En apéndice, se reproduce el programa completo del curso “Problemas éticos de la Filosofía de la Historia” dictado en 1939 por Guerrero en la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras de la Universidad de Buenos Aires.
La fotografía que acompaña este dossier procede del acervo documental del Archivo General de la Nación y corresponde al curso “Problemática del trabajo en la Filosofía Moderna”, que Guerrero impartió en el Colegio Libre de Estudios Superiores en 1936. Fue reproducida en la revista Foro y Notariado de la ciudad de Bahía Blanca, ilustrando una nota que informaba del fallecimiento de Guerrero el 7 de febrero de 1957.
El tema de mi exposición aparece en la primera fila de un curso colectivo sobre la Revolución francesa. Pero debo comenzar declarando que no entraré, ni por un momento, en el análisis de ese conjunto extraordinario de acontecimientos históricos o en el estudio de sus causas y proyecciones. No es éste, por otra parte, un asunto de mi especialidad. Dentro del plan de nuestro curso colectivo, mi tarea es más modesta y aparece bien circunscripta. Me debo ocupar del sentido histórico (...) del siglo XVIII, para poder dilucidar si la voluntad revolucionaria de los hombres de 1789 proviene de la concepción de la vida histórica forjada por los pensadores de esa época o si, por el contrario, la niega o la transforma. En otras palabras, he de enfocar aquellos problemas que nos permitirán intentar, en último término, un análisis de las relaciones entre la conciencia histórica y la conciencia revolucionaria del siglo XVIII. (shrink)
The Enchantment of Words is a study of Wittgenstein's early masterpiece, the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Recent years have seen a great revival of interest in the Tractatus. McManus's study of the work offers novel readings of all its major themes and sheds light on issues in metaphysics, ethics and the philosophies of mind, language, and logic.
Denis McManus presents a novel account of Martin Heidegger's early vision of our subjectivity and the world we inhabit. He explores key elements of Heidegger's philosophy, and argues that Heidegger's central claims identify genuine demands that must be met if we are to achieve the feat of thinking determinate thoughts about the world around us.
Tracing the fictions that lie at the core of political theory's attempts to ground itself in nature, truth or knowledge of the real opens the space for a new mode of political theorizing. This new mode of (self-consciously) fictive theorizing has, McManus argues, both epistemological and ethical advantages. Methodologically reflexive, part epistemological critique, and part political manifesto, this book unfolds a creative epistemology of the possible, a utopian and deconstructive mode of political theory which moves beyond a politics based (...) on legislative drives. This means moving from a political-theoretical mode concerned with models of governance, to a critically utopian mode, concerned with emancipatory knowledges and resistance. (shrink)
Heidegger’s Being and Time is often cited as one of the most important philosophical works of the last century. This outstanding collection examines the major themes of Division Two of Being and Time , which has received relatively little attention compared to Division One. Leading philosophers examine important topics such as authenticity, death, guilt and time, the influence of Kierkegaard, and the relationship between Heidegger’s work and ancient and medieval philosophy. Essential reading for scholars and students of Heidegger’s thought and (...) anyone interested in key debates in phenomenology. Contributors: William Blattner, Clare Carlisle, Taylor Carman, Steven Galt Crowell, Daniel O. Dahlstrom, Hubert Dreyfus, Charles Guignon, Jeffrey Haynes, Stephan Käufer, Denis McManus, Stephen Mulhall, George Pattison, Peter Poellner, Katherine Withy, Mark A. Wrathall. (shrink)
