Gauge invariance of a manifestly covariant relativistic quantum theory with evolution according to an invariant time τ implies the existence of five gauge compensation fields, which we shall call pre-Maxwell fields. A Lagrangian which generates the equations of motion for the matter field (coinciding with the Schrödinger type quantum evolution equation) as well as equations, on a five-dimensional manifold, for the gauge fields, is written. It is shown that τ integration of the equations for the pre-Maxwell fields results in the (...) usual Maxwell equations with conserved current source. The analog of the O (3, 1) symmetry of the usual Maxwell theory is found to be O (3, 2) or O (4, 1), depending on the space-time Fourier spectrum of the field. We argue that the structure that is relevant to the description of radiation in interaction with matter evolving in a timelike sense is that of O (3, 2). The noncovariant form of the field equations is given; there are two fields of electric type and one (divergenceless) magnetic type field. The Noether currents are studied, and some remarks are made on second quantization. (shrink)
Arianne Shahvisi has argued that a doctor’s conscientious objection to abortion is a misuse of their authority which unduly burdens patients and, moreover, does not succeed in its aim of exculpating objectors from participating in perceived evil. We examine these claims in this response. First, we ask what the ‘conscience clause’ really requires of doctors and whether Shahvisi has interpreted it correctly. Second, we explore the notions of vulnerability and power in the doctor–patient relationship and cast doubt on Shahvisi’s claims (...) about these. Third, we tackle Shahvisi’s claim that conscientious objection is self-defeating because it entails remaing causally implicated in a chain of events leading to abortion. We show that this claim entails absurdity, then revisit the classical framework for the ethics ethics of co-operation to show that conscientious objection can suceed in exculpating objectors from perceived wrongdoing. We briefly critically evaluate the General Medical Council’s guidance on conscie... (shrink)
Respect for Autonomy has been a mainstay of medical ethics since its enshrinement as one of the four principles of biomedical ethics by Beauchamp and Childress’ in the late 1970s. This paper traces the development of this modern concept from Antiquity to the present day, paying attention to its Enlightenment origins in Kant and Rousseau. The rapid C20th developments of bioethics and RFA are then considered in the context of the post-war period and American socio-political thought. The validity and utility (...) of the RFA are discussed in light of this philosophical-historical account. It is concluded that it is not necessary to embrace an ethic of autonomy in order to guard patients from coercion or paternalism, and that, on the contrary, the dominance of autonomy threatens to undermine those very things which have helped doctors come to view and respect their patients as persons. (shrink)
Dualism holds that some mental events are fundamental and non-physical. I develop a prima facie plausible causal argument for dualism. The argument has several significant implications. First, it constitutes a new way of arguing for dualism. Second, it provides dualists with a parity response to causal arguments for physicalism. Third, it transforms the dialectical role of epiphenomenalism. Fourth, it refutes the view that causal considerations prima facie support physicalism but not dualism. After developing the causal argument for dualism and drawing (...) out these implications, I subject the argument to a battery of objections. Some prompt revisions to the argument. Others reveal limitations in scope. It falls out of the discussion that the causal argument for dualism is best used against physicalism as a keystone in a divide and conquer strategy. (shrink)
Florence Ashley has argued that requiring patients with gender dysphoria to undergo an assessment and referral from a mental health professional before undergoing hormone replacement therapy is unethical and may represent an unconscious hostility towards transgender people. We respond, first, by showing that Ashley has conflated the self-reporting of symptoms with self-diagnosis, and that this is not consistent with the standard model of informed consent to medical treatment. Second, we note that the model of informed consent involved in cosmetic surgery (...) resembles the model Ashley defends, and that psychological assessment and referral is recognised as an important aspect of such a model. Third, we suggest that the increased prevalence of psychiatric morbidity in the transgender population arguably supports the requirement of assessment and referral from a mental health professional prior to undergoing HRT. (shrink)
Interactionists hold that non-spatial objects causally interact with physical objects. Interactionists have traditionally grappled with the puzzle of how such interaction is possible. More recently, Jaegwon Kim has presented interactionists with a more daunting threat: the pairing argument, which purports to refute interactionism by showing that non-spatial objects cannot stand in causal relations. After reviewing that argument, I develop a challenge to it on behalf of the interactionist. The challenge poses a dilemma: roughly, either haecceities exist or they do not. (...) I argue that the pairing argument fails in either case. While the challenge does not explain exactly how the pairing argument goes wrong, it shows that the argument fails. The challenge also explains the difficulty in pinpointing the pairing argument’s failure: exactly how the pairing argument fails depends on difficult issues concerning the nature of objects. (shrink)
