We think that certain of our mental states represent the world around us, and represent it in determinate ways. My perception that there is salt in the pot before me, for example, represents my immediate environment as containing a certain object, a pot, with a certain kind of substance, salt, in it. My belief that salt dissolves in water represents something in the world around me, namely salt, as having a certain observational property, that of dissolving. But what exactly is (...) the relation between such states and the world beyond the surfaces of our skins? Specifically, what exactly is the relation between the contents of those states, and the world beyond our bodies? (shrink)
In this essay, I defend theology against a recent argument made by Peter Byrne. According to Byrne, any discipline of thought that can be interpreted realistically shows the accumulation of reliable or widespread belief about the reality it investigates. I challenge this claim, first, by showing how theology, so construed as an exercise of ‘faith seeking understanding’, can and should be interpreted realistically, even if it does not show the accumulation of reliable or widespread belief about divine reality. Second, I (...) give a plausible account of why theology is beset by internal disagreement and division, even if the goal of theological enquiry is to overcome such disagreement and division. (shrink)
Self-knowledge is the focus of considerable attention from philosophers: Knowing Our Own Minds gives a much-needed overview of current work on the subject, bringing together new essays by leading figures. Knowledge of one's own sensations, desires, intentions, thoughts, beliefs, and other attitudes is characteristically different from other kinds of knowledge: it has greater immediacy, authority, and salience. The contributors examine philosophical questions raised by the distinctive character of self-knowledge, relating it to knowledge of other minds, to rationality and agency, externalist (...) theories of psychological content, and knowledge of language. Together these original, stimulating, and closely interlinked essays demonstrate the special relevance of self-knowledge to a broad range of issues in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language. (shrink)
In this book Macdonald elaborates a democratic framework based on the new theoretical concepts of 'public power', 'stakeholder communities' and 'non-electoral representation', and illustrates the practical implications of these proposals for projects of global institutional reform.
Though the relation of spirituality to self has long been recognized in established spiritual and religious systems, serious scientific interest in spirituality and its relation to identity has only started to grow in the past 20 years. This paper overviews the literature on spirituality and identity. Particular attention is given to describing and critiquing conventional and transpersonal perspectives with emphasis given to empirically testable theories. Using MacDonald’s five dimensional model of spirituality, a structural model of spirituality is proposed as (...) is a model of spiritual identity formation. (shrink)
In Recovering Hegel from the Critique of Leo Strauss, Sara MacDonald and Barry Craig provide a study unique in its focus on Leo Strauss’s reading of Hegel. While MacDonald and Craig find value in Strauss’s thought, they argue that his pessimism concerning modernity lies in a misunderstanding of both modernity’s greatest philosophical advocate, G.W.F. Hegel, and modernity’s virtues.
The Existentialist Reader is a comprehensive anthology of classic philosophical writings from eight key existentialist thinkers: Sartre, Camus, Heidegger, de Beauvoir, Jaspers, Marcel, Merleau-Ponty, and Ortega y Gasset. These substantial and carefully selected readings consider the distinctive concerns of existentialism: absurdity, anxiety, alienation, death. A comprehensive introduction by Paul S. MacDonald illuminates the existentialist quest for individual freedom and authentic human experience with insight into the historical and intellectual background of these major figures. The Existentialist Reader is a valuable (...) guide to the provocative theories that shook the philosophical world in the 1930s and continue to profoundly shape the way we think about ourselves. (shrink)
A. J. Ayer was one of the foremost analytical philosophers of the twentieth century, and was known as a brilliant and engaging speaker. In essays based on his influential Dewey Lectures, Ayer addresses some of the most critical and controversial questions in epistemology and the philosophy of science, examining the nature of inductive reasoning and grappling with the issues that most concerned him as a philosopher. This edition contains revised and expanded versions of the lectures and two additional essays. Ayer (...) begins by considering Hume's formulation of the problem of induction and then explores the inferences on which we base our beliefs in factual matters. In other essays, he defines the three kinds of probability that inform inductive reasoning and examines the various criteria for verifiability and falsifiability. In his extensive introduction, Graham Macdonald discusses the arguments in _Probability and Evidence_, how they relate to Ayer's other works, and their influence in contemporary philosophy. He also provides a brief biographical sketch of Ayer, and includes a bibliography of works about and in response to _Probability and Evidence_. (shrink)
In this book MacDonald guides his reader through Luke-Acts from beginning to end to identify and interpret the author’s imitations of classical Greek poetry, arguing that Luke’s two-volume work was a prose epic to provide his readers with a foundation myth for the new social reality that the Christian Church had become.
