Philosophers have recently revived the study of the ancient Greek topics of virtue and the virtues—justice, honesty, temperance, friendship, courage, and so on as qualities of mind and character belonging to individual people. But one issue at the center of Greek moral theory seems to have dropped out of consideration. This is the question of the unity of virtue, the unity of the virtues. Must anyone who has one of these qualities have others of them as well, indeed all of (...) them—all the ones that really do deserve to be counted as virtues? Even further, is there really no set of distinct and separate virtuous qualities at all, but at bottom only a single one—so that the person who has this single condition of “virtue” is entitled also to the further descriptions “honest” and “well-controlled” and “just” and “friendly” and “courageous” and “fostering” and “supportive,” and so on, as distinguishable aspects or immediate effects of his unitary “virtue”? (shrink)
So, on 22 July 1865, under the title ‘Philosophy and Punch’, did England's premier comic weekly greet the election of J. S. Mill as MP for Westminster. Mill held his seat for only one term, until the general election of 1868, when his Whig-Liberal colleague Robert Wellesley Grosvenor was re-elected, but Mill was replaced by the loser in 1865, the Conservative W. H. Smith, Jr., who, though he never went to sea, became the ruler of the Queen's navy. The reasons (...) for that reversal have engaged the attention of many, including Mill himself; I should like to introduce into the discussion material from an ignored source, the comic weeklies, which took a continued and close look at Mill's behaviour during his parliamentary years. While this evidence generally does not disconfirm earlier judgments—including my own— it does more than merely add to the induction. First, it shows how different political stances led journals to focus on different aspects of Mill's parliamentary career, and to adopt different rhetorical strategies in portraying him in picture and word. Second, it demonstrates how the hardening of party allegiances during the parliament of 1865–68, which accelerated in the preparatory campaigns for the general election of 1868, affected Mill adversely. Third, it suggests strongly that it was not his ‘crotchets’ or ‘whims’, especially women's suffrage and proportional representation, that damaged his chances for re-election, but his advocacy of causes unpopular with the majority of Liberals as well as with Conservatives. (shrink)
This book is a provocative contribution to contemporary ethical theory challenging foundational conceptions of character that date back to Aristotle. John Doris draws on behavioral science, especially social psychology, to argue that we misattribute the causes of behavior to personality traits and other fixed aspects of character rather than to the situational context. More often than not it is the situation not the nature of the personality that really counts. The author elaborates the philosophical consequences of this research for (...) a whole array of ethical theories and shows that, once rid of the misleading conception of motivation, moral psychology can support more robust ethical theories and more humane ethical practices. (shrink)
Do we know what we're doing, and why? Psychological research seems to suggest not: reflection and self-awareness are surprisingly uncommon and inaccurate. John M. Doris presents a new account of agency and responsibility, which reconciles our understanding of ourselves as moral agents with empirical work on the unconscious mind.
The obligation of a court to follow the law of a superior court is commonly taken to be stronger than the obligation of the higher court to respect its own precedent. The Supreme Court has recently asserted this stronger obligation in the most forceful terms. What follows is an attempt to demonstrate that this is wrong as a matter of policy and as a matter of law.
Literature on the Stoa usually concentrates on historical accounts of the development of the school and on Stoicism as a social movement. In this 1977 text, Professor Rist's approach is to examine in detail a series of philosophical problems discussed by leading members of the Stoic school. He is not concerned with social history or with the influence of Stoicism on popular beliefs in the Ancient world, but with such questions as the relation between Stoicism and the thought of Aristotle, (...) the meaning and purpose of such Stoic paradoxes as 'all sins are equal', and the philosophical interrelation of Stoic physics and ethics. There are chapters on aspects of Stoic logic and on the thought of particular thinkers such as Panaetius and Posidonius, but ethical problems occupy the centre of the stage. (shrink)
John Hobson claims that throughout its history most international theory has been embedded within various forms of Eurocentrism. Rather than producing value-free and universalist theories of inter-state relations, international theory instead provides provincial analyses that celebrate and defend Western civilization as the subject of, and ideal normative referent in, world politics. Hobson also provides a sympathetic critique of Edward Said's conceptions of Eurocentrism and Orientalism, revealing how Eurocentrism takes different forms, which can be imperialist or anti-imperialist, and showing how (...) these have played out in international theory since 1760. The book thus speaks to scholars of international relations and also to all those interested in understanding Eurocentrism in the disciplines of political science/political theory, political economy/international political economy, geography, cultural and literary studies, sociology and, not least, anthropology. (shrink)
The Road to Reality John M. Rist. 13 THE ORIGINALITY OF PLOTINUS ' It is necessary to take the notable opinions of the ancients and consider whether any of them agree with ours.' (Enneads 184.108.40.206) It will not have escaped the reader's ...
