Prior research on the role of empirical research in transpersonal psychology is updated, along with trends in gender diversity and geographical distribution of authorships. Data was compiled from a review of articles published in the two main journals of the field, The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology and the International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, over the first five decades of the field. Based on these records of the field's published work, it appears that empirical research has played a small though gradually (...) growing role in the literature, and that there has been substantive correction from early skews toward male authorship in North America. Despite this, gender imbalance remains somewhat greater in the transpersonal field than within the broader field of psychology. While there is continued growth of international authorship, it has not kept pace with growth in North American authorship. (shrink)
In Enhancing Evolution, leading bioethicist John Harris dismantles objections to genetic engineering, stem-cell research, designer babies, and cloning and makes an ethical case for biotechnology that is both forthright and rigorous. Human enhancement, Harris argues, is a good thing--good morally, good for individuals, good as social policy, and good for a genetic heritage that needs serious improvement. Enhancing Evolution defends biotechnological interventions that could allow us to live longer, healthier, and even happier lives by, for example, providing us (...) with immunity from cancer and HIV/AIDS. Further, Harris champions the possibility of influencing the very course of evolution to give us increased mental and physical powers--from reasoning, concentration, and memory to strength, stamina, and reaction speed. Indeed, he says, it's not only morally defensible to enhance ourselves; in some cases, it's morally obligatory. In a new preface, Harris offers a glimpse at the new science and technology to come, equipping readers with the knowledge to assess the ethics and policy dimensions of future forms of human enhancement. (shrink)
This slim volume provides a bird’s eye view, in admirably clear Italian, of the philosophy, scientific and humane, of Errol Harris. It seems probable that Rinaldi’s attention was drawn to Harris when he found that the criticism of Husserl in his own Critica della gnoseologia fenomenologica had been largely anticipated in Harris’s articles of 1976 and 1977 in the Review of Metaphysics and Idealistic Studies. He has certainly studied the Harris corpus carefully and thoroughly—from the article (...) on “The Philosophy of Nature in Hegel’s System” down to the Idealistic Studies article. He speaks of the Interpretation of the Logic of Hegel as “presently in course of completion.” My own acquaintance with Harris’s works is less encyclopaedic, but I was sorry not to find any reference to Revelation Through Reason which is one of my own favorites. That, however, is the only missed bet that I can find. (shrink)
In this retitled and revised version of Harris's original text Wonderwoman and Superman, the author discusses the ethics of human biotechnology and its implications relative to human evolution and destiny.
Since the birth of the first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, in 1977, we have seen truly remarkable advances in biotechnology. We can now screen the fetus for Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, and a wide range of genetic disorders. We can rearrange genes in DNA chains and redirect the evolution of species. We can record an individual's genetic fingerprint. And we can potentially insert genes into human DNA that will produce physical warning signs of cancer, allowing early detection. In fact, biotechnology (...) has progressed to such a point that virtually any kind of genetic manipulation, if not already possible, is just around the corner. But these breakthroughs also raise serious ethical and moral dilemmas that we are only now beginning to confront. In Wonderwoman and Superman, noted medical ethicist John Harris offers the first thorough analysis of the moral dilemmas created by the revolution in molecular biology. Covering a wide array of recent innovations, Harris discusses, for example, the moral decisions involved and the consequences of creating egg and embryo banks. Who should be allowed to use such resources? Should recipients be screened? Should such banks be open for public or private use? And does it cheapen life to make embryos available for sale? In another chapter, Harris examines the question of conceiving children chiefly for organ donation, focusing on the recent case of a woman who wanted to have a second child to provide a bone marrow donor for her first child sick with leukemia (she intended to abort the fetus if its bone marrow did not genetically match that of her living child). In this case, the medical staff had to decide whether they should perform in-vitro fertilization, knowing that the mother did not satisfy the clinic's criteria (there was no father), and also knowing the potential for abortion. Discussing the ethics of the mother's choice and the clinic's choice, Harris asks whether it is morally correct to create a child as an organ donor, whether the future child would suffer, whether it is worth any suffering to be born, and who has the right to weigh the various factors (both moral and physiological) involved in making these decisions. Delving into a multitude of issues such as when life begins, when suffering is needless, and whether we should play God, Wonderwoman and Superman provides not only a thought-provoking inquiry into the potential and actual ethical dilemmas created by the many advances in biotechnology, but challenges us to learn to choose responsibly and to face the moral implications of the choices that confront us. (shrink)
In this essay, we suggest practical ways to shift the framing of crisis standards of care toward disability justice. We elaborate on the vision statement provided in the 2010 Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Medicine) “Summary of Guidance for Establishing Crisis Standards of Care for Use in Disaster Situations,” which emphasizes fairness; equitable processes; community and provider engagement, education, and communication; and the rule of law. We argue that interpreting these elements through disability justice entails a commitment to both (...) distributive and recognitive justice. The disability rights movement's demand “Nothing about us, without us” requires substantive inclusion of disabled people in decision‐making related to their interests, including in crisis planning before, during, and after a pandemic like Covid‐19 . (shrink)
Ethical objectivists hold that there is one and only one correct system of moral beliefs. From such a standpoint it follows that conflicting basic moral principles cannot both be true and that the only moral principles which are binding on rational human agents are those described by the single true morality. However sincerely they may be held, all other moral principles are incorrect. Objectivism is an influential tradition, covering most of the rationalist and naturalist standpoints which have dominated nineteenth and (...) twentieth century moral philosophy: there is widespread agreement amongst relativists themselves that objectivism is firmly rooted in common sense. (shrink)
The term ‘Empiricism’ has had at least two different, though not unconnected, applications in modern thought, one to scientific method and the other to philosophical theory. My intention in this lecture is to try to show that, while these two applications of the term have a common source, their actual referents are widely divergent and in large measure even mutually incompatible.
