Allhoff, Fritz, Patrick Lin, and Daniel Moore. 2010. What is nanotechnology and why does it matter? From science to ethics Content Type Journal Article Pages 209-211 DOI 10.1007/s11673-011-9289-z Authors Jennifer Kuzma, University of Minnesota, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, 301 19th Ave So, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529 Journal Volume Volume 8 Journal Issue Volume 8, Number 2.
Part of the Blackwell Readings in the History of Philosophy series, this survey of early modern philosophy focuses on the key texts and philosophers of the period whose beliefs changed the course of western thought.
Part of The Blackwell Readings in Philosophy Series, this survey of ancient philosophy explores the scope of ancient philosophy, focusing on the key philosophers and their texts, examining how the foundations of philosophy as we know it were laid.
Part of the Blackwell Readings in the History of Philosophy series, this survey of late modern philosophy focuses on the key texts and philosophers of the period whose beliefs changed the course of western thought.
According to the view that there is moral encroachment in epistemology, whether a person has knowledge of p sometimes depends on moral considerations, including moral considerations that do not bear on the truth or likelihood of p. Defenders of moral encroachment face a central challenge: they must explain why the moral considerations they cite, unlike moral bribes for belief, are reasons of the right kind for belief (or withheld belief). This paper distinguishes between a moderate and a radical version of (...) moral encroachment. It shows that, while defenders of moderate moral encroachment are well-placed to meet the central challenge, defenders of radical moral encroachment are not. The problem for radical moral encroachment is that it cannot, without taking on unacceptable costs, forge the right sort of connection between the moral badness of a belief and that belief’s chance of being false. (shrink)
According to the structured theory of propositions, if two sentences express the same proposition, then they have the same syntactic structure, with corresponding syntactic constituents expressing the same entities. A number of philosophers have recently focused attention on a powerful argument against this theory, based on a result by Bertrand Russell, which shows that the theory of structured propositions is inconsistent in higher order-logic. This paper explores a response to this argument, which involves restricting the scope of the claim that (...) propositions are structured, so that it does not hold for all propositions whatsoever, but only for those which are expressible using closed sentences of a given formal language. We call this restricted principle Closed Structure, and show that it is consistent in classical higher-order logic. As a schematic principle, the strength of Closed Structure is dependent on the chosen language. For its consistency to be philosophically significant, it also needs to be consistent in every extension of the language which the theorist of structured propositions is apt to accept. But, we go on to show, Closed Structure is in fact inconsistent in a very natural extension of the standard language of higher-order logic, which adds resources for plural talk of propositions. We conclude that this particular strategy of restricting the scope of the claim that propositions are structured is not a compelling response to the argument based on Russell’s result, though we note that for some applications, for instance to propositional attitudes, a restricted thesis in the vicinity may hold some promise. (shrink)
Epistemic two-dimensional semantics is a theory in the philosophy of language that provides an account of meaning which is sensitive to the distinction between necessity and apriority. While this theory is usually presented in an informal manner, I take some steps in formalizing it in this paper. To do so, I define a semantics for a propositional modal logic with operators for the modalities of necessity, actuality, and apriority that captures the relevant ideas of epistemic two-dimensional semantics. I also describe (...) some properties of the logic that are interesting from a philosophical perspective, and apply it to the so-called nesting problem. (shrink)
(From the book cover in 2007) The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness is the most thorough and comprehensive survey of contemporary scientific research and philosophical thought on consciousness currently available. Its 55 newly commissioned, peer-reviewed chapters combine state-of-the-art surveys with cutting edge research. Taken as a whole, these essays by leading lights in the philosophy and science of consciousness create an engaging dialog and unparalleled source of information regarding this most fascinating and mysterious subject.
