This article argues humans should not be defined strictly at their physical boundaries with clear distinctions between anatomical bodies, mental states, and the rest of the world. Rather, diverse mental states, which are often diagnosed as “mental illness,” take shape within greater environmental forces and flows, including those that are constructed online. Drawing from a multi-sited ethnography of The Icarus Project, a radical mental health community, the author situates online narratives written by two of its members within posthuman emotional ecologies (...) in which the exchange of ideas online affects mental states in a profound way. These narratives can be seen as a new type of psychiatric resistance based in new technologies, one that “uncivilizes” mental illness by searching for alternative frameworks and metaphors to understand lived experiences with mental distress. This ethnographic perspective differs significantly from traditional bio-psychiatric models and interventions and can offer both patients and mental healthcare providers with an alternative language to frame mental health. (shrink)
Jewish law takes an approach to self-defense that differs dramatically from the conventional assumptions of Western secular legal systems. The central theme of Talmudic jurisprudence is that self-defense rests on a duty not to stand idly by while one's neighbor suffers. “Do not stand on the blood of one's neighbor,” as the point is cryptically put in Leviticus 19:16. This way of thinking about self-defense departs in two significant ways from common Western assumptions. First, it stresses that the roots of (...) self-defense are a duty rather than a right to act; second, it treats the case of third-party defense as logically prior to the first-party case of self -defense. (shrink)
For people to live together in pluralistic communities, they must find someway to cope with the practices of others that they abhor. For that reason, tolerance has always seemed an appealing medium of accommodation. But tolerance also has its critics. One wing charges that the tolerant are too easygoing. They are insensitive to evil in their midst. At the same time, another wing attacks the tolerant for being too weak in their sentimentsof respect. “The Christian does not wish to be (...) tolerated,” as T. S. Eliot said; and by this he meant to claim, presumably, that the Christian desires respect and acceptance, and not merely the forbearance suggested by “tolerance.” To make the case for tolerance, we must engage in a three-front campaign: first, against intolerance; second, against the moral failing of indifference; and third, against the desirability of respecting and accepting everyone. The central claim in making this case will be that unlike these three competing sentiments, tolerance is a complex attitude toward the behavior and beliefs of others. Its complexity consists in both moral disapproval and the avoidance of interference. If there is a case to be made for tolerance, it must derive from this peculiar complexity. After surveying its alternatives, I will argue that the complex sentimentof tolerance is more readily praised than its alternatives. (shrink)
The Grammar of Criminal Law is a 3-volume work that addresses the field of international and comparative criminal law, with its primary focus on the issues of international concern, ranging from genocide, to domestic efforts to combat terrorism, to torture, and to other international crimes. The first volume is devoted to foundational issues. The Grammar of Criminal Law is unique in its systematic emphasis on the relationship between language and legal theory; there is no comparable comparative study of legal language. (...) Written in the spirit of Fletcher's classic Rethinking Criminal Law, this work is essential reading in the field of international and comparative law. (shrink)
America is at war with terrorism. Terrorists must be brought to justice.We hear these phrases together so often that we rarely pause to reflect on the dramatic differences between the demands of war and the demands of justice, differences so deep that the pursuit of one often comes at the expense of the other. In this book, one of the country's most important legal thinkers brings much-needed clarity to the still unfolding debates about how to pursue war and justice in (...) the age of terrorism. George Fletcher also draws on his rare ability to combine insights from history, philosophy, literature, and law to place these debates in a rich cultural context. He seeks to explain why Americans--for so many years cynical about war--have recently found war so appealing. He finds the answer in a revival of Romanticism, a growing desire in the post-Vietnam