In the following paper, Annemiek Richters of the University of Leiden in the Netherlands addresses the dilemmas faced by health professionals who are asked to evaluate and provide supporting documentation for those refugees who seek political asylum in the countries of Europe. It is in the politically charged arena of asylum applications, government regulations, and public policy where bioethics, human rights, and health converge. Despite the 1951 Convention on Refugees, a treaty signed by nations around the world to safeguard the (...) rights of those who are displaced, and other treaties that protect the rights of vulnerable populations, refugee and asylum policies have become increasingly strict in an effort to deter those who would seek safety. This tightening of borders in the countries of the West challenges physicians who find themselves caught between obligations to treat, to advocate, and to challenge policies that make treatment a potentially dangerous proposition. Unfortunately, the World Trade Center attacks have exacerbated the problem by labeling asylees and refugees as potential terrorists and subject to deportation. (shrink)
Public health and human rights are complementaryapproaches to protecting and promoting human well-being and dignity. Public health addresses the needs of populations and seeks, through intervention and education, to prevent the spread of disease. Enshrined in international law, human rights describe the obligations of governments to safeguard their citizenry from harm and to create conditions where each individual can achieve his or her full potential. Human rights norms lie at the core of public health theory and practice, and their enforcement (...) can help to ensure an equitable distribution of health resources. (shrink)
For forty years, Harvey Mansfield has been worth reading. Whether plumbing the depths of MachiavelliOs Discourses or explaining what was at stake in Bill ClintonOs impeachment, MansfieldOs work in political philosophy and political science has set the standard. In Educating the Prince, twenty-one of his students, themselves distinguished scholars, try to live up to that standard. Their essays offer penetrating analyses of Machiavellianism, liberalism, and America., all of them informed by MansfieldOs own work. The volume also includes a bibliography (...) of MansfieldOs writings. (shrink)
The relation between critical thinking and race prejudice can be made obvious, once we grant that race prejudice cannot be supported by good reasons. For, if, as Harvey Siegel has pointed out, critical thinking is being "appropriately moved by reasons," then holding racially prejudiced beliefs is to believe without being appropriately moved by reasons, thereby being, in this regard at least, an uncritical thinker. A practical corollary of this, for those of us who espouse critical thinking as an educational (...) ideal, is that it is incumbent upon us to speak to the issue of race prejudice, an obvious and glaringly pernicious example of uncritical thought that affects one of, if not the most, central social and ethical issues of our times. (shrink)
Toulmin is famously seen as the progenitor of informal logic and the related theory of argument and is first among many who seek to move the study of argument away from its roots in formal, especially mathematical, logic. Toulmin’s efforts, however, have been substantively criticized by Harvey Siegel, among others, for failing to offer the sort of foundation that, according to Siegel, even Toulmin sees to be required lest the theory of inquiry fall to impotent relativism. What I will (...) attempt to indicate in this paper is, that although Toulmin is correct in rejecting mathematical logic as standardly construed as an adequate theory of argument, and logical empiricist constructions as an adequate basis for the philosophical understanding of science, there is a significant role for metamathematics in the new logic. In particular, I will show how a formal model based on mature physical science rather than arithmetic furnishes crucial support to Toulmin, furnishing philosophical metaphors that afford the foundational support required for normativity and the clarification of key logical concepts required for a robust normative theory of argument in the context of inquiry. (shrink)
We seek to understand how third-party observers respond to allegations of sexual transgressions, whether their responses vary and if so why, how they determine perpetrator sanctions, who is more forgiving of them, and what is the psychological mechanism underlying this preference. We draw on one dimension of Hofstede's theory of cultural orientations—power distance belief, and one dimension of Haidt's work on moral reasoning—moral decoupling. Results from three studies on recent real-life cases—those pertaining to HarveyWeinstein, Brett Kavanaugh, and (...) Peter Martins—reveal interesting, consistent, and dramatic findings pertaining to these research questions. Specifically, compared to observers who endorse a low power distance belief, high PDB observers selectively suspend judgments of culpability and express higher evaluations of the alleged perpetrators, are significantly more forgiving of them, convey a lower preference for naming and shaming them, and consider the alleged transgressions as less serious. These outcomes are predicated on the psychological mechanism of moral decoupling. Both high and low PDB respondents decouple the perpetrators’ competence and morality. However, high PDB observers gauge the actions of the perpetrators by emphasizing competence, while low PDB observers gauge their actions by emphasizing morality. (shrink)
The anti-patriarchy movement is going to undo ten thousand years of recorded history…. You watch. The time has come. Women are gonna take charge of society.I think [#MeToo] will have staying power because people, and not only women, men as well as women, realize how wrong the behavior was and how it subordinated women. So we shall see, but my prediction is that it is here to stay.As the story is told, #MeToo arrived in a kairotic moment. Jodi Kantor and (...) Megan Twohey's 5 October 2017 New York Times exposé of the methods HarveyWeinstein used to systematically harass and subsequently silence women in the entertainment industry opened the proverbial floodgates. Ten days later, actor Alyssa... (shrink)
Writing for a wide audience, Harvey here tells the political-economic story of where neoliberalization came from and how it proliferated on the world stage. He constructs a framework, not only for analyzing the political and economic dangers that now surround us, but also for assessing the prospects for more socially just alternatives.
