In the case of an intellectually disabled patient, the attending physician was restricted from writing a Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) order. Although the rationale for this restriction was to protect the patient from an inappropriate quality of life judgment, it resulted in a worse death than the patient would have experienced had he not been disabled. Such restrictions that are intended to protect intellectually disabled patients may violate their right to equal treatment and to a dignified death.
Faced with the choice between creating a risk of harm and taking a precaution against that risk, should I take the precaution? Does the proper analysis of this trade-off require a maximizing, utilitarian approach? If not, how does one properly analyze the trade-off? These questions are important, for we often are uncertain about the effects of our actions. Accordingly, we often must consider whether our actions create an unreasonable risk of injury — that is, whether our actions are negligent.
In the extended mind literature, one sometimes finds the claim that there is no neural correlate of consciousness. Instead, there is a biological or ecological correlate of consciousness. Consciousness, it is claimed, supervenes on an entire organism in action. Alva Noë is one of the leading proponents of such a view. This paper resists Noë's view. First, it challenges the evidence he offers from neuroplasticity. Second, it presses a problem with paralysis. Third, it draws attention to a challenge from the (...) existence of metamers and visual illusions. (shrink)
The Oxford English Dictionary says that a rite is ‘a formal procedure or act in a religious or other solemn observance’. The word comes into English through the French rite from the Latin ritus . Its original meaning escapes etymologists; and this is a mixed blessing, for we neither can nor must attempt a retrieval of its hidden roots. We are told by respectable etymologists that the word is associated from earliest times with Latin religious usage, but that even in (...) the early Latin it was already extended to ‘custom, usage, manner or way’ of a non-religious sort. [Lewis and Short, A Latin Dictionary .] So, too, in modern languages the terms ‘rite’ and ‘ritual’ have specifically religious meaning, but they are also used in social and cultural settings that we would not call religious. What first strikes us about the terms ’ and ‘ritual’ is an emphasis upon a certain formality, upon a regular and stable way in which an action or set of actions is to be performed. A ritual is more than a formalism, however, since there are formalisms that are not rites, such as the logical rules for making a valid argument. Moreover, the term is frequently associated with the terms ‘myth’, ‘symbol’ and ‘faith’. These, too, are primarily religious, but are also extended to non-religious contexts. Indeed, there seems to be a network of such terms whose usage touches upon some extraordinary quality in things. Like them, the term ‘ritual’ shares both a wide variety of meanings and a certain hint of impropriety. The variety of ritual forms is notorious, ranging from the most sacred religious liturgies to the absurdities of a fraternity initiation; and the impropriety of the term breaks out whenever we brand a certain action ‘ritualistic’, just as we sometimes refer slightingly to an assertion, saying it is ‘mythical’, ‘merely symbolic’ or ‘credulous’. (shrink)
Since something cannot be conscious without being a conscious subject, a complete physicalist explanation of consciousness must resolve an issue first raised by Thomas Nagel, namely to explain why a particular mass of atoms that comprises my body gives rise to me as conscious subject, rather than someone else. In this essay, I describe a thought-experiment that suggests that physicalism lacks the resources to address Nagel's question and seems to pose a counter-example to any form of non-reductive physicalism relying on (...) the mind–body supervenience thesis, which would include William Hasker's emergent dualism. Since the particular thought-experiment does not pose any problems for classical substance dualism and since the problem, as I call it, of explaining subjectivity is the central problem of mind, I conclude that CSD is better supported than any form of non-reductive physicalism. (shrink)
To be truly provocative and outrageous the superior philosophical sophistry will commonly possess four somewhat adventitious features. I shall rate it as classic if it has all four. First, and least adventitiously, the argument will be crisp and initially seductive. Second, by the standard the sophistry sets direct rebuttal will be laborious and diffuse. Third, the recipe for the latter will prescribe that we pick out some hitherto unarticulated logical principle such that if the principle be true then the sophistical (...) argument must be invalid, and then, on the strength of that consequence assume the principle to be true. Consequently and fourth, as an antidote parody is supreme. With a persuasive absence of fuss and bias we can turn the tables if we show that, if the sophistical argument were really valid, then some structurally similar argument would prove just as consummately far too much. In short, from the rhetorical point of view at least, Gaunilo is more lethal than Kant. Even if the similarity is defective, the sophist will lose some of his adventitious and insufferable poise, if he ventures to show why. (shrink)