Though Heidegger’s Being and Time is often cited as one of the most important philosophical works of the last hundred years, its Division Two has received relatively little attention. This outstanding collection corrects that, examining some of the central themes of Division Two and their wide-ranging and challenging implications. An international team of leading philosophers explore the crucial notions that articulate Heidegger’s concept of authenticity, including death, anxiety, conscience, guilt, resolution and temporality. In doing so, they clarify the bearing of (...) Division Two’s reflections on our understanding of intentionality, normativity, responsibility, autonomy and selfhood. These discussions raise important questions about how we may need to rethink the morals of Division One of Being and Time , the broader project to which that book was devoted, the shaping influence of figures such as Aristotle and Kierkegaard, as well as Heidegger’s relationship with his contemporaries and successors. Essential reading for students and scholars of Heidegger’s thought, and anyone interested in key debates in phenomenology, ethics, metaphilosophy and philosophy of mind. Contributors: William Blattner, Clare Carlisle, Taylor Carman, Steven Galt Crowell, Daniel O. Dahlstrom, Sophia Dandelet, Hubert Dreyfus, Charles Guignon, Jeffrey Haynes, Stephan Käufer, Denis McManus, Stephen Mulhall, George Pattison, Peter Poellner, Katherine Withy, Mark A. Wrathall. (shrink)
Though Heidegger’s _Being and Time_ is often cited as one of the most important philosophical works of the last hundred years, its Division Two has received relatively little attention. This outstanding collection corrects that, examining some of the central themes of Division Two and their wide-ranging and challenging implications. An international team of leading philosophers explore the crucial notions that articulate Heidegger’s concept of authenticity, including death, anxiety, conscience, guilt, resolution and temporality. In doing so, they clarify the bearing of (...) Division Two’s reflections on our understanding of intentionality, normativity, responsibility, autonomy and selfhood. These discussions raise important questions about how we may need to rethink the morals of Division One of _Being and Time_, the broader project to which that book was devoted, the shaping influence of figures such as Aristotle and Kierkegaard, as well as Heidegger’s relationship with his contemporaries and successors. Essential reading for students and scholars of Heidegger’s thought, and anyone interested in key debates in phenomenology, ethics, metaphilosophy and philosophy of mind. _Contributors:_ William Blattner, Clare Carlisle, Taylor Carman, Steven Galt Crowell, Daniel O. Dahlstrom, Sophia Dandelet, Hubert Dreyfus, Charles Guignon, Jeffrey Haynes, Stephan Käufer, Denis McManus, Stephen Mulhall, George Pattison, Peter Poellner, Katherine Withy, Mark A. Wrathall. (shrink)
This paper takes on several distinct but related tasks. First, I present and discuss what I will call the "Ignorance Thesis," which states that whenever an agent acts from ignorance, whether factual or moral, she is culpable for the act only if she is culpable for the ignorance from which she acts. Second, I offer a counterexample to the Ignorance Thesis, an example that applies most directly to the part I call the "Moral Ignorance Thesis." Third, I argue for a (...) principle--Don't Know, Don't Kill--that supports the view that the purported counterexample actually is a counterexample. Finally, I suggest that my arguments in this direction can supply a novel sort of argument against many instances of killing and eating certain sorts of animals. (shrink)
It is widely accepted that electoral representative democracy is better—along a number of different normative dimensions—than any other alternative lawmaking political arrangement. It is not typically seen as much of a competition: it is also widely accepted that the only legitimate alternative to electoral representative democracy is some form of direct democracy, but direct democracy—we are told—would lead to bad policy. This article makes the case that there is a legitimate alternative system—one that uses lotteries, not elections, to select political (...) officials— that would be better than electoral representative democracy. (shrink)
In This Paper, I Identify a Problem, which the project that I will refer to as the ‘Being and Time Project’ (or ‘BTP’ for short) aimed to solve; this is the project within which Heidegger reinterpreted his early thought—and which he unsuccessfully attempted to bring to fruition—in, roughly speaking, the years 1925–28. The problem in question presents several faces: viewed from one angle, it concerns the unity of the concept of “Being in general,” from another, the integrity of the notion (...) of “Dasein,” and from another, the possibility of the perspective from which the philosopher does her work. The solution that the BTP would have offered turns on the claim that time is “the possible horizon for any understanding .. (shrink)