In Educating Reason, Harvey Siegel presented the case regarding rationality and critical thinking as fundamental education ideals. In Rationality Redeemed? , a collection of essays written since that time, he develops this view, responds to major criticisms raised against it, and engages those critics in dialogue. In developing his ideas and responding to critics, Siegel addresses main currents in contemporary thought, including feminism, postmodernism and multiculturalism.
Physicians have an ethical responsibility to their patients to offer the best available medical care. This responsibility conflicts with their role as gatekeepers of the limited health care resources available for all patients collectively. It is ethically untenable to expect doctors to face this trade-off during each patient encounter; the physician cannot be expected to compromise the wellbeing of the patient in the office in favour of anonymous patients elsewhere. Hence, as in other domains of public policy where individual and (...) collective interests conflict, some form of collective solution is required. Collective solutions may take the form of placing explicit resource constraints on resources available to physicians, or clinical practice guidelines that recognise cost-effective care as acceptable. Such solutions will be politically and ethically sustainable only if patients as citizens of the larger population accept the need for rationing of limited resources in health care. (shrink)
I observe that the “concept-generator” theory of Percus and Sauerland (2003), Anand (2006), and Charlow and Sharvit (2014) does not predict an intuitive true interpretation of the sentence “Plato did not believe that Hesperus was Phosphorus”. In response, I present a simple theory of attitude reports which employs a fine-grained semantics for names, according to which names which intuitively name the same thing may have distinct compositional semantic values. This simple theory solves the problem with the concept-generator theory, but, as (...) I go on to show, it has problems of its own. I present three examples which the concept-generator theory can accommodate, but the simple fine-grained theory cannot. These examples motivate the full theory of the paper, which combines the basic ideas behind the concept-generator theory with a fine-grained semantics for names. The examples themselves are of interest independently of my theory: two of them constrain the original concept-generator theory more tightly than previously discussed examples had. (shrink)
This paper discusses some philosophical aspects related to the recent publication of the experimental results of the 2017 black hole experiment, namely the first image of the supermassive black hole at the center of galaxy M87. In this paper I present a philosophical analysis of the 2017 Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) black hole experiment. I first present Hacking’s philosophy of experimentation. Hacking gives his taxonomy of elements of laboratory science and distinguishes a list of elements. I show that the EHT (...) experiment conforms to major elements from Hacking’s list. I then describe with the help of Galison’s Philosophy of the Shadow how the EHT Collaboration created the famous black hole image. Galison outlines three stages for the reconstruction of the black hole image: Socio-Epistemology, Mechanical Objectivity, after which there is an additional SocioEpistemology stage. I subsequently present my own interpretation of the reconstruction of the black hole image and I discuss model fitting to data. I suggest that the main method used by the EHT Collaboration to assure trust in the results of the EHT experiment is what philosophers call the Argument from Coincidence. I show that using this method for the above purpose is problematic. I present two versions of the Argument from Coincidence: Hacking’s Coincidence and Cartwright’s Reproducibility by which I analyse the EHT experiment. The same estimation of the mass of the black hole is reproduced in four different procedures. The EHT Collaboration concludes: the value we have converged upon is robust. I analyse the mass measurements of the black hole with the help of Cartwright’s notion of robustness. I show that the EHT Collaboration construe Coincidence/Reproducibility as Technological Agnosticism and I contrast this interpretation with van Fraassen’s scientific agnosticism. (shrink)
In 1949, Kurt Gödel found a solution to the field equations of general relativity that described a spacetime with some unusual properties. This “Gödel universe” permitted “closed timelike curves,” hence a kind of time travel, and it did not admit of decomposition into successive moments of time. In the same year, he published “A Remark about the Relationship between Relativity Theory and Idealistic Philosophy”, in which he used certain properties of this solution to argue for a kind of temporal idealism, (...) whereby “change [is] an illusion or an appearance due to our special mode of perception”. The paper is short and to the point, but the argument has usually been regarded as fatally flawed. In his Gödel Meets Einstein: Time Travel in the Gödel Universe, Palle Yourgrau makes a case for Gödel. (shrink)