Hoping to bring some objectivity to the debate, Ben-Moshe has argued that conscientious objection in medicine should be accommodated based on its concordance with the ‘impartial spectator’, a metaphor for conscience drawn from the writings of Adam Smith. This response finds fault with this account on two fronts: first, that its claim to objectivity is unsubstantiated; second, that it implicitly relies on moral absolutes, despite claiming that conscience is a social construct, thereby calling its coherence and claims into question. Briefly, (...) a traditional account of conscience is then described, before ending with a related thesis for future discussion. (shrink)
Räsänen has attempted to make a moral case for permitting some people to change their legal age: if someone considers that their chronological age does not correspond to their emotional age or biological age, and they face age-based discrimination as a result, they may change the legal record of their age. This response considers some of the problems with Räsänen’s paper, including its reliance on equivocation. It concludes that what is billed as a moral argument turns out to be a (...) conflicted case for deception which relies on a nihilistic outlook on reality. (shrink)
Though not myself a physicalist, I develop a new argument against antiphysicalist positions that are motivated by zombie arguments. I first identify four general features of phenomenal states that are candidates for non-physical types; these are used to generate different types of zombie. I distinguish two antiphysicalist positions: strict dualism, which posits exactly one general non-physical type, and pluralism, which posits more than one such type. It turns out that zombie arguments threaten strict dualism and some pluralist positions as much (...) as they threaten physicalism—indeed, more so, since such positions need zombies to motivate them as alternatives to physicalism—and that the only pluralist position that escapes zombie arguments has a radically inflated ontology. (shrink)
Debate persists over the place of conscience in medicine. Some argue for the complete exclusion of conscientious objection, while others claim an absolute right of refusal. This paper proposes that claims of conscientious objection can and should be permitted if they concern kinds of actions which fall outside of the normative standard of medicine, which is the pursuit of health. Medical practice which meets this criterion we call medicine qua medicine. If conscientious refusal concerns something consonant with the health-restoring aims (...) of medicine, it entails a desertion of professional duty. If, however, it relates to something other than medicine qua medicine, it can rightly be refused. It thus becomes possible to test instances of conscientious objection to determine their validity, and thereby conserve both the principle of conscientious objection and define its scope. This test of conscience prevents arbitrary discrimination, and preserves doctors’ agency. It is a theoretical razor rooted in the pra... (shrink)
In her paper ‘Cosmetic surgery and conscientious objection’, Minerva rightly identifies cosmetic surgery as an interesting test case for the question of conscientious objection in medicine. Her treatment of this important subject, however, seems problematic. It is argued that Minerva's suggestion that a doctor has a prima facie duty to satisfy patient preferences even against his better clinical judgment, which we call Patient Preference Absolutism, must be regarded with scepticism. This is because it overlooks an important distinction regarding autonomy's meaning (...) and place in clinical practice, and it makes obsolete the important concepts of expert clinical judgment and beneficence. Finally, we discuss two ideas which emerge from consideration of cosmetic surgery in relation to conscientious objection. These are the possible analogy between clinical judgment and conscientious objection, and the possible role the goals of medicine can play in defining the scope of conscientious objection. (shrink)
The pairing argument aims to demonstrate the impossibility of non-spatial objects (including minds) standing in causal relations. Its chief premises are (roughly) that causation requires pairing relations between causes and effects and that pairing relations require spatial relations. Critics have argued that the first claim suffers from counterexamples involving indeterministic causation. After briefly rehearsing the pairing argument and the objection from indeterministic causation, I offer two ways of revising the pairing argument to meet the objection from indeterministic causation.
Reductive physicalists typically accept the causal argument for their view. On this score, Tiehen parts ways with his fellow reductive physicalists. Heretically, he argues that reductive physicalists should reject the causal argument. After presenting Tiehen's challenge, I defend the orthodoxy. Although not myself a reductive physicalist, I show how reductive physicalists can resist this challenge to the causal argument. I conclude with a positive suggestion about how reductive physicalists should use the causal argument.
Michael Dummett presents a modus tollens argument against a Wittgensteinian conception of meaning. In a series of papers, Dummett claims that Wittgensteinian considerations entail strict finitism. However, by a “sorites argument”, Dummett argues that strict finitism is incoherent and therefore questions these Wittgensteinian considerations.In this paper, I will argue that Dummett’s sorites argument fails to undermine strict finitism. I will claim that the argument is based on two questionable assumptions regarding some strict finitist sets of natural numbers. It will be (...) shown that strict finitism entails none of these assumptions. Hence, the argument does not prove that the view is internally incoherent, and consequently, Dummett fails to undermine the Wittgensteinian conception of meaning. (shrink)
It is widely assumed that the normativity of conceptual judgement poses problems for naturalism. Thus John McDowell urges that 'The structure of the space of reasons stubbornly resists being appropriated within a naturalism that conceives nature as the realm of law' (1994, p 73). Similar sentiments have been expressed by many other writers, for example Robert Brandom (1994, p xiii) and Paul Boghossian (1989, p 548).
