There are secrets but they are not the secrets of the filmmakers; the whispers remain inaudible to all: *Silencio*. The significance of _Mulholland Dr._ will be revealed indirectly, in a kind of articulate silence, like Kierkegaard's incognito Jesus.
This essay criticizes the proposal recently defended by a number of prominent economists that welfare economics be redirected away from the satisfaction of people's preferences and toward making people happy instead. Although information about happiness may sometimes be of use, the notion of happiness is sufficiently ambiguous and the objections to identifying welfare with happiness are sufficiently serious that welfare economists are better off using preference satisfaction as a measure of welfare. The essay also examines and criticizes the position associated (...) with Daniel Kahneman and a number of co-authors that takes welfare to be ‘objective happiness’ – that is, the sum of momentary pleasures. (shrink)
Popular discussions of faith often assume that having faith is a form of believing on insufficient evidence and that having faith is therefore in some way rationally defective. Here I offer a characterization of action-centered faith and show that action-centered faith can be both epistemically and practically rational even under a wide variety of subpar evidential circumstances.
For one with libertarian sympathies, the official regulation of foods and drugs is presumptively a bad thing. One is most accustomed to seeing the argument in debates about legalizing marijuana and other hedonic drugs. And it remains a very good if by now well-trafficked question, which will be more well-trafficked still by the time this essay ends, why government should be in the business of telling people what sorts of chemical moodenhancers they may take. But as the criminologist James Jacobs (...) has pointed out, to ask this question is to put in play matters far larger and more important than marijuana. What business is it of government to say what medicines may be sold and by whom they may be sold? Why should certain chemical agents be available to willing buyers only with a doctor's scrip, and other agents, such as unproved drugs or devices, forbidden to all, even with medical permission? If libertarians answer these questions impatiently, then admirers of the administrative welfare state will be happy to play rope-a-dope with them, chattering on about the endearing eccentricities of libertarians' assumptions and avoiding the challenge to articulate and defend their own increasingly shabby-looking principles. Those principles are much in need of defense. Food and drug laws are among the most well-established offices of regulatory government. They are complicated, hypertechnical, mysterious, and expensive to administer and maintain. One is entitled to suspect that a number of them are carried on more out of habit and routine than out of any authentic conviction that they are the best way, or among the better ways, to provide for the welfare of citizens. (shrink)
On pourrait résumer de la manière suivante le problème originel auquel Jacques veut se confronter dans son dernier livre: est-il possible de former une «pensée de la différence commune» qui, tout en étant respectueuse des valeurs propres à l’universalisme et à l’individualisme moderne, justifierait au plan philosophique le bien-fondé d’une défense de la nation? Ce problème originel, on le trouvait déjà formulé dans le premier ouvrage de Jacques: «La tâche la plus urgente qui s’impose aujourd’hui consiste peut-être à définir une (...) culture moderne qui, dans le respect de la liberté, permette un certain partage de sens durable». Si l’on prend le terme liberté comme synonyme de modernité et l’expression «partage de sens durable» comme synonyme de nationalité, on est là en présence de la «tension première» qui, de l’aveu même de Jacques, est à l’origine de Nationalité et modernité. La formulation originelle du problème engage déjà beaucoup: au départ il y a une vision de ce qu’est la modernité et de son effet dans l’histoire; ensuite, il y a un jugement porté sur l’ensemble du projet moderne; enfin, il y a une proposition politique formulée à la lumière de l’analyse précédente. L’une des difficultés de l’interprétation de Jacques réside dans le fait que sa pensée se déplace simultanément sur tous ces plans. Pour simplifier la tâche d’analyse de cette pensée, on pourrait avancer que Jacques veut à la fois présenter une anthropologie philosophique et une justification historique de cette anthropologie. Nous entendons ici par anthropologie philosophique, une conception spécifique de la nature humaine qui répond aux questions générales: «qu’est-ce que le bien humain?», «qu’est-ce que l’ordre politique juste?», «quelle est la nature de la liberté politique?», et autres questions de même nature. Cette anthropologie philosophique qui constitue l’épine dorsale de la pensée de Jacques, comme d’ailleurs de toute philosophie politique véritable, ne se laisse dégager qu’à l’occasion d’une opération de désenchevêtrement. Dans son premier ouvrage, elle était en filigrane de sa reconstruction de l’histoire de la culture politique québécoise. Dans Nationalité et modernité, elle constitue le sous-texte d’une ambitieuse reconstitution de l’histoire de la modernité qui prend comme fil conducteur l’histoire de la pensée politique moderne. Nous ne pourrons malheureusement pas dans le cadre de cette étude faire l’analyse exhaustive du récit de la modernité offert par Jacques. Nous nous contenterons d’en faire ressortir certains éléments utiles à la compréhension de son anthropologie et de ses liens à la problématique centrale du livre. (shrink)
In every domain of reasoning humans deploy an wide range of intuitive 'theories' about how the world works. So are we alone in trying to make sense of the world by postulating theoretical entities to explain how the world works, or do we share this ability with other species. This is the focus of this new book from Daniel Povinelli.
