Western philosophy has been greatly influenced by visual metaphors. Knowing something has commonly, yet implicitly, been conceptualized as seeing something clearly, learning has been framed as being visually exposed to something, and the mind has been understood as a ‘mirror of nature'. A whole ‘epistemology of the eye' has been at work, which has had significant practical implications, not least in educational contexts. One way to characterize John Dewey's pragmatism is to see it as an attempt to replace the epistemology (...) of the eye with an epistemology of the hand. This article develops the epistemology of the hand on three levels: A level of embodiment and metaphors, of craftsmanship and social practices, and of schooling and education. (shrink)
Criminal offenders may be offered to participate in voluntary rehabilitation programs aiming at correcting undesirable behaviour, as a condition of early release. Behavioural treatment may include direct intervention into the central nervous system (CNS). This article discusses under which circumstances voluntary rehabilitation by CNS intervention is justified. It is argued that although the context of voluntary rehabilitation is a coercive circumstance, consent may still be effective, in the sense that it can meet formal criteria for informed consent. Further, for a (...) consent to be normatively valid (“take the wronging out of the act”) under a coercive circumstance, the subject to be treated must (1) have the sovereign authority to consent, and (2) the offer-giver must be in the right normative position to make the offer. While I argue that subjects do have the sovereign authority to consent to treatment, I also argue that inappropriate offers yield invalid consents. Considerations on inappropriate offers should therefore inform which kinds of CNS intervention-based rehabilitation schemes the state may propose as part of the criminal justice system. Yet as I conclude in this paper, while there are some intrinsic constraints on voluntary rehabilitation programs, the main constraints on voluntary rehabilitation are likely to be contingent overriders. However, CNS intervention is not ruled out as such in the context of voluntary rehabilitation. (shrink)
Psychopaths are renowned for their immoral behavior. They are ideal candidates for testing the empirical plausibility of moral theories. Many think the source of their immorality is their emotional deficits. Psychopaths experience no guilt or remorse, feel no empathy, and appear to be perfectly rational. If this is true, sentimentalism is supported over rationalism. Here, I examine the nature of psychopathic practical reason and argue that it is impaired. The relevance to morality is discussed. I conclude that rationalists can explain (...) the moral deficits of psychopaths as well as sentimentalists. In the process, I identify psychological structures that underpin practical rationality. (shrink)
Among theory theorists, it is commonly thought that folk psychological theory is tacitly known. However, folk psychological knowledge has none of the central features of tacit knowledge. But if it is ordinary knowledge, why is it that we have difficulties expressing anything but a handful of folk psychological generalisations? The reason is that our knowledge is of theoretical models and hypotheses, not of universal generalisations. Adopting this alternative view of (scientific) theories, we come to see that, given time and reflection, (...) we can say what we know. (shrink)
Hybrid accounts of folk psychology maintain that we sometimes theorize and sometimes simulate in order to understand others. An important question is why this is the case. In this paper, I present a view according to which simulation, but not theory, plays a central role in empathy. In contrast to others taking a similar approach to simulation, I do not focus on empathy’s cognitive aspect, but stress its affective-motivational one. Simulating others’ emotions usually engages our motivations altruistically. By vicariously feeling (...) what others are feeling, we directly come to be motivated by their projects and concerns. Simulation contrasts with more theoretical approaches to psychological attribution that help us understand and explan others, but that do not move us altruistically. This helps us see why we would posit two different folk psychological approaches instead of merely one. (shrink)
Abstract. In this essay, I describe my Cultural-Developmental Template Approach to moral psychology. This theory draws on my research with the Three Ethics of Autonomy, Community, and Divinity, and the work of many other scholars. The cultural-developmental synthesis suggests that the Ethic of Autonomy emerges early in people's psychological lives, and continues to hold some importance across the lifespan. But Autonomy is not alone. The Ethic of Community too emerges early and appears to increase in importance across the life course. (...) Then, it also seems that in most places and at most times, the Ethic of Divinity has found a voice—and in some traditions this ethic may become audible in adolescence. Ethics of Autonomy, Community, and Divinity, then, may have universal roots in the human condition. However, they are also clearly culturally and historically situated. Cultural communities—whether defined by religious, national, or other boundaries—vary in how they prioritize the three ethics and the extent to which they reinforce their development. (shrink)
Managing aggression in mental health hospitals is an important and challenging task for clinical nursing staff. A majority of studies focus on the perspective of clinicians, and research mainly depicts aggression by referring to patient-related factors. This qualitative study investigates how aggression is communicated in forensic mental health nursing records. The aim of the study was to gain insight into the discursive practices used by forensic mental health nursing staff when they record observed aggressive incidents. Textual accounts were extracted from (...) the Staff Observation Aggression Scale-Revised (SOAS-R), and Fairclough’s Critical Discourse Analysis was used to identify short narrative entries depicting patients and staffs in typical ways. The narratives contained descriptions of complex interactions between patient and staff that were linked to specific circumstances surrounding the patient. These antecedents, combined with the aggression incident itself, created stereotyping representations of forensic psychiatric patients as deviant, unpredictable and dangerous. Patient and staff identities were continually (re)produced by an automatic response from the staff that was solely focused on the patient’s behavior. Such response might impede implementation of new strategies for managing aggression. (shrink)