Some people commonly know a proposition just in case they all know it, they all know that they all know it, they all know that they all know that they all know it, and so on. They commonly believe a proposition just in case they all believe it, they all believe that they all believe it, they all believe that they all believe that they all believe it, and so on. A long tradition in economic theory, theoretical computer science, linguistics (...) and philosophy has held that people have some approximation of common knowledge or common belief in a range of circumstances, for example, when they are looking at an object together, or when they have just discussed something explicitly in conversation. In this paper, I argue that people do not have any approximation of common knowledge or common belief in these circumstances. The argument suggests that people never have any approximation of common knowledge or common belief. (shrink)
The disruption -- Capital assembled -- Capital goes to work -- Capital goes to market -- Capital evolves -- The geography of it all -- Creative destruction on the land -- What is to be done? And who is going to do it?
This paper considers two philosophical problems and their relation to science education. The first involves the rationality of science; it is argued here that the traditional view, according to which science is rational because of its adherence to (a non-standard conception of) scientific method, successfully answers one central question concerning science''s rationality. The second involves the aims of education; here it is argued that a fundamental educational aim is the fostering of rationality, or its educational cognate, critical thinking. The ramifications (...) of these two philosophical theses for science education are then considered, and a science education which takes reasons in science as its fundamental feature is sketched. (shrink)
The quantum theory of de Broglie and Bohm solves the measurement problem, but the hypothetical corpuscles play no role in the argument. The solution ﬁnds a more natural home in the Everett interpretation.
The arts of rule cover the exercise of power by princes and popular sovereigns, but they range beyond the domain of government itself, extending to civil associations, political parties, and religious institutions.
The coordinated attack scenario and the electronic mail game are two paradoxes of common knowledge. In simple mathematical models of these scenarios, the agents represented by the models can coordinate only if they have common knowledge that they will. As a result, the models predict that the agents will not coordinate in situations where it would be rational to coordinate. I argue that we should resolve this conflict between the models and facts about what it would be rational to do (...) by rejecting common knowledge assumptions implicit in the models. I focus on the assumption that the agents have common knowledge that they are rational, and provide models to show that denying this assumption suffices for a resolution of the paradoxes. I describe how my resolution of the paradoxes fits into a general story about the relationship between rationality in situations involving a single agent and rationality in situations involving many agents. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to investigate appropriate methods for educating students into citizenship within a pluralistic state and to explain why civic education is itself important. In this discussion, I will offer suggestions as to how students might be best prepared for their future political roles as participants in a democracy, and how we, as theorists, ought to structure institutions and curricula in order to ensure that students are adequately trained for political decision making. The paper is divided (...) into six sections. In the first two sections, I argue that community is a learned understanding and that such education,even when it supports liberal commitments,cannot be neutral. I use the social contract tradition as an entrance into the perpetual nature of conflict within a pluralist society. In the third and fourth sections, I develop a pedagogy geared towards educating students into what I call cognitive conflict, and argue that the arts, widely understood, should be privileged over other disciplines. In the fifth section, I examine two difficulties inherent inmy pedagogy â first that it seems to demandthat all perspectives be taught, and second that it seems to promote anxiety among students. In the final section, I ask that political theory reexamine the role of harmony in justice. I conclude that a managed conflictis a more acceptable organizational description of liberal political structures. (shrink)
