Although recent work in philosophical aesthetics has brought welcome attention to the beauty of nature, the aesthetic appreciation of animals remains rarely discussed. The existence of this gap in aesthetic theory can be traced to certain ethical difficulties with aesthetically appreciating animals. These difficulties can be avoided by focusing on the aesthetic quality of “looking fit for function.” This approach to animal beauty can be defended against the view that “looking fit” is a non-aesthetic quality and against Edmund Burke’s famous (...) critique of the connection between fitness and the beauty of animals. (shrink)
Continued failure to limit emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are causing global climate change has brought increased attention to climate engineering technologies, which actively modify the global environment to counteract heating and climate disruptions caused by elevated greenhouse gases. Some proposed forms of CE, particularly spraying reflective particles in the upper atmosphere to reduce incoming sunlight, can cool the average temperature of the Earth rapidly and cheaply, thereby substantially reducing climate-related risks. Yet CE interventions provide only (...) imperfect corrections for the climatic and other environmental effects of elevated greenhouse gases, and carry their own environmental risks. Moreover, they may also increase other risks, by weakening political support for essential emissions reductions or providing new triggers for international conflict. These technologies thus require international governance, but also pose novel and severe challenges to current international laws and institutions. Effective governance of CE will require a capacity to make decisions regarding the conditions, if any, under which specific interventions are authorized, plus realtime operational oversight of any interventions that are conducted. Decision processes must be effectively linked with scientific research and assessment, and with institutions to manage and respond to threats of CE-related conflict. We advance preliminary suggestions to address two priority areas for early investigation: how international cooperation on early CE research can help develop shared norms that can grow robust enough to support future decision needs; and how early research and development on CE can be made to complement and encourage, rather than undermine, parallel efforts to reduce climate risks by cutting emissions. (shrink)
The sense of embodiment is vital for self recognition. An examination of anosognosia for hemiplegia—the inability to recognise that one is paralysed down one side of one’s body—suggests the existence of ‘online’ and ‘offline’ representations of the body. Online representations of the body are representations of the body as it is currently, are newly constructed moment by moment and are directly “plugged into” current perception of the body. In contrast, offline representations of the body are representations of what the body (...) is usually like, are relatively stable and are constructed from online representations. This distinction is supported by an analysis of phantom limb—the feeling that an amputated limb is still present—phenomena. Initially it seems that the sense of embodiment may arise from either of these types of representation; however, an integrated representation of the body seems to be required. It is suggested information from vision and emotions is involved in generating these representations. A lack of access to online representations of the body does not necessarily lead to a loss in the sense of embodiment. An integrated offline representation of the body could account for the sense of embodiment and perform the functions attributed to this sense. (shrink)
Plato's Cretan City is a thorough investigation into the roots of Plato's Laws and a compelling explication of his ideas on legislation and social institutions. A dialogue among three travelers, the Laws proposes a detailed plan for administering a new colony on the island of Crete. In examining this dialogue, Glenn Morrow describes the contemporary Greek institutions in Athens, Crete, and Sparta on which Plato based his model city, and explores the philosopher's proposed regulations concerning property, the family, government, (...) and the administration of justice, education, and religion. He approaches the Laws as both a living document of reform and a philosophical inquiry into humankind's highest earthly duty. (shrink)
Increasing evidence from psychology and neuroscience suggests that emotion plays an important and sometimes critical role in moral judgment and moral behavior. At the same time, there is increasing psychological and neuroscientific evidence that brain regions critical in emotional and moral capacity are impaired in psychopaths. We ask how the criminal law should accommodate these two streams of research, in light of a new normative and legal account of the criminal responsibility of psychopaths.
