The foundations of a theory of nonminimal coupling of matter and the gravitational field in the framework of Riemannian (or Riemann-Cartan) geometry are presented. In the absence of matter, the Einstein vacuum field equations hold. In order to allow for a Newtonian limit, the theory contains a new parameter l0 of dimension length. For systems with finite total mass, l0 is set equal to the Schwarzschild radius.
WILLIAM B. EWALD, From Kant to Hubert. A source book in the foundations of mathematics. Oxford:Clarendon Press, 1997. Two volumes, xviii + 1340pp. £175.00. ISBN 0 19 853271 7 DONALD GILLIES, Artificial Intelligence and Scientific Method. Oxford:Oxford University Press, 1996. xiii+176pp. £35.00 /£ 11.99. ISBN 0 19 875158 3/875159 1 N. VASSALLO, La depsicologizzazione délia logica. Un confronto tra Boole e Frege. Milano:Franco Angeli, 1995. 310 pp. 34,000 L G. SCHURZ, The Is-Ought Problem :An Investigation in Philosophical Logic. Dordrecht, (...) Boston and London : Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997. x + 332 pp. $120/£72.00. ISBN 0792344103. (shrink)
The Trolley Problem Mysteries considers whether who turns the trolley and/or how it is turned affect the moral permissibility of acting and suggests general proposals for when we may and may not harm some people to help others.
Some of the commentators on Intricate Ethics complain of my method. One finds the main ideas ‘Kammouflaged’ because the relevant causal distinctions are so fine-grained and the cases that illustrate them so numerous. Some say that they do not have the intuitions about many cases that I have, that I concoct dubious and ad hoc distinctions and invest them with moral significance; I am Ptolemaic in that new crystalline spheres and epicycles are constantly being added in an attempt to fix (...) the appearances. (shrink)
Johann Gottfried Herder (1744-1803) has been called the German Rousseau. Yet while Rousseau is recognized as a political thinker, Herder is not. This book explores each thinker's ideas--on nature and culture, selfhood and mutuality, paternalism, freedom, and autonomy--and compares their conceptions of legitimate statehood. Arguing that the crux of political legitimacy for both men was the possibility of "extended selfhood," Barnard shows that Herder, like Rousseau, profoundly altered human self-understandings, thus influencing modes of justifying political allegiance.
This volume continues the examination of issues of life and death which F.M. Kamm began in Morality, Mortality, Volume I. Kamm continues her development of a non-consequentialist ethical theory and its application to practical ethical problems. She looks at the distinction between killing and letting die, and between intending and foreseeing, and also at the concepts of rights, prerogatives, and supererogation. She shows that a sophisticated non-consequentialist theory can be modelled which copes convincingly with practical ethical issues, and throws considerable (...) light on some of the key distinctions and concepts of ethical discourse. (shrink)
Why is death bad for us, even on the assumption that it involves the absence of experience? Whom should we save from death if we cannot save everyone? Kamm considers these questions, critically examining some answers other philosophers have given. She also examines specifically what differences between persons are relevant to the distribution of any scarce resources, e.g. bodily organs for transplantation.
Ethics for Enemies comprises three original philosophical essays on torture, terrorism, and war. F. M. Kamm deploys ethical theory in her challenging new treatments of these most controversial practical issues. First she considers the nature of torture and the various occasions on which it could occur, in order to determine why it might be wrong to torture a wrongdoer held captive, even if this were necessary to save his victims. In the second essay she considers what makes terrorism wrong--whether it (...) is the intention to harm civilians, rather than harm to them being 'collateral damage,' or something else--and whether terrorism is always wrong. The third essay discusses whether having a right reason, in the sense of a right intention, is necessary in order for a war to be just. Kamm then examines ways in which the harms of war can be proportional to the achievement of the just cause and other goods that war can bring about, so as to make the declaration of war permissible. (shrink)
Bioethical Prescriptions collects F.M. Kamm's articles on bioethics -- revised for publication in book form -- which have appeared over the last 25 years and which have made her among the most widely-respected philosophers working in this field.
The following are not among the least puzzling remarks in Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations : 572. Expectation is, grammatically, a state; like: being of an opinion, hoping for something, knowing something, being able to do something. But in order to understand the grammar of these states it is necessary to ask: ‘What counts as a criterion for anyone's being in such a state?’ 573.… What, in particular cases, do we regard as criteria for someone's being of such and such an opinion? (...) When do we say: he reached this opinion at that time? When he has altered his opinion? And so on. The picture which the answers to these questions give us shews what gets treated grammatically as a state here. (shrink)
It is a curious thing about the philosophy of mind, that it includes surprisingly little about minds. In an average anthology on the subject, or a book like Ryle's, one finds discussions of thinking, imagining, believing, willing, remembering, and so on, but not of minds. It seems to be assumed that investigating these topics is investigating minds; but whether that is true is not itself made a topic for investigation.
In this article, I critically examine Peter Unger's arguments for the claim that there is a duty to cause physical harm to oneself and others in order to save lives. This includes discussion of his view that when the method of cases involves several rather than merely two options our intuitive judgements support his radical thesis. In conclusion, I consider his attempt to reconcile his claims with common sense moral judgements.
