While "moral naturalism" is sometimes used to refer to any approach to metaethics intended to cohere with naturalism in metaphysics more generally, the label is more usually reserved for naturalistic forms of moral realism according to which there are objective moral facts and properties and these moral facts and properties are natural facts and properties. Views of this kind appeal to many as combining the advantages of naturalism and realism but have seemed to many others to do inadequate justice to (...) central dimensions of our practice with our moral concepts. This entry examines some of these concerns and some ways in which moral naturalists have responded to them. It also profiles central aspects of the more particular views of some leading contemporary advocates of moral naturalism. (shrink)
Smith has defended the rationalist's conceptual claim that moral requirements are categorical requirements of reason, arguing that no status short of this would make sense of our taking these requirements as seriously as we do. Against this I argue that Smith has failed to show either that our moral commitments would be undermined by possessing only an internal, contextual justification or that they need presuppose any expectation that rational agents must converge on their acceptance. His claim that this rationalistic understanding (...) of metaethics is required for the intelligibility of moral disagreement is also found to be inadequately supported. It is further proposed that the rationalist's substantive claims - that there are such categorical requirements of reason and that our actual moral commitments are a case in point - are liable to disappointment; and that the conceptual claim is fatally undermined by reflection on how we might best respond to such disappointment. (shrink)
One of us -- Alfred Mele (1996; 2003, ch. 5) -- has argued that possible instances of listlessness falsify the combination of cognitivism and various kinds of internalism about positive first-person moral ought-beliefs. If an argument recently advanced by James Lenman (1999) is successful, listlessnessis impossible and Mele's argument from listlessness therefore fails.However, we will argue that Lenman's argument is unpersuasive.
This book proposes an account of the place of the theory of race in Kant’s thought as a central part of philosophical anthropology in his political system. Kant’s theory of race, this book argues, is integral to the analysis of the “Charakteristik” of the human species and determined by human natural predispositions. The understanding of his theory as such suggests not only an alternative reading to the orthodox narrative we have seen so far but also reveals the underlying centrality of (...) the notion of human natural predispositions in a way that is consequential for Kant’s philosophy as a whole. What is the impact of Kant’s racial theory on his philosophy and political thought? Is Kant a consistent egalitarian or a partisan Universalist thinker? Is he the symbol of racist prejudices of his time? What is the influence of his racial hierarchy on his cosmopolitan right? Or more simply, is Kant racist? From a systematic examination of Kant relevant writings, this book provides answers to these questions and shed light on two fundamental problems of his theory of race for moral philosophy, namely: the completeness of the character of the White race and the dispossession of the character of the beauty and the dignity of human nature of the Negro race. These two issues, unperceived from the “orthodox” reading’s perspective, however, uncovered by the “heterodox” reading, not only shape Kant’s race thinking from the beginning to the end of his life, transform his cosmopolitan right into a non-universalist form of right, but merely define Kant as a fundamental racist thinker since he developed the anthropology, the philosophy, and the politics of racism in a systematic way. (shrink)
Jimmy Santiago Baca, one of the foremost poets in America today, collaborates with two literacy professionals to present a teaching tool that includes curricular activities and probing questions crafted to help students heal through writing. Each exercise reinforces the theme that self-esteem borne from unique expression will improve student enjoyment and academic achievement.
In this paper, I defend my original objection to Hales’ suicide machine argument against Hales’ response. I argue Hales’ criticisms are either misplaced or underestimate the strength of my objection; if the constraints of the original objection are respected, my original objection blocks Hales’ reply. To be thorough, I restate an improved version of the objection to the suicide machine argument. I conclude that Hales fails to motivate a reasonable worry as to the supposed suicidal nature of presentist time travel.
