How should we make choices when we know so little about our futures? L. A. Paul argues that we must view life decisions as choices to make discoveries about the nature of experience. Her account of transformative experience holds that part of the value of living authentically is to experience our lives and preferences in whatever ways they evolve.
This is an extremely thorough revision of the leading textbook of bioethics. The authors have made many improvements in style, organization, argument and content. These changes reflect advances in the bioethics literature over the past five years. The most dramatic expansions of the text are in the comprehensiveness with which the authors treat different currents in ethical theory and the greater breadth and depth of their discussion of public policy and public health issues. In every chapter, readers will find new (...) material and refinements of old discussions. This is evident in the many new sections on topics like communitarianism, ethics of care, relationship-based accounts, casuistry, case-based reasoning, principle-based common-morality theories, the justification of assistance in dying, rationing through priorities in the health care budget, and virtues in professional roles. The most extensive revisions are in chapters 1, 2 and 8. (shrink)
Dieser Artikel ist die Übersetzung des zuerst in 1950 veröffentlichten Schlüsseltextes “Humanisme og kristendom” des dänischen Philosophen und Theologen Knud E. Løgstrup. In diesem Text legt Løgstrup seine Konzeption der Debatte zwischen Humanismus und Christentum dar. Er argumentiert dafür, dass die beiden Positionen nicht als einander entgegengesetzt zu betrachten sind, da beide die Interdependenz und Verletzlichkeit des Menschseins als Grundlage für eine “stumme” Forderung nach Umsorge erkennen – auch wenn der Humanismus in dieser Forderung lediglich die Leistung sozialer Normen sehen (...) und das Christentum sie mit Lehren der Kirche verwechseln kann. So betrachtet, greift der Text als erster Entwurf jenen Ideen vor, die Løgstrup in seinem späteren Hauptwerk Den etiske fordring entwickeln sollte. (shrink)
I explore some of the ways that assumptions about the nature of substance shape metaphysical debates about the structure of Reality. Assumptions about the priority of substance play a role in an argument for monism, are embedded in certain pluralist metaphysical treatments of laws of nature, and are central to discussions of substantivalism and relationalism. I will then argue that we should reject such assumptions and collapse the categorical distinction between substance and property.
Next SectionIn this paper the authors discuss the benefits of history and literature in the teaching of medical humanities. They suggest that human sciences produce a common effect, which they call distancing. Distancing is the awareness that one natural way to describe a given situation does not exist and that any point of view—scientific or not—is context dependant and culturally shaped. Distancing is important to medical students, by allowing them to become aware of the specificity of their own professional point (...) of view. The authors offer a reflection on the specificities of both historical and literary approaches and on the tools they provide for medical students. This paper assumes there is a close link between the theoretical debate on the benefits provided by human sciences and the concrete framework of a given programme. The authors describe team teaching, which has been the solution adopted in the School of Medicine at the University of Geneva to obtain the most from history and literature. (shrink)
This article explores Gerardus van der Leeuw’s view of phenomenology of religion. The phenomenological method he defended is basically a hermeneutical approach in which an observer relates personally and even existentially to the “phenomena” he studies in order to determine their essence. In his anthropology a similar way of relating to the world is discussed: the “primitive mentality” that is characterized by the “need to participate”. Both phenomenology and mentalité primitive imply a critique of modern scholarship. This fundamental criticism of (...) the prevailing approach in the humanities including religious studies explains the growing distance between van der Leeuw and the majority of scholars of religion in the decades after his death in 1950. (shrink)
It is commonplace today to deplore the dissatisfaction of patients with the physician-patient relationship. Furthermore, historical investigation shows that this problem is not really new. We investigated an important source of patients' views in the 18th century, namely the letters of patients received by the famous Swiss physician, Samuel Tissot, and noted remarkably similar feelings of frustration. Yet the medical paradigms of today and of Tissot's times are considerably different. We propose that the persisting problems in the physician-patient relationship are (...) due to a basic dissonance between the patient's ordinary modes of perception and the systematic way of perceiving reality characteristic of the physician. In addition, they reflect the unavoidable chasm between the ultimately private and singular nature of the illness experience, and the general and anonymous stance of medical theory. This chasm is therefore a permanent feature of the patient-physician relationship, predating the advent of scientific medicine, even if the latter reinforced it. In line with the current medical humanities movement, we believe that the engagement of physicians and medical students with literature and the arts helps them explore, and to some extent overcome, the existential divide between the patient's experiential self knowledge and the systematic, impersonal knowledge that plays a central role in medicine. We suggest a few examples of contemporary fiction that may be relevant and useful in this respect. (shrink)
L’Homme presents what has been termed Descartes’ “physiological psychology”. It envisions and seeks to explain how the brain and nerves might yield situationally appropriate behavior through mechanical means. On occasion in the past 150 years, this aim has been recognized, described, and praised. Still, acknowledgement of this aspect of Descartes’ writing has been spotty in histories of neuroscience and histories of psychology. In recent years, there has been something of a resurgence. This chapter argues that, in seeking to explain psychological (...) functions such as sense perception, attention, memory, and emotional response, Descartes ascribed a range of active functions to the brain acting on its own (independently of mind). (shrink)
