ZUSAMMENFASSUNGIn der christlichen Theologie hat das ontologische Argument – sofern man es überhaupt als Vernunftbeweis der wirklichen oder notwendigen Existenz Gottes deutete – von wenigen Ausnahmen abgesehen zuletzt keine positive Rolle gespielt. Gleichwohl stand es in der Geschichte der westlichen Religionsphilosophie lange in hohem Ansehen. In der Philosophie erfreut es sich seit seiner Wiederbelebung in der zweiten Hälfte des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts großer Aufmerksamkeit und wird keineswegs einmütig abgelehnt. Dieser Aufsatz unternimmt eine Neubewertung anhand einer Diskussion von vier prominenten Versionen des (...) ontologischen Beweises: den Argumenten Anselms im Proslogion, dem Beweis von Descartes sowie dem von Hartshorne und Plantinga aufgegriffenen modalen Argument von Leibniz. War es die Absicht Anselms, die Existenz Gottes zu beweisen, und wie verhalten sich seine Argumente zu ihren modernen Gegenstücken? Ein großer Teil des Aufsatzes dient der Untersuchung geläufiger Einwände gegen den ontologischen Beweis in seiner nicht-modalen und modalen Form; dabei liegt ein besonderes Augenmerk auf den in der jüngeren Theologie verbreiteten Einwänden. Keine dieser Kritiken erscheint durchschlagend. Die einzige einigermaßen aussichtsreiche Strategie zur Widerlegung des Beweises dürfte darin bestehen, bereits die logische Möglichkeit eines höchst vollkommenen Wesens zu bestreiten. Im Ergebnis erweisen sich die Aussichten auf eine Widerlegung des ontologischen Beweises als weitaus schlechter als in der gegenwärtigen Theologie zumeist angenommen.SUMMARYChristian theology, with very few exceptions, has recently been rather dismissive of the ontological proof, or has suggested that it should not be regarded as a proof of the existence of God at all. Yet the argument has been held in high esteem during western intellectual history; philosophers have for the most part treated it with respect since its revival in the second half of the twentieth century. This essay takes a fresh look at four prominent versions of the ontological proof: Anselm's Proslogion arguments, the argument put forward by Descartes, and the modal argument of Leibniz defended by Hartshorne and Plantinga. Did Anselm intend to prove the existence of God, and how do his arguments relate to their modern counterparts? The core of this essay is an examination, with an eye on contemporary theology, of the most frequently raised objections against non-modal and modal ontological arguments. While none of these objections appears to be successful, the most promising one, perhaps, is to deny the logical possibility of a most perfect being altogether. The upshot, however, is that the prospects for a refutation of either the non-modal or the modal ontological argument are much less bright than prevailing sentiment in theology has it. (shrink)
The paper deals with the peculiar nature of Anselm’s rationalism, focussing on the dialogue Cur deus homo. On the one hand, the argument in Cur deus homois based on reason alone. On the other hand, the dialogic nature of the work allows Anselm to unfold emotional states in a way that almost anticipates Kierkegaard. Anselm’s rationalism does not exclude the experience of anxiety and despair, and this is where faith comes to the rescue. Finally, God’s presence in the search is (...) shown to be logically compatible with the rationalist nature of the search. (shrink)
