Moral theories which, like those of Plato, Aristotle and Aquinas, give a central place to the virtues, tend to assume that as traits of character the virtues are mutually compatible so that it is possible for one and the same person to possess them all. This assumption—let us call it the compatibility thesis—does not deny the existence of painful moral dilemmas: it allows that the virtues may conflict in particular situations when considerations associated with different virtues favour incompatible courses of (...) action, but holds that these conflicts occur only at the level of individual actions. Thus while it may not always be possible to do both what would be just and what would be kind or to act both loyally and honestly, it is possible to be both a kind and a just person and to have both the virtue of loyalty and the virtue of honesty. (shrink)
This book is a provocative contribution to contemporary ethical theory challenging foundational conceptions of character that date back to Aristotle. John Doris draws on behavioral science, especially social psychology, to argue that we misattribute the causes of behavior to personality traits and other fixed aspects of character rather than to the situational context. More often than not it is the situation not the nature of the personality that really counts. The author elaborates the philosophical consequences of this research for (...) a whole array of ethical theories and shows that, once rid of the misleading conception of motivation, moral psychology can support more robust ethical theories and more humane ethical practices. (shrink)
Do we know what we're doing, and why? Psychological research seems to suggest not: reflection and self-awareness are surprisingly uncommon and inaccurate. John M. Doris presents a new account of agency and responsibility, which reconciles our understanding of ourselves as moral agents with empirical work on the unconscious mind.
Moral Repair examines the ethics and moral psychology of responses to wrongdoing. Explaining the emotional bonds and normative expectations that keep human beings responsive to moral standards and responsible to each other, Margaret Urban Walker uses realistic examples of both personal betrayal and political violence to analyze how moral bonds are damaged by serious wrongs and what must be done to repair the damage. Focusing on victims of wrong, their right to validation, and their sense of justice, Walker (...) presents a unified and detailed philosophical account of hope, trust, resentment, forgiveness, and making amends - the emotions and practices that sustain moral relations. Moral Repair joins a multidisciplinary literature concerned with transitional and restorative justice, reparations, and restoring individual dignity and mutual trust in the wake of serious wrongs. (shrink)
This is a revised edition of Walker's well-known book in feminist ethics first published in 1997. Walker's book proposes a view of morality and an approach to ethical theory which uses the critical insights of feminism and race theory to rethink the epistemological and moral position of the ethical theorist, and how moral theory is inescapably shaped by culture and history. The main gist of her book is that morality is embodied in "practices of responsibility" that express our (...) identities, values, and connections to others in socially patterned ways. Thus ethical theory needs to be empirically informed and politically critical to avoid reiterating forms of socially entrenched bias. Responsible ethical theory should reveal and question the moral significance of social differences. The book engages with, and challenges, the work of contemporary analytic philosophers in ethics. Moral Understandings has been influential in reaching a global audience in ethics and feminist philosophy, as well as in tangential fields like nursing ethics; research ethics; disability ethics; environmental ethics, and social and political theory. This revised edition contains a new preface, a substantive postscript to Chapter 1 about "the subject of moral philosophy"; the addition of a new chapter on the importance of emotion in practices of responsibility; and the addition of an afterword, which responds to critics of the book. (shrink)
Many contexts shape and limit moral thinking in philosophy and life. Human conditions of vulnerability and interdependency, of limited awareness and control, of imperfect insight into ourselves and others are inevitable contexts that neither moral thought nor theory should forget. To be truly reflective, moral thinking and moral philosophy must become aware of the contexts that bind our thinking about how to live. This collection of essays by Margaret Urban Walker seek to show how to do this, and why (...) it makes a difference. Contingent and changeable contexts that shape moral thinking include our individual histories, our social positions, and institutional roles, relationships, cultural settings, and social arrangements, and the specific moral idioms we pick up along the way. The paradigms and specialized language of ethical theory are contexts, too; they shape how moral theory looks and what or whom it looks at. Ethical theory and practice are meaningless without these Moral Contexts. (shrink)
How are knowing and acting related? Zhu Xi 朱熹 addresses this question with a walking analogy: "Knowledge and action always need each other. It's like how eyes cannot walk without feet, but feet cannot see without eyes. If we discuss them in terms of their sequence, knowledge comes first. But if we discuss them in terms of importance, action is what is important".1 In this analogy, a certain perceptual awareness is causally prior to walking. Such awareness is responsible for the (...)walker's proceeding without obstacle and walking successfully. But, in the analogy, walking is normatively prior to sight. That is, sight's value is subordinated to that of walking: sight is valuable for the sake of... (shrink)
