The integration of nanotechnology’s ‘social and ethical issues’ (SEI) at the research and development stage is one of the defining features of nanotechnology governance in the United States. Mandated by law, integration extends the field of nanotechnology to include a role for the “social”, the “public” and the social sciences and humanities in research and development (R&D) practices and agendas. Drawing from interviews with scientists, engineers and policymakers who took part in an oral history of the “Future of Nanotechnology” symposium (...) at the Cornell NanoScale Facility, this article examines how nanotechnology’s ‘social and ethical issues’ are brought to life by these practitioners. From our analysis, three modes of enactment emerge: enacting SEI as obligations and problems-to-be-solved, enacting SEI by ‘not doing it’ in the laboratory, and enacting SEI as part of scientific practice. Together they paint a complex picture where SEI are variously defined, made visible or invisible, included and excluded, with participants showing their skill at both boundary-work (Gieryn Am Sociol Rev 48:781–795, 1983, 1999) and at integration. We conclude by reflecting on what this may mean for the design and implementation of SEI integration policies, suggesting that we need to transform SEI from obligations into ‘matters of care’ (Puig de la Bellacasa Soc Stud Sci 41(1):85–106, 2011) that tend to existing relationalities between science and society and implicate practitioners themselves. (shrink)
Aristotelian virtue theorists have emphasized the role of the self in developing virtue and in rehabilitating vice. But this article argues that, as Aristotelians, we have placed too much emphasis on self-cultivation and self-reform. Self-cultivation is not required for developing virtue or vice. Nor will sophia-inspired self-reform jumpstart change in the vicious person. In each case, the external environment has an important role to play. One can unwittingly acquire virtues or vices from one’s environment. Likewise, a well-designed environment may be (...) the key ingredient for jumpstarting change in the vicious person. Self-cultivation and late-stage self-reform are not ruled out, but the role of the self in character development and rehabilitation is not as exalted as we might have thought. (shrink)
It is plausible that there are epistemic reasons bearing on a distinctively epistemic standard of correctness for belief. It is also plausible that there are a range of practical reasons bearing on what to believe. These theses are often thought to be in tension with each other. Most significantly for our purposes, it is obscure how epistemic reasons and practical reasons might interact in the explanation of what one ought to believe. We draw an analogy with a similar distinction between (...) types of reasons for actions in the context of activities. The analogy motivates a two-level account of the structure of normativity that explains the interaction of correctness-based and other reasons. This account relies upon a distinction between normative reasons and authoritatively normative reasons. Only the latter play the reasons role in explaining what state one ought to be in. All and only practical reasons are authoritative reasons. Hence, in one important sense, all reasons for belief are practical reasons. But this account also preserves the autonomy and importance of epistemic reasons. Given the importance of having true beliefs about the world, our epistemic standard typically plays a key role in many cases in explaining what we ought to believe. In addition to reconciling (versions of) evidentialism and pragmatism, this two-level account has implications for a range of important debates in normative theory, including the interaction of right and wrong reasons for actions and other attitudes, the significance of reasons in understanding normativity and authoritative normativity, the distinction between ‘formal’ and ‘substantive’ normativity, and whether there is a unified source of authoritative normativity. (shrink)
A dogma of contemporary ethical theory maintains that the nature of normative support for affective attitudes is the very same as the nature of normative support for actions. The prevailing view is that normative reasons provide the support across the board. I argue that the nature of normative support for affective attitudes is importantly different from the nature of normative support for actions. Actions are indeed supported by reasons. Reasons are gradable and contributory. The support relations for affective attitudes are (...) neither. So-called reasons of the right kind for affective attitudes are facts that make those very attitudes fitting. Unlike reasons, fit-making facts for affective attitudes do not conflict with each other or combine in the explanation of further normative facts. More fit-making facts just make a more complex set of reactions fitting. This result undermines various analyses and unity theses in the philosophy of normativity. (shrink)
This paper develops the Value-Based Theory of Reasons in some detail. The central part of the paper introduces a number of theoretically puzzling features of normative reasons. These include weight, transmission, overlap, and the promiscuity of reasons. It is argued that the Value-Based Theory of Reasons elegantly accounts for these features. This paper is programmatic. Its goal is to put the promising but surprisingly overlooked Value-Based Theory of Reasons on the table in discussions of normative reasons, and to draw attention (...) to a number of areas for fruitful further research. (shrink)
Douglas proposes a new ideal in which values serve an essential function throughout scientific inquiry, but where the role values play is constrained at key points, protecting the integrity and objectivity of science.