An argument going back to Russell shows that the view that propositions are structured is inconsistent in standard type theories. Here, it is shown that such type theories may nevertheless provide entities which can serve as proxies for structured propositions. As an illustration, such proxies are applied to the case of grounding, as standard views of grounding require a degree of propositional structure which suffices for a version of Russell’s argument. While this application solves some of the problems grounding faces, (...) it introduces problematic limitations: it becomes impossible to quantify unrestrictedly over the relata of ground. The proposed proxies may thus not save grounding, but they shed light on what exactly Russell’s argument does and does not show. (shrink)
Many writers have recently argued that there is something distinctively problematic about sustaining moral beliefs on the basis of others’ moral views. Call this claim pessimism about moral deference. Pessimism about moral deference, if true, seems to provide an attractive way to argue for a bold conclusion about moral disagreement: moral disagreement generally does not require belief revision. Call this claim steadfastness about moral disagreement. Perhaps the most prominent recent discussion of the connection between moral deference and moral disagreement, due (...) to Alison Hills, uses pessimism about the former to argue for steadfastness about the latter. This paper reveals that this line of thinking, and others like it, are unsuccessful. There is no way to argue from a compelling version of pessimism about moral deference to the conclusion of steadfastness about moral disagreement. The most plausible versions of pessimism about moral deference have only very limited implications for moral disagreement. (shrink)
In this paper, I take a critical stance on the emerging field of nanoethics. After an introductory section, “Conceptual Foundations of Nanotechnology” considers the conceptual foundations of nanotechnology, arguing that nanoethics can only be as coherent as nanotechnology itself and then discussing concerns with this latter concept; the conceptual foundations of nanoethics are then explicitly addressed in “Conceptual Foundations of Nanoethics”. “Issues in Nanoethics” considers ethical issues that will be raised through nanotechnology and, in “What’s New?”, it is argued that (...) none of these issues is unique to nanotechnology. In “It’s a Revolution!”, I express skepticism about arguments which hold that, while the issues themselves might not be unique, they nevertheless are instantiated to such a degree that extant moral frameworks will be ill-equipped to handle them. In “What’s Different?”, I draw plausible distinctions between nanoethics and other applied ethics, arguing that these latter might well identify unique moral issues and, as such, distinguish themselves from nanoethics. Finally, in “What Now?”, I explore the conclusions of this result, ultimately arguing that, while nanoethics may fail to identify novel ethical concerns, it is at least the case that nanotechnology is deserving of ethical attention, if not a new associative applied ethic. (shrink)
Organizations interested in employee ethics compliance face the problem of conflict between employee and organizational ethical standards. Socializing new employees is one way of assuring compliance. Important for longer term employees as well as new ones, however, is making those standards visible and then operable in the daily life of an organization. This study, conducted in one large organization, found that, depending on organizational level, awareness of an organization's ethical standards is predicted by managerial adherence to and organizational compliance with (...) those standards and/or discussions with peers. Regardless of level, organizational commitment was predicted most strongly by managerial adherence to organizational standards. These findings have theoretical implications for the fields of business ethics, organizational identity and organizational socialization and practical implications for the implementation of ethics policies. (shrink)
Criteria are given to characterize mature theories in contradistinction to developing theories. We lean heavily on the physical sciences. An established theory is defined as a mature one with known validity limits. The approximate truth of such theories is thereby given a quantitative character. Superseding theories do not falsify established theories because the latter are protected by their validity limits. This view of scientific realism leads to ontological levels and cumulativity of knowledge. It is applied to a defense of realism (...) against recent attacks by Laudan. (shrink)
_The Blackwell Guide to Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics_ illuminates Aristotle’s ethics for both academics and students new to the work, with sixteen newly commissioned essays by distinguished international scholars. The structure of the book mirrors the organization of the Nichomachean Ethics itself. Discusses the human good, the general nature of virtue, the distinctive characteristics of particular virtues, voluntariness, self-control, and pleasure.
The Blackwell Dictionary of Western Philosophy is a concise reference to the whole history of western philosophy, from ancient Greece to the present day. Spans all the major branches of western philosophical inquiry, all of the key figures Explains the meaning and usage of each philosophical concept in a fresh and engaging style Each entry on philosophical terms concludes with an illustrative quotation from a significant philosopher, to enhance the reader’s understanding Entries on terms and individual philosophers are fully (...) cross-referenced Co-written by the editor of the popular volume The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy (Second Edition, 2002). (shrink)
_The Blackwell Guide to Plato’s Republic_ consists of thirteen new essays written by both established scholars and younger researchers with the specific aim of helping readers to understand Plato’s masterwork. This guide to Plato’s _Republic_ is designed to help readers understand this foundational work of the Western canon. Sheds new light on many central features and themes of the Republic. Covers the literary and philosophical style of the _Republic_; Plato’s theories of justice and knowledge; his educational theories; and his (...) treatment of the divine. Will be of interest to readers who are new to the _Republic_, and those who already have some familiarity with the book. (shrink)
The book includes all 15 long forgotten articles on bioethics and ethics written by Jahr from 1927 to 1947 in English translation. (Series: Practical Ethics / Ethik in der Praxis - Studies / Studien - Vol. 37).