Robert Stern has argued that Levinas is a kind of command theorist and that, for this reason, Løgstrup can be understood to have provided an argument against Levinas. In this paper, I discuss Levinas’s use of the vocabulary of demand, order, and command in the light of Jewish philosophical accounts of such notions in the work of Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig, and Emil Fackenheim. These accounts revise the traditional Jewish idea of command and I show that Levinas’s use of this (...) vocabulary is also revisionary. I show that in light of this tradition of discussion, Levinas’s use is not susceptible to the interpretation Stern proposes and thus that the Løgstrup-style argument cannot be used against Levinas. (shrink)
Thought, according to Hegel, is not only the product of a faculty of a subject, or a means by which a thinking subject tries to grasp a world that is alien to him. It is also the very structure of the world, that is disclosed to a subject through the thinking activity of a subject. The fundamental question that crosses the whole post-Kantian philosophy is that of the relation between thought and reality, i.e. the question of whether reality depends on (...) the categorial requirements imposed by the thinking subject, or whether reality maintains some form of independence from the thinking subject. Seen from this standpoint, Hegel can be read both as an author who radicalizes Kant’s transcendental perspective, and also as a critic of that perspective. In other words, he can be seen as an idealist: according to Hegel, any philosophy is idealist if it claims that something finite, qua finite, is essentially connected with something other. He can also be seen as an anti-idealist: insofar as his philosophy aims to overcome a hyper-transcendentalist perspective, i.e. it is so since it rejects idealism as subjective idealism. Moreover, Hegel’s anti-idealism can be characterized as realism. This is because, if we admit that overcoming transcendentalism without falling back again on a pre-critical conception of thought and of reality involves an idea of thought which is not reducible to a "mentalistic" conception of it, we need to conceive of thought as something that is not alien to reality. Hegel conceives of thought as intimately connected with the world, as its own rational structure. This “realism” of thought is what makes Hegelian idealism, so to speak, anti-idealistic. Through this "realism" of thought Hegel pursues two goals. On the one hand, Hegel attempts to overcome a subjectivistic and instrumentalistic conception of thought, according to which a subject talks and relates to a reality that is always only a construction of him, and so it is necessarily the simulacrum of something that remains inaccessible in its truth. On the other hand, Hegel attempts to overcome a conception of reality characterized merely as alien and opposite to thought itself, and which is the counterpart of the subjectivistic and instrumentalistic conception of thought. By pursuing these two goals it should be gained a conception of reality which could warrant some form of objectivity, but which cannot be equated with the substantialistic conception of the pre-Kantian metaphysics. (shrink)
No one who cares about equal opportunity can derive much comfort from the present occupational distribution of working women. In the various industrial societies of the West, women comprise between one quarter and one-half of the national labor force. However, they tend to clustered in employment sectors – especially clerical, sales, and service J occupations – which rank relatively low in remuneration, status, autonomy, and other perquisites. Meanwhile, the more prestigious and rewarding managerial and professional positions, as well as the (...) major categories of blue-collar labor, remain largely a male preserve. In the same societies the average income earned by full-time female workers is one-half to two- J thirds that of their male counterparts. Although this disparity owes much to i other factors, including lower pay for work similar or even identical to that r standardly done by men, much of it can be explained only by the concentration of working women in traditional female job ghettos. (shrink)
Suppose that the ultimate point of ethics is to make the world a better place. If it is, we must face the question: better in what respect? If the good is prior to the right — that is, if the rationale for all requirements of the right is that they serve to further the good in one way or another — then what is this good? Is there a single fundamental value capable of underlying and unifying all of our moral (...) categories? If so, how might it defeat the claims of rival candidates for this role? If not, is there instead a plurality of basic goods, each irreducible to any of the others? In that case, how do they fit together into a unified picture of the moral life? These are the questions I wish to address, in a necessarily limited way. To many the questions will seem hopelessly old-fashioned or misguided. Some deontologists will wish to reverse my ordering of the good and the right, holding that the right constrains acceptable conceptions of the good. For many contractarians, neither the good nor the right will seem normatively basic, since both are to be derived from a prior conception of rationality. Finally, some theorists will reject the classification of moral theories in terms of their basic normative categories, arguing that the whole foundationalist enterprise in ethics should be abandoned. In the face of these challenges to the priority of the good, and in light of the many current varieties of moral skepticism and relativism, I cannot provide a very convincing justification for raising the questions I intend to discuss. (shrink)
Capitolo I Il rispetto e l'ideale morale 1.1. Angeli, bruti e agenti 1.2. Il rispetto dell'altro 1.3. Il rispetto di sé 1.4. Auto−riflessione e auto−legislazione 1.5. Autonomia e individualità 1.6. Il rispetto e l'attenzione 1.7. Il rispetto e l'amore.
