Paul Horwich has formulated a paradox which he believes to be even more virulent than the related Hempel paradox. I show that Horwich's paradox, as orginally formulated, has a purely logical solution, hence that it has no bearing on the theory of confirmation. On the other hand, it illuminates some undesirable traits of classical predicate logic. A revised formulation of the paradox is then dealt with in a way that implies a modest revision of Nicod's criterion.
Some fundamental aspects of the lived body only become evident when it breaks down through illness, weakness or pain. From a phenomenological point of view, various breakdowns are worth analyzing for their own sake, and discussing them also opens up overlooked dimensions of our bodily constitution. This book brings together different approaches that shed light on the phenomenology of the lived body—its normality and abnormality, health and sickness, its activity as well as its passivity. The contributors integrate phenomenological insights with (...) discussions about bodily brokenness in philosophy, theology, medical science and literary theory. Phenomenology of the Broken Body demonstrates how the broken body sheds fresh light on the nuances of embodied experience in ordinary life and ultimately questions phenomenology’s preunderstanding of the body. (shrink)
The twentieth century saw a vigorous debate over the nature of rights. Will theorists argued that the function of rights is to allocate domains of freedom. Interest theorists portrayed rights as defenders of well-being. Each side declared its conceptual analysis to be closer to an ordinary understanding of what rights there are, and to an ordinary understand- ing of what rights do for rightholders. Neither side could win a decisive victory, and the debate ended in a standoff.
Although Professor Lewin is not testing existing views that, for people in politics, 'egoism rules' on deep theoretical grounds, he strongly argues that empirical facts do not support such views and thus opens a new chapter in the debate on ...
What is professional integrity and what makes it so important? Policies are designed to promote it and decisions are justified in its name. This paper identifies two competing conceptions of professional integrity and argues that, on their own, both are deficient. In response, this paper develops a third, interpretive view, in which professional integrity is conceived as the virtue of being good on the word of the practice. Professions ask for the public’s trust and in doing so, generate a set (...) of legitimate expectations. Judgments of professional integrity are informed by an interpretation of practice that is sensitive to this normative situation. (shrink)
We claim that if a complete philosophy of evidence-based practice is intended, then attention to the nature of causation in health science is necessary. We identify how health science currently conceptualises causation by the way it prioritises some research methods over others. We then show how the current understanding of what causation is serves to constrain scientific progress. An alternative account of causation is offered. This is one of dispositionalism. We claim that by understanding causation from a dispositionalist stance, many (...) of the processes within an evidence-based practice framework are better accounted for. Further, some of the problems associated with the health research, e.g. external validity of causal findings, dissolve. (shrink)
Much fuss has been made of the “spatial turn” in recent years, across a range of disciplines. It is hard to know if the attention has been warranted. A confusion of terms has been used—such as space, place, spatiality, location—and each has signified a cluster of often contradictory and confusing meanings. This phenomenon is common to a range of disciplines in the humanities. This means, first, that it is not always easy to recognize what is being discussed under the rubric (...) of space, and second, that over-extended uses of the cultural turn have stymied meaningful engagement with materiality in discussions of space. This article shows how materiality has been marginalized both by a casual vocabulary and a vigorous a priori epistemological holism on the part of scholars, and how the spatial turn has been too closely linked to the cultural turn to allow it to develop its fullest explanatory potential. It demonstrates how historians might profitably theorize the significance of place and space in their work , and sets out some challenges for using space more effectively in explanatory systems. Inspired by environmental history, sociology, and science and technology studies, I propose a way of establishing space as different from conventional historical handling of materiality, and end by identifying some methodological problems that need to be solved if we are to proceed on a surer footing. (shrink)
Rights dominate most modern understandings of what actions are proper and which institutions are just. Rights structure the forms of our governments, the contents of our laws, and the shape of morality as we perceive it. To accept a set of rights is to approve a distribution of freedom and authority, and so to endorse a certain view of what may, must, and must not be done.
