The aim of this essay is to introduce an original and radical phenomenology of life into Heidegger’s earliest lectures at Freiburg University. The motivation behind this aim lies in the exclusion of life from the existential analytic despite Heidegger’s preoccupation with the question of life during this very early period. Principally, the essay demonstrates how Husserl’s phenomenological insight into the intentionality of life has the potential to be transformed into a living aporia. Although this demonstration is set within the general (...) context of obtaining knowledge in and of life, it is achieved via a reciprocal critique of the possibility of a philosophy of life and Husserlian phenomenology, and will reveal the congruence life philosophy has with the project of phenomenology. In contrast to fundamental ontology, the essay ends by exposing Heidegger’s latent and inexplicit formulation of phenomenology in terms of a radical correlation that holds aporetically between living and unliving experience. (shrink)
Inductive reasoning is fundamental to human cognition, yet it remains unclear how we develop this ability and what might influence our inductive choices. We created novel categories in which crucial factors such as domain and category structure were manipulated orthogonally. We trained 403 4–9-year-old children to categorise well-matched natural kind and artefact stimuli with either featural or relational category structure, followed by induction tasks. This wide age range allowed for the first full exploration of the developmental trajectory of inductive reasoning (...) in both domains. We found a gradual transition from perceptual to categorical induction with age. This pattern was stable across domains, but interestingly, children showed a category bias one year later for relational categories. We hypothesise that the ability to use category information in inductive reasoning develops gradually, but is delayed when children need to process and apply more complex category structures. (shrink)
Bovine tuberculosis is the most economically important animal health policy issue in Britain. The problem of what to do about badgers has plagued successive governments since a dead badger was discovered with bovine TB in 1971. Successive Labour governments oversaw the Randomised Badger Culling Trial from 1998 to 2006. Despite the RBCT recommendation against culling, the 2010–2015 Coalition government implemented pilot badger culls. This paper provides an account of the evolution of bovine TB and badger control (...) policy, focusing on the 1997–2010 Labour, the 2010–2015 Coalition and the 2015-present Conservative governments. Interviews with bovine TB policy stakeholders supplement discussion of the development of bovine TB policy. The paper discusses the science and politics of bovine TB policy, in which there are different badger control policies in Westminster, Welsh and Scottish governments. Badger control is a highly polarised issue, and the Coalition and Conservative governments have been heavily criticised for a culling policy opposed by the independent scientific community. Recent governments have defended badger culling on the basis of veterinary advice and experience in countries such as New Zealand. The paper concludes with two key recommendations to inform controversial animal health and welfare policy issues such as bovine TB. First, mandatory Animal Welfare Impact Assessment provides objective data on the impacts of policy options on cows and badgers. Second, robust ethical analysis, conducted by independent experts using established moral frameworks, should be applied to animal health and welfare issues for the benefit of decision makers. (shrink)
Bovine tuberculosis is an important animal health policy issue in Britain, which impacts farmers, the public, domestic farmed cattle and the wild badger population. The Westminster government’s badger culling policy in England, which began in 2013, has caused considerable controversy. This is in part because the Independent Scientific Group advised against culling, based on the Randomised Badger Culling Trial. Those opposed to badger culling support more stringent cattle-based measures and the vaccination of badgers. This paper argues (...) for ethical analysis of public policy options which impact sentient species. It provides a summary Animal Welfare Impact Assessment of a do-nothing approach, badger culling, and badger vaccination. A utilitarian analysis is then applied to these policy options considering human wellbeing and animal welfare. The analysis compares a badger culling policy that achieves a 19% reduction in bovine TB incidence, a badger vaccination model achieving a 12.5% reduction, and a do-nothing approach. Policy options are assessed over 9 years and a longer timeframe, and uncertainty is considered. The analysis finds that non-culling approaches, particularly badger vaccination, result in greater total utility, compared to badger culling. Badger culling causes 30% reduction in the badger population in England as well as substantial harms due to the culling process. Culling is opposed by public opinion and is associated with considerable risks and uncertainty. In contrast, non-culling approaches, such as cattle-based measures and badger vaccination, are supported by public opinion and are not associated with such risks. (shrink)