This major work constitutes a significant attempt to provide a detailed and accurate account of the character and effects of Augustine's thought as a whole. It describes the transformation of Greco-Roman philosophy into the version that was to become the most influential in the history of Western thought. Augustine weighed some of the major themes of classical philosophy and ancient culture against the truth he found in the Bible and Catholic tradition, and reformulated these in Christian dress.
Education, Religion and Society celebrates the career of Professor John Hull of the University of Birmingham, UK, the internationally renowned religious educationist who has also achieved worldwide fame for his brilliant writings on his experience, mid-career, of total blindness. In his outstanding career he has been a leading figure in the transformation of religious education in English and Welsh state schools from Christian instruction to multi-faith religious education and was the co-founder of the International Seminar on Religious Education and (...) values. John Hull has also made major contributions to the theology of disability and the theological critique of the "money culture." This volume brings together leading international scholars to honour John Hull's contribution, with a focus on furthering scholarship in the areas where he has been active as a thinker. The book offers a critical appreciation of his contribution to religious education and practical theology, and goes on to explore the continuing debate about the role of religious education in promoting international understanding, intercultural education and human rights education. A possible basis for integrating Islamic education into Western education is suggested and the contribution of the philosophy of religion to pluralistic religious education is outlined. The contributors also deal with issues relating to indoctrination, racism and relationship in Christian religious aspects, and examines aspects of the the theology of social exclusion and disability. (shrink)
This book brings together twenty-three distinctive and influential essays on ancient moral philosophy--including several published here for the first time--by the distinguished philosopher and classical scholar John Cooper.
The aim of the dissertation is to formulate a research program in moral cognition modeled on aspects of Universal Grammar and organized around three classic problems in moral epistemology: What constitutes moral knowledge? How is moral knowledge acquired? How is moral knowledge put to use? Drawing on the work of Rawls and Chomsky, a framework for investigating -- is proposed. The framework is defended against a range of philosophical objections and contrasted with the approach of developmentalists like Piaget and Kohlberg. (...) ;One chapter consists of an interpretation of the analogy Rawls draws in A Theory of Justice between moral theory and generative linguistics. A second chapter clarifies the empirical significance of Rawls' linguistic analogy by formulating a solution to the problem of descriptive adequacy with respect to a class of commonsense moral intuitions, including those discussed in the trolley problem literature originating in the work of Foot and Thomson. Three remaining chapters defend Rawls' linguistic analogy against some of its critics. In response to Hare's objection that Rawls' conception of moral theory is too empirical and insufficiently normative, it is argued that Hare fails to acknowledge both the centrality of the problem of empirical adequacy in the history of moral philosophy and the complexity of Rawls' approach to the problem of normative adequacy. In response to Nagel's claim that the analogy between moral theory and linguistics is false because whatever native speakers agree on is English, but whatever ordinary men agree in condemning is not necessarily wrong, it is argued that the criticism ignores both Rawls' use of the competence-performance distinction and the theory-dependence of the corresponding distinction in linguistics. In response to Dworkin's claim that Rawls' conception of moral theory is incompatible with naturalism and presupposes constructivism, it is argued that Dworkin's distinction between naturalism and constructivism represents a false antithesis; neither is an accurate interpretation of the model of moral theory Rawls describes in A Theory of Justice. The thesis concludes by situating Rawls' linguistic analogy within the context of broader debates in metaethics, democratic theory, natural law theory, and the theory of moral development. (shrink)
Knowledge, Nature, and the Good brings together some of John Cooper's most important works on ancient philosophy. In thirteen chapters that represent an ideal companion to the author's influential Reason and Emotion, Cooper addresses a wide range of topics and periods--from Hippocratic medical theory and Plato's epistemology and moral philosophy, to Aristotle's physics and metaphysics, academic scepticism, and the cosmology, moral psychology, and ethical theory of the ancient Stoics.Almost half of the pieces appear here for the first time or (...) are presented in newly expanded, extensively revised versions. Many stand at the cutting edge of research into ancient ethics and moral psychology. Other chapters, dating from as far back as 1970, are classics of philosophical scholarship on antiquity that continue to play a prominent role in current teaching and scholarship in the field. All of the chapters are distinctive for the way that, whatever the particular topic being pursued, they attempt to understand the ancient philosophers' views in philosophical terms drawn from the ancient philosophical tradition itself.Through engaging creatively and philosophically with the ancient texts, these essays aim to make ancient philosophical perspectives freshly available to contemporary philosophers and philosophy students, in all their fascinating inventiveness, originality, and deep philosophical merit. This book will be treasured by philosophers, classicists, students of philosophy and classics, those in other disciplines with an interest in ancient philosophy, and anyone who seeks to understand philosophy in philosophical terms. (shrink)
Discussing the relations between logic and probability, this book compares classical 17th- and 18th-century theories of probability with contemporary theories, explores recent logical theories of probability, and offers a new account of probability as a part of logic.
