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)
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)
One dark and rainy night, Yuso sexually assaults and tortures Zelan. In escaping from the scene of his crime, he falls heavily and becomes an impotent paraplegic. Instead of treating his fate as divine retribution for his wicked acts, Yuso sees it as sheer bad luck. He shows no remorse for what he has done, and vainly hopes that he will recover his powers, which he now treats as involuntarily hoarded resources to be used on less rainy days. In the (...) presence of others, he pretends that he has turned over a new leaf. He asks for religious and educational books, hoping to make up for his poor education and deprived social background. But he immediately discards them when he is alone in favor of the pornographic magazines which he has bribed a nurse to smuggle in for him. His deception and various obscene acts committed in the hospital are exposed; by the time he comes up for trial, everyone knows that he is still a lustful, sadistic, and unrepentant man. Most retributivists have a sufficient justification for punishing Yuso independently of the social consequences of his punishment. Two features of the case might cause some difficulties. First, Yuso has already experienced considerable suffering and deprivation both before and after his crime, and retributivists might disagree about the relevance of the suffering to his punishment. Secondly, Yuso is unrepentant, and it is unlikely that punishment will change him. This might, as we shall see, create a problem for those who think that the justifying aim of punishment is the moral reform of the offender. (shrink)
Comment fonctionne l’image sur le vase François ? Parmi les associations thématiques ou formelles que François Lissarague met en évidence sur ce cratère, on relèvera ici celles qui établissent un rapport entre l’épopée et l’histoire, notamment celle que vit Athènes depuis sa refondation par Solon.The Athens of Solon on the François Vase. How does the François Vase function? Among the thematic and formal associations, underlined by François Lissarague, this study emphasises those establishing a connection between the epic and history, notably (...) Athenian history since the Solonian “refoundation”. (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.
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.
Translation is a subject that can never be spoken of sufficiently, especially at a time when exchanges and conflicts between cultures are intensifying with globalization. Starting from the possibility of translation, this article does not reflect upon the old question of the opposition between the fidelity and freedom of the translator, or the theories of foreignization and domestication, but rather focuses on the role of the translator in the relations of otherness. In the face of indetermination, we seek, through the (...) example of the translation of a word ‘honor’, full of historical and cultural connotations in the French language, to prove that grasping meaning is fundamental in order to produce a good translation. In order for that, the translator should be a linguist to grasp meaning and significance in the vast semantic fields, then be a scientist who knows how to reappropriate the conceptual tools proposed by other social sciences. These two roles guarantee the understanding and the demonstration of the otherness, which can only come from a systematic structuring of the culture of departure. (shrink)
The relationship of word-meaning to speaker's-meaning has not been examined thoroughly enough. Some philosophical problems are solved and others made plainer if the full consequences of a proper relationship between these two is worked out.
I propose to begin with some fairly unexciting and uncontroversial remarks about possibility-statements, and then in their light to examine two problems philosophers have raised about certain statements of this kind which might be made in Christian theology where it touches on the doctrine of the Incarnation.
The ‘traditional’ view among philosophical theologians, that God is eternal not merely in the sense of being everlasting but in the sense of being outside time altogether, has come under sharp criticism in recent years, both from biblical theologians and from philosophers. It is against the latter form of attack, particularly as represented by the detailed criticisms of Professor Nelson Pike, that I wish to try and defend the notion of a divine timelessness.
Admitting to some departure from the Aristotelian classification, Jolivet divides human activities into three sorts: labor, play, and contemplation. He warns against the naturalizing effect of the Marxist notion of labor, defends play as the essentially superfluous, and argues for including art in his third category. A proper conception of human wisdom involves all three activities, although the speculative remains the highest, and the love of God is wisdom's fullest perfection. Based on a lecture series, the book is a clear, (...) rather non-technical, and contemporary re-working of some venerable ideas.--W. L. M. (shrink)
For Brun, the separation of men from existence, which expresses itself in various forms of anxiety, is the central concern of philosophy. While the separation of men from one another can be partly overcome by language and by modern technology's "conquests," the ontological separation cannot, the philosophic attitude of wonder can never be entirely replaced by nihil mirari. He takes issue with the philosophies of praxis which regard human action as the potential remedy for all separation. The thesis is defended (...) capably and passionately.--W. L. M. (shrink)
Pucelle tries to show how the idea of personal liberty is central to Green's ethics. Green's criticisms of other philosophers and the historical context of his philosophy are especially well handled. --W. L. M.
May discovered Diderot's copiously annotated copy of this anti-materialist tract by Hemsterhuis, known to many contemporaries as "the Dutch Plato"; this edition contains May's interesting introduction, a facsimile of the original text, and a transcription of all of Diderot's comments. The comments bear on infelicities of style as well as of thought, though the latter preponderate: the Lettre is not, alas, the product of a first-rate philosophical intellect. Diderot's strong objections to Hemsterhuis' crude theory of a moral organ can be (...) taken as complementing his Refutation of Helvetius, which dates from the same period.—W. L. M. (shrink)
Why did Hume drop sympathy as a key concept of his moral philosophy, and why—on the other hand—did Smith make it into the ‘didactic principle’ of his Theory of Moral Sentiments? These questions confront us with the basic issue of ethical theory concerning human nature. My point in dealing with these questions is to show what views of human nature their respective choices involved. And my procedure will be to take a close look at the revisions they made to their (...) ethical theories to bring out the contrasting aspects of their views of human nature. (shrink)
Sher's notion of deserved punishment has unacceptable implications. It does not justify punishing some serious wrongdoers, who are unwilling to commit lesser wrongs, more severely than minor offenders. It requires victim-inflicted punishments which repeat the wrongdoings, with the roles reversed. But if Sher moves away from such victim-inflicted punishments, then his theory should treat wrongdoers like tort-feasors who have to pay monetary compensations to their victims.