The distinction between private immorality and public indecency plays a significant and perhaps a crucial role in H. L. A. Hart's argument in Law, Liberty, and Morality . This distinction, and the uses to which he puts it, have, however, been largely overshadowed in the ‘debate’ between Professor Hart and Lord Devlin which has centred around such ‘great’ questions as whether a shared morality is necessary for a society. I shall argue that Hart's position, in so far as it is (...) based on that distinction, is quite untenable, and that even if it were to be a possible position, it would none the less be incompatible with the sort of ‘libertarian’ view of society expressed by John Stuart Mill, whose ‘spirit’, at least, Hart believes himself to be defending. (shrink)
The two theories that revolutionized physics in the twentieth century, relativity and quantum mechanics, are full of predictions that defy common sense. Recently, we used three such paradoxical ideas to prove “The Free Will Theorem” (strengthened here), which is the culmination of a series of theorems about quantum mechanics that began in the 1960s. It asserts, roughly, that if indeed we humans have free will, then elementary particles already have their own small share of this valuable commodity. More precisely, if (...) the experimenter can freely choose the directions in which to orient his apparatus in a certain measurement, then the particle’s response (to be pedantic—the universe’s response near the particle) is not determined by the entire previous history of the universe. Our argument combines the well-known consequence of relativity theory, that the time order of space-like separated events is not absolute, with the EPR paradox discovered by Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen in 1935, and the Kochen-Specker Paradox of 1967 (See .) We follow Bohm in using a spin version of EPR and Peres in using his set of 33 directions, rather than the original configuration used by Kochen and Specker. More contentiously, the argument also involves the notion of free will, but we postpone further discussion of this to the last section of the article. Note that our proof does not mention “probabilities” or the “states” that determine them, which is.. (shrink)
(2002). On Being a Bioethicist: A Review of John H. Evans Playing God?: Human Genetic Engineering and the Rationalization of Public Bioethical Debate. The American Journal of Bioethics: Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 65-69.
I review John Hick's "Death and Eternal life," in which he explores philosophical anthropologies invoked by believers in life after death, provides a critical survey of various Christian and Eastern approaches to life after death, and develops various pareschatologies and eschatologies.