One version of the free-will argument relies on the claim that, other things being equal, a world in which free beings exist is morally preferable to a world in which free beings do not exist . I argue that this version of the free-will argument cannot support a theodicy that should alleviate the doubts about God's existence to which the problems of evil give rise. In particular, I argue that the value thesis has no foundation in common intuitions about morality. (...) Without some sort of intuitive support, the value thesis lacks the resources to serve as the foundation for a theodicy that addresses the powerful intuition, which affects believers and non-believers alike, that a perfect God would not allow so much evil. (shrink)
Kenneth F. Schaffner compares the practice of biological and medical research and shows how traditional topics in philosophy of science--such as the nature of theories and of explanation--can illuminate the life sciences. While Schaffner pays some attention to the conceptual questions of evolutionary biology, his chief focus is on the examples that immunology, human genetics, neuroscience, and internal medicine provide for examinations of the way scientists develop, examine, test, and apply theories. Although traditional philosophy of science has regarded scientific (...) discovery--the questions of creativity in science--as a subject for psychological rather than philosophical study, Schaffner argues that recent work in cognitive science and artificial intelligence enables researchers to rationally analyze the nature of discovery. As a philosopher of science who holds an M.D., he has examined biomedical work from the inside and uses detailed examples from the entire range of the life sciences to support the semantic approach to scientific theories, addressing whether there are "laws" in the life sciences as there are in the physical sciences. Schaffner's novel use of philosophical tools to deal with scientific research in all of its complexity provides a distinctive angle on basic questions of scientific evaluation and explanation. (shrink)
The existence of a Richter–Peleg multi-utility representation of a preorder by means of upper semicontinuous or continuous functions is discussed in connection with the existence of a Richter–Peleg utility representation. We give several applications that include the analysis of countable Richter–Peleg multi-utility representations.
Ever since the Proslogion was first circulated , critics have been bemused by St Anselm's brazen attempt to establish a matter of fact, namely, God's existence, from the simple analysis of a term or concept. Yet every critic who has proposed to ‘write the obituary’ of the Ontological Argument has found it to be remarkably resilient . At the risk of adding to a record of failures, I want to venture a new method for attacking this durable argument. Neither the (...) common version of Anselm's argument from Chapter II of the Proslogion nor the previously unrecognized modal version uncovered by Norman Malcolm from Pros , III can possibly get under way without Anselm's celebrated assertion that God is that than which no greater can be conceived. (shrink)
Published posthumously in 1908, Ecce Homo was written in 1888 and completed just a few weeks before Nietzsche’s complete mental collapse. Its outrageously egotistical review of the philosopher’s life and works—featuring chapters called Why I Am So Wise and Why I Write Such Good Books—are redeemed from mere arrogance by masterful language and ever-relevant ideas. In addition to settling scores with his many personal and philosophical enemies, Nietzsche emphasizes the importance of questioning traditional morality, establishing autonomy, and making a commitment (...) to creativity. Essential reading for students of philosophy, this unique memoir is crucial to an understanding of Nietzsche’s other works. (shrink)
Tobacco companies have started to position themselves as good corporate citizens. The effort towards CSR engagement in the tobacco industry is not only heavily criticized by anti-tobacco NGOs. Some opponents such as the the World Health Organization have even categorically questioned the possibility of social responsibility in the tobacco industry. The paper will demonstrate that the deep distrust towards tobacco companies is linked to the lethal character of their products and the dubious behavior of their representatives in recent decades. As (...) a result, tobacco companies are not in the CSR business in the strict sense. Key aspects of mainstream CSR theory and practice such as corporate philanthropy, stakeholder collaboration, CSR reporting and self-regulation, are demonstrated to be ineffective or even counterproductive in the tobacco industry. Building upon the terminology used in the leadership literature, the paper proposes to differentiate between transactional and transformational CSR arguing that tobacco companies can only operate on a transactional level. As a consequence, corporate responsibility in the tobacco industry is based upon a much thinner approach to CSR and has to be conceptualized with a focus on transactional integrity across the tobacco supply chain. (shrink)
