On May, 1996, two of the journalism profession's best known and most articulate speakers spent 90 minutes in what was billed as a Heavyweight Bout. The subject was public journalism; The audience, a Society of Professiona1 Journalists regional conference; the venue, Macon, Georgia.
There can be no doubt that Kant thought we should be reflective: we ought to care to make up our own minds about how things are and what is worth doing. Philosophical objections to the Kantian reflective ideal have centred on concerns about the excessive control that the reflective person is supposed to exert over her own mental life, and Kantians who feel the force of these objections have recently drawn attention to Kant’s conception of moral virtue as it is (...) developed in his later work, chiefly the Metaphysics of Morals. Melissa Merritt’s book is a distinctive contribution to this recent turn to virtue in Kant scholarship. Merritt argues that we need a clearer, and textually more comprehensive, account of what reflection is, in order not only to understand Kant’s account of virtue, but also to appreciate how it effectively rebuts long-standing objections to the Kantian reflective ideal. (shrink)
In this paper I examine and reply to a deflationary challenge brought against virtue ethics. The challenge comes from critics who are impressed by recent psychological evidence suggesting that much of what we take to be virtuous conduct is in fact elicited by narrowly specific social settings, as opposed to being the manifestation of robust individual character. In answer to the challenge, I suggest a conception of virtue that openly acknowledges the likelihood of its deep, ongoing dependence upon particular social (...) relationships and settings. I argue that holding this conception will indeed cause problems for some important strands of thought in virtue ethics, most notably in the tradition of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. But an approach to virtue ethics modeled on David Hume's treatment of virtue and character in A Treatise of Human Nature promises to escape these problems. (shrink)
My project is to reconsider the Kantian conception of practical reason. Some Kantians think that practical reasoning must be more active than theoretical reasoning, on the putative grounds that such reasoning need not contend with what is there anyway, independently of its exercise. Behind that claim stands the thesis that practical reason is essentially efficacious. I accept the efficacy principle, but deny that it underwrites this inference about practical reason. My inquiry takes place against the background of recent Kantian metaethical (...) debate — each side of which, I argue, correctly points to issues that need to be jointly accommodated in the Kantian account of practical reason. The constructivist points to the essential efficacy of practical reason, while the realist claims that any genuinely cognitive exercise of practical reason owes allegiance to what is there anyway, independently of its exercise. I argue that a Kantian account of respect for persons (“recognition respect”) suggests how the two claims might be jointly accommodated. The result is an empirical moral realism that is itself neutral on the received Kantian metaethical debate. (shrink)
Recently, in cognitive science, the enactivist account of cognition has been gaining ground, due in part to studies of movement in conjunction with thought. The idea, as Noë , has put it, that “cognition is not something happening inside us or to us, but it’s something we do, something we achieve,” is increasingly supported by research on joint attention, movement coordination, and gesture. Not surprisingly, therefore, enactivists have also begun to look at “movement specialists”—dancers—for both scientific and phenomenological accounts of (...) thinking with and through movement. In this paper, I argue that a serious exploration of dance and movement does not merely bolster the enactivist view, but rather, it suggests a radical enactivism, as envisaged by, e.g., Hutto . To support this claim, I examine an account of “Thinking in Movement” provided by Maxine Sheets-Johnstone in order to highlight the ways in which intentional agency and meaning-making occur in improvisational dance. These processes, I further argue, closely mirror some of the key components of participatory sense making, as described by De Jaegher and Di Paolo :485–507, 2007). This is beneficial to my case, because it permits a discussion of “thought-full action” that does not depend upon standard cognitivist frameworks for explanation. By carefully focusing on how agency can help to separate mere “thrashing about” from meaningful movement, this paper aim to strengthen the position of radical enactivism from the unique perspective and dance and sense-making. (shrink)
This Element considers Kant's account of the sublime in the context of his predecessors both in the Anglophone and German rationalist traditions. Since Kant says with evident endorsement that 'we call sublime that which is absolutely great' and nothing in nature can in fact be absolutely great, Kant concludes that strictly speaking what is sublime can only be the human calling to perfect our rational capacity according to the standard of virtue that is thought through the moral law. The Element (...) takes account of the difference between respect and admiration as the two main varieties of sublime feeling, and concludes by considering the role of Stoicism in Kant's account of the sublime, particularly through the channel of Seneca. (shrink)
In an intriguing but neglected passage in the Transcendental Deduction, Kant appears to link the synthetic activity of the understanding in experience with the phenomenon of attention (B156-7n). In this paper, we take up this hint, and draw upon Kant's remarks about attention in the Anthropology to shed light on the vexed question of what, exactly, the understanding's role in experience is for Kant. We argue that reading Kant's claims about synthesis in this light allows us to combine two aspects (...) of Kant's views that many commentators have thought are in tension with one another: on the one hand, Kant's apparent commitment to naïve realism about perception and, on the other, his apparent commitment to the necessity of synthetic activity by the understanding for any kind of cognitive contact with external objects. (shrink)