In any society influenced by a plurality of cultures, there will be widespread, systematic differences about at least some important values, including moral values. Many of these differences look like deep disagreements, difficult to resolve objectively if that is possible at all. One common response to the suspicion that these disagreements are unsettleable has always been moral relativism. In the flurry of sympathetic treatments of this doctrine in the last two decades, attention has understandably focused on the simpler case in (...) which one fairly self-contained and culturally homogeneous society confronts, at least in thought, the values of another; but most have taken relativism to have implications within a single pluralistic society as well. I am not among the sympathizers. That is partly because I am more optimistic than many about how many moral disagreements can be settled, but I shall say little about that here. For, even on the assumption that many disputes are unsettleable, I continue to find relativism a theoretically puzzling reaction to the problem of moral disagreement, and a troubling one in practice, especially when the practice involves regular interaction among those who disagree. This essay attempts to explain why. (shrink)
If I lead a life of virtue, that may well be good for you. But will it also be good for me? The idea that it will—or even must—is an ancient one, and its appeal runs deep. For if this idea is correct then we can provide everyone with a good reason—arguably the best reason—for being virtuous. However, for all the effort which has been invested in defending the idea, by some of the best minds in the history of philosophy, (...) it remains unproven. Worse, in this skeptical age hardly anyone really believes it. I don't really believe it either, at least not in its strongest forms, but I think that the question is nonetheless worth examining. Even if we cannot show that virtue and self-interest coincide, we can at least measure the breadth of the gap between them. (shrink)
Sovereignty and the sovereign state are often seen as anachronisms; Globalization and Sovereignty challenges this view. Jean L. Cohen analyzes the new sovereignty regime emergent since the 1990s evidenced by the discourses and practice of human rights, humanitarian intervention, transformative occupation, and the UN targeted sanctions regime that blacklists alleged terrorists. Presenting a systematic theory of sovereignty and its transformation in international law and politics, Cohen argues for the continued importance of sovereign equality. She offers a theory of a dualistic (...) world order comprised of an international society of states, and a global political community in which human rights and global governance institutions affect the law, policies, and political culture of sovereign states. She advocates the constitutionalization of these institutions, within the framework of constitutional pluralism. This book will appeal to students of international political theory and law, political scientists, sociologists, legal historians, and theorists of constitutionalism. (shrink)
Alan Millar's paper (2011) involves two parts, which I address in order, first taking up the issues concerning the goal of inquiry, and then the issues surrounding the appeal to reflective knowledge. I argue that the upshot of the considerations Millar raises count in favour of a more important role in value-driven epistemology for the notion of understanding and for the notion of epistemic justification, rather than for the notions of knowledge and reflective knowledge.
This is a collection of essays on themes of legal philosophy which have all been generated or affected by Hart's work. The topics covered include legal theory, responsibility, and enforcement of morals, with contributions from Ronald Dworkin, Rolf Sartorius, Neil MacCormach, David Lyons, Kent Greenawalt, Michael Moore, Joseph Raz, and C.L. Ten, among others.