Applying competing ethical theories to the issue of bovine TB and badger culling can throw light on the validity of the policy options. Utilitarianism is, superficially at least, an attractive option. However, the aggregative principle is problematic and this is well illustrated in the case of bovine TB and badger culling. Such is the variety and strength of interests to be considered that it is not at all clear which course of action will maximise utility. In addition, it (...) may be that the full range of consequences can never be known with any degree of accuracy. An alternative option is to revert to an animal welfare ethic. This has the effect of cutting down the moral complexities involved in a discussion of bovine TB and badger culling, since, providing it is done humanely, killing badgers is not an ethical issue, and even the infliction of suffering on them is permissible providing it serves a significant human benefit. The animal welfare ethic, however, is normatively inadequate because it exaggerates the ethical importance of personhood. Because of this, it allows us to justify killing badgers, and might even justify the infliction of considerable suffering if by so doing there is a good chance that economic benefits will accrue. As a result, a deontological position, where animals are accorded the protection of rights, seems a much more promising alternative to utilitarianism. The adoption of any variety of animal rights would render badger culling morally illegitimate. (shrink)
Bovine tuberculosis is an important and controversial animal health policy issue in England, which impacts humans, cattle and badgers. The government policy of badger culling has led to widespread opposition, in part due to the conclusions of a large field trial recommending against culling, and in part because badgers are a cherished wildlife species. Animal rights theorists argue that sentient nonhumans should be accorded fundamental rights against killing and suffering. In bovine TB policy, however, pro-culling actors claim that badgers (...) must be culled to avoid the slaughter of cattle. The first part of the paper compares AR theories of Regan, Francione, Cochrane, Garner and Donaldson and Kymlicka in the context of wildlife species. The second part of the paper applies these AR theories to bovine TB and badger control. AR theories are applied to badger control policy options of do nothing, badger culling, and badger vaccination. We conclude that AR theories are strongly opposed to badger culling. In general, culling is prohibited due to a badger’s right to life and its rights against suffering. The AR theories support a do-nothing, i.e. non-culling, non-vaccination approach to badger control. In the case of the AR theories of Regan and Francione, this is based on abolitionist positions with respect to farming. For Cochrane, Garner, and Donaldson and Kymlicka, the do-nothing policy option is preferred because badger vaccination causes a degree of suffering which generally is not for the individual’s benefit. (shrink)
This paper will argue for a conception of intrinsic value which, it is hoped, will do justice to the following issues: that Nature need not and should not be understood to refer only to what exists on this planet, Earth; that an environmental ethics informed by features unique to Earth may be misleading and prove inadequate as technology increasingly threatens to invade and colonize other planets in the solar system; that a comprehensive environmental ethics must encompass not only our attitude (...) to Earth, but to other planets as well—in other words, it must not simply be an Earthbound but virtually an astronomically bounded ethics. (shrink)
Bovine tuberculosis is a controversial animal health policy issue in England, which impacts farmers, the public, cattle and badgers. Badgers act as a wildlife reservoir of disease. Policy options for badger control include do nothing, badger culling, and badger vaccination. This paper argues for mandatory Animal Welfare Impact Assessment for all policy that significantly affects sentient animals. AWIA includes species description, and AWIA analysis stages. In this paper, AWIA is applied to impacts of bovine TB policy options (...) on cattle and badgers. Over 4 years, 85,000 badgers will be culled to prevent the slaughter of ~17,750 cattle over 9 years. Hence, about five badgers are culled for every cow which avoids slaughter. The AWIA analyses the impact of badger vaccination on cows and badgers based on a set of stated assumptions. The AWIA estimates badger vaccination to reduce the number of cows slaughtered by 11,600, i.e. a 12.5% reduction. Additional to the harm of killing, culling has greater welfare impacts on badgers compared to non-culling options. Actors in animal health and welfare policy were interviewed about the concept of AWIA. Policy actors supported the idea of AWIA to provide objective data to feed into policy making. The paper concludes with the proposal that AWIA is a necessary stage of just policy making where sentient animals are impacted by government policy. (shrink)
The following brief memoir of Wittgenstein needs a few preliminary words of explanation. Among those who attended his lectures and discussions in the years it covers was D. G. James, who later became Professor of English at Bristol University and then Vice-Chancellor of Southampton University. I met him both in Bristol and Southampton, and on one occasion suggested to him that some of us who had known Wittgenstein, but who had not become professional philosophers, might write down our recollections of (...) him, and that he and I should start. What prompted the suggestion was, I think, the publication of Norman Malcolm's book, and a feeling that the non-professionals might have something to contribute to the assessment of Wittgenstein, particularly as a person. I wrote a preliminary draft and sent it to James; but he never responded, there was much else to do, I let the matter rest, and now James is dead. I wrote in about the year 1960 on holiday and away from any books of reference and from my own notes of Wittgenstein's lectures and conversations. I have shown the typescript to a few interested people, but because of its preliminary and unfinished nature have not previously thought of publication. It has recently been suggested to me that it might be of more general interest, and I publish it now as it was written, with one or two trifling alterations. I am well aware of its limitations. It was intended to give an impression of Wittgenstein as a person rather than as a philosopher, and the rather miscellaneous collection of remarks in section 3 have that in view rather than any more strictly ‘philosophical’ intention. Others may well question some of the detail and disagree with some of the opinions expressed. And there are some things which I might put rather differently today. But if the memoir has any interest it is best left as it was written. (shrink)
