Sin duda, uno de los conceptos con abundantes trabajos en la teoría política es el de democracia. No existe prácticamente discurso, texto o conversación vinculada con la política que no lo mencione. Sin embargo, es pertinente establecer su significado en el mundo actual. Este requerimiento se origin..
Understanding human beings and their distinctive rational and volitional capacities requires a clear account of such things as reasons, desires, emotions, and motives, and how they combine to produce and explain human behaviour. Maria Alvarez presents a fresh and incisive study of these concepts, centred on reasons and their role in human agency.
What kind of thing is a reason for action? What is it to act for a reason? And what is the connection between acting for a reason and rationality? There is controversy about the many issues raised by these questions. In this paper I shall answer the first question with a conception of practical reasons that I call ‘Factualism’, which says that all reasons are facts. I defend this conception against its main rival, Psychologism, which says that practical reasons are (...) mental states or mental facts, and also against a variant of Factualism that says that some practical reasons are facts and others are false beliefs. I argue that the conception of practical reasons defended here provides plausible answers to the second and third questions above; and gives a more unified and satisfactory picture of practical reasons than those offered by its rivals. (shrink)
Desde la crítica feminista a John Rawls y la teoría del reconocimiento de Axel Honneth, se propone ampliar la noción liberal de justicia social para que las relaciones de amor y cuidado recuperen su papel vital. Se examina en qué medida y sentido la vida familiar constituye una esfera de justicia para mostrar cómo, además de la regulación externa, es necesaria una mirada valorativa de sus relaciones internas, sin olvidar que en la familia intervienen virtudes que exceden a la justicia.
Se dice que el utilitarismo es incompatible con la defensa de los derechos humanos, pues la búsqueda del mayor bien para el mayor número que prescribe el utilitarismo, puede exigir, en ocasiones, pasar por encima de los derechos. Sin embargo, quizá sea posible ofrecer una solución al conflicto presentando una doctrina utilitarista, reconocible como tal, que sea lo suficientemente amplia como para dar cabida a los derechos. La presente obra tiene como objeto exponer la doctrina de John Stuart Mill como (...) buen ejemplo de cómo es posible llevar a cabo esta tarea. (shrink)
A number of recent writers have expressed scepticism about the viability of a specifically moral concept of obligation, and some of the considerations offered have been interesting and persuasive. This is a scepticism that has its roots in Nietzsche, even if he is mentioned only rather rarely in the debate. More proximately, the scepticism in question receives seminal expression in Elizabeth Anscombe's 1958 essay, ‘Modern Moral Philosophy’, a piece that is often paid lip-service to, but—like Nietzsche's work—has only rarely been (...) taken seriously by those wishing to defend the conception of obligation under attack. This is regrettable. Anscombe's essay is powerful and direct, and it makes a forthright case for the claim that, in the absence of a divine law conception of ethics, any specifically moral concept of obligation must be redundant, and that the best that can be hoped for in a secular age is some sort of neo-Aristotelianism. Anscombe is right about this, we think. And, among those who disagree, one of the very few to have taken her on at all explicitly is Christine Korsgaard, whose Kantianism of course commits her to the view that the concept of moral obligation is central, with or without God. Here, we try to show that Korsgaard loses the argument. (shrink)
In this paper I propose a way of characterizing human agency in terms of the concept of a two‐way power. I outline this conception of agency, defend it against some objections, and briefly indicate how it relates to free agency and to moral praise‐ and blameworthiness.