In 2004, prenatal risk assessment (PRA) was implemented as a routine offer in Denmark, in order to give all pregnant women an informed choice about whether to undergo prenatal testing. PRA is a non-invasive intervention performed in the first trimester of pregnancy and measures the risk of a fetus having Down's syndrome or other chromosomal disorders. The risk figure provides the basis for action, i.e. the decision about whether or not to undergo invasive fetal testing via the maternal route (amniocentesis (...) or chorionic villus sampling), which, however, involves the risk of inducing a miscarriage. On the basis of ethnographic fieldwork in an ultrasound clinic in Denmark and interviews with pregnant women and their partners, this paper investigates how ideals such as autonomy and non-directiveness are practised in processes of decision-making. We view such ideals as forming social practice rather than neutral instruments to reach a certain goal. Focusing on one couple's trajectory through the clinical practices of PRA and the process through which a decision is reached, we call into question the assumption that more choice and more objective information is a source of empowerment and control. We make evident how decisions are made through a complicated process of meaning-making, which emerges through the relationship between professionals, the clinical setting and the social life of the couples. In the face of complex risk knowledge, PRA users are reluctant to make choices and seek to re-install authority in the health professionals. However, when assumptions about autonomy and self-determination are inscribed into the social practice of PRA, authority is transferred to the couple undergoing PRA and a new configuration of responsibility evolves between the couple and their relationship to the fetus. It is argued that PRA performs a form of government that works not through compulsion or persuasion but through choice. An ethic of a shared responsibility for PRA and its outcome between pregnant women and health professionals would be more in agreement with how decisions are actually made. (shrink)
The fourth-century B.C. was a period during which a large number of Greek cities were affected by civil wars, military conquests, and destruction, with the displacement of large numbers of men, women and children as a result. This has implications for the modern debate on Athenian attitudes to immigration, which normally focuses on just two groups of free non-citizens: adult, able-bodied men who moved to Athens voluntarily to take advantage of the city’s economic opportunities and on the free non-citizen population (...) who had come to Athens as slaves and who stayed on after their manumission. This article argues that refugees were likely to have constituted a considerable component of the migration to Athens during certain troubled periods in the course of the fourth century. This means that the size of Athens’s immigrant population was likely to have fluctuated considerably, that many of the refugees would have been destitute, that women and children may have made up an even greater proportion of the non-citizen population than normally assumed, and, thus, that a considerable number of these immigrants would not have been able to contribute substantially to Athens’s grain trade or military. The implications of this for our assessment of the Athenian motives for admitting groups of refugees are discussed, and it is argued that the requirement that all male and all unaccompanied female immigrants had to find an Athenian sponsor and pay a special metic tax may have constituted a certain level of control over immigrant numbers. (shrink)
Revisionists claim that the retributive intuitions informing our responsibility-attributing practices are unwarranted under determinism, not only because they are false, but because if we are all victims of causal luck, it is unfair to treat one another as if we are deserving of moral and legal sanctions. One revisionist strategy recommends a deflationary concept of moral responsibility, and that we justify punishment in consequentialist rather than retributive terms. Another revisionist strategy recommends that we eliminate all concepts of guilt, blame and (...) punishment, and treat dangerous criminals as we treat people with contagious diseases. I argue against both strong and moderate revisionism that it is not unfair to hold persons desert -entailingly responsible insofar as they take an interest in being treated as appraisable, and that it is unfair to persons not to treat them as desert -entailingly responsible contrary to their interests in being treated as such. The interest-based argument, I conclude, give us a justification for communicating retributive attitudes, but may still require a weak revision of our retributive practices, in the direction of a communicative theory of punishment. (shrink)
The relationship between agriculture and nature is a central issue in the current agricultural debate. Organic Farming has ambitions and a special potential in relation to nature. Consideration for nature is part of the guiding principals of organic farming and many organic farmers are committed to protecting natural qualities. However, the issue of nature, landscape, and land use is not straightforward. Nature is an ambiguous concept that involves multiple interests and actors reaching far beyond farmers. The Danish research project Nature (...) Quality in Organic Farming has investigated the relationship between nature and organic farming. This article will focus on an expert workshop held in connection with the project that investigates the way different actors conceptualize nature. Farmers, scientists, and non-governmental organizations came together to discuss their experiences of nature and expectations of organic agriculture. From this interaction, it was clear that nature is a contested notion. Different understandings of nature exist within the three groups and there is disagreement as to whether emphasis should be given to biological qualities, production values, or experiential and aesthetic perspectives. This complexity provides a challenge to organic farming as well as to the implementation of nature considerations in general. It illustrates an underlying battle for the right to define nature and nature quality and essentially decide what organic farmers should work towards. We argue that successful implementation requires organic farmers to carefully consider what expectations they wish to meet. Optimally it is dependent on a dialog between stakeholder interest groups that allows for multivocality and pluralism. (shrink)
