Hare's important book Freedom and Reason has arguments applying the thesis of universalizability (a kind of neutrality principle) to a variety of cases. The procedure involves considering persons in different roles. I argue from a consideration of Hare's multilateral case (judge and thief) that the thesis by itself cannot enable one to reach the conclusion Hare intends. I argue that Hare's arguments require additional principles or premises to reach their desired conclusion. All of this bears on the possibility of extracting (...) utilitarianism from rather formal principles about neutrality of judgments. My arguments suggest this is not the case. (shrink)
Hare used his thesis of universalizability to generate specific normative results and a defense of utilitarianism. To accomplish the latter task, he enjoined that one consider oneself in various roles in a given situation, and that the concluding judgment must be one that is affirmable in any of the various roles. In effect this means that one must, says Hare, give equal weight to the interests of all involved parties, an axiom of utilitarianism. The paper argues that he did not (...) succeed. (shrink)
"The demonization of the radical right ill serves us when now, more than ever before, it is vitally important to know all we can about this esoteric milieu's nature and potentialities…by…demonizing the many, we cloak the few, and, however unwittingly, facilitate the existence of evil in the world." —From the Introduction by Jeffrey Kaplan White power groups are universally vilified and feared. But to better understand the threat they pose, scholars and activists must try to better understand their disturbing (...) ideas and practices. In this controversial volume, Jeffrey Kaplan brings to light the workings of white supremacy movements in the United States and Europe in the years since World War II. The first half of the Encyclopedia is made up of over 100 entries—many of them essay-length—describing the people, groups and themes that make up the radical racist right. Some of the entries are written by movement activists themselves, providing useful insider accounts. The second half contains original resources circulated within the movement, each prefaced and placed in scholarly context by the editor. These documents, although offending, are invaluable to researchers and often available nowhere else. Cross-references and an index make the information easily accessible. For scholars of race, religion, politics or social movements, the Encyclopedia of White Power is an essential resource. (shrink)
When the whole is greater than the sum of the parts--indeed, so great that the sum far transcends the parts and represents something utterly new and different--we call that phenomenon emergence. When the chemicals diffusing in the primordial waters came together to form the first living cell, that was emergence. When the activities of the neurons in the brain result in mind, that too is emergence. In The Emergence of Everything, one of the leading scientists involved in the study of (...) complexity, Harold J. Morowitz, takes us on a sweeping tour of the universe, a tour with 28 stops, each one highlighting a particularly important moment of emergence. For instance, Morowitz illuminates the emergence of the stars, the birth of the elements and of the periodic table, and the appearance of solar systems and planets. We look at the emergence of living cells, animals, vertebrates, reptiles, and mammals, leading to the great apes and the appearance of humanity. He also examines tool making, the evolution of language, the invention of agriculture and technology, and the birth of cities. And as he offers these insights into the evolutionary unfolding of our universe, our solar system, and life itself, Morowitz also seeks out the nature of God in the emergent universe, the God posited by Spinoza, Bruno, and Einstein, a God Morowitz argues we can know through a study of the laws of nature. Written by one of our wisest scientists, The Emergence of Everything offers a fascinating new way to look at the universe and the natural world, and it makes an important contribution to the dialogue between science and religion. (shrink)
Cartesian mind body dualism and modern versions of this viewpoint posit a mind thermodynamically unrelated to the body but informationally interactive. The relation between information and entropy developed by Leon Brillouin demonstrates that any information about the state of a system has entropic consequences. It is therefore impossible to dissociate the mind's information from the body's entropy. Knowledge of that state of the system without an energetically significant measurement would lead to a violation of the second law of thermodynamics.
The medical career of Sir John Colbatch illuminates some of the ways in which experimental philosophy, social change, and medical entrepreneurialism together helped bring about the end of the old medical regime in England. Colbatch's career in Augustan England depended very much on a growing public culture in which the well-to-do decided matters of intellectual importance for themselves, becoming increasingly free not only from the clerics but from the physicians. In this new world, debates about the fundamental principles of the (...) new science took place increasingly in public, and in the English language, without the learned men of the university being able to enforce their authority. It gave people like Colbatch a new opportunity to make their way into the medical establishment. (shrink)
This paper reframes the futility debate, moving away from the question “Who decides when to end what is considered to be a medically inappropriate or futile treatment?” and toward the question “How can society make policy that will best account for the multitude of values and conflicts involved in such decision-making?” It offers a pragmatist moral epistemology that provides us with a clear justification of why it is important to take best standards, norms, and physician judgment seriously and a clear (...) justification of why ample opportunity must be made for patients, families, and society to challenge those standards and norms. (shrink)
The Protein Ontology (PRO) provides a formal, logically-based classification of specific protein classes including structured representations of protein isoforms, variants and modified forms. Initially focused on proteins found in human, mouse and Escherichia coli, PRO now includes representations of protein complexes. The PRO Consortium works in concert with the developers of other biomedical ontologies and protein knowledge bases to provide the ability to formally organize and integrate representations of precise protein forms so as to enhance accessibility to results of protein (...) research. PRO (http://pir.georgetown.edu/pro) is part of the Open Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) Foundry. (shrink)
The danger of being a gentleman : reflections on the ruling class in England.-On the study of politics.-Law and justice in soviet Russia.-The judicial function.-The English constitution and French public opinion,1789-1794.-Nationalism and the future of civilization.-Mr. Justice Holmes: for his eighty-ninth birthday.