Bioethics journals have lagged behind medical and science journals in exploring the threat of conflict of interest (COI) to the integrity of publications. Some recent discussions of COI that have occurred in the bioethics literature are reviewed. Discussions of what has been termed the ?Healy affair? unintentionally demonstrate that the direct and indirect influence of undisclosed COI may come from those who call for protection from the undue influence of industry. Paradoxically, the nature and tone of current discussions may serve (...) to dull sensitivities to what is indeed a serious set of issues facing bioethics. Some proposals are presented to address COI and other challenges to the integrity of bioethics and its journals. COI is too important a topic to be left to ideologues, and there is no substitute for readers' caution and skepticism as tools in dealing with the full range of biases that exist in published papers. (shrink)
This essay is my review of Philip Booth’s ...and the Pursuit of Happiness: Wellbeing and the Role of Government. The book is an anthology of original articles by eminent researchers in modern happiness economics, such as: Booth himself; Paul Omerod; David Sacks, Betsey Stephenson, and Justin Wolfers; Christopher Snowden; J. R. Shackleton; Christian Bjornskov; Peter Boettke and Christopher Coyne; and Pedro Schwartz. I conclude by offering several criticisms of the work.
This essay is my review of Philip Booth’s Wellbeing and the Role of Government. The book is an anthology of original articles by eminent researchers in modern happiness economics, such as: Booth himself; Paul Omerod; David Sacks, Betsey Stephenson, and Justin Wolfers; Christopher Snowden; J. R. Shackleton; Christian Bjornskov; Peter Boettke and Christopher Coyne; and Pedro Schwartz. I conclude by offering several criticisms of the work.
The identity and diversity of individual objects may be grounded or ungrounded, and intrinsic or contextual. Intrinsic individuation can be grounded in haecceities, or absolute discernibility. Contextual individuation can be grounded in relations, but this is compatible with absolute, relative or weak discernibility. Contextual individuation is compatible with the denial of haecceitism, and this is more harmonious with science. Structuralism implies contextual individuation. In mathematics contextual individuation is in general primitive. In physics contextual individuation may be grounded in relations via (...) weak discernibility. (shrink)
This is a study of all the recent literature on william james written from a phenomenological perspective with the purpose of showing that william james made fundamental contributions to the phenomenological theory of the intentionality of consciousness, To the phenomenological theory of self-Identity, And to the phenomenological conception of noetic freedom as the basic concept of ethical theory.
William James’s theory of emotion has been controversial since its inception, and a basic analysis of Cannon’s critique is provided. Research on the impact of facial expressions, expressive behaviors, and visceral responses on emotional feelings are each reviewed. A good deal of evidence supports James’s theory that these types of bodily feedback, along with perceptions of situational cues, are each important parts of emotional feelings. Extensions to James’s theory are also reviewed, including evidence of individual differences in (...) the effect of bodily responses on emotional experience. (shrink)
In 1896 William James published an essay entitled The Will to Believe, in which he defended the legitimacy of religious faith against the attacks of such champions of scientific method as W.K. Clifford and Thomas Huxley. James's work quickly became one of the most important writings in the philosophy of religious belief. James Wernham analyses James's arguments, discusses his relation to Pascal and Renouvier, and considers the interpretations, and misinterpretations, of James's major critics. Wernham shows (...) convincingly that James was unaware of many destructive ambiguitities in his own doctrines and arguments, although clear and consistent in his view that our obligation to believe in theism is not a moral but a prudential obligation -- a foolish-not-to-believe doctrine, rather than a not-immoral-to-believe one. Wernham also shows that the doctrine is best read as affirming the wisdom of gambling that God exists, a notion which James failed to distinguish from believing and which, among other things, he explicitly identified with faith. James's pragmatism, a theory concerning the meaning of truth, is shown to be quite distinct from the doctrine of The Will to Believe. In concentrating on a careful analysis of this doctrine of the will-to-believe, Wernham not only makes a major contribution to understanding James's philosophy, but also clarifies issues in the philosophy of religion and in the analysis of belief and faith. (shrink)
Religion has been a constant throughout human history. Evidence of it dates from the earliest times. Religious practice is also universal, appearing in every region of the globe. To judge from recorded history and contemporary accounts, religious intolerance is equally widespread. Yet all the major faiths proclaim the golden rule, namely, to “love your neighbour as yourself.” When Jesus was asked by a lawyer, “Who is my neighbour?” he replied with the story of the good Samaritan—the man who bound up (...) the wounds and looked after the Israelite who was neither his co-religionist nor a member of his race. Jesus’ example has been rarely followed. What is it in religion—and not just in the Christian religion—that leads its members to limit their conception of their neighbour? How is it that, in preaching the universal brotherhood of mankind, religions so often practice the opposite? In my paper, I suggest some answers by focusing on the notions of faith, ethics and finitude. (shrink)
