The likely impact of applying the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) to higher education are examined. GATS aims to “open up” services to competition: no preference can be shown to national or government providers. The consequences for teaching are likely to be that private companies, with degree-awarding powers, would be eligible for the same subsidies as public providers. Appealing to the inadequate recently introduced “benchmark” statements as proof of quality, they would provide a “bare bones” service at lower (...) cost. Public subsidies would go: education being reduced to that minimum which could be packaged in terms of verifiable “learning outcomes”. The loss of “higher” aspirations, such education of critically-minded citizens of a democratic and civilised society would impoverish the university’s research culture which demands honesty and openness to public scrutiny. (shrink)
Ideology and science Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9535-3 Authors David E. Packham, Materials Research Centre, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
In 1929, doubtless to the discomfort of his logical positivist host Moritz Schlick, Wittgenstein remarked, ‘To be sure, I can understand what Heidegger means by Being and Angst ’ . I return to what Heidegger meant and Wittgenstein could understand later. I begin with that remark because it has had an instructive career. When the passage which it prefaced was first published in 1965, the editors left it out—presumably to protect a hero of ‘analytic’ philosophy from being compromised by an (...) expression of sympathy for the arch-fiend of ‘continental’ philosophy. It was as if a diary of Churchill's had been discovered containing admiring references to Hitler. This was the period, after all, when Heidegger was, as Michael Dummett recalls, a ‘joke’ among Oxford philosophers, the paradigm of the sort of metaphysical nonsense Wittgenstein had dedicated himself to exposing. (shrink)
The week, twenty-five years ago, of the Apollo spacecraft's return visit to the moon was described by Richard Nixon as the greatest since the Creation. Across the Atlantic, a French Academician judged the same event to matter less than the discovery of a lost etching by Daumier. Attitudes to technological achievement, then, differ. And they always have. Chuang-Tzu, over 2,000 years ago, relates an exchange between a Confucian passer-by and a Taoist gardener watering vegetables with a bucket drawn from a (...) well. ‘Don't you know that there is a machine with which 100 beds are easily watered in a day?’—‘How does it work?’—‘It's a counterbalanced ladle’—‘too clever to be good … all machines have to do with formulae, artificiality [which] destroy native ingenuity … and prevent the Tao from residing peacefully in one's heart’. ‘Engines of mischief, in the words of the Luddite song, or testaments to ‘the nobility of man [as] the conqueror of matter’, in those of Primo Levi, the products of technology continue to inspire phobia and philia. (shrink)
???Everyone agrees that the moral features of things supervene on their natural features??? , 22). Everyone is wrong, or so I will argue. In the first section, I explain the version of moral supervenience that Smith and others argue everyone should accept. In the second section, I argue that the mere conceptual possibility of a divine command theory of morality is sufficient to refute the version of moral supervenience under consideration. Lastly, I consider and respond to two objections, showing, among (...) other things, that while DCT is sufficient to refute this version of moral supervenience it is not necessary. (shrink)
In his quest to solve 'the ever-disquieting riddle of existence', Schopenhauer explored almost every dimension of human existence, developing a darkly compelling worldview that found deep resonance in contemporary literature, music, philosophy, and psychology. This is the first comprehensive biography of Schopenhauer written in English. Placing him in his historical and philosophical contexts, David E. Cartwright tells the story of Schopenhauer's life to convey the full range of his philosophy. He offers a fully documented portrait in which he explores (...) Schopenhauer's fractured family life, his early formative influences, his critical loyalty to Kant, his personal interactions with Fichte and Goethe, his ambivalent relationship with Schelling, his contempt for Hegel, his struggle to make his philosophy known, and his reaction to his late-arriving fame. (shrink)
David Cooper explores and defends the view that a reality independent of human perspectives is necessarily indescribable, a "mystery." Other views are shown to be hubristic. Humanists, for whom "man is the measure" of reality, exaggerate our capacity to live without the sense of an independent measure. Absolutists, who proclaim our capacity to know an independent reality, exaggerate our cognitive powers. In this highly original book Cooper restores to philosophy a proper appreciation of mystery-that is what provides a measure (...) of our beliefs and conduct. (shrink)
Aside from aperçus of Kant, Nietzsche, and of course, Aristotle, metaphor has not, until recently, received its due. The dominant view has been Hobbes': metaphors are an ‘abuse’ of language, less dangerous than ordinary equivocation only because they ‘profess their inconstancy’.