In his ‘Moral Enhancement, Freedom, and What We Value in Moral Behaviour’,1 David DeGrazia sets out to defend moral bioenhancement from a number of critics, me prominently among them. Here he sets out his stall: "Many scholars doubt what I assert: that there is nothing inherently wrong with MB. Some doubt this on the basis of a conviction that there is something inherently wrong with biomedical enhancement technologies in general. Chief among their objections are the charges that biomedical enhancement is (...) unnatural, use of biomedical enhancements evinces an insufficient appreciation for human “giftedness”, and biomedical enhancements pose a threat to personal identity. Elsewhere I have attempted to neutralize these objections. Here I will address a set of concerns that are directed at MB in particular and appeal to the nature and value of human freedom."Let me make clear at once that I do not believe there is anything inherently wrong with MB. I have been an advocate for human enhancement for over 30 years writing four books defending such enhancements.2–⇓4 The most recent of these published in 2007 covers much the same ground as Allen Buchanan's 2011 book cited by DeGrazia,5 but, unlike Buchanan, I do not define enhancements in terms of the intention or the motivation of those who produce them but rather in terms of their effect. I must also make clear that, like DeGrazia, I have also, for a very long time, attempted to neutralise objections 1–3 listed in the above passage.2–⇓4DeGrazia introduces his critique of my approach like this: "I will construe Harris’ argument and similar arguments as directed entirely at motivation-based MB—though I will hereafter omit the qualifier, “motivation-based.” (Certainly, these arguments do not apply to embryo selection, which … ". (shrink)
A clear, accessible exploration of how and why we love by prominent philosopher and bestselling author Harry Frankfurt In The Reasons of Love, leading moral philosopher and bestselling author Harry Frankfurt argues that the key to a fulfilled life is to pursue wholeheartedly what one cares about, that love is the most authoritative form of caring, and that the purest form of love is, in a complicated way, self-love. Through caring, we infuse the world with meaning. Caring provides us with (...) stable ambitions and concerns; it shapes the framework of aims and interests within which we lead our lives. Frankfurt goes on to explain that the most important form of caring is love, a nonvoluntary, disinterested concern for the flourishing of what is loved. And he contends that the purest form of love is self-love. This sounds perverse, but self-love—as distinct from self-indulgence—is at heart a disinterested concern for whatever it is that the person loves. The most elementary form of self-love is nothing more than the desire of a person to love. Insofar as this is true, self-love is simply a commitment to finding meaning in our lives. (shrink)
Josiah Royce's graduate seminar in comparative methodology exerted one of the great teaching and intellectual influences of its time. Edited from photostatic copies of the original notebooks by Grover Smith, the text offers a condensed account of a great course in an era when great ideas were being formulated.