era to identify with grand causes and to put nations at the center of ideas about glory and guilt.Fletcher opens with unsettling questions about the nature of terrorism, war, and justice, showing how dangerously slippery the concepts can be. He argues that those sympathetic to war are heirs to the ideals of Byron, Fichte, and other Romantics in their belief that nations--not just individuals--must uphold honor and be held accountable for crimes. Fletcher writes that ideas about collective glory and guilt are far more plausible and widespread than liberal individualists typically recognize. But as he traces the implications of the Romantic mindset for debates about war crimes, treason, military tribunals, and genocide, he also shows that losing oneself in a grand cause can all too easily lead to moral catastrophe.A work of extraordinary intellectual power and relevance, the book will change how we think not only about world events, but about the conflicting individualist and collective impulses that tear at all of us. (shrink)
In this one-of-a-kind text, George P. Fletcher, a renowned legal theorist, offers a provocative yet accessible overview of the basics of legal thought. The first section of the book is designed to introduce the reader to fundamental concepts such as the rule of law and deciding cases under the law. It continues with an analysis of the values of justice, desert, consent, and equality, as they figure into our judgment of legal cultures in terms of soundness and legitimacy. The (...) final chapters address the problems of morality and consistency in the law. In each case the author not only introduces the basic ideas but considers important arguments in the contemporary literature and raises original claims of his own. Ideally suited for courses in the philosophy of law, legal issues, and jurisprudence, Basic Concepts of Legal Thought fills a void in the literature, as there is no other volume that both eases law students into the mysteries of legal philosophy and provides an introduction to the legal mind for non-lawyers. (shrink)
Fletcher, Laadan Sir Francis Galton was Charles Darwin's cousin. He was born in Birmingham, and educated at King Edward's School before studying medicine at King's College, London and also graduating from Trinity College, Cambridge. Two years later he travelled in North Africa and in 1850, in hitherto unexplored regions of South Africa; and, in 1855, published a very successful book giving an account of his experiences. He was probably inspired by the celebrated travels of his cousin.
I shall never forget my astonishment and delight on reading the 1949 essay, "The Function of Criticism at the Present Time," which in turn became the Polemic Introduction to Anatomy of Criticism, and my even greater astonishment and delight at the appearance of "Towards a Theory of Cultural History" , which eventually served as Essay 1 of the Anatomy, when revised and expanded. The remarkable thing about these articles was not so much their content as their assumption, namely, that criticism (...) could at least try to become a science. This assumption was couched in the form of most general scientific orientations, in that Frye took literature in its own terms,1 to begin with, and then did not prejudicially segregate and then destroy the claims of particular "minority groups" within the whole commonwealth of literary life. I did not know it at the time, but Frye was then, as now, fighting for a mode of civil rights. He was then, as now, a libertarian. He first made his name writing on Blake— freedom enough, perhaps—but it has always seemed to me that his center is as much Milton as Blake. But then, to know Blake truly is to understand Milton. · 1. This assumption is to be distinguished from that of "early" Richards, which held that a science for literary studies had to come at literature from the outside, with chiefly psychological instruments. Richards' career has been the most complex critical "life" in our century, I believe, and it should be observed that he has held, and abandoned, more than one assumptive high ground during the course of his long and magnificent involvement with poetry. Angus Fletcher's numerous writings include Allegory: The Thought of a Symbolic Mode, The Prophetic Moment: An Essay on Spenser, The Transcendental Masque: An Essay on Milton's Comus, The Stranger God: A Theoretical Study of the Myth of Dionysus, and Thresholds: A Critical Approach to the English Renaissance. Northrop Frye's response, "Expanding Eyes" appears in the Winter 1975 issue. (shrink)
