The Moral Competence Test was designed over 30 years ago to provide a resource for educators interested in conducting cross-cultural studies of moral development and education. Since its origin, it has been translated into at least 30 languages and used in hundreds of studies. However, few studies provide evidence to support the use of the test in the US. The test’s designer identified three criteria for evaluating the construct validity of the test and its primary scores: do correlations of stage (...) scores reflect a simplex structure, do ratings follow the theoretical order of stages, does the test differentiate preferences and structures of reasoning. We use these criteria and evidence of criterion and content validity to assess the validity of the MCT. We present results from two US samples. Results analyzing the test author’s criteria support the semantic validity of the test, however, evidence of criterion validity raise questions about the C-score as a measure of moral competence. After controlling for stage preferences, the C-score was negatively related to democratic attitudes and positively related to dogmatism. (shrink)
Although the suggestion that Kant offers a significant contribution to Virtue Ethics might be a surprising one, in The Metaphysics of Morals Kant makes virtue central to his ethics. In this paper, I introduce a Merleau-Pontian phenomenological perspective into the ongoing study of the convergence between Kant and Virtue Ethics, and argue that such a perspective promises to illuminate the continuity of Kant’s thought through an emphasis on the implicit structure of moral experience, revealing the insights his perspective contains for (...) establishing an embodied phenomenology of virtue. These two aims are accomplished by exploring Kant’s ‘proto-phenomenological’ descriptions of the weight of the moral law, his implicit ‘existential’ account of human nature, and his notion of the art of navigating the complex moral terrain that involves a certain Spielraum. When thus viewed, Kant’s virtue ethics sketches out a subtle understanding of embodiment and temporality. (shrink)
Martin Hollis, in the introduction to the collection of Rationality and Relativism he edited recently with Steven Lukes, describes himself as the most arch of arch rationalists, “by which we mean, merely, that [we] reject the forthright relativization of truth and reason.” You might suppose that his self-description would place him unambiguously in the army of traditionalists arrayed against what Richard Rorty fondly calls the New Fuzzies. You might suppose, then, that Hollis would indulge in furious letter writing to, say, (...) Harper's, telling us that “we need to stand shoulder to shoulder against the growing army of enemies of rationality. By that I mean the followers of the fashionable cult of absolute relativism, emerging from philosophy, linguistics, semiotics, and deconstructionism.” You might suppose that he would go on in this way equivocating between “rationality” and “rationalism,” identifying the people he dislikes with the enemies of civilization: fascists, Stalinists, bikers, bomb throwing nihilists — Richard Rorty and Wayne Booth and Stephen Toulmin riding into town on their Harley- Davidsons, spurning warrants for belief and good reasons, reading pornographic comic books, and snarling at the townsfolk huddled behind the local syllogism. (shrink)
ABSTRACTWhen morality is important and central to individuals’ identities, it may heighten their sense of responsibility to behave in moral ways. Although research has linked moral identity to various moral actions, research has yet to demonstrate the association between moral identity and individuals’ consistent moral choices, despite situational sanctions to behave immorally. The purpose of this study was to examine if prioritizing morality in the self is associated with individuals’ consistent moral responses in four situations encouraging the expression of immoral (...) behavior. After reading about situations in which peers approved of and encouraged immoral behavior, 185 participants reported the degree to which they disagreed or agreed that: each situation was immoral; they would resist the ‘temptation’ to behave immorally; and they would attempt to convince their peers of the ‘right thing’ to do. Results revealed that, despite being encouraged to behave immorally, heightened moral identity predicted individuals’ moral responses in three situations. When morality is important and central to individuals’ identities, moral choices tend to emerge despite opportunities to behave immorally. (shrink)
