At some point in the future – perhaps within the next few decades – it will be possible for foetuses to develop completely outside the womb. Ectogenesis, as this technology is called, raises substantial issues for the abortion debate. One such issue is that it will become possible for a woman to have an abortion, in the sense of having the foetus removed from her body, but for the foetus to be kept alive. We argue that while there is a (...) right to an abortion, there are reasons to doubt that there is a right to the death of the foetus. Our strategy in this essay is to consider and reject three arguments in favour of this latter right. The first claims that women have a right not to be biological mothers, the second that women have a right to genetic privacy, and the third that a foetus is one's property. Furthermore, we argue that it follows from rejecting the third claim that genetic parents also lack a right to the destruction of cryopreserved embryos used for in vitro fertilization. The conclusion that a woman possesses no right to the death of the foetus builds upon the claims that other pro-choice advocates, such as Judith Jarvis Thomson, have made. (shrink)
In this interview, professor Davis discusses the evolution of his career and research interests as a philosopher-economist and gives his perspective on a number of important issues in the field. He argues that historians and methodologists of economics should be engaged in the practice of economics, and that historians should be more open to philosophical analysis of the content of economic ideas. He suggests that the history of recent economics is a particularly fruitful and important area for research exactly (...) because it is an open-ended story that is very relevant to understanding the underlying concerns and concepts of contemporary economics. He discusses his engagement with heterodox economics schools, and their engagement with a rapidly changing mainstream economics. He argues that the theory of the individual is “the central philosophical issue in economics” and discusses his extensive contributions to the issue. (shrink)
Theists typically believe the following two propositions: God is omniscient, and Human beings are free. Are they consistent? In order to decide, we must first ask what they mean. Roughly, let us say that a being is omniscient if for any proposition he knows whether it is true or false. Since I have no wish to deny that there are true and false propositions about future states of affairs , omniscience includes foreknowledge, which we can say is knowledge of the (...) truth value of propositions about future states of affairs. For example, I believe the proposition ‘Davis will wear shoes tomorrow’ is true today, and if it is true today, i.e. if I will wear shoes tomorrow, an omniscient being knows today that it is true – and, if this being is eternally omniscient, he knew it millions of years ago. (shrink)
Contains fourteen essays and an introduction addressing the main areas of scholarly interest for Richard W. Davis, Professor Emeritus, Washington University, St Louis Questions how individuals envision the public good in modern Britain and how, through religious and moral beliefs, coupled with wisdom and political savvy, they can improve the public good through the ever-changing nineteenth century political institutions Essays range from studies of local electoral politics and parliamentary reform campaign to national political party organization, high politics and the (...) role religion and empire played in the creation of national policy Examines the influence of individuals on the political process through their professional work in historical and philosophical writing, journalism and missionary work at home and abroad Provides new original research in the area of modern British political history together in Parliamentary History. (shrink)
In a recent examination of the origins of ordinal utility theory in neoclassical economics, Robert D. Cooter and Peter Rappoport argue that the ordinalist revolution of the 1930s, after which most economists abandoned interpersonal utility comparisons as normative and unscientific, constituted neither unambiguous progress in economic science nor the abandonment of normative theorizing, as many economists and historians of economic thought have generally believed. Rather, the widespread acceptance of ordinalism, with its focus on Pareto optimality, simply represented the emergence of (...) a new neoclassical research agenda that, on the one hand, defined economics differently than had the material welfare theorists of the cardinal utility school and, on the other, adopted a positivist methodology in contrast to the less restrictive empiricism of the cardinalists. (shrink)
According to Jules Coleman, Rational Choice Theory holds that human action is both intentional and rational. “The rationality of intentional action is evaluated along the two dimensions corresponding to the two elements of the belief-desire model.” On the belief-dimension, RC Theory assumes that people are “able to draw appropriate inferences from the information they possess.”.
Let me begin with a true story. Years ago, early in my career as a professor of philosophy, I had a fascinating series of conversations with a student whom I will call Peter. He was a bright and incisive senior, with a double major in philosophy and psychology. Raised in a religious family, the son of a Christian minister, he was himself unable to believe. His doubts were too strong. But the odd fact was that he genuinely wanted to believe. (...) His religious scepticism deeply troubled him; part of him envied the faith of his parents. How do you go about making yourself believe?, he asked me. How do you go about having the kinds of religious experiences that lead people to faith? These were long and intense conversations, and I was unable to move Peter away from his doubts. So far as I know he is still a sceptic. (shrink)
A Scientific Approach The facts detailed in this briefing are the results of scientific exploration of terror networks and sacred values and their association to political violence. The research is sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the National Science Foundation.