Mutual accommodation is about co-operation, compromise, and inclusion. It's a big idea, equal to freedom, science, and compassion. The postwar global economic order led by the United States is one of the greatest historic achievements of mutual accommodation, yet it is now at risk from the centrifugal forces that have led to populism. Today, to many nations and people, Canada is the model country driven by successful mutual accommodation. In Might Nature Be Canadian? William Macdonald explores the theme of (...) mutual accommodation with a close lens on the Canadian experience. Canada has a drive toward mutual accommodation. The United States has a strong drive toward division. There has always been a divergence of ideologies between the two countries. The United States now appears to view the world as a never-ending struggle, which has become greater since 2000, between good and evil, while Canada, by contrast, leans toward the idea that there is an underlying order at the heart of things. Canada has always faced strong limits in creatively overcoming a challenging geography and French/English language differences within its own borders; on the other hand the United States sees itself as a country with virtually no limits. Throughout its history Canada's drive toward mutual accommodation, stronger than that of any other country, has allowed its increasingly diverse citizens to live together peacefully and successfully, even as they retain their own culture, language, and religion. Nature can be described as simultaneously either/or and both/and. Is there something fundamentally Canadian about this? Taking inspiration from British philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, who said that "civilization is the triumph of persuasion over force," Macdonald argues that the urgent spread of mutual accommodation, a charge led by Canada, is central to achieving a bearable world for everyone. (shrink)
In this paper, we examine critically the notion of “Triple Bottom Line” accounting. We begin by asking just what it is that supporters of the Triple Bottom Line idea advocate, and attempt to distil specific, assessable claims from the vague, diverse, and sometimescontradictory uses of the Triple Bottom Line rhetoric. We then use these claims as a basis upon which to argue (a) that what issound about the idea of a Triple Bottom Line is not novel, and (b) that what (...) is novel about the idea is not sound. We argue on bothconceptual and practical grounds that the Triple Bottom Line is an unhelpful addition to current discussions of corporate social responsibility. Finally, we argue that the Triple Bottom Line paradigm cannot be rescued simply by attenuating its claims: the rhetoric isbadly misleading, and may in fact provide a smokescreen behind which firms can avoid truly effective social and environmental reporting and performance. (shrink)
A debate has been raging in the philosophy of mind for at least the past two decades. It concerns whether the mental can make a causal difference to the world. Suppose that I am reading the newspaper and it is getting dark. I switch on the light, and continue with my reading. One explanation of why my switching on of the light occurred is that a desiring with a particular content (that I continue reading), a noticing with a particular content (...) (that it is getting dark), and a believing with a particular content (that by switching on the light I could continue reading) occurred in me, and these events caused my switching on of the light. This explanation works by citing the intentional contents of mental phenomena as causes of that action. It is because the intentional causes have the contents that they do, and because those contents play a causal role in bringing about my action, that my action is causally explained. (shrink)
An important function of the self is to identify external objects that are potentially personally relevant. We suggest that such objects may be identified through mere ownership. Extant research suggests that encoding information in a self-relevant context enhances memory , thus an experiment was designed to test the impact of ownership on memory performance. Participants either moved or observed the movement of picture cards into two baskets; one of which belonged to self and one which belonged to another participant. A (...) subsequent recognition test revealed that there was a significant memory advantage for objects that were owned by self. Acting on items had no impact on memory. Results are discussed with reference to the importance of self-object associations in cognition. (shrink)
Teleosemantics seeks to explain meaning and other intentional phenomena in terms of their function in the life of the species. This volume of new essays from an impressive line-up of well-known contributors offers a valuable summary of the current state of the teleosemantics debate.