Winner of the 2014 Edward Goodwin Ballard Award for an Outstanding Book in Phenomenology, awarded by the Center for Advance Research in Phenomenology. -/- Merleau-Ponty and the Paradoxes of Expression offers a comprehensive reading of the philosophical work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, a central figure in 20th-century continental philosophy. -/- By establishing that the paradoxical logic of expression is Merleau-Ponty's fundamental philosophical gesture, this book ties together his diverse work on perception, language, aesthetics, politics and history in order to establish the (...) ontological position he was developing at the time of his sudden death in 1961. Donald A. Landes explores the paradoxical logic of expression as it appears in both Merleau-Ponty’s explicit reflections on expression and his non-explicit uses of this logic in his philosophical reflection on other topics, and thus establishes a continuity and a trajectory of his thought that allows for his work to be placed into conversation with contemporary developments in continental philosophy. The book offers the reader a key to understanding Merleau-Ponty's subtle methodology and highlights the urgency and relevance of his research into the ontological significance of expression for today's work in art and cultural theory. (shrink)
Part I: Inductivism and its Critics:. 1. Some Historical Background: Inductivism, Russell and the Cambridge School, the Vienna Circle and Popper. 2. Popper’s Critique of Inductivism. 3. Duhem’s Critique of Inductivism. Part II: Conventionalism and the Duhem-Quine Thesis:. 4. Poincare’s Conventionalism of 1902. 5. The Duhem Thesis and the Quine Thesis. Part III: The Nature of Observation:. 6. Observation Statements: the Views of Carnap, Neurath, Popper and Duhem. 7. Observation Statements: Some Psychological Findings. Part IV: The Demarcation between Science and (...) Metaphysics:. 8. Is Metaphysics Meaningless? Wittgenstein, the Vienna Circle and Popper’s Critique. 9. Metaphysics in relation to Science: the Views of Popper, Duhem and Quine. 10. Falsification in the light of the Duhem-Quine Thesis. (shrink)
Part 1. Introduction -- Introduction: Navigating the Perfect Moral Storm in Light of a Thirty-Five Year Debate -- Thirty-Five Year Climate Change Policy Debate -- Part 2. Priority Ethical Issues -- Ethical Problems with Cost Arguments -- Ethics and Scientific Uncertainty Arguments -- Atmospheric Targets -- Allocating National Emissions Targets -- Climate Change Damages and Adaptation Costs -- Obligations of Sub-national Governments, Organizations, Businesses, and Individuals -- Independent Responsibility to Act -- Part 3. The Crucial Role of Ethics in Climate (...) Change Policy Making -- Why Has Ethics Failed to Achieve Traction? -- Conclusion: Navigating the Perfect Moral Storm. (shrink)
In American Heat, Donald Brown critically analyzes the U.S. response to global warming, inviting readers to examine the implicit morality of the U.S position, and ultimately to help lead the world toward an equitable sharing of the burdens and benefits of protecting the global environment. In short, Brown argues that an ethical focus on global environmental matters is the key to achieving a globally acceptable solution.
Whether explicitly or implicitly, Kant's critical project weighs heavily upon Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception. This article argues that we can understand Merleau-Ponty's text as a phenomenological rewriting of the Critique of Pure Reason from within the paradoxical structures of lived experience, effectively merging Kant's Transcendental Aesthetic and Transcendental Analytic. Although he was influenced by Husserl's and Heidegger's interpretations of Kant's first version of the Transcendental Deduction, Merleau-Ponty develops a unique position between Kant, Husserl, and Heidegger via an embodied and lived (...) synthesis that collapses Kant's distinction between sensibility and the understanding, and that makes sense of temporality and subjectivity as a paradoxical trajectory. (shrink)
Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961) is one of the central figures of 20th-century Continental philosophy, and his work has been hugely influential in a wide range of fields. His writings engage in the study of perception, language, politics, aesthetics, history and ontology, and represent a rich and complex network of exciting ideas. -/- The Merleau-Ponty Dictionary provides the reader and student of Merleau-Ponty with all the tools necessary to engage with this key thinker: a comprehensive A to Z that provides summaries of (...) all his major texts and articles, clear and straightforward explanations of his terminology and innovative concepts, and detailed discussions of the figures and philosophies that influenced his work. The book also includes a philosophical introduction, a chronology of Merleau-Ponty's life and works, and suggestions for further reading. This dictionary is the ideal reading and research companion for students at all levels. (shrink)
Two key themes structure the work of French philosopher of science Gilbert Simondon: the processes of individuation and the nature of technical objects. Moreover, these two themes are also at the heart of contemporary debates within Ethics and Bioethics. Indeed, the question of the individual is a key concern in both Virtue Ethics and Feminist Ethics of Care, while the hyper-technical reality of the present stage of medical technology is a key reason for both the urgency for and the success (...) of the field of Bioethics. And yet, despite its potential for thinking about these issues, Simondon’s philosophy remains largely unknown. Rather than exploring Simondon’s complex ontology for itself, the aim of this paper is to establish what contribution his work can make in Ethics and Bioethics on two essential questions: the relational structure of the self and the nature of the human-technology relation. I argue that Simondon’s re-conceptualization of the individual harmonizes with perspectives in Feminist Bioethics (particularly the Ethics of Care) and points toward what I call an “open” Virtue Ethics that takes relations to be essential. In order to establish this connection, I explore at length the relational approach to Feminist Bioethics offered by Susan Sherwin’s work. I argue that a Simondonian account of technology and of the individual furthers the relational understanding of the self, offers a characterization of Virtue Ethics that is in harmony with the Ethics of Care, and clarifies a notion of responsibility that is implicated in the complex reality of the modern technological milieu. (shrink)