RESUMEN Desde la crítica feminista a John Rawls y la teoría del reconocimiento de Axel Honneth, se propone ampliar la noción liberal de justicia social para que las relaciones de amor y cuidado recuperen su papel vital. Se examina en qué medida y sentido la vida familiar constituye una esfera de justicia para mostrar cómo, además de la regulación externa, es necesaria una mirada valorativa de sus relaciones internas, sin olvidar que en la familia intervienen virtudes que exceden a la (...) justicia. ABSTRACT On the basis of the feminist critique of John Rawls and of Axel Honneth's theory of recognition, the paper suggests a broader liberal notion of social justice that reinstates the vital role of the relationships of love and care. It examines to what extent and in what sense family life constitutes a sphere of justice, in order to show that, in addition to external regulation, an evaluative approach of its internal relations is necessary, without neglecting the fact that virtues that go beyond justice are at stake in the family. (shrink)
We consider, from a physical perspective, the case where the interface between an organism and its environment becomes large enough that it acts as a buffer regulating their matter and energy exchanges. We illustrate the physiological and evolutionary role of buffers through the example of lungfish estivation. Then we ponder the relevance of buffers of this kind to the quest for a general definition of concepts like niche construction, the extended phenotype, and related ones, whose meaning is conveyed at present (...) mostly through particular examples. Finally, we comment on the potential significance of buffers to organism—environment codetermination in the sense originally suggested by Lewontin. (shrink)
In 1969 Harry Frankfurt published his hugely influential paper 'Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility' in which he claimed to present a counterexample to the so-called 'Principle of Alternate Possibilities' ('a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise'). The success of Frankfurt-style cases as counterexamples to the Principle has been much debated since. I present an objection to these cases that, in questioning their conceptual cogency, undercuts many of those debates. Such cases (...) all require a counterfactual mechanism that could cause an agent to perform an action that he cannot avoid performing. I argue that, given our concept of what it is for someone to act, this requirement is inconsistent. Frankfurt-style alleged counterexamples are cases where an agent is morally responsible for an action he performs even though, the claim goes, he could not have avoided performing that action. However, it has recently been argued, e.g. by John Fischer, that a counterexample to the Principle could be a 'Fischer-style case', i.e. a case where the agent can either perform the action or do nothing else. I argue that, although Fischer-style cases do not share the conceptual flaw common to all Frankfurt-style cases, they also fail as counterexamples to the Principle. The paper finishes with a brief discussion of the significance of the Principle of Alternate Possibilities. (shrink)
Este artigo tematiza o apóstolo Pedro como personagem no evangelho de Mateus. O objetivo é identificar as nuances e transformações do personagem Pedro no evangelho. Para tanto, tomo como ponto de partida a pertença do evangelho ao gênero literário biografia greco-romana, que apresenta Jesus Cristo como protagonista. Os demais personagens são desenvolvidos em relação com ele. O mesmo se dá com o apóstolo Pedro. O texto se desenvolve a partir da teoria narrativa, de modo particular a caracterização de personagens. Identifico, (...) a partir de Erich Auerbach e Robert Alter, as características de personagens bíblicos, tecendo comparações com teorias do personagem no romance moderno. A análise de textos do evangelho de Mateus que retratam o personagem Pedro leva à conclusão que suas principais características são a complexidade e a inversão. Elas produzem uma visão geral da involução do personagem na narrativa do evangelho de Mateus. Palavras-chave: Pedro. Evangelho de Mateus. Teoria narrativa. Complexidade. Inversão.This article focuses on the apostle Peter as a character in the Gospel of Matthew. It aims at identifying the nuances and changes of the character Peter in the Gospel. For this purpose, I take as a starting point that the gospel belongs to the literary genre of ancient Greco-Roman Biography, which presents Jesus Christ as the protagonist. The other characters are developed in relationship with him. The same is true with the Apostle Peter. The article unfolds from narrative theory, in particular the categorization of characters. I categorize, based on Erich Auerbach and Robert Alter, the features of biblical characters, developing comparisons with theories of the character in the modern novel. The analysis of the main texts from the Gospel of Matthew that portray the character Peter leads to the conclusion that its main features are complexity and inversion. They produce an overview of the involution of the character in the narrative of the Gospel of Matthew. Key words: Peter. Gospel of Matthew. Narrative theory. Complexity. Inversion. (shrink)
In the past thirty years or so, the doctrine that actions are events has become an essential, and sometimes unargued, part of the received view in the philosophy of action, despite the efforts of a few philosophers to undermine the consensus. For example, the entry for Agency in a recently published reference guide to the philosophy of mind begins with the following sentence: A central task in the philosophy of action is that of spelling out the differences between events in (...) general and those events that fall squarely into the category of human action. There is no consensus about what events are. But it is generally agreed that, whatever events may prove to be, actions are a species or a class of events. We believe that the received view is mistaken: actions are not events. We concede that for most purposes, the kind of categorial refinement which is involved in either affirming or denying that actions are events is frankly otiose. Our common idiom does not stress the difference between actions and events, at least not in general terms, because it has no need to. Perhaps it sounds a little odd to say that some events are performed; but if we balked at describing, say, the abdication of Edward VIII as one of the politically significant events in Britain in 1936, it could not be for metaphysical reasons. And since actions, like events, are datable — though often, as we shall see, only imprecisely — actions are said to take place and to occur. But an important class of actions consist in moving something; indeed, according to many philosophers, every action consists in moving something. And when we consider actions of this sort from a theoretical point of view it becomes imperative to distinguish between actions and events. Or so we shall argue. (shrink)
As a result of recent corporate scandals, several rules have focused on the role played by Boards of Directors on the planning and monitoring of corporate codes of ethics. In theory, outside directors are in a better position than insiders to protect and further the interests of all stakeholders because of their experience and their sense of moral and legal obligations. Female directors also tend to be more sensitive to ethics according to several past studies which explain this affirmation by (...) early gender socialization, the fact that women are thought to place a greater emphasis on harmonious relations and the fact that men and women use different ethical frameworks in their judgments. The goal of this paper is to determine the influence of these characteristics of the Board in terms of promoting and hindering the creation of a code of ethics. Our findings show that a greater number of female directors does not necessarily lead to more ethical companies. Moreover, within Europe as a continent, board ownership leads to an entrenchment of upper-level management, generating a divergence between the ethical interests of owners and managers. In light of this situation, the presence of independent directors is necessary to reduce such conflicts. (shrink)
Studies on peace is the principal answer to resolving problems of social conflict. New forms of political democracy require the participation of citizens based on tolerance and non-violence. The historic present being experienced by humanity makes this demand. This is the reason why we must pr..