This classic edition presents the correspondence of one of the great thinkers of the 18th century, and offers a rich picture of the man and his age. This first volume contains David Hume's letters from 1727 to 1765. Hume's correspondents include such famous public figures as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Adam Smith, James Boswell, and Benjamin Franklin.
Moral realism and antirealist-expressivism are of course incompatible positions. They disagree fundamentally about the nature of moral states of mind, the existence of moral states of affairs and properties, and the nature and role of moral discourse. The central realist view is that a person who has or expresses a moral thought is thereby in, or thereby expresses, a cognitive state of mind; she has or expresses a belief that represents a moral state of affairs in a way that might (...) be accurate or inaccurate. The view of antirealist-expressivism is that such a person is in, or expresses, a conative state of mind, one that consists in a certain kind of attitude or motivational stance toward something, such as an action or a person. Realism holds that moral thoughts have truth conditions and that in some cases these truth conditions are satisfied so that our moral thoughts are true. Antirealist-expressivism holds, to a first approximation, that the distinctive moral content of a moral thought does not have truth conditions. (shrink)
Does morality override self-interest? Or does self-interest override morality? These questions become important in situations where there is conflict between the overall verdicts of morality and self-interest, situations where morality on balance requires an action that is contrary to our self-interest, or where considerations of self-interest on balance call for an action that is forbidden by morality. In situations of this kind, we want to know what we ought simpliciter to do. If one of these standpoints over-rides the other, then (...) there is a straightforward answer. We ought simpliciter to act on the verdict of the overriding standpoint. For purposes of this essay, I assume that there are possible cases in which the overall verdicts of morality and self-interest conflict. I will call cases of this kind “conflict cases.” The verdict of morality in a conflict case would be a proposition as to what we ought morally to do, or as to what we have the most moral reason to do; the verdict of self-interest would be a proposition as to what we ought to do in our self-interest, or as to what action is best supported by reasons or considerations of self-interest. These propositions are action-guiding or normative in a familiar sense. The conflict between morality and self-interest in conflict cases is there-fore a normative conflict; it is a conflict between the overall verdicts of different normative standpoints. I take it that the question of whether morality overrides self-interest is the question of whether the verdicts of morality are normatively more important than the verdicts of self-interest. In due course, I will explain the idea of normative importance as well as the ideas of a normative proposition and of a reason. (shrink)
The priority view has become very popular in moral philosophy, but there is a serious question about how it should be formalized. The most natural formalization leads to ex post prioritarianism, which results from adding expected utility theory to the main ideas of the priority view. But ex post prioritarianism entails a claim which is too implausible for it to be a serious competitor to utilitarianism. In fact, ex post prioritarianism was probably never a genuine alternative to utilitarianism in the (...) first place. By contrast, ex ante prioritarianism is defensible. But its motivation is very different from the usual rationales offered for the priority view. Given the untenability of ex post prioritarianism, it is more natural for most friends of the priority view to revert to utilitarianism. (shrink)
In 'How Many Lives Has Schrödinger's Cat?' David Lewis argues that the Everettian no-collapse interpretation of quantum mechanics is in a tangle when it comes to probabilities. This paper aims to show that the difficulties that Lewis raises are insubstantial. The Everettian metaphysics contains a coherent account of probability. Indeed it accounts for probability rather better than orthodox metaphysics does.