Das »Richtige und das Gute« (1930), das ethische Hauptwerk W. D. Ross’, enthält eine Vielzahl wichtiger moralphilosophischer Thesen und Argumente, die bis in die Gegenwart kontrovers diskutiert werden. Im Mittelpunkt steht seine pluralistische Deontologie, der zufolge sich die richtige Handlung aus einer Abwägung der in der jeweiligen Situation relevanten und unableitbaren Prima-facie-Pflichten ergibt, von denen nur ein Teil auf die Optimierung der Handlungsfolgen bezogen ist. Diese Deontologie wurde zu einem modernen Klassiker unter den normativen ethischen Theorien. Darüber hinaus stellt Ross’ (...) These, dass moralische Intuitionen eine Quelle selbstevidenten Wissens sein können, einen wichtigen Referenzpunkt in Debatten um den erkenntnistheoretischen Fundamentalismus dar. Auch für die Handlungstheorie liefert Ross einflussreiche Argumente, wenn er die Ansicht vertritt, dass Pflichten nie ein bestimmtes Motiv des Handelnden zum Gegenstand haben können. Eine zentrale Stellung nimmt für Ross die Güterlehre ein, in welcher er von vier Grundgütern, Tugend, Wissen, Lust und Gerechtigkeit, ausgeht. Wurde Ross in den ersten Jahrzehnten des 20. Jahrhunderts im damaligen Großbritannien als ein herausragender Ethiker – einer der bedeutendsten des Jahrhunderts, auf Augenhöhe mit G.E. Moore – angesehen, wandelte sich das Meinungsbild in den folgenden Jahrzehnten unter dem Einfluss besonders des Logischen Positivismus und der Philosophie Wittgensteins. In den letzten Jahrzehnten ist jedoch wieder ein wachsendes Interesse an Ross’ Ethik festzustellen. Dabei wird »Das Richtige und das Gute« bisweilen sogar mit der »Nikomachischen Ethik«, Kants »Grundlegung« und Humes »Untersuchung über die Prinzipien der Moral« verglichen. (shrink)
Alle Menschen wollen glücklich sein, das eigentliche Glück aber besteht darin, Gott zu haben, lautet ein Grundsatz der Anthropologie von Augustinus, der das abendländische Menschenbild wesentlich geprägt hat. Doch streben wirklich alle Menschen nach dem Glück als ihrem letzten Ziel? Und kann man die Frage nach dem Glück wirklich mit Gott in Verbindung bringen, Gott womöglich selbst mit dem ersehnten Glück identifizieren? Welche Rolle kommt Gott in einer Ethik des Glücks, welche Rolle in einer nicht am Glück orientierten Ethik zu? (...) Mit dieser Thematik befassen sich aus philosophiegeschichtlicher und philosophisch-systematischer Perspektive: Jörg Disse, Klaus Düsing, Markus Enders, BerndGoebel, Rochus Lehonhardt, Jörg Müller und Anja Solbach. (shrink)
Whereas the progressive nature of science is widely recognised, specifying the standards of scientific progress has been subject to philosophical debate since the enlightenment. Recently, Ilkka Niiniluoto, Alexander Bird, and Finnur Dellsén have revived this debate by setting forward a semantic, epistemic and noetic account of scientific progress respectively. I argue that none of these accounts is satisfactory. The semantic and epistemic accounts might advance necessary conditions for scientific progress, namely an accumulation of true, justified, and non-Gettiered beliefs, but fail (...) to specify sufficient conditions. The noetic account, in contrast, advances sufficient conditions for scientific progress, namely an increase of genuine understanding, but fails to specify the necessary conditions. To remedy these deficits, I advance a hybrid account of scientific progress between the epistemic and noetic accounts, according to which the accumulation of explanatorily or predictively powerful knowledge constitutes scientific progress. In contrast to the epistemic account, my account ensures that only scientifically relevant knowledge constitutes scientific progress, thereby evading the threat of underdemandingness. In contrast to the noetic account, my account does not impose a psychological requirement of grasping the explanatory or predictive power of a scientific development, thereby evading the threat of overdemandingness. A further advantage of my account is that it can preserve plausible features of the noetic account. (shrink)
Provides an integrated introduction to artificial intelligence. Develops AI representation schemes and describes their uses for diverse applications, from autonomous robots to diagnostic assistants to infobots. DLC: Artificial intelligence.