There are several powerful motivations for neutral value-based deontic theories such as Act Consequentialism. Traditionally, such theories have had great difficulty accounting for partiality towards one's personal relationships and projects. This paper presents a neutral value-based theory that preserves the motivations for Act Consequentialism while vindicating some crucial intuitions about reasons to be partial. There are two central ideas. The first is that when it comes to working out what you ought to do, your friends’ interests, the needs of your (...) family, the significance of your own projects and ideals, etc. have more weight than the interests and needs of strangers. Your friends’ interests are not more neutrally valuable than the interests of others. So there is a difference between the value of an outcome and its deontic significance. The second familiar idea is that reasons are modifiable. Reasons of partiality are reasons the weights of which are a function of the value of the relevant outcome modified by facts about the value of caring about the outcome in question. The resulting principle has various further explanatory advantages; in particular, it accounts for project- and relationship-specific permissions and requirements, both at a time and across time. (shrink)
There are various ways of characterising Hume’s dictum that ‘you can’t get an ought from an is.’ Contributors to the literature directly addressing this question focus on logical characterisations of autonomy theses. Such theses maintain that certain logical relations do not obtain between ethical and non-ethical sentences, for instance that no non-ethical sentences logically entail an ethical sentence. I argue that this focus on logical autonomy is a mistake. The thesis so important to our metaethicists is not a logical thesis (...) but a metaphysical one. The relevant metaphysical autonomy thesis maintains that ethical facts are not fully grounded just in non-ethical facts. I defend this characterization. I also defend the converse thesis that all facts partly grounded in ethical facts are ethical facts. I then argue that this pair of theses can help with debates about the plausibility of nihilism and the classification of revisionary metaethical theses. (shrink)
This study explored gender differences in moral motivations and civic engagement among adolescents to add to existing explanations for the gender gap in political engagement in the US. We examined moral motivations for civic engagement in a sample of 1578 high school seniors, using a mixed-methods analysis of survey and interview data. Multiple regression confirmed that girls were more civically involved and expressed greater future civic intention. However, analysis of motivations suggested that differences in moral motivations might impact ongoing political (...) development, as girls were more likely to take political action out of desire to help, while boys were more often motivated to act on values. Case studies of two interviewees—one male and one female—were analyzed to examine how civic commitment emerges in the interaction of desire to help, to act on civic values and another moral motivation that emerged in the qualitative analysis—to empower others. (shrink)
We use normative reasons in a bewildering variety of different ways. And yet, as many recent theorists have shown, one can discern systematic distinctions underlying this complexity. This paper is a contribution to this project of constructive normative metaphysics. We aim to bring a black sheep back into the flock: the balancing model of weighing reasons. This model is threatened by a variety of cases in which distinct reasons overlap, in the sense that they do not contribute separate weight for (...) or against an option. Our response is to distinguish between derivative reasons and load-bearing reasons, only the latter of which contribute non-overlapping weight to an option. This distinction is close at hand for analyses of reasons in terms of the promotion of significant outcomes. But we also develop an account of this distinction for fundamentalist theories of normative reasons. (shrink)
With no statutory definition of death, the accepted medical definition relies on brain stem death criteria as a definitive measure of diagnosing death. However, the use of brain stem death criteria in this way is precarious and causes widespread confusion amongst both medical and lay communities. Through critical analysis, this paper considers the insufficiencies of brain stem death. It concludes that brain stem death cannot be successfully equated with either biological death or the loss of integrated bodily function. The overemphasis (...) of the brain-stem and its consequences leaves the criteria open to significant philosophical critique. Further, in some circumstances, the use of brain stem death criteria causes substantial emotional conflict for families and relatives. Accordingly, a more holistic and comprehensive definition of death is required. (shrink)