The adequacy of currently popular accounts of the genetic basis for psychological altruism, including inclusive fitness, reciprocal altruism, sociality, and group selection, is questioned. Problems exist both with the evidence cited as supporting these accounts and with the relevance of the accounts to what is being explained. Based on the empathy-altruism hypothesis, a more plausible account is proposed: generalized parental nurturance. It is suggested that four evolutionary developments combined to provide a genetic basis for psychological altruism. First is the evolution (...) in mammals of parental nurturance. Second is the evolution in humans of the ability to see others as sentient, intentional agents and, thereby, to recognize other's needs, even subtle ones. Third is the evolution in humans of tender, empathic emotions as an important component of parental nurturance. Fourth is the evolution in humans of cognitive capacities that make it possible to generalize tender, empathic feelings and, thereby, altruism beyond offspring. (shrink)
In interpretations of the "Transcendental Aesthetic" section of the first Critique, there is a widespread tendency to present Kant as establishing that the representation of space is a condition for individuating or distinguishing objects, and to claim that it is on this basis that Kant establishes the apriority of this representation. The aim of this paper is to criticize this way of interpreting the "Aesthetic," and to defend an alternative interpretation. On this alternative, questions about the formation of the representation (...) of space figure more centrally, and the anti-Leibnizian character of Kant 's argument can be properly appreciated. (shrink)
What makes it the case that a given experience is pleasurable? According to the felt-quality theory, each pleasurable experience is pleasurable because of the way that it feels—its “qualitative character” or “felt-quality”. According to the attitudinal theory, each pleasurable experience is pleasurable because the experiencer takes certain attitudes towards it. These two theories of pleasure are typically framed as rivals, but it could be that they are both partly right. It could be that pleasure is partly a matter of felt-quality, (...) and partly a matter of attitudes. It could be that a hybrid theory is true. In this paper, I aim to advance the cause of hybrid theories of pleasure. I do this in two ways. I begin by examining the challenges which motivate the search for a hybrid theory. I call these the HONEST challenges: Heterogeneity, Oppositeness, Normativity, Euthyphro, Separateness, and Togetherness. The first three challenges—HON—are challenges for the felt-quality theory. The second three challenges—EST—are challenges for the attitudinal theory. Having established the HONEST challenges, I then describe and motivate a particular cluster of hybrid theories which I will call dispositional hybrid theories. According to these theories, pleasurable experiences are all and only those experiences which dispose us to desire them in virtue of feeling the way that they do. The dispositional theories deliver on the promise of hybrid theories: because they appeal to both felt-qualities and attitudes, they have the resources to avoid most, if not all, of the HONEST challenges. (shrink)
Contemporary Philosophy in Focus will offer a series of introductory volumes to many of the dominant philosophical thinkers of the current age. Each volume will consist of newly commissioned essays that will cover all the major contributions of a preeminent philosopher in a systematic and accessible manner. Author of such groundbreaking and influential books as Consciousness Explained and Darwin's Dangerous Idea, Daniel C. Dennett has reached a huge general and professional audience that extends way beyond the confines of academic (...) philosophy. He has made significant contributions to the study of consciousness, the development of the child's mind, cognitive ethnology, explanation in the social sciences, artificial intelligence, and evolutionary theory. This volume is the only truly introductory collection that traces these connections, explores the implications of Dennett's work, and furnishes the non-specialist with a fully-rounded account of why Dennett is such an important voice on the philosophical scene. (shrink)
Recent medical and bioethics literature shows a growing concern for practitioners’ emotional experience and the ethical environment in the workplace. Moral distress, in particular, is often said to result from the difficult decisions made and the troubling situations regularly encountered in health care contexts. It has been identified as a leading cause of professional dissatisfaction and burnout, which, in turn, contribute to inadequate attention and increased pain for patients. Given the natural desire to avoid these negative effects, it seems to (...) most authors that systematic efforts should be made to drastically reduce moral distress, if not altogether eliminate it from the lives of vulnerable practitioners. Such efforts, however, may be problematic, as moral distress is not adequately understood, nor is there agreement among the leading accounts regarding how to conceptualize the experience. With this article I make clear what a robust account of moral distress should be able to explain and how the most common notions in the existing literature leave significant explanatory gaps. I present several cases of interest and, with careful reflection upon their distinguishing features, I establish important desiderata for an explanatorily satisfying account. With these fundamental demands left unsatisfied by the leading accounts, we see the persisting need for a conception of moral distress that can capture and delimit the range of cases of interest. (shrink)