In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle places the art of medicine alongside other examples of technē. According to Gadamer, however, medicine is different because in medicine the physician does not, properly speaking, produce anything. In The Enigma of Health, rather than introducing Aristotle’s intellectual virtue of phronēsis (practical wisdom) as a way of understanding medical practice, Gadamer focuses on how medicine is a technē “with a difference”. In this paper, I argue that, despite the richness of his insights, this focus prevents (...) Gadamer from reaching an adequate account of health and the practice of medicine, and I demonstrate how making phronēsis central via a phenomenological description furthers our understanding of the art of healing in important ways. The paper begins with an exploration of Gadamer’s understanding of phronēsis and technē (via Heidegger) to provide a foundation for a phenomenological analysis of the art of healing. After considering the shortcomings of Gadamer’s analyses, I introduce a working definition of “health” that both captures the spirit of Gadamer’s insights and prepares the ground for a phenomenological description. Finally, I introduce concepts from Merleau-Ponty in order to establish an adequate account of the relation between technē and phronēsis and a more nuanced understanding of experience as unfolding within the expressive trajectories forged by bodies that are subject to the weight of the past and the weight of the ideal. The art of medicine, I argue, needs to be understood as expressive behavior in the context of historically and socially situated individuals, institutions, and open trajectories of sense. (shrink)
I will discuss Fields Outline of a Theory of Truth. I will point out important properties of Kripkeleast fixed points constructions and theory. I do this not to demean Field’s superb work on truth but rather to suggest that there may be no really satisfactory conditional connective for languages containing their own truth predicates.
This book is our century’s most comprehensive and wise treatment of nihilism in all of its guises, comparing favorably with Rosen, Cavell, and indeed with Spengler. Crosby argues that our culture is genuinely haunted by nihilism expressing itself in the fideism of fundamentalism as well as in the debilitating alienation from all orientation. This results from a one-sided development of Western culture. Unlike most writers on this topic, Crosby acknowledges many sources colluding to frame the culture of nihilism, including “the (...) death of God,” the objectification of nature, the meaninglessness of suffering in a mechanical universe, the ephemerality of time in a world where value does not accumulate, the arbitrariness of historicized reason, the reduction of value to will, and the alienation of the Cartesian ego. These sources are reviewed in the first two parts of the book with the result that the phenomenon of nihilism becomes understandable. In its third and fourth parts, Crosby provides a critical analysis of the religious and philosophical forces leading to nihilism by discussing authors from the early modern period through Dostoyevsky, Sartre, Russell, and Derrida. He shows that these forces are skewed and impoverished and should not be allowed to determine our situation. The comprehensive attention to detail and the multi-perspectival interpretation demonstrates as well as asserts the richness of the culture that puts nihilism in its place. Part Five, finally, rephrases the criticism of the sources of nihilism in positive ways. Part Four in particular is a tour de force of philosophical argument. Its richness of nuance, plurality of views examined, and adroitness of critical interpretation provide cumulatively a powerful, non-nihilistic reading of the philosophic tradition. The force of the argument derives from its comprehensive, cumulative character. Crosby distinguishes and relates five areas of nihilism: political, moral, epistemological, cosmic, and existential. Throughout the book, he illustrates and examines these as they are expressed in literature and art, in daily life and practical affairs, and in philosophy. The book is richly erudite in its marshalling of consciousness from so many domains. (shrink)
We prove the determinacy of all Δ 1 1 games on arbitrary trees, and we use this result and the assumption that a measurable cardinal exists to demonstrate the determinacy of all games on ω ω that belong both to – Π 1 1 and to its dual.