As the pre-eminent Enlightenment philosopher, Kant famously calls on all humans to make up their own minds, independently from the constraints imposed on them by others. Kant's focus, however, is on universal human reason, and he tells us little about what makes us individual persons. In this book, Katharina T. Kraus explores Kant's distinctive account of psychological personhood by unfolding how, according to Kant, we come to know ourselves as such persons. Drawing on Kant's Critical works and on his (...) Lectures and Reflections, Kraus develops the first textually comprehensive and systematically coherent account of our capacity for what Kant calls 'inner experience'. The novel view of self-knowledge and self-formation in Kant that she offers addresses present-day issues in philosophy of mind and will be relevant for contemporary philosophical debates. It will be of interest to scholars of the history of philosophy, as well as of philosophy of mind and psychology. (shrink)
When evaluating the arguer instead of the argument, we soon find ourselves confronted with a puzzling situation: what seems to be a virtue in one argumentative situation could very well be called a vice in another. This paper will present the idea that there are in fact two sets of virtues an arguer has to master—and with them four sometimes very different roles.
Developmental psychology currently faces a deep puzzle: most children before 4 years of age fail elicited-response false-belief tasks, but preverbal infants demonstrate spontaneous false-belief understanding. Two main strategies are available: cultural constructivism and early-belief understanding. The latter view assumes that failure at elicited-response false-belief tasks need not reflect the inability to understand false beliefs. The burden of early-belief understanding is to explain why elicited-response false-belief tasks are so challenging for most children under 4 years of age. The goal of this (...) article is to offer a pragmatic framework whose purpose is to discharge this burden. (shrink)
This article advocates a new interpretation ofinner experience– the experience that one has of one’s empirical-psychological features ‘from within’ – in Kant. It argues that for Kant inner experience is the empirical cognition of mental states, but not that of a persistent mental substance. The schema of persistence is thereby substituted with the regulative idea of the soul. This view is shown to be superior to two opposed interpretations: the parity view that regards inner experience as empirical cognition of a (...) mental object on a par with outer experience and the disparity view that denies altogether that inner experience is empirical cognition. (shrink)
Feminist argumentation theorists have criticized the Dominant Adversarial Model in argumentation, according to which arguers should take proponent and opponent roles and argue against one another. The model is deficient because it creates disadvantages for feminine gendered persons in a way that causes significant epistemic and practical harms. In this paper, I argue that the problem that these critics have pointed out can be generalized: whenever an arguer is given a role in the argument the associated tasks and norms of (...) which she cannot fulfill, she is liable to suffer morally significant harms. One way to react to this problem is by requiring arguers to set up argument structures and allocate roles so that the argument will be reasons-reflective in as balanced a way as possible. However, I argue that this would create to heavy a burden. Arguers would then habitually have to take on roles that require them to divert time and energy away from the goals that they started arguing for and instead serve the goal of ideal reasons-reflectiveness. At least prima facie arguers should be able to legitimately devote their time and energy towards their own goals. This creates a problem: On the one hand, structures that create morally significant harms for some arguers should be avoided—on the other hand, arguers should be able to take argument-roles that allow them to devote themselves to their own argumentative goals. Fulfilling the second requirement for some arguers will often create the morally significant harms for their interlocutors. There are two possible solutions for this problem: first, arguers might be required to reach free, consensual agreements on the structure they will adopt for their argument and the way they will distribute argumentative roles. I reject this option as both fundamentally unfeasible and practically unrealistic, based on arguments developed by theorists like Krabbe and Jacobs. I argue that instead, we should take a liberal view on argument ethics. Arguers should abide by moral side constraints to their role taking. They should feel free to take roles that will allow them to concentrate on their argumentative goals, but only if this does not create a situation in which their interlocutors are pushed into a role that that they cannot effectively play. (shrink)
Is argumentation essentially adversarial? The concept of a devil's advocate—a cooperative arguer who assumes the role of an opponent for the sake of the argument—serves as a lens to bring into clearer focus the ways that adversarial arguers can be virtuous and adversariality itself can contribute to argumentation's goals. It also shows the different ways arguments can be adversarial and the different ways that argumentation can be said to be "essentially" adversarial.
