, nor about his being aligned with benevolence towards any larger whole. We may posit, however, a being who is impartial and who holds (...) higher levels of intelligence and of benevolence, and then converse over what her sentiments would be about the matter under discussion. It is natural to conceive of a being who is unsurpassable in such qualities, who is morally supreme, and who naturally takes the definite article the without having been definitized by the writer. Signal passages, new to edition 6, suggest that Smith formulates the man within the breast as a representative of the always present and everywhere morally supreme impartial spectator. When Smith speaks of the man within the breast as ‘the supposed impartial spectator’, we interpret ‘supposed’ as sup-pos-ed, not sup-pos’d. (shrink)
Dealing with major issues in Jewish biomedical law, this book focuses upon the influence of morality, the rise of patient autonomy, and the role played by scientific progress in this area of Jewish Law. The book examines Jewish Law in comparison with canon, common, and modern Israeli law.
Many high-risk medical devices earn US marketing approval based on limited premarket clinical evaluation that leaves important questions unanswered. Rigorous postmarket surveillance includes registries that actively collect and maintain information defined by individual patient exposures to particular devices. Several prominent registries for cardiovascular devices require enrolment as a condition of reimbursement for the implant procedure, without informed consent. In this article, we focus on whether these registries, separate from their legal requirements, have an ethical obligation to obtain informed consent from (...) enrolees, what is lost in not doing so, and the ways in which seeking and obtaining consent might strengthen postmarket surveillance in the USA. (shrink)
This study focuses upon two competing visions of wealth and work among Baptists in America and how these different visions have shaped Baptist business ethics. Russell H. Conwell reflected the Reformed tradition's inclination toward what came to be called the Protestant work ethic and its defense of capitalism. He contended that American capitalism presented an open door for any diligent worker to achieve deserved riches. Walter Rauschenbusch reflected the Anabaptist heritage in the stream of Baptist history. He challenged the dominant (...) ethos of the industrial revolution in America and its preference for the interests of management; he called instead for the protection of the worker from the monopolistic power of the capitalists. These two contrasting postures influenced the response of Baptists to the labor-management struggle. (shrink)
Grabowski, a self-described Platonic realist, argues against the "standard interpretation" of Plato's Forms as abstract universals in favor of the view that they are concrete particulars. He explains that the mistaken standard interpretation arises from a deeply ingrained habit of reading Plato's texts through the hermeneutical lens of the universals. Universals undoubtedly play a major role in the history of philosophy, though they were not Plato's primary concern in elaborating a theory of the Forms. "It is not that the problem (...) of universals gives rise to the Forms, but that the Forms give rise to the problem of universals" .According to Grabowski, if it can be shown that Plato never expunged the "model of acquaintance" from his theory of knowledge, then, strange as it seems, we can reasonably believe that Plato posited, or should have posited, the Forms as concrete particulars similar to those that exist in the sensible world, albeit bereft of any of the latter's "ontological deficiencies" .Grabowski begins the task by constructing an argument for the "standard interpretation," only to show that this interpretation proves unpersuasive, if for no other reason than the paucity of evidence supporting it in Plato's texts. In chapter 2, Grabowski summarizes. (shrink)