We argue that the Rawlsian social contract argument advanced for stakeholder theory by R. Edward Freeman, writing alone and with William M. Evan, fails in three main ways. First, it is true to Rawls in neither form, nor purpose, nor the level of knowledge (or ignorance) required to motivate the veil of ignorance. Second, it fails to tailor the veil of ignorance to the fairness conditions that are required to solve the moral problem that Freeman and Evan set (...) out to solve (whereas Rawls’s own use of the device surely tailors the veil of ignorance to the problem of designing a just social order). Third, the argument, considered apart from its claimed Rawlsian pedigree, fails to bolster the stakeholder theory because it fails to demonstrate the rationality of adopting the institutional rules that Freeman and Evan favor. (shrink)
Communication and Conflict Management Training for Clinical Bioethics Committees Content Type Journal Article Pages 341-349 DOI 10.1007/s10730-009-9116-7 Authors Lauren M. Edelstein, Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Howard County General Hospital 5755 Cedar Lane Columbia MD 21044 USA Evan G. DeRenzo, Washington Hospital Center Center for Ethics 110 Irving St Washington, D.C. NW 20010 USA Elizabeth Waetzig, Change Matrix Inc. 485 Maylin St. Pasadena CA 91105 USA Craig Zelizer, Georgetown University Department of Government 3240 Prospect St. Washington, D.C. NW 20057 USA Nneka (...) O. Mokwunye, Washington Hospital Center Center for Ethics 110 Irving St Washington, D.C. NW 20010 USA Journal HEC Forum Online ISSN 1572-8498 Print ISSN 0956-2737 Journal Volume Volume 21 Journal Issue Volume 21, Number 4. (shrink)
Several writers have argued for the implausibility of there being naturalistic explanations of mystical experience. These writers recognize that the evidential significance of mystical experiences for theism depends upon whether explanations that exclude supernatural agency can be discounted; but they seem unaware of some of the best scientific work done in this area. Part I of the present paper introduces the theory of I. M. Lewis, an anthropologist, and tests it against the case of St Teresa. I use Teresa because (...) of her prominence, and because we have considerable biographical data for her. I conclude that Lewis's approach, suitably supplemented, is strikingly successful in explaining this case. (shrink)
Evan’s book is in many ways an exercise in remapping. The first is suggested by the book’s title. Waking, Dreaming, Being challenges existing ways of mapping the conceptual relationship between conscious states across the sleep-wake cycle. The idea that waking and dreaming are not discrete states but can interpenetrate each other—that, to use Evan’s words, they “aren’t opposed but flow into and out of [one] an other” —is a central theme running through the book. If Evan is (...) correct, then the taxonomy of conscious states that underlies large parts of contemporary philosophy of mind and cognitive neuroscience has to be redrawn. As Evan tells us in the introduction, the book’s organizing principle... (shrink)
This is a fine book by an extraordinary author whose literary followers have awaited a definitive statement of his views on consciousness since his participation in the important book on biological autopoiesis, The Embodied Mind (Varela, Thompson, & Rosch, 1991) and his recent neurophenomenology of biological systems, Mind in Life (2007). In the latter book, Thompson demonstrated the continuity of life and mind, whereas in this book he uses neurophenomenology as well as erudite renditions of Buddhist philosophy and a good (...) dash of personal experience to argue for the reality of altered states of consciousness, but also that these states are not distinct from the physical systems that subtend them. He must have touched a nerve, for Waking, Dreaming, Being continues to be read and widely discussed by the literate public. (shrink)
Dreyfus's model of expert skill acquisition is philosophically important because it shifts the focus on expertise away from its social and technical externalization in STS, and its relegation to the historical and psychological context of discovery in the classical philosophy of science, to universal structures of embodied cognition and affect. In doing so he explains why experts are not best described as ideologues and why their authority is not exclusively based on social networking. Moreover, by phenomenologically analyzing expertise from a (...) first person perspective, he reveals the limitations of, and sometimes superficial treatment that comes from, investigating expertise from a third person perspective. Thus, he shows that expertise is a prime example of a subject that is essential to science but can only be fully elaborated with the aid of phenomenological tools. However, both Dreyfus's descriptive model and his normative claims are flawed due to the lack of hermeneutical sensitivity. He assumes an expert's knowledge has crystallized out of contextual sensitivity plus experience, and that an expert has shed, during the training process, whatever prejudices, ideologies, hidden agendas, or other forms of cultural embeddedness, that person might have begun with. One would never imagine, from Dreyfus's account, that society could possibly be endangered by experts, only how society's expectations and actions could endanger experts. The stories of actual controversies not only shows things do not work the way Dreyfus claims, but also that it would be less salutary if they did. Such stories amount to counterexamples to Dreyfus's normative claims, and point to serious shortcomings in his arguments. (shrink)
Recent sociological/philosophical treatments of expertise, best represented by the work of Steve Fuller, attempt to reduce displays of expertise to sophistic exercises of discretionary power, and refute the claim that because laypeople are epistemically inferior to experts, it is rational to defer to an expert's opinion rather than making up one's own mind. But upon inspection, Fuller fails to provide reasonable grounds for liberating laypeople from the tyranny of cognitive authoritarianism. Rather, he presents a patronizing description of the expert?lay relation, (...) one that actually makes the public seem more ignorant than is warranted. (shrink)
Abstract Paul Feyerabend is famous for presenting a scathing indictment of modern experts as a threat to democracy. While commentators have questioned the accuracy of his portrayal of experts, they have not assessed the accuracy of his depiction of laypeople. Although Feyerabend has political reasons for wanting to demythologize grandiose notions of expertise, his political project hinders clear thinking about the question by idealizing the alternative lay perspective.