Well-being occupies a central role in ethics and political philosophy, including in major theories such as utilitarianism. It also extends far beyond philosophy: recent studies into the science and psychology of well-being have propelled the topic to centre stage, and governments spend millions on promoting it. We are encouraged to adopt modes of thinking and behaviour that support individual well-being or 'wellness'. What is well-being? Which theories of well-being are most plausible? In this rigorous and comprehensive introduction to the topic, (...) Guy Fletcher unpacks and assesses these questions and many more, including: Are pleasure and pain the only things that affect well-being? Is desire-fulfilment the only thing that makes our lives go well? Can something be good for someone who does not desire it? Is well-being fundamentally connected to a distinctive human nature? Is happiness all that makes our lives go well? Is death necessarily bad for us? How is the well-being of a whole life related to well-being at particular times? Also included is a glossary of key terms, and annotated further reading and study and comprehension questions follow each chapter, making _The Philosophy of Well-Being_ essential reading for students in ethics and political philosophy, and also suitable for those in related disciplines such as psychology, politics and sociology. (shrink)
No consensus yet exists on how to handle incidental fnd-ings in human subjects research. Yet empirical studies document IFs in a wide range of research studies, where IFs are fndings beyond the aims of the study that are of potential health or reproductive importance to the individual research participant. This paper reports recommendations of a two-year project group funded by NIH to study how to manage IFs in genetic and genomic research, as well as imaging research. We conclude that researchers (...) have an obligation to address the possibility of discovering IFs in their protocol and communications with the IRB, and in their consent forms and communications with research participants. Researchers should establish a pathway for handling IFs and communicate that to the IRB and research participants. We recommend a pathway and categorize IFs into those that must be disclosed to research participants, those that may be disclosed, and those that should not be disclosed. (shrink)
THE STRUCTURE OF THIS PAPER IS AS FOLLOWS. I begin §1 by dealing with preliminary issues such as the different relations expressed by the “good for” locution. I then (§2) outline the Locative Analysis of good for and explain its main elements before moving on to (§3) outlining and discussing the positive features of the view. In the subsequent sections I show how the Locative Analysis can respond to objections from, or inspired by, Sumner (§4-5), Regan (§6), and Schroeder and (...) Feldman (§7). I then (§8) reply to an imagined objector who claims that the Locative Analysis generates implausible results with respect to punishment, virtue and agent-centered duties. (shrink)
If the force on a particle fails to satisfy a Lipschitz condition at a point, it relaxes one of the conditions necessary for a locally unique solution to the particle’s equation of motion. I examine the most discussed example of this failure of determinism in classical mechanics—that of Norton’s dome—and the range of current objections against it. Finding there are many different conceptions of classical mechanics appropriate and useful for different purposes, I argue that no single conception is preferred. Instead (...) of arguing for or against determinism, I stress the wide variety of pragmatic considerations that, in a specific context, may lead one usefully and legitimately to adopt one conception over another in which determinism may or may not hold. (shrink)
Fixed-rate versions of rule-consequentialism and rule-utilitarianism evaluate rules in terms of the expected net value of one particular level of social acceptance, but one far enough below 100% social acceptance to make salient the complexities created by partial compliance. Variable-rate versions of rule-consequentialism and rule-utilitarianism instead evaluate rules in terms of their expected net value at all different levels of social acceptance. Brad Hooker has advocated a fixed-rate version. Michael Ridge has argued that the variable-rate version is better. The debate (...) continues here. Of particular interest is the difference between the implications of Hooker's and Ridge's rules about doing good for others. (shrink)
