More than 2,200 years have passed since a group of sober people gathered in a covered colonnade, or stoa, in the marketplace of Athens to discuss the good life – a life of virtue and honor. They became known as Stoics, and their ancient creed is enjoying a renaissance today in, of all things, popular culture.
We argue that the post-9/11 environment has amounted to a substantive change in the longstanding United States relationship with the international human rights regime. We identify three distinct phases of that relationship, noting that in the most recent phase, since 9/11, the US has moved from passive support of the international human rights regime to a direct attack of that regime. Realist and liberal regime theories suggest that the human rights regime is relatively weak, and is unlikely to withstand such (...) an attack. We find that the regime has not only continued to persist, but has flourished even as US support has faltered. The human rights regime is surprisingly strong. We argue it is the ideological nature of the regime that explains its resilience, which suggests that constructivist theory is necessary to fully understand the human rights regime. (shrink)
Recent scientific findings about human decision making would seem to threaten the traditional concept of the individual conscious will. The will is threatened from "below" by the discovery that our apparently spontaneous actions are actually controlled and initiated from below the level of our conscious awareness, and from "above" by the recognition that we adapt our actions according to social dynamics of which we are seldom aware. In Distributed Cognition and the Will, leading philosophers and behavioral scientists consider how much, (...) if anything, of the traditional concept of the individual conscious will survives these discoveries, and they assess the implications for our sense of freedom and responsibility. The contributors all take science seriously, and they are inspired by the idea that apparent threats to the cogency of the idea of will might instead become the basis of its reemergence as a scientific subject. They consider macro-scale issues of society and culture, the micro-scale dynamics of the mind/brain, and connections between macro-scale and micro-scale phenomena in the self-guidance and self-regulation of personal behavior. Contributors: George Ainslie, Wayne Christensen, Andy Clark, Paul Sheldon Davies, Daniel C. Dennett, Lawrence A. Lengbeyer, Dan Lloyd, Philip Pettit, Don Ross, Tamler Sommers, Betsy Sparrow, Mariam Thalos, Jeffrey B. Vancouver, Daniel M. Wegner, Tadeusz W. ZawidzkiDon Ross is Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Finance, Economics, and Quantitative Methods at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Professor of Economics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. David Spurrett is Professor of Philosophy at the Howard College Campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Harold Kincaid is Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Ethics and Values in the Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. G. Lynn Stephens is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. (shrink)
Discusses the psychological self-knowledge of philosopher G. Lynn Stephens who contends that both the overarching assertion that humans have psychological stress at all and each specific ascription of a psychological state to oneself requires justification by inference. Objectivity of moral and aesthetic values and the analysis of modal discourse; Role of certain qualities of objects in interactions among objects; Irrefragable reasons requirement of each psychological self-ascription.
Recently, several philosophers have challenged the view that evolutionary theory is usefully understood by way of an analogy with Newtonian mechanics. Instead, they argue that evolutionary theory is merely a statistical theory. According to this alternate approach, natural selection and random genetic drift are not even causes, much less forces. I argue that, properly understood, the Newtonian analogy is unproblematic and illuminating. I defend the view that selection and drift are causes in part by attending to a pair of important (...) distinctions—that between process and product and that between natural selection and fitness. (shrink)
Abstract: This essay traces the relationship between Hegel and some common portrayals of modern philosophy in the nineteenth century. I explain much of the rationale behind the neo-Kantian narrative of modern philosophy, and argue that the common division of modern philosophers into rationalists and empiricists executed a principally anti-Hegelian agenda. I then trace some failed attempts by anglophone philosophers to reconcile Hegel with the neo-Kantian history, in the interest of explaining Hegel’s subsequent unpopularity in England and America. Finally, I argue (...) that recent attempts to read Hegel in Kantian terms often rest on a misguided appropriation of an anti-Hegelian historical narrative. (shrink)
Several philosophers have argued that natural selection will favor reliable belief formation; others have been more skeptical. These traditional approaches to the evolution of rationality have been either too sketchy or else have assumed that phenotypic plasticity can be equated with having a mind. Here I develop a new model to explore the functional utility of belief and desire formation mechanisms, and defend the claim that natural selection favors reliable inference methods in a broad, but not universal, range of circumstances.