Not long after the historian, Seeley, had defined ‘perfect liberty’ as ‘the absence of all government’, Oscar Wilde wrote that a man can be totally free even in that granite embodiment of governmental constraint, prison. Ten years after Mill's famous defence of civil freedoms, On Liberty , Richard Wagner declaimed: I'll put up with everything—police, soldiers, muzzling of the press, limits on parliament… Freedom of the spiriti is the only thing for men to be proud of and which raises them (...) above animals. (shrink)
Characterizations of philosophy abound. It is ‘the queen of the sciences’, a grand and sweeping metaphysical endeavour; or, less regally, it is a sort of deep anthropology or ‘descriptive metaphysics’, uncovering the general presuppositions or conceptual schemes that lurk beneath our words and thoughts. A different set of images portray philosophy as a type of therapy, or as a spiritual exercise, a way of life to be followed, or even as a special branch of poetry or politics. Then there is (...) a group of characterizations that include philosophy as linguistic analysis, as phenomenological description, as conceptual geography, or as genealogy in the sense proposed by Nietzsche and later taken up by Foucault. (shrink)
Why do gardens matter so much and mean so much to people? That is the intriguing question to which David Cooper seeks an answer in this book. Given the enthusiasm for gardens in human civilization ancient and modern, Eastern and Western, it is surprising that the question has been so long neglected by modern philosophy. Now at last there is a philosophy of gardens. David Cooper identifies garden appreciation as a special human phenomenon distinct from both from the (...) appreciation of art and the appreciation of nature. He discusses the contribution of gardening and other garden-related pursuits to "the good life." And he distinguishes the many kinds of meanings that gardens may have, from their representation of nature to their spiritual significance. A Philosophy of Gardens will open up this subject to students and scholars of aesthetics, ethics, and cultural and environmental studies, and to anyone with a reflective interest in things horticultural. (shrink)
This study uses theories of moral reasoning and moral competence to investigate how university codes of ethics, perceptions of ethical culture, academic pressure from significant others, and ethics pedagogy are related to the moral development of students. Results suggest that ethical codes and student perceptions of such codes affect their perceptions of the ethical nature of the cultures within these institutions. In addition, faculty and student discussion of ethics in business courses is significantly and positively related to moral competence among (...) students. Our results point to the need to further examine the connections among academic institutional structures, ethics pedagogy, and students’ moral development. (shrink)
First published in 1990, _Existentialism_ is widely regarded as a classic introductory survey of the topic, and has helped to renew interest in existentialist philosophy. The author places existentialism within the great traditions of philosophy, and argues that it deserves as much attention from analytic philosophers as it has always received on the continent.
Philosophers have traditionally approached questions of meaning as part of the philosophy of language. In this book David Cooper broadens the analysis beyond linguistic meaning to offer a an account of meaning in general. He shows that not only words, sentences, and utterances in the linguistic domain can be described as meaningful but also items in such domains as art, ceremony, social action, and bodily gesture. Unlike much of the recent work in the philosophy of meaning, Cooper is not (...) concerned with trying to develop a theory of meaning but with examining the meaning of meaning through an overview of the behaviour and scope of "meaning" and its cognates, addressing questions about the import, function, and status of meaning. This fuller account of meaning not only addresses questions of the meaning of meaning but also the issues or problems that answers to those questions generate, such as, Is meaning just a misleading "folk" term for something more basic, such as the causal conditions governing the production of certain noises and movements? Is meaning something that we should strive for or should we let our lives "just be," rather than mean? By taking the problem of meaning out of the technical philosophy of language and providing a more general account Cooper is able to offer new insights into the meaning of meaning that will be of interest not only to philosophers of language but to philosophers working in other areas, such as epistemology and metaphysics. (shrink)
‘Reactionary modernism’ is a term happily coined by the historian and sociologist Jeffrey Herf to refer to a current of German thought during the interwar years. It indicates the attempt to ‘reconcil[e] the antimodernist, romantic and irrationalist ideas present in German nationalism’ with that ‘most obvious manifestation of means–ends rationality … modern technology’. Herf's paradigm examples of this current of thought are two best-selling writers of the period: Oswald Spengler, author of the massive domesday scenario The Decline of the West (...) in 1917 and, fifteen years later, of Man and Technics, and Ernst Jünger, the now centenarian chronicler of the war in which he was a much-decorated hero, whose main theoretical work was Der Arbeiter in 1932. The label is also applied by Herf to such intellectual luminaries as the legal theorist and apologist for the Third Reich, Carl Schmitt, and more contentiously Martin Heidegger. At a less elevated level, reactionary modernism also permeated the writings of countless, now forgotten engineers, who were inspired at once by the new technology, Nietzschean images of Promethean Übermenschen, and an ethos of völkisch nationalism. (shrink)