The work of Hubert Dreyfus interweaves productively ideas from, among others, Heidegger and Wittgenstein. A central element in Dreyfus' hugely influential interpretation of the former is the proposal that, if we are to—in some sense—'make sense' of intentionality, then we must recognize what Dreyfus calls the 'background'. Though Dreyfus has, over the years, put the notion of the 'background' to a variety of philosophical uses,1 considerations familiar from the literature inspired by Wittgenstein's reflections on rule-following have played an important role (...) in motivating the case for believing that we need to recognize the 'background' and thus also in identifying precisely what it is about the intentional that supposedly needs to be 'made sense of'. Dreyfus argues that what he calls 'representationalism' will land us with an unstoppable 'regress of rules'. In this paper, I first argue that there are actually two different arguments that Dreyfus invokes; I then go on to evaluate quite how, in the light of the problems that those arguments reveal, our position might be thought to be improved by our recognizing the 'background'. Given that various philosophical positions designed to deal with these problems have emerged within the Wittgensteinian literature, an obvious question to ask is whether the position that Dreyfus would have us adopt is essentially one of those positions. If it isn't, then how does it differ? There is surely a variety of ways in which such a comparison might be carried out and what I offer is only one. I argue that if, through a recognition of the 'background', we are thought to have acquired solutions to those problems, then it's not at all clear that the supposed solutions that emerge work. So I explore instead the possibility that that recognition forms part of an attempt to 'dissolve' those problems. In order to bring some clarity to that possibility I consider a number of different ways in which Dreyfus' proposals might be interpreted by drawing on ideas set out by John McDowell (and I suggest that his view of one of the 'regress' arguments is anticipated by Heidegger himself). I then identify and assess some of the consequences of adopting such McDowellian readings. My sense is that Dreyfus is on the side of the angels, so to speak. But if what is right in his proposals is to become clear, and if he is to be spared some obvious objections that those proposals may elicit, we need to be clear about just what kind of contribution those proposals are meant to make. In pursuing that clarity, I am attempting to follow through on the comparison of Wittgensteinian and Heideggerian ideas that Dreyfus and his supporters have initiated: what has yet to be clarified is how and why recognizing the 'background' will allow us to 'cope better' with the puzzles in the rule-following literature that they have cited in making a case for the need to recognize the 'background'. Ultimately, I will argue that assessing this matter may require a yet broader comparison of Wittgensteinian and Heideggerian themes, one which raises questions about what we take 'doing ontology' and 'doing phenomenology' to be. (shrink)
The research theorizes how hubris impacts ethical decision making and develops empirical evidence that earnings manipulation is more likely at firms led by CEOs influenced by hubris. The theory posits that hubris impairs moral awareness by causing decision makers to ignore external factors that otherwise drive such awareness. Additionally, these individuals apply a flawed subjective assessment of the decision they face which further impairs moral awareness. The predicted result is that hubris leads managers to invoke an amoral decision process which (...) causes a higher incidence of unethical behavior among these individuals. An empirical study investigates the relationship between CEO hubris and the unethical practice of earnings manipulation. This study finds a significant correlation between CEO hubris and earnings manipulation at the firms they lead, an outcome broadly consistent with the theory developed. (shrink)
This paper examines the most influential naturalist theory of health, Christopher Boorse’s ‘biostatistical theory’ . I argue that the BST is an unsuitable candidate for the rôle that Boorse has cast it to play, namely, to underpin medicine with a theoretical, value-free science of health and disease. Following the literature, I distinguish between “real” changes and “mere Cambridge changes” in terms of the difference between an individual’s intrinsic and relational properties and argue that the framework of the BST essentially implies (...) a Cambridge-change criterion. The examination reveals that this implicit criterion commits the BST to the troubling view that an individual could go from being diseased to healthy, or vice versa, without any physiological change in that individual. Two problems follow: the current framework of the BST is ill-equipped to formally embrace Cambridge changes and it is theoretically dubious. The arguments advanced here are not limited to the BST; I suggest they extend to any naturalist claim to underpin medical practice with a value-free theory of health and disease defined in terms of an evolutionary view of biological fitness. (shrink)