This article is an amendment to Drengson (2011) that offers examples from fieldwork and reporting of practices influenced by the technocratic paradigm. Specifically (1) Krippner's work with Brazilian shamans and the theft of their tribal knowledge by the biotechnology industry that Krippner refers to as ecopiratism. (2) Hitchcock's field research with indigenous populations in the northwestern Kalahari Desert region of southern Africa and his documented assault of these indigenous peoples by private companies that Hitchcock refers to as developmental genocide. And (...) (3) Walker's summary of Monsanto's patenting of seeds, and her warning of the health and environmental problems associated with genetically modified organisms. These examples offer support for the hypothesis that the eco-crisis is born of conscious agency. Beyond documenting and diagnosing these symptoms of the eco-crisis, this article puts forth the thesis that a transformation of consciousness would change the conditions of our present situation by providing the opportunity for different solutions to be found through the creation of a new mind set to make the necessary decisions for change. Many refer to the emerging field concerned with developing approaches to this transformation of consciousness as ecopsychology that Schroll prefers to call transpersonal ecosophy. (shrink)
The issues that Foucault raises about reception and reading are certainly part of the contemporary discussion of literature. However, they are not the only issues with which we, as today’s readers, are concerned. Discussions about the role of the author persist and so we continue to have recourse to the notion of authorship.For instance, in her recent book Sexual / Textual Politics , the feminist critic Toril Moi feels called on to return to these twenty-year-old issues in French theory to (...) tell us what it has meant to speak of the author, when she says: “For the patriarchal critic, the author is the source, origin and meaning of the text. If we are to undo this patriarchal practice of authority, we must take one further step and proclaim with Roland Barthes the death of the author.”3In the course of this essay I wish to reopen the question of whether it is advisable to speak of the author, or of what Foucault calls “the author function,” when querying a text, and I wish to reopen it precisely at the site where feminist criticism and post-structuralism are presently engaged in dialogue. Here in particular we might expect that reasons for rejecting author erasure would appear. However, theoretically informed feminist critics have recently found themselves tempted to agree with Barthes, Foucault, and the Edward Said of Beginnings that the authorial presence is best set aside in order to liberate the text for multiple uses.4 4. See Edward W. Said, Beginnings: Intention and Method , p. 162. Cheryl Walker is professor of English and humanities at Scripps College. She is the author of The Nightingale’s Burden: Women Poets and American Culture before 1900 and Masks Outrageous and Austere: Culture, Psyche, and Persona in Modern Women Poets . She is currently editing an anthology of nineteenth-century women poets and a book of essays about feminist criticism in the wake of post-structuralism. (shrink)
In this book Dr Walker brings together Dr William Jaffé's essays on the important and interesting work of Léon Walras, the founder of general equilibrium analysis. The essays were selected on the basis of their importance to the Walrasian literature, in that they provide information on Walras's intellectual biography with which we would otherwise be unfamiliar or they make a contribution to the interpretation and analysis of his ideas. One of Jaffé's main interests was to explain the genesis of (...) Walras's work, which he did by examining Walras's biography. Using a wide variety of sources, Jaffé pieced together an account of these matters in the belief that biography is essential for understanding the origins and development of a scientist's work. Jaffé corrected what he regarded as errors of interpretation of Walras by other writers, evaluated Walras's contributions, and indicated his significance for modern economics. The essays are informative, illuminating, and - as a result of Jaffé's scholarly and literary craftsmanship - aesthetically satisfying. (shrink)
Walker, David 'When our first parents were driven out of Paradise, Adam is believed to have remarked to Eve; My dear, we live in an age of transition'. When we look back at the past decades, and look ahead, we could consider we too are living in an age of transition. Looking back we often take the Second Vatican Council as the point where change began. However, the seeds of what flowered at the council and have continued to bear (...) fruit after it were planted well before it. The future is not clear, yet we can expect that significant change will be part of it. As we reflect on our changing situation, it would be helpful to keep in mind another comment of Dean Inge: 'There are two kinds of fools: one says, "This is old, therefore it is good"; the other says, "This is new, therefore it is better" '. (shrink)