NEITHER in the scholarly nor in the philosophical literature on Aristotle does his account of friendship occupy a very prominent place. I suppose this is partly, though certainly not wholly, to be explained by the fact that the modern ethical theories with which Aristotle’s might demand comparison hardly make room for the discussion of any parallel phenomenon. Whatever else friendship is, it is, at least typically, a personal relationship freely, even spontaneously, entered into, and ethics, as modern theorists tend to (...) conceive it, deals rather with the ways in which people are required to regard, and behave toward, one another, than with the organization of their private affairs. To the extent, then, that one shares this modern outlook one will tend to neglect, or treat merely as an historical curiosity, Aristotle’s efforts to define friendship and to place it within the framework of human eudaimonia, the theory of which is central to moral philosophy as he understands it. Yet in the Nicomachean Ethics the two books on φιλία make up nearly a fifth of the whole, and this seems to me a fair measure of the importance of this subject to the complete understanding both of Aristotle’s overall moral theory and even of many of the more circumscribed topics to which so much scholarly and philosophical attention has been devoted. If, as I suggest, the failure of commentators to appreciate its importance is partly the effect of distortions produced by the moral outlook that has predominated in modern moral philosophy, the careful study of these books may help to free us from constricting prejudices and perhaps even make it possible to discover in Aristotle a plausible and suggestive alternative to the theories constructed on the narrower base characteristic of recent times. (shrink)
Michael Huemer has argued for the justification principle known as phenomenal conservativism by employing a transcendental argument that claims all attempts to reject phenomenal conservativism ultimately are doomed to self-defeat. My contribution presents two independent arguments against the self-defeat argument for phenomenal conservativism after briefly presenting Huemer’s account of phenomenal conservativism and the justification for the self-defeat argument. My first argument suggests some ways that philosophers may reject Huemer’s premise that all justified beliefs are formed on the basis of seemings. (...) In the second argument I contend that phenomenal conservativism is not a well-motivated account of internal justification, which is a further reason to reject the self-defeat argument. Consequently, the self-defeat argument fails to show that rejecting phenomenal conservativism inevitably leads one to a self-defeating position. (shrink)
From the early ninth century until about eight centuries later, the Middle East witnessed a series of both simple and systematic astronomical observations for the purpose of testing contemporary astronomical tables and deriving the fundamental solar, lunar, and planetary parameters. Of them, the extensive observations of lunar eclipses available before 1000 AD for testing the ephemeredes computed from the astronomical tables are in a relatively sharp contrast to the twelve lunar observations that are pertained to the four extant accounts of (...) the measurements of the basic parameters of Ptolemaic lunar model. The last of them are Taqī al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Ma‘rūf’s trio of lunar eclipses observed from Istanbul, Cairo, and Thessalonica in 1576–1577 and documented in chapter 2 of book 5 of his famous work, Sidrat muntaha al-afkar fī malakūt al-falak al-dawwār. In this article, we provide a detailed analysis of the accuracy of his solar and lunar observations. (shrink)
The Perceived Role of Ethics and Social Responsibility (PRESOR) instrument was developed in the United States by Singhapakdi et al. (1996b) as a reliable and valid scale to measure the perceived role of ethics and social responsibility in achieving organizational effectiveness. This study was carried out to confirm the factorial structure of the instrument and to assess its reliability and validity for use in Hong Kong, the finance and service heart of the Asia-Pacific region and a culture with clear differences (...) in ethical attitudes and perceptions from those of the United States. Constructive replication of the exploratory factor analytic procedure of the original study with a representative sample of Hong Kong managers failed to support the hypothesized scale structure but instead suggested a different, two-factor, structure. Confirmatory factor analysis defined the alternative model which comprised two interpretable, negatively intercorrelated factorial scales, "Importance of ethics and social responsibility" and "Subordination of ethics and social responsibility in the achievement of organizational effectiveness". The model showed a high level of goodness-of-fit for the population and the two subscales, comprised of five items and four items respectively, were shown to have acceptable internal consistency reliability. Correlational and multiple regression analysis showed highly significant levels of association with the ethical ideology dimensions of the EPQ (Forsyth, 1980), used in the validation of the original scale, and with two ethical philosophy subscales derived from the ATBEQ (Preble and Reichel, 1988). The instrument is short, easily administered, is psychometrically sound and has considerable potential in the study of the perceived role of ethics and social responsibility in the achievement of organizational effectiveness. (shrink)