While risk of harm is an important focus for whether clinical research on humans can and should proceed, there is uncertainty about what constitutes harm to a trial participant. In Phase I trials on healthy volunteers, the purpose of the research is to document and measure safety concerns associated with investigational drugs, and participants are financially compensated for their enrollment in these studies. In this article, we investigate how characterizations of harm are narrated by healthy volunteers in the context of (...) the adverse events they experience during clinical trials. Drawing upon qualitative research, we find that participants largely minimize, deny, or re-attribute the cause of these AEs. We illustrate how participants' interpretations of AEs may be shaped both by the clinical trial environment and their economic motivation to participate. While these narratives are emblematic of the larger ambiguity surrounding harm in the context of clinical trial participation, we argue that these interpretations also problematically maintain the narrative of the safety of clinical trials, the ethics of testing investigational drugs on healthy people, and the rigor of data collected in the specter of such ambiguity. (shrink)
This paper connects the question of the rationality of voting to the question of what it is morally permissible for elected representatives to do. In particular, the paper argues that it is rational to vote to increase the strength of the manifest normative mandate of one's favored candidate. I argue that, due to norms of political legitimacy, how representatives ought to act while in office is tied to how much support they have from their constituents, where a representative’s “support” is (...) a function of the percentage of adults living in the political jurisdiction who voted for her. In a representative system, whether a particular law or policy is legitimate is in part a function of how much support the particular representative government has, rather than simply being a function of the governmental structure or the normative content of the law or policy. Representatives with more support can permissibly act more like trustees (doing what they think is best) and less like delegates (doing what their constituents presently prefer). I argue that this fact provides a reason for individuals to vote, even given the incredibly small chance an individual voter has of casting a pivotal vote. (shrink)
Wittgenstein is arguably the greatest philosopher of the last hundred years and scepticism is one of the central problems that modern philosophy faces. This collection is the first to be devoted to an examination of how that great philosopher's work bears on this fundamental philosophical problem. Wittgenstein's reaction to scepticism is complex, articulating both a sense that sceptical problems are ultimately unreal and a sense that scepticism teaches us something about the fundamental character of the human predicament. The essays, specially (...) written for this collection by distinguished philosophers and commentators on Wittgenstein, explore that reaction, addressing, in particular, scepticism about the existence of the external world and of other minds. In doing so, it explores issues not only in theory of knowledge but also in metaphysics, the philosophy of mind, language, perception and literature, as well as raising questions about the nature of philosophy itself. Several of the papers address the work of Stanley Cavell, perhaps the most influential commentator on the work of Wittgenstein, and Cavell replies in the final pieces to four of those papers. This collection is essential reading for students and scholars of Wittgenstein and anyone interested in the debate surrounding scepticism. (shrink)