Critics have claimed that Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a primitivist uncritically preoccupied with “noble savages” and that he remained oblivious to the African slave trade. Fugitive Rousseau presents the emancipatory possibilities of Rousseau’s thought and argues that a fresh, “fugitive” perspective on political freedom is bound up with Rousseau’s treatments of primitivism and slavery. Rather than trace Rousseau’s arguments primarily to the social contract tradition of Hobbes and Locke, Fugitive Rousseau places Rousseau squarely in two imperial contexts: European empire in his (...) contemporary Atlantic world and Roman imperial philosophy. Anyone who aims to understand the implications of Rousseau’s famous sentence “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains” or wants to know how Rousseauian arguments can support a radical democratic politics of diversity, discontinuity, and exodus will find Fugitive Rousseau indispensable. (shrink)
In the selection of job candidates who have the mental ability to become professional ATCOs, psychometric testing has been a ubiquitous activity in the ATM domain. To contribute to psychometric research in the ATM domain, we investigated the extent to which spatial orientation ability (SOA), as conceptualized in the spatial cognition and navigation literature, predicted air traffic conflict detection performance in a simulated free route airspace (FRA) environment. The implementation of free route airspace (FRA) over the past few years, notably (...) in Europe, have facilitated air traffic services by giving greater flexibility to aviation operators in planning and choosing preferred air routes that can lead to quicker arrivals. FRA offers enhanced system safety and efficiency, but these benefits can be outweighed by the introduction of air traffic conflicts that are geometrically more complex. Such conflicts can arise from increased number and distribution of conflict points, as well as from elevated uncertainty in aircraft maneuvering (for instance, during heading changes). Overall, these issues will make conflict detection more challenging for air traffic controllers (ATCOs). Consequently, there is a need to select ATCOs with suitably high levels of spatial orientation ability (SOA) to ensure flight safety under FRA implementation. In this study, we tested 20 participants who are eligible for ATCO job application, and found that response time-based performance on a newly developed, open access, computerized spatial orientation test (SOT) predicted time to loss of minimum separation (tLMS) performance on an air traffic conflict detection task (AT-CDT) we designed. We found this predictive relationship to be significant to a moderately large extent under scenarios with high air traffic density (raw regression coefficient = 0.58). Moreover, we demonstrated our AT-CDT as a valid test in terms of eliciting well-known mental workload and spatial learning effects. We explained these findings in light of similar or overlapping mental processes that were most likely activated optimally under task conditions featuring approximately equal numbers of outcome-relevant stimuli. We conclude by discussing the further application of the SOT to the selection of prospective ATCOs who can demonstrate high levels of conflict detection performance in FRA during training simulations. (shrink)
Does communicative retributivism necessarily negate capital punishment? My answer is no. I argue that there is a place, though a very limited and unsettled one, for capital punishment within the theoretical vision of communicative retributivism. The death penalty, when reserved for extravagantly evil murderers for the most heinous crimes, is justifiable by communicative retributive ideals. I argue that punishment as censure is a response to the preceding message sent by the offender through his criminal act. The gravity of punishment should (...) be commensurate to the preceding criminal message, so that the offender can face up to the nature and significance of his crime. All murders are not the same. To measure up to the most evil and humanity-degrading murderous message, capital punishment should be the counter-message. Next, I argue that capital punishment does not necessarily violate human dignity. The death penalty and torture may both disrupt human dignity, yet in distinct ways. The death penalty terminates life, the vessel that holds together autonomy, while torture directly assaults autonomy. Torture is never permissible as a form of punishment. But death penalty, when used only on the extravagant evildoers, is justifiable, as life is thoroughly degraded by his own evil act. Further, I argue that mercy is integral to communicative retributivists’ theory of capital punishment. (shrink)
This article is an account of the teaching and practice of a course on Christian spirituality and ministry at Trinity Theological College in Singapore. It introduces the design of the course, discuss its theological foundations and practicums, and explains how it is delivered and assessed. The course adopts a historical-theological approach to the introduction of Christian spirituality and traces its development from the early church until the Protestant and Catholic Reformations. It introduces spiritual exercises from each epoch of the Christian (...) tradition and engages the student in their practice through week-long practicums. An important feature lies in the immediacy of feedback given to the student after they submit a reflection on their practicums. The course has been taught as a three-credit hour, sixteen-week semester-long course each academic year for the past three years. The students come from a broad range of nationalities and cultural contexts, as well as from different stages of life and denominational backgrounds. The course contributes to an overall emphasis on Christian spiritual formation at the college. (shrink)
When considering offering online education for engineering ethics instruction, making choices necessary for the effective development and delivery of an engineering ethics curriculum is an important first step. Selecting the topics and types of cases for the most effective ethics education of engineering students is a vital step in preparing an effective program. Examples are presented for topics which are considered good candidates for online presentation, and the adaptability of these topics for web-based instruction is discussed. Types of cases which (...) are useful in engineering ethics education are presented. Methods of teaching applied ethics, as well as ideas for web-based ethics course design are suggested. The market for web-based instruction is discussed. (shrink)
