The chapters in this volume deal with timely issues regarding democracy in theory and in practice in today's globalized world. Authored by leading political philosophers of our time, they appear here for the first time. The essays challenge and defend assumptions about the role of democracy as a viable political and legal institution in response to globalization, keeping in focus the role of rights at the normative foundations of democracy in a pluralistic world.
Context: There is a growing recognition in consciousness science of the need for rigorous methods for obtaining accurate and detailed phenomenological reports of lived experience, i.e., descriptions of experience provided by the subject living them in the “first-person.” Problem: At the moment although introspection and debriefing interviews are sometimes used to guide the design of scientific studies of the mind, explicit description and evaluation of these methods and their results rarely appear in formal scientific discourse. Method: The recent publication of (...) an edited book of papers dedicated to the exploration of first-and second-person methods, Ten Years of Viewing from Within: The Legacy of Francisco Varela, serves as a starting point for a discussion of how these methods could be integrated into the growing discipline of consciousness science. We complement a brief review of the book with a critical analysis of the major pilot studies in Varela’s neurophenomenology, a research program that was explicitly devised to integrate disciplined experiential methods with the latest advances in neuroscience. Results: The book is a valuable resource for those who are interested in impressive recent advances in first- and second-person methods, as applied to the phenomenology of lived experience. However, our review of the neurophenomenology literature concludes that there is as yet no convincing example of these specialized techniques being used in combination with standard behavioral and neuroscientific approaches in consciousness science to produce results that could not have also been achieved by simpler methods of introspective reporting. Implications: The end of behaviorism and the acceptance of verbal reports of conscious experience have already enabled the beginning of a science of consciousness. It can only be of benefit if new first- and second-person methods become well-known across disciplines. Constructivist content: Constructivism has long been interested in the role of the observer in the constitution of our sense of reality, so these developments in the science of consciousness may open new avenues of constructivist research. More specifically, one of the ways in which the insights from first- and second-person methods are being validated is by recursively applying the methods to themselves; a practical application of an epistemological move that will be familiar to constructivists from the second-order cybernetics tradition. (shrink)
In response to critical discussions of her Globalizing Democracy and Human Rights by William McBride, Omar Dahbour, Kory Schaff, and David Schweickart, Gould grants that globalization and U.S. Empire are intertwined, but she argues that this does not refute that global and transnational interconnections and networks are developing that are in need of substantive democracy. Gould further seeks to clarify two main interpretive misunderstandings of her critics. First, even though she rejects “all affected” as a criterion for determining (...) the participants of institutional decision-making, she does leave room for participation of the “affected” when the fulfillment of their basic rights is at stake. Second, she argues that her vision of democratizing economic institutions is not fundamentallydifferent from the traditional idea of workplace democracy. Other topics addressed are the normative grounding of human rights, the error of reducing human rights to positive law, and the incoherency of the notion that democracy can be imposed by the barrel of a gun. Finally, Gould maintains that empathy, if properly understood, should be extended to terrorists, while we should also strongly condemn their rejection of noncombatant immunity. [Abstract prepared by the Editors.]. (shrink)
Some methodological adaptationists hijacked the term “exaptation,” and took an occasion of Stephen Jay Gould’s misspeaking as confirmation that it possessed an evolutionarily “designed” function and was a version of an adaptation, something it was decidedly not. Others provided a standard of evidence for exaptation that was inappropriate, and based on an adaptationist worldview. This article is intended to serve as both an analysis of and correction to those situations. Gould and Elisabeth Vrba’s terms, “exaptation” and “aptation,” as (...) originally introduced, are very useful, unlike the faded adaptationist echo of “exaptation” devised by the methodological adaptationists, which has made the term incoherent. We will discuss how exaptation relates to function, to aptation, and to adaptation, both primary and secondary. These ideas have been rendered practically useless through their mistaken definitions and misapplications by evolutionary psychologists. (shrink)