This paper questions the moral foundations of the equal war-right to kill in international law. Although there seems to be a moral difference between fighting a just and unjust war, this need not reflect on our moral assessment of soldiers, since unjust combatants can be non-culpable by virtue of excuse. Under the aspect of immunity from blame, an equal war-right to kill is upheld, and belligerent equality restored among innocents. It must therefore be proven that innocent threats can be justifiably (...) killed. If this fails, there is nothing about the people who kill and are killed in war that justifies their killing. This leads to a strong presumption against war and to question the notion of just war. Further, there should be an incentive to increase protection of combatants in war. (shrink)
The precautionary principle is a widely accepted policy norm for decision making under uncertainty in environmental management, However, some of the traditional ways of ensuring trustworthy results used in environmental science and of communicating them work contrary to the general goal of providing the political system and the public with as good an input as possible in the decision making process. For example, it is widely accepted that scientists should only communicate results fulfilling the traditional scientific standard for hypothesis testing. (...) The need for introducing complementary norms in environmental science is illustrated by a recent discussion among scientists on how the precautionary principle should be used in the context of marine biological studies. This discussion highlights the importance of the use of statistical power in communicating scientific results to decision makers and to the general public as well as to the scientific peers. We argue that it would be unethical to report only certainties—because of the need of early warnings—and it would in the same way be unethical to hide the uncertainties. Environmental science can make a better contribution to environmental decision making, if the available knowledge is communicated in a manner which allows for insight on how strong the evidence is. (shrink)
This book consists of a series of essays that all turn around questions of the address of speech or writing. They argue and demonstrate that meaning is not just a matter of the active intention of a subject (for example, speaker, writer, or other signatory of a meaningful act) but also of its reception at another's address. The book's main concern is therefore with a theory of meaning and of action that is not centered on the intentional, self-conscious subject. The (...) fifteen chapters explore this problematic within three broad areas: love, jealousy, and sexual difference; fiction or literature; and political or public discourse. The book engages principally with contemporary French thought and includes important new readings of work by Jacques Derrida, He;lène Cixous, Maurice Blanchot, and Jean-Luc Nancy. (shrink)
The view that eugenics was based on unscientific views has been put forward by a number of historians. It has been claimed that the early phase of eugenics, so-called mainline eugenics, was unscientific, biased against the lower classes, and racist. An ensuing reform eugenic phase, however, has been considered scientifically sound and politically progressive. This paper, based on recent studies of eugenic sterilisation in Scandinavia, challenges this view. The political and scientific arguments in favour of eugenic sterilisation laws in Scandinavia (...) were complex and ambiguous, and it is empirically impossible to identify a problematic mainline eugenic phase and separate it from a more acceptable reform phase. Social and scientific arguments for sterilisation appeared side by side. To improve the gene pool was only one of a host of aims of eugenics, which “was” not a fixed, well-defined ontological entity with one definite purpose, but a concept with multiple meanings. (shrink)
This cutting-edge book brings together eminent experts who propose ways to bridge cultural and developmental approaches to human psychology. The experts heed the call of cultural psychology to study different peoples around the world and to recognize that culture profoundly impacts how we think, feel, and act. At the same time, they also take seriously the developmental science perspective that humans everywhere share common life stage tasks and ways of learning. Doing what has not previously been done, the experts integrate (...) key insights and findings from cultural and developmental research. The result is a book brimming with new and creative syntheses for theory, research, and policy. This book is in step with a world where culturally diverse peoples interact with one another more than ever due to migration, worldwide media, and international trade and travel. With these interactions come changes to cultures and the psychological development of their members, and the implications for scholarship and policy are thoughtfully examined here. The book covers a wide range of related topics. It addresses the intersection of development and culture for psychological processes such as learning and memory, for key contexts of development such as family and civil society, for conceptions of self and identity, and for how the life course is partitioned including a focus on childhood and emerging adulthood.With its inclusion of diverse life phases, diverse topics, and experts from diverse disciplines and cultures, this volume speaks to a broad range of developmental and cultural issues. The synthesis of cultural and developmental approaches should be exciting and eye-opening to anyone with an interest in human psychology in today's global world. (shrink)
This book explores a selection of trans-contextual case studies within religious diversity scholarship to develop a series of theoretical and methodological considerations for scholars to utilize when they conduct their own studies of religious diversity.
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