How can we best identify, understand, and deal with ethical and societal issues raised by healthcare robotics? This paper argues that next to ethical analysis, classic technology assessment, and philosophical speculation we need forms of reflection, dialogue, and experiment that come, quite literally, much closer to innovation practices and contexts of use. The authors discuss a number of ways how to achieve that. Informed by their experience with “embedded” ethics in technical projects and with various tools and methods of responsible (...) research and innovation, the paper identifies “internal” and “external” forms of dialogical research and innovation, reflections on the possibilities and limitations of these forms of ethical–technological innovation, and explores a number of ways how they can be supported by policy at national and supranational level. (shrink)
The discourse concerning computer ethics qualifies as a reference discourse for ethics-related IS research. Theories, topics and approaches of computer ethics are reflected in IS. The paper argues that there is currently a broader development in the area of research governance, which is referred to as 'responsible research and innovation'. RRI applied to information and communication technology addresses some of the limitations of computer ethics and points toward a broader approach to the governance of science, technology and innovation. Taking this (...) development into account will help IS increase its relevance and make optimal use of its established strengths. 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (shrink)
There has been much debate whether computers can be responsible. This question is usually discussed in terms of personhood and personal characteristics, which a computer may or may not possess. If a computer fulfils the conditions required for agency or personhood, then it can be responsible; otherwise not. This paper suggests a different approach. An analysis of the concept of responsibility shows that it is a social construct of ascription which is only viable in certain social contexts and which serves (...) particular social aims. If this is the main aspect of responsibility then the question whether computers can be responsible no longer hinges on the difficult problem of agency but on the possibly simpler question whether responsibility ascriptions to computers can fulfil social goals. The suggested solution to the question whether computers can be subjects of responsibility is the introduction of a new concept, called “quasi-responsibility” which will emphasise the social aim of responsibility ascription and which can be applied to computers. (shrink)
The two main challenges of the theory of conceptual content presented by Robert Brandom in Making It Explicit are to account for a referential dimension of conceptual content and to account for the objectivity of conceptual norms. Brandom tries to meet both these challenges in chapter 8 of his book. I argue that the accounts presented there can only be understood if seen against the background of Brandom's theory of communication developed in chapter 7. This theory is motivated by the (...) well-known problem that semantic holism threatens the possibility of communication because it has the consequence that words mean different things in different mouths. Brandom offers a solution to this problem in terms of what he calls recurrence commitments. I show that chapter 8 of Making It Explicit should be understood as arguing that a practice that includes acknowledging interpersonal recurrence commitments institutes both conceptual contents with a referential dimension and objective conceptual norms. I close by raising the objection that Brandom's argument can only show that conceptual norms are communally shared and not that they are objective. I propose an emendation of this argument, having recourse to a practice Brandom refers to as rational rectification in his new book Between Saying and Doing. (shrink)
Due to the frequent occurrence of ethical transgressions and unethical employee behaviors, there has lately been an increasing interest in the ethical foundations of contemporary organizations. However, large-scale comprehensive analyses of organizational ethics are still comparatively limited. Our study contributes to both management control and business ethics literature by empirically examining potential antecedents as well as resulting effects of ethical work climates on organizational-level outcomes. Based on a cross-sectional survey among 295 large- and medium-sized companies, we find that more informal (...) means of control constitute important elements of a broader organizational control context that are strongly related to the emergence of coherent ethical work climates with an increased awareness of ethical issues. Moreover, our results show that the relationship between ethical work climates and organizational performance can be considered as rather indirect as it is fully mediated by increased mutual trust among employees. Overall, our study thus supports the particular importance of ethical work climates and identifies appropriate means to encourage ethical conduct. (shrink)