In 1979, Lewontin and I borrowed the archi- tectural term “spandrel” (using the pendentives of San Marco in Venice as an example) to designate the class of forms and spaces that arise as necessary byproducts of another decision in design, and not as adaptations for direct utility in them- selves. This proposal has generated a large literature featur- ing two critiques: (i) the terminological claim that the span- drels of San Marco are not true spandrels at all and (ii) the (...) conceptual claim that they are adaptations and not byprod- ucts. The features of the San Marco pendentives that we explicitly defined as spandrel-properties—their necessary number (four) and shape (roughly triangular)—are inevitable architectural byproducts, whatever the structural attributes of the pendentives themselves. The term spandrel may be extended from its particular architectural use for two- dimensional byproducts to the generality of “spaces left over,” a definition that properly includes the San Marco pendentives. Evolutionary biology needs such an explicit term for features arising as byproducts, rather than adaptations, whatever their subsequent exaptive utility. The concept of biological span- drels—including the examples here given of masculinized genitalia in female hyenas, exaptive use of an umbilicus as a brooding chamber by snails, the shoulder hump of the giant Irish deer, and several key features of human mentality— anchors the critique of overreliance upon adaptive scenarios in evolutionary explanation. Causes of historical origin must always be separated from current utilities; their conf lation has seriously hampered the evolutionary analysis of form in the history of life. (shrink)
Consumers of software often face an acquisition-mode decision, namely whether to purchase or pirate that software. In terms of consumer welfare, consumers who pirate software may stand in opposition to those who purchase it. Marketers also face a decision whether to attempt to thwart that piracy or to ignore, if not encourage it as an aid to their softwares diffusion, and policymakers face the decision whether to adopt interventionist policies, which are government-centric, or laissez faire policies, which are marketer-centric. Here (...) in order to assess the decision-making of all three of these stakeholders, we focus on the consumers point-of-view as central and examine it by considering on a comparative basis the ethical dimension versus other dimensions, including economic, legal, and other salient consumer behavior considerations. Based on a survey of 689 software consumers conducted over the Internet, the results indicate that ethics as a factor is embedded in a multidimensional set of determinant factors influencing software piracy, including attitudes, legal aspects, social support, perceptions of economic loss and age. Policy and research implications, based on these findings, are provided. (shrink)
Gallileo described the universe in his most famous line: "This grand book is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometrical figures." Why should the laws of nature be subject to statement in such elegantly basic algebra? Why does gravity work by the principle of inverse squares? Why do simple geometrics pervade nature--from the hexagons of the honeycomb, to the complex architecture of crystals? D'Arcy Thompson, author of Growth and Form and my earliest (...) intellectual hero (along with my father and Charles Darwin), wrote that "the harmony of the world is made manifest in Form and Number, and the heart and soul and all the poetry of Natural Philosophy are embodied in the concept of math ematical beauty." Many scientists, if only to coin a striking metaphor, depict a creating God as a mathematician from the realm of Plato or Pythagoras. The physicist James Jeans wrote: "From the intrinsic evidence of his creation, the Great Architect of the Universe now begins to appear as a pure mathematician.". (shrink)
teach a course at Harvard with philosopher Robert Nozick and lawyer Alan Dershowitz. We take major issues engaged by each of our professions—from abortion to racism to right-to-die—and we try to explore and integrate our various approaches. We raise many questions and reach no solutions.
rom Flesh Gordon to Alex in Wonderland , title parodies have been a stock-in-trade of low comedy. We may not anticipate a tactical similarity between the mayhem of Mad magazine's movie reviews and the titles of major scientific works, yet two important nineteenth-century critiques of Darwin parodied his most famous phrases in their headings.