J.L. Ackrill's work on Plato and Aristotle has had a considerable influence upon ancient philosophical studies in the late twentieth century. This volume collects the best of Ackrill's essays on the two greatest philosophers of antiquity. With philosophical acuity and philological expertise he examines a wide range of texts and topics--from ethics and logic to epistemology and metaphysics--that continue to be in the focus of debate.
J. L. Schellenberg has constructed major arguments for atheism based on divine hiddenness in two separate works. This paper reviews these arguments and highlights how they are grounded in reflections on perfect divine love. However, Schellenberg also defends what he calls the ‘subject mode’ of religious scepticism. I argue that if one accepts Schellenberg's scepticism, then the foundation of his divine-hiddenness arguments is undermined by calling into question some of his conclusions regarding perfect divine love. In other words, if his (...) scepticism is correct, then Schellenberg's case for atheism cannot stand. Finally, I demonstrate how my argument avoids the many defences that Schellenberg has employed thus far in defending these particular atheistic arguments. (shrink)
H.L.A. Hart's The Concept of Law is the most important and influential book in the legal positivist tradition. Though its importance is undisputed, there is a good deal less consensus regarding its core commitments, both methodological and substantive. With the exception of an occasional essay, Hart neither further developed nor revised his position beyond the argument of the book. The burden of shaping the prevailing understanding of his views, therefore, has fallen to others: notably, Joseph Raz among positivists, and Ronald (...) Dworkin among positivism's critics. Dworkin, in particular, has framed, then reframed, the conventional understanding, not only of Hart's positivism, but of the terms of the debate between positivists and him. While standing on the sidelines, Hart witnessed the unfolding of not only a lively debate between positivists and Dworkin, but an equally intense one among positivists as to positivism's core claims. The most important debate has been between so-called inclusive and exclusive positivists: a debate as much about Hart's legacy as about the proper interpretation of legal positivism. (shrink)
Humanitarian health care practitioners working outside familiar settings, and without familiar supports, encounter ethical challenges both familiar and distinct. The ethical guidance they rely upon ought to reflect this. Using data from empirical studies, we explore the strengths and weaknesses of two ethical models that could serve as resources for understanding ethical challenges in humanitarian health care: clinical ethics and public health ethics. The qualitative interviews demonstrate the degree to which traditional teaching and values of clinical health ethics seem insufficient (...) for addressing all the realities of health care practice during humanitarian missions. They equally suggest that greater good orientations of public health ethics can thwart the best intentions of health care professionals wanting to attend to the interests of individual patients. Even though neither is complete on its own for helping guide health professionals on field missions, taken together these models have much to offer. At the same time, the narratives of the humanitarian health care workers illustrate how some of the crucial differences between public health ethics and clinical ethics generate tensions in humanitarian health practice. We offer an analysis of some of the complexities this creates for humanitarian health care ethics, and consider ways of adjudicating between the two models. (shrink)
I attempt a reconstruction of Adam Smith's view of human nature as explicated in The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Smith's view of human conduct is neither functionalist nor reductionist, but interactionist. The moral autonomy of the individual, conscience, is neither made a function of public approval nor reduced to self-contained impulses of altruism and egoism. Smith does not see human conduct as a blend of independently defined impulses. Rather, conduct is unified, by the underpinning sentiment of sympathy.