What is a virtue, and how are virtues different from vices? Do people with virtues lead better lives than the rest of us? Do they know more? Can we acquire virtues if so, how? In this lively and engaging introduction to this core topic, Heather Battaly argues that there is more than one kind of virtue. Some virtues make the world a better place, or help us to attain knowledge. Other virtues are dependent upon good intentions like caring about (...) other people or about truth. Virtue is an original approach to the topic, which carefully situates the fields of virtue ethics and virtue epistemology within a general theory of virtue. It argues that there are good reasons to acquire moral and intellectual virtues virtuous people often attain greater knowledge and lead better lives. As well as approaching virtue in a novel and illuminating way, Battaly ably guides the reader through the dense literature surrounding the topic, deftly moving from important specific and technical points to more general issues and questions. The final chapter proposes strategies for helping university students acquire intellectual virtues. Battaly’s insights are complemented by entertaining examples from popular culture, literature, and film, really bringing this topic to life for readers. Virtue is the ideal introduction to the topic. It will be an equally vital resource for students who are encountering the topic for the first time, and for scholars who are deeply engaged in virtue theory. (shrink)
Although epistemic values have become widely accepted as part of scientific reasoning, non-epistemic values have been largely relegated to the "external" parts of science (the selection of hypotheses, restrictions on methodologies, and the use of scientific technologies). I argue that because of inductive risk, or the risk of error, non-epistemic values are required in science wherever non-epistemic consequences of error should be considered. I use examples from dioxin studies to illustrate how non-epistemic consequences of error can and should be considered (...) in the internal stages of science: choice of methodology, characterization of data, and interpretation of results. (shrink)
The performance of natural behavior is commonly used as a criterion in the determination of animal welfare. This is still true, despite many authors having demonstrated that it is not a necessary component of welfare – some natural behaviors may decrease welfare, while some unnatural behaviors increase it. Here I analyze why this idea persists, and what effects it may have. I argue that the disagreement underlying this debate on natural behavior is not one about which conditions affect welfare, but (...) a deeper conceptual disagreement about what the state of welfare actually consists of. Those advocating natural behavior typically take a “teleological” view of welfare, in which naturalness is fundamental to welfare, while opponents to the criterion usually take a “subjective” welfare concept, in which welfare consists of the subjective experience of life by the animal. I argue that as natural functioning is neither necessary nor sufficient for understanding welfare, we should move away from the natural behavior criterion to an alternative such as behavioral preferences or enjoyment. This will have effects in the way we understand and measure welfare, and particularly in how we provide for the welfare of animals in a captive setting. (shrink)
This article examines and synthesizes two different approaches to determining the content of business ethics courses and the manner in which they ought to be taught. The first approach, from a political perspective, argues that the institutional framework within which business operates ought to be tested by theories of distributive justice. The second approach, from the perspective of virtue theory, argues that we ought to examine the character of individual employees and the responsibilities associated with the roles which these individuals (...) play within organizations. I argue that Gadamer's interpretation of Aristotle's notion of phronesis shows an inseparable, bidirectional, conceptual link between the approaches of politics and virtue as well as providing insight into how business ethics might best be taught. (shrink)
I challenge the appropriateness of the discourse of managerial control of employees in four ways. First, I question arguments which suggest that employees are always subject to organizational control. Second, I contrast workplace conditions which support employee self-determination and autonomy with conditions which permit control of employees. Third, I provide an ethical assessment of the normative use of control talk and fourth, I suggest an alternative discourse, a discourse of accountability which appropriately highlights the reciprocity necessary to build ethical organizations.
Much of the discussion of Naive Realism about veridical experience has focused on a consequence of adopting it—namely, disjunctivism about perceptual experience. However, the motivations for being a Naive Realist in the first place have received relatively little attention in the literature. In this paper, I will elaborate and defend the claim that Naive Realism provides the best account of the phenomenal character of veridical experience.
What are the qualities of an excellent thinker? A growing new field, virtue epistemology, answers this question. Section I distinguishes virtue epistemology from belief-based epistemology. Section II explains the two primary accounts of intellectual virtue: virtue-reliabilism and virtue-responsibilism. Virtue-reliabilists claim that the virtues are stable reliable faculties, like vision. Virtue-responsibilists claim that they are acquired character traits, like open-mindedness. Section III evaluates progress and problems with respect to three key projects: explaining low-grade knowledge, high-grade knowledge, and the individual intellectual virtues.
