The author attempts to apply semiotic analysis to a question of family law. By examining the language used by the Supreme Court in the title case, Michael H. v. Gerald D., along with the case briefs, lower court opinions, other Supreme Court cases and prior legal scholarship, the author attempts to determine the requisite relationships between father–child and father–mother in order for a legal tie to exist between a father and his biological child. The author tries to not only determine (...) the necessary circumstances but also the political ideology that distinguishes these familial ties. The author further attempts to analyze the goals of these underlying political ideologies. (shrink)
Neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics identifies the virtues with the traits the fully virtuous person possesses. Further, it depicts the fully virtuous person as having all the cognitive perfections necessary for possessing practical wisdom. This paper argues that these two theses disqualify faith as trust, as construed on contemporary accounts of faith, as a virtue. For faith’s role as a virtue depends on limitations of its possessor that are incompatible with the psychological profile of the fully virtuous person on the neo-Aristotelian picture. (...) I argue that because of tensions internal to the standard neo-Aristotelian view and the compelling arguments in recent literature that faith is a virtue, the neo-Aristotelian has good reason to revise her account of virtue and picture of the fully virtuous person. (shrink)
This research examines in a collectivist culture the influence of cognitive moral development, attitudes toward rule-directed behavior,and the perceived importance of codes of conduct and professional standards on auditor judgments about ethical dilemmas. Taiwanese audit professionals were asked to respond to two ethical dilemmas. The first dilemma concerns a situation in which the auditor is asked to acquiesce to a controller’s request to conceal an irregularity. The probability that the auditor’s acquiescence is discovered was manipulated in this scenario. The second (...) dilemma involves a case in which the auditor has information that a write-down of obsolete inventory will have a material effect on the earnings of a corporation, and must considerwhether or not to inform an individual who is heavily invested in the corporation. The individual’s ingroup status was manipulated in this scenario.Auditors were more likely to agree with violations of ethical standards in the first scenario than in the second . In the first scenario, auditors with lower levels of cognitive moral development were less likely to agree with violations of ethical standards when the threat of a sanction was present, while the judgments of those with higher levels of cognitive moral development were not affected by the presence of sanctions. Contrary to expectations, auditors were more likely to agree with violations of ethical standards when the individual involved was a close friend, rather than a relative. In general, as the perceived importance of rules increased, the propensity to violate the Code of Conduct decreased. (shrink)
This research examines in a collectivist culture the influence of cognitive moral development, attitudes toward rule-directed behavior,and the perceived importance of codes of conduct and professional standards on auditor judgments about ethical dilemmas. Taiwanese audit professionals were asked to respond to two ethical dilemmas. The first dilemma concerns a situation in which the auditor is asked to acquiesce to a controller’s request to conceal an irregularity. The probability that the auditor’s acquiescence is discovered (i.e., the threat of a sanction) was (...) manipulated in this scenario. The second dilemma involves a case in which the auditor has information that a write-down of obsolete inventory will have a material effect on the earnings of a corporation, and must considerwhether or not to inform an individual who is heavily invested in the corporation. The individual’s ingroup status (i.e., whether the individual was a relative or friend of the auditor) was manipulated in this scenario.Auditors were more likely to agree with violations of ethical standards in the first scenario (concealing a client employee’s irregularity)than in the second (revealing confidential information to parties outside the client). In the first scenario, auditors with lower levels of cognitive moral development were less likely to agree with violations of ethical standards when the threat of a sanction was present, while the judgments of those with higher levels of cognitive moral development were not affected by the presence of sanctions. Contrary to expectations, auditors were more likely to agree with violations of ethical standards when the individual involved was a close friend, rather than a relative. In general, as the perceived importance of rules increased, the propensity to violate the Code of Conduct decreased. (shrink)
According to the Conscience Principle, it is never morally permissible to act contrary to conscience. The plausibility of this being a genuine moral principle depends on what conscience is, whether it can be mistaken, and what its role is in general moral psychology. Thomas Aquinas endorses and defends a unique version of the Conscience Principle. What’s especially interesting about his unorthodox (for his time) view on conscience is that it seems to split the difference between the views we might expect (...) to support the Conscience Principle: On the one hand, thoroughgoing subjectivism on which all moral facts and obligations are a function of agents’ mental states, and on the other hand, objectivist intuitionism on which there is an external moral law but a faculty of conscience gives us inerrant access to it. Aquinas claims that there are objective moral truths, that conscience fallibly represents those truths, and yet, conscience always generates moral obligations, whether it is correct or incorrect. Aquinas’s view will strike many initially as puzzling, perhaps even incoherent. To make sense of it, we must understand that for Aquinas the Conscience Principle is not just one moral principle among many; instead, it falls out of a novel and philosophically powerful metaethical view of moral obligations (or what we might call requiring moral reasons). (shrink)
This paper describes an innovative 2 weeks module for medical students facilitated by drama educators and a palliative medicine doctor. The module incorporates drama, end-of-life care, teamwork and reflective practice. The module contents, practical aspects of drama teaching and learning outcomes are discussed. Various themes emerged from a study of Harold Pinter's play, The Caretaker, which were relevant to clinical practice: silence, power, communication, uncertainty and unanswered questions. Drama teaching may be one way of enhancing students’ confidence, increasing self- awareness, (...) developing ethical thinking and fostering teamworking. (shrink)
Although robust sex differences are abundant in men and women’s mating psychology, there is a considerable degree of overlap between the two as well. In an effort to understand where and when this overlap exists, the current study provides an exploration of within-sex variation in women’s mate preferences. We hypothesized that women’s intelligence, given an environment where women can use that intelligence to attain educational and career opportunities, would be: (1) positively related to their willingness to engage in short-term sexual (...) relationships, (2) negatively related to their desire for qualities in a partner that indicated wealth and status, and (3) negatively related to their endorsement of traditional gender roles in romantic relationships. These predictions were supported. Results suggest that intelligence may be one important individual difference influencing women’s mate preferences. (shrink)
Isaac Levi and I have different views of probability and decision making. Here, without addressing the merits, I will try to answer some questions recently asked by Levi (1985) about what my view is, and how it relates to his.