A realist view of numbers often rests on the following thesis: statements like ‘The number of moons of Jupiter is four’ are identity statements in which the copula is flanked by singular terms whose semantic function consists in referring to a number (henceforth: Identity). On the basis of Identity the realists argue that the assertive use of such statements commits us to numbers. Recently, some anti-realists have disputed this argument. According to them, Identity is false, and, thus, we may deny (...) that the relevant statements commit us to numbers. The present paper argues that the correct linguistic analysis of the relevant number statements supports the anti-realist view that Identity is false. However, as will further be shown, pace the anti-realist, this analysis does not establish that such statements do not commit us to numbers after all. (shrink)
ABSTRACTA powerful objection against moral conventionalism says that it gives the wrong reasons for individual rights and duties. The reason why I must not break my promise to you, for example, should lie in the damage to you—rather than to the practice of promising or to all other participants in that practice. Common targets of this objection include the theories of Hobbes, Gauthier, Hooker, Binmore, and Rawls. I argue that the conventionalism of these theories is superficial; genuinely conventionalist theories are (...) not vulnerable to the objection; and genuine moral conventionalism is independently plausible. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with an intuitive contrast that arises when we consider sentences containing empty definite descriptions. A sentence like ‘The king of France is bald’ appears neither true nor false, while a sentence like ‘My friend was visited by the king of France’ appears false. Recently, Stephen Yablo has suggested an account of this intuitive contrast. Yablo’s account is particularly interesting, since it has important consequences for the ontological commitments of number sentences like ‘The number of planets is (...) even’. However, the paper argues that Yablo’s account is not convincing and that it can thus not establish these consequences. Further, it develops a Strawsonian account of the intuitive contrast. The developed account allows us to draw important conclusions regarding the correct analysis of definite descriptions and of existence sentences containing definite descriptions. (shrink)
Bioethicists tend to focus on the individual as the relevant moral subject. Yet, in highly complex and socially differentiated healthcare systems a number of social groups, each committed to a common cause, are involved in medical decisions and sometimes even try to influence bioethical discourses according to their own agenda. We argue that the significance of these collective actors is unjustifiably neglected in bioethics. The growing influence of collective actors in the fields of biopolitics and bioethics leads us to pursue (...) the question as to how collective moral claims can be characterized and justified. We pay particular attention to elaborating the circumstances under which collective actors can claim ‘collective agency.’ Specifically, we develop four normative-practical criteria for collective agency in order to determine the conditions that must be given to reasonably speak of ‘collective autonomy’. For this purpose, we analyze patient organizations and families, which represent two quite different kinds of groups and can both be conceived as collective actors of high relevance for bioethical practice. Finally, we discuss some practical implications and explain why the existence of a shared practice of trust is of immediate normative relevance in this respect. (shrink)
This paper examines whether Kant’s Critical philosophy offers resources for a conception of empirical psychology as a theoretical science in its own right, rather than as a part of applied moral philosophy or of pragmatic anthropology. In contrast to current interpretations, this paper argues that Kant’s conception of inner experience provides relevant resources for the theoretical foundation of scientific psychology, in particular with respect to its subject matter and its methodological presuppositions. Central to this interpretation is the regulative idea of (...) the soul, which supplies principles of systematicity at different levels. Firstly, the idea defines the way in which we must reflect on mental beings, i.e., those beings that fall in the domain of psychology. Secondly, it provides a principle for the unification of a systematic body of psychological laws. In consequence, by approaching the object of psychology from the perspective of the self-conscious subject, who––in virtue of being capable of inner experience––first constitutes a psychological reality, Kant’s theory offers an attractive alternative to reductionist conceptions of psychology. (shrink)
Arguers sometimes cite a decision made in an earlier situation as a reason for making the equivalent decision in a later situation. I argue that there are two kinds of “case-to-case arguments”. First, there are arguments by precedent, which cite the mere existence of the past decision as a reason to decide in the same way again now, independent of the past decision’s merits. Second, there are case-to-case arguments from parralel reasoning which presuppose that the past decision was justified and (...) are used to show that an equivalent present decision would also be justified. Both arguments are a type of argument by analogy. They differ in their structures and conditions of cogency, even though they often look the same in presentation. Their similar appearance poses a risk of miss-evaluation and fallacious use. Therefore a clearly theorized distinction is important. (shrink)
If circumstances were always simple and all arguers were always exclusively concerned with cognitive improvement, arguments would probably always be cooperative. However, we have other goals and there are other arguers, so in practice the default seems to be adversarial argumentation. We naturally inhabit the heuristically helpful but cooperation-inhibiting roles of proponents and opponents. We can, however, opt for more cooperative roles. The resources of virtue argumentation theory are used to explain when proactive cooperation is permissible, advisable, and even mandatory (...) – and also when it is not. (shrink)
