Noxious markets, inequality and social meanings In this thoughtful and timely book, Debra Satz provides a convincing justificatory framework for our ongoing discomfort at the intrusion of markets into many areas of our lives that hitherto had been free from commercial influence. Her central problem is the commodification of everyday life. We inhabit social worlds which are highly commodified and in which the market is often prescribed as a universal panacea for any social problem we confront. Yet despite such (...) overt marketisation in the culture at large, nonetheless there remains the widespread belief that there are some things that should not be for sale: the very thought of selling certain goods remains repugnant. Satz's task in this book is to explain why such misgivings are correct. How might we best account for the intuition that some things should not be for sale? At the heart of her tale is a concern with the inequality that markets often bring in their wake. (shrink)
Taking Ourselves Seriously and Getting It Right is written in a manner that is accessible to all. Frankfurt’s arguments are, as usual, clear and persuasive. Korsgaard’s, Bratman’s, and Dan-Cohen’s comments are thought provoking. There are, however, two main areas in which Frankfurt’s arguments need clarification (the notion of wholehearted identification, and the concept of ambivalence), and there are misunderstandings of Frankfurt at work in Korsgaard’s (relationship between the self and the will, and concept of the will for Frankfurt) and Bratman’s (...) (meaning of "necessity" for Frankfurt) comments. (shrink)
Cultural Semiosis traces the theoretical itinerary of the signifier in the continental tradition. Cultural semiosis provides links for cultural studies to the philosophical, the literary, the historical and the social. Understood semiotically, cultural signs and signifiers are inscribed in the fabric of cultural practices. Cultural semiosis enters the spaces of everyday language, visuality, sexuality and symbolization. These original essays interpret and provide tools for the understanding of cultural studies within a philosophical framework. Contributors: M. Alison Arnett, Debra Bergoffen, Peter (...) Carravetta, Alessandro Carrera, Julia Kristeva, John Llewelyn, Michael Naas, Kelly Oliver, Adi Ophir, Francois Raffoul, Mark Roberts, Stephanie Sage, Hugh J. Silverman. (shrink)
While the bioethics literature demonstrates that the field has spent substantial time and thought over the last four decades on the goals, methods, and desired outcomes for service and training in bioethics, there has been less progress defining the nature and goals of bioethics research and scholarship. This gap makes it difficult both to describe the breadth and depth of these areas of bioethics and, importantly, to gauge their success. However, the gap also presents us with an opportunity to define (...) this scope of work for ourselves and to help shape the broader conversation about the impact of academic research. Because of growing constraints on academic funding, researchers and scholars in many fields are being asked to demonstrate and also forecast the value and impact of their work. To do that, and also to satisfy ourselves that our work has meaningful effect, we must understand how our work can motivate change and how that change can be meaningfully measured. In a field as diverse as bioethics, the pathways to and metrics of change will likewise be diverse. It is therefore critical that any assessment of the impact of bioethics research and scholarship be informed by an understanding of the nature of the work, its goals, and how those goals can and ought to be furthered. In this paper, we propose a conceptual model that connects individual bioethics projects to the broader goals of scholarship, describing the translation of research and scholarly output into changes in thinking, practice, and policy. One of the key implications of the model is that impact in bioethics is generally the result of a collection of projects rather than of any single piece of research or scholarship. Our goal is to lay the groundwork for a thoroughgoing conversation about bioethics research and scholarship that will advance and shape the important conversation about their impact. (shrink)
Vulnerability is an important criterion to assess the ethical justification of the inclusion of participants in research trials. Currently, vulnerability is often understood as an attribute inherent to a participant by nature of a diagnosed condition. Accordingly, a common ethical concern relates to the participant’s decisionmaking capacity and ability to provide free and informed consent. We propose an expanded view of vulnerability that moves beyond a focus on consent and the intrinsic attributes of participants. We offer specific suggestions for how (...) relational aspects and the dynamic features of vulnerability could be more fully captured in current discussions and research practices. (shrink)
Given dramatic increases in recent decades in the pace of scientific discovery and understanding of the functional organization of the brain, it is increasingly clear that engagement with the neuroscientific literature and research is central to making progress on philosophical questions regarding the nature and scope of human freedom and responsibility. While patterns of brain activity cannot provide the whole story, developing a deeper and more precise understanding of how brain activity is related to human choice and conduct is crucial (...) to the development of realistic, just, and intellectually rigorous models of human agency and moral responsibility. In this special issue, we acknowledge that “free will” and “moral responsibility” are not concepts with which neuroscience can directly engage, and instead focus on self-governance, and the capacities that contribute to self-governance, which are more tractable for scientific investigation and are prerequisites for the presence of moral responsibility. (shrink)