Consequentialism is often criticized for failing to accommodate impersonal constraints and personal options. A common consequentialist response is to acknowledge the anticonsequentialist intuitions but to argue either that the consequentialist can, after all, accommodate the allegedly recalcitrant intuitions or that, where accommodation is impossible, the recalcitrant intuition can be dismissed for want of an adequate philosophical rationale. Whereas these consequentialist responses have some plausibility, associational duties represent a somewhat different challenge to consequentialism, inasmuch as they embody neither impersonal constraints nor (...) personal options, but rather personal constraints. Our intuitions about associational duties resist capture within the intellectual net of consequentialism, and such duties do admit of a philosophical rationale at least as plausible as anything the consequentialist has to offer. (shrink)
Jon Elster reports that in 1940, and again in 1970, the U.S. draft lottery was challenged for falling short of the legally mandated ‘random selection’. On both occasions, the physical mixing of the lots appeared to be incomplete, since the birth dates were clustered in a way that would have been extremely unlikely if the lots were fully mixed. There appears to have been no suspicion on either occasion that the deficiency in the mixing was intended, known, or believed to (...) favor or disfavor any identifiable group. If the selection was non-random in the way charged, Elster asks, was it unfair? (shrink)
The question I shall attempt to address in what follows is an essentially historical one, namely: Why did analytic philosophy emerge first in Cambridge, in the hands of G. E. Moore and Bertrand Russell, and as a direct consequence of their revolutionary rejection of the philosophical tenets that form the basis of British Idealism? And the answer that I shall try to defend is: it didn't. That is to say, the ‘analytic’ doctrines and methods which Moore and Russell embraced in (...) the very last years of the nineteenth century were not revolutionary, did not emerge first in Cambridge, were the creation of neither Russell nor Moore and cannot be explained by appeal to facts concerning British Idealism. The adoption of the doctrines and methods which characterised the earliest manifestations of British analytic philosophy are to be explained neither by reference to anything specifically British, nor by appeal to anything unproblematically philosophical. Or so I shall argue. (shrink)
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)
David and Mary Norton present the definitive scholarly edition of Hume's Treatise, one of the greatest philosophical works ever written. This set comprises the two volumes of texts and editorial material, which are also available for purchase separately. -/- David Hume (1711 - 1776) is one of the greatest of philosophers. Today he probably ranks highest of all British philosophers in terms of influence and philosophical standing. His philosophical work ranges across morals, the mind, metaphysics, epistemology, religion, and (...) aesthetics; he had broad interests not only in philosophy as it is now conceived but in history, politics, economics, religion, and the arts. He was a master of English prose. -/- The Clarendon Hume Edition will include all of his works except his History of England and minor historical writings. It is the only thorough critical edition, and will provide a far more extensive scholarly treatment than any previous editions. This edition (which has been in preparation since the 1970s) offers authoritative annotation, bibliographical information, and indexes, and draws upon the major advances in textual scholarship that have been made since the publication of earlier editions - advances both in the understanding of editorial principle and practice and in knowledge of the history of Hume's own texts. (shrink)
Propositions are the referents of the ‘that’-clauses that appear in the direct object positions of typical ascriptions of assertion, belief, and other binary cognitive relations. In that sense, propositions are the objects of those cognitive relations. Propositions are also the semantic contents (meanings, in one sense ) of declarative sentences, with respect to contexts. They are what sentences semantically express, with respect to contexts. Propositions also bear truth-values. The truth-value of a sentence, in a context, is the truth-value of the (...) proposition that it semantically expresses, in that context. This much is common ground among many (but not all) philosophers. I accept other claims about propositions that are more controversial. Propositions (I hold) are Russellian: they are structured entities whose constituents include individuals, properties, and relations. The contribution of a proper name to the proposition that a sentence semantically expresses (in a context) is the referent of that name. Thus, the semantic content of ‘Bill Clinton’ is Bill Clinton himself, and the semantic content of ‘Bill Clinton smokes’ is a proposition whose constituents are Bill Clinton and the property of smoking (ignoring tense, as I shall do from here on). Such 1 singular propositions are among the objects of belief, assertion, and other cognitive relations. This combination of a Millian view about proper names with a Russellian theory of propositions might appropriately be called ‘Millian Russellianism’, or ‘MR’ for short. David Chalmers, in his stimulating paper “Probability and Propositions,” defines a closely related view, Referentialism, as follows (see also the penultimate paragraph of his introduction). Referentialist views say that insofar as beliefs are about individuals (such as Nietzche), the objects of these belief are determined by those individuals. On one such view, the objects of belief are Russellian propositions composed from the individuals and properties that one’s belief is about.. (shrink)
The principle that One cannot deliberate over what one already knows is going to happen, when suitably qualified, has seemed to many philosophers to be about as secure a truth as one is likely to find in this life.Fortunately, poses little restriction on human deliberation, since the conditions which would trigger its prohibition seldom arise for us: our knowledge of the future is intermittent at best, and those things of which we do have advance knowledge are not the sorts of (...) things over which we would deliberate in any case. But matters appear to stand otherwise with an all-knowing agent such as God is traditionally conceived to be; for what an omniprescient deity ‘already knows is going to happen’ is everything that is going to happen; and if He cannot deliberate over such things, there is nothing over which He can deliberate. (shrink)