This beautifully written book by one of the world's leading moral philosophers argues that the key to a fulfilled life is to pursue wholeheartedly what one cares about, that love is the most authoritative form of caring, and that the purest form of love is, in a complicated way, self-love. Harry Frankfurt writes that it is through caring that we infuse the world with meaning. Caring provides us with stable ambitions and concerns; it shapes the framework of aims and interests (...) within which we lead our lives. The most basic and essential question for a person to raise about the conduct of his or her life is not what he or she should care about but what, in fact, he or she cannot help caring about. The most important form of caring, Frankfurt writes, is love, a nonvoluntary, disinterested concern for the flourishing of what is loved. Love is so important because meaningful practical reasoning must be grounded in ends that we do not seek only to attain other ends, and because it is in loving that we become bound to final ends desired for their own sakes. Frankfurt argues that the purest form of love is self-love. This sounds perverse, but self-love--as distinct from self-indulgence--is at heart a disinterested concern for whatever it is that the person loves. The most elementary form of self-love is nothing more than the desire of a person to love. Insofar as this is true, self-love is simply a commitment to finding meaning in our lives. (shrink)
One of the most influential of contemporary philosophers, Harry Frankfurt has made major contributions to the philosophy of action, moral psychology, and the study of Descartes. This collection of essays complements an earlier collection published by Cambridge, The Importance of What We Care About. Some of the essays develop lines of thought found in the earlier volume. They deal in general with foundational metaphysical and epistemological issues concerning Descartes, moral philosophy, and philosophical anthropology. Some bear upon topics in political philosophy (...) and religion. (shrink)
The Future of Human Reproduction brings together new work, by an international group of contributors from various fields and perspectives, on ethical, social, and legal issues raised by recent advances in reproductive technology. These advances have put us in a position to choose what kindsof children and parents there should be; the aim of the essays is to illuminate how we should deal with these possibilities for choice. Topics discussed include gender and race selection, genetic engineering, fertility treatment, ovarian tissue (...) transfer, and post-menopausal pregnancy. The centralfocus of the volume is the interface between reproductive choice and public regulation. (shrink)
:This essay brings together work I have done over the past 10 years: on the nature of ethics, on the purpose of ethics, and on its foundations in a way that, I hope, as E.M. Forster put it, connects “the prose and the passion.” I deploy lessons learned in this process to identify and face what I believe to be crucial challenges to science and to freedom. Finally I consider threats to freedom of a different sort, posed by the creation (...) and dissemination of “alternative facts” and by what is sometimes called “super” or “full” artificial intelligence. (shrink)
One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted. Most people are rather confident of their ability to recognize bullshit and to avoid being taken in by it. So the phenomenon has not aroused much deliberate concern. We have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, why there is so much of it, or what functions (...) it serves. And we lack a conscientiously developed appreciation of what it means to us. In other words, as Harry Frankfurt writes, "we have no theory." Frankfurt, one of the world's most influential moral philosophers, attempts to build such a theory here. With his characteristic combination of philosophical acuity, psychological insight, and wry humor, Frankfurt proceeds by exploring how bullshit and the related concept of humbug are distinct from lying. He argues that bullshitters misrepresent themselves to their audience not as liars do, that is, by deliberately making false claims about what is true. In fact, bullshit need not be untrue at all. Rather, bullshitters seek to convey a certain impression of themselves without being concerned about whether anything at all is true. They quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant. Frankfurt concludes that although bullshit can take many innocent forms, excessive indulgence in it can eventually undermine the practitioner's capacity to tell the truth in a way that lying does not. Liars at least acknowledge that it matters what is true. By virtue of this, Frankfurt writes, bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are. (shrink)
Harry G. Frankfurt begins his inquiry by asking, “What is it about human beings that makes it possible for us to take ourselves seriously?” Based on The Tanner Lectures in Moral Philosophy, Taking Ourselves Seriously and Getting It Right delves into this provocative and original question. The author maintains that taking ourselves seriously presupposes an inward-directed, reflexive oversight that enables us to focus our attention directly upon ourselves, and “[it] means that we are not prepared to accept ourselves just as (...) we come. We want our thoughts, our feelings, our choices, and our behavior to make sense. We are not satisfied to think that our ideas are formed haphazardly, or that our actions are driven by transient and opaque impulses or by mindless decisions. We need to direct ourselves—or at any rate to believe that we are directing ourselves—in thoughtful conformity to stable and appropriate norms. We want to get things right.” The essays delineate two features that have a critical role to play in this: our rationality, and our ability to love. Frankfurt incisively explores the roles of reason and of love in our active lives, and considers the relation between these two motivating forces of our actions. The argument is that the authority of practical reason is less fundamental than the authority of love. Love, as the author defines it, is a volitional matter, that is, it consists in what we are actually committed to caring about. Frankfurt adds that “The object of love can be almost anything—a life, a quality of experience, a person, a group, a moral ideal, a nonmoral ideal, a tradition, whatever.” However, these objects and ideals are difficult to comprehend and often in conflict with each other. Moral principles play an important supporting role in this process as they help us develop and elucidate a vision that inspires our love. The first section of the book consists of the two lectures, which are entitled “Taking Ourselves Seriously” and “Getting It Right.” The second section consists of comments in response by Christine M. Korsgaard, Michael E. Bratman, and Meir Dan-Cohen. The book includes a preface by Debra Satz. (shrink)