Consumers of software often face an acquisition-mode decision, namely whether to purchase or pirate that software. In terms of consumer welfare, consumers who pirate software may stand in opposition to those who purchase it. Marketers also face a decision whether to attempt to thwart that piracy or to ignore, if not encourage it as an aid to their software's diffusion, and policymakers face the decision whether to adopt interventionist policies, which are government-centric, or laissez faire policies, which are marketer-centric. Here (...) in order to assess the decision-making of all three of these stakeholders, we focus on the consumer's point-of-view as central and examine it by considering on a comparative basis the ethical dimension versus other dimensions, including economic, legal, and other salient consumer behavior considerations. Based on a survey of 689 software consumers conducted over the Internet, the results indicate that ethics as a factor is embedded in a multidimensional set of determinant factors influencing software piracy, including attitudes, legal aspects, social support, perceptions of economic loss and age. Policy and research implications, based on these findings, are provided. (shrink)
For principled and substantially philosophical reasons, based largely on his reform of natural history by inverting the Paleyan notion of overarching and purposeful bene¢cence in the construction of organisms, Darwin built his theory of selection at the single causal level of individual bodies engaged in unconscious (and metaphorical) struggle for their own reproductive success. But the central logic of the theory allows selection to work e¡ectively on entities at several levels of a genealogical hierarchy, provided that they embody a set (...) of requisite features for de¢ning evolutionary individuality. Genes, cell lineages, demes, species, and cladesöas well as Darwin's favoured organismsöembody these requisite features in enough cases to form important levels of selection in the history of life. (shrink)
The technique of covers is now well established in semigroup theory. The idea is, given a semigroup S, to find a semigroup having a better understood structure than that of S, and an onto morphism of a specific kind from to S. With the right conditions on , the behaviour of S is closely linked to that of . If S is finite one aims to choose a finite . The celebrated results for inverse semigroups of McAlister in the 1970s (...) form the flagship of this theory.Weakly left quasi-ample semigroups form a quasivariety (of algebras of type(2, 1)), properly containing the classes of groups, and of inverse, left ample, and weakly left ample semigroups. We show how the existence of finite proper covers for semigroups in this quasivariety is a consequence of Ashs powerful theorem for pointlike sets. Our approach is to obtain a cover of a weakly left quasi-ample semigroup S as a subalgebra of S × G, where G is a group. It follows immediately from the fact that weakly left quasi-ample semigroups form a quasivariety, that is weakly left quasi-ample. We can then specialise our covering results to the quasivarieties of weakly left ample, and left ample semigroups. The latter have natural representations as (2, 1)-subalgebras of partial (one-one) transformations, where the unary operation takes a transformation to the identity map in the domain of . In the final part of this paper we consider representations of weakly left quasi-ample semigroups. (shrink)
While there are many significant ethical questions which can deliver the lessons of an introductory ethics course , students do not face these moral difficulties directly in their lives. The author argues that commonly-faced ethical questions are more effective for rendering the content of introductory ethics immediately relevant to students. This paper presents a general outline of an introductory ethics course structured around the theme of drunk driving. Not only is drunk driving something that college students are confronted with consistently, (...) but the topic lends itself to discussions of moral subjectivism and moral skepticism, various moral theories’ framings of the problem, the assignment of culpability and conditions which mitigate it, secondary responsibility, intoxication and agency, punishment, deterrents, contrition, and forgiveness. The author details each of these discussions and concludes by considering further benefits of teaching a course built around this theme. (shrink)
he following kind of incident has occurred over and over again, ever since Darwin. An evolutionist, browsing through some pre-Darwinian tome in natural history, comes upon a description of natural selection. Aha, he says; I have found something important, a proof that Darwin wasn't original. Perhaps I have even discovered a source of direct and nefarious pilfering by Darwin! In the most notorious of these claims, the great anthropologist and writer Loren Eiseley thought that he had detected such an anticipation (...) in the writings of Edward Blyth. Eiseley laboriously worked through the evidence that Darwin had read (and used) Blyth's work and, making a crucial etymological mistake along the way, finally charged that Darwin may have pinched the central idea for his theory from Blyth. He published his case in a long article (Eiseley, 1959), later expanded by his executors into a posthumous volume entitled "Darwin and the Mysterious Mr. X" (1979). (shrink)
Focusing on Mind, Self and Society, I contend that George Herbert Mead's theory is incapable of explaining the interactions in a song by Oscar Brown Jr., "The Snake," and that a satisfactory explanation of these actions, which illuminate everyday conduct familiar to us all, requires the conceptualization of personality systems grounded in affect and cultural systems understood as symbolic logics that make intelligible certain activities. My argument is important not primarily as a critique of Mead, but of rational-choice and other (...) cognitive theories that reduce emotions to cognitions, and of the currently dominant sociological and anthropological conceptualizations that reduce culture to forms of social practice. (shrink)