Traditionally, Aristotle is held to believe that philosophical contemplation is valuable for its own sake, but ultimately useless. In this volume, Matthew D. Walker offers a fresh, systematic account of Aristotle's views on contemplation's place in the human good. The book situates Aristotle's views against the background of his wider philosophy, and examines the complete range of available textual evidence. On this basis, Walker argues that contemplation also benefits humans as perishable living organisms by actively guiding human life (...) activity, including human self-maintenance. Aristotle's views on contemplation's place in the human good thus cohere with his broader thinking about how living organisms live well. A novel exploration of Aristotle's views on theory and practice, this volume will interest scholars and students of both ancient Greek ethics and natural philosophy. It will also appeal to those working in other disciplines including classics, ethics, and political theory. (shrink)
The Ismailis, among whom are the followers of the Aga Khan, rose to prominence during the fourth Islamic/tenth Christian century. They developed a remarkably successful intellectual programme to sustain and support their political activities, promoting demands of Islamic doctrine together with the then newly imported sciences from abroad. The high watermark of this intellectual movement is best illustrated in the writings of the Ismaili theoretician Abu Ya´qub al-Sijistani. Using both published and manuscript writings of al-Sijistani that have hitherto been largely (...) hidden, forgotten or ignored, Dr Paul Walker reveals the scholar's major contribution to the development of philosophical Shiism. He analyses his role in the Ismaili mission of that time and critically assesses the major themes in his combination of philosophy and religious doctrine. (shrink)
William Walker's original analysis of John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding offers a challenging and provocative assessment of Locke's importance as a thinker, bridging the gap between philosophical and literary-critical discussion of his work. He presents Locke as a foundational figure who defines the epistemological and ontological ground on which eighteenth-century and Romantic literature operate and eventually diverge. He is revealed as a crucial figure for emerging modernity, less the familiar empiricist innovator and more the proto-Nietzschean thinker whose (...) text fosters hitherto unsuspected instabilities and promotes a new kind of rhetorical force to counterbalance them. Walker's reading of Locke is at once finely attentive to the text and engagingly resourceful in placing the Essay in its broadest philosophical and historical context. (shrink)
In this volume Donald Walker brings together Robert Clower's influential essays on monetary economics, grouping them so as to bring out clearly the development of Clower's thought. Among Clower's contributions are an important reinterpretation of Keynes' work, a fresh treatment of the nature of money, the formulation of a microeconomic approach to the understanding of monetary behaviour, and distinct insights on money supply-and-demand and inflation. The essays constitute a well-rounded treatment of the major problems in monetary economics, and the (...) volume as a whole demonstrates how the study of monetary economics may extend knowledge of short-run economic fluctuations and prove useful in developing policy options to ameliorate them. (shrink)
We begin, in section 2, with a brief sketch of a cluster of assumptions about human desires, beliefs, actions, and motivation that are widely shared by historical and contemporary authors on both sides in the debate. With this as background, we’ll be able to offer a more sharply focused account of the debate. In section 3, our focus will be on links between evolutionary theory and the egoism/altruism debate. There is a substantial literature employing evolutionary theory on each side of (...) the issue. However, it is our contention that neither camp has offered a convincing case. We are much more sanguine about recent research on altruism in social psychology, which will be our topic in section 4. Though we don’t think this work has resolved the debate, we will argue that it has made illuminating progress – progress that philosophers interested in the question cannot afford to ignore. (shrink)
Moral psychology investigates human functioning in moral contexts, and asks how these results may impact debate in ethical theory. This work is necessarily interdisciplinary, drawing on both the empirical resources of the human sciences and the conceptual resources of philosophical ethics. The present article discusses several topics that illustrate this type of inquiry: thought experiments, responsibility, character, egoism v . altruism, and moral disagreement.
Moral psychology is between paradigms. Kohlberg's model of moral rationality has proved inadequate in explaining action; yet its augmentation—moral personality—awaits empirical embodiment. This article addresses some critical issues in developing a comprehensive empirical paradigm of moral personhood. Is a first-person or a third-person definition of moral behaviour more appropriate? Is operative moral judgement better understood as deliberative or intuitive? What is the essential nature of the moral self? Two basic constructs of moral personality which have been posited to help span (...) the judgement-action gap—moral centrality and integrity—are critically reviewed and some criteria are proffered for evaluating competing models of moral personhood. Significant directions for future research are noted with the hope of moving the field towards a new paradigm of moral personhood. While the content of this paradigm will differ markedly from Kohlberg's, we contend that the spirit of his enterprise will be manifest with vigour redoubled. (shrink)
While nothing justiﬁes atrocity, many perpetrators manifest cognitive impairments that profoundly degrade their capacity for moral judgment, and such impairments, we shall argue, preclude the attribution of moral responsibility.