It has recently been pointed out that the cloudiness of the concept of authenticity as well as inflated ideologies of the ‘true self’ provide good reasons to criticize theories and ideals of authenticity. Nevertheless, there are also good reasons to defend an ethical ideal of authenticity, not least because of its critical and oppositional force, which is directed against experiences of self-abandonment and self-alienation. I will argue for an elaborated ethical ideal of authenticity: the ambitious ideal of a continuous self-reflective (...) process of ‘self-authentication’. For this purpose, the ideal of being authentic in expressing and unfolding one’s individual personality and characteristics will be combined with the ideal of being ‘an authentic person’ - whereby ‘a person’ is to be understood in a Kantian sense as an autonomous person who is reasonable and morally responsible. (shrink)
Anscombe is usually seen as a critic of “Modern Moral Philosophy.” I attempt a systematic reconstruction and a defense of Anscombe’s positive theory. Anscombe’s metaethics is a hybrid of social constructivism and Aristotelian naturalism. Her three main claims are the following: (1) We cannot trace all duties back to one moral principle; there is more than one source of normativity. (2) Whether I have a certain duty will often be determined by the social practices of my community. For instance, duties (...) imposed by other people’s rights are socially constructed. (3) Whether something constitutes a good, however, will often be determined by human nature—which is not socially constructed. (shrink)
ABSTRACTRumination and worry are two perseverative, negatively valenced thought processes that characterise depressive and anxiety disorders. Despite significant research interest, little is known about the everyday precipitants and consequences of rumination and worry. Using an experience sampling methodology, we examined and compared rumination and worry with respect to their relations to daily events and affective experience. Participants diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, co-occurring MDD–GAD, or no diagnosis carried an electronic device for one week and reported on rumination, (...) worry, significant events, positive affect, and negative affect. Across the clinical groups, occurrences of everyday events predicted subsequent increases in rumination, but not worry. Further, higher momentary levels of rumination, but not worry, predicted subsequent decreases in PA and increases in NA. Thus, in these clinical groups, rumination was more susceptible to... (shrink)
In this paper, we argue that ‘good care’ in residential nursing homes is enacted through different care practices that are either inspired by a ‘professional logic of care’ that aims for justice and non-maleficence in the professional treatment of residents, or by a ‘relational logic of care’, which attends to the relational quality and the meaning of interpersonal connectedness in people’s lives. Rather than favoring one care logic over the other, this paper indicates how important aspects of care are constantly (...) negotiated between different care practices. Based on the intricate everyday negotiations observed during an ethnographic field study at an elderly nursing home in Germany, the paper puts forth the argument that care is always a matter of tinkering with different, sometimes competing ‘goods’. This tinkering process, which unfolds through ‘intuitive deliberation’, ‘situated assessment’ and ‘affective juggling’ is then theorized along the conceptualization of a ‘practical ethics of care’: an ethics which makes no a priori judgments of what may be considered as good or bad care, but instead calls for momentary judgments that are pliable across changing situations. (shrink)
Because it is often argued that surrogacy should not be treated as contractual, the question arises in which terms this practice might then be couched. In this article, I argue that a phenomenology of surrogacy centering on the notion of trust provides a description that is illuminating from the moral point of view. My thesis is that surrogacy establishes a complex and extended reproductive unit––the “surrogacy triad” consisting of the surrogate mother, the child, and the intending parents––whose constituents are bound (...) together by mutual trustful commitments. Even though a trust-based approach does not provide an ultimate answer to whether surrogacy should be sanctioned or prohibited, it allows for at least some practical suggestions. In particular, I will argue that, under certain conditions, surrogacy is tenable within familial or other significant relationships, and I will stress the necessity of acknowledging the new relationships and moral commitments that result from this practice. (shrink)
Many legal, social, and medical theorists and practitioners, as well as lay people, seem to be concerned with the harmfulness of discriminative practices. However, the philosophical literature on the moral wrongness of discrimination, with a few exceptions, does not focus on harm. In this paper, I examine, and improve, a recent account of wrongful discrimination, which divides into a definition of group discrimination, and a characterisation of its moral wrong-making feature in terms of harm. The resulting account analyses the wrongness (...) of discrimination in terms of intrapersonal comparisons of the discriminatee’s actual, and relevantly counterfactual, well-being levels. I show that the account faces problems from counterfactuals, which can be traced back specifically to the orthodox - comparative, counterfactual, welfarist - concept of harm. I argue that non-counterfactual and non-comparative harm concepts face problems of their own, and don’t fit easily with our best understanding of discrimination; hence they are unsuitable to replace the orthodox concept here. I then propose a non-orthodox - comparative, counterfactual, hybrid - concept of harm, which relies on counterfactual comparisons of ways of being treated. I suggest how such a concept can help us handle the problems from counterfactuals, at least for my account of discrimination. I also show that there are similar proposals in other harm-related debates. An upshot of the paper is thus to corroborate the case for a non-orthodox, hybrid concept of harm, which seems better able to fulfil its functional roles in a variety of contexts. (shrink)