Liberalism has often been viewed as a continuing dialogue about the relative priorities between liberty and equality. When the version of equality under discussion requires equalization of outcomes, it is easy to see how the two ideals might conflict. But when the version of equality requires only equalization of opportunities, the conflict has been treated as greatly muted since the principle of equality seems so meager in its implications. However, when one looks carefully at various versions of equal opportunity and (...) various versions of liberty, the conflict between them is, in fact, both dramatic and inescapable. Each version of the conflict poses hard choices which defy any systematic pattern granting priority to one of these basic values over the other. In this essay, I will flesh out and argue for this picture of fundamental conflict, and then turn to some more general issues about the kinds of answers we should expect to the basic questions of liberal theory. (shrink)
Contributions in modern theoretical physics and chemistry on the behavior of nonlinear systems, exemplified by Ilya Prigogine's work on the thermodynamics of open systems, attract growing attention in economics. Our purpose here is to relate the new orientation in the natural sciences to a particular nonorthodox strand of thought within economics. All that is needed for this purpose is some appreciation of the general thrust of the enterprise, which involves a shift of perspective from the determinism of conventional physics to (...) the nonteleological open-endedness, creative, and nondetermined nature of evolutionary processes. (shrink)
This paper examines the potential role of deliberative democracy in constitutional processes of higher law-making, either for the founding of constitutions or for constitutional change. It defines deliberative democracy as the combination of political equality and deliberation and situates this form of democracy in contrast to a range of alternatives. It then considers two contrasting processes—elite deliberation and plebiscitary mass democracy as approaches to higher law-making that employ deliberation without political equality or political equality without deliberation. It finally turns to (...) some institutional designs that might achieve both fundamental values at the same time, or in the process of realizing a sequence of choices. (shrink)
Does Spinoza present philosophy as the preserve of an elite, while condemning the uneducated to a false though palliative form of ‘true religion’? Some commentators have thought so, but this contribution aims to show that they are mistaken. The form of religious life that Spinoza recommends creates the political and epistemological conditions for a gradual transition to philosophical understanding, so that true religion and philosophy are in practice inseparable.
This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work. This work is in the public domain (...) in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant. (shrink)
Religious people seem to believe things that range from the somewhat peculiar to the utterly bizarre. Or do they? According to a new paper by Neil Van Leeuwen, religious “credence” is nothing like mundane factual belief. It has, he claims, more in common with fictional imaginings. Religious folk do not really “believe”—in the ordinary sense of the word—what they profess to believe. Like fictional imaginings, but unlike factual beliefs, religious credences are activated only within specific settings. We argue that Van (...) Leeuwen’s thesis contradicts a wealth of data on religiously motivated behavior. By and large, the faithful genuinely believe what they profess to believe. Although many religions openly embrace a sense of mystery, in general this does not prevent the attribution of beliefs to religious people. Many of the features of religious belief that Van Leeuwen alludes to, like invulnerability to refutation and incoherence, are characteristic of irrational beliefs in general and actually betray... (shrink)
During the last forty years, the Aboriginal peoples of the Americas, of the British Commonwealth, and of other countries colonized by Europeans over the last five hundred years have demanded that their forms of property and government be recognized in international law and in the constitutional law of their countries. This broad movement of 250 million Aboriginal people has involved court cases, parliamentary politics, constitutional amendments, the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, the development of an international law of (...) Aboriginal peoples, and countless nonviolent and violent actions in defense of Aboriginal systems of property and cultures. The Aboriginal peoples of New Zealand, Canada, and the United States have been at the forefront of the movement, and it is in these countries that the greatest legal recognition has been achieved. (shrink)
v. 1. William and Henry, 1861-1884 -- v. 2. William and Henry, 1885-1896 -- v. 3. William and Henry, 1897-1910 -- v. 4. 1856-1877 -- v. 5. 1878-1884 -- v. 6. 1885-1889 -- v. 7. 1890-1894 -- v. 8. 1895-June 1899 -- v. 9. July 1899-1901 -- v. 10. 1902-March 1905 -- v. 11. April 1905-March 1908 -- v. 12. April 1908-August 1910.
