This essay traces Newman’s rich legacy in modern American literature in the writings of three prominent American writers of the last century: F. Scott Fitzgerald, who plays off of Newman’s definition of a gentleman in his The Beautiful and Damned ; Sinclair Lewis, who connects the figure of Carlyle Vesper to Newman in Gideon Planish ; and Flannery O’Connor, who mentioned Newman in four published letters, and whose artistic vision was shaped appreciably by Newman’s Apologia and his Grammar of Assent.
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)
Applied ethics work seems to me to be of three main kinds. There is participatory work, where a person whose specialism is ethics participates in a process leading to ethical judgments or decisions. And there are two kinds of teaching work where the teaching objective is to make learners better placed to participate in such processes; one kind of teaching work relates to matters which are specific to the future occupation of the learner, the other kind relates to matters which (...) are not specific to it. (shrink)
John L. Austin believed that in the illocution he had discovered a fundamental element of our speech, the understanding of which would disclose the significance of all kinds of linguistic action: not only proposing marriage and finding guilt, but also stating, reporting, conjecturing, and all the rest of the things men can do linguistically. 2 We claim that the illocution, the full-fledged speech-act, is central to religious utterances as well, and that it provides a perspicuity in understanding them not elsewhere (...) provided in the work of recent philosophy of religion. In particular we hold that understanding religious talk through the illocution shows the way in which the representative and affective elements are connected to one another and to the utterance as a whole. There may, further, be features in such an analysis which can be extended to other forms of discourse than religious. (shrink)
To commence any answer to the question “Can democracy promote the general welfare?” requires attention to the meaning of “general welfare.” If this term is drained of all significance by being defined as “whatever the political decision process determines it to be,” then there is no content to the question. The meaning of the term can be restored only by classifying possible outcomes of democratic political processes into two sets – those that are general in application over all citizens and (...) those that are discriminatory. (shrink)
The ontological argument appears in a multiplicity of forms. Over the past ten or twelve years, however, the philosophical community seems to have been concerned principally with those versions of the proof which claim that God is a necessary being. In contemporary literature, Professors Malcolm and Hartshorne have been the chief advocates of this view, both men holding that God must be conceived as a necessary being and that, as a result, his existence is able to be demonstrated a priori (...) . This claim has not gone unchallenged; indeed, numerous writers have argued that neither Malcolm nor Hartshorne has exercised due care in his use of ‘necessary’. That is, critics charge that the arguments of both men have only the appearance of validity, for in their reasonings the defenders of the a priori proof have tacitly assumed that God is a logically necessary being. Whether or not a being can be logically necessary, however, is a quaestio disputata . In fact, until recently the question was not in dispute at all—virtually all ‘competent judges’ agreed that only propositions could be spoken of as logically necessary, and thus that God must be defined as a physically or factually necessary being. But is the statement, ‘a physically necessary being exists’, logically true? Critics of the ontological argument think not; and in support of this view they offer analyses of ‘physical necessity’ which, they feel, not only give meaning to the phrase, but also show that a physically necessary being's existence can be proven only by some kind of a posteriori investigation. (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.
In the past few years an increasing number of colleges and universities have added courses in biomedical ethics to their curricula. To some extent, these additions serve to satisfy student demands for "relevance. " But it is also true that such changes reflect a deepening desire on the part of the academic community to deal effectively with a host of problems which must be solved if we are to have a health-care delivery system which is efficient, humane, and just. To (...) a large degree, these problems are the unique result of both rapidly changing moral values and dramatic advances in biomedical technology. The past decade has witnessed sudden and conspicuous controversy over the morality and legality of new practices relating to abortion, therapy for the mentally ill, experimentation using human subjects, forms of genetic interven tion, suicide, and euthanasia. Malpractice suits abound and astronomical fees for malpractice insurance threaten the very possibility of medical and health-care practice. Without the backing of a clear moral consensus, the law is frequently forced into resolving these conflicts only to see the moral issues involved still hotly debated and the validity of existing law further questioned. In the case of abortion, for example, the laws have changed radically, and the widely pub licized recent conviction of Dr. Edelin in Boston has done little to foster a moral consensus or even render the exact status of the law beyond reasonable question. (shrink)
In Human Cloning a panel of distinguished philosophers, medical ethicists, religious thinkers, and social critics tackle the thorny problems raised by the now real possibility of human cloning. In their wide ranging reviews, the distinguished contributors critically examine the major arguments for and against human cloning, probe the implications of such a procedure for society, and critically evaluate the "Report and Recommendations of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission." The debate includes both religious and secular arguments, as well as an outline (...) of the history of the cloning debate and a discussion of human cloning's impact on our sense of self and our beliefs about the meaning of life. (shrink)
This article compares James M. Buchanan's and John Rawls's theories of democratic governance. In particular it compares their positions on the characteristics of a legitimate social contract. Where Buchanan argues that additional police force can be used to quell political demonstrations, Rawls argues for a social contract that meets the difference principle.