The human world is replete with narratives – narratives of our making that are uniquely appreciated by us. Some thinkers have afforded special importance to our capacity to generate such narratives, seeing it as variously enabling us to: exercise our imaginations in unique ways; engender an understanding of actions performed for reasons; and provide a basis for the kind of reflection and evaluation that matters vitally to moral and self development. Perhaps most radically, some hold that narratives are essential for (...) the constitution of human selves. This volume brings together nine original contributions in which the individual authors advance, develop and challenge proposals of these kinds. They critically examine the place and importance of narratives in human lives and consider the underlying capacities that permit us to produce and utilise these special artifacts. All of the papers are written in a non-technical and accessible style. (shrink)
The tenuous claims of cost-benefit analysis to guide policy so as to promote welfare turn on measuring welfare by preference satisfaction and taking willingness-to-pay to indicate preferences. Yet it is obvious that people's preferences are not always self-interested and that false beliefs may lead people to prefer what is worse for them even when people are self-interested. So welfare is not preference satisfaction, and hence it appears that cost-benefit analysis and welfare economics in general rely on a mistaken theory of (...) well-being. This essay explores the difficulties, criticizes standard defences of welfare economics, and then offers a new partial defence that maintains that welfare economics is independent of any philosophical theory of well-being. Welfare economics requires nothing more than an evidential connection between preference and welfare: in circumstances in which people are concerned with their own interests and reasonably good judges of what will serve their interests, their preferences will be reliable indicators of what is good for them. (shrink)
The word ‘dignity’ is used in a variety of ways in bioethics, and this ambiguity has led some to argue that the term must be expunged from the bioethical lexicon. Such a judgment is far too hasty, however. In this article, the various uses of the word are classified into three serviceable categories: intrinsic, attributed, and inflorescent dignity. It is then demonstrated that, logically and linguistically, the attributed and inflorescent meanings of the word presuppose the intrinsic meaning. Thus, one cannot (...) conclude that these meanings are arbitrary and unrelated. This categorization and logical and linguistic analysis helps to unravel what seem to be contradictions in discourse about dignity and bioethics, and provides a hierarchy of meaning that has potential normative implications. (shrink)
Reprinted in Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology, Wadsworth 2015, 6th edition, eds Michael Rea and Louis Pojman. What is propositional faith? At a first approximation, we might answer that it is the psychological attitude picked out by standard uses of the English locution “S has faith that p,” where p takes declarative sentences as instances, as in “He has faith that they’ll win”. Although correct, this answer is not nearly as informative as we might like. Many people say that there (...) is a more informative answer. They say that, at the very least, propositional faith requires propositional belief. More precisely, they say that faith that p requires belief that p or that it must be partly constituted by belief that p. This view is common enough; call it the Common View. I have two main aims in this paper: (i) to exhibit the falsity of the Common View and the paucity of reasons for it, and (ii) to sketch a more accurate and comprehensive account of what propositional faith is. (shrink)
Abstract This paper offers an appraisal of Phillip Pettit's approach to the problem how a merely finite set of examples can serve to represent a determinate rule, given that indefinitely many rules can be extrapolated from any such set. I argue that Pettit's so-called ethnocentric theory of rule-following fails to deliver the solution to this problem he sets out to provide. More constructively, I consider what further provisions are needed in order to advance Pettit's general approach to the problem. I (...) conclude that what is needed is an account that, whilst it affirms the view that agents' responses are constitutively involved in the exemplification of rules, does not allow such responses the pride of place they have in Pettit's theory. (shrink)