Attempts to explain the origin of macroevolutionary innovations have been only partially successful. Here it is proposed that the patterns of major evolutionary transitions have to be understood first, before it is possible to further analyse the forces behind the process. The hypothesis is that major evolutionary innovations are characterized by an increase in organismal autonomy, in the sense of emancipation from the environment. After a brief overview of the literature on this subject, increasing autonomy is defined as the evolutionary (...) shift in the individual system–environment relationship, such that the direct influences of the environment are gradually reduced and a stabilization of self-referential, intrinsic functions within the system is generated. This is described as relative autonomy because numerous interconnections with the environment and dependencies upon it are retained. Features of increasing autonomy are spatial separations, an increase in homeostatic functions and in body size, internalizations and an increase in physiological and behavioral flexibility. It is described how these features are present in different combinations in the major evolutionary transitions of metazoans and, consequently, how they should be taken into consideration when evolutionary innovations are studied. The hypothesis contributes to a reconsideration of the relationship between organisms and their environment. (shrink)
In modern technical societies computers interact with human beings in ways that can affect moral rights and obligations. This has given rise to the question whether computers can act as autonomous moral agents. The answer to this question depends on many explicit and implicit definitions that touch on different philosophical areas such as anthropology and metaphysics. The approach chosen in this paper centres on the concept of information. Information is a multi-facetted notion which is hard to define comprehensively. However, the (...) frequently used definition of information as data endowed with meaning can promote our understanding. It is argued that information in this sense is a necessary condition of cognitivist ethics. This is the basis for analysing computers and information processors regarding their status as possible moral agents. Computers have several characteristics that are desirable for moral agents. However, computers in their current form are unable to capture the meaning of information and therefore fail to reflect morality in anything but a most basic sense of the term. This shortcoming is discussed using the example of the Moral Turing Test. The paper ends with a consideration of which conditions computers would have to fulfil in order to be able to use information in such a way as to render them capable of acting morally and reflecting ethically. (shrink)
Information security can be of high moral value. It can equally be used for immoral purposes and have undesirable consequences. In this paper we suggest that critical theory can facilitate a better understanding of possible ethical issues and can provide support when finding ways of addressing them. The paper argues that critical theory has intrinsic links to ethics and that it is possible to identify concepts frequently used in critical theory to pinpoint ethical concerns. Using the example of UK electronic (...) medical records the paper demonstrates that a critical lens can highlight issues that traditional ethical theories tend to overlook. These are often linked to collective issues such as social and organisational structures, which philosophical ethics with its typical focus on the individual does not tend to emphasise. The paper suggests that this insight can help in developing ways of researching and innovating responsibly in the area of information security. (shrink)
The term “synthetic biology” is a popular label of an emerging biotechnological field with strong claims to robustness, modularity, and controlled construction, finally enabling the creation of new organisms. Although the research community is heterogeneous, it advocates a common denominator that seems to define this field: the principles of rational engineering. However, it still remains unclear to what extent rational engineering—rather than “tinkering” or the usage of random based or non-rational processes—actually constitutes the basis for the techniques of synthetic biology. (...) In this article, we present the results of a quantitative bibliometric analysis of the realized extent of rational engineering in synthetic biology. In our analysis, we examine three issues: (1) We evaluate whether work at three levels of synthetic biology (parts, devices, and systems) is consistent with the principles of rational engineering. (2) We estimate the extent of rational engineering in synthetic biology laboratory practice by an evaluation of publications in synthetic biology. (3) We examine the methodological specialization in rational engineering of authors in synthetic biology. Our analysis demonstrates that rational engineering is prevalent in about half of the articles related to synthetic biology. Interestingly, in recent years the relative number of respective publications has decreased. Despite its prominent role among the claims of synthetic biology, rational engineering has not yet entirely replaced biotechnological methods based on “tinkering” and non-rational principles. (shrink)
Trustful interaction serves the interests of those involved. Thus, one could reason that trust itself may be analyzed as part of rational, goaloriented action. In contrast, common sense tells us that trust is an emotion and is, therefore, independent of rational deliberation to some extent. I will argue that we are right in trusting our common sense. My argument is conceptual in nature, referring to the common distinction between trust and pure reliance. An emotional attitude may be understood as some (...) general pattern in the way the world or some part of the world is perceived by an individual. Trust may be characterized by such a pattern. I shall focus on two central features of a trusting attitude. First, trust involves a participant attitude (Strawson) toward the person being trusted. Second, a situation of trust is perceived by a trusting person as one in which shared values or norms motivate both his own actions as well as those of the person being trusted. As an emotional attitude, trust is, to some extent, independent of objective information. It determines what a trusting person will believe and how various outcomes are evaluated. Hence, trust is quite different from rational belief and the problem with trust is not adequately met in minimizing risk by supplying extensive information or some mechanism of sanctioning. Trust is an attitude that enables us to cope with risk in a certain way. If we want to promote trustful interaction, we must form our institutions in ways that allow individuals to experience their interest and values as shared and, thus, to develop a trusting attitude. (shrink)
