Since it is now broadly acknowledged that ethics should receive early consideration in discourse on emerging technologies, ethical debates tend to flourish even while new fields of technology are still in their infancy. Such debates often liberally mix existing applications with technologies in the pipeline and far-reaching visions. This paper analyses the problems associated with this use of ethics as “preparatory” research, taking discourse on human enhancement in general and on pharmaceutical cognitive enhancement in particular as an example. The paper (...) will outline and discuss the gap between the scientific and technological state of the art and the ethical debates, pointing out epistemic problems in this context. Furthermore, it will discuss the future role of genuine ethical reflection in discourse on human enhancement, arguing also that such discourse needs to include a technology assessment—in the broad sense of the term—which encompasses, inter alia, anthropological perspectives and aspects of social theory. (shrink)
Tracing a central theme of Plato's Republic , G. R. F. Ferrari reconsiders in this study the nature and purpose of the comparison between the structure of society and that of the individual soul. In four chapters, Ferrari examines the personalities and social status of the brothers Glaucon and Adeimantus, Plato's notion of justice, coherence in Plato's description of the decline of states, and the tyrant and the philosopher king—a pair who, in their different ways, break with the (...) terms of the city-soul analogy. In addition to acknowledging familiar themes in the interpretation of the Republic —the sincerity of its utopianism, the justice of the philosopher's return to the Cave—Ferrari provocatively engages secondary literature by Leo Strauss, Bernard Williams, and Jonathan Lear. With admirable clarity and insight, Ferrari conveys the relation between the city and the soul and the choice between tyranny and philosophy. City and Soul in Plato's Republic will be of value to students of classics, philosophy, and political theory alike. (shrink)
This full-length study of Plato's dialogue Phaedrus, now in paperback, is written in the belief that such concerted scrutiny of a single dialogue is an important part of the project of understanding Plato so far as possible 'from the inside' - of gaining a feel for the man's philosophy. The focus of this account is on how the resources both of persuasive myth and of formal argument, for all that Plato sets them in strong contrast, nevertheless complement and reinforce each (...) other in his philosophy. Not only is the dialogue in its formal structure a dovetail of myth and argument, but the philosophic life that it praises is also shaped by an acknowledgement of the limitations of argument and the importance of mythical understanding. By means of this correlation of form and content Plato invites his readers, through the very act of reading, to take a first step along the path of the philosophical life. (shrink)
This Companion provides a fresh and comprehensive account of this outstanding work, which remains among the most frequently read works of Greek philosophy, indeed of Classical antiquity in general. The sixteen essays, by authors who represent various academic disciplines, bring a spectrum of interpretive approaches to bear in order to aid the understanding of a wide-ranging audience, from first-time readers of the Republic who require guidance, to more experienced readers who wish to explore contemporary currents in the work’s interpretation. The (...) three initial chapters address aspects of the work as a whole. They are followed by essays that match closely the sequence in which topics are presented in the ten books of the Republic. Since the Republic returns frequently to the same topics by different routes, so do the authors of this volume, who provide the readers with divergent yet complementary perspectives by which to appreciate the Republic’s principal concerns. (shrink)
In Truth and Objectivity, Crispin Wright argues that because truth is a distinctively normative property, it cannot be as metaphysically insubstantive as deflationists claim.1 This argument has been taken, together with the scope problem,2 as one of the main motivations for alethic pluralism.3 We offer a reconstruction of Wright’s Inflationary Argument (henceforth IA) aimed at highlighting what are the steps required to establish its inflationary conclusion. We argue that if a certain metaphysical and epistemological view of a given subject matter (...) is accepted, a local counterexample to IA can be constructed. We focus on the domain of basic taste and we develop two variants of a subjectivist and relativist metaphysics and epistemology that seems palatable in that domain. Although we undertake no commitment to