We are reporting on how involved the mentor was in promoting responsible research in cases of research misconduct. We reviewed the USPHS misconduct files of the Office of Research Integrity. These files are created by Institutions who prosecute a case of possible research misconduct; ORI has oversight review of these investigations. We explored the role of the mentor in the cases of trainee research misconduct on three specific behaviors that we believe mentors should perform with their trainee: review source data, (...) teach specific research standards and minimize stressful work situations. We found that almost three quarters of the mentors had not reviewed the source data and two thirds had not set standards. These two behaviors are positively correlated. We did not see convincing evidence in the records that mentors were causing stress, but it was apparent in the convicted trainees’ confessions that over 50% experienced some kind of stress. Secondary data, while not created for this research purpose, allows us to look at concrete research behaviors that are otherwise not very researchable. We believe it is important for mentors and institutions to devote more attention to teaching mentors about the process of education and their responsibilities in educating the next generation of scientists. This becomes a critical issue for large research groups who need to determine who is in charge educating, supervising and assuring data integrity. (shrink)
Discussions of “indeterminacy” customarily distinguish two putative types: semantic indeterminacy (SI)—indeterminacy that’s somehow the product of the semantics of our words/concepts—and metaphysical indeterminacy (MI)—indeterminacy that exists as a mind/language-independent feature of reality itself. A popular and influential thought among philosophers is that all indeterminacy must be SI. In this paper we challenge this thought. Our challenge is guided by the question: What, exactly, does it take for a case of indeterminacy to count as SI? We argue that the only satisfactory (...) answer to this question must take SI to be grounded in a more basic type of MI. We conclude that SI cannot be made sense of without implicating MI. If there’s any indeterminacy, there must be indeterminacy in the world itself. (shrink)
The current literature on indeterminacy centers around two projects. One concerns the logic of indeterminacy; the other concerns its nature or source. The aim of this paper is to introduce, motivate and go some way toward addressing a new, third project: that of providing what I call a minimal characterization of indeterminacy. An MC, to a first approximation, is a relatively pre-theoretical characterization of indeterminacy that is neutral between the various substantive theories of the nature and logic of indeterminacy. An (...) MC thus captures a generic sense of indeterminacy that, at least in principle, is recognized by all parties to the debate over the phenomenon’s underlying nature and logic. I begin by introducing the concept of an MC and outlining some of the main theoretical virtues of providing an MC. I then establish some desiderata on a suitable MC, and use these desiderata to rule out various initially attractive proposals. In the final part of the paper I sketch the beginnings of my own MC and defend it against objections. (shrink)
A property analysis of the U.K. Biobank reveals a new imagination of the genomic biobank as a national commonpool resource. U.K. Biobank's treatment of property and governance exhibit both strengths and weaknesses that may be instructive to genome project planners around the world.
Personal values have long been associated with individual decision behavior. The role played by personal values in decision making within an organization is less clear. Past research has found that managers tend to respond to ethical dilemmas situationally. This study examines the relationship between personal values and the ethical dimension of decision making using Partial Least Squares (PLS) analysis. The study examines personal values as they relate to five types of ethical dilemmas. We found a significant positive contribution of altruistic (...) values to ethical decision making and a significant negative contribution of self-enhancement values to ethical decision making. (shrink)
This paper examines potential predictors of ethical decisions regarding insider trading. An interactionist perspective is taken, in which person variables, situational variables, and the interaction of these two sets of variables are viewed as influencing ethical decisions. The results of our study support such a perspective. Ethical decisions regarding insider trading appear to be a function of a complex set of interacting variables related to both the person and the situation. The implications of these findings are discussed.