For Kant, ‘reflection’ is a technical term with a range of senses. I focus here on the senses of reflection that come to light in Kant's account of logic, and then bring the results to bear on the distinction between ‘logical’ and ‘transcendental’ reflection that surfaces in the Amphiboly chapter of the Critique of Pure Reason. Although recent commentary has followed similar cues, I suggest that it labours under a blind spot, as it neglects Kant's distinction between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ (...) general logic. The foundational text of existing interpretations is a passage in Logik Jäsche that appears to attribute to Kant the view that reflection is a mental operation involved in the generation of concepts from non-conceptual materials. I argue against the received view by attending to Kant's division between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ general logic, identifying senses of reflection proper to each, and showing that none accords well with the received view. Finally, to take account of Kant's notio.. (shrink)
I examine the Aristotelean conception of virtuous character as firm and unchangeable, a normative ideal endorsed in the currently influential, broadly Aristotelean school of thought known as 'virtue ethics'. Drawing on central concepts of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, I offer an account of how this ideal is supposed to be realized psychologically. I then consider present-day empirical findings about relevant psychological processes, with special attention to interpersonal processes. The empirical evidence suggests that over time, the same interpersonal processes that sometimes help (...) to sustain character may also disrupt it, even among agents who have the right values in principle. Fortunately, the evidence also suggests some remedial measures. An important philosophical measure, I conclude, is for advocates of virtue ethics to address agents' psychological need for a systematic decision procedure that will focus attention primarily on substantive ethical considerations, rather than characterological assessment. (shrink)
A crucial feature of Kant's critical-period writing on the sublime is its grounding in moral psychology. Whereas in the pre-critical writings, the sublime is viewed as an inherently exhausting state of mind, in the critical-period writings it is presented as one that gains strength the more it is sustained. I account for this in terms of Kantian moral psychology, and explain that, for Kant, sound moral disposition is conceived as a sublime state of mind.
For Kant, the ideal of enlightenment is most fundamentally expressed as a self-developed soundness of judgment. But what does this mean when the judgment at issue is practical, i.e., concerns the good to be brought about through action? I argue that the moral context places special demands on the ideal of enlightenment. This is revealed through an interpretation of Kant’s prescription for moral pedagogy in the Critique of Practical Reason. The goal of the pedagogy is to cultivate the moral disposition, (...) and the method consists of training in judgment. Unfortunately, Kant seems to wind up somewhere short of this goal, leaving the young person with only an idle wish for a properly cultivated moral disposition. In this paper, I argue that when we address the special issues that arise when the enlightenment ideal is brought to bear on practical judgment — issues that stem from the intrinsic connection between practical judgment and agency — we will see that there is no lacuna in Kant’s account. (shrink)
We have investigated the emotional profile of dreams and the relationship between dream emotion and cognition using a form that specifically asked subjects to identify emotions within their dreams. Two hundred dream reports were collected from 20 subjects, each of whom produced 10 reports. Compared to previous studies, our method yielded a 10-fold increase in the amount of emotion reported. Anxiety/fear was reported most frequently, followed, in order, by joy/elation, anger, sadness, shame/guilt, and, least frequently, affection/eroticism. Unexpectedly, there was no (...) significant difference in the profiles of emotion reported by men and women. When the reports were scored for bizarreness, a significant correlation was found between the occurrence of bizarreness and major shifts in emotion. These results support the conclusion that dreaming is a mental state whose general emotional features are widely shared across individuals and strongly linked to cognitive features within individual dreams. (shrink)
I argue that some important elements of the current cosmological model are 'conventionalist’ in the sense defined by Karl Popper. These elements include dark matter and dark energy; both are auxiliary hypotheses that were invoked in response to observations that falsified the standard model as it existed at the time. The use of conventionalist stratagems in response to unexpected observations implies that the field of cosmology is in a state of 'degenerating problemshift’ in the language of Imre Lakatos. I show (...) that the 'concordance’ argument, often put forward by cosmologists in support of the current paradigm, is weaker than the convergence arguments that were made in the past in support of the atomic theory of matter or the quantization of energy. (shrink)
Why did Kant write the Critique of Judgment, and why did he say that his analysis of the judgment of taste — his technical term for our enjoyment of beauty — is the most important part of it? Kant claims that his analysis of taste “reveals a property of our faculty of cognition that without this analysis would have remained unknown” (KU §8, 5:213). The clue lies in Kant’s view that while taste is an aesthetic, and non-cognitive, mode of judgment, (...) it nevertheless involves the “free play” of cognitive capacities that is pleasurable in some way that ordinary cognitive business is not. My thesis is that the judgment of taste reveals a pleasure that is not usually apparent when we understand something in particular, but which is nevertheless proper to the activity of understanding as such. This matters, I argue, because in this way the judgment of taste points to a standard of cognitive virtue. (shrink)
This chapter argues that Kant’s aesthetic theory of the sublime has particular relevance for his ethics of virtue. Kant contends that our readiness to revel in natural sublimity depends upon a background commitment to moral ends. Further lessons about the emotional register of the sublime allow us to understand how Kant can plausibly contend that the temperament of virtue is both sublime and joyous at the same time.