"To some people, life is very simple . . . no shadings and grays, all blacks and whites. . . . Now, others of us find that good, bad, right, wrong, are many-sided, complex things. We try to see every side; but the more we see, the less sure we are.".
This essay explains Jeffrey Friedman's two fundamental and persistent philosophical errors concerning the libertarian conception of liberty and the lack of a "justification‟ of libertarianism. It is ironic that Friedman himself is thereby revealed to be guilty of both an “a priori” anti-libertarianism and an anti-libertarian “straddle.” Critical-rationalist, proactive-imposition-minimising libertarianism remains completely unchallenged by him.
We present a general framework for representing belief-revision rules and use it to characterize Bayes's rule as a classical example and Jeffrey's rule as a non-classical one. In Jeffrey's rule, the input to a belief revision is not simply the information that some event has occurred, as in Bayes's rule, but a new assignment of probabilities to some events. Despite their differences, Bayes's and Jeffrey's rules can be characterized in terms of the same axioms: "responsiveness", which requires (...) that revised beliefs incorporate what has been learnt, and "conservativeness", which requires that beliefs on which the learnt input is "silent" do not change. To illustrate the use of non-Bayesian belief revision in economic theory, we sketch a simple decision-theoretic application. (shrink)
Some arguments are good; others are not. How can we tell the difference? This article advances three proposals as a partial answer to this question. The proposals are keyed to arguments conditioned by different degrees of uncertainty: mild, where the argument’s premises are hedged with point-valued probabilities; moderate, where the premises are hedged with interval probabilities; and severe, where the premises are hedged with non-numeric plausibilities such as ‘very likely’ or ‘unconfirmed’. For mild uncertainty, the article proposes to apply a (...) principle referred to as ‘Jeffrey’s rule’, for the principle is a generalization of Jeffrey conditionalization. For moderate uncertainty, the proposal is to extend Jeffrey’s rule for use with probability intervals. For severe uncertainty, the article proposes that even when lack of probabilistic information prevents the application of Jeffrey’s rule, the rule can be adapted to these conditions with the aid of a suitable plausibility measure. Together, the three proposals introduce an approach to argument evaluation that complements established frameworks for evaluating arguments: deductive soundness, informal logic, argumentation schemes, pragma-dialectics, and Bayesian inference. Nevertheless, this approach can be looked at as a generalization of the truth and validity conditions of the classical criterion for sound argumentation. (shrink)
Bayesian decision theory can be viewed as the core of psychological theory for idealized agents. To get a complete psychological theory for such agents, you have to supplement it with input and output laws. On a Bayesian theory that employs strict conditionalization, the input laws are easy to give. On a Bayesian theory that employs Jeffrey conditionalization, there appears to be a considerable problem with giving the input laws. However, Jeffrey conditionalization can be reformulated so that the problem (...) disappears, and in fact the reformulated version is more natural and easier to work with on independent grounds. (shrink)
This collection maintains a dialogue between the analytic and continental traditions, while aspiring to situate itself beyond the analytic-continental divide. It divides into four parts, Methodologies, Truth and Meaning, Metaphysics and Ontology, and Values, Personhood and Agency, though there is considerable overlap among the categories. History and temporality are recurrent themes, but there is a lot of metaphysics generally, with some philosophy of language, philosophy of social science, ethics, political philosophy and epistemology. Less prominent is a pragmatic, deflationary attitude, and (...) at a number of points I argue for the virtues of such an approach. (shrink)
There are cases of ineffable learning — i. e., cases where an agent learns something, but becomes certain of nothing that she can express — where it is rational to update by Jeffrey conditionalization. But there are likewise cases of ineffable learning where updating by Jeffrey conditionalization is irrational. In this paper, we first characterize a novel class of cases where it is irrational to update by Jeffrey conditionalization. Then we use the d-separation criterion to develop a (...) causal understanding of when and when not to Jeffrey conditionalize that bars updating by Jeffrey conditionalization in these cases. Finally, we reflect on how the possibility of so-called “unfaithful” causal systems bears on the normative force of the causal updating norm that we advocate. (shrink)