Egalitarianism, the view that equality matters, attracts a great deal of attention amongst contemporary political theorists. And yet it has turned out to be surprisingly difficult to provide a fully satisfactory egalitarian theory. The cutting-edge articles in Egalitarianism move the debate forward. They are written by some of the leading political philosophers in the field.
It is human nature to wonder how things might have turned out differently--either for the better or for the worse. For the past two decades psychologists have been intrigued by this phenomenon, which they call counterfactual thinking. Specifically, researchers have sought to answer the "big" questions: Why do people have such a strong propensity to generate counterfactuals, and what functions does counterfactual thinking serve? What are the determinants of counterfactual thinking, and what are its adaptive and psychological consequences? This important (...) work brings together a collection of thought-provoking papers by social and cognitive psychologists who have made important theoretical and empirical contributions to our understanding of this topic. The essays in this volume contain novel theoretical insights, and, in many cases descriptions of previously unpublished empirical studies. The Psychology of Counterfactual Thinking provides an excellent overview of this fascinating topic for researchers, as well as advanced undergraduates and graduates in psychology--particularly those with an interest in social cognition, social judgment, decision judgment, decision making, thinking and reasoning. (shrink)
Good explanations are not only true or probably true, but are also relevant to a causal question. Current models of causal explanation either only address the question of the truth of an explanation, or do not distinguish the probability of an explanation from its relevance. The tasks of scenario construction and conversational explanation are distinguished, which in turn shows how scenarios can interact with conversational principles to determine the truth and relevance of explanations. The proposed model distinguishes causal discounting from (...) causal backgrounding , and makes predictions concerning the differential effects of contextual information about alternative explanations on: (a) the kind of mental models constructed; (b) belief revision about probable cause; and (c) the perceived quality of a focal explanation. Four experiments are reported that test these predictions. The significance of the notion of explanatory relevance for research on causal explanation is then discussed. (shrink)
The suppression of the Modus Ponens inference is described as a loss of confidence in the conclusion C of an argument ''If A1 then C; If A2 then C; A1'' where A2 is a requirement for C to happen. It is hypothesised that this loss of confidence is due to the derivation of the conversational implicature ''there is a chance that A2 might not be satisfied'', and that different syntactic introductions of the requirement A2 (e.g., ''If C then A2'') will (...) lead to various frequencies in the derivation of this implicature, according to previous studies in the field of causal explanation. An experiment is conducted, whose results support those claims. Results are discussed in the light of the Mental Logic and Mental Model theories, as well as in the light of the pragmatic approach to uncertain reasoning. (shrink)
Christopher Johnson has put forward in this journal the view that ad hominem reasoning may be more generally reasonable than is allowed by writers such as myself, basing his view on virtue epistemology. I review his account, as well as the standard account, of ad hominem reasoning, and show how the standard account would handle the cases he sketches in defense of his own view. I then give four criticisms of his view generally: the problems of virtue conflict, vagueness, conflation (...) of speech acts, and self-defeating counsel. I then discuss four reasons why the standard account is superior: it better fits legal reality, the account of other fallacies, psychological science, and political reality. (shrink)
Dialectic, as commonly approached, is not an analytic study, as the notion is defined in the paper. Where it is analytically approached (as, for example, by Grice and Hamblin), the result is pragmatic in nature, as well as syntactic and semantic. This paper lays the foundations of a purely formal (nonpragmatic) analysis of conversations. This study is accordingly called "Conversation Theory". The key notions of "conversation", "dialogue", "conversation game", "rules of response", "epistemic community" and "channel of informations" are defined precisely, (...) and an analysis of how these notions fit together is given. Particular attention is given to distinguishing conversation theory from standard logic. The paper concludes by analysing a few sample conversation-games, indicating areas needing further research, by pointing out the simplification inherent in the sample games. (shrink)
Fortune 500 non-management employees who work in their company's information systems department were polled via a mail survey; of 191 surveys sent (one to a company), 123 (64%) were returned. Virtually all respondents (97%) indicated that management should define ethical computer use for employees. A majority of respondents (60%) reported that the method management uses to do this should be some form of consensus building. Almost two thirds of respondents (63%) reported that the definition of ethical computer use was well (...) known in their organization. Finally, over half of the respondents (55%) had no personal knowledge that computer abuse occurred in their organization – a surprisingly favorable finding. Of responses indicating knowledge of computer abuse, only about a quarter (26%) indicated direct evidence of the problem. (shrink)
The integral age demands a new economic vision. This has to emphasize exchange as a processes not the exchange of things. It must address humanity's unique compulsion to learn using collaborative learning networks. These are what energize the self-organizing global change now accelerating the emergence of new global economic institutions and processes. This new vision requires political economy (i.e., economics integrated with its sociopolitical context).
I offer a critique of how we have gotten to the point of considering xenografts into humans through a kind of moral failure to generate an efficient system of organ harvesting from human cadavers. I consider several proposals for increasing the supply of transplantable human organs, including one recently proposed in detail by James Lindemann Nelson of the Hastings Center for routine retrieval with an opt-out option.