In this paper, I examine how philosophers before and after G. E. Moore understood intrinsic value. The main idea I wish to bring out and defend is that Moore was insufficiently attentive to how distinctive his conception of intrinsic value was, as compared with those of the writers he discussed, and that such inattentiveness skewed his understanding of the positions of others that he discussed and dismissed. My way into this issue is by examining the charge of inconsistency that Moore (...) levels at the qualitative hedonism outlined by J. S. Mill in Utilitarianism. Along the way I suggest that there are a number of ways in which Moore was unfair in rejecting qualitative hedonism as inconsistent. I close by relating the issues that arise in discussion of Moore to contemporary debates on value and reasons. (shrink)
This paper aims to cast doubt upon a certain way of analysing prudential value (or good for ), namely in the manner of a ‘buck-passing’ analysis. It begins by explaining why we should be interested in analyses of good for and the nature of buck-passing analyses generally (§I). It moves on to considering and rejecting two sets of buck-passing analyses. The first are analyses that are likely to be suggested by those attracted to the idea of analysing good for in (...) a buck-passing fashion (§II). The second are the buck-passing analyses of good for proposed by John Skorupski (§III), Henry Sidgwick (§IV), and Stephen Darwall (§V). Along the way the paper shows that Michael Smith’s and Peter Railton’s analyses of other concepts—analyses that could be (and have been) taken to be analyses of good for —are similarly unsuitable as analyses of it. The paper concludes by suggesting that the fact that none of the buck-passing accounts of good for considered here is satisfactory, coupled with an appreciation of the various problems that a buck-passing analysis of good for would have to avoid, suggests that we should be sceptical about the prospects of finding such an analysis and should look for one of a different type. (shrink)
This paper is an attempt to undermine a basic assumption of theories of well-being, one that I call well-being invariabilism. I argue that much of what makes existing theories of well-being inadequate stems from the invariabilist assumption. After distinguishing and explaining well-being invariabilism and well-being variabilism, I show that the most widely-held theories of well-being—hedonism, desire-satisfaction, and pluralist objective-list theories—presuppose invariabilism and that a large class of the objections to them arise because of it. My aim is to show that (...) abandoning invariabilism and adopting variabilism is a sensible first step for those aiming to formulate more plausible theories of well-being. After considering objections to my argument, I explain what a variabilist theory of well-being would be like and show that well-being variabilism need not be any threat to the project of formulating theories of well-being that deliver general principles concerning well-being enhancement. (shrink)
Whether ethics is too important to be left to the experts or so important that it must be is an age-old question. The emergence of clinical ethicists raises it again, as a question about professionalism. What role clinical ethicists should play in healthcare decision making – teacher, mediator, or consultant – is a question that has generated considerable debate but no consensus.
Anyone familiar with Richard Kraut's work in ancient philosophy will be excited to see him putting aside the dusty tomes of the ancients and delving into ethics first-hand. He does not disappoint. His book is a lucid and wide-ranging discussion that provides at least the core of an ethical theory and an appealing set of answers to a range of ethical questions.Kraut aims to provide an alternative to utilitarianism that preserves the good-centred nature of that theory. He claims that all (...) justification ‘proceeds by way of good and bad’ and that the only way for something to be good or bad is for it to be good or bad for some living thing. He is adamant that this does not commit him to utilitarianism, nor to downplaying considerations such as promise-keeping or special relationships. On Kraut's view, such factors can make it the case that I have more reason to perform one action than another but it is a condition of my having any reason to perform an action that it does some good or impedes some harm. Kraut once seems to dissent from this, claiming that: ‘the strength of a practical reason varies according to …. (shrink)
In this article, I examine two of the standard objections to forms of value hedonism. The first is the common claim, most famously made by Bradley and Moore, that Mill's qualitative hedonism is inconsistent. The second is the apparent problem for quantitative hedonism in dealing with malicious pleasures. I argue that qualitative hedonism is consistent, even if it is implausible on other grounds. I then go on to show how our intuitions about malicious pleasure might be misleading.