this being the right metaphysical cum epistemological package for basic taste, we contend that if the metaphysics and the epistemology of basic taste are understood along these lines, they call for a truth property whose nature is not distinctively normative—contra what IA predicts. This result shows that the success of IA requires certain substantial metaphysical and epistemological principles and that, consequently, a proper assessment of IA cannot avoid taking a stance on the metaphysics and the epistemology of the domain where it is claimed to be successful. Although we conjecture that IA might succeed in other domains, in this paper we don’t take a stand on this issue. We conclude by briefly discussing the significance of this result for the debate on alethic pluralism. (shrink)
ABSTRACTEcumenical Alethic Pluralism is a novel kind of alethic pluralism. It is ecumenical in that it widens the scope of alethic pluralism by allowing for a normatively deflated truth property alongside a variety of normatively robust truth properties. We establish EAP by showing how Wright’s Inflationary Arguments fail in the domain of taste, once a relativist treatment of the metaphysics and epistemology of that domain is endorsed. EAP is highly significant to current debates on the nature of truth insofar as (...) it involves a reconfiguration of the dialectic between deflationists and pluralists. (shrink)
Against the consensus that Aristotle in the "Poetics" sets out to give tragedy a role in exercising or improving the mature citizen's moral sensibilities, I argue that his aim is rather to analyse what makes a work of literature successful in its own terms, and in particular how a tragic drama can achieve the effect of suspense. The proper pleasure of tragedy is produced by the plotting and eventual dispelling of the play's suspense. Aristotle claims that poetry 'says what is (...) universal' not in order to suggest that poetry achieves anything of the effect of philosophy, but to explain how in creating his plots the poet takes into consideration what, in general, could be expected to happen. Chapter 4 of the "Poetics" is not a theory of mimesis but an analysis of the lowest common denominator of the pleasure we take in fictions. The inevitability or likelihood by which events in the tragic plot are to be connected has an aesthetic rather than a moral function. Doing away with the irrationality of chance and increasing the human intelligibility of the action is not its point; the point is to furnish the plot with the second half of the formula for successful suspense: that events in the plot should happen 'against expectation because of one another'. The first half of the formula is examined under the rubric of peripety or reversal. The formula as a whole describes the pivotal moment when the pieces of the plot suddenly fit with a configuration that only in retrospect can we see to have been falling into place all along. Pity and fear are the emotions on which Aristotle focusses because they are the emotions engaged by the tightening-towards-release of literary suspense. And the pleasure of catharsis is the pleasure of that release. (shrink)
It is now generally accepted that the motor system is not purely dedicated to the control of behavior, but also has cognitive functions. Mirror neurons have provided a new perspective on how sensory information regarding others’ actions and gestures is coupled with the internal cortical motor representation of them. This coupling allows an individual to enrich his interpretation of the social world through the activation of his own motor representations. Such mechanisms have been highly preserved in evolution as they are (...) present in humans, apes and monkeys. Recent neuroanatomical data showed that there are two different connectivity patterns in mirror neuron networks in the macaque: one is concerned with sensorimotor transformation in relation to reaching and hand grasping within the traditional parietal-premotor circuits; the second one is linked to the mouth/face motor control and the new data show that it is connected with limbic structures. The mouth mirror sector seems to be wired not only for ingestive behaviors but also for orofacial communicative gestures and vocalizations. Notably, the hand and mouth mirror networks partially overlap, suggesting the importance of hand-mouth synergies not only for sensorimotor transformation, but also for communicative purposes in order to better convey and control social signals. (shrink)
In the following three chapters, Ferraris examines the universalization of the domain of interpretation with Heidegger, the development of Heideggerian philosophical hermeneutics with Gadamer and Derrida, and the relation between hermeneutics and epistemology, on the one hand, and the human sciences, on the other.