Mikhalevich & Powell (2020) argue that it is wrong, both scientifically and morally, to dismiss the evidence for sentience in invertebrates. They do not offer any examples, however, of how their welfare should be considered or improved. We draw on animal welfare science to suggest some ways that would not be excessively demanding.
Traditionally, cognitive values have been thought of as a collective pool of considerations in science that frequently trade against each other. I argue here that a finer-grained account of the value of cognitive values can help reduce such tensions. I separate the values into groups, minimal epistemic criteria, pragmatic considerations, and genuine epistemic assurance, based in part on the distinction between values that describe theories per se and values that describe theory-evidence relationships. This allows us to clarify why these values (...) are central to science and what role they should play, while reducing the tensions among them. (shrink)
This paper presents a puzzle for Act Consequentialists who do not want to shoot Pelé. The puzzle arises from cases involving the promotion of virtue, and motivates a systematic restriction on the separability of reasons.
Participants compared the mental capacities of various human and nonhuman characters via online surveys. Factor analysis revealed two dimensions of mind perception, Experience and Agency. The dimensions predicted different moral judgments but were both related to valuing of mind.
David Lewis claims that his theory of modality successfully reduces modal items to nonmodal items. This essay will clarify this claim and argue that it is true. This is largely an exercise within ‘Ludovician Polycosmology’: I hope to show that a certain intuitive resistance to the reduction and a set of related objections misunderstand the nature of the Ludovician project. But these results are of broad interest since they show that would-be reductionists have more formidable argumentative resources than is often (...) thought. Lewis’s reduction depends on a set of methodological commitments each of which is fairly plausible or at least currently popular, and none of which is particular to modality. The choice of which of these commitments to reject I leave to the discerning antireductionist. The essay proceeds as follows: §1 discusses reduction generally and one or two relevant puzzles; §2 discusses Lewis’s reduction in particular; the longest section, §3 replies to four objections. (shrink)
In Coming to Our Senses, Michael Devitt insists that if we are going to argue about what meanings are, we should know why we care. He reasonably observes that unless we agree about this, we are likely to be arguing past one another. The meanings Devitt discusses are token meanings of individual thoughts and utterances. He holds that these meanings are properties, and that we have two purposes for attributing them to thoughts and utterances: to predict and explain a subject’s (...) behavior, and to learn about the world. If a property attributed to a thought by means of a t-clause serves either of these purposes then that property plays a semantic role. A meaning is any property that plays a semantic role. (shrink)
Aretism: An Ancient Sports Philosophy for the Modern Sports World provides a tripartite model of sports ethics founded on ancient Greek principles and focused on personal, civic, and global integration. Heather Reid and Mark Holowchak apply these concepts as a "golden mean" between the extremes of the commercialist and recreational models of competition. This treatment is most applicable to students and academics concerned with the philosophy of sport, but will also be of interest to those in sports professions.
Is closed-mindedness always an intellectual vice? Are there conditions in which it might be an intellectual virtue? This paper adopts a working analysis of closed-mindedness as an unwillingness or inability to engage seriously with relevant intellectual options. In standard cases, closed-mindedness will be an intellectual vice. But, in epistemically hostile environments, closed-mindedness will be an intellectual virtue.
The inspiration for this paper came rather unexpectedly. In February 2006, I made the long trip from my home in Sioux City, Iowa, to Torino, Italy in order to witness the Olympic Winter Games. Barely a month later, I found myself in California at the newly-renovated Getty Villa, home to one of the world's great collections of Greco-Roman antiquities. At the Villa I attended a talk about a Roman mosaic depicting a boxing scene from Virgil's Aeneid. The tiny tiles showed (...) not only two boxers, but a wobbly looking ox. ‘What is wrong with this ox?’ asked the docent. ‘Why is he there at the match?’ The answer, of course, is that he is the prize. And the reason he is wobbly is because the victor has just sacrificed this prize to the gods in thanksgiving, by punching him between the eyes. A light went on in my head; I turned to my husband and whispered, ‘Just like Joey Cheek in Torino.’ My husband smiled indulgently, but my mind was already racing. I realized that by donating his victory bonus to charity, Cheek had tapped into one of the oldest and most venerable traditions in sport: individual sacrifice for the benefit of the larger community. It is a tradition that derives from the religious function of the ancient Olympic Games and it deserves to be revived the modern world. (shrink)
The terms ``objectivity'''' and ``objective'''' are among the mostused yet ill-defined terms in the philosophy of science and epistemology. Common to all thevarious usages is the rhetorical force of ``I endorse this and you should too'''', orto put it more mildly, that one should trust the outcome of the objectivity-producing process.The persuasive endorsement and call to trust provide some conceptual coherenceto objectivity, but the reference to objectivity is hopefully not merely an attemptat persuasive endorsement. What, in addition to epistemological endorsement,does (...) objectivity carry with it? Drawing on recent historical and philosophical work,I articulate eight operationally accessible and distinct senses of objectivity.While there are links among these senses, providing cohesion to the concept, I argue thatnone of the eight senses is strictly reducible to the others, giving objectivity itsirreducible complexity. (shrink)
Introduction to the Philosophy of Sport begins with the history of sport, delves into both the metaphysics and ethics of sport, and also addresses dimensions of the social and political elements of sport. This book is a comprehensive introduction to the philosophy of sport with a straightforward layout that professors can plan and build their courses around.