This paper is a cross-cultural examination of the development of hunting skills and the implications for the debate on the role of learning in the evolution of human life history patterns. While life history theory has proven to be a powerful tool for understanding the evolution of the human life course, other schools, such as cultural transmission and social learning theory, also provide theoretical insights. These disparate theories are reviewed, and alternative and exclusive predictions are identified. This study of cross-cultural (...) regularities in how children learn hunting skills, based on the ethnographic literature on traditional hunters, complements existing empirical work and highlights future areas for investigation. (shrink)
This volume provides an introduction to and review of key contemporary debates concerning connectionism, and the nature of explanation and methodology in cognitive psychology. The first debate centers on the question of whether human cognition is best modeled by classical or by connectionist architectures. The second centres on the question of the compatibility between folk, or commonsense, psychological explanation and explanations based on connectionist models of cognition. Each of the two sections includes a classic reading along with important responses, and (...) concludes with a specially commissioned reply by the main contributor. The editorial introductions provide a comprehensive survey and map through the debates. (shrink)
This article seeks an improved understanding of nurse autonomy by looking at nursing through the lens of what recent feminist scholars have called ‘relational’ autonomy. A relational understanding of autonomy means a shift away from older views focused on individuals achieving independence, towards a view that seeks meaningful self-direction within a context of interdependency. The main claim made here is that nurse autonomy is, indeed, relational. The article begins with an explanation of the notion of relational autonomy. It then explains (...) both the collective and the individual application of the term ‘professional autonomy’. Finally, it argues that both senses of professional autonomy are best understood as relational, and suggests some implications of this conclusion. (shrink)
As plagiarism is a notion specific to a particular culture and epoch, and is also understood in a variety of ways by individuals, particular attention must be paid to the putting of the phenomenological question, What is plagiarism in its appearing? Resolution of this issue leads us to locate students' perceptions and opinions within the lifeworld, and to seek an initially idiographic set of descriptions. Of twelve interview analyses, three are presented. A student who took an especially anxious line, his (...) morality having to do with the fear of being shamed were he to be accused of plagiarism in his work. A student who saw academic development as the movement from dependence on respected authors such that the novice's work is near plagiaristic, to autonomy and self-assured originality. A student whose degree involved painting and art history—disciplines with very distinct understandings of plagiarism. To combat plagiarism, then, one must not assume that students have a prior grasp of the unequivocal meaning of the notion, but must accept that a process of acculturation is required. (shrink)
We respond to Moses Pava’s defense of the “Triple Bottom Line” concept against our earlier criticisms. We argue that, pacePava, the multiplicity of measures that go into evaluating ethical performance cannot reasonably be compared to the handful of standard methods for evaluating financial performance. We also question Pava’s claim that usage of the term “3BL” is somehow intended to be ironical or subversive.
In this paper I outline and defend an introspectionist account of authoritative self-knowledge for a certain class of cases, ones in which a subject is both thinking and thinking about a current, conscious thought. My account is distinctive in a number of ways, one of which is that it is compatible with the truth of externalism.
Current discussions of business ethics usually only consider deontological and utilitarian approaches. What is missing is a discussion of traditional teleology, often referred to as virtue ethics. While deontology and teleology are useful, they both suffer insufficiencies. Traditional teleology, while deontological in many respects, does not object to utilitarian style calculations as long as they are contained within a moral framework that is not utilitarian in its origin. It contains the best of both approaches and can be used to focus (...) on the individual''s role within an organization. More work is needed in exposing students and faculty to traditional teleology and its place in business ethic''s discussions. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore briefly the "secular priesthood" metaphor often applied to bioethicists. I next ask: if, despite our discomfort with the metaphor, we were to embrace the best aspects of the priesthood(s) ? which I identify as the missionaries' willingness to work among sinners and lepers, at their own peril ? would we be able to live up to that standard of bravery? I then draw a parallel with the fears of contagion currently be voiced (by Carl Elliott (...) and others), with regard to bioethicists working in or near corporate settings. I argue that such fears may themselves have a number of deleterious effects, and I suggest several possible positive steps in response to that fear. (shrink)
: Care work straddles the divide between activities performed out of love and those performed for pay. The tensions created for workers by this divide raise questions concerning connections between recognition and redistribution. Through an analysis of mobilization among childcare workers, we argue that care workers can address redistribution and recognition simultaneously through vocabularies of both skill and virtue. We conclude with a discussion of strategies to overcome the false dichotomy between recognition and redistribution.
This paper looks at conflicts of interest in the not-for-profit sector. It examines the nature of conflicts of interest and why they are of ethical concern, and then focuses on the way not-for-profit organisations are especially prone to and vulnerable to conflict-of-interest scandals. Conflicts of interest corrode trust; and stakeholder trust (particularly from donors) is the lifeblood of most charities. We focus on some specific challenges faced by charitable organisations providing funding for scientific (usually medical) research, and examine a case (...) study involving such an organisation. One of the principal problems for charities of this kind is that they often distribute their funds within a relatively small research community (defined by the boundaries of a small region, like an American state or Spanish Autonomous region, or a small country), and it often proves difficult to find high-level researchers within the jurisdiction to adjudicate impartially the research grants. We suggest and recommend options appropriate for our case study and for many other organisations in similar situations. (shrink)
This paper elaborates the concept of global public power as the subject of principles of political legitimacy in global politics, and defends it through a critical comparison with other concepts widely employed to depict this regulative subject: states, global basic structure, and global governance. The goal underlying this argument is to bring some greater unity and integration to conceptual understandings of the subject of principles of political legitimacy within analyses of global politics, and in doing so to frame a broader (...) research agenda for locating in practice the concrete political agencies and institutions that are appropriate targets for demands of political legitimation under the prevailing empirical conditions of global pluralism. (shrink)