I compare Frith and colleagues’ influential comparator account of how the sense of agency is elicited to the multifactorial weighting model advocated by Synofzik and colleagues. I defend the comparator model from the common objection that the actual sensory consequences of action are not needed to elicit the sense of agency. I examine the comparator model’s ability to explain the performance of healthy subjects and those suffering from delusions of alien control on various self-attribution tasks. It transpires that the comparator (...) model needs case-by-case adjustment to deal with problematic data. In response to this, the multifactorial weighting model of Synofzik and colleagues is introduced. Although this model is incomplete, it is more naturally constrained by the cases that are problematic for the comparator model. However, this model may be untestable. I conclude that currently the comparator model approach has stronger support than the multifactorial weighting model approach. (shrink)
A long-standing puzzle for moral philosophers and psychologists alike is the concept of psychopathy, a personality disorder marked by tendencies to defy moral norms despite cognitive knowledge about right and wrong. Previously, discussions of the moral deficits of psychopathy have focused on willingness to harm and cheat others as well as reasoning about rule-based transgressions. Yet recent research in moral psychology has begun to more clearly define the domains of morality, en- compassing issues of harm, fairness, loyalty, authority, and spiritual (...) purity. Clinical descriptions and theories of psychopathy suggest that deficits may exist primarily in the areas of harm and fairness, although quantitative evidence is scarce. Within a broad sample of participants, we found that scores on a measure of psychopathy predicted sharply lower scores on the harm and fairness subscales of a measure of moral concern, but showed no relationship with authority, and very small relationships with ingroup and purity. On a measure of willingness to violate moral standards for money, psychopathy scores predicted greater willingness to violate moral concerns of any type. Results are further explored via potential mediators and analyses of the two factors of psychopathy. (shrink)
Functional beauty in the aesthetic tradition -- Functional beauty in contemporary aesthetic theory -- Indeterminacy and the concept of function -- Function and form -- Nature and environment -- Architecture and the built environment -- Artefacts and everyday aesthetics -- The functions of art.
In the prologue to the Parson's Tale, the discourse that is to follow is twice referred to as a “meditacioun.” The Parson states that he will put “this meditacioun” under the correction of clerks , and at the end of the prologue Harry Bailly instructs the Parson: “Telleth … youre meditacioun” . Despite the oddly persistent uncertainty about what the Parson's tale is , few critics have attended to the fact that both Harry Bailly and the (...)Parson call it a “meditacioun,” other than to remark that it seems a curious appellation. I will argue here that the characterization of the tale as a “meditacioun” is careful and deliberate, and I will be concerned to explore the extent to which the tale can be seen as belonging to the late-medieval tradition of meditatio, especially as it developed in Latin from the twelfth through the fourteenth centuries. (shrink)
Lang, B. Philosophy and the manners of art.--Hofstadter, A. Freedom, enownment, and philosophy.--Mehta, J. L. A stranger from Asia.--Fox, D. A. A passage past India.--Rucker, D. Philosophy and the constitution of Emerson's world.--Schneider, H. W. The pragmatic movement in historical perspective.--Barnes, H. E. Reflections on myth and magic.--Cauvel, J. The imperious presence of theater.--Seay, A. Musical conservatism in the fourteenth century.--Hochman, W. R. The enduring fascination of war.--Davenport, M. M. J. Glenn Gray and the promise of wisdom.