Kant famously declares that “although all our cognition commences with experience, … it does not on that account all arise from experience”. This marks Kant’s disagreement with empiricism, and his contention that human knowledge and experience require both sensation and the use of certain a priori concepts, the Categories. However, this is only the surface of Kant’s much deeper, though neglected view about the nature of reason and judgment. Kant holds that even our a priori concepts are acquired, not from (...) sensation, but “originally,” because our mind has a fundamental capacity to judge that, upon sensory stimulation, generates the Categories through its basic logical functions of judgment. This “epigenesis” of reason and our fundamental capacity to judge that drives it is the topic of Longuenesse’s fascinating book, and the source of her title. (shrink)
This article reviews 1 decade of research on cheating in academic institutions. This research demonstrates that cheating is prevalent and that some forms of cheating have increased dramatically in the last 30 years. This research also suggests that although both individual and contextual factors influence cheating, contextual factors, such as students' perceptions of peers' behavior, are the most powerful influence. In addition, an institution's academic integrity programs and policies, such as honor codes, can have a significant influence on students' behavior. (...) Finally, we offer suggestions for managing cheating from students' and faculty members' perspectives. (shrink)
This book is the first detailed study of Kant's method of 'transcendental reflection' and its use in the Critique of Pure Reason to identify our basic human cognitive capacities, and to justify Kant's transcendental proofs of the necessary a priori conditions for the possibility of self-conscious human experience. Kenneth Westphal, in a closely argued internal critique of Kant's analysis, shows that if we take Kant's project seriously in its own terms, the result is not transcendental idealism but realism regarding (...) physical objects. Westphal attends to neglected topics - Kant's analyses of the transcendental affinity of the sensory manifold, the 'lifelessness of matter', fallibilism, the semantics of cognitive reference, four externalist aspects of Kant's views, and the importance of Kant's Metaphysical Foundations for the Critique of Pure Reason - that illuminate Kant's enterprise in new and valuable ways. His book will appeal to all who are interested in Kant's theoretical philosophy. (shrink)
The argument from contingency for the existence of God is best understood as a request for an explanation of the total sequence of causes and effects in the universe (‘History’ for short). Many puzzles about how there could be such an explanation arise from the assumption that God is being introduced as one more cause prepended to the sequence of causes that (allegedly) needed explaining. In response to this difficulty, this chapter defends three theses. First, it argues that, if the (...) argument from contingency is to succeed, the explanation of History in terms of God must not be a causal explanation; second, that a particular hypothesis about God’s relation to History—that God is what I call the foundational ground of History—is intelligible and explanatory; third and finally, that the explanatory advantages of this hypothesis cannot be had within the confines of naturalism. (shrink)
Mental health professionals who care for asylum seekers in Western European countries increasingly encounter problems for which standard diagnostic and therapeutic protocols and institutional healthcare policies offer no ready answers. In the following case vignettes some of these problems can be identified.
In this essay, I describe and explain the standard accounts of agency, natural agency, artificial agency, and moral agency, as well as articulate what are widely taken to be the criteria for moral agency, supporting the contention that this is the standard account with citations from such widely used and respected professional resources as the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. I then flesh out the implications of some of these well-settled theories (...) with respect to the prerequisites that an ICT must satisfy in order to count as a moral agent accountable for its behavior. I argue that each of the various elements of the necessary conditions for moral agency presupposes consciousness, i.e., the capacity for inner subjective experience like that of pain or, as Nagel puts it, the possession of an internal something-of-which-it is-is-to-be-like. I ultimately conclude that the issue of whether artificial moral agency is possible depends on the issue of whether it is possible for ICTs to be conscious. (shrink)
This book marks Kenneth Burke's breakthrough in criticism from the literary and aesthetic into social theory and the philosophy of history. In this volume we find Burke's first entry into what he calls his theory of Dramatism and here also is an important section on the nature of ritual.