In this paper I shall discuss a certain theodicy, or line of argument in response to the problem of evil, viz, the so-called ‘free will defence’. What I propose to do is defend this theodicy against an objection that has been made to it in recent years.
From at least the time of the writing of The Philosophical Fragments , Søren Kierkegaard's work takes a special interest in both the transition from unbelief to faith and the character of the life of true faith. Trained in Lutheran dogma and convinced of the radical nature of human freedom, his work on this subject demonstrates a profound concern for and grasp of Lutheran orthodoxy, as well as a remarkable degree of subtlety. After all, it is no simple task to (...) give an account of the central features of the Christian life that is faithful to both a libertarian conception of human freedom and the doctrines of the church founded by the author of The Bondage of the Will . This paper proposes to accomplish two things: first, to state a problem that lies on the surface of Kierkegaard's account of the transformation involved in Christian conversion and second to present a resolution of the problem that is faithful to Kierkegaard's intentions. (shrink)
Toward the end of Hume's Dialogues concerning Natural Religion, Philo catalogues the ‘frivolous observances’, ‘rapturous ecstasies’ and ‘bigotted credulity’ of ‘vulgar superstition’, concluding that ‘true religion, I allow, has no such pernicious consequences: But we must treat of religion, as it has com monly been found in the world’. This would be a mild enough sort of caveat were it not nigh on impossible to determine exactly what counts as true religion, and how it figures in Hume's argument. Typically, answers (...) to this puzzle have required identifying the positions of the discussants, and then arguing that one of them represents Hume's views. A catalogue of the options may prove instructive. (shrink)
Recently, in this journal, Jeremy Gwiazda has offered a critique of our separationist view of hell. His objection relies on two key assumptions, and we show in our reply that both assumptions can be denied.
The French philosopher Jacques Rancière is well known across the world for his groundbreaking contributions to aesthetic and political theory and for his radical rethinking of the question of equality. This much-needed new collection situates Rancière's thought in a range of practical and theoretical contexts. These specially commissioned essays cover the complete history of Rancière's work and reflect its interdisciplinary reach. They span his early historical research of the 1960s and '70s, his celebrated critique of pedagogy and his later political (...) theory of dissensus and disagreement, as well as his ongoing analysis of literature and 'the aesthetic regime of art'. Rancière's resistance to psychoanalytic thinking is also explored, as are his most recent publications on film and film theory. Contributors include Tom Conley, Carolyn Steedman, Geneviève Fraisse, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jeremy Lane, and many more. The book also includes a brand new interview with Rancière, reflecting on his intellectual project and developing new lines of thought from his latest major work, _Aisthesis_. _Rancière Now_ will be essential reading for students and scholars across the humanities and social sciences; it will stimulate and inspire discussion of Rancière’s work for years to come. (shrink)
In this brief reply to Stephen Davis, I argue that Davis’s separationist position, wherein those who remain eternally apart from God do so by choice, is internally contradictory in that it leads to universalism.
Many people believe that the abortion debate will end when at some point in the future it will be possible for fetuses to develop outside the womb. Ectogenesis, as this technology is called, would make possible to reconcile pro-life and pro-choice positions. That is because it is commonly believed that there is no right to the death of the fetus if it can be detached alive and gestated in an artificial womb. Recently Eric Mathison and JeremyDavis defended (...) this position, by arguing against three common arguments for a right to the death of the fetus. I claim that their arguments are mistaken. I argue that there is a right to the death of the fetus because gestating a fetus in an artificial womb when genetic parents refuse it violates their rights not to become a biological parent, their rights to genetic privacy and their property rights. The right to the death of the fetus, however, is not a woman's right but genetic parents’ collective right which only can be used together. (shrink)
Ectogenesis, or the use of an artificial womb to allow a foetus to develop, will likely become a reality within a few decades, and could significantly affect the abortion debate. We first examine the implications for Judith Jarvis Thomson’s violinist analogy, which argues for a woman’s right to withdraw life support from the foetus and so terminate her pregnancy, even if the foetus is granted full moral status. We show that on Thomson’s reasoning, there is no right to the death (...) of the foetus, and abortion is not permissible if ectogenesis is available, provided it is safe and inexpensive. This raises the question of whether there are persuasive reasons for the right to the death of the foetus that could be exercised in the context of ectogenesis. Eric Mathison and JeremyDavis have examined several arguments for this right, doubting that it exists, while Joona Räsänen has recently criticized their reasoning. We respond to Räsänen’s analysis, concluding that his arguments are unsuccessful, and that there is no right to the death of the foetus in these circumstances. (shrink)