Aristotle on the Perfect Life may be viewed as part of such a detailed study. In this book, Kenny discusses a series of topics relating to the central Aristotelian concept of the supreme good, and compares the treatment of these topics in the two treatises. He devotes separate discussions to the notions of finality, perfection, and self-sufficiency as attributes of the supreme good. He also considers the way in which friendship and good fortune relate to happiness. A theme which recurs (...) throughout the book is the divergent ways in which the EE and the NE conceive the relationship between moral excellence, contemplation and happiness. In some cases Kenny suggests that the EE offers a subtler treatment than the NE; in other cases he argues that the EE presents a more coherent, more plausible, position. Are we in a position, then, to conclude with confidence that the EE is the later, more authoritative, treatise? Kenny does not draw such a conclusion. One comes away with the impression that although he leans towards this conclusion, he also believes that still more work, especially on the EE, is needed. (shrink)
The first major section of the Critique of Pure Reason, the Transcendental Aesthetic, is concerned with the nature of space and time, and with the nature of our representation of them. In interpretations of this part of the Critique, there is a very widespread tendency to present Kant’s discussion of space as attempting to establish that the representation of space is a condition for individuating or distinguishing objects, and that it is on this basis that Kant establishes the apriority of (...) this representation. I believe that this way of interpreting the Aesthetic is wholly misguided. The interpretive tendency I have in mind takes a number of different forms. On one approach, the role of space is to allow us to distinguish objects even if they are qualitatively identical. This represents Kant as making a certain kind of anti-Leibnizian point, one that concerns Leibniz’s principle of the identity of indiscernibles. On another approach, space—or something closely analogous to space—is regarded as essential on account of its role in allowing us to re-identify objects over time. Interpretations of Kant that follow the second approach are largely inspired by Strawson’s discussions of these matters in chapter 2 of Individuals. (shrink)
The aggregate EIRP of an N-element antenna array is proportional to N 2. This observation illustrates an effective approach for providing deep space networks with very powerful uplinks. The increased aggregate EIRP can be employed in a number of ways, including improved emergency communications, reaching farther into deep space, increased uplink data rates, and the flexibility of simultaneously providing more than one uplink beam with the array. Furthermore, potential for cost savings also exists since the array can be formed using (...) small apertures. (shrink)
This essay attempts to distinguish the pressing issues for economists and economic methodologists concerning realism in economics from those issues that are of comparatively slight importance. In particular I shall argue that issues concerning the goals of science are of considerable interest in economics, unlike issues concerning the evidence for claims about unobservables, which have comparatively little relevance. In making this argument, this essay raises doubts about the two programs in contemporary economic methodology that raise the banner of realism. In (...) particular I argue that the banner makes it more difficult to relate the concerns of those who wave it to those of other methodologists. Although this essay argues that many of the debates in this century between scientific realists and their opponents are not relevant to economics, it does not attack scientific realism, and it does not urge economists or economic methodologists to reject it. (shrink)
Talk of harm reduction has expanded horizontally, to apply to an ever-widening range of policy domains, and vertically, becoming part of official legal and political discourse. This expansion calls for philosophical theorization. What is the best way in which to characterize harm reduction? Does it represent a distinctive ethical position? How is it best morally justified, and what are its moral limits? I distinguish two varieties of harm reduction. One of them, technocratic harm reduction, is premised on the fact of (...) non-enforceability of prohibitionist policies. The second, deliberative harm reduction, is premised on the fact of reasonable disagreement, grounded in the fact that reasonable persons disagree about a range of controversial behaviours. I argue that deliberative harm reduction better accounts for some of harm reduction’s most attractive features, and provides a plausible way of accounting for harm reductions’s justificatory grounds and limits. (shrink)
The psychological condition of happiness is normally considered a paradigm subjective good, and is closely associated with subjectivist accounts of well-being. This article argues that the value of happiness is best accounted for by a non-subjectivist approach to welfare: a eudaimonistic account that grounds well-being in the fulfillment of our natures, specifically in self-fulfillment. And self-fulfillment consists partly in authentic happiness. A major reason for this is that happiness, conceived in terms of emotional state, bears a special relationship to the (...) self. These arguments also point to a more sentimentalist approach to well-being than one finds in most contemporary accounts, particularly among Aristotelian forms of eudaimonism. (shrink)