Evolutionary processes such as natural selection and random drift are commonly regarded as causes of population-level change. We respond to a recent challenge that drift and selection are best understood as statistical trends, not causes. Our reply appeals to manipulation as a strategy for uncovering causal relationships: if you can systematically manipulate variable A to bring about a change in variable B, then A is a cause of B. We argue that selection and drift can be systematically manipulated to produce (...) different kinds of population-level change. They should therefore be regarded as causes. (shrink)
Over the past decade, clinical ethics has received growing attention in Germany as in most European countries. In the mid-1990s, most European countries made efforts to establish healthcare ethics committees and clinical ethics consultation services. The development of clinical ethics discourse and activities in Germany, however, was delayed and, consequently, is still in its natal phase. Until the end of the 1990s, the only institutionalized bodies of ethical reflection were the research ethics committees at university medical centers and at the (...) State Physician Chambers. In March 1997, the Catholic and Protestant hospital association in Germany recommended the implementation of HECs, modeled after the American HECs. Consequently, the establishment of clinical ethics consultation in the form of HECs started in Germany in denominational hospitals, followed by a small but increasing number of community hospitals. (shrink)
Multiple arousal theory suggests that there is more than one arousal system and that the activity of the multiple arousal systems can be observed using electrodermal measures at various body sites. The ideas expressed by multiple arousal theory are interesting but they do not constitute a theory. The absence of a specific definition of arousal and the lack of testable predictions prevent multiple arousal theory from constituting a useful theoretical framework for focussed empirical research.
A great deal of the criticism directed at Locke's theory of abstract ideas assumes that a Lockean abstract idea is a special kind of idea which by its very nature either represents many diverse particulars or represents separately things that cannot exist in separation. This interpretation of Locke has been challenged by scholars such as Kenneth Winkler and Michael Ayers who regard it as uncharitable in light of the obvious problems faced by this theory of abstraction. Winkler and Ayers (...) argue that Locke instead held that to have an abstract idea is to attend selectively to some portion of the content of a particular idea. On this view, to have an abstract idea is not to have a special kind of idea but to have an ordinary idea in a special way. Ayers argues that Locke inherited this theory from Arnauld. I argue that the case made by Ayers for the attribution of the extrinsic theory to Locke rests on a misinterpretation of Arnauld. In fact, both Locke and Arnauld regard selective attention as part of a process whereby a new kind of idea is constructed. (shrink)
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: -/-  JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 23:1 JANUARY 198 5 Book Reviews Kenneth Dorter. Plato's 'Phaedo': An Interpretation. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1982. Pp. xi + 233. $28.50. Kenneth Dorter of the University of Guelph has given us a useful and unusual study of the Phaedo, which will attract the interest of a variety of Plato's readers. He provides the careful studies of (...) the dialogue's arguments for immortality to be expected in a sound commentary, paying close attention to the text as well as to recent scholarship, and displaying a good sense of argument. What gives the book additional interest, however, are its features as an interpretation of the Phaedo. Two stand out. First, Dorter wishes to give full weight not only to the logic of the arguments but also to the dramatic details of Plato's writing, believing these to be important in disclosing Plato's intentions. Secondly, he reads the Phaedo in light of a more general understanding of Plato's philosophy, especially the nature of the soul in its cosmic as well as individual aspects. Much of this is set out in a final speculative chapter, where Dorter seeks to make intelligible Plato's developing conception of soul by means of such notions as energy and poles of consciousness. Not every reader will be persuaded; but Dorter is to be commended for an attempt to move the discussion beyond the Phaedo and Plato's own vocabulary. The study gains its coherence from Dorter's belief that Plato's view of soul cannot support the ostensible aim of the dialogue, to provide reassurance of personal immortality. Although he has no doubt that for the Platonic Socrates there is "a meaningful sense in which we may be called immortal" (94, cf. 159), Dorter's analysis must be stretched to provide that sense. In part this is a result of his assessment of the arguments. The first, from reciprocity in nature, can at most show that, given the eternal nature of the world, soul and corporeality in general must continue to exist. The argument from recollection can point only to a non-empirical element in our knowledge ; that from the soul's kinship with the divine is best seen as an analogy developed to awaken within us a sense of eternity. The final argument, though containing fallacies (157), will support the conclusion that immortal soul is imperishable as long as soul is regarded as motive force in the universe, in the first argument's sense. In none of these discussions, then, can Plato's reasoning yield up personal survival. But there is another part to Dorter's case, underlying this conclusion. For Plato the individual human being is a composite of soul and body; so even if Plato were to prove the immortality of the soul he could never establish personal survival (63-64). It is not surprising then that Dorter is left