Smith has defended the rationalist's conceptual claim that moral requirements are categorical requirements of reason, arguing that no status short of this would make sense of our taking these requirements as seriously as we do. Against this I argue that Smith has failed to show either that our moral commitments would be undermined by possessing only an internal, contextual justification or that they need presuppose any expectation that rational agents must converge on their acceptance. His claim that this rationalistic understanding (...) of metaethics is required for the intelligibility of moral disagreement is also found to be inadequately supported. It is further proposed that the rationalist's substantive claims - that there are such categorical requirements of reason and that our actual moral commitments are a case in point - are liable to disappointment; and that the conceptual claim is fatally undermined by reflection on how we might best respond to such disappointment. (shrink)
In his introduction to this collection, John representative. McDermott presents James's thinking in all its manifestations, stressing the importance of radical empiricism and placing into perspective the doctrines of pragmatism and the will to believe. The critical periods of James's life are highlighted to illuminate the development of his philosophical and psychological thought. The anthology features representive selections from The Principles of Psychology, The Will to Believe , and The Variety of Religious Experience in addition to the complete (...) Essays in Radical Empiricism and A Pluralistic Universe . The original 1907 edition of Pragmatism is included, as well as classic selections from all of James's other major works. Of particular significance for James scholarship is the supplemented version of Ralph Barton Perry's Annotated Bibliography of the Writings of William James , with additions bringing it up to 1976. (shrink)
I take it as my assignment to criticize the Gauthier enterprise. At the outset, however, I should express my general agreement with David Gauthier's normative vision of a liberal social order, including the place that individual principles of morality hold in such an order. Whether the enterprise is, ultimately, judged to have succeeded or to have failed depends on the standards applied. Considered as a coherent grounding of such a social order in the rational choice behavior of persons, the enterprise (...) fails. Considered as an extended argument implying that persons should adopt the moral stance embodied in the Gauthier structure, the enterprise is, I dunk, largely successful. Considered as a set of empirically falsifiable propositions suggesting that persons do, indeed, choose as the Gauthier precepts dictate, the enterprise offers Humean hope rather than Hobbesian despair. (shrink)
If theism is true, then there exists a being to which we appropriately refer with the term ‘God’. This point is analytic. Any object to which we appropriately refer with the term ‘God’ bears certain properties – e.g. omniscience, omnipotence and moral perfection. While the analyticity of this point may be a matter of debate, I find no problem granting its necessary truth , at least for the purposes of this paper. There are properties essential to the appropriate wearing of (...) the title ‘God’. Does it follow from these claims that the object to which we appropriately apply the term ‘God’ bears the properties in question – omniscience, omnipotence, etc. – essentially? Is God essentially God? Or is it possible that the being to whom we refer with ‘God’ exist but not be God? Many would assume that the answers to these questions are obvious – that God is God essentially, or not at all. However, I wish to argue that there may be properties essential to Godhood, but not essential to the being that is God. (shrink)
Most versions of utilitarianism depend on the plausibility and coherence of some conceptionof maximizing well-being, but these conceptions have been attacked on various grounds. This paper considers two such contentions. First, it addresses the argument that because goods are plural and incommensurable, maximization is incoherent. It is shown that any conception of incommensurability strong enough to show the incoherence of maximization leads to an intolerable paradox. Several misunderstandings of what maximization requires are also addressed. Second, this paper responds to the (...) argument that rationality is not a matter of maximizing, but of expressing proper attitudes. This ‘expressivist’ position is first explicated through the elaboration of several paradoxes. It is then shown how, through an application of economic and strategic thinking, these paradoxes can be dissolved. The paper then concludes with some reflections on the indispensability of calculation for moral and prudential reasoning. (shrink)
This paper examines the relative voluntariness of three types of virtue: ‘epistemic’ virtues like open-mindedness; ‘motivational’ virtues like courage, and more robustly ‘moral’ virtues like justice. A somewhat novel conception of the voluntariness of belief is offered in terms of the limited, but quite real, voluntariness of certain epistemic virtues.