Faith plays a valuable role in sustaining relationships through various kinds of challenges, including through evidentially unfavorable circumstances and periods of significant doubt. But if, as is widely assumed, both faith in God and faith that God exists require belief that God exists, and if one’s beliefs are properly responsive to one’s evidence, the capacity for faith to persevere amidst significant and well-grounded doubt will be fairly limited. Taking Mother Teresa as an exemplar of Christian faith and exploring the close (...) connection between faith and faithfulness in the context of committed covenantal relationships, I set out a view of Relational Faith that does not assume that faith requires belief and allows wide room for honestly wrestling with doubt from within the Judeo-Christian tradition. (shrink)
In public health, the issue of pharmaceutical pricing is a perennial problem. Recent high-profile examples, such as the September 2015 debacle involving Martin Shkreli and Turing Pharmaceuticals, are indicative of larger, systemic difficulties that plague the pharmaceutical industry in regards to drug pricing and the impact it yields on their reputation in the eyes of the public. For public health ethics, the issue of pharmaceutical pricing is rather crucial. Simply, individuals within a population require pharmaceuticals for disease prevention and management. (...) In order to be effective, these pharmaceuticals must be accessibly priced. This analysis will explore the notion of corporate social responsibility in regards to pharmaceutical pricing with an aim of restoring a positive reputation upon the pharmaceutical industry in the public eye. The analysis will utilize the 2005 United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights to establish implications regarding the societal responsibilities of pharmaceutical companies in a global context. To accomplish this, Article 14 of the UDBHR—social responsibility and health—will be articulated in order to advocate a viewpoint of socially responsible capitalism in which pharmaceutical companies continue as profit-making ventures, yet establish moral concern for the welfare of all their stakeholders, including the healthcare consumer. (shrink)
The prospects for Aristotelian character education is considered. Seven important claims that should win wide acceptance are reviewed; and also two challenges that are impediments. I argue many of the assumptions of ACE turn out not to be distinctive. The conflation of realism and naturalism is ill-considered, and the account of phronesis will need additional clarification to be helpful to educators, as will the specific recommendations on offer. I conclude with a suggestion that Dewey offers a powerful, empirically grounded, educationally (...) accessible account of moral functioning that meets the desiderata of ACE; and that charting an integrative perspective is an exciting prospect for the future. (shrink)
The aim of this book is to argue that issues in metaphysics—in particular issues about the nature of states and causation—will have a significant impact in philosophy of mind. As Steward puts it: “the category of state has been so grossly misunderstood that some theories of mind which are supposed to encompass entities traditionally regarded as falling under the category, e.g., beliefs and desires, cannot so much as be sensibly formulated, once we are clearer about the nature of states”. According (...) to Steward, there are two different approaches to the metaphysics of states: a view according to which states are events, and a view according to which states are facts. Steward says that many discussions in philosophy of mind proceed on the basis of the first view, and thus proceed on what she calls the particularist approach. Steward argues that the particularist approach is mistaken, that states are facts, and that if we would recognize this, many of the problems and positions in philosophy of mind would disappear. (shrink)
Although Thomas Hobbes’s critics have often accused him of espousing a form of extreme subjection that differs only in name from outright slavery, Hobbes’s own striking views about slavery have attracted little notice. For Hobbes repeatedly insists that slaves, uniquely among the populace, maintain an unlimited right of resistance by force. But how seriously should we take this doctrine, particularly in the context of the rapidly expanding Atlantic slave trade of Hobbes’s time? While there are several reasons to doubt whether (...) Hobbes’s arguments here should be taken at face value, the most serious stems from the highly restricted definition that he gives to the term “slave,” one that would seem to make his acceptance of slave resistance entirely hollow in practice. Yet a closer examination of Hobbes’s theory indicates that his understanding of slavery is less narrow than it might initially appear—and thus that his argument carries a genuine political bite. (shrink)