with a doctrine of immortality either reduced to a "discovery of eternity within ourselves" (77), or else dissolved into a principle of enduring cosmic energy. So in neither case does it seem meaningful for Plato to say that we are immortal: the eternal which we sense is no more us than it is anything else. Although it is of course possible that Plato did not intend this consequence of his arguments, Dorter thinks otherwise. In support he invokes literary features of the dialogue to argue that Plato operates on one level for the less sophisticated (who wish to be persuaded of personal survival) and on another for the philosophically reflective reader. Dorter treats the textual evidence for this claim with an appropriate modesty, and tries to justify Plato's apparent duplicity as an attempt to convince the weak by a 'noble lie' (95-97). Nevertheless this leads Dorter to mix together too quickly for this reader popular religion, myth, and metaphor. To the fact that Plato does not espouse the language of popular religion literally, Dorter adds his own view of myth as an imaginative appeal to emotion that can be translated without loss into rational discourse (7, 165, a95). So the accounts of the afterlife at 8oc-84 b... (shrink)
What is the nature of law and what is the best way to discover it? This book argues that law is best understood in terms of the social functions it performs wherever it is found in human society. In order to support this claim, law is explained as a kind of institution and as a kind of artefact. To say that it is an institution is to say that it is designed for creating and conferring special statuses to people so (...) as to alter their rights and responsibilities toward each other. To say that it is an artefact is to say that it is a tool of human creation that is designed to signal its usability to people who interact with it. This picture of law's nature is marshalled to critique theories of law that see it mainly as a product of reason or morality, understanding those theories via their conceptions of law's function. It is also used to argue against those legal positivists who see law's functions as relatively minor aspects of its nature. -/- This method of conceptualizing law's nature helps us to explain how the law, understood as social facts, can make normative demands upon us. It also recommends a methodology for understanding law that combines elements of conceptual analysis with empirical research for uncovering the purposes to which diverse peoples put their legal activities. (shrink)
Elizabeth Anscombe's paper ‘Modern Moral Philosophy’ 1 seems clearly to have failed in its task. Kurt Baier describes the paper as ‘widely discussed and much admired’ 2 and Peter Winch has called one of its three theses ‘enormously influential’ 3 within moral philosophy.
Behaving presents an overview of the recent history and methodology of behavioral genetics and psychiatric genetics, informed by a philosophical perspective. Kenneth F. Schaffner addresses a wide range of issues, including genetic reductionism and determinism, "free will," and quantitative and molecular genetics. The latter covers newer genome-wide association studies that have produced a paradigm shift in the subject, and generated the problem of "missing heritability." Schaffner also presents cases involving pro and con arguments for genetic testing for IQ and (...) for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Schaffner examines the nature-nurture controversy and Developmental Systems Theory using C. elegans or "worm" studies as a test case, concluding that genes are special and provide powerful tools, including "deep homology," for investigating behavior. He offers a novel account of biological knowledge emphasizing the importance of models, mechanisms, pathways, and networks, which clarifies how partial reductions provide explanations of traits and disorders. The book also includes examinations of personality genetics and of schizophrenia and its etiology, alongside interviews with prominent researchers in the area, and discusses debates about psychosis that led to changes in the DSM-5 in 2013.Schaffner concludes by discussing additional philosophical implications of the genetic analyses in the book, some major worries about "free will," and arguments pro and con about why genes and DNA are so special. Though genes are special, newer perspectives presented in this book will be needed for progress in behavioral genetics- perspectives that situate genes in complex multilevel prototypic pathways and networks. With a mix of optimism and pessimism about the state of the field and the subject, Schaffner's book will be of interest to scholars in the history and philosophy of science, medicine, and psychiatry. (shrink)
Recently, there has been growing concern that increased partisanship in news sources, as well as new ways in which people acquire information, has led to a proliferation of epistemic bubbles and echo chambers: in the former, one tends to acquire information from a limited range of sources, ones that generally support the kinds of beliefs that one already has, while the latter function in the same way, but possess the additional characteristic that certain beliefs are actively reinforced. Here I argue, (...) first, that we should conceive of epistemic bubbles and echo chambers as types of epistemically pernicious groups, and second, that while analyses of such groups have typically focused on relationships between individual members, at least part of what such groups epistemically pernicious pertains to the way that members rely on the groups themselves as sources of information. I argue that member reliance on groups results in groups being attributed a degree of credibility that outruns their warrant, a process I call groupstrapping. I argue that by recognizing the groupstrapping as an illicit method of forming and updating beliefs we can make progress on some of the open questions concerning epistemically pernicious groups. (shrink)