A century after the advent of quantum mechanics and general relativity, both theories enjoy incredible empirical success, constituting the cornerstones of modern physics. Yet, paradoxically, they suffer from deep-rooted, so-far intractable, conflicts. Motivations for violations of the notion of relativistic locality include the Bell’s inequalities for hidden variable theories, the cosmological horizon problem, and Lorentz-violating approaches to quantum geometrodynamics, such as Horava–Lifshitz gravity. Here, we explore a recent proposal for a “real ensemble” non-local description of quantum mechanics, in which “particles” (...) can copy each others’ observable values AND phases, independent of their spatial separation. We first specify the exact theory, ensuring that it is consistent and has quantum mechanics as a fixed point, where all particles with the same values for a given observable have the same phases. We then study the stability of this fixed point numerically, and analytically, for simple models. We provide evidence that most systems are locally stable to small deviations from quantum mechanics, and furthermore, the phase variance per value of the observable, as well as systematic deviations from quantum mechanics, decay as \ time)\, where \. Interestingly, this convergence is controlled by the absolute value of energy, suggesting a possible connection to gravitational physics. Finally, we discuss different issues related to this theory, as well as potential novel applications for the spectrum of primordial cosmological perturbations and the cosmological constant problem. (shrink)
In this analysis of William Talbott’s important book, I note with appreciation his defense of universal moral principles and of moral justification as a “social project,” his focus on the critique of oppression, and his emphasis on empathic understanding in the account of human rights. I go on to develop some criticisms regarding: 1) Talbott’s traditional understanding of human rights as holding against governments and not also applying to nonstate actors; 2) his account of the interrelations among well-being, autonomy, claims (...) for first person authority in moral judgment, and human rights; 3) his strongly rationalist and liberal individualist interpretation of moral judgment and autonomy; and 4) the lack of a role for intercultural dialogue about human rights, which nonetheless are held to apply to all human beings across cultures. In each case, I briefly consider what an alternative approach would look like. (shrink)
This paper reports on a pedagogical strategy used when discussing consensual and non-consensual sex in college ethics courses. The paper outlines a general teaching technique designed to elicit what students already think about a particular issue and then applies this general technique to the seven specific cases involving unwanted sex. Classroom results on these cases are described, reporting that students tend to adopt two different definitions of what it means for sex to be “consensual”. A commentary on these cases is (...) provided that can be used to encourage students to think through the cases critically, and the author provides a brief commentary on how these cases relate to the notion of autonomy. (shrink)
Doppelt criticizes my theory of freedom as self?development and the related model of workers? self?management which I propose. I argue that Doppelt ignores or misconstrues three major features of my view: (1) the systematic grounding of the conception of freedom in the nature of agency and the distinction I draw between abstract and concrete freedom; (2) my derivation of rights of self?management from the concept of freedom; (3) my argument for a universal right of employment. In general, Doppelt's criticism ignores (...) the systematic conception I have offered of equal rights of access to the social and economic conditions of self?development, a conception which he himself seems to be getting at in his proposed paradigm. I go on to criticize two major features of Doppelt's own view, namely, his historical relativism and his interpretation of meaningful work. (shrink)
While there are many significant ethical questions which can deliver the lessons of an introductory ethics course, students do not face these moral difficulties directly in their lives. The author argues that commonly-faced ethical questions are more effective for rendering the content of introductory ethics immediately relevant to students. This paper presents a general outline of an introductory ethics course structured around the theme of drunk driving. Not only is drunk driving something that college students are confronted with consistently, but (...) the topic lends itself to discussions of moral subjectivism and moral skepticism, various moral theories’ framings of the problem, the assignment of culpability and conditions which mitigate it, secondary responsibility, intoxication and agency, punishment, deterrents, contrition, and forgiveness. The author details each of these discussions and concludes by considering further benefits of teaching a course built around this theme. (shrink)
Flesh of My Flesh is a collection of articles by today's most respected scientists, philosophers, bioethicists, theologians, and law professors about whether we should allow human cloning. It includes historical pieces to provide background for the current debate. Religious, philosophical, and legal points of view are all represented.
The Platonic theist Peter van Inwagen argues that God cannot create abstract objects. Thus, the quantifier ‘everything’ in traditional statements of the doctrine of creation should be appropriately restricted to things that can enter into causal relations and abstract objects cannot: ‘God is the creator of everything distinct from himself…that can enter into causal relations.’ I respond to van Inwagen arguing that he has provided no good reason for thinking abstract objects must be uncreated. And if this is the case, (...) then there is no good reason to think that God cannot create abstract objects. (shrink)
T he patterns of human history mix of awe inspired by solemnity. thousands of workers. And then I learned decency and depravity in equal something important that I should never In human terms, ground zero is the..
R. Scott Smith argues that it is only theism, and not naturalism, that can deliver us knowledge. In this brief essay, I focus on the phenomenon of intentionality as articulated and developed by Smith and explore implications of his thesis for metaphysics, philosophy of religion, and philosophical theology.