Who has more rights-the mother or the fetus? Interdisciplinary in scope and character, this latest volume of Humana's classic series, Biomedical Ethics Reviews, focuses on the complex moral and legal problems involving human fetal life. Each article in Bioethics and the Fetus provides an up-to-date review of the literature and advances bioethical discussion in its field. The authors have avoided much of the technical jargon of philosophy and medicine in order to speak directly to a broad and general readership. Topics (...) include: • maternal-fetal conflict • the disposition of aborted fetuses • frozen embryos • creating children to save sibling's lives • fetal tissue transplantation • moral implications of fetal brain integration • the embryo as patient • prenatal diagnosis. Probing deeply into these thorny issues, Bioethics and the Fetus offers thought-provoking reading-and paves the ground for new insight-for a host of healthcare and other professionals, as well as concerned laypersons. (shrink)
Physician-Assisted Death is the eleventh volume of Biomedical Ethics Reviews. We, the editors, are pleased with the response to the series over the years and, as a result, are happy to continue into a second decade with the same general purpose and zeal. As in the past, contributors to projected volumes have been asked to summarize the nature of the literature, the prevailing attitudes and arguments, and then to advance the discussion in some way by staking out and arguing forcefully (...) for some basic position on the topic targeted for discussion. For the present volume on Physician-Assisted Death, we felt it wise to enlist the services of a guest editor, Dr. Gregg A. Kasting, a practicing physician with extensive clinical knowledge of the various problems and issues encountered in discussing physician assisted death. Dr. Kasting is also our student and just completing a graduate degree in philosophy with a specialty in biomedical ethics here at Georgia State University. Apart from a keen interest in the topic, Dr. Kasting has published good work in the area and has, in our opinion, done an excellent job in taking on the lion's share of editing this well-balanced and probing set of essays. We hope you will agree that this volume significantly advances the level of discussion on physician-assisted euthanasia. Incidentally, we wish to note that the essays in this volume were all finished and committed to press by January 1993. (shrink)
Hobbes on morality and the modern science of motion -- Freedom as the realization of desire -- Leviathan : the making of a mortal God -- John Locke : underlaborer of the new sciences -- Locke on the freedom of the human spirit -- From Berkeley to Hume : the radicalization of empiricism -- Hume's science of the dynamics of the passions -- Adam Smith deciphers the invisible hand of the market -- Contradictions of economic life -- I think : (...) Descartes' foundation of modern science -- God and the good society -- Leibniz's discovery of universal freedom -- The best of all possible worlds -- Justifying God's ways : Kant's progress from Leibniz through Pope to Rousseau -- Rousseau's reasoning of the heart. (shrink)
God may have other plans than just our welfare, and this position leads us to consider that humanity should be putting its efforts into living within nature rather than trying to control it. And a part of that living within nature is learning how to respect and appreciate it - perhaps even bringing to that respect and admiration a sense of awe and wonder. The book also contains a foreword by Frederick Blumer and appendixes, the latter containing two responses to (...) Gustafson's work. Clear and reasonable and deeply felt, A Sense of the Divine has the power to engage the heart as well as the mind. It invites the reader into a new oneness with all things, a oneness with which our destiny is inextricably woven. (shrink)
Introduction : "Individualism has never been tried": toward a pragmatic individualism -- Pt. 1. Emerson -- What's the use of reading Emerson pragmatically?: the example of William James -- "Let us have worse cotton and better men": Emerson's ethics of self-culture -- Pt. 2. Pragmatism: James and Dewey -- "Moments in the world's salvation": James's pragmatic individualism -- Character and community: Dewey's model of moral selfhood -- "The local is the ultimate universal": Dewey on reconstructing individuality and (...) community -- Pt. 3. A tragic-comic ethics in the Emersonian vein: Kenneth Burke and Ralph Ellison -- "Saying 'yes' and saying 'no'": individualist ethics in Ellison and Burke. (shrink)
This book defends the view that any adequate account of rational decision making must take a decision maker's beliefs about causal relations into account. The early chapters of the book introduce the non-specialist to the rudiments of expected utility theory. The major technical advance offered by the book is a 'representation theorem' that shows that both causal decision theory and its main rival, Richard Jeffrey's logic of decision, are both instances of a more general conditional decision theory. The book solves (...) a long-standing problem for Jeffrey's theory by showing for the first time how to obtain a unique utility and probability representation for preferences and judgements of comparative likelihood. The book also contains a major new discussion of what it means to suppose that some event occurs or that some proposition is true. The most complete and robust defence of causal decision theory available. (shrink)