Bovine tuberculosis is the most important animal health and welfare policy issue in Britain. Badgers are a wildlife reservoir of disease, although the eight-year Independent Scientific Group Randomised Badger Culling Trial concluded with a recommendation against culling. The report advised government that bovine TB could be controlled, and ultimately eradicated, by cattle-based measures alone. Despite the ISG recommendation against culling, the farming and veterinary industries continued to lobby government for a badger cull. The 2005–2010 Labour government followed the (...) ISG advice and decided against a cull. The 2010–2015 Coalition and the 2015-present Conservative governments have followed a badger culling policy. This paper investigates whether a virtuous government would cull badgers. It provides an overview of virtue theory in the context of government animal health and welfare policy. Bovine TB and badger control policy options are then analysed in the context of the virtues of justice, wisdom, integrity, loyalty, curiosity, trust, empathy, compassion and aesthetics. Justice is the first virtue of government, and badger culling is seriously problematic from a virtue perspective given that five badgers are culled per cow that avoids slaughter as a result. Analysis based on other virtues strongly suggests that government should not cull badgers. The paper concludes that a virtuous government would not cull badgers as part of policy to control bovine TB in cattle. (shrink)
Profoundly important ethical and political controversies turn on the question of whether biological life is an essential aspect of a human person, or only an extrinsic instrument. Lee and George argue that human beings are physical, animal organisms - albeit essentially rational and free - and examine the implications of this understanding of human beings for some of the most controversial issues in contemporary ethics and politics. The authors argue that human beings are animal organisms and that their personal identity (...) across time consists in the persistence of the animal organisms they are; they also argue that human beings are essentially rational and free and that there is a radical difference between human beings and other animals; criticize hedonism and hedonistic drug-taking; present detailed defenses of the prolife positions on abortion and euthanasia; and defend the traditional moral position on marriage and sexual acts. (shrink)
Recent studies of peacebuilding highlight the importance of attending to people’s local experiences of conflict and cooperation. This trend, however, raises the fundamental questions of how the local is and should be constituted and what the relationship is between institutions and individual actors of peace at the local level of politics. I turn to Hannah Arendt’s thoughts to address these issues. Arendt’s thinking provides a distinctive form of realism that calls for stable institutions but never depletes the spirit of resistance. (...) Peacebuilding guided by this insight seeks to enable parties in conflict to voice their competing opinions by acting agonistically in public and to help them align their disruptive yet creative voices with a desire to establish and sustain common institutions. Thus, Arendt’s thinking not only offers a way to increase sensitivity to local differences but also to provide direction to the politics of resistance. In the end, it offers a balanced insight into peacebuilding and local agency beyond the contemporary liberal and critical approaches to peace. (shrink)
At a time when the analytic/continental split dominates contemporary philosophy, this ambitious work offers a careful and clear-minded way to bridge that divide. Combining conceptual rigor and clarity of prose with historical erudition, A Thing of This World shows how one of the standard issues of analytic philosophy—realism and anti-realism—has also been at the heart of continental philosophy. Using a framework derived from prominent analytic thinkers, Lee Braver traces the roots of anti-realism to Kant's idea that the mind actively organizes (...) experience. He then shows in depth and in detail how this idea evolves through the works of Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, and Derrida. This narrative presents an illuminating account of the history of continental philosophy by explaining how these thinkers build on each other's attempts to develop new concepts of reality and truth in the wake of the rejection of realism. Braver demonstrates that the analytic and continental traditions have been discussing the same issues, albeit with different vocabularies, interests, and approaches. By developing a commensurate vocabulary, his book promotes a dialogue between the two branches of philosophy in which each can begin to learn from the other. (shrink)
Ludwig Wittgenstein and Martin Heidegger are two of the most important--and two of the most difficult--philosophers of the twentieth century, indelibly influencing the course of continental and analytic philosophy, respectively. In _ Groundless Grounds_, Lee Braver argues that the views of both thinkers emerge from a fundamental attempt to create a philosophy that has dispensed with everything transcendent so that we may be satisfied with the human. Examining the central topics of their thought in detail, Braver finds that Wittgenstein and (...) Heidegger construct a philosophy based on _original_ _finitude_--finitude without the contrast of the infinite. In Braver's elegant analysis, these two difficult bodies of work offer mutual illumination rather than compounded obscurity. Moreover, bringing the most influential thinkers in continental and analytic philosophy into dialogue with each other may enable broader conversations between these two divergent branches of philosophy. Braver's meticulously researched and strongly argued account shows that both Wittgenstein and Heidegger strive to construct a new conception of reason, free of the illusions of the past and appropriate to the kind of beings that we are. Readers interested in either philosopher, or concerned more generally with the history of twentieth-century philosophy as well as questions of the nature of reason, will find _Groundless Grounds _of interest. (shrink)