Jimmy Plourde | : Dans cet article, je défends la thèse qu’il ne peut pas y avoir de savoir intuitif sous la forme d’un état purement mental, car, contrairement aux états purement mentaux de connaissance, les intuitions rationnelles n’excluent pas la possibilité de la coexistence de connaissances aux contenus contradictoires. Je soutiens que cela trouve une double justification dans la non-factivité et la non-véridictivité des intuitions, et une explication dans l’idée que les intuitions sont des expériences d’« intellectual seemings (...) ». Enfin, je soutiens que ces caractéristiques des intuitions pourraient constituer une difficulté pour la thèse évidentialiste et, par conséquent, pour la conception du savoir intutitif dans le cadre d’une théorie classique réformée de la connaissance. | : In this paper I argue that there cannot be intuitive knowledge if knowledge is conceived as a purely mental state. States of knowledge may not consist of rational intuitions because these do not, contrarily to purely mental states of knowledge, rule out the possibility of coexisting states of knowledge with contradictory contents. I defend the view that the justification for this incapacity lies in the non-factivity and the non-veridicity of intuitions. It is also argued that this non-factivity and non-veridicity of intuitions has its roots in the fact that intuitions are experiences of “intellectual seemings”. In the end, I consider the possibility that the non-factivity and non-veridicity of intuitions might constitute a problem for the thesis of evidentialism, thereby raising an issue for any conception of intuitive knowledge elaborated within the framework of a modified traditional conception of knowledge. (shrink)
The theory of relativity is often regarded as inhospitable to the idea that there is an objective passage of time in the world. In light of this, many philosophers and physicists embrace a “block universe” view, according to which change and temporal passage are merely a subjective appearance or illusion. My aim in this paper is to argue against such a view, and show that we can make sense of an objective passage of time in the setting of relativity theory (...) by abandoning the assumption that the now must be global, and re-conceiving temporal passage as a purely local phenomenon. Various versions of local becoming have been proposed in the literature. Here I focus on the causal diamond theory proposed by Steven F. Savitt and Richard Arthur, which models the now in terms of a local structure called a causal diamond. After defending the reality of temporal passage and exploring its compatibility with relativity theory, I show how the causal diamond approach can be used to counter the argument for the ideality of time due to Kurt Gödel, based on his “rotating universe” solution to the Einstein field equations. I defend the second component of his argument, the modal step, against the consensus view that finds it wanting, and reject the first step, showing that the Gödel universe is compatible with an objective passage of time as long as the latter is construed locally, along the lines of the causal diamond approach. (shrink)
Are strangers sincere in their moral praise and criticism? Here we apply signaling theory to argueceteris paribusmoral criticism is more likely sincere than praise; the former tends to be a higher-fidelity signal (in Western societies). To offer an example: emotions are often self-validating as a signal because they're hard to fake. This epistemic insight matters: moral praise and criticism influence moral reputations, and affect whether others will cooperate with us. Though much of this applies togenericpraise and criticism too, moral philosophers (...) should value sincere moral praise and moral criticism for several reasons: it (i) offers insight into how others actually view us as moral agents; (ii) offers feedback to help us improve our moral characters; and (iii) encourages some behaviors, and discourages others. And so asmoral agents, we should care whether moral praise and moral criticism is sincere. (shrink)
Theater production is a collaborative creative activity. Social creativity recognizes the relationships between creative groups and the contexts in which creativity emerges. It also suggests that the interactive processes between the collaborators and their work form a center, which in turn becomes a kind of creative entity itself. An evolving systems case study of production practices at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival illuminates this process and illustrates the differences between seeing an aggregate creative activity and the more holistic view, in which (...) the artwork functions like another person, a creature in dialogue with the personality of the creative system. (shrink)
My topic is two-fold: a reductive account of expertise as an epistemic phenomenon, and applying the reductive account to the question of whether or not philosophers enjoy expertise. I conclude, on the basis of the reductive account, that even though philosophers enjoy something akin to second-order expertise (i.e. they are often experts on the positions of other philosophers, current trends in the philosophical literature, the history of philosophy, conceptual analysis and so on), they nevertheless lack first-order philosophical expertise (i.e. expertise (...) on philosophical positions themselves such as the nature of mind, causality, normativity and so forth). Throughout the paper, I respond to potential objections. (shrink)
This paper addresses the problem of providing a satisfying explanation of the Tractarian notions of state of affairs, fact and situation, an issue first raised by Frege and Russell. In order to do so, I first present what I consider to be the three main existing interpretations of these notions: the classic, the standard and Peter Simons’. I then present and defend an interpretation which is closer to the text than the classic and standard interpretations; one which is similar to (...) Peter Simons’ but which differs from it concerning one important point with respect to the nature of situations. Accordingly, the above mentioned should be seen as three wholly distinct categories. States of affairs are to be understood as Russellian complexes, facts as the subsistence and non-subsistence of states of affairs and situations as possibilities of the subsistence and possibilities of the non-subsistence of states of affairs. (shrink)