Hume's explanation of our tendency to confuse calm passions with reason due to lack of feeling appears to present a tension with his claim that we cannot be mistaken about our own impressions. I argue that the calm/violent distinction cannot be understood in terms of presence/absence of feeling. Rather, for Hume the presence or absence of disruption and disordering of natural and/or customary modes of thought is the key distinction between the calm and violent passions. This reading provides new explanations (...) of our confusion of calm passions with reason, and the potential for calm passions to prevail over violent. (shrink)
German medical schools have not yet sufficiently introduced students to the field of good scientific practice. In order to prevent scientific misconduct and to foster scientific integrity, courses on GSP must be an integral part of the curriculum of medical students. Based on a review of the literature, teaching units and materials for two courses on GSP were developed and tested in a pilot course. The pilot course was accompanied by a pre-post evaluation that assessed students’ knowledge and attitudes towards (...) scientific integrity and scientific misconduct. A syllabus was designed that comprised the following six topics: theoretical foundations of GSP; scientific publishing; empirical data; scientific supervision and teamwork; clinical research; personal interests. The comparison pre versus post-intervention yielded statistically significant changes in regard to the participants’ knowledge and attitude toward all forms of scientific misconduct treated in the course. As the majority of participants was not familiar with the fundamental regulations or guidelines of GSP, it seems crucial to train students in actively applying such norms to real-world conflicts. Students’ unfamiliarity with the fundamentals of GSP can be linked to the fact that many students have already experienced forms of scientific misconduct. Thus, GSP syllabi should be closely adjusted to a student’s realm of experience. All in all, courses on GSP can be seen as a potential means to increase the number of young scholars. (shrink)
Problems arise when applying the current procedural conceptualization of decision-making capacity to paediatric healthcare: Its emphasis on content-neutrality and rational cognition as well as its implicit assumption that capacity is an ability that resides within a person jeopardizes children’s position in decision-making. The purpose of the paper is to challenge this dominant account of capacity and provide an alternative for how capacity should be understood in paediatric care. First, the influence of developmental psychologist Jean Piaget upon the notion of capacity (...) is discussed, followed by an examination of Vygostky’s contextualist view on children’s development, which emphasizes social interactions and learning for decision-making capacity. In drawing parallels between autonomy and capacity, substantive approaches to relational autonomy are presented that underline the importance of the content of a decision. The authors then provide a relational reconceptualization of capacity that leads the focus away from the individual to include important social others such as parents and physicians. Within this new approach, the outcome of adults’ decision-making processes is accepted as a guiding factor for a good decision for the child. If the child makes a choice that is not approved by adults, the new conceptualization emphasizes mutual exchange and engagement by both parties. (shrink)
Recently some bioethicists and neuroscientists have argued for an imperative of chemical cognitive enhancement. This imperative is usually based on consequentialist grounds. In this paper, the topic of cognitive self-enhancement is discussed from a Kantian point of view in order to shed new light on the controversial debate. With Kant, it is an imperfect duty to oneself to strive for perfecting one’s own natural and moral capacities beyond one’s natural condition, but there is no duty to enhance others. A Kantian (...) approach does not directly lead to a duty of chemical cognitive self-enhancement, but it also does not clearly rule out that this type of enhancement can be an appropriate means to the end of self-improvement. The paper shows the benefits of a Kantian view, which offers a consistent ideal of self-perfection and teaches us a lesson about the crucial relevance of the attitude that underlies one’s striving for cognitive self-improvement: the lesson of treating oneself as an end in itself and not as mere means to the end of better output. (shrink)
When facing a choice between saving one person and saving many, some people have argued that fairness requires us to decide without aggregating numbers; rather we should decide by coin toss or some form of lottery, or alternatively we should straightforwardly save the greater number but justify this in a non-aggregating contractualist way. This paper expands the debate beyond well-known number cases to previously under-considered probability cases, in which not (only) the numbers of people, but (also) the probabilities of success (...) for saving people vary. It is shown that, in these latter cases, both the coin toss and the lottery lead to what is called an awkward conclusion, which makes probabilities count in a problematic way. Attempts to avoid this conclusion are shown to lead into difficulties as well. Finally, it is shown that while the greater number method cannot be justified on contractualist grounds for probability cases, it may be replaced by another decision method which is so justified. This decision method is extensionally equivalent to maximising expected value and seems to be the least problematic way of dealing with probability cases in a non-aggregating manner. (shrink)
When a new theory of argumentation becomes available on the English-speaking market, such as it is happening now through the translation of Harald Wohlrapp’s The Concept of Argument, it is always interesting to work out how the new input will interact with the work that has otherwise been done in the field. This comment aims to determine whether rhetoric has a place in Wohlrapp’s account of argumentation.