There are many contemporary sources and defenders of epistemological relativism which have not been considered thus far. I have, for example, barely touched on the voluminous literature regarding frameworks, conceptual schemes, and Wittgensteinian forms of life. Davidson's challenge to the scheme/content distinction and thereby to conceptual relativism, Rorty's acceptance of the Davidsonian argument and his use of it to defend a relativistic position, Winchian and other sociological and anthropological arguments for relativism, recent work in the sociology of science, and Goodman's (...) novel articulation of a relativism of worlds and of worldmaking, to mention just some of the contemporary loci of debate, all need to be addressed. So also do the plethora of relativistic arguments spawned by Kuhn and related literature in recent philosophy of science. Therefore, it cannot be said that there is no more to be said on behalf of epistemological relativism. Moreover, the positive task of delineating a defensible version of absolutism remains to be accomplished.Nevertheless, the defenses of relativism considered above do seem to have been successfully undercut. More specifically, the arguments for the incoherence of relativism are as compelling as ever, and have manifestly not been laid to rest by contemporary relativists. The basic Socratic insight that relativism is self-refuting, and so incoherent, remains a fundamental difficulty for those who would resuscitate and defend the ancient Protagorean doctrine or a modern variant of it. (shrink)
The following interview was conducted on July 13, 2009 at the JFK Institute for Graduate Studies, Freie Universität in Berlin, shortly after a conference, entitled “Class in Crisis: Das Prekariat zwischen Krise und Bewegung,” at which Harvey delivered a keynote address. The conference, organized by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, engaged the political, socio-economic, and conceptual dimensions of the so-called precariat class. The precariat is typically defined by short-term employment, persistent marginalization, and social insecurity—something of a fragmented urban underclass whose (...) precariousness is increasingly evident in traditionally middle-class economic life. While the concept of the precariat has yet to take root in English-language social theory, the work of Loïc Wacquant, for example, has been popularizing it. (shrink)
It is argued that Minkowski space-time cannot serve as the deep structure within a ``constructive'' version of the special theory of relativity, contrary to widespread opinion in the philosophical community.
For both its enthusiastic adherents as well as its more generous opponents, liberalism commands considerable ethical appeal but at a price. And that price is its lack of systematic integrity or coherence. The charm of its ethical appeal stems from the great values which it celebrates. But for many these very values seem fatally incommensurable, seem to be forever colliding with and thwarting one another. As Isaiah Berlin has never tired of reminding us, liberty and equality continue to defy our (...) best efforts to reconcile them, to weave them together in some kind of orderly and compelling way. Liberalism, in other words, is flawed, if not tragically flawed. For those who nevertheless remain charmed by its ethical appeal, the tragedy of the incommensurability of its basic values is disappointing and disturbing. (shrink)
Robert Aumann presents his Agreement Theorem as the key conditional: “if two people have the same priors and their posteriors for an event A are common knowledge, then these posteriors are equal” (Aumann, 1976, p. 1236). This paper focuses on four assumptions which are used in Aumann’s proof but are not explicit in the key conditional: (1) that agents commonly know, of some prior μ, that it is the common prior; (2) that agents commonly know that each of them updates (...) on the prior by conditionalization; (3) that agents commonly know that if an agent knows a proposition, she knows that she knows that proposition (the “K K” principle); (4) that agents commonly know that they each update only on true propositions. It is shown that natural weakenings of any one of these strong assumptions can lead to countermodels to Aumann’s key conditional. Examples are given in which agents who have a common prior and commonly know what probability they each assign to a proposition nevertheless assign that proposition unequal probabilities. To alter Aumann’s famous slogan: people can “agree to disagree”, even if they share a common prior. The epistemological significance of these examples is presented in terms of their role in a defense of the Uniqueness Thesis: If an agent whose total evidence is E is fully rational in taking doxastic attitude D to P, then necessarily, any subject with total evidence E who takes a different attitude to P is less than fully rational. (shrink)
In this paper I examine how the constituent elements of a firm's organizational structure affect the ethical behavior of workers. The formal features of organizations I examine are the compensation practices, performance and evaluation systems, and decision-making assignments. I argue that the formal organizational structure, which is distinguished from corporate culture, is necessary, though not sufficient, in solving ethical problems within firms. At best the formal structure should not undermine the ethical actions of workers. When combined with a strong culture, (...) however, the organizational structure may be sufficient in promoting ethical conduct. While helpful, ethics training and corporate codes are neither necessary nor sufficient in promoting ethical behavior within firms. (shrink)