Christina Lafont has argued that the early Heidegger's reflections on truth and understanding are incompatible with ‘the supposition of a single objective world’. This paper presents her argument, reviews some responses that the existing Heidegger literature suggests, and offers what I argue is a superior response. Building on a deeper exploration of just what the above ‘supposition’ demands, I argue that a crucial assumption that Lafont and Haugeland both accept must be rejected, namely, that different ‘understandings of Being’ can be (...) viewed as offering ‘rival perspectives’ on a common subject-matter. I develop this case by drawing on an alternative account of what a Heideggerian ‘understanding of Being’ might be like. (shrink)
There has been a great deal of philosophical discussion about using people, using people intentionally, using people as a means to some end, and using people merely as a means to some end. In this paper, I defend the following claim about using people: NOT ALWAYS WRONG: using people—even merely as a means—is not always morally objectionable. Having defended that claim, I suggest that the following claim is also correct: NO ONE FEATURE: when it is morally objectionable to use people, (...) this is for many different kinds of reasons—there is no one wrong-making feature that every morally objectionable using has in common. After discussing these claims, I use them to present and motivate what I call the “precaution” theory of norms against using people. I conclude by considering a few cases from the criminal law context—cases that are naturally described as using people—to assess the moral appropriateness of this kind of use in these cases, and to demonstrate how the theory applies to the real world. (shrink)
If a news organization serves the market well, does it also serve the public well? Yes, say the leaders of the news industry, market forces improve journalism. This article uses market theory microeconomics to test the executives' assertion. The analysis concludes that news is a peculiar commodity, what economists call a "credence" good, that may invite fraud because consumers cannot readily determine its quality, even after consuming it. News, by definition, is what we don't yet know. The article also contends (...) that advertisers seek public attention for their products rather than public education about current events. Thus advertiser-supported news media following market logic compete not in a news market, but in a larger market for public attention. This attention market may value entertainment more than information, leading to a conflict with journalism's norms of public service. (shrink)
In ‘Excusing Mistakes of Law’, Gideon Yaffe sets out to ‘vindicate’ the claim ‘that mistakes of law never excuse’ by ‘identifying the truth that is groped for but not grasped by those who assert that ignorance of law is no excuse’. Yaffe does not offer a defence of the claim that mistakes of law never excuse. That claim, Yaffe argues, is false. Yaffe’s article is, rather, an effort to assess what plausible thought might be behind the idea that mistakes of (...) law often should not excuse. (Yaffe is interested in more than just the descriptive claim that in Anglo-American legal jurisdictions mistakes of law routinely do not, in fact, excuse.) More particularly, Yaffe is interested in what plausible normative justification there might be for this asymmetric pattern: -/- Asymmetry: False beliefs about non-legal facts often excuse, but false beliefs about the law rarely excuse. -/- Yaffe offers a complex argument in support of Asymmetry. This paper is organised around my reconstruction of Yaffe’s argument. I argue that Yaffe’s argument does not succeed, but that his argument provides a template for an argument that could succeed. (shrink)
Contemporary national codes of ethics hinge more on fantasy than fact: the idea that journalists control what becomes news. While journalists' influence over news has grown during much of the 20th century to the point where courts have begun to define them as professionals, it has never surpassed the influence of owners. New evidence indicates authority has eroded as media firms seek to maximize return to investors. As journalists' autonomy recedes, national ethics codes become less relevant to practitioners and more (...) publicly deceptive. The codes also are unethical themselves as journalists become decision takers rather than decision makers. Moral responsibility and real world authority diverge. It2 time to end the charade by creating new codes that include the decision makers outside the news room. (shrink)
My article constructs a geneology of what I call "postmodern conservatism" and discusses how it has emerged in recent years as a political force. I also discuss how the left can counter these trends through more constructive and concrete proposals moving away from identity politics and values talk.