Criticized as a nostalgic anachronism by those who oppose her version of political theory and lauded as symbol of direct democratic participation by those who favor it, the Athenian polis features prominently in Hannah Arendt's account of politics. This essay traces the origin and development of Arendt's conception of the polis as a space of appearance from the early 1950s onward. It makes particular use of the Denktagebuch, Arendt's intellectual diary, in order to shed new light on the historicity of (...) one of her central concepts. The article contends that both critics and partisans of Arendt's use of the polis have made the same mistake: they have presumed that the polis represents a space of face-to-face immediacy. In fact, Arendt compared the polis to a series of analogues, many of which are not centered on direct exchanges between political actors and spectators. As a result, Arendt's early work on the polis turns out to anticipate many of the concerns of her later work on judgment, and her theory of the polis becomes a theory of topics. (shrink)
What role, if any, should our moral intuitions play in moral epistemology? We make, or are prepared to make, moral judgments about a variety of actual and hypothetical situations. Some of these moral judgments are more informed, reflective, and stable than others ; some we make more confidently than others; and some, though not all, are judgments about which there is substantial consensus. What bearing do our moral judgments have on philosophical ethics and the search for first principles in ethics? (...) Should these judgments constrain, or be constrained by, philosophical theorizing about morality? On the one hand, we might expect first principles to conform to our moral intuitions or at least to our considered moral judgments. After all, we begin the reflection that may lead to first principles from particular moral convictions. And some of our moral intuitions are more fixed and compelling than any putative first principle. If so, we might expect common moral beliefs to have an important evidential role in the construction and assessment of first principles. On the other hand, common moral beliefs often rest on poor information, reflect bias, or are otherwise mistaken. We often appeal to moral principles to justify our particular moral convictions or to resolve our disagreements. Insofar as this is true, we may expect first principles to provide a foundation on the basis of which to test common moral beliefs and, where necessary, form new moral convictions. (shrink)
It is common to regard love, friendship, and other associational ties to others as an important part of a happy or flourishing life. This would be easy enough to understand if we focused on friendships based on pleasure, or associations, such as business partnerships, predicated on mutual advantage. For then we could understand in a straightforward way how these interpersonal relationships would be valuable for someone involved in such relationships just insofar as they caused her pleasure or causally promoted her (...) own independent interests. But many who regard love, friendship, and other associational ties as an important part of a happy or flourishing life suppose that in many sorts of associations—especially intimate associations—the proper attitude among associates is concern for the other for the other's own sake, not just for the pleasure or benefits one can extract from one's associates. It is fairly clear how having friends of this sort is beneficial. What is less clear is how being a friend of this sort might contribute to one's own happiness or well-being. Even if we can explain this, it looks as if the contribution that friendship makes to one's happiness could not be the reason one has to care for friends, for that would seem to make one's concern for others instrumental, not a concern for the other for her own sake. (shrink)
Numerous grounds have been offered for the view that healthcare workers have a duty to treat, including expressed consent, implied consent, special training, reciprocity (also called the social contract view), and professional oaths and codes. Quite often, however, these grounds are simply asserted without being adequately defended or without the defenses being critically evaluated. This essay aims to help remedy that problem by providing a critical examination of the strengths and weaknesses of each of these five grounds for asserting that (...) healthcare workers have a duty to treat, especially as that duty would arise in the context of an infectious disease pandemic. Ultimately, it argues that none of the defenses is currently sufficient to ground the kind of duty that would be needed in a pandemic. It concludes by sketching some practical recommendations in that regard. (shrink)
The chief motivation for epiphenomenalist dualism is its promise to solve dualism’s causal exclusion problem without inducing causal overdetermination or violations of the causal closure of the physical. This paper argues that epiphenomenalist dualism is itself susceptible to an exclusion problem. The problem exploits symmetries of determination and influence generated by a wide class of physical theories. Further, I argue that there is an interference effect between solving epiphenomenalist dualism's exclusion problem and using epiphenomenalist dualism as a solution to the (...) causal exclusion problem. What emerges is an overlooked, empirically-motivated challenge to epiphenomenalist dualism. (shrink)
I explore two views about the relationship between spatial experience and spatial reality: spatial functionalism and spatial presentationalism. Roughly, spatial functionalism claims that the instantiated spatial properties are those playing a certain causal role in producing spatial experience while spatial presentationalism claims that the instantiated spatial properties include those presented in spatial experience. I argue that each view, in its own way, leads to an ontologically inflationary form of primitivism: whereas spatial functionalism leads to primitivism about phenomenal representation, spatial presentationalism (...) leads to primitivism about spatial properties. I conclude by discussing how to adjudicate between spatial functionalism and spatial presentationalism. (shrink)