I present a novel strategy to account for two thoughts concerning disagreements about taste: (i) that they need not involve any substantive fault (faultlessness); (ii) that the faultlessness of a contrary opinion can be coherently appreciated from within a committed perspective (parity). Under the assumption that judgments of taste are truth-apt and governed by the truth-norm, I argue that understanding how exactly truth is normative offers a strategy for accounting for both thoughts. I distinguish between different ways in which truth (...) governs judgment to substantiate the thesis that truth’s normative function varies according to the subject matter at issue. I then argue that truth’s normative guidance in the domain of taste is characteristically weak. I introduce an intuitive distinction between basic and refined taste, and show how this distinction affects questions of faultlessness and parity. Last, I discuss the idea of alethic suberogation in connection with disagreement about refined taste. (shrink)
Plato's Republic has proven to be of astounding influence and importance. Justly celebrated as Plato's central text, it brings together all of his prior works, unifying them into a comprehensive vision that is at once theological, philosophical, political, and moral. These essays provide a a state-of-the-art research picture of the most interesting aspects of the Republic, and address questions that continue to puzzle and provoke, such as: Does Plato succeed in his argument that the life of justice is the most (...) attractive one? Is his tripartite analysis of the soul coherent and plausible? Why does Plato seem to have to force his philosopher-guardians to rule when they know this is something they ought to do? What is the point of the strange and complicated closing Myth of Er? This volume will be essential to those looking for thoughtful and detailed excursions into the problems posed by Plato's text and ideas. (shrink)
Abstract In his paper “The Opposite of Human Enhancement: Nanotechnology and the Blind Chicken problem” ( Nanoethics 2: 305-36, 2008) Thompson argued that technological attempts to reduce or eliminate selected non-human animals’ capabilities (animal disenhancements) in order to solve or mitigate animal welfare problems in animals’ use pose a philosophical conundrum, because there is a contradiction between rational arguments in favor of these technological interventions and intuitions against them. In her response “Animal Disenhancement and the Non-Identity Problem: A Response to (...) Thompson” ( Nanoethics 5:43–48, 2011), Palmer maintained that the philosophical conundrum is even deeper if we introduce the non-identity problem into the discussion. In my brief response, I claim that in order to avoid the pitfalls of speculative ethics, empirical facts related to the technologies involved as well as costs for the non-human animals have to be taken into account. Depending on which changes we are referring to, ethical problems can be seen very differently. Widening the consideration to the socio-economic context in which non-human animals are currently used by humans, I challenge the idea of genuine philosophical conundrums from an antispeciesist and abolitionist perspective. Only in a context of exploitation, in which non-human animals are deprived of basic rights and their existence is totally dependent on human exploitation, the contradictions between improvement of welfare and disenhancement of capabilities make sense. Content Type Journal Article Category Critical Discussion Notes Pages 1-12 DOI 10.1007/s11569-012-0139-1 Authors Arianna Ferrari, KIT/ITAS (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology/Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis), Karlsruhe, Germany Journal NanoEthics Online ISSN 1871-4765 Print ISSN 1871-4757. (shrink)
According to the form of logical pluralism elaborated by Beall and Restall there is more than one relation of logical consequence. Since they take the relation of logical consequence to reside at the very heart of a logical system, different relations of logical consequence yield different logics. In this paper, we are especially interested in understanding what are the consequences of endorsing Beall and Restall’s version of logical pluralism vis-à-vis the normative guidance that logic is taken to provide to reasoners. (...) In particular, the aim of this paper is threefold. First, in Sections 2 and 3, we offer an exegesis of Beall and Restall’s logical pluralism as a thesis of semantic indeterminacy of our concept of logical consequence – i.e. understood as indeterminacy logical pluralism. Second, in Sections 4 and 5, we elaborate and critically scrutinize three models of semantic indeterminacy that we think are fit to capture Beall and Restall’s indeterminacy logical pluralism. Third, in Section 6, following Beall and Restall’s assumption that the notion of logical consequence has normative significance for deductive reasoning, we raise a series of normative problems for indeterminacy logical pluralism. The overall conclusion that we aim to establish is that Beall and Restall’s indeterminate logical pluralism cannot offer an adequate account of the normative guidance that logic is taken to provide us with in ordinary contexts of reasoning. (shrink)