I discuss the division of the soul in plato's "republic". i concentrate on the arguments and illustrative examples given in book iv, but i treat the descriptions of different types of person in viii-ix and elsewhere as further constituents of a single, coherent theory. on my interpretation plato distinguishes three basic kinds of motivation which he claims all human beings regularly experience in some degree. reason is itself the immediate source of certain desires. in addition, there are appetitive and also--quite (...) distinct from either of the other two--competitive motivations. (shrink)
A general framework for analysing the effects of variability and the effects of interruptions on foraging is presented. The animal is characterised by its level of energetic reserves, x. We consider behaviour over a period of time [0,T]. A terminal reward function R(x) determines the expected future reproductive success of an animal with reserves x at time T. For any state x at a time in the period, we give the animal a choice between various options and then constrain it (...) to follow a background strategy. The best option is the one that maximizes expected future reproductive success. Using this framework, we show that sensitivity to variability in amount of energy gained is logically distinct from sensitivity to variability in the time at which food is obtained. We also show that incorporating interruptions results in both a preference for variability in time and a preference for a reward followed by a delay as opposed to the same delay before the reward. (shrink)
While nothing justiﬁes atrocity, many perpetrators manifest cognitive impairments that profoundly degrade their capacity for moral judgment, and such impairments, we shall argue, preclude the attribution of moral responsibility.
While dominant management thinking is steered by profit maximisation, this paper proposes that sustained organisational growth can best be stimulated by attention to the common good and the capacity of corporate leaders to create commitment to the common good. The leadership thinking of Kautilya and Ashoka embodies this principle. Both offer a common good approach, emphasising the leader's moral and legal responsibility for people's welfare, the robust interaction between the business community and the state, and the importance of moral training (...) of leaders in identifying and promoting the common good. We argue that the complex process of re-orientating corporate priorities towards the common good requires alertness and concerted effort if both business and society are to truly benefit. As Ashoka said: ‘A good deed is a difficult thing’. (shrink)
Literature on the teaching of ethics points to the need for realistic business problems in which students deal with ethical dilemmas. This paper presents the results of an experiment in which students take on the role of a Brand Manager who must decide on the level of support to allocate to four distinct business problems. The problems were presented as business problems including realistic profit and cost considerations, rather than being posed as "ethics cases". Students were able to select from (...) a range of product support levels for each problem. The experiment isolated the factor effects which included level of realism, degree of competition, company situation in terms of fault and profit level, and problem type relative to damage and visibility. Company fault was the most important factor in determining the level of product support allocations. Allocations generally increased when there was an increase in profit level from low to medium. However, there was no additional increase in allocations above the medium profit level. The paper concludes with suggestions on how the results can be used as a springboard for discussion of the integration of ethical considerations in managerial decision making. (shrink)
The role and precise significance of Intelligible Matter in the philosophy of Plotinus has been neglected or dismissed with many questions unanswered. In view of the fact that, unless this role can be properly understood, the whole doctrine of the procession of the Second Hypostasis must remain mysterious, this paper is intended to shed light on two important aspects of that Hypostasis: the nature of Intelligible Matter itself and the relation of that Matter to the Forms.