This work begins by proposing the need for exploring the mode of being of mental disorders. It is a philosophical study in an Aristotelian perspective, with special emphasis on the anthropological–cultural dimension. It is difficult for such an inquiry to be carried out from within psychiatry or clinical psychology, committed as these fields are to their own logic and practical conditions. The issues are, in any case, more ontological than strictly clinical in nature. We therefore turn to Aristotle, and specifically (...) his doctrine of the four “causes,” to flesh out the social and cultural dimensions of mental disorders. In accordance with the present analysis, the material cause of disorders would be found in the contingencies of life; the formal cause would pertain primarily to the way clinical conditions themselves can serve as models of ‘being ill’ in our society; the efficient cause would correspond to the patients themselves, understood as active (albeit less than fully conscious) agents as well as to the pharmaceutical industry and the mass media; the final cause would be found in different adaptive functions served by the disorder. We conclude that the “mode of being” of most (if not all) mental disorders—in particular, their status as mental disorders—can often have more to do with cultural forms than with biological factors. (shrink)
Este artículo tiene como objetivo dar cuenta del escepticismo radical de Pierre Gassendi propuesto en el Exercitationes paradoxicae Adversus Aristoteleos (Disertaciones paradójicas contra los aristotélicos). Para dar cuenta de ello nuestro artículo se divide en tres momentos: Primero, damos cuenta de la estructura de la obra; segundo, se presentan los argumentos centrales propuestos por Gassendi para comprender su actitud crítica al escolasticismo. Y tercero, se muestra la crítica que realiza a la lógica aristotélica. La idea fundamental que sostenemos en este (...) trabajo es que la actitud crítica y de libre pensador que caracterizó a Gassendi tuvo su origen directo en la actitud escéptica. Además, revisar su obra de juventud y su actitud filosófica nos permite comprender una parte importante del alcance del escepticismo en la reforma de la filosofía natural del siglo XVII. The aim of this paper is to comprehend the radical skepticism of Pierre Gassendi in his book Exercitationes paradoxicae Adversus Aristoteleos(1624)(Paradoxical dissertations against the aristotelianism). To achieve this goal we explain his skepticism in three points: First, we show the book's structure; Second, we present the main arguments to understand his attitude against the scholasticism; and Third, we show his direct critic towards the Aristotelian logic. The fundamental idea that we hold in this article is that the skeptical attitude is the origin of critical aspects as free thinker, what distinguished all the gasssendi's philosophical work. Furthermore, to review his Exercitationes and the philosophical attitude allows us to appreciate an important part of the scope of skepticism in the reform of the seventeenth century natural philosophy. (shrink)
Resumen: Spinoza afirma que las decisiones, elecciones y acciones de un agente son necesarias porque están determinadas causalmente. ¿Acaso los seres humanos no son agentes morales? ¿son sólo eslabones de una cadena de causas cuyo curso no pueden controlar y que los exime de las consecuencias de sus actos, así como de premios y castigos? ¿ser un individuo libre significa aceptar pasivamente lo que ocurre y abandonar la pretensión de modificarlo? Este artículo responde a estas preguntas mediante la distinción en (...) la obra spinoziana de dos conceptos de libertad, la verdadera libertad y el libre albedrío, así como con la distinción entre la responsabilidad civil fundada en el concepto de potestas humana -y no en la verdadera libertad, aunque la posibilita-.: Spinoza sustains that the agents' decisions are necessary because they are causally determined. But then, are humans really moral agents? Is it possible that they are only passengers in a train of causes, whose course they cannot control and exempts them from the consequences of their acts, of reward or punishment? Is accepting whatever happens and quitting the aspiration of changing things the hallmark of the free man? This paper answers these questions by distinguishing two concepts of freedom, real freedom and free will, as well as two concepts of responsibility. Civil responsibility is grounded in free will, whereas moral responsibility is not grounded in true freedom, but in human power. (shrink)