On the one hand, bluffing in business seems to bear a strong resemblance to lying, and therefore might be thought to be prima facie impermissible. On the other, many people have the intuition that bluffing is an appropriate and morally permissible negotiating tactic. Given this tension, what is the moral standing of bluffing in business? In this paper, I will consider influential accounts of both Albert Carr and Thomas Carson, and I will present my criticisms thereof. Drawing off of these (...) accounts, I will then develop my own argument as to why bluffing in business is morally permissible, which will be that bluffing is a practice that should be endorsed by all rational negotiators. (shrink)
With by far the lowest population density in the United States, myriad challenges attach to healthcare delivery in Alaska. In the “Size, Population, and Accessibility” section, we characterize this geographic context, including how it is exacerbated by lack of infrastructure. In the “Distributing Healthcare” section, we turn to healthcare economics and staffing, showing how these bear on delivery—and are exacerbated by geography. In the “Health Care in Rural Alaska” section, we turn to rural care, exploring in more depth what healthcare (...) delivery looks like outside of Alaska’s major cities. This discussion continues in the “Alaska’s Native Villages” section, which specifically analyzes healthcare in Alaska’s indigenous villages, some of the smallest and most isolated communities in the United States. Though many of the ways we could improve Alaskan health care for Alaskan residents are limited by its unique features, the “Justice and Healthcare Delivery” and “Technology and Telemedicine” sections consider ways in which certain policies and technology—including telemedicine—could mitigate the challenges developed in previous sections. (shrink)
Building on the strengths of the highly successful first edition, the extensively updated _Blackwell Guide to Ethical Theory_ presents a complete state-of-the-art survey, written by an international team of leading moral philosophers. __ A new edition of this successful and highly regarded _Guide_, now reorganized and updated with the addition of significant new material Includes 21 essays written by an international team of leading philosophers Extensive, substantive essays develop the main arguments of all the leading viewpoints in ethical theory Essays (...) new to this edition cover evolution and ethics, capability ethics, virtues and consequences, and the implausibility of virtue ethics. (shrink)
This paper presents a challenge to conciliationist views of disagreement. I argue that conciliationists cannot satisfactorily explain why we need not revise our beliefs in response to certain moral disagreements. Conciliationists can attempt to meet this challenge in one of two ways. First, they can individuate disputes narrowly. This allows them to argue that we have dispute-independent reason to distrust our opponents’ moral judgment. This approach threatens to license objectionable dogmatism. It also inappropriately gives deep epistemic significance to superficial questions (...) about how to think about the subject matter of a dispute. Second, conciliationists can individuate disputes widely. This allows them to argue that we lack dispute-independent reason to trust our opponents’ moral judgment. But such arguments fail; our background of generally shared moral beliefs gives us good reason to trust the moral judgment of our opponents, even after we set quite a bit of our reasoning aside. On either approach, then, conciliationists should acknowledge that we have dispute-independent reason to trust the judgment of those who reject our moral beliefs. Given a conciliationist view of disagreement’s epistemic role, this has the unattractive result that we are epistemically required to revise some of our most intuitively secure moral beliefs. (shrink)
With multi-year funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), a team of researchers has just released a comprehensive report detailing ethical issues arising from human enhancement (Allhoff et al. 2009). While we direct the interested reader to that (much longer) report, we also thank the editors of this journal for the invitation to provide an executive summary thereof. This summary highlights key results from each section of that report and does so in a self-standing way; in other words, this (...) summary presupposes no familiarity with the report and offers the opportunity to gain quick familiarity with its most central findings. (shrink)
: In 1927, Fritz Jahr, a Protestant pastor, philosopher, and educator in Halle an der Saale, published an article entitled "Bio-Ethics: A Review of the Ethical Relationships of Humans to Animals and Plants" and proposed a "Bioethical Imperative," extending Kant's moral imperative to all forms of life. Reviewing new physiological knowledge of his times and moral challenges associated with the development of secular and pluralistic societies, Jahr redefines moral obligations towards human and nonhuman forms of life, outlining the concept (...) of bioethics as an academic discipline, principle, and virtue. Although he had no immediate long-lasting influence during politically and morally turbulent times, his argument that new science and technology requires new ethical and philosophical reflection and resolve may contribute toward clarification of terminology and of normative and practical visions of bioethics, including understanding of the geoethical dimensions of bioethics. (shrink)
The Blackwell Guide to Feminist Philosophy is a definitive introduction to the field, consisting of 15 newly-contributed essays that apply philosophical methods and approaches to feminist concerns. Offers a key view of the project of centering women’s experience. Includes topics such as feminism and pragmatism, lesbian philosophy, feminist epistemology, and women in the history of philosophy.
__ __ __The Blackwell Guide to Metaphysics__ is a definitive introduction to the core areas of metaphysics. It brings together sixteen internationally respected philosophers that demonstrate how metaphysics is done as they examine topics including causation, temporality, ontology, personal identity, idealism, and realism.
This paper presents the principal findings from a three-year research project funded by the US National Science Foundation on ethics of human enhancement technologies. To help untangle this ongoing debate, we have organized the discussion as a list of questions and answers, starting with background issues and moving to specific concerns, including: freedom & autonomy, health & safety, fairness & equity, societal disruption, and human dignity. Each question-and-answer pair is largely self-contained, allowing the reader to skip to those issues of (...) interest without affecting continuity. (shrink)
In Terrorism, Ticking Time-Bombs, and Torture, Fritz Allhoff demonstrates the weakness of the case against torture; while allowing that torture constitutes a moral wrong, he nevertheless argues that, in exceptional cases, it represents the ...