Based on a non-consequentialist ethical theory, this book critically examines the prevalent view that if a fetus has the moral standing of a person, it has a right to life and abortion is impermissible. Most discussion of abortion has assumed that this view is correct, and so has focused on the question of the personhood of the fetus. Kamm begins by considering in detail the permissibility of killing in non-abortion cases which are similar to abortion cases. She goes on to (...) consider the case for the permissibility of abortion in many types of pregnancies, including ones resulting from rape, voluntary pregnancy, and pregnancy resulting from a voluntary sex act, even if the fetus is considered a person. This argument emerges as part of a broader theory of creating new people responsibly. Kamm explores the implications of this argument for informed consent to abortion; responsibilities in pregnancy that is not aborted, and the significance of extra-uterine gestation devices for the permissibility of abortion. (shrink)
About the Author:F.M. Barnard is professor emeritus of political science, University of Western Ontario, and the author of numerous books, including Herder on Nationality, Humanity, and History and Democratic Legitimacy. He has won the International Herder Prize and been.
I begin by reconsidering the arguments of John Taurek and Elizabeth Anscombe on whether the number of people we can help counts morally. I then consider arguments that numbers should count given by F. M. Kamm and Thomas Scanlon, and criticism of them by Michael Otsuka. I examine how different conceptions of the moral method known as pairwise comparison are at work in these different arguments and what the ideas of balancing and tie-breaking signify for decision-making in various types of (...) cases. I conclude by considering how another moral method that I call virtual divisibility functions and what it helps reveal about an argument by Otsuka against those who do not think numbers count. (shrink)
Peter Unger’s book has both substantive and methodological aims. Substantively, it aims to prove the following four claims in the following order: we must, in general, suffer great losses of property to prevent suffering and death; we may, in general, impose such losses on others for the same goals; we may, in general, kill others to prevent more deaths; and we must, in general, kill ourself to prevent more deaths. Methodologically, it aims to show that intuitive judgments about cases that (...) would be presented as evidence against the four substantive claims—the standard technique of nonconsequentialists arguing against consequentialists—are worthless because we can construct cases that generate the opposite intuitive judgment; further, we can show that the factors that distinguish the cases yielding such different intuitions are not morally significant; and hence, we must decide which judgments are correct by consulting such general moral values as the importance of reducing suffering and death. Thus, Unger offers an error theory of nonconsequentialist restrictions on harming others and prerogatives not to make large sacrifices to aid. This error theory is based on the psychological effects of morally insignificant factors. (shrink)
The Moral Target: Aiming at Right Conduct in War and Other Conflicts comprises essays that discuss aspects of war and other conflicts in the light of nonconsequentialist ethical theory. Topics include the relation between conditions that justify starting war and those that justify stopping it, the treatment of combatants and noncombatants in war, collaboration, justice after war and other conflicts, terrorism, resistance to communal injustice, and nuclear deterrence.
This article begins by comparing terror and death and then focuses on whether killing combatants and noncombatants as a mere means to create terror, that is in turn a means to winning a war, is ever permissible. The role of intentions and alternative acts one might have done is examined in this regard. The second part of the article begins by criticizing a standard justification for causing collateral (side effect) deaths in war and offers an alternative justification that makes use (...) of the idea of group liability. (shrink)
Bioethics committees have issued guidelines that medical interventions should be permissible only in cases of clinically verifiable disease, deformity, or injury. Furthermore, once the existence of one or more of these requirements has been proven, the proposed therapeutic procedure must reasonably be expected to result in a net benefit to the patient. As an exception to this rule, some prophylactic interventions might be performed on individuals “in their best interests” or with the aim of averting an urgent and potentially calamitous (...) public health danger. In order to invoke these exceptions, a stringent set of criteria must first be satisfied. Additionally, where the proposed prophylactic intervention is intended for children, who are unlikely to be able to provide a meaningfully informed consent, a heightened scrutiny of any such measures is required. We argue that children should not be subjected to prophylactic interventions “in their best interests” or for public health reasons when there exist effective and conservative alternative interventions, such as behavioural modification, that individuals could employ as competent adolescents or adults to avoid adverse health outcomes. Applying these criteria, we consider the specific examples of prophylactic mastectomy, immunisations, cosmetic ear surgery, and circumcision. (shrink)
In the first part of this article, I raisequestions about Dworkin''s theory of theintrinsic value of life and about the adequacyof his proposal to understand abortion in termsof different ways of valuing life. In thesecond part of the article, I consider hisargument in ``The Philosophers'' Brief on AssistedSuicide'''', which claims that the distinctionbetween killing and letting die is morallyirrelevant, the distinction between intendingand foreseeing death can be morally relevantbut is not always so. I argue that thekilling/letting die distinction can be (...) relevantin the context of assisted suicide, but alsoshow when it is not. Then I consider why theintention/foresight distinction can be morallyirrelevant and conclude by presenting analternative argument for physician-assistedsuicide. (shrink)
In this essay, I shall discuss ethical issues that arise with our increasing ability to affect the genetic makeup of the human population. These effects can be produced directly by altering the genotype , or indirectly by aborting, not conceiving, or treating individuals because of their genetic makeup in ways made possible by genetic pharmacology. I shall refer to all of these sorts of procedures collectively as the Procedures. Some of the ethical issues the Procedures raise are old, arising quite (...) generally when we can affect the well-being of people, even in the absence of the ability to affect them in the ways just described. My examination of these issues is prompted by the recent at-length discussion of them, From Chance to Choice , by Allen Buchanan, Dan Brock, Norman Daniels, and Daniel Wikler. (shrink)
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