I suggest that contemporary economics shares many of the characteristics of methodological behaviourism in psychology, with its emphasis on the influence of motivation, learning, and situational incentives on behaviour, and minimal interest in the details of the cognitive processes that transform input (information) into output (behaviour). The emphasis on these characteristics has the same strengths and weaknesses in economics as in behaviourist psychology.
This study examines executive perceptions of business information control. Specifically, the study explores (a) whether executives perceive certain types of information control being practiced within their businesses; and, (b) whether the executives regard such practices as ethical. In essence, the study suggests that both superiors and subordinates selectively practice information control. Even more importantly, however, executives see such practices as ethically acceptable on the part of superiors but as ethically questionable on the part of subordinates. A closer look at the (...) responding executives' profile characteristics – age, gender, education and salary – reveals the complexity of these perceptions. Most importantly, gender and age emerge as two prime factors influencing executive perceptions regarding both the practice and the ethics of information control. Suggestions for future research are included at the end of the article. (shrink)
These rhetorical texts by Apuleius, second-century Latin writer and author of the famous novel Metamorphoses or Golden Ass, have not been translated into English since 1909. They are some of the very few Latin speeches surviving from their century, and constitute important evidence for Latin and Roman North African social and intellectual culture in the second century AD, a period where there is increasing interest amongst classicists and ancient historians. They are the work of a talented writer who is being (...) increasingly viewed as the major literary artist of his time in Latin. (shrink)
In this article Jason Brennan’s arguments about the moral duties relating to our practice of voting are examined. These arguments provide an epistocratic approach of politics and present a conception of abstention at four levels: abstention as a personal choice, as a moral responsibility, as a duty legally enforceable and as an obligation decided by lot. The contrast with John Stuart Mill’s positions helps to highlight the postdemocratic ambivalences and the latent paternalism behind Brennan’s rejection of massive voting and (...) electoral democracy. A deliberative, Millian-inspired understanding of abstention also allows questioning the assumption in Brennan’s successive proposals that there is no significant loss in overlooking the political valence of qualified abstention. (shrink)
In various places we have defended the position that a new human organism, that is, an individual member of the human species, comes to be at fertilization, the union of the spermatozoon and the oocyte. This individual organism, during the ordinary course of embryological development, remains the same individual and does not undergo any further substantial change, unless monozygotic twinning, or some form of chimerism occurs. Recently, in this Journal Jason Morris has challenged our position, claiming that recent findings (...) in reproductive and stem cell biology have falsified our view. He objects to our claim that a discernible substantial change occurs at conception, giving rise to the existence of a new individual of the human species. In addition, he objects to our claim that the embryo is an individual, a unified whole that persists through various changes, and thus something other than a mere aggregate of cells. Morris raises a number of objections to these claims. However, we will show that his arguments overlook key data and confuse biological, metaphysical, and ethical questions. As a result, his attempts to rebut our arguments fail. (shrink)
‘Jason…chosen leader because his superior declines the honour, subordinate to his comrades, except once, in every trial of strength, skill, or courage, a great warrior only with the help of magical charms, jealous of honour but incapable of asserting it, passive in the face of crisis, timid and confused before trouble, tearful at insult, easily despondent, gracefully treacherous in his dealings with the love-sick Medea but cowering before her later threats and curses, coldly efficient in the time-serving murder of (...) an unsuspecting child, reluctant even in marriage.’ So Carspecken put the case against Jason's heroism. In the face of such an indictment, Lawall's plea in mitigation, ‘it must be admitted that [Jason] often reveals the qualities of a true gentleman’, seems somehow inadequate. Criticism since Carspecken has found various overlapping categories for Jason which both take account of the earlier negative judgements and preserve the centrality of his ‘personality’ and character in the poem: Jason is the quiet diplomat who works through consensus rather than force, his is a heroism of sex-appeal, he is an anti-hero, the embodiment of Sceptic ‘suspension of judgement’, or, alternatively, he is ‘one of us’, credible and lifelike. Carspecken himself tried a different tack: the poem is concerned not with individual heroism but with the heroism of the group. (shrink)
Jason Lagapa’s Negative Theology and Utopian Thought in Contemporary American Poetry tackles a question that has been a difficult one to address for critics attempting to discuss contemporary experimental poetry in the line of “ Language writing.” This is a tradition that claims to be politically engaged but which nevertheless does not tend explicitly to exhort its readers to take concrete political actions. How can we thus judge this poetry’s political efficacy when there are no clear or obvious political (...) actions associated with it? Lagapa’s recourse to negative theology and utopian thought tells us that we should pay close attention to matters... (shrink)
