While contractualism seems to solve some of the more pressing concerns of other moral theories, it does not conclusively address the moral status of non-human animals. Peter Carruthers claims that contractualism excludes animals from having full moral status. I argue that Carruthers’ arguments are fatally flawed due to his reliance on contradictory claims, unlikely assumptions, and flagrant violations of the contractualist method. However, Carruthers also claims that we can treat animals wrongly and that it deserves moral criticism. This claim is (...) based in indirect moral significance. However, this position makes it impossible for Carruthers to avoid endorsing two extremely counter-intuitive claims. The work of C. Tucker and C. MacDonald allows us to demonstrate that contractualism does give animals full moral standing. They ground the criteria for a contracting agent in three characteristics that animals possess. A look at some possible objections reveals nothing devastating to their proposal. (shrink)
How and why does a metaphor work? What happens to us when we hear or read one? My guess is that a metaphor, because it is an erroneous statement, conflicts with our expectations. It releases, triggers, and stimulates our predisposition to detect error and to take corrective action. We do not dismiss or reject a metaphor as simply a false statement for we recognize it as a metaphor and know as [Donald] Davidson suggests that it alludes to something else that (...) we might wish to notice. It preempts our attention and propels us on a quest for the underlying truth. We are launched into a creative, inventive, pleasurable act. To turn Piaget around, to invent is to understand. For the hearer or reader of a metaphor to detect, by himself, the nature of the error and to invent his own version of the truth entails understanding and achievement and thus pleasure. Such pleasure perhaps owes its origin to, and is enhanced by an echo from, the metaphoric playfulness of childhood. A metaphor is a peremptory invitation to discovery. What is discoverable are the various allusive ties, or common attributes, between the metaphor and the underlying truth to which it points. It is plausible to guess that the pleasure, and hence power, of the metaphor depends on two factors. It is the more powerful and effective the greater the number of allusive ties discovered and the greater the speed or suddenness with which the discoveries are made. A metaphor that packs all of its allusions into one or a few words should be more effective than a metaphor on which the same allusions are scattered throughout a long chain of words or sentences. The number of allusive ties in some sense reflects how close the metaphor approaches the truth—how near it is to being on target. Perhaps the closer it is, the more compelling the urge to correct the error—like the pull of a magnet. Don R. Swanson is professor and dean of the graduate library school at the University of Chicago. (shrink)
Given the groundswell of corporate misconduct, the need for better business ethics education seems obvious. Yet many business schools continue to sidestep this responsibility, a policy tacitly approved by their accrediting agency, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Some schools have even gone so far as to cut ethics courses in the wake of corporate scandals. In this essay I discuss some reasons for this failure of business school responsibility and argue that top university officials must go (...) beyond weak accrediting standards to insist that ethics courses be required in business school curriculum. Otherwise, students will continue to get the message that practicing managers have little or no legal and ethical responsibilities to society. (shrink)
This paper presents and discusses a range of counterexamples to the common view that quantifiers cannot take scope over epistemic modals. Some of the counterexamples raise problems for ‘force modifier’ theories of epistemic modals. Some of the counterexamples raise problems for Robert Stalnaker’s theory of counterfactuals, according to which a special kind of epistemic modal must be able to scope over a whole counterfactual. Finally, some of the counterexamples suggest that David Lewis must countenance ‘would’ counterfactuals in which a covert (...) ‘would’ scopes over the whole consequent of the counterfactual, including an overt ‘might.’. (shrink)
This article discusses some of the ways in which natural language can express modal information – information which is, to a first approximation, about what could be or must be the case, as opposed to being about what actually is the case. It motivates, explains, and raises problems for Angelika Kratzer's influential theory of modal auxiliaries, and introduces a new approach to one important debate about the relationships between modality, evidentiality, context change, and imperative force.
A successful theory of the language of subjective uncertainty would meet several important constraints. First, it would explain how use of the language of subjective uncertainty aﬀects addressees’ states of subjective uncertainty. Second, it would explain how such use affects what possibilities are treated as live for purposes of conversation. Third, it would accommodate 'quantifying in' to the scope of epistemic modals. Fourth, it would explain the norms governing the language of subjective uncertainty, and the diﬀerences between them and the (...) norms governing the language of subjective certainty. Neither truth conditional nor traditional force modfier theories of the language of subjective uncertainty look adequate to the task of satisfying all four of these constraints. (shrink)
In his original semantics for counterfactuals, David Lewis presupposed that the ordering of worlds relevant to the evaluation of a counterfactual admitted no incomparability between worlds. He later came to abandon this assumption. But the approach to incomparability he endorsed makes counterintuitive predictions about a class of examples circumscribed in this paper. The same underlying problem is present in the theories of modals and conditionals developed by Bas van Fraassen, Frank Veltman, and Angelika Kratzer. I show how to reformulate all (...) these theories in terms of lower bounds on partial preorders, conceived of as maximal antichains, and I show that treating lower bounds as cutsets does strictly better at capturing our intuitions about the semantics of modals, counterfactuals, and deontic conditionals. (shrink)
In his recent paper on the symmetry problem Roni Katzir argues that the only relevant factor for the calculation of any Quantity implicature is syntactic structure. I first refute Katzir’s thesis with three examples that show that structural complexity is irrelevant to the calculation of some Quantity implicatures. I then argue that it is inadvisable to assume—as Katzir and others do—that exactly one factor is relevant to the calculation of any Quantity implicature.