In this article I describe the development of my collaboration with the textile artist Susie Freeman in the production of the visual arts project Pharmacopoeia. Over the last 3 years we have created a body of work that aims to provide information about common medical treatments in a way that engages the public imagination. The work is dominated by the use of active pharmaceuticals, both pills and capsules, which are incorporated into dramatic fabrics by a process known as pocket knitting. (...) These fabrics are then made into clothing and accessories, making their individual messages easier to ‘read’. The work aims to encourage people to think about their own medical and pharmacological history, and to reflect on their relationship with commonly prescribed drugs. It also reveals how dependent our society is on pharmaceuticals, how ambivalent we feel about them and yet how casually we use them. (shrink)
Are a material object, such as a statue, and its constituting matter, the clay, parts of one another? One wouldn't have thought so, and yet a number of philosophers have argued that they are. I review the arguments for this surprising claim showing how they all fail. I then consider two arguments against the view concluding that there are both pre-theoretical and theoretical considerations for denying that the statue and the clay are mutual parts.
Are counterfactuals with true antecedents and consequents automatically true? That is, is Conjunction Conditionalization: if (X & Y), then (X > Y) valid? Stalnaker and Lewis think so, but many others disagree. We note here that the extant arguments for Conjunction Conditionalization are unpersuasive, before presenting a family of more compelling arguments. These arguments rely on some standard theorems of the logic of counterfactuals as well as a plausible and popular semantic claim about certain semifactuals. Denying Conjunction Conditionalization, then, requires (...) rejecting other aspects of the standard logic of counterfactuals, or else our intuitive picture of semifactuals. (shrink)
I sketch here an intuitive picture of repeatable artworks as created types, which are individuated in part by historical paths (re)production. Although attractive, this view has been rejected by a number of authors on the basis of general claims about abstract objects. On consideration, however, these general claims are overgeneralizations, which whilst true of some abstracta, are not true of all abstract objects, and in particular, are not true of created types. The intuitive picture of repeatable artworks as created types (...) is, then, left in place. (shrink)
Is A & C sufficient for the truth of ‘if A were the case, C would be the case’? Jonathan Bennett thinks not, although the counterexample he gives is inconsistent with his own account of counterfactuals. In any case, I argue that anyone who accepts the case of Morgenbesser's coin, as Bennett does, should reject Bennett’s counterexample. Moreover, I show that the principle underlying his counterexample is unmotivated and indeed false. More generally, I argue that Morgenbesser’s coin commits us to (...) the sufficiency of A & C for the truth of the corresponding counterfactual. (shrink)
I present and discuss a counterexample to Kendall Walton's necessary condition for fictionality that arises from considering serial fictions. I argue that although Walton has not in fact provided a necessary condition for fictionality, a more complex version of Walton's condition is immune from the counterexample.
Relativism, the position that things are for each as they seem to each, was first formulated in Western philosophy by Protagoras, the 5th century BC Greek orator and teacher. Mi-Kyoung Lee focuses on the challenge to the possibility of expert knowledge posed by Protagoras, together with responses by the three most important philosophers of the next generation, Plato, Aristotle, and Democritus. In his book Truth, Protagoras made vivid use of two provocative but imperfectly spelled out ideas: first, that we are (...) all "measures" of the truth and that we are each already capable of determining how things are for ourselves, since the senses are our best and most credible guides to the truth; second, given that things appear differently to different people, there is no basis on which to decide that one appearance is true rather than the other. Plato developed these ideas into a more fully worked-out theory, which he then subjected to refutation in the Theaetetus. Aristotle argued that Protagoras' ideas lead to skepticism in Metaphysics Book G, a chapter which reflects awareness of Plato's reaction in the Theaetetus. And finally Democritus incorporated modified Protagorean ideas and arguments into his theory of knowledge and perception. There have been many important recent studies of these thinkers in isolation. However, there has been no attempt to tell a single, coherent story about how Democritus, Plato, and Aristotle responded to Protagoras' striking claim, and to its perceived implications about knowledge, perception, and truth. By studying these four figures in relation to each other, we arrive at a better understanding of an important chapter in the development of Greek epistemology. (shrink)
Bartky draws on the experience of daily life to unmask the many disguises by which intimations of inferiority are visited upon women. She critiques both the male bias of current theory and the debilitating dominion held by notions of "proper femininity" over women and their bodies in patriarchal culture.