This essay offers a rationale for the employment of narrative pedagogies in introductory philosophy courses, as well as examples of narrative techniques, assignments, and course design that have been successfully employed in the investigation of philosophical topics. My hope is to undercut the sense that “telling stories in class” is just a playful diversion from the real material, and to encourage instructors to treat storytelling as a genuine philosophical activity that should be rigorously developed. I argue that introductory courses focused (...) on student narratives fulfill the ideals of learning-centered teaching. Since narrative learning also promotes self-knowledge and empathic understanding, there is good reason to consider replacing or supplementing canonical texts or arguments with narrative assignments. The concluding sections provide details as to how such assignments can be constructed,integrated into course units, and assessed. (shrink)
This study provides a comparative analysis of students' self-reported beliefs and behaviors related to six analogous pairs of conventional and digital forms of academic cheating. Results from an online survey of undergraduates at two universities (N = 1,305) suggest that students use conventional means more often than digital means to copy homework, collaborate when it is not permitted, and copy from others during an exam. However, engagement in digital plagiarism (cutting and pasting from the Internet) has surpassed conventional plagiarism. Students (...) also reported using digital "cheat sheets" (i.e., notes stored in a digital device) to cheat on tests more often than conventional "cheat sheets." Overall, 32% of students reported no cheating of any kind, 18.2% reported using only conventional methods, 4.2% reported using only digital methods, and 45.6% reported using both conventional and digital methods to cheat. "Digital only" cheaters were less likely than "conventional only" cheaters to report assignment cheating, but the former was more likely than the latter to report engagement in plagiarism. Students who cheated both conventionally and digitally were significantly different from the other three groups in terms of their self-reported engagement in all three types of cheating behavior. Students in this "both" group also had the lowest sense of moral responsibility to refrain from cheating and the greatest tendency to neutralize that responsibility. The scientific and educational implications of these findings are discussed in this study. (shrink)
In this paper I sketch some arguments that underlie Hegel's chapter on judgment, and I attempt to place them within a broad tradition in the history of logic. Focusing on his analysis of simple predicative assertions or ‘positive judgments’, I first argue that Hegel supplies an instructive alternative to the classical technique of existential quantification. The main advantage of his theory lies in his treatment of the ontological implications of judgments, implications that are inadequately captured by quantification. The second concern (...) of this paper is the manner in which Hegel makes logic not only dependent on ontology generally, but also variant in regard to domains of objects. In other words, he offers a domain-specific logical theory, according to which the form of judgment or inference is specific to the subject of judgment. My third concern lies with the metaphilosophical consequences of this theory, and this includes some more familiar Hegelian themes. It is well known that Hegel frequently questioned the adequacy of the sentential form for expressing higher order truths. My reading of his theory of predication explains and contextualizes this tendency by demystifying notions like the so-called speculative proposition. (shrink)
This essay deals with the impact of Hegel's philosophy of religion by examining his positions on religious identity and on the relationship between theology and history. I argue that his criterion for religious identity was socio-historical, and that his philosophical theology was historical rather than normative. These positions help explain some historical peculiarities regarding the effect of his philosophy of religion. Of particular concern is that although Hegel’s own aims were apologetic, his major influence on religious thought was in the (...) development of various historical and critical approaches to religion. (shrink)
This research project examines the dispossession of animal companions by loving owners. The results of two data collections reveal six highly interrelated themes: Love and Friendship, Joy in Life versus Sorrow in Death, Pets as Family Members, Vividness of Unexpected Death, Good-bye Rituals, and Return to Nature. The article closes with a brief discussion of the implications of these themes for service providers and for the education of potential pet owners.
The past several decades of research has produced many important insights into prevalence and correlates of academic dishonesty. While these studies have offered important contributions to our understanding of such cheating, we are in need of research that allows us to hear what students have to say about it. This paper begins to fill the relative void of student voices by presenting results from individual interviews with a sample of adolescents who acknowledge cheating despite believing that is wrong to do (...) so. Specifically, the present investigation uses a multi‐case research design to explore the phenomenon of belief–behaviour incongruity, as it relates to academic dishonesty, among a demographically and academically diverse group of high school students. Four distinct cases of BBI are presented, each representing a complex configuration of psychological, social, cultural and situational factors: unable, under‐interested, under pressure and unrepentant. Educational implications and suggestion for further research are discussed. (shrink)
Philosophers and behavioral scientists discuss what, if anything, of the traditionalconcept of individual conscious will can survive recent scientific discoveries that humandecision-making is distributed across different brain processes and ...