Hegel introduced the Phenomenology of Mind as a work on the problem of knowledge. In the first chapter, entitled “Sense Certainty, or the This and Meaning,” he concluded that knowledge cannot consist of an immediate awareness of particulars ). The tradition discusses sense certainty in terms of this failure of immediate knowledge without, however, specifically addressing the problem of reference. Yet reference is distinct from knowledge in the sense that while there can be no knowledge of objects without reference, there (...) may be reference without knowledge. If that is the case, then the failure of immediate knowledge does not entitle us to conclude anything about the success or failure of reference. It is not surprising, then, that a few scholars have begun to examine sense certainty primarily as a thesis about reference. (shrink)
Located at the crossroads of the Eastern and Western world, Turkey today is characterized by a demographically versatile and modernizing society as well as a rapidly developing economy. Currently, the country is negotiating its accession to the European Union. This article yields some factual grounding into the ongoing value-related debate concerning Turkey's potential EU-membership. It describes a mixed-methodology study on moral reasoning in Austria and Turkey. In this study, the arguments given by individuals when evaluating ethically problematic situations in business (...) were compared. Although there were major consistencies, a number of differences were found. These differences, however, were not in the substance (categories) of arguments used but in their relative frequency. Overall, our findings suggest that young, well-educated urban individuals from Western Christian and Eastern Islamic countries are highly consistent in their moral reasoning. (shrink)
Located at the crossroads of the Eastern and Western world, Turkey today is characterized by a demographically versatile and modernizing society as well as a rapidly developing economy. Currently, the country is negotiating its accession to the European Union. This article yields some factual grounding into the ongoing value-related debate concerning Turkey's potential EU-membership. It describes a mixed-methodology study on moral reasoning in Austria and Turkey. In this study, the arguments given by individuals when evaluating ethically problematic situations in business (...) were compared. Although there were major consistencies, a number of differences were found. These differences, however, were not in the substance of arguments used but in their relative frequency. Overall, our findings suggest that young, well-educated urban individuals from Western Christian and Eastern Islamic countries are highly consistent in their moral reasoning. (shrink)
The environment can have a long‐lasting influence on an individual's physiology and behavior. While some environmental conditions can be beneficial and result in adaptive responses, others can lead to pathological behaviors. Many studies have demonstrated that changes induced by the environment are expressed not only by the individuals directly exposed, but also by the offspring sometimes across multiple generations. Epigenetic alterations have been proposed as underlying mechanisms for such transmissible effects. Here, we review the most relevant literature on these changes (...) and the developmental stages they affect the most. We discuss current evidence for transgenerational effects of prenatal and postnatal factors on bodily functions and behavioral responses, and the potential epigenetic mechanisms involved. We also discuss the need for a careful evaluation of the evolutionary importance with respect to health and disease, and possible directions for future research in the field. (shrink)
Katharina D. Giesel befasst sich mit den Fragen, was in den verschiedensten Sozialwissenschaften unter Leitbildern verstanden wird, wie diese Kategorie konzeptionell in Forschungs- und Handlungskonzepte eingebunden wird und inwiefern ...
I argue that all rights exist by convention. According to my definition, a right exists by convention just in case its justification appeals to the rules of a socially shared pattern of acting. I show that our usual justifications for rights are circular, that a right fulfills my criterion if all possible justifications for it are circular, and that all existing philosophical justifications for rights are circular or fail. We find three non-circular alternatives in the literature, viz. justifications of rights (...) by consequences, by autonomy or by divine commands. I show that all three alternatives fail, and I conclude that all rights exist by convention. This ontological result has a surprising and beneficial consequence. A common argument against conventionalism is that it implies cultural relativism. I finish by showing that the suggested conventionalism is incompatible with cultural relativism. (shrink)