The debate over Hypothetical Syllogism is locked in stalemate. Although putative natural language counterexamples to Hypothetical Syllogism abound, many philosophers defend Hypothetical Syllogism, arguing that the alleged counterexamples involve an illicit shift in context. The proper lesson to draw from the putative counterexamples, they argue, is that natural language conditionals are context-sensitive conditionals which obey Hypothetical Syllogism. In order to make progress on the issue, I consider and improve upon Morreau’s proof of the invalidity of Hypothetical Syllogism. The improved proof (...) relies upon the semantic claim that conditionals with antecedents irrelevant to the obtaining of an already true consequent are themselves true. Moreover, this semantic insight allows us to provide compelling counterexamples to Hypothetical Syllogism that are resistant to the usual contextualist response. (shrink)
Throughout history, humans have always indulged in certain irrationalities and held some fairly wrong-headed beliefs. But in his newest book, philosopher Lee McIntyre shows how we've now reached a watershed moment for ignorance in the modern era, due to the volume of misinformation, the speed with which it can be digitally disseminated, and the savvy exploitation of our cognitive weaknesses by those who wish to advance their ideological agendas. In _Respecting Truth: Willful Ignorance in the Internet Age_, McIntyre issues a (...) call to fight back against this slide into the witless abyss. In the tradition of Galileo, the author champions the importance of using tested scientific methods for arriving at true beliefs, and shows how our future survival is dependent on a more widespread, reasonable world. (shrink)
For Hannah Arendt, the federal system is an effective mode of organizing different sources of power while avoiding sovereign politics. This article aims to contribute two specific claims to the burgeoning scholarship on Arendt’s international federalism. First, Arendt’s international thought calls for the balancing of two demands: the domestic need for human greatness and flourishing, and the international demand for regulation and cooperation. Second, her reflections on council-based federalism offer a nuanced position that views the dual elements of equality in (...) politics (intra-state and inter-state equality) as neither contradictory nor reconciliatory but rather as ideal types along a continuum. This study shows that, through the unique form of federalism emphasizing the need to balance two demands of free politics with a clear acknowledgement of its precariousness, Arendt’s thinking adds much-needed sensitivity to international discourse. (shrink)
Are the circumstances in which moral testimony serves as evidence that our judgement-forming processes are unreliable the same circumstances in which mundane testimony serves as evidence that our mundane judgement-forming processes are unreliable? In answering this question, we distinguish two possible roles for testimony: (i) providing a legitimate basis for a judgement, (ii) providing (‘higher-order’) evidence that a judgement-forming process is unreliable. We explore the possibilities for a view according to which moral testimony does not, in contrast to mundane testimony (...) play role (i), but can play role (ii). We argue that standard motivations for rejecting this hybrid position are unpersuasive but suggest that a more compelling reason might be found in considering the social nature of morality. (shrink)
Moti Mizrahi (2013) presents some novel counterexamples to Hypothetical Syllogism (HS) for indicative conditionals. I show that they are not compelling as they neglect the complicated ways in which conditionals and modals interact. I then briefly outline why HS should nevertheless be rejected.
The standard semantics for counterfactuals ensures that any counterfactual with a true antecedent and true consequent is itself true. There have been many recent attempts to amend the standard semantics to avoid this result. I show that these proposals invalidate a number of further principles of the standard logic of counterfactuals. The case against the automatic truth of counterfactuals with true components does not extend to these further principles, however, so it is not clear that rejecting the latter should be (...) a consequence of rejecting the former. Instead I consider how one might defuse putative counterexamples to the truth of true-true counterfactuals. (shrink)
Exploring the intimate tie between body movement and space and time, Lee begins with the position that body movement generates space and time and explores the ethical implications of this responsibility for the situations one’s body movements generate. Whiteness theory has come to recognize the ethical responsibility for situations not of one’s own making and hence accountability for the results of more than one’s immediate personal conscious decisions. Because of our specific history, whites have developed a particular embodiment and body (...) movement that generates places that can only be characterized as more comfortable and more enabling to whites. (shrink)