Not for the first time, the banks and other financial institutions have got themselves – and the rest of us – into a mess, this time on an unprecedented financial and geographical scale. It is no surprise that opinions about causes, consequences and cures abound with ethical issues, as well as technical and economic concerns, a focus of attention. It is to be hoped that useful lessons for the future will be learned. In this chapter, however, we step back from (...) a direct engagement with the stated ills of the financial system itself, whether actual or perceived, chronic or acute. Our starting point is that crisis in the financial system not only makes us stop and think; but it might also, particularly under conditions of moral panic, prevent us from thinking well. Our contention is that a further impediment to thinking well about financial crises is the lack of a substantial body of academic knowledge that might be termed ‘financial ethics’ – a corpus of well developed conceptual insights and appropriate empirical evidence. We identify some of the reasons for this situation and proffer some suggestions regarding what might be done to remedy it – including the development of knowledge that is as relevant to everyday practices during periods of normality as it is to providing perspectives on crisis. The chapter is structured as follows: the next section provides a perspective on debate during times of crisis; the middle section seeks to explain why academic financial ethics is not a significant constituent element of debate on the financial crisis post-2007; and the final two main sections explore ways in which an academic agenda for financial ethics might be constructed. In a curious way this chapter echoes some of the themes and especially the conclusion of David Bevan’s chapter in this work although the reasoning to the conclusion that finance ethics is an empty set follows a rather different Badiou-inspired path in chapter 18. (shrink)
Lucas Matthews and I substantially revised my SEP entry on Heritability. This version includes discussion of the missing heritability problem and other issues that arise from the use of Genome Wide Association Studies by Behavioral Geneticists.
Why are some people more mentally able than others? In an authoritative, critical and intergrated series of review essays Professor Ian Deary inquires after the cognitive and biological foundations of human mental ability differences. Many accounts of intelligence have examined the structure and number of human mental ability differences and whether they can predict sucess in education,work and social life. Few books have taken psychometric intelligence differences as a starting point and brought together the reductionistic attempts to explain them.New to (...) the highly acclaimed Oxford Psychology Series, Looking Down on Human Intelligence appraises the search for the origins of psychometric intelligence differences in terms of brain function parameters. The book provides an original and thought provoking guide to ancient and modern research on one of the most compelling questions in human psychology. (shrink)
I. Introduction Siris, Berkeley's last major work, is undeniably a rather odd book. It could hardly be otherwise, given Berkeley's aims in writing it, which are three-fold: 'to communicate to the public the salutary virtues of tar-water,'1 to provide scientific background supporting the efficacy of tar-water as a medicine, and to lead the mind of the reader, via gradual steps, toward contemplation of God.2 The latter two aims shape Berkeley's extensive use of contemporary natural science in Siris. In particular, Berkeley's (...) focus on what he calls fire (or aether or light) as a quasiuniversal 'cause' of natural change3 serves these purposes, for the 'activity' of the aether, in his view, can both explain the miraculous virtues of a certain medicine, i.e. tar-water, and reveal God's action and his divine order.4 Berkeley's corpuscular speculations, including his use of fire-theory, are not especially idiosyncratic as natural philosophy. In his theorizing, as Jessop and other have noted, he is heavily indebted to the work of Hermann Boerhaave, the Dutch chemist, botanist, and physician whose teachings were highly influential in mid-eighteenth century Britain.5 Boerhaave, along with other Dutch natural philosophers cited by Berkeley, assigned a central role in accounting for physio-chemical activity to fire, a subtle, insensible particulate substance, sometimes identified with light. (shrink)
I criticize the view that top-down causation is a proper model for depicting and justifying belief in mental causation. When properly interpreted, I believe that there are no clear examples of top-down causation, and there is a persuasive case against it. In order to defend these claims, I, first, clarify three preliminary considerations; second, undermine alleged examples of top-down causation; third, present a case for why there is no top-down mental causation; fourth, explain an important option for moving forward in (...) preserving what we all know to be the case—that mental causation is real. (shrink)
This article describes a community service project in which M.B.A. students learn about and experience directly the dynamics of leadership and power. The purposes of this project are to help students better understand the social reality of powerlessness, and how they, through their political activism and influence management skills, can improve the situations and lives of powerless people in the local community. In so doing, students begin to see the connection between political action and moral ends, the fundamental learning objective (...) of this project.Wisdom is knowing what to do next. Virtue is doing it. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that moral virtue is sometimes causally necessary both for theistic belief and for nonbelief. I then argue for some further connectionsbetween these results and the Calvinist view, recently revived in the philosophy of religion, according to which theistic belief is typically warranted and all those who dissent from such belief persist in their nonbelief because of sin. Specifically, I maintain that the virtue of belief militates against its being warranted, and that the virtue of nonbelief (...) renders the Calvinist generalization concerning nonbelief and sin implausible. (shrink)
The research addressed the issue of symbolic walls that divide, segregate, preserve and institutionalise. The way in which institutions and especially the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria facilitated symbolic ‘walls’ was discussed in the overview of the Department of Science of Religion and Missiology in the first century of the Faculty of Theology. The concepts of ‘gatekeepers’ and ‘traders’ were then applied because walls, paradoxically, need gates to facilitate control, movement and, eventually, life. Gatekeepers were described as (...) the guardians of the status quo, and traders as agents who, in one way or another, facilitate movement, trade, flow and life in the midst of the shadows of walls. Missionaries are, by the very nature of the missionary enterprise, more traders than gatekeepers. Here, the work of Bosch – specifically his ground-breaking work on mission as contextualisation – provides an explanation of the art of mission as breaking down walls, opening gates and empowering traders. That is precisely why Missiology is particularly well suited to assist the church and theology in the art of breaking down walls. The theological imperative of contextualisation means that the life of the church, theology, and thus theological training, cannot do without Missiology. The concept of ‘deep contextualisation’ was discussed as a particularly relevant approach to include a post-anthropomorphic discourse in Missiology. It can assist with the reorientation of the history of mission on the whole of history and, thus, also deep history. The concept also provides a way to address the discourses on colonialisation and includes a reorientation on the future and embracing hope. (shrink)
The Cambridge Companion to Locke now joins the long list of titles available in this excellent series. As we have come to expect, the contributors to this Companion are distinguished and the result is comprehensive and eminently useful. This volume is one of the more accessible in the series, with most of the chapters pitched at a level accessible to advanced undergraduates and especially helpful to beginning graduate students. Many of the chapters will be of considerable interest to scholars; here (...) I myself think especially of Edwin McCann’s chapter on Locke’s philosophy of body, which considerably advances our understanding of the place of mechanism in Locke’s thought. In addition, the notes, selective bibliography, and index of passages cited will serve as resources for readers at all levels of expertise. (shrink)
The probabilistic account of juridical proof meets insurmountable problems. A better explanation of juridical proof is that it is a form of inference to the best explanation that involves the comparative plausibility of the parties’ stories. In addition, discrete evidentiary matters such as relevance and probative value are also best understood as involving inference to the best explanation rather than being probabilistic.
Investigators agree that hope is an important coping skill for patients. Hope is stronger than optimism and influences one's physical well being. Suggestions and strategies that can be used in the clinical setting to increase hope begin with an admission of its important role.