Este artículo analiza la potencialidad teórica de los análisis de movilidad social desde una perspectiva de la clase social. La temática de la movilidad social ha sido una de las más relevantes dentro del mundo de la sociología, para dar cuenta del patrón de fluidez social. El tema ha sido dejado de lado acusando a los estudios de movilidad social de referir a una visión política según la cual los individuos tienen oportunidades de moverse hacia diferentes estratos sociales, y lo (...) harán de manera meritocrática según el esfuerzo que pongan en hacerlo. Creemos necesario retomar la preocupación del análisis de los procesos de movilidad social a la luz de los análisis de estructuración social, centrándose en el concepto de clase. El presente trabajo aborda esa cuestión, relacionando los conceptos desde las perspectivas marxista, funcionalista y weberiana. (shrink)
This article presents a novel set of ten play scenarios for robot-assisted play for children with special needs. This set of scenarios is one of the key outcomes of the IROMEC project that investigated how robotic toys can become social mediators, encouraging children with special needs to discover a range of play styles, from solitary to collaborative play. The target user groups in the project were children with Mild Mental Retardation,1 children with Severe Motor Impairment and children with Autism. The (...) play scenarios were developed against specific educational and therapeutic objectives that were discussed with panels of experts in various countries, during several user panel meetings for each of the above mentioned target user groups. These objectives were classified with reference to the ICF-CY, the International Classification of Functioning – version for Children and Youth. The article presents a detailed description of the play scenarios, each with its relevant educational and therapeutic objectives in five key developmental areas. While the play scenarios described in this paper originally were developed for and tested with the above user groups and with the IROMEC robot, the play scenarios can potentially be applied to other user groups and to a wide range of other applications involving human-robot interaction using different robotic toys. Keywords: human-robot interaction; assistive technology; play scenarios; autism; mild mental retardation; sever motor impairment; assisted play. (shrink)
This paper aims to review different discourses within the emerging field of ethical reflection on nanotechnology. I will start by analysing the early stages of this debate, showing how it has been focused on searching for legitimacy for this sphere of moral inquiry. I will then characterise an ethical approach, common to many authors, which frames ethical issues in terms of risks and benefits. This approach identifies normative issues where there are conflicts of interest or where challenges to the fundamental (...) values of our society arise. In response to the limitations of this approach, other commentators have called for more profound analysis of the limits of our knowledge, and have appealed to values, such as sustainability or responsibility, which should, they suggest, inform nanotechnological development (I will define this approach as a “sophisticated form of prudence”). After showing the ways in which these frameworks are limited, I will examine more recent developments in debates on nanoethics which call for the contextualisation of ethical discourse in its ontological, epistemic and socio-economic and political reflections. Such contextualisation thus involves inquiry into the ‘metaphysical research program’ (MRP) of nanotechnology/ies and analysis of the socio-economic, political and historical reality of nano. These ideas offer genuinely new insights into the kind of approach required for nanoethical reflection: they recover a sense of the present alongside the need to engage with the past, while avoiding speculation on the future. (shrink)
In this paper I offer some critical comments to MacFarlane's recent book "Assessment Sensitivity". I focus primarily on MacFarlane's understanding of the normative aspects of enquiry—in particular I take issue with the phenomena of retraction and disagreement as preclusion of joint accuracy. I argue that both notions are problematic and that—at least in the case of basic taste—they are not needed in order to account for our intuitions.