Stephen Davis has argued that the second ontological argument fails as a theistic proof because it ignores the logical possibility of what he calls an ontologically impossible being. By an “ontologically impossible being” he means a being that does not exist, logically-possibly exists, and would exist necessarily if it existed. In this brief essay, I argue, first, that even if an OIB is logically possible, its logical possibility is irrelevant to the OA at issue; and second, that an OIB (...) is in fact logically impossible, because the predicates which define it are inconsistent. The concept of an OIB may be coherent if necessity is understood as ontological self-sufficiency, but even so the OIB is irrelevant to the OA. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Part I. General: 1. The Gödel editorial project: a synopsis Solomon Feferman; 2. Future tasks for Gödel scholars John W. Dawson, Jr., and Cheryl A. Dawson; Part II. Proof Theory: 3. Kurt Gödel and the metamathematical tradition Jeremy Avigad; 4. Only two letters: the correspondence between Herbrand and Gödel Wilfried Sieg; 5. Gödel's reformulation of Gentzen's first consistency proof for arithmetic: the no-counter-example interpretation W. W. Tait; 6. Gödel on intuition and on Hilbert's finitism W. (...) W. Tait; 7. The Gödel hierarchy and reverse mathematics Stephen G. Simpson ; 8. On the outside looking in: a caution about conservativeness John P. Burgess; Part III. Set Theory: 9. Gödel and set theory Akihiro Kanamori; 10. Generalizations of Gödel's universe of constructible sets Sy-David Friedman; 11. On the question of absolute undecidability Peter Koellner; Part IV. Philosophy of Mathematics: 12. What did Gödel believe and when did he believe it? Martin Davis; 13. On Gödel's way in: the influence of Rudolf Carnap Warren Goldfarb; 14. Gödel and Carnap Steve Awodey and A. W. Carus; 15. On the philosophical development of Kurt Gödel Mark van Atten and Juliette Kennedy; 16. Platonism and mathematical intuition in Kurt Gödel's thought Charles Parsons; 17. Gödel's conceptual realism Donald A. Martin. (shrink)
Jeremy Bentham was an ardent secularist convinced that society could be sustained without the support of religious institutions or beliefs. This is writ large in the commonly neglected books on religion he wrote and published during the last twenty-five years of his life. However his earliest writings on the subject date from the 1770s, when as a young man he first embarked on his calling as a legal theorist and social reformer. From that time on, religion was never far (...) from the centre of his thoughts. In Secular Utilitarianism, James Crimmins illustrates the nature, extent, and depth of Jeremy Bentham's concern with religion, from his Oxford days of first doubts to the middle years of quiet unbelief, and finally, the zealous atheism and secularism of his later life. Dr Crimmins provides an interpretation of Bentham's thought in which his religious views, hitherto of little interest to Bentham scholars, are shown to be integral: on the one hand intimately associated with the metaphysical, epistemological, and psychological principles which gave shape to his system as a whole, and on the other central to the development of his entirely secular view of society. (shrink)
L’Autrice si propone di tracciare la genealogia della posizione neoliberale, partendo soprattutto dai testi di Gary Becker. Il pensiero economico neoliberale è posto in relazione con la rivoluzione scientifica e l’operazione di matematizzazione della natura che da essa scaturisce. Questo percorso porterà poi a Jeremy Bentham, il cui sistema è spesso visto come antesignano degli studiosi neoliberali. Secondo la tesi sostenuta dall’Autrice, il neoliberalismo presenta il proprio sguardo come una neutra e scientifica descrizione del reale, sennonché in tale mossa (...) si annida pur sempre una tendenza normativa. È così che gli economisti neoliberali elaborano un sistema che è altresì prescrittivo, proponendo un modello che si pone sul piano politico; modello il quale viene qui designato con il nome di «utopia economica». (shrink)
En el marco ambiental del XIX se produce la penetración de Jeremy Bentham en el horizonte intelectual salmantino. Bentham el filósofo-legislador se avenía perfectamente con el espíritu de renovación jurídico y política que se respiraba en los círculos más inquietos de la Universidad de Salamanca a comienzos del siglo XIX. El método utilitarista de Bentham propiciaba una vía nueva para fundamentar una ética jurídica y política a posteriori; en vista de los resultados dolorosos y placenteros del acto humano y (...) de sus repercusiones prósperas o nocivas en el plano social. De ahí, que la minoría intelectual que en la Universidad de Salamanca aspiraba a una profunda revisión de los esquemas didácticos vigentes eligiera la doctrina de Bentham como la más adecuada y eficaz para el logro de sus propósitos. (shrink)
v. 1. 1752-76.--v. 2. 1777-80.--v. 3. January 1781 to October 1788.--v. 4. 1788-1793.--v. 5. 1794-1797.--v. 6. January 1798 to December 1801.--v. 7. January 1802 to December 1808.--v. 8. January 1809 to December 1816.--v. 9. January 1817 to June 1820.-- v. 10. July 1820 to December 1821.--v. 11. January 1822 to June 1824.--v. 12. July 1824-June 1828.