O artigo quer avaliar a presença das intuições religiosas de Dostoievski na escritura teológica do jovem Barth. Procuramos demonstrar os elementos fundamentais de sua trajetória teológica e, sobretudo, seu contato com Eduard Thurnysen, autor de uma obra sobre Dostoiévski, que exerceu uma influência determinante no horizonte hermenêutico que deu forma à postura teológica do Barth de Römerbrief, obra que instaurou uma negatividade desconstrutora de toda euforia religiosa do humanismo moderno. Partimos do pressuposto que Dostoievski determinou a intelligentsia religiosa do cristianismo (...) em proporções pouco explicitadas, e a obra do jovem Barth representou parte de uma reflexão teológica que encontrou no autor russo os fundamentos de um cristianismo trágico que emancipou-se das ilusões de uma auto-idolatria moderna e eclesiástica. Palavras-chave : Dostoiévski. Barth. Humanismo. Negatividade. Niilismo.This article aims to analizes the presence of Dostoievski's religious insights in the theological writing of the young Barth. We tried to demonstrate the key elements of his theological career and, especially, his contact with Eduardo Thurnysen, author of a book on Dostoievski, who exercised a decisive influence on the hermeneutical horizon that shaped the theological posture of Romerbrief' s Barth - a work that established a negativity that desconstructed all religious euphoria of modern humanism. We assumed that Dostoyevsky has determined a religious intelligenstsia of Christianity in proportions rarely made explicit. The work of the young Barth represented part of a theological reflection which found in the Russian author the foundations of a tragic Christianity that has emancipated Barth from illusions of a modern and ecclesiastical self-idolatry Keywords : Dostoievsky. Barth. Humanism. Negativity. Nihilism. (shrink)
The 'History of the Majority' to which F.W. Maitland looked forward a century ago still awaits its author; but some important hints can be derived from an examination of, especially, medieval and early-modern sources. These show how difficult it was foRA 'simple' or numerical majority principle to gain acceptance, whether in the theology and canon-law of the medieval church or in the emergent theory and practice of the modern state. Even -- or perhaps especially -- in the age of 'mass (...) democracy', it has been found, or thought, necessary to plant precautionary hedges around the principle that 'every one should count for one and no one for more than one'. (shrink)
Théorie de l’objet et Présentation personnelle est la première traduction française jamais publiée d’Alexius Meinong. Pour cette première, Jean-François Courtine et Marc de Launay ont choisi de publier non pas un, mais bien deux ouvrages du philosophe de Graz, Über Gegenstandstheorie et Selbstdarstellung. Ces ouvrages sont, de plus, accompagnés d’une longue présentation rédigée par Courtine, dans laquelle il est question de l’état des travaux et de la recherche sur Meinong, du développement historique de la théorie de l’objet au sein de (...) l’École de Brentano de même que de ses présumés antécédents dans l’histoire de la philosophie. (shrink)
Philosophers have long wondered whether God exists; and yet, they have ignored the question of whether we should hope that He exists – call this stance aspirational theism. In this article, I argue that we have a weighty pro tanto reason to adopt this stance: theism offers a metaphysical guarantee against gratuitous suffering. On the other hand, few atheist alternatives offer such a guarantee – and even then, there are reasons to worry that they are inferior to the theistic alternative. (...) Given this difference, we have a strong pro tanto, but not all-things-considered, reason to adopt aspirational theism. (shrink)
La presente nota crítica tiene como finalidad exponer y comentar las ideas fundamentales de la edición española del primer escrito de Jacques Derrida, El problema de la génesis en la filosofía de Husserl. Asimismo, hacemos algunas aclaraciones sobre el origen y significado de este escrito. Al concluir, añadimos algunas observaciones sobre la traducción y sobre el estudio final del editor y traductor Javier Bassas Vila sobre la filosofía del joven Derrida.
There seem to be two distinct aspects to the role played by the Interpretant in Peirce’s account of the sign relation. On the one hand, the Interpretant is said to establish the relation between the Sign and Object. That is, the Sign can “stand for” its Object, and thereby actually function as a Sign, only by virtue of its being interpreted as such by an Interpretant. On the other hand, the Interpretant is said to be “determined” by the Sign in (...) such a way that it is thereby mediately determined by the Sign’s Object. How can we understand the relation between these two aspects of the Interpretant? This is the question with which this paper is concerned. I begin by drawing a distinction between what I call the first-order function and second-order function of the Interpretant, and illustrating this distinction using Peirce’s example of comparing the letters p and b in § 9 of the 1867 “On a New List of Categories.” I then show that this same distinction can be discerned in a significant passage in the second section of Peirce’s 1903 “A Syllabus of Certain Topics of Logic,” as well as in his early definition of the Interpretant in the “New List.” This double function of the Interpretant has been noted in the Peircean literature, specifically by Joseph Ransdell in his 1966 dissertation, and more recently by André De Tienne. However, an important aspect of what I call the second-order function of the Interpretant remains unclarified in Ransdell and De Tienne’s approaches, namely, its relation to the logical operation of hypostatic abstraction. I will show that the Interpretant, in its second-order function, plays a role formally identical in the sign process to the role played by hypostatic abstraction in Peirce’s demonstrations of the Reduction Thesis. This formal identity will afford us with a way of understanding the relation between the two aspects of the Interpretant in terms of hypostatic abstraction. (shrink)