Assessment relativism, as developed by John MacFarlane, is the view that the truth of our claims involving a variety of English expressions—‘tasty’, ‘knows’, ‘tomorrow’, ‘might’, and ‘ought’—is relative not only to aspects of the context of their production but also to aspects of the context in which they are assessed. Assessment relativism is thus a form of truth relativism which is offered as a new way of understanding perspectival thought and talk. In this article, I present the main theses of (...) assessment relativism, focusing in particular on highlighting the points of commonality and contrast with other forms of truth relativism. I then offer some critical remarks concerning the motivation of assessment relativism in relation to matters of taste. (shrink)
Some philosophers have argued that truth is a norm of judgement and have provided a variety of formulations of this general thesis. In this paper, I shall side with these philosophers and assume that truth is a norm of judgement. What I am primarily interested in here are two core questions concerning the judgement-truth norm: (i) what are the normative relationships between truth and judgement? And (ii) do these relationships vary or are they constant? I argue for a pluralist picture—what (...) I call Normative Alethic Pluralism (NAP)—according to which (i) there is more than one correct judgement-truth norm and (ii) the normative relationships between truth and judgement vary in relation to the subject matter of the judgement. By means of a comparative analysis of disagreement in three areas of the evaluative domain—refined aesthetics, basic taste and morality—I show that there is an important variability in the normative significance of disagreement—I call this the variability conjecture. By presenting a variation of Lynch’s scope problem for alethic monism, I argue that a monistic approach to the normative function of truth is unable to vindicate the conjecture. I then argue that normative alethic pluralism provides us with a promising model to account for it. (shrink)
This study supports the idea that fields form around issues, and describes the roles of various stakeholders in the structuring, shaping, and legitimating of the emerging field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). A model of the institutional history of the CSR field is outlined, of which a key stage is the appearance of CSR rating agencies as the significant players and Institutional Entrepreneurs of the field. We show to which extent the creation and further development of CSR rating agencies, and (...) the activism of other significant stakeholders of the field (typically portrayed as “standard setters” and “regulatory agents”), contribute to the institutionalization of CSR. With this in mind, among various stakeholders that legitimate the field of CSR, we present the efforts of global and local stakeholders such as the European Union, the United Nations, the International Organization for Standardization, and governments and their interactions. We suggest that the different paths of CSR development and institutionalization in France and in the United States depend on the nature of local and global stakeholders’ involvement in this process and their interactions. (shrink)
Resumen: Los objetivos de mi trabajo son: explorar la génesis de la función llamada “arco intencional” en la infancia, entenderla como un proceso de desarrollo paulatino y analizar los procesos intermedios que intervienen en su definición. Asimismo, intentaré demostrar que el concepto de arco intencional, aunque poco desarrollado por Merleau-Ponty, conlleva consecuencias que impregnan y sostienen gran parte de su teoría perceptual. Esclarecer la trama conceptual que lo fundamenta no sólo podrá arrojar luz sobre la génesis de la percepción en (...) su teoría, sino que también aportará herramientas valiosas para explicar los inicios de la constitución del cuerpo habitual en la niñez.: This paper aims to explore the genesis of the function called “intentional arc” during childhood, considering it as a process of gradual development and analysing the intermediate processes that collaborate in its definition. I also attempt to demonstrate that the concept of intentional arc, though scarcely developed by Merleau-Ponty, has consequences that imbue and support much of his perceptual theory. Clarifying the conceptual framework that sustains it can not only shed light on the genesis of perception in his theory, but also provides valuable tools to account for the beginning of the constitution of the habitual body in childhood. (shrink)
Este trabajo tendrá como objetivo llevar a cabo un análisis de la apropiación que el filósofo Maurice Merleau-Ponty realiza del concepto de esquema corporal, para así dilucidar las implicancias que el mismo posee en la descripción que elabora de la construcción del cuerpo propio en la primera infancia. Teniendo en cuenta que el reconocimiento del otro y de mí mismo como una individualidad disociada del entorno es un proceso que se desarrolla durante los primeros meses de vida del bebé, se (...) explorará el rol que la impregnación postural, la propiocepción y la imaginación poseen en la construcción del esquema corporal en el comienzo de la vida del niño. Plantear la propiocepción como puerta de entrada a la organización corporal puede explicar la apertura de nuestro esquema desde las primeras semanas de vida, haciendo de la acción y de los otros una parte constitutiva de mi subjetividad aun cuando esta no ha logrado organizarse. (shrink)
Empathy is the phenomenal experience of mirroring ourselves into others. It can be explained in terms of simulations of actions, sensations, and emotions which constitute a shared manifold for intersubjectivity. Simulation, in turn, can be sustained at the subpersonal level by a series of neural mirror matching systems.