The Eucharist is at the heart of Christian worship and at the heart of the Eucharist are the curious phrases, 'This is my body' and 'This is my blood'. James M. Arcadi offers a constructive proposal for understanding Christ's presence in the Eucharist that draws on contemporary conceptual resources and is faithful to the history of interpretation. He locates his proposal along a spectrum of Eucharistic theories. Arcadi explores the motif of God's presence related to divine omnipresence and special (...) presence in holy places, which undergirds a biblical-theological proposal concerning Christ's presence. Utilizing recent work in speech-act theory, Arcadi probes the acts of consecration and renaming in their biblical and liturgical contexts. A thorough examination of recent work in Christology leads to an action model of the Incarnation that borrows the notion of enabling externalism from philosophy of mind. These threads undergird a model of Christ's presence in the Eucharist. (shrink)
There exists a common view that for theories related by a ‘duality’, dual models typically may be taken ab initio to represent the same physical state of affairs, i.e. to correspond to the same possible world. We question this view, by drawing a parallel with the distinction between ‘interpretational’ and ‘motivational’ approaches to symmetries.
The pragmatic character of the Dutch book argument makes it unsuitable as an "epistemic" justification for the fundamental probabilist dogma that rational partial beliefs must conform to the axioms of probability. To secure an appropriately epistemic justification for this conclusion, one must explain what it means for a system of partial beliefs to accurately represent the state of the world, and then show that partial beliefs that violate the laws of probability are invariably less accurate than they could be otherwise. (...) The first task can be accomplished once we realize that the accuracy of systems of partial beliefs can be measured on a gradational scale that satisfies a small set of formal constraints, each of which has a sound epistemic motivation. When accuracy is measured in this way it can be shown that any system of degrees of belief that violates the axioms of probability can be replaced by an alternative system that obeys the axioms and yet is more accurate in every possible world. Since epistemically rational agents must strive to hold accurate beliefs, this establishes conformity with the axioms of probability as a norm of epistemic rationality whatever its prudential merits or defects might be. (shrink)
This study examines the influence of ethics instruction, religiosity, and intelligence on cheating behavior. A sample of 230 upper level, undergraduate business students had the opportunity to increase their chances of winning money in an experimental situation by falsely reporting their task performance. In general, the results indicate that students who attended worship services more frequently were less likely to cheat than those who attended worship services less frequently, but that students who had taken a course in business ethics were (...) no less likely to cheat than students who had not taken such a course. However, the results do indicate that the extent to which taking a business ethics course influenced cheating behavior was moderated by the religiosity and intelligence of the individual student. In particular, while students who were highly religious were unlikely to cheat whether or not they had taken a business ethics course, students who were not highly religious demonstrated less cheating if they had taken a business ethics course. In addition, the extent of cheating among highly intelligent students was significantly reduced if such students had taken a course in business ethics. Likewise, individuals who were highly intelligent displayed significantly less cheating if they were also highly religious. The implications of these findings are discussed. (shrink)
Andy Egan has recently produced a set of alleged counterexamples to causal decision theory in which agents are forced to decide among causally unratifiable options, thereby making choices they know they will regret. I show that, far from being counterexamples, CDT gets Egan's cases exactly right. Egan thinks otherwise because he has misapplied CDT by requiring agents to make binding choices before they have processed all available information about the causal consequences of their acts. I elucidate CDT in a way (...) that makes it clear where Egan goes wrong, and which explains why his examples pose no threat to the theory. My approach has similarities to a modification of CDT proposed by Frank Arntzenius, but it differs in the significance that it assigns to potential regrets. I maintain, contrary to Arntzenius, that an agent facing Egan's decisions can rationally choose actions that she knows she will later regret. All rationality demands of agents it that they maximize unconditional causal expected utility from an epistemic perspective that accurately reflects all the available evidence about what their acts are likely to cause. This yields correct answers even in outlandish cases in which one is sure to regret whatever one does. (shrink)
Ostrow (sociology, Bentley College) concludes that the world is inherently social because individuals are immersed in social sensitivity at a young age. Paper edition (unseen), $10.95. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR.