Modern biology is ambivalent about the notion of evolutionary progress. Although most evolutionists imply in their writings that they still understand large-scale macroevolution as a somewhat progressive process, the use of the term “progress” is increasingly criticized and avoided. The paper shows that this ambivalence has a long history and results mainly from three problems: (1) The term “progress” carries historical, theoretical and social implications which are not congruent with modern knowledge of the course of evolution; (2) An incongruence exists (...) between the notion of progress and Darwin’s theory of selection; (3) It is still not possible to give more than a rudimentary definition of the general patterns that were generated during the macroevolution of organisms. The paper consists of two parts: the first is a historical overview of the roots of the term “progress” in evolutionary biology, the second discusses epistemological, ontological and empirical problems. It is stated that the term has so far served as a metaphor for general patterns generated amongst organisms during evolution. It is proposed that a reformulation is needed to eliminate historically imported implications and that it is necessary to develop a concept for an appropriate empirical description of macroevolutionary patterns. This is the third way between, on the one hand, using the term indiscriminately and, on the other hand, ignoring the general patterns that evolution has produced. (shrink)
Ethical issues of information and communication technologies (ICTs) are important because they can have significant effects on human liberty, happiness, and people’s ability to lead a good life. They are also of functional interest because they can determine whether technologies are used and whether their positive potential can unfold. For these reasons, policy makers are interested in finding out what these issues are and how they can be addressed. The best way of creating ICT policy that is sensitive to ethical (...) issues pertain to being proactive in addressing such issues at an early stage of the technology life cycle. The present paper uses this position as a starting point and discusses how knowledge of ethical aspects of emerging ICTs can be gained. It develops a methodology that goes beyond established futures methodologies to cater for the difficult nature of ethical issues. The authors outline how the description of emerging ICTs can be used for an ethical analysis. (shrink)
An important question one can ask of ethical theories is whether and how they aim to raise claims to universality. This refers to the subject area that they intend to describe or govern and also to the question whether they claim to be binding for all (moral) agents. This paper discusses the question of universality of Luciano Floridi’s information ethics (IE). This is done by introducing the theory and discussing its conceptual foundations and applications. The emphasis will be placed on (...) the ontological grounding of IE. IE’s claims to universality will be contrasted with those raised by discourse ethics. This comparison of two pertinent ethical theories allows for a critical discussion of areas where IE currently has room for elaboration and development. (shrink)
In this introduction we discuss the motivation behind the workshop “Towards a New Epistemology of Mathematics” of which this special issue constitutes the proceedings. We elaborate on historical and empirical aspects of the desired new epistemology, connect it to the public image of mathematics, and give a summary and an introduction to the contributions to this issue.
Ethical issues of information and communication technologies (ICTs) are important because they can have significant effects on human liberty, happiness, their ability to lead a good life. They are also of functional interest because they can determine whether technologies are used and whether their positive potential can unfold. For these reasons policy makers are interested in finding out what these issues are and how they can be addressed. The best way of creating ICT policy that is sensitive to ethical issues (...) would be to be proactive and address such issues at early stages of the technology life cycle. The present paper uses this position as a starting point and discusses how knowledge of ethical aspects of emerging ICTs can be gained. It develops a methodology that goes beyond established futures methodologies to cater for the difficult nature of ethical issues. The paper goes on to outline some of the preliminary findings of a European research project that has applied this method. (shrink)
Presents a study devoted to the discussion and relevance of the notion of 'the environment' and 'ecology' within the frame-work and 'ontology' of the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. This title analyzes their non-dualist and materialist re-thinking of these issues from various positions within Cultural Studies and Sciences.
In this paper some parts of the model theory for logics based on generalised Kripke semantics are developed. Löwenheim-Skolem theorems and some applications of ultraproduct constructions for generalised Kripke models with variable universe are investigated using similar theorems of the model theory for classical logic. The results are generalizations of the theorems of .