In 1991 Redland Aggregates Ltd. put forward a proposal to embark upon the largest mining project in Europe, the chosen location being the remote island of Harris and Lewis in the Western Isles of Scotland. The proposal sparked off an impassioned debate between planners, conservationists and developers, while the local residents have attempted to come to terms with an operation on a scale previously inconceivable on the island. This paper attempts to examine the proposed development from a sociological angle (...) – it is less concerned with justifying or condemning the project on economic or political grounds and more with analysing the roots of the various viewpoints held by those involved, willingly or unwillingly, in the debate. From this analysis arise implications regarding different perspectives on the environment and different interpretations of the term sustainable. It is argued that these diverse perceptions are grounded in different interpretations of the environment, shaped by the cultural and historical context within which the groups or individuals that hold these views exist and interact. Ultimately, the paper makes a plea for a wider recognition of the diversity of meanings and interpretations implied by the term 'environment', a broader definition of the term 'development', and an expansion of the concept of sustainability to incorporate the variety of situations and perceived needs of different cultures. (shrink)
The concepts of atoms and bonds in molecules which appeared in chemistry during the nineteenth century are unavoidable to explain the structure and the reactivity of the matter at a chemical level of understanding. Although they can be criticized from a strict reductionist point of view, because neither atoms nor bonds are observable in the sense of quantum mechanics, the topological and statistical interpretative approaches of quantum chemistry (quantum theory of atoms in molecules, electron localization function and maximum probability domain) (...) provide consistent definitions which accommodate chemistry and quantum mechanics. (shrink)
From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller On Bullshit, the case for worrying less about the rich and more about the poor Economic inequality is one of the most divisive issues of our time. Yet few would argue that inequality is a greater evil than poverty. The poor suffer because they don't have enough, not because others have more, and some have far too much. So why do many people appear to be more distressed by the rich (...) than by the poor? In this provocative book, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of On Bullshit presents a compelling and unsettling response to those who believe that the goal of social justice should be economic equality or less inequality. Harry Frankfurt, one of the most influential moral philosophers in the world, argues that we are morally obligated to eliminate poverty—not achieve equality or reduce inequality. Our focus should be on making sure everyone has a sufficient amount to live a decent life. To focus instead on inequality is distracting and alienating. At the same time, Frankfurt argues that the conjunction of vast wealth and poverty is offensive. If we dedicate ourselves to making sure everyone has enough, we may reduce inequality as a side effect. But it’s essential to see that the ultimate goal of justice is to end poverty, not inequality. A serious challenge to cherished beliefs on both the political left and right, On Inequality promises to have a profound impact on one of the great debates of our time. (shrink)
What is education for? Should it produce workers or educate future citizens? Is there a place for faith schools - and should patriotism be taught? In this compelling and controversial book, Harry Brighouse takes on all these urgent questions and more. He argues that children share four fundamental interests: the ability to make their own judgements about what values to adopt; acquiring the skills that will enable them to become economically self-sufficient as adults; being exposed to a range of activities (...) and experiences that will enable them to flourish in their personal lives; and developing a sense of justice. He criticises sharply those who place the interests of the economy before those of children, and assesses the arguments for and against the controversial issues of faith schools and the teaching of patriotism. Clearly argued but provocative, On Education draws on recent examples from Britain and North America as well as famous thinkers on education such as Aristotle and John Locke. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the present state of education and its future. (shrink)
Written nearly fifty years ago, at a time when the world was still wrestling with the concepts of Marx and Lenin, 'The Illusion of the Epoch' is the perfect resource for understanding the roots of Marxism-Leninism and its implications for philosophy, modern political thought, economics, and history. As Professor Tim Fuller has written, this "is not an intemperate book, but rather an effort at a sustained, scholarly argument against Marxian views." Far from demonising his subject, Acton scrupulously notes where Marx's (...) account of historical and economic events and processes is essentially accurate. However, Acton also points out that Marx is generally right about things that were already widely known and accepted in his own time and indeed had been long understood in the nineteenth century. On the other hand, Acton shows that in many cases Marx either is simply wrong or has stated his views so as to render his theories immune to disproof. Acton also explains why the embodiment of Marxist-Leninist theory in an actual social order would require coercive support if it were not, sooner or later, to collapse of its own contradictions. (shrink)
The Routledge Classic Edition of Daniels’ influential 2001 text _Vygotsky and Pedagogy_ explores the growing interest in Vygotsky and the pedagogic implications of the body of work that is developing under the influence of his theories. With a new preface from Harry Daniels this book explores the growing interest in Vygotsky and the pedagogic implications of the body of work that is developing under the influence of his theories. It provides an overview of the ways in which the original writing (...) has been extended and identifies areas for future development. The author considers how these developments are creating new and important possibilities for the practices of teaching and learning in school and beyond, and illustrates how Vygotskian theory can be applied in the classroom. The book is intended for students and academics in education and the social sciences and will be of interest to all those who wish to develop an analysis of pedagogic practice within and beyond the field of education. (shrink)