Five different arguments for vegetarianism are discussed: the system of meat production deprives poor people of food to provide meat for the wealthy, thus violating the principle of distributive justice; the world livestock industry causes great and manifold ecological destruction; meat-eating cultures and societal oppression of women are intimately linked and so feminism and vegetarianism must both be embraced to transform our patriarchal culture; both utilitarian and rights-based reasoning lead to the conclusion that raising and slaughtering animals is immoral, and (...) so we ought to boycott meat; meat consumption causes many serious diseases and lowers life expectancy, and so is unhealthy. Objections to each argument are examined. The conclusion reached is that the cumulative case successfully establishes vegetarianism as a virtuous goal. (shrink)
To assess ethics pedagogy in science and engineering, we developed a new tool called the Engineering and Science Issues Test. ESIT measures moral judgment in a manner similar to the Defining Issues Test, second edition, but is built around technical dilemmas in science and engineering. We used a quasi-experimental approach with pre- and post-tests, and we compared the results to those of a control group with no overt ethics instruction. Our findings are that several stand-alone classes showed a significant improvement (...) compared to the control group when the metric includes multiple stages of moral development. We also found that the written test had a higher response rate and sensitivity to pedagogy than the electronic version. We do not find significant differences on pre- test scores with respect to age, education level, gender or political leanings, but we do on whether subjects were native English speakers. We did not find significant differences on pre- test scores based on whether subjects had previous ethics instruction; this could suggest a lack of a long-term effect from the instruction. (shrink)
This article uses concepts from sociology, history, and philosophy to explore the shifting relationship between moral values and business in the Western world. We examine the historical roots and intellectual underpinnings of two major business-society paradigms in ideal-type terms. In pre-industrial Western society, we argue that business activity was linked to society’s values of morality (the moral unity paradigm}-for good or for ill. With the rise of industrialism, we contend that business was freed from moral constraints by the alleged “invisible (...) hand” of efficient markets (the amoral theory of business). Armed with this understanding of the intellectual history of the moral unity and amoral business-society paradigms, we suggest that some variant of the moral unity paradigm may be recurring in post-industrial society. (shrink)
That we are in the midst of a major communications revolution is hard to miss nowadays. But what exactly is perpetrating this revolution? There are many candidates for the "invention" of our time - the one that seems to have pressed the "refresh" button on a significant stretch of human culture. Was it the computer, the personal computer, the Internet, the World Wide Web, Google, the smart phone or perhaps even Facebook? Or was it the digital coding of information, in (...) general, that has been leading us into a new era? This paper will employ a historical perspective in an attempt to sort out some of these contributions, and it will propose that the truly revolutionary invention of our time may turn out to be none of the above. Instead it may prove to be an invention with older roots: the moving image and its younger companion, the moving word. My thesis is that this communications revolution, like those led by writing and print, will have a more profound effect, a more thoroughly revolutionary effect than merely facilitating our access to wisdom, diversions or each other. This paper will argue that this communications revolution in its most radical manifestations will help us develop new ways of thinking. (shrink)
Proof and perception : the context of the argumentum cartesianum -- Refutations of atheism : ontological arguments in English philosophy, 1652-1705 -- Being and intuition : Malebranche's appropriation of the argument -- An adequate conception : the argument in Spinoza's philosophy -- Ontological arguments in Leibniz and the German enlightenment -- Kant's systematic critique of the ontological argument -- Hegel's reconstruction of the argument.
This paper addresses two issues: the controversy over pragmatism in environmental philosophy, and the habitual exclusion of William James's work from serious examination. Addressing critiques of pragmatic naturalism from Max Horkheimer, Eugene Hargrove and Holmes Rolston, I argue that their criticisms misfire, primarily due to skewed perception derived from mis-interpretative projections of views to which pragmatism is not committed. I conclude that the critics' major concerns are largely groundless, but that greater emphasis on pragmatism's experiential aspect would clarify this.
Biologists rely extensively on the iterated Prisoner's Dilemma game to model reciprocal altruism. After examining the informal conditions necessary for reciprocal altruism, I argue that formal games besides the standard iterated Prisoner's Dilemma meet these conditions. One alternate representation, the modified Prisoner's Dilemma game, removes a standard but unnecessary condition; the other game is what I call a Cook's Dilemma. We should explore these new models of reciprocal altruism because they predict different stability characteristics for various strategies; for instance, I (...) show that strategies such as Tit-for-Tat have different stability dynamics in these alternate models. (shrink)
William James’s radical empiricism and pragmatism constitutes a philosophy that can reconcile the split between intrinsic value theorists, who stress the development and relevance of theoretical axiology, and pragmatists who have favored a more direct emphasis on environmental policy and application. By distinguishing James’s emphasis on direct personal experience from John Dewey’s more socialized approach, James’s distinctive emphasis on the transformative possibilities of pure experience and his links to romantic sensibility enable us to articulate and validate the noninstrumental aspects of (...) experienced environmental values that anti-pragmatists habitually regard pragmatism as unable to speak for. Using James’s framework to explicate and support Anthony Weston’s radically noninstrumental “immediate values” better expresses the felt noninstrumental worth of nature than intrinsic value theory can. Nonetheless, a rapprochement between the two sides is possible: although James’s pragmatic naturalism is the framework that can best capture nature’s experienced noninstrumental worth and link it to wider human values, intrinsic value theory has real practical application in the realm of law, and pragmatists can support it in that domain, thus upholding the primary emphasis on practicality and policy that is usually seen as pragmatism’s main strength. (shrink)
New employees face a variety of life and career transitions in early adulthood. This paper explores these transitions that shape personal and career identity. A supervisor can play a central role in facilitating employee development during these times but may be unwilling or ill-prepared to do so. At other times he/she may provide assistance that is unwanted and inappropriate to the employee's developmental needs. The paper develops a framework for examining the supervisor's ethical responsibility to facilitate employee development and provides (...) guidelines for managing these transitions. (shrink)