My purpose in what follows is not so much to defend the basic principle of utilitarianism as to indicate the form of it which seems most promising as a basic moral and political position. I shall take the principle of utility as offering a criterion for two different sorts of evaluation: first, the merits of acts of government, social policies, and social institutions, and secondly, the ultimate moral evaluation of the actions of individuals. I do not take it as implying (...) that the individual should live his life on the basis of constant evaluations of this sort. For there are different levels of decision making each with its appropriate criteria. For example, we each inevitably make many of our decisions from the point of view of our own personal self-fulfilment and this cannot regularly take a directly utilitarian form, nor should the utilitarian want it to do so. His claim is at most that we should sometimes review our life from the point of view of a kind of impersonal moral truth of a universalistic utilitarian character. (shrink)
Résumé : Le PPBS a été conçu comme un instrument destiné à ceux qui décident de l'allocation des ressources publiques : il doit leur permettre de prendre de meilleures décisions. S'il est très difficile de repérer et de juger les choix que le développement du système a inspirés aux Etats-Unis, il n'en est pas mains certain que ses résultats tangibles sant maigres car la masse des anciens programmes, principale source potentielle de moyens nouveaux, n'a guère été remise en question.La valeur (...) intrinsèque du PPBS ne peut être mise en cause. Ce qui doit l'être, c'est la lenteur de son développement, qui demeure peu avancé. Cette lenteur s'explique, car le système ne peut produire des fruits dans une terre stérile qu'on n'a pas préparée.La brutalité et les maladresses de l'opération déclenchée en 1965 dans le gouvernement fédéral américain ne pouvaient que renforcer la résistance au changement et retarder, sinon compromettre, le succès final. Les perspectives demeurent heureusement favorables, puisque la nouvelle administration ne semble pas décidée à faire machine arrière et que les Etats et Villes ont démarré sous de bien meilleurs auspices.La principale conclusion qu'imposent les expériences américaines est que toute juridiction intéressée par le PPBS doit impérativement développer, de la façon la plus générale, la volonté d'instaurer le système et s'assurer les moyens de le faire. C'est dire qu'il est peu sage d'engager la bataille sur tous les fronts à la fois : il faut tenter des percées. Mais c'est dire aussi combi en l'information et la formation sant essentielles. A cet égard, l'installation généralisée de certains éléments du système, à savoir la structure de programmes et le budget-programme, loin de présenter des inconvénients, peut constituer un excellent exercice en dehors de son utilité directe pour le preneur de décision. La bataille en cause est surtout celle de la conviction: l'outil est prêt, il est bon, encore faut-il que l' ouvrier accepte de s'en servir.Samenvatting:Planning-programming-budgeting werd ontworpen als een instrument voor diegenen die beslissen over de toewijzing van de overheidsmiddelen.Dit instrument moet de beslissers in staat stellen betere beslissingen te treffen. Het is niet makkelijk deze beslissingen op te sporen en te beoordelen welke in de Verenigde Staten getroffen werden onder invloed van de ontwikkeling van deze systeembenadering. Toch is het met vrij grote zekerheid te stellen dat de tastbare resultaten gering zijn omdat de veelheid aan oude programma's die tenslotte toch de voornaamste potentiële bronnen zijn van nieuwe middelen, nooit werden aangevochten.De intrinsieke waarde van PPBS kan daarom evenwel niet worden genegeerd. Wat wel dient aangeklaagd is de traagheid van zijn aanslepende ontwikkeling. Deze traagheid is te verklaren door het feit dat het systeem slechts vruchten kan afwerpen zo het ingeplant wordt in degelijk voorbereid terrein.De brutaliteit en de onhandigheden bij de operatie die in 1965 werd ingezet in het amerikaans federaal overheidsbestel konden niets anders dan de weerstand tegen de verandering versterken en afbreuk doen aan het uiteindelijk slagen van het systeem. Gelukkiglijk blijven de vooruitzichten gunstig want de nieuwe beleidsvoerders sinds de presidentsverkiezingen, blijken ermee te willen doorgaan en de staten en lokale overheden zijn ermee van wal gestoken onder veel betere omstandigheden. Het doorslaggevend besluit uit de amerikaanse ervaringen terzake is wel dat elke instantie welke belangstelling heeft voor PPBS, nodig moet op zo breed mogelijk vlak de wil doen groeien om het systeem te ontwikkelen en er ook de nodige middelen toe ter beschikking stellen. Dit betekent tevens dat het weinig aan te bevelen is de strijd op alle fronten terzelvertijd aan te binden maar wel geleidelijk doorbraken te verwezenlijken. Dit brengt dan evenwel ook met zich dat informatie en vorming essentieel zijn bij deze strategie. In dit verband moet dan ook gezegd worden dat reeds het invoeren van sommige deelementen van het systeem, zoals de programmastructuur en het programmabudget, voor de beslisser nuttig kan zijn voor zijn persoonlijk inzicht en vorming.De te voeren actie dient nog slechts te worden toegespitst op het overtuigen van de verantwoordelijken. Het instrument is immers gebruiksklaar en degelijk, er is alleen nog het wachten op de wil van de gebruiker dit instrument ter hand te nemen. (shrink)
Chris Tucker's paper on the hiddenness argument seeks to turn aside a way of defending the latter which he calls the value argument. But the value argument can withstand Tucker's criticisms. In any case, an alternative argument capable of doing the same job is suggested by his own emphasis on free will.
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