Social enterprises in the microfinance industry need to adhere to both financial and social demands. Critics argue that there is a mission drift away from the social mission, and this has motivated the introduction of social rating agencies to strengthen the business ethics of microfinance institutions. Using a global dataset of 204 socially rated MFIs from 58 countries, we assess the factors that drive the social performance ratings of MFIs. Overall our results show that social ratings of MFIs are significantly (...) related to financial performance, greater outreach especially in rural areas, well-defined social objectives, staff commitment, service quality and an enhanced customer service. We observe that various rating agencies attach different importance to each of the social indicators. The public policy implication is that social rating agencies need to become more transparent, to reduce the information asymmetries between heterogenous socially motivated investors and the focal MFI. (shrink)
The discretionary powers of welfare state professionals are in tension with the requirements of the democratic Rechtsstaat. Extensive use of discretion can threaten the principles of the rule of law and relinquish democratic control over the implementation of laws and policies. These two tensions are in principle ineradicable. But does this also mean that they are impossible to come to grips with? Are there measures that may ease these tensions? We introduce an understanding of discretion that adds an epistemic dimension (...) (discretion as a mode of reasoning) to the common structural understanding of discretion (an area of judgment and decision). Accordingly we distinguish between structural and epistemic measures of accountability. The aim of the former is to constrain discretionary spaces or the behaviour within them while the aim of the latter is to improve the quality of discretionary reasoning. The focus in this article is on epistemic measures that are internally related to the main characteristic of accountability, namely justified use of discretionary power. (shrink)
Recent research suggests that many microfinance institutions increasingly focus on financial performance at the expense of the social component of their dual objectives. Existing studies typically assume that capital providers and managers mainly drive this so-called mission drift. In this study, we investigate whether ‘personal mission drift’ at the credit officer level can further explain the reduced emphasis on poorer clients among microfinance institutions. We present both qualitative and quantitative evidence that more experienced credit officers tend to serve fewer vulnerable (...) clients. Specifically, we show that all else being equal, credit officer experience is negatively correlated with the provision of small loans, loans to young clients, and loans to clients with disabilities. Our qualitative analysis suggests that perceived client risk and preferences for increased time efficiency mainly drive more experienced credit officers’ relative neglect of more vulnerable clients. This drift appears to be reinforced by the industry’s incentive schemes. Therefore, credit officer incentives and training should be designed to prevent this mission drift, which is observed at the microfinance institution level but is actually initiated at the credit officer level. (shrink)
In John Rawls’s The Law of Peoples we find unfamiliar concepts, surprising pronouncements, and what appear from a familiar Rawlsian perspective to be elementary errors in reasoning.1 Even Rawls’s most sensitive and sympathetic interpreters have registered unusually deep misgivings about the book.2 Most perplexing of all is the general character of the view that Rawls sets out to justify. For in this book Rawls, the twentieth century’s leading liberal egalitarian, advances a theory which shows no direct concern for individuals and (...) requires no narrowing of global material inequality. (shrink)
justice as fairness envisions a society of free citizens holding equal basic rights cooperating within an egalitarian economic system. His account of political liberalism addresses the legitimate use of political power in a democracy, aiming to show how enduring unity may be achieved despite the diversity of worldviews that free institutions allow. His writings on the law of peoples extend these theories to liberal foreign policy, with the goal of imagining how a peaceful and tolerant international order might be possible.
All of these claims for reparations have mobilized popular support, and all share a degree of intuitive plausibility. The challenge to the theorist is to judge whether and which of such demands are grounded in sound principles of political normativity, so as to be able to select out the valid claims and to measure how the urgency of these claims compares with other demands on the public agenda. The most basic question for those considering the justiﬁcations of reparations is how (...) to orient their theories within the space of reasons. Do valid claims for reparation rest at the deepest level on reasons we have for redressing a past injustice? Or do they rather rest on reasons we have to improve our current relations so that we can get along better in the future? Are valid reparative demands backward- or forward-looking? (shrink)
What morality requires of us in a world of poverty and inequality depends both on what our duties are in the abstract, and on what we can do to help. T.M. Scanlon's contractualism addresses the first question. I suggest that contractualism isolates the moral factors that frame our deliberations about the extent of our obligations in situations of need. To this extent, contractualism clarifies our common-sense understanding of our duties to distant others. The second, empirical question then becomes vital. What (...) we as individuals need to know is how to fulfil our duties to the distant poor. Moral theorists tend to base their prescriptions on simple assumptions about how the rich can help the poor. Yet a survey of the empirical literature shows how urgently we need more information on this topic before we can know what contractualist morality — or any plausible morality — requires of us. Key Words: Scanlon • contractualism • global justice • global poverty • aid effectiveness. (shrink)
Concerns over aid effectiveness have led to calls for greater accountability in international development aid. This article examines the state of accountability within and between international development agencies: aid NGOs, international financial institutions, and government aid ministries.