According to many accounts of faith—where faith is thought of as something psychological, e.g., an attitude, state, or trait—one cannot have faith without belief of the relevant propositions. According to other accounts of faith, one can have faith without belief of the relevant propositions. Call the first sort of account doxasticism since it insists that faith requires belief; call the second nondoxasticism since it allows faith without belief. The New Testament may seem to favor doxasticism over nondoxasticism. For it may (...) seem that, according to the NT authors, one can have faith in God, as providential, or faith that Jesus is the Messiah, or be a person of Christian faith, and the like only if one believes the relevant propositions. In this essay, I propose to assess this tension, as it pertains to the Gospel of Mark. The upshot of my assessment is that, while it may well appear that, according to Mark, one can have faith only if one believes the relevant propositions, appearances are deceiving. Mark said no such thing. Rather, what Mark said—by way of story—about faith fits nondoxasticism at least as well as doxasticism, arguably better. More importantly, the account of faith that emerges from Mark is that faith consists in resilience in the face of challenges to living in light of the overall positive stance to the object of faith, where that stance consists in certain conative, cognitive, and behavioral-dispositional elements. (shrink)
This is a reply to Hutchinson, P. and Read, R. “An Elucidatory Interpretation of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus: Critique of Daniel D. Hutto’s and Marie McGinn’s Reading of Tractatus 6.54″. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 14(1) 2006: 1-29. A further reply from Hutchinson, P.”Unsinnig: A Reply to Hutto” is also forthcoming.
Can fictionalists have faith? It all depends on how we disambiguate ‘fictionalists’ and on what faith is. I consider the matter in light of my own theory. After clarifying its central terms, I distinguish two fictionalists – atheistic and agnostic – and I argue that, even though no atheistic fictionalist can have faith on my theory, agnostic fictionalists arguably can. After rejecting Finlay Malcolm's reasons for thinking this is a problem, I use his paradigmatic agnostic fictionalist as a foil to (...) explore a variety of ways in which to describe agnostic fictionalists, none of whom pose a problem for my theory. (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.
Simple Logic succeeds in conveying the standard topics in introductory logic with easy-to-understand explanations of rules and methods, whilst featuring a multitude of interesting and relevant examples drawn from both literary texts and contemporary culture.
Many libertarians believe that self-ownership is a separate matter from ownership of extra-personal property. “No-proviso” libertarians hold that property ownership should be free of any “fair share” constraints, on the grounds that the inability of the very poor to control property leaves their self-ownership intact. By contrast, left-libertarians hold that while no one need compensate others for owning himself, still property owners must compensate others for owning extra-personal property. What would a “self” have to be for these claims to be (...) true? I argue that both of these camps must conceive of the boundaries of the self as including one's body but no part of the extra-personal world. However, other libertarians draw those boundaries differently, so that self-ownership cannot be separated from the right to control extra-personal property after all. In that case, property ownership must be subject to a fair share constraint, but that constraint does not require appropriators to pay compensation. This view, which I call “right libertarianism,” differs importantly from the other types primarily in its conception of the self, which I argue is independently more plausible. (shrink)
This article traces the history of the concept of dignity in Western thought, arguing that it became a formal Catholic theological concept only in the late nineteenth century. Three uses of the word are distinguished: intrinsic, attributed, and inflorescent dignity, of which, it is argued, the intrinsic conception is foundational. The moral norms associated with respect for intrinsic dignity are discussed briefly. The scriptural and theological bases for adopting the concept of dignity as a Christian idea are elucidated. The article (...) concludes by discussing the relevance of this concept of dignity to the spiritual and ethical care of the dying. (shrink)
In the preface of the 2006 edition ofJust and Unjust Wars, Michael Walzer makes an important distinction between, on the one hand, “measures short of war,” such as imposing no-fly zones, pinpoint air/missile strikes, and CIA operations, and on the other, “actual warfare,” typified by a ground invasion or a large-scale bombing campaign. Even if the former are, technically speaking, acts of war according to international law, he proffers that “it is common sense to recognize that they are very different (...) from war.” While they all involve “the use of force,” Walzer distinguishes between the level of force used: the former, being more limited in scope, lack the “unpredictable and often catastrophic consequences” of a “full-scale attack.” Walzer calls the ethical framework governing these measuresjus ad vim, and he applies it to state-sponsored uses of force against both state and nonstate actors outside a state's territory that fall short of the quantum and duration associated with traditional warfare. Compared to acts of war,jus ad vimactions present diminished risk to one's own troops, have a destructive outcome that is more predictable and smaller in scale, severely curtail the risk of civilian casualties, and entail a lower economic and military burden. These factors makejus ad vimactions nominally easier for statesmen to justify compared to conventional warfare, though this does not necessarily mean these actions are morally legitimate or that they do not have potentially nefarious consequences. (shrink)