Ignorance is often a perfectly good excuse. There are interesting debates about whether non-culpable factual ignorance and mistake subvert obligation, but little disagreement about whether non-culpable factual ignorance and mistake exculpate. What about agents who have all the relevant facts in view but fail to meet their obligations because they do not have the right moral beliefs? If their ignorance of their obligations derives from mistaken moral beliefs or from ignorance of the moral significance of the facts they have in (...) view, should they be excused for failing to meet their moral obligations? It is not obvious that they should. In this paper we argue that the best non-skeptical accounts of moral responsibility acknowledge that factual ignorance and mistake will diminish moral responsibility in a way that moral ignorance and mistake will not. That is because factual ignorance is often non-culpable so long as it meets certain merely procedural epistemic standards but the same is not true of moral ignorance. Our argument is that the assumption that it is gets the standards of culpability for moral ignorance wrong, and that the mistake is encouraged by the thought that culpability in general requires an instance of known wrongdoing: that acting wrongly requires de dicto unresponsiveness to one’s obligations at some stage. We deny this and conclude that, therefore, ignorance and mistaken belief are indeed often perfectly good excuses – but far less often than some philosophers claim. (shrink)
In 2008, many states sought to pass Human Life Amendments, which would extend the definition of personhood to encompass newly fertilized eggs. If such an amendment were to pass, Roe v. Wade, as currently defended by the Supreme Court, may be repealed. Consequently, it is necessary to defend the right to an abortion in a manner that succeeds even if a Human Life Amendment successfully passes. J.J. Thomson's argument in ?A Defense of Abortion? successfully achieves this. Her argument is especially (...) strong when one considers that her central thesis?that one person's right to life does not entail the right to use another's person's body for continued sustenance?is pervasive in legal policies in the U.S.A. (shrink)
Reasons can play a variety of roles in a variety of contexts. For instance, reasons can motivate and guide us in our actions (and omissions), in the sense that we often act in the light of reasons. And reasons can be grounds for beliefs, desires and emotions and can be used to evaluate, and sometimes to justify, all these. In addition, reasons are used in explanations: both in explanations of human actions, beliefs, desires, emotions, etc., and in explanations of a (...) wide range of phenomena involving all sorts of animate and inanimate substances. This diversity has encouraged the thought that the term 'reason' is ambiguous or has different senses in different contexts. Moreover, this view often goes hand in hand with the claim that reasons of these different kinds belong to different ontological categories: to facts (or something similar) in the case of normative/justifying reasons, and to mental states in the case of motivating/explanatory reasons. In this paper I shall explore some of the main roles that reasons play and, on that basis, I shall offer a classification of kinds of reasons. As will become clear, my classification of reasons is at odds with much of the literature in several respects: first, because of my views about how we should understand the claim that reasons are classified into different kinds; second, because of the kinds into which I think reasons should be classified; and, finally, because of the consequences I think this view has for the ontology of reasons. (shrink)
The last three decades have seen much important work on powers and dispositions: what they are and how they are related to the phenomena that constitute their manifestation. These debates have tended to focus on ‘paradigmatic’ dispositions, i.e. physical dispositions such as conductivity, elasticity, radioactivity, etc. It is often assumed, implicitly or explicitly, that the conclusions of these debates concerning physical dispositions can be extended to psychological dispositions, such as beliefs, desires or character traits. In this paper I identify some (...) central features of paradigmatic dispositions that concern their manifestation, stimulus conditions, and causal bases. I then focus on a specific kind of psychological disposition, namely character traits, and argue that they are importantly different from paradigmatic dispositions in relation to these features. I conclude that this difference should lead us to re-examine our assumption that character traits are dispositions and, by implication, whether we can generalize conclusions about physical dispositions to psychological dispositions, such as character traits and their manifestations. (shrink)
José Álvarez fue uno de los más activos maestros mayores de obras de la archidiócesis sevillana del XVIII. Contemporánea de Pedro de Silva, Ambrosio y Antonio de Figueroa y Fernando Rosales, alternó los encargos del Cabildo eclesiástico con los del Arzobispado, siendo estos últimos los que le otorgaron mayor prestigio. Basta citar algunos de los templos que construyó para comprender la magnitud de sus realizaciones. Sorprendentemente, su obra no había merecido aún la edición de una monografía, debido quizá a (...) la falta de noticias biográficas más allá de la de su origen onubense. Este trabajo pretende subsanar dicho vacío, documentando por vez primera su nacimiento y fallecimiento, su reducido círculo familiar, su autoría sobre relevantes obras eclesiales y repasando cronológicamente su actividad profesional. Todo ello para poner en valor la figura de uno de los grandes nombres de la arquitectura tardo-barroca sevillana. (shrink)