In a recent examination of the origins of ordinal utility theory in neoclassical economics, Robert D. Cooter and Peter Rappoport argue that the ordinalist revolution of the 1930s, after which most economists abandoned interpersonal utility comparisons as normative and unscientific, constituted neither unambiguous progress in economic science nor the abandonment of normative theorizing, as many economists and historians of economic thought have generally believed. Rather, the widespread acceptance of ordinalism, with its focus on Pareto optimality, simply represented the emergence of (...) a new neoclassical research agenda that, on the one hand, defined economics differently than had the material welfare theorists of the cardinal utility school and, on the other, adopted a positivist methodology in contrast to the less restrictive empiricism of the cardinalists. (shrink)
This study explores possible links between educational background and ethics among marketing professionals. Data from two surveys of members of the American Marketing Association suggest that marketing professionals with master's degrees and higher are similar to their less educated counterparts in both their ethical standards and their intended ethical behaviors. Marketers with business degrees, however, have lower ethical standards than do graduates of non-business programs, though they report behavior as ethical as that of their non-business educated peers. Business schools may (...) be producing cynics likely to accept marginal behaviors of colleagues though not likely to engage in such behaviors themselves. (shrink)
Existing interpretations of Kant’s appeal to the spontaneity of the mind focus almost exclusively on the discussion of pure apperception in the Transcendental Deduction. The risk of such a strategy lies in the considerable degree of abstraction at which the argument of the Deduction is carried out: existing interpretations fail to reconnect adequately with any ground-level perspective on our cognitive lives. This paper works in the opposite direction. Drawing on Kant’s suggestion that the most basic picture we can have of (...) our cognitive capacity already makes reference to its state of excellence, or health (“sound understanding”), I set out by assembling Kant’s normative ground-level view of our cognitive lives, and then search for the fundamental condition of its possibility. This leads me to Kant’s conception of reflection as a normative requirement of judgment. Through examination of Kant’s remarks on reflection, I connect Kant’s preoccupation with the enlightenment ideal of originality (thinking for oneself) with his central appeal to the spontaneity of the mind. (shrink)
Health researchers working in low-resource settings routinely encounter serious unmet health needs for which research participants have, at best, limited treatment options through the local health system (Taylor, Merritt, and Mullany 2011). A recent case discussion features a study conducted in Bamako, Mali (Dickert and Wendler 2009). The study objective was to see whether children with severe malaria develop pulmonary hypertension in order to improve the general understanding of morbidity and mortality associated with malaria. In the study team's interactions (...) with participating children, they encountered not only malaria but also "eye infections, upper respiratory tract illnesses, rashes, pericardial effusions," .. (shrink)
I reconsider the relation between love and respect in Kantian ethics, taking as my guide Iris Murdoch's view of love as the fundamental moral attitude and a kind of attention to individuals. It is widely supposed that Kantian ethics disregards individuals, since we don't respect individuals but the universal quality of personhood they instantiate. We need not draw this conclusion if we recognise that Kant and Murdoch share a view about the centrality of love to virtue. We can then see (...) that respect in the virtuous person cannot be blind to the individual, as critics of Kantian ethics contend. My approach contrasts recent efforts to assimilate Kantian respect to Murdochian love, which overlook Murdoch's distinctive claims about the singularity of moral activity. This idea is not as un-Kantian as it seems, and it should inform any Kantian ethics that aims to address the charge about individuals. (shrink)
Abstract: My aim is to reconstruct Kant's argument for the principle of the synthetic unity of apperception. I reconstruct Kant's argument in stages, first showing why thinking should be conceived as an activity of synthesis (as opposed to attention), and then showing why the unity or coherence of a subject's representations should depend upon an a priori synthesis. The guiding thread of my account is Kant's conception of enlightenment: as I suggest, the philosophy of mind advanced in the Deduction belongs (...) to an enlightenment epistemology. Kant's conception of enlightenment turns on the requirement that a subject be able to recognize herself as the source of her cognitions. The argument for the apperception principle is reconstructed under the guidance of this conception of the ideal of enlightenment. (shrink)