Strand and Parkkinen criticize our dispositional account of causation in evidence‐based medicine for failing to provide a proper epistemology of causal knowledge. In particular, they claim that we do not explain how causal inferences should be drawn. In response, we point out that dispositionalism does indeed have an account of the epistemology of causation, including counterfactual dependence, intervention, prediction and clinical decision. Furthermore, we argue that this is an epistemology that fits better with the known fallibility of even our best‐informed (...) predictions. Predictions are made on the basis that causes dispose or tend towards their effects, rather than guarantee them. The ontology of causation remains a valuable study for, among other reasons, it tells us that powers do not always combine additively. This counts against the monocausality that is tested by randomized controlled trials. (shrink)
Leif Wenar examines the impact on takings scholarship of the redefinition of "property" early in the twentieth century. He argues that the Hohfeldian characterization of property as rights (instead of as tangible things) forced major scholars such as Michelman, Sax, and Epstein into extreme interpretations of the Takings Clause. This extremism is unnecessary, however, since the original objections to the idea that "property is things" are mistaken.
Cybernetics saturates the humanities. Norbert Wiener’s movement gave vocabulary and hardware to developments all across the early digital era, and still does so today to those who seek to interpret it. Even while the Macy Conferences were still taking place in the early 1950s, talk of feedback and information and pattern had spread to popular culture – and to Europe. The new science created a shared language and culture for surpassing political and intellectual ideas that could be relegated to a (...) pre-computing tradition, and it refracted or channelled currents developing in fields from manufacturing to human physiology. It produced conceptions of the political world, as well as new forms of historical consciousness. It offered frameworks for structuralist thought, but also for policies regarding manufacturing and technology, international relations, and governmental decision-making. But the rising sense of the breadth, importance, and even shock of cybernetics long remained understudied, even as its intellectual assemblages continued to, well, relay. In devices and the so-called ‘digital humanities’, a refracted legacy of cybernetics is also visible. From mainframes to category-frameworks, cybernetics is everywhere in our material and intellectual worlds, even as the name and its meaning have faded. To the extent that cybernetics permeates the human sciences and our culture at large, it remains opaque – an only partially visible legacy often deemed too complex to form a simple object of historical narrative. This special issue on cybernetics in the human sciences outlines the history and stakes of cybernetics, as well as the possibilities of returning to it today. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to elaborate on the phenomenological approach to expertise as proposed by Dreyfus and Dreyfus and to give an account of the extent to which their approach may contribute to a better understanding of how athletes may use their cognitive capacities during high-level skill execution. Dreyfus and Dreyfus's non-representational view of experience-based expertise implies that, given enough relevant experience, the skill learner, when expert, will respond intuitively to immediate situations with no recourse to deliberate actions (...) or mental representations. The paper will subsequently outline some implications and consequences of such an approach and will also examine to what extent Dreyfus and Dreyfus's skill model is capable to resist different attacks that have been made against their view, and in particular regarding the practical application of their approach to the skill domain of competitive sport. (shrink)
Medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) remain recalcitrant to the medical profession, proving less suitable for homogenic treatment with respect to their aetiology, taxonomy and diagnosis. While the majority of existing medical research methods are designed for large scale population data and sufficiently homogenous groups, MUS are characterised by their heterogenic and complex nature. As a result, MUS seem to resist medical scrutiny in a way that other conditions do not. This paper approaches the problem of MUS from a philosophical point of (...) view. The aim is to first consider the epistemological problem of MUS in a wider ontological and phenomenological context, particularly in relation to causation. Second, the paper links current medical practice to certain ontological assumptions. Finally, the outlines of an alternative ontology of causation are offered which place characteristic features of MUS, such as genuine complexity, context-sensitivity, holism and medical uniqueness at the centre of any causal set-up, and not only for MUS. This alternative ontology provides a framework in which to better understand complex medical conditions in relation to both their nature and their associated research activity. (shrink)
A Northern Ireland politician declared not long ago that the British people had a right not to believe the IRA’s latest statement on disarmament. Therefore, he said, the British government had no right to allow the IRA further representation at the talks. Rights assertions like these are quite common in everyday talk, even if pronouncements linking epistemic and legal rights are less so.