Mill, J. S. Bentham.--Whewell, W. Bentham.--Watson, J. Bentham.--Hart, H. L. A. Bentham.--Parekh, B. Bentham's justification of the principle of utility.--Peardon, T. Bentham's ideal republic.--Hart, H. L. A. Bentham on sovereignty.--Burns, J. H. Bentham's critique of political fallacies.--Mitchell, W. C. Bentham's felicific calculus.--Roberts, D. Jeremy Bentham and the Victorian administrative state.
The new critical edition of the works and correspondence of Jeremy Bentham is being prepared and published under the supervision of the Bentham Committee of University College London. In spite of his importance as jurist, philosopher, and social scientist, and leader of the Utilitarian reformers, the only previous edition of his works was a poorly edited and incomplete one brought out within a decade or so of his death. Eight volumes of the new Collected Works, five of correspondence, and (...) three of writings on jurisprudence, appeared between 1968 and 1981, published by the Athlone Press. Further volumes in the series since then are published by Oxford University Press. The overall plan and principles of the edition are set out in the General Preface to The Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 1, which was the first volume of the Collected Works to be published.An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, Jeremy Bentham's best-known work, is a classic text in modern philosophy and jurisprudence. First published in 1789, it contains the important statement of the foundations of utilitarian philosophy and a pioneering study of crime and punishment, both of which remain at the heart of contemporary debates in moral and political philosophy, economics, and legal theory. Printed here in full is the definitive edition, edited by the distinguished scholars J. H. Burns and H. L. A. Hart. An introductory essay by Hart, first published in 1982 and a widely acknowledged classic in its own right, is reprinted here. It contains an important analysis of Bentham's principle of utility, theory of action, and an account of the relationship between law and morality.A new introduction by the leading Bentham scholar F. Rosen, specially written for this Clarendon Paperback edition, provides students with a helpful survey of Bentham's main ideas and an extensive bibliographical study of recent critical work on Bentham. Professor Rosen's essay also contains a new analysis of the principle of utility in Bentham's philosophy which is compared with its use in Hume and J. S. Mill. (shrink)
The writings collected in this volume make an important addition to The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. They lend credence to Bentham's claim that his ideas were appropriate `for the use of all nations and all governments professing liberal opinions'. The essays, dating mainly from late 1822 and early 1823, are based exclusively on manuscripts, many of which have not been previously published. -/- Turning his attention towards the Mediterranean basin, Bentham here attempts to legislate for one Islamic state, (...) and offers advice to another in the process of throwing off Islamic rule. The Writings for Tripoli include the famous `Securities against Misrule', in which Bentham draws up a constitutional charter with an accompanying explanation of its provisions. He also discusses the social, political, and religious institutions of the country, and proposes a scheme for the introduction of constitutional reform both there and in the other Barbary states. The Writings for Greece include a rare commentary on the first Greek constitution of 1822, and advice and warnings to the Greek legislators against the temptation of `sinister appetites'. The main theme in both groups of writings is the efficacy of representative institutions and the publicity of official actions in preventing the abuse of government power. (shrink)
This is the tenth volume of the Correspondence produced in the new edition of The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. The great majority of the letters have never before been published. They illustrate the composition, editing, publication, and reception of several of his works. The volume reveals Bentham's attempts to influence developments in France, the USA, Greece, Spain, Portugal, and South America. Despite Bentham's importance as jurist, philosopher, and social scientist, and leader of the Utilitarian reformers, the only previous (...) edition of his works was a poorly edited and incomplete one brought out within a decade or so of his death. This new critical edition of his works and correspondence is being prepared by the Bentham Committee of University College London. (shrink)