This study investigates the hypothesis that the advantage corporate social performance (CSP) yields in attracting human resources depends on the degree of job choice possessed by the job seeking population. Results indicate that organizational CSP is positively related to employer attractiveness for job seekers with high levels of job choice but not related for populations with low levels suggesting advantages to firms with high levels of CSP in the ability to attract the most qualified employees.
How should we understand scientific progress? Kuhn famously discussed science as its own internally driven venture, structured by paradigms. He also famously had a problem describing progress in science, as problem-solving ability failed to provide a clear rubric across paradigm change—paradigm changes tossed out problems as well as solving them. I argue here that much of Kuhn’s inability to articulate a clear view of scientific progress stems from his focus on pure science and a neglect of applied science. I trace (...) the history of the distinction between pure and applied science, showing how the distinction came about, the rhetorical uses to which the distinction has been put, and how pure science came to be both more valued by scientists and philosophers. I argue that the distinction between pure and applied science does not stand up to philosophical scrutiny, and that once we relinquish it, we can provide Kuhn with a clear sense of scientific progress. It is not one, though, that will ultimately prove acceptable. For that, societal evaluations of scientific work are needed. (shrink)
One of the biggest ethical issues in animal agriculture is that of the welfare of animals at the end of their lives, during the process of slaughter. Much work in animal welfare science is focussed on finding humane ways to transport and slaughter animals, to minimise the harm done during this process. In this paper, we take a philosophical look at what it means to perform slaughter humanely, beyond simply reducing pain and suffering during the slaughter process. In particular, we (...) will examine the issue of the harms of deprivation inflicted in ending life prematurely, as well as shape of life concerns and the ethical implications of inflicting these harms at the end of life, without the potential for future offsetting through positive experiences. We will argue that though these considerations may mean that no slaughter is in a deep sense truly ‘humane’, this should not undermine the importance of further research and development to ensure that while the practice continues, animal welfare harms are minimised as far as possible. (shrink)
When making decisions about action to improve animal lives, it is important that we have accurate estimates of how much animals are suffering under different conditions. The current frameworks for making comparative estimates of suffering all fall along the lines of multiplying numbers of animals used by length of life and amount of suffering experienced. However, the numbers used to quantify suffering are usually generated through unreliable and subjective processes which make them unlikely to be correct. In this paper, I (...) look at how we might apply principled methods from animal welfare science to arrive at more accurate scores, which will then help us in making the best decisions for animals. I argue that a combined use of both a whole-animal measure and a combination measurement framework for assessing welfare will give us the most accurate answers to guide our action. (shrink)
Although prediction has been largely absent from discussions of explanation for the past 40 years, theories of explanation can gain much from a reintroduction. I review the history that divorced prediction from explanation, examine the proliferation of models of explanation that followed, and argue that accounts of explanation have been impoverished by the neglect of prediction. Instead of a revival of the symmetry thesis, I suggest that explanation should be understood as a cognitive tool that assists us in generating new (...) predictions. This view of explanation and prediction clarifies what makes an explanation scientific and why inference to the best explanation makes sense in science. *Received August 2009; revised September 2009. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Tennessee, 801 McClung Tower, Knoxville, TN 37920‐0480; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)