‘Jason…chosen leader because his superior declines the honour, subordinate to his comrades, except once, in every trial of strength, skill, or courage, a great warrior only with the help of magical charms, jealous of honour but incapable of asserting it, passive in the face of crisis, timid and confused before trouble, tearful at insult, easily despondent, gracefully treacherous in his dealings with the love-sick Medea but cowering before her later threats and curses, coldly efficient in the time-serving murder of (...) an unsuspecting child , reluctant even in marriage.’ So Carspecken put the case against Jason's heroism. In the face of such an indictment, Lawall's plea in mitigation, ‘it must be admitted that [Jason] often reveals the qualities of a true gentleman’, seems somehow inadequate. Criticism since Carspecken has found various overlapping categories for Jason which both take account of the earlier negative judgements and preserve the centrality of his ‘personality’ and character in the poem: Jason is the quiet diplomat who works through consensus rather than force, his is a heroism of sex-appeal, he is an anti-hero, the embodiment of Sceptic ‘suspension of judgement’, or, alternatively, he is ‘one of us’, credible and lifelike. Carspecken himself tried a different tack: the poem is concerned not with individual heroism but with the heroism of the group. (shrink)
In this paper, I discuss the role of care and competence, as well as their relationship to one another, in contemporary medical practice. I distinguish between two types of care. The first type, care1, represents a natural concern that motivates physicians to help or to act on the behalf of patients, i.e. to care about them. However, this care cannot guarantee the correct technical or right ethical action of physicians to meet the bodily and existential needs of patients, i.e. to (...) take care of them—care2. To that end, physicians must be competent in the practice of medicine both as evidence—based science (technical competence) and as patient—centered art (ethical competence). Only then, I argue, can physicians take care of (care2) patients’ bodily and existential needs in a compassionate and comprehensive manner. Importantly, although care1 precedes competence, competence—both technical and ethical—is required for genuine care2, which in turn reinforces an authentic care1. I utilize the play Wit, especially the character Jason Posner, and Francis Peabody’s exposition on caring for patients, to illustrate the role of care and competence in contemporary medical practice. (shrink)
Jason A. Frank, Constituent Moments: Enacting the People in Postrevolutionary America, Duke University Press, ISBN - 9780822346630Vicki Hsueh, Hybrid Constitutions: Challenging Legacies of Law, Privilege and Culture in Colonial America, Duke University Press, ISBN - 9780822346180.
This paper presents two notes relating to Jason’s prayer to Apollo before the launch of the Argo in Apollonius’ Argonautica. In both cases, I examine what may be termed the “subtextual” facets of the passage: textual data that are significant—productive of meaningful interpretation—and yet hardly apparent on a surface-level reading of the poem. The first note concerns the changing total number of crewmembers aboard the Argo, an evolving figure which Apollonius encourages the reader to track as the narrative progresses. (...) The second proposes a new acrostic that “completes” the ΑΚΤΙΑ acrostic that Selina Stewart recently discovered in Jason’s prayer. In each case, I draw different conclusions from these subliminal data, which have ramifications for questions of gender and inclusivity in Jason’s crew and the role of the gods in the poem. Both readings, however, are a testament to the careful design and unity of purpose that runs through the epic. (shrink)
Jason Stanley argues in his new book that propaganda is more prevalent within liberal democracies - and is of far greater concern - than is typically assumed. Indeed, Stanley suggests that the very idea that propaganda only proliferates within authoritarian regimes, which have ministries set aside for its production, is a central tenet of the propaganda of the West. Stanley's aim in this book is to outline the distinctive features of propaganda within a liberal democracy. On his account, the (...) 'flawed ideology' of vested and powerful interest groups undermines the genuinely valuable ideals at the heart of the democratic project; this is what he refers to as 'demagogic propaganda'. Although I am highly sceptical of the argumentative strategies Stanley employs, the book raises significant issues about the extent to which public debates in countries like the United States and Australia involve distorted conceptions of what democratic principles properly entail. Criticisms of the undemocratic and illiberal nature of political processes within liberal democracies are of course common on the left. Two key features set Stanley's work apart from much of that literature. First, he regards democratic principles as genuinely valuable and does not dismiss them as 'mere reactionary claptrap', as many in the New Left did forty years ago. Second, and more significantly, his intellectual background is highly unusual. Stanley is an analytic philosopher whose training was primarily in epistemology and formal semantics rather than in social theory or political philosophy. This is uncommon, since most analytic philosophers who are focused on epistemology and similar issues avoid political questions, a reticence of which Stanley does not approve. Indeed, the book is driven, as he says, by a profound sense of regret that analytic philosophy has surrendered many of its central questions to sociology and social theory. (shrink)
Clower, Jason: The Unlikely Buddhologist, Tiantai Buddhism in M ou Zongsan’s New Confucianism Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11712-011-9261-y Authors Sébastien Billioud, Univ Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité. UFR LCAO/East Asian Studies Department, Case 7009, 16 rue Marguerite Duras, 75205 Paris Cedex 13 Paris, France Journal Dao Online ISSN 1569-7274 Print ISSN 1540-3009.