Think of some environmentally unfriendly choices – taking the car instead of public transport or driving an SUV, just binning something recyclable, using lots of plastic bags, buying an enormous television, washing clothes in hot water, replacing something when you could make do with last year's model, heating rooms you don't use or leaving the heating high when you could put on another layer of clothing, flying for holidays, wasting food and water, eating a lot of beef, installing a patio (...) heater, maybe even, as some have said lately, owning a dog. Think about your own choices, instances in which you take an action which enlarges your carbon footprint when you might have done otherwise without much trouble. Is there consolation in the thought that it makes no difference what you do? (shrink)
Maarten Boudry and Jerry Coyne have written a piece, forthcoming in Philosophical Psychology, called “Disbelief in Belief,” in which they criticize my recent paper “Religious credence is not factual belief” (2014, Cognition 133). Here I respond to their criticisms, the thrust of which is that we shouldn’t distinguish religious credence from factual belief, contrary to what I say. I respond that their picture of religious psychology undermines our ability to distinguish common religious people from fanatics. My response will appear (...) in the same issue as their paper. (shrink)
Madison Powers raises the difficult problem of repugnant desires. The problem is not only difficult but pervasive, more pervasive even than Powers says. He notes that it affects hedonist, eudaimonist, and desire-fulfilment forms of utilitarianism; but it also affects the form of utilitarianism that uses a list of irreducibly plural values, so long as one of the values on the list is pleasure or happiness, and it can affect non-utilitarian positions as well for the same reason.
Adam Smith raised a series of obstacles to effective large-scale social planning. In this paper, I draw these Smithian obstacles together to construct what I call the “Great Mind Fallacy,” or the belief that there exists some person or persons who can overcome the obstacles Smith raises. The putative scope of the Great Mind Fallacy is larger than one might initially suppose, which I demonstrate by reviewing several contemporary thinkers who would seem to commit it. I then address two ways (...) the fallacy might be overcome, finding both wanting. I close the paper by suggesting that Smith's Great Mind Fallacy sheds interesting light on his “impartial spectator” standard of morality, including with respect to the specific issues of property and ownership. (shrink)
Hume considered An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals incomparably the best of all his writings. In the argument advanced here, I propose that Hume's preference for the Enquiry may be linked to his admiration of Cicero, and his work, De Officiis. Cicero's attempt to discover the honestum of morality in De Officiis had a particular relevance and appeal for philosophers of the early eighteenth century who were seeking to establish what they called the foundation of morality. One of those (...) philosophers was Francis Hutcheson; his differences with his contemporaries and with Hume are reviewed in the second and third parts of the essay. In the fourth and final section, I examine Hume's attempt to reconcile the foundation of morality, as he under-stood it, the sentiment of humanity, with the principles of utility and agreeableness. And an attempt is made, finally, to explain why Hume's critics perceived Hume's Enquiry to be the work of an Epicurean and a sceptic. (shrink)
In 1975 the Clarendon Press at Oxford published Peter Nidditch's edition of John Locke's An Essay concerning Human Understanding. In his Introduction Nidditch says that his edition “offers a text that is directly derived, without modernization, from the early published versions; it notes the provenance of all its adopted readings ; and it aims at recording all relevant differences between these versions”. As Nidditch goes on to acknowledge, the “relevant differences” were many, “requiring several thousand registrations both in the case (...) of material variants and in the case of formal variants ”. The textual history of Locke's Essay is extremely complicated. While there is no manuscript of the first edition of the book, there were four editions in Locke's lifetime, each new one containing extensive and significant revisions, as well as a posthumous edition published shortly after the author's death. There was a translation into French made with Locke's cooperation and published in 1700, and a Latin translation came out a year later. Nevertheless, Nidditch managed to record all the material variants in footnotes to the text, in a way that makes it fairly easy to track the changes that Locke made to successive editions of the book, and to locate points at which judgements had to be made as a critical text was established on the basis of the chosen copy text. Sometimes a critical edition succeeds in completely changing the way that a text is read. Peter Laslett's 1960 edition of Locke's Two Treatises of Government is a good example. Nidditch's edition of the Essay did not have that kind of very dramatic effect on Locke scholarship. Rather, it made it possible for those without direct access to all the early editions to engage in careful, historically sensitive studies of Locke's account of human understanding. The result was a slow revolution in Locke studies that continues to shed new light on even the most familiar aspects of the Lockean philosophy. (shrink)