Swezey, C. M. Introduction.--The burden of the ethical.--Faith, unbelief, and moral life.--Education for moral responsibility.--The theologian as prophet, preserver, or participant.--Moral discernment in the Christian life.--The place of Scripture in Christian ethics.--The relation of the Gospels to the moral life.--Spiritual life and moral life.--The relevance of historical understanding.--Man--in light of social science and Christian faith.--The relationship of empirical science to moral thought.--What is the normatively human?--Basic ethical issues in the biomedical fields.--Genetic engineering and the normative view of the human.--Bibliography of (...) the writings of James M. Gustafson, 1951-1973 (p. 297-305). (shrink)
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF THEOLOGY TO MEDICAL ETHICS* JAMES M. GUSTAFSOm The purpose of this article is to develop a position on the contribution that theology can make to medical ethics, attending both to the forms of the contribution and to the substance of it. The order of development of the argument is as follows. First, it is necessary to indicate clearly what I mean when I speak of (...) theology and of the work of a theologian, for different persons have different perceptions and convictions about what theology is. In a similar way, I shall indicate briefly what I think are the relevant dimensions of ethics. Second, theology is a source of many substantive themes which pertain to ethics, and to medical ethics particularly; I have isolated three affirmations to use illustratively in order to develop the more inclusive intention of this lecture. These are delineated and developed with reference to their contributions to a theological moral point of view, to certain relevant moral attitudes toward human life, and to a basic intentionality that informs action. In the course of the article I indicate some of the ways in which the contribution of theology to medical ethics must be supplemented from other resources adequately to address particular clinical moral issues. Theology and Ethics Some clarification is required ofthe term "theology"; at least the way it is used here must be delineated. My view is stated in fewer words than desirable but I hope with intelligibility. I regard all of theology as reflection upon human experience. Theology is reflection on human experience with reference to a particular dimension of the human experience denoted "religious." For many persons in the world of religion these days, any dimension of experience *This is an abbreviated version of the 1975 Pere Marquette Theology Lecture, used by permission. No offprints of this version are available. The complete lecture is available for purchase from the Theology Department, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233. l'University Professor of Theological Ethics, University of Chicago. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine · Winter 1976 | 247 that is ultimate, integrative, or passionately felt is "religious." I distinguish my usage from such elastic references to the word "religious." I reserve the word "religious" for that dimension of experience (in which not all persons consciously share) that senses a relationship to an ultimate power that sustains and stands over against humans and the world. Thus, in this usage there is nothing properly called religion where there is no sense of the reality of an ultimate power, or of objective powers (to remember that there are polytheistic religions). The ultimate power is never experienced directly and immediately (perhaps an exception might be a rare experience of a rare mystic) but is always experienced indirectly and in a mediated way. Thus, to paraphrase John E. Smith of Yale, an experience of the reality of God is always at one and the same time an experience of something else.1 Alas, that statement is not convertible : an experience of an historical event, for example, is not necessarily a meaningful experience of God. Thus, to speak of the religious dimensions of experience is not to assert that every person is aware of such, or that persons who are aware of such are conscious of their significance in every experience they have. The oddity of religion lies in the fact that some persons do meaningfully and affectively experience an ultimate power sustaining and standing over against them. Sometimes this is in facing death, sometimes in eating a hot dog, sometimes in sequences of historical events, and sometimes in the voice of a friend. Theology is an intellectual discipline that seeks to draw inferences (in a perhaps imprecise use of that term) from those dimensions of experience with reference to the power that is experienced. Thus, telling a story of a life experience is not itself theology. Rather, a story is merely data for theological reflection. Theology seeks to determine, on the basis ofinferences from the religious dimensions ofexperience, what qualities and characteristics can be appropriately attributed to the ultimate power, what purposes and intentions can be plausibly claimed for it, and what its relations are to the world. Philosophers with certain interests... (shrink)