This paper seeks to contextualize Lycurgus' use of the historical example of King Codrus' self-sacrifice within Athenian social memory and public discourse. In doing so, it offers a solution to the puzzle of Lycurgus' calling Codrus one of the ἐπώνυμοι τῆς χώρας . I make the case that Codrus was one of the forty-two eponymous age-set heroes who played an important role in the Athenian military and socio-political system. I contend that devotion to the city's gods and heroes and knowledge (...) of their mythology were essential parts of the religious and ideological instruction of Athenian ephebes. Consequently, Lycurgus' citation of the Ephebic Oath, the self-sacrifices of King Codrus and the daughters of Erechtheus, as well as his repeated invocation of the city's gods and shrines, must be seen as integral elements of his indictment of Leocrates for cowardice and treason, behavior that is diametrically opposed to the hoplite ethos and religious devotion that were instilled into young ephebes. Lycurgus thus brings the jurors' memories of their own ephebate into the courtroom and taps into emotions and values that lie at the heart of Athenian collective identity. (shrink)
Kants Metaphysische Anfangsgründe der Rechtslehre galten seit ihrem Erscheinen 1797 als mehr oder weniger verunglücktes Alterswerk. Bernd Ludwigs Untersuchung beansprucht dagegen, in ihrem ersten Teil den Nachweis zu führen, daß der problematische Zustand der Schrift nicht etwa den nachlassen den Geisteskräften des Autors zuzuschreiben ist, sondern sich vielmehr einer verunglücken Drucklegung verdankt: Zum Druck gelangte ein Manuskript, in dem nicht nur einzelne Textpassagen falsch angeordnet waren, sondern das auch Vorarbeiten enthielt, die für den Druck gar nicht vorgesehen waren. Anhand (...) von philologischen Indikatoren läßt sich eine Version rekonstruieren, die der von Kant intendierten Textgestalt weitgehend entspricht, ihr zumindest aber wesentlich näher kommt als der Druck von 1797. -/- Im zweiten Teil wird in Gestalt eines analytischen Kommentars feingliedrig die Kantische Argumentation rekonstruiert und auf diesem Wege aufgezeigt, daß das wiederhergestellte Werk tatsächlich die über dreißig Jahre währende Arbeit Kants an seiner Rechtsphilosophie erfolgreich zum Abschluß gebracht hat. Spuren nachlassender Geisteskräfte sind dabei nicht auszumachen. Vielmehr erweist sich Kant als Autor, der traditionelle Lehrstücke des Naturrechts souverän an seine kritische Grundlegung der praktischen Philosophie anschließt. (shrink)
Critical research is becoming increasingly accepted as a valid approach to research in information systems. It is deemed to be particularly suitable for situations where researchers want to address conspicuous injustice, such as in areas of development or the digital divide. Critical research in information systems (CRIS), I will argue, is a possible approach to some of the ethical problems arising in the context of information and communication technology (ICT). It can be sensitive to the question of culture and therefore (...) suitable for researching cross-cultural ethical questions in ICT. It is often unclear, however, what exactly critical research stands for and to what extent critical approaches are applicable across cultural boundaries. This paper will address these problems by proposing a definition of critical research as focused on changing the status quo and aiming for emancipation. It will then look at the question whether different cultures are compatible and comparable and what the role of culture in research on information systems is. The paper will then return to the question whether the critical intention to emancipate and empower humans is an expression of cultural imperialism or whether there are valid ways of promoting emancipation across cultural divides. (shrink)
As health systems around the world turn towards highly distributed, specialized and cooperative structures to increase quality and safety of care as well as efficiency and efficacy of delivery processes, there is a growing need for supporting communication and collaboration of all parties involved with advanced ICT solutions. The Electronic Health Record (EHR) provides the information platform which is maturing towards the eHealth core application. To meet the requirements for sustainable, semantically interoperable, and trustworthy EHR solutions, different standards and different (...) national strategies have been established. The workshop summarizes the requirements for such advanced EHR systems and their underlying architecture, presents different strategies and solutions advocated by corresponding protagonists, discusses pros and cons as well as harmonization and migration strategies for those approaches. It particularly highlights a turn towards ontology-driven architectures. (shrink)
The majority rule has caught much attention in recent debate about the aggregation of judgments. But its role in finding the truth is limited. A majority of expert judgments is not necessarily authoritative, even if all experts are equally competent, if they make their judgments independently of each other, and if all the judgments are based on the same source of (good) evidence. In this paper I demonstrate this limitation by presenting a simple counterexample and a related general result. I (...) pave the way for this argument by introducing a Bayesian model of evidence and expert judgment in order to give a precise account of the basic problem. (shrink)