A subtitle for this paper might have been ‘The ugly face of Verstehen ’, for it asks whether the theory of Verstehen has, to switch metaphors, ‘dirty hands’. By the theory of Verstehen, I mean the constellation of concepts—life, experience, expression, interpretative understanding—which, according to Wilhelm Dilthey, are essential for the study of human affairs, thereby showing that ‘the methodology of the human studies [Geisteswissenschafteri] is … different from that of the physical sciences’ :1 for in the latter, these concepts (...) have no similar place. Even critics of Dilthey tend to agree that his heart, if not his head, was in the right place: that Verstehen was designed as an antidote to ‘dehumanizing’ attempts by positivists to reduce the categories used in explaining human behaviour to just those equally operative in the physical sciences. As Dilthey himself put it, ‘there is no real blood flowing in the veins’ of human beings as examined by the positivists and their precursors: they do not treat of ‘the whole man’. The idea of Verstehen, it seems, is doubly humane: a humanizing approach to the humane studies. (shrink)
Although scientific and commercial excitement about genomic biobanks has subsided since the biotech bust in 2000, they continue to fascinate life scientists, bioethicists, and politicians alike. Indeed, these assemblages of personal health information, human DNA, and heterogeneous capital have become and remain important events in the ethics and politics of the life sciences. For starters, they continue to reveal and produce the central scientific, technological, and economic paradigms so ascendant in biology today: genome, infotech, and market. Biobanks also illustrate what (...) might be called the new distributive politics of biomedical research. Within those politics, the commodification of persons – or at the very least, of their informational representations – has challenged the ontological, ethical, and political underpinnings of the social contract between researchers and their human research subjects. In brief, biobanks are unsettling relations between genes, tissue, medical records, and persons. But it is also clear that these relations are increasingly being restructured by new rights of control, access, exclusion, and use known as “property,” both material and intellectual. (shrink)
This collection of Habermas's recent essays on philosophical topics continues the analysis begun in The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity. In a short introductory essay, he outlines the sources of twentieth-century philosophizing, its major themes, and the range of current debates. The remainder of the essays can be seen as his contribution to these debates.Habermas's essay on George Herbert Mead is a focal point of the book. In it he sketches a postmetaphysical, intersubjective approach to questions of individuation and subjectivity. In (...) other essays, he develops his distinctive, communications-theoretic approach to questions of meaning and validity. The book as a whole expands on his earlier efforts to define a middle ground between nostalgic revivals of metaphysical conceptions of reason and radical deconstructions of reason. Jürgen Habermas is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Frankfurt.The Essays: The Horizon of Modernity is Shifting. Metaphysics after Kant. Themes in Postmetaphysical Thinking. Toward a Critique of the Theory of Meaning. Peirce and Communication. The Unity of Reason in the Diversity of Its Voices. Individuation through Socialization: On George Herbert Mead's Theory of Subjectivity. Philosophy and Science as Literature? (shrink)
The two main psychological theories of the ordinary conditional were designed to account for inferences made from assumptions, but few premises in everyday life can be simply assumed true. Useful premises usually have a probability that is less than certainty. But what is the probability of the ordinary conditional and how is it determined? We argue that people use a two stage Ramsey test that we specify to make probability judgements about indicative conditionals in natural language, and we describe experiments (...) that support this conclusion. Our account can explain why most people give the conditional probability as the probability of the conditional, but also why some give the conjunctive probability. We discuss how our psychological work is related to the analysis of ordinary indicative conditionals in philosophical logic. (shrink)
This paper examines how a person’s life may be shaped by living with a sense of the mystery of reality. What virtues, if any, are encouraged by such a sense? The first section rehearses a radical ”doctrine of mystery’, according to which reality as it anyway is, independently of human perspectives, is ineffable. It is then argued that a sense of mystery may provide ”measure’ for human lives. For it is possible for a life to be ”consonant’ with this sense (...) -- through exercising humility, for example -- and even to emulate mystery. A further section corrects a misunderstanding about the connection between a sense of mystery and the virtues it invites, while a final section considers the relationship between living with mystery and religious faith. (shrink)
Objective Gather information from physicians about factors contributing to unnecessary noninvasive imaging and impact of possible solutions. Methods Qualitative study of 14 physicians using a phenomenological approach and the Theoretical Domains Framework. Results Most participants self-reported that >10% of the imaging tests they order are unnecessary. External sources of pressure included: peer-review, patient demands, nursing expectations, specialist requests, as well as prior experience with patient advocates, and the compensation and pension system. Internal sources of pressure included reliance on anecdote, self-doubt (...) about diagnoses, and fear of missing a diagnosis and of professional liability. Participants expressed both optimism and concern about potential solutions, such as adopting decision support software. Conclusion Physicians are under pressure from multiple sources to order unnecessary imaging. Peer review, nursing expectations, and perceptions about Veteran compensation and pension are newly reported contributing factors. (shrink)
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