Since the publication of Truth, Paul Horwich’s ‘Minimalism’ has become the paradigm of what goes under the label ‘the deflationary conception of truth’. Despite the many theoretical virtues of Horwich’s minimalism, it is usually contended that it cannot fully account for the normative role that truth plays in enquiry. As I see it, this concern amounts to several challenges. One such challenge—call it the axiological challenge—is about whether deflationists have the theoretical resources to explain the value of truth. Some philosophers (...) have argued that they do not. The thought is that by being valuable in the way it is, truth plays a non-trivial explanatory role with respect to core phenomena of enquiry. In order to account for this aspect of truth, the challenge goes, we need to inflate truth’s nature to an extent incompatible with core tenets of the minimalist conception. In this paper, I first provide some clarifications of what we mean exactly when we say that truth is valuable. By borrowing important distinction from the current debate in axiology, I elaborate a framework within which to conduct investigations into the value of truth. With reference to Horwich’s discussion of the issue, I then discuss the link between questions concerning the explanatory role of truth and the issue of its metaphysical inflation. I conclude by briefly exploring a few strategies on behalf of minimalists to address the axiological challenge. (shrink)
We get cut-free sequent calculi for the interpolable propositional intermediate logics by translating suitable duplication-free tableau calculi developed within a semantical framework. From this point of view, the paper also provides semantical proofs of the admissibility of the cut-rule for appropriate cut-free sequent calculi.
In this article I defend two theses. The first is that the centrality of recording in the social world is manifested through the production of documents, a phenomenon which has been present since the earliest phases of society and which has undergone an exponential growth through the technological developments of the last decades. The second is that the centrality of documents leads to a view of normativity according to which human beings are primarily passive receptors of rules manifested through documents. (...) We are not intentional producers of values. The latter, as I shall suggest in my conclusion, should be viewed as being ‘socially dependent’ rather than ‘socially constructed’. (shrink)
A proof is given that the set of maximal intermediate propositional logics with the disjunction property and the set of maximal intermediate predicate logics with the disjunction property and the explicit definability property have the power of continuum. To prove our results, we introduce various notions which might be interesting by themselves. In particular, we illustrate a method to generate wide sets of pairwise "constructively incompatible constructive logics". We use a notion of "semiconstructive" logic and define wide sets of "constructive" (...) logics by representing the "constructive" logics as "limits" of decreasing sequences of "semiconstructive" logics. Also, we introduce some generalizations of the usual filtration techniques for propositional logics. For instance, "filtrations over rank formulas" are used to show that any two different logics belonging to a suitable uncountable set of "constructive" logics are "constructively incompatible". (shrink)
In order to understand the system wherein human resource management practices are determined by the interactions of a complex system of actors, it is necessary to have a conceptual framework of analysis. In this respect, the works of scholars (Mitroff, 1983, Stakeholders of the Organizational Mind, Jessey-Bass; Freeman, 1984, Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach, Pitman) concerning stakeholder theory opened new perspectives in management theory. An organisation is understood as being part of a politico-economic system of stakeholders who interact and influence (...) management practices. Each stakeholder tries to optimise and protect his interests (Frooman, 1999, Academy of Management Review 24, 191–205; Savage et al., 1991, Academy of Management Executive 5(2), 61–75). The framework of stakeholder analysis enables escape from a purely instrumental approach to HRM, and avoids reducing our understanding of conflicts within companies to mere antagonism between employees and their employers. It enables us to point out the existence of other stakeholders in the relationship. Notably, it allows for the incorporation into management theory of actors from the sphere of politics (president of the republic, government, national elected representatives – deputies and senators – and locally elected representatives – mayors and regional councillors, etc.) as well as their dependent administrations. All these actors are considered to be stakeholders who define the legal framework of firm management and guarantee the application of these laws. (shrink)
We are happy to feature four invited submissions by Lisa Guenther, Kym Maclaren, Bonnie Mann, and Gayle Salamon, all of whom respond to the questions motivating our inaugural issue. Both Salamon and Maclaren offer a response to the question “What is critical phenomenology?” by exploring the productive relationship between critical theory and phenomenology. Salamon does this by tracing the history of the term critical phenomenology. Maclaren further explores the productive relationship between critical theory and phenomenology en route to her analysis (...) of intimacy. Focusing on the phenomena of shame and long-term solitary confinement, Mann and Guenther take up that question by performing the work of critical phenomenology. Mann also offers suggestions regarding critical or, as she calls it, feminist phenomenology’s relation to the tradition—both of classical phenomenology and feminist philosophy. Guenther shows how the work of critical phenomenology is already at play in the practices of resistance among prisoners in the Security Housing Unit of Pelican Bay State Prison in California. (shrink)