Conceived as a solution to clinical dilemmas, and now required by organizations for hospital accreditation, ethics committees have been subject only to small-scale studies. The wide use of ethics committees and the diverse roles they play compel study. In 1999 the University of Pennsylvania Ethics Committee Research Group (ECRG) completed the first national survey of the presence, composition, and activities of U.S. healthcare ethics committees (HECs). Ethics committees are relatively young, on average seven years in operation. Eighty-six percent of ethics (...) committees report that they play a role in ongoing clinical decision making through clinical ethics consultation. All are engaged in developing institutional clinical policy. Although 4.5% of HECs write policy on managed care, 50% of HEC chairs feel inadequately prepared to address managed care. The power and activity of ethics committees parallels the composition of those committees and the relationship of members to their institutions. The role of ethics committees across the nation in making policies about clinical care is greater than was known, and ethics committees will likely continue to play an important role in the debate and resolution of clinical cases and clinical policies. (shrink)
Much behavioral welfare economics assumes that expected utility theory does not accurately describe most human choice under risk. A substantial literature instead evaluates welfare consequences by taking cumulative prospect theory as the natural default alternative, at least where description is concerned. We present evidence, based on a review of previous literature and new experimental data, that the most empirically adequate hypothesis about human choice under risk is that it is heterogeneous, and that where EUT does not apply, more choice is (...) characterized by rank-dependent utility models than by CPT. Most of the apparently loss-averse choice behavior results from probability weighting rather than from direct disutility experienced when an outcome is framed as a loss against an idiosyncratic reference point. We then consider implications of this finding for methodological debates about how to model welfare effects of policies, and argue that abandonment of a dogmatic belief in CPT as the correct theory of risk human choice exposes a conceptual error that is widespread in behavioral welfare economics. We provide concluding reflections on second-order, philosophical issues around the grounding of normative commitments in policy-focused economics. (shrink)
This paper reports the results of a four year study to measure the effect of a Business and Society course on the ethical judgment of students. The research involves a matched pre/post survey with control design, with the Business and Society course functioning as the treatment variable. The subjects were undergraduate and graduate (M.B.A.) business students (n=460). The answer to the question posed by the title of this paper is yes, in a more ethical direction.
Nobody in this debate questions the point that neuroeconomics remains full of potential, and little else as yet. If so, that really is progress of sorts. I was getting afraid that we would have to open nominations for the Captain Ahab Award for obsessive work on the promotion of neuroeconomics.
Richard Jeffrey's generalization of Bayes' rule of conditioning follows, within the theory of belief functions, from Dempster's rule of combination and the rule of minimal extension. Both Jeffrey's rule and the theory of belief functions can and should be construed constructively, rather than normatively or descriptively. The theory of belief functions gives a more thorough analysis of how beliefs might be constructed than Jeffrey's rule does. The inadequacy of Bayesian conditioning is much more general than Jeffrey's examples of uncertain perception (...) might suggest. The ``parameter α '' that Hartry Field has introduced into Jeffrey's rule corresponds to the "weight of evidence" of the theory of belief functions. (shrink)
We critically review the methodological practices of two research programs which are jointly called?neuroeconomics?. We defend the first of these, termed?neurocellular economics? by Ross, from an attack on its relevance by Gul and Pesendorfer. This attack arbitrarily singles out some but not all processing variables as unimportant to economics, is insensitive to the realities of empirical theory testing, and ignores the central importance to economics of?ecological rationality?. GP ironically share this last attitude with advocates of?behavioral economics in the scanner?, the (...) other, and better known, branch of neuroeconomics. We consider grounds for skepticism about the accomplishments of this research program to date, based on its methodological individualism, its ad hoc econometrics, its tolerance for invalid reverse inference, and its inattention to the difficulties involved in extracting temporally lagged data if people's anticipation of reward causes pre-emptive blood flow. (shrink)
Jain ādhyātmik poets from the 17th to 19th centuries elaborated a category of ineffability to discuss the pure experience of the soul or self. These early-modern Jain poets mobilized a very specific understanding of the ineffable, one that resists language and logocentrism as sources of delusion and conflict. The focus on the ineffable in this poetry is always attended by a set of terms that qualify the ādhyātmik view. These are a privileging of the neutral, experience, and on the other (...) hand, a demotion of opinion, partisanship, doctrinarism, and bigotry. This paper will show that a shared constellation of terms, intertextuality, and a rejection of partisanship and logocentrism bound a group of Jain poets from the 17th to 19th centuries to a particular endorsement and understanding of ineffability; one which was authorized and emboldened by an engagement with Jain philosophical plurality and non-absolutism. The poetry exhibits a frequent co-occurrence of ādhyātmik anubhava with the Jain the epistemological system known as saptabhaṅgī, of which avaktavya is a prominent aspect. The association philosophically grounds ādhyātmik positions and reinforces their assertion that some aspects of reality, namely ātma-anubhava, are ineffable and beyond the realm of phenomenal predication. (shrink)