Kant maintains that his Critique of Pure Reason follows a “synthetic method” which he distinguishes from the analytic method of the Prolegomena by saying that the Critique “rests on no other science” and “takes nothing as given except reason itself”. The paper presents an account of the synthetic method of the Critique, showing how it is related to Kant’s conception of the Critique as the “science of an a priori judging reason”. Moreover, the author suggests, understanding its synthetic method sheds (...) light on the structure of the Transcendental Deduction, and its function in the work as a whole. (shrink)
The paper argues that existing interpretations of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason as an "analysis of experience" (e.g., those of Kitcher and Strawson) fail because they do not properly appreciate the method of the work. The author argues that the Critique provides an analysis of the faculty of reason, and counts as an analysis of experience only in a derivative sense.
If lay theories associate moral intuitions with deeply held values, people should feel uncomfortable relying on deliberative thinking when judging violations of personal taboos. In two preliminary studies, participants with siblings of the opposite sex were particularly troubled when evaluating a sibling incest scenario under instructions to think slowly and rationally, or when the scenario was presented in a hard-to-read font forcing them to employ deliberative processing. This suggests that we may be intuitive intuitionists, and opens the door for investigations (...) of people’s preferred modes of moral judgment. (shrink)
The poetry and journalistic essays of Katherine Tillman often appeared in publications sponsored by the American Methodist church. Collected together for the first time, her works speak to the struggles and triumphs of African-American women.
Let me begin with a true story. Years ago, early in my career as a professor of philosophy, I had a fascinating series of conversations with a student whom I will call Peter. He was a bright and incisive senior, with a double major in philosophy and psychology. Raised in a religious family, the son of a Christian minister, he was himself unable to believe. His doubts were too strong. But the odd fact was that he genuinely wanted to believe. (...) His religious scepticism deeply troubled him; part of him envied the faith of his parents. How do you go about making yourself believe?, he asked me. How do you go about having the kinds of religious experiences that lead people to faith? These were long and intense conversations, and I was unable to move Peter away from his doubts. So far as I know he is still a sceptic. (shrink)
Unethical pro-organizational behaviors are unethical, but prosocially-motivated, acts intended to benefit one’s organization. This study examines the extent to which employees are willing to perform UPB to benefit a liked leader. Based on social exchange theory, we hypothesized that LMX would mediate the association of interpersonal justice with UPB willingness. Moral identity and positive reciprocity beliefs were examined as moderators. Higher LMX was significantly and positively related to UPB willingness, and the indirect effect of interpersonal justice on UPB via LMX (...) was significant and positive. These findings suggest that LMX and interpersonal justice could have a previously-unexplored dark side. Moral identity had a negative direct relationship with UPB, but it did not moderate the relationship of LMX with UPB. Thus, LMX facilitates UPB willingness even when employees are high in moral identity. LMX is associated with many positive outcomes, but our results show that high LMX may also increase willingness to perform unethical behaviors to benefit one’s leader. These results contribute to the literature by identifying a potential negative outcome associated with high LMX. (shrink)
"A valuable collection both for original source material as well as historical formulations of current problems."-- The Review of Metaphysics "Much more than a mere collection of papers . . . a valuable addition to the literature."-- Mathematics of Computation An anthology of fundamental papers on undecidability and unsolvability by major figures in the field, this classic reference opens with Godel's landmark 1931 paper demonstrating that systems of logic cannot admit proofs of all true assertions of arithmetic. Subsequent papers by (...) Godel, Church, Turing, and Post single out the class of recursive functions as computable by finite algorithms. Additional papers by Church, Turing, and Post cover unsolvable problems from the theory of abstract computing machines, mathematical logic, and algebra, and material by Kleene and Post includes initiation of the classification theory of unsolvable problems. Suitable for graduate and undergraduate courses. 1965 ed. (shrink)