The notion of autonomy commonly employed in medical ethics literature and practices is inadequate on three fronts: it fails to properly identify nonautonomous actions and choices, it gives a false account of which features of actions and choices makes them autonomous or nonautonomous, and it provides no grounds for the moral requirement to respect autonomy. In this paper I offer a more adequate framework for how to think about autonomy, but this framework does not lend itself to the kinds of (...) practical application assumed in medical ethics. A general problem then arises: the notion of autonomy used in medical ethics is conceptually inadequate, but conceptually adequate notions of autonomy do not have the practical applications that are the central concern of medical ethics. Thus, a revision both of the view of autonomy and the practice of “respect for autonomy” are in order. (shrink)
This book sets out to generate new ways of reflecting ethically about the purposes and values of contemporary higher education in relation to agency, learning, public values and democratic life, and the pedagogies which support these.
During active vision, the eyes continually scan the visual environment using saccadic scanning movements. This target article presents an information processing model for the control of these movements, with some close parallels to established physiological processes in the oculomotor system. Two separate pathways are concerned with the spatial and the temporal programming of the movement. In the temporal pathway there is spatially distributed coding and the saccade target is selected from a Both pathways descend through a hierarchy of levels, the (...) lower ones operating automatically. Visual onsets have automatic access to the eye control system via the lower levels. Various centres in each pathway are interconnected via reciprocal inhibition. The model accounts for a number of well-established phenomena in target-elicited saccades: the gap effect, express saccades, the remote distractor effect, and the global effect. High-level control of the pathways in tasks such as visual search and reading is discussed; it operates through spatial selection and search selection, which generally combine in an automated way. The model is examined in relation to data from patients with unilateral neglect. (shrink)
A great deal of fascinating research has gone into an attempt to uncover the fundamental criteria that people use when assigning moral responsibility. Nonetheless, it seems that most existing accounts fall prey to one counterexample or another. The underlying problem, we suggest, is that there simply isn't any single system of criteria that people apply in all cases of responsibility attribution. Instead, it appears that people use quite different criteria in different kinds of cases. [This paper was originally circulated under (...) the title 'Strawsonian Variations.']. (shrink)
We investigated the properties of the sustained attention to response task . In the SART, participants respond to frequent neutral signals and are required to withhold response to rare critical signals. We examined whether SART performance shows characteristics of speed–accuracy tradeoffs and in addition, we examined whether SART performance is influenced by prior exposure to emotional picture stimuli. Thirty-six participants in this study performed SARTs after being exposed to neutral and negative picture stimuli. Performance in the SART changed rapidly over (...) time and there was a high correlation between participants errors of commission rate and their reaction time to the neutral targets . Regardless of exposure self-reported thoughts significantly correlated with both errors of commission and reaction times. Overall, the results support the view that the SART is a better measure of impulsive responding than sustained attention. (shrink)
In a health service with limited resources we must make decisions about who to treat first. In this paper I develop a version of the restoration argument according to which those whose need for resources is a consequence of their voluntary choices should receive lower priority when it comes to health care. I then consider three possible problems for this argument based on those that have been raised against other theories of this type: that we don't know in a particular (...) case that the illness is self-inflicted, that it seems that all illness is self-inflicted in the sense used in my argument, and finally that this type of approach incorporates an unacceptable moralising element if it is to avoid giving those like fire-fighters a lower priority for treatment. I argue that the position outlined here has the resources to respond to each of these objections. (shrink)
Research in the neurosciences continues to provide evidence that sleep plays a role in the processes of learning and memory. There is less of a consensus, however, regarding the precise stages of memory development during which sleep is considered a requirement, simply favorable, or not important. This article begins with an overview of recent studies regarding sleep and learning, predominantly in the procedural memory domain, and is measured against our current understanding of the mechanisms that govern memory formation. Based on (...) these considerations, I offer a new neurocognitive framework of procedural learning, consisting first of acquisition, followed by two specific stages of consolidation, one involving a process of stabilization, the other involving enhancement, whereby delayed learning occurs. Psychophysiological evidence indicates that initial acquisition does not rely fundamentally on sleep. This also appears to be true for the stabilization phase of consolidation, with durable representations, resistant to interference, clearly developing in a successful manner during time awake (or just time, per se). In contrast, the consolidation stage, resulting in additional/enhanced learning in the absence of further rehearsal, does appear to rely on the process of sleep, with evidence for specific sleep-stage dependencies across the procedural domain. Evaluations at a molecular, cellular, and systems level currently offer several sleep specific candidates that could play a role in sleep-dependent learning. These include the upregulation of select plasticity-associated genes, increased protein synthesis, changes in neurotransmitter concentration, and specific electrical events in neuronal networks that modulate synaptic potentiation. Key Words: consolidation; enhancement; learning; memory; plasticity; sleep; stabilization. (shrink)