Who blows the whistle — a loner or a well-liked team player? Which of them is more likely to lead a successful opposition to perceived organizational wrongdoing? The potential influence of co-worker pressures to conform on whistle-blowing activity or the likely effects of whistle-blowing on the group have not been addressed. This paper presents a preliminary model of whistle-blowing as an act of nonconformity. One implication is that the success of an opposition will depend on the characteristics of the whistle-blower (...) and how the complaint is pursued. Specific hypotheses and general suggestions for future research and practice are offered. (shrink)
A key focus for agri-food scholars today pertains to emerging “alternative food movements,” particularly their long-term viability, and their potential to induce transitions in our prevailing conventional global agri-food systems. One under-studied element in recent research on sustainability transitions more broadly is the role of disruptive events in the emergence or expansion of these movements. We present the findings of a case study of the effect of a sudden acute food safety crisis—bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease—on alternative beef (...) production in the Province of Alberta, Canada. Employing the conceptual lens of Sustainability Transition Theory, we explore the perspectives of conventional and alternative beef producers, treating alternative beef production as a niche operating within the dominant regime of global industrial agri-business. Three key findings are presented here. First, food safety risks and disruptive events can emerge as a direct consequence of the socio-ecological contradictions embedded in industrial agriculture, representing an opportunity for expansion of agricultural niches. Second, certain features of socio-economic regimes can also contribute to niche emergence, such as an economic system that disenfranchises beef-producing families. Finally, our study highlights the high level of diversity among niche agents and the complex and nuanced nature of their support for the niche. (shrink)
Neuroenhancement involves the use of neurotechnologies to improve cognitive, affective or behavioural functioning, where these are not judged to be clinically impaired. Questions about enhancement have become one of the key topics of neuroethics over the past decade. The current study draws on in-depth public engagement activities in ten European countries giving a bottom-up perspective on the ethics and desirability of enhancement. This informed the design of an online contrastive vignette experiment that was administered to representative samples of 1000 respondents (...) in the ten countries and the United States. The experiment investigated how the gender of the protagonist, his or her level of performance, the efficacy of the enhancer and the mode of enhancement affected support for neuroenhancement in both educational and employment contexts. Of these, higher efficacy and lower performance were found to increase willingness to support enhancement. A series of commonly articulated claims about the individual and societal dimensions of neuroenhancement were derived from the public engagement activities. Underlying these claims, multivariate analysis identified two social values. The Societal/protective highlights counter normative consequences and opposes the use enhancers. The Individual/proactionary highlights opportunities and supports use. For most respondents these values are not mutually exclusive. This suggests that for many neuroenhancement is viewed simultaneously as a source of both promise and concern. (shrink)
Alice Crary has recently developed a radical reading of J. L. Austin's philosophy of language. The central contention of Crary's reading is that Austin gives convincing reasons to reject the idea that sentences have context-invariant literal meaning. While I am in sympathy with Crary about the continuing importance of Austin's work, and I think Crary's reading is deep and interesting, I do not think literal sentence meaning is one of Austin's targets, and the arguments that Crary attributes to Austin or (...) finds Austinian in spirit do not provide convincing reasons to reject literal sentence meaning. In this paper, I challenge Crary's reading of Austin and defend the idea of literal sentence meaning. (shrink)
J. L. Schellenberg’s Philosophy of Religion argues for a specific brand of sceptical religion that takes ‘Ultimism’ – the proposition that there is a metaphysically, axiologically, and soteriologically ultimate reality – to be the object to which the sceptical religionist should assent. In this article I shall argue that Ietsism – the proposition that there is merely something transcendental worth committing ourselves to religiously – is a preferable object of assent. This is for two primary reasons. First, Ietsism is far (...) more modest than Ultimism; Ietsism, in fact, is open to the truth of Ultimism, while the converse does not hold. Second, Ietsism can fulfil the same criteria that compel Schellenberg to argue for Ultimism. (shrink)
In Heidegger’s Being and Time certain concepts are discussed which are central to the ontological constitution of Dasein. This paper demonstrates the interesting manner in which some of these concepts can be used in a reading of T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. A comparative analysis is performed, explicating the relevant Heideggerian terms and then relating them to Eliot’s poem. In this way strong parallels are revealed between the two men’s respective thoughts and distinct modernist sensibilities. Prufrock, (...) the protagonist of the poem, and the world he inhabits illustrate poetically concepts such as authenticity, inauthenticity, the ‘they’, idle talk and angst, which Heidegger develops in Being and Time. (shrink)
In this international and interdisciplinary collection of critical essays, distinguished contributors examine a crucial premise of traditional readings of Plato's dialogues: that Plato's own doctrines and arguments can be read off the statements made in the dialogues by Socrates and other leading characters. The authors argue in general and with reference to specific dialogues, that no character should be taken to be Plato's mouthpiece. This is essential reading for students and scholars of Plato.