This article reflects on the author's modest experience as an expert witness in two trials: Osheroff vs. Greenspan (1983), and In the Matter of Baby K (1994). Bioethicists' expertise as scholar-teachers and consultants on particular issues merits qualification by judges as expert witnesses. The article argues that a different kind of expertise – strong moral advocacy – is required to be an effective expert witness. The major lessons of expert witnessing for the author concern the demands and strains on the (...) bioethicist's role as scholar, teacher, and consultant. The Baby K case is analyzed in some detail, due to its importance for bioethics, ethics consultation, and the testimony of bioethicists on either side of the case. Rules of thumb are offered to guide decisions as to choices regarding expert witnessing, as well as a discussion of the interaction of law and bioethics. (shrink)
Scientific editors’ policies, including peer review, are based mainly on tradition and belief. Do they actually achieve their desired effects, the selection of the best manuscripts and improvement of those published? Editorial decisions have important consequences—to investigators, the scientific community, and all who might benefit from correct information or be harmed by misleading research results. These decisions should be judged not just by intentions of reviewers and editors but also by the actual consequences of their actions. A small but growing (...) number of studies has put editorial policies to a strong scientific test. In a randomized, controlled trial. blinding reviewers to author and institution was usually successful and improved the quality of reviews. Two studies have shown that, contrary to conventional wisdom, reviewers early in their careers give better reviews than senior reviewers. Many studies have shown low agreement between reviewers but there is disagreement about whether this represents a failing of peer review or the expected and valuable effect of choosing reviewers with complementary expertise. In a study of whether manuscripts are improved by peer review and editing, articles published in Annals of Internal Medicine were improved in 33 of 34 dimensions of reporting quality, but published articles still had room for improvement. Because of the central place of peer review in the scientific community and the resources it requires, more studies are needed to define what it does and does not accomplish. (shrink)
Despite the fact that the role of learning is recognised in empirical and theoretical work on sense of agency , the nature of this learning has, rather surprisingly, received little attention. In the present study we consider the contribution of associative mechanisms to SoA. SoA can be measured quantitatively as a temporal linkage between voluntary actions and their external effects. Using an outcome blocking procedure, it was shown that training action–outcome associations under conditions of increased surprise augmented this temporal linkage. (...) Moreover, these effects of surprise were correlated with schizotypy scores, suggesting that individual differences in higher level experiences are related to associative learning and to its impact on SoA. These results are discussed in terms of models of SoA, and our understanding of disrupted SoA in certain disorders. (shrink)
Campbell Brown has recently argued that G.E. Moore's intrinsic value holism is superior to Jonathan Dancy's. I show that the advantage which Brown claims for Moore's view over Dancy's is illusory, and that Dancy's view may be superior.
Incidental fndings of potential medical signifcance are seen in approximately 5-8 percent of asymptomatic subjects and 16 percent of symptomatic subjects participating in large computed tomography colonography studies, with the incidence varying further by CT acquisition technique. While most CTC research programs have a well-defned plan to detect and disclose IFs, such plans are largely communicated only verbally. Written consent documents should also inform subjects of how IFs of potential medical signifcance will be detected and reported in CTC research studies.
This article evaluates various aspects of the selection interview in terms of the major principles of business ethics. It looks at both interviewer and interviewee behavior and examines the ethical questions that arise around five key themes: Preparation for the interview; Openness, disclosure and the invasion of privacy; Honesty and impression management; Power relationships in the interview; The use of interview information in decision making. It is argued that clear guidelines for ethical behavior in the interview are needed and would (...) actually serve to increase the effectiveness of the method. Various topics that require empirical investigation are identified, and some parallels drawn with research on other assessment methods. (shrink)
This paper investigates how environmental structure, given the innate properties of a population, affects the degree to which this population can adapt to the environment. The model we explore involves simple agents in a 2-d world which can sense a local food distribution and, as specified by their genomes, move to a new location and ingest the food there. Adaptation in this model consists of improving the genomic sensorimotor mapping so as to maximally exploit the environmental resources. We vary environmental (...) structure to see its specific effect on adaptive success. In our investigation, two properties of environmental structure, conditioned by the sensorimotor capacities of the agents, have emerged as significant factors in determining adaptive success: (1) the information content of the environment which quantifies the diversity of conditions sensed, and (2) the expected utility for optimal action. These correspond to the syntactic and pragmatic aspects of environmental information, respectively. We find that the ratio of expected utility to information content predicts adaptive success measured by population gain and information content alone predicts the fraction of ideal utility achieved. These quantitative methods and specific conclusions should aid in understanding the effects of environmental structure on evolutionary adaptation in a wide range of evolving systems, both artificial and natural. (shrink)
Nonstandard set theory is an attempt to generalise nonstandard analysis to cover the whole of classical mathematics. Existing versions (Nelson, Hrbáček, Kawai) are unsatisfactory in that the unlimited idealisation principle conflicts with the wish to have a full theory of external sets. I re-analyse the underlying requirements of nonstandard set theory and give a new formal system, stratified nonstandard set theory, which seems to meet them better than the other versions.