Given the pervasive influence of neoclassical economic theory on the field of business, the opposition of the standard economists to the inclusion of moral factors in economic decisions provides an intellectual resistance to the ideas of many business ethicists. Etzioni (1988) offers a theoretical alternative to the neoclassical model, an alternative that includes a moral dimension. This article: (1) highlights the differences between Etzioni''s proposed model and the neoclassical economic paradigm; (2) describes and critically evaluates Etzioni''s proposed theory in view (...) of his objective of synthesizing the neoclassical paradigm with a duty-based morality; and (3) discusses the implications of Etzioni''s proposed paradigm for the field of business ethics. (shrink)
We can think of ordinary truth-conditional semantics as giving us constraints on cognitive states. But constraints on cognitive states can be more complicated than simply believing a proposition. And we communicate more complicated constraints on cognitive states. We also communicate constraints that seem to bear on affective and conative states.
Until recently it was standard to think that all demonstratives are directly referential. This assumption has played important roles in work on perception, reference, mental content, and the nature of propositions. But Jeff King claims that demonstratives with a nominal complement (like ‘that dog’) are quantifiers, largely because there are cases in which the semantic value of such a “complex demonstrative” is not simply an object (2001). Although I agree with King that such cases preclude a directly referential, Kaplanian semantics (...) for complex demonstratives, I will argue that without contentious further assumptions they do not vindicate King’s claim that they are quantifiers. This is because familiar pronouns act like King’s examples of complex demonstratives. Indeed, pronouns and complex demonstratives share behavior that even King overlooks. None of this pronoun behavior shows that pronouns are quantifiers, and similarly none of the analogous demonstrative behavior shows that complex demonstratives are quantifiers. (shrink)
The project, entertained by Leibniz and others, of creating an ideal language to facilitate ratiocination, is investigated in detail. Six possible relations between the ideal language (IL) and the natural language (NL) it replaces are studied. (1) IL says exactly what NL says, but says it much more clearly. (2) IL says exactly what NL says, but does so more economically. (3) IL says exactly what NL says, but does so more succinctly. (4) IL says part of what NL says, (...) and says it more perspicuously. (5) IL says part of what NL says, and says it more perspicuously; moreover, there is an effective procedure for going from NL to IL. (6) IL says everything that NL says, plus some things that NL cannot say. (shrink)
When moral or religious teachings have public and political effects, analysis usually focuses on the message, but attention to the manner in which the teachings are communicated is equally important in understanding their power to influence the course of events. Oscar Romero's particular style of moral discourse was remarkably effective for three reasons: First, his moral reasoning resonated with Salvadoran identity. It was intelligible within those reigning assumptions about national history and territory that could actually move a public to action. (...) Second, his moral judgments were timely. Romero sought to discern what was possible for the Salvadoran public at a given moment. Third, Romero had integrity as a public figure. He lived in such a way that his life, and especially his death, became an exemplary embodiment of the larger religious narrative that both grounded his ethics and gave meaning to the nation. (shrink)
Gliomas are diffuse and invasive brain tumors with the nefarious ability to evade even seemingly draconian treatment measures. Here we introduce a simple mathematical model for drug delivery of chemotherapeutic agents to treat such a tumor. The model predicts that heterogeneity in drug delivery related to variability in vascular density throughout the brain results in an apparent tumor reduction based on imaging studies despite continual spread beyond the resolution of the imaging modality. We discuss a clinical example for which the (...) model-predicted scenario is relevant. The analysis and results suggest an explanation for the clinical problem of the long-standing confounding observation of shrinkage of the lesion in certain areas of the brain with continued growth in other areas. (shrink)
Rather than starting with traits and speculating whether selective forces drove evolution in past environments, we propose starting with a candidate gene associated with a trait and testing first for patterns of selection at the DNA level. This can provide limitations on the number of traits to be evaluated subsequently by adaptationism as described by Andrews et al.