Although the individual mandate was upheld and the Commerce Clause may have been cabined, the decision to strike down a significant element of the “Medicaid expansion” may prove to be the most significant aspect of the Supreme Court’s decision in NFIB v. Sebelius. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), States were required to extend Medicaid coverage to all individuals under the age of 65 with incomes below 133 percent of the poverty line, a new “essential health benefits” package was required (...) for all new Medicaid recipients, and the increased costs due to the expansion would be entirely covered by the Federal government through 2016, with the Federal payment gradually decreasing to a minimum of 90 percent of the total cost from the expanded coverage. The element found to be unconstitutional was §1396c of the ACA, which permitted the withdrawal of all Federal Medicaid funds from those States that did not comply with the ACA’s requirements for Medicaid expansion. The effect on access to health care may be significant: roughly half of those expected to gain coverage under the ACA were going to gain it through the Medicaid expansion; it is unclear how many States will choose to opt into that expansion in the absence of §1396c.1 Additionally, the argument offered by the Court to strike down that provision might be used to attack other federal programs—concerning transportation, social services, environmental protection, and others—that have a similar structure. This paper will demonstrate that the argument rests on a theoretical mistake concerning the relationships between coercion, compulsion, and political accountability and that, further, this mistake is not one legally forced upon the Court. (shrink)
This essay describes similarities between the conception of intentionality expressed in Heidegger’s early writings and the conception of propositional attitude psychology expressed in the recent work of William Bechtel and A. A. Abrahamsen. In different ways, these two approaches emphasise the “worldly” character of the intentional subject. There was a time when identifying similarities in view or argument between representatives of the “Analytic” and “Continental” camp was of intrinsic value because few in either camp believed such similarities existed. Fortunately, that (...) time is past and such comparisons will now prove their worth only by being productive, by allowing us to cross-fertilise the views that were thought to be so alien. On the basis of more obvious points of similarity, we can use one model as indicating where the other model might be developed or where it might face unrecognized problems. This paper attempts such an exercise. (shrink)
How does age matter to moral responsibility and criminal liability? Almost no one thinks that a 3-year old is morally responsible for what she does. No one would think an 8-year old should be held criminally liable for engaging in illegal criminal action—even for something seriously harmful such as intentionally setting fire to a building or badly harming another child. Something else should happen, certainly, but not criminal prosecution and conviction and State punishment. And that’s true even if we might (...) start to think that the 8-year old can be morally responsible, or at least somewhat morally responsible, for what she does. Disagreement might start to enter in as the age increases. What do we think of a 12-year old? A 15-year old? A 17-year old? Gideon Yaffe’s excellent book, The Age of Culpability, is focused on the question of why children—for these purposes, all people under the chronological age of 18—should be given a break, legally speaking, and why this should be done categorically. Yaffe argues that the fact that no one under 18 is eligible to vote is a key part of the explanation. In this paper, I raise two objections to Yaffe’s account. In particular, I raise several questions about the details of Yaffe’s account regarding what it is to “have a say over the law” and the way in which this makes a difference to criminal culpability. (shrink)
Even good lawyers get a bad rap. One explanation for this is that the professional rules governing lawyers permit and even require behavior that strikes many as immoral. The standard accounts of legal ethics that seek to defend these professional rules do little to dispel this air of immorality. The revisionary accounts of legal ethics that criticize the professional rules inject a hearty dose of morality, but at the cost of leaving lawyers unrecognizable as lawyers. This article suggests that the (...) problem with both the professional rules and the extant accounts of legal ethics is that they treat the role of lawyer as largely uniform, whereas lawyers actually serve several importantly different roles in different contexts. The central insight of the article is that legal ethics must be fundamentally context-sensitive: what lawyers are morally permitted or required to do depends on the background context in which they are working. Additionally, by taking context into account, this article is the first to present a theory of legal ethics as appropriately shaped and constrained by normative political philosophy and norms of political legitimacy. -/- Specifically, the article argues that people act as lawyers in three different contexts: State v. Individual (situations in which the State seeks to apply some general law to a particular individual), Individual v. Individual (situations in which private individuals are engaged in a dispute), and Individual v. State (situations in which individuals object to State conduct on constitutional or other grounds unrelated to the question of whether a general law applies to their particular case); that the value of lawyers, qua lawyers, stems from a different source in each of these contexts; and that a theory of legal ethics must take into account both of these first two claims. This article develops one such theory - the Multi-Context View. To demonstrate how the theory applies in practice, the article applies the Multi-Context View to two significant issues in legal ethics: the ethical issues involved in deciding whether to represent a client and the moral permissibility of the use of tactical delay. (shrink)
(2013). Heidegger, Wittgenstein and St Paul on the Last Judgement: On the Roots and Significance of ‘The Theoretical Attitude’. British Journal for the History of Philosophy: Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 143-164. doi: 10.1080/09608788.2012.686980.