This paper is a detailed examination of some parts of J. P. Moreland's book on "the argument from consciousness". (There is a companion article that discusses the parts of the book not taken up in this critical notice.).
La metafísica después de ser ignorada por años ha regresado al centro de la escena en la filosofía contemporánea. Tomás de Aquino ha vivido una historia muy parecida, lo que dio nacimiento al tomismo analítico. A pesar de los trabajos desarrollados en esta línea de investigación, la metafísica del Aquinate ha sido fuertemente ignorada. Sin embargo, la metafísica de Tomás de Aquino tiene una ventaja, poco discutida entre los tomistas y tomasinos, y es la de ser una metafísica esencialista. Así, (...) en armonía con el trabajo del metafísico E. J. Lowe, quien presenta su metafísica como “esencialista seria”, se quiere mostrar que la metafísica del Aquinate tiene las mismas virtudes del “esencialismo serio”, lo que permite postularla como una posición válida y plausible para la metafísica contemporánea. (shrink)
In his new book, "The Romantic Conception of Life: Science and Philosophy in the Age of Goethe," Robert J. Richards argues that Charles Darwin's true evolutionary roots lie in the German Romantic biology that flourished around the beginning of the nineteenth century. It is argued that Richards is quite wrong in this claim and that Darwin's roots are in the British society within which he was born, educated, and lived.
This paper seeks to reinterpret the life and work of J. B. S. Haldane by focusing on an illuminating but largely ignored essay he published in 1927, "The Last Judgment" -- the sequel to his better known work, "Daedalus" (1924). This astonishing essay expresses a vision of the human future over the next 40,000,000 years, one that revises and updates Wellsian futurism with the long range implications of the "new biology" for human destiny. That vision served as a kind of (...) lifelong credo, one that infused and informed his diverse scientific work, political activities, and popular writing, and that gave unity and coherence to his remarkable career. (shrink)
Von 1925 bis 1928 wurden im Berliner J. M. Spaeth-Verlag unter der Leitung von Hans Rosenkranz eine Reihe von Werken seinerzeit eher unbekannter, in der Retrospektive jedoch signifikanter Autoren der Zwischenkriegszeit publiziert. Der Beitrag thematisiert Rosenkranz als jungen Verleger und Bewunderer Stefan Zweigs. Er entwirft auf Grundlage der Archivüberlieferung einen neuen Blick auf die Geschichte des Unternehmens und kommentiert das damit verbundene literarische Programm: Welche wichtigen verlegerischen Projekte wurden in jener kurzen Zeit unternommen? Welche Rolle hatte Stefan Zweig für das (...) Zustandekommen einiger Titel und besonders in den letzten Wochen der Verlagsexistenz? Inwiefern lässt sich Programmgestaltung und ökonomische Entwicklung von J. M. Spaeth als paradigmatisch für jüdische Verlage in der Weimarer Republik verstehen? Dazu wird erstmals das Scheitern des Unternehmens während der „Bücherkrise“ Ende der 1920er Jahre aus den Quellen rekonstruiert. (shrink)