Recent professional guidelines published by the General Medical Council instruct physicians in the UK to be honest and open in any financial agreements they have with their patients and third parties. These guidelines are in addition to a European policy addressing disclosure of physician financial interests in the industry. Similarly, In the US, a national open payments program as well as Federal regulations under the Affordable Care Act re-address the issue of disclosure of physician financial interests in America. These new (...) professional and legal changes make us rethink the fiduciary duties of providers working under new organizational and financial schemes, specifically their clinical fidelity and their moral and professional obligations to act in the best interests of patients. The article describes the legal changes providing the background for such proposals and offers a prima facie ethical analysis of these evolving issues. It is argued that although disclosure of conflicting interest may increase trust it may not necessarily be beneficial to patients nor accord with their expectations and needs. Due to the extra burden associated with disclosure as well as its implications on the medical profession and the therapeutic relationship, it should be held that transparency of physician financial interest should not result in mandatory disclosure of such interest by physicians. It could lead, as some initiatives in Europe and the US already demonstrate, to voluntary or mandatory disclosure schemes carried out by the industry itself. Such schemes should be in addition to medical education and the address of the more general phenomenon of physician conflict of interest in ethical codes and ethical training of the parties involved. (shrink)
The essay examines kant's treatment of mechanisms and mechanical science in the major works of kant's critical period. it is argued that kant's conception of mechanism as a science must be understood through the distinctive elements the critical idea of nature developed in the "critique of pure reason" and the "critique of judgement". rather than appearing as a champion of the sufficiency of classical mechanics, kant emerges as one puzzled about the very intelligibility of the basic concepts of a mechanical (...) science. he ultimately maintains that the coherence of mechanical science derives from the regulative idea of systematic unity. (shrink)
It is extraordinary, when one thinks about it, how little attention has been paid by theorists of the nature and justification of punishment to the idea that punishment is essentially a matter of self-defense. H. L. A. Hart, for example, in his famous “Prolegomenon to the Principles of Punishment,” is clearly committed to the view that, at bottom, there are just three directions in which a plausible theory of punishment can go: we can try to justify punishment on purely consequentialist (...) grounds, which for Hart, I think, would be to try to construct a purely utilitarian justification of punishment; we can try to justify punishment on purely retributive grounds; or we can try to justify punishment on grounds that are some sort of shrewd combination of consequentialist and retributive considerations. Entirely absent from Hart's discussion is any consideration of the possibility that punishment might be neither a matter of maximizing the good, nor of exacting retribution for a wrongful act, nor of some imaginative combination of these things, but, rather, of something altogether different from either of them: namely, the exercise of a fundamental right of self-protection. Similarly, but much more recently, R. A. Duff, despite the fact that he himself introduces and defends an extremely interesting fourth possibility, begins his discussion by writing as though, apart from his contribution, there are available to us essentially just the options previously sketched by Hart. Again, there is no mention here, any more than in Hart's or any number of other recent discussions, of the possibility that we might be able to justify the institution of punishment on grounds that are indeed forward-looking, to use Hart's famous term, but that are not at all consequentialist in any ordinary sense of the word. (shrink)
By embodying the hopes of a set of qualitative liberals who believed that postwar economic abundance opened up opportunities for self-development, David Riesman's bestselling The Lonely Crowd influenced the New Left. Yet Riesman's assessment of radical youth protest shifted over the course of the 1960s. As an antinuclear activist he worked closely with New Left leaders during the early 1960s. By the end of the decade, he became a sharp critic of radical protest. However, other leading members of Riesman's circle, (...) such as Kenneth Keniston, author of the influential Young Radicals, applied Riesman's ideas to create more sympathetic understandings of the New Left. Examining reactions to the New Left by Riesman and his associates allows historians to go beyond the common understanding of the key ideological divisions of the 1960s as existing between liberalism and radicalism or between liberalism and conservatism to better appreciate the significance of splits among liberals themselves. (shrink)