It has long been disputed whether Kant's transcendental idealism requires two worlds ? one of appearances and one of things in themselves ? or only one. The one-world view must be wrong if it claims that individual spatio-temporal things can be identified with particular things in themselves, and if it fails to take seriously the doctrine of double affection; versions that insist on one world, without making claims about the identity of individual things, cannot say in what way the world (...) as we know it and the world of things in themselves can be ?the same?. The two-world view must be wrong if it denies Kant's empirical realism, or offers a phenomenalist interpretation of it. On moral grounds Kant ?identifies? each human person with a particular thing in itself, but the relationship here cannot be strict identity; instead its closeness may warrant regarding the two distinct entities as part of a composite whole. Perhaps up to the first edition of the Critique, Kant thought that empirical knowledge required a particular kind of close correspondence between appearances and things in themselves, one that would make it appropriate to speak of composite wholes here also. By the time of the second edition, he saw that there could be no good grounds for thinking that. In this respect something a bit like the one-world theory might make more sense for the first edition than for the second; but in both cases there is room to speak of two worlds as well. Talk of the number of worlds is metaphorical, and both metaphors have their dangers. (shrink)
Is it harder to acquire knowledge about things that really matter to us than it is to acquire knowledge about things we don't much care about? Jason Stanley 2005 argues that whether or not the relational predicate 'knows that' holds between an agent and a proposition can depend on the practical interests of the agent: the more it matters to a person whether p is the case, the more justification is required before she counts as knowing that p. The evidence (...) for Stanley's thesis includes a number of intuitive judgments about examples. In this paper we provide parallel examples for which Stanley's thesis requires unwelcome knowledge-attributions, and argue that this is possible because his thesis conflicts with familiar and plausible principles about knowledge. (shrink)
Current literature suggests that corporate social responsibility (CSR) can affect consumers’ attitudes towards an organization and is regarded as a driver for reputation-building and fostering sustained consumer patronage. Although prior research has addressed the direct influence of CSR on consumer responses, this research examined the mediating influence of consumer’s perceived organizational motives within an NGO setting. Given the heightened public attention surrounding the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, data were collected from consumers of the Games to assess their perceptions of the (...) International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) socially responsible initiatives. We hypothesized that consumers of the Games were likely to cognitively elaborate on CSR messages by way of three specific attribution effects derived from the literature. The results show that, contingent on CSR awareness, consumers responded positively to social efforts judged to be values-driven and stakeholder-driven; and a negative response was seen for efforts judged to be strategic. These attribution effects influenced various types of patronage and perceived organizational reputation. (shrink)
Neil Levy argues that while addicts who believe they are not addicts are self-deceived, addicts who believe they are addicts are just as self-deceived. Such persons accept a false belief that their addictive behaviour involves a loss of control. This paper examines two implications of Levy's discussion: that accurate self-knowledge may be particularly difficult for addicts; and that an addict's self-deceived belief that they cannot control themselves may aid their attempts at self-control. I argue that the self-deceived beliefs of addicts (...) in denial and of self-described addicts differ in kind. Unlike the self-deception of an addict in denial, that of the self-described addict allows them to acknowledge their behaviour. As such, it may aid an addict to develop more self-control. A paradoxical implication is that this self-deception may allow an addict more self-knowledge. (shrink)
Human beings with diminished decision-making capacities are usually thought to require greater protections from the potential harms of research than fully autonomous persons. Animal subjects of research receive lesser protections than any human beings regardless of decision-making capacity. Paradoxically, however, it is precisely animals’ lack of some characteristic human capacities that is commonly invoked to justify using them for human purposes. In other words, for humans lesser capacities correspond to greater protections but for animals the opposite is true. Without explicit (...) justification, it is not clear why or whether this should be the case. Ethics regulations guiding human subject research include principles such as respect for persons—and related duties—that are required as a matter of justice while regulations guiding animal subject research attend only to highly circumscribed considerations of welfare. Further, the regulations guiding research on animals discount any consideration of animal welfare relative to comparable human welfare. This paper explores two of the most promising justifications for these differences␣between the two sets of regulations. The first potential justification points to lesser moral status for animals on the basis of their lesser capacities. The second potential justification relies on a claim about the permissibility of moral partiality as␣found in common morality. While neither potential justification is sufficient to justify the regulatory difference as it stands, there is possible common ground between supporters of some regulatory difference and those rejecting the current difference. (shrink)