Humans have the capacity for awareness of many aspects of their own mental lives—their own experiences, feelings, judgments, desires, and decisions. We can often know what it is that we see, hear, feel, judge, want, or decide. This article examines the evolutionary origins of this form of self-knowledge. Two alternatives are contrasted and compared with the available evidence. One is first-person based: self-knowledge is an adaptation designed initially for metacognitive monitoring and control. The other is third-person based: self-knowledge depends on (...) the prior evolution of a mindreading system which can then be directed toward the self. It is shown that the latter account is currently the best supported of the two. (shrink)
King develops a syntax-based account of propositions based on the idea that propositional unity is grounded in the syntactic structure of the sentence. This account faces two objections: a Benacerraf objection and a grain-size objection. I argue that the syntax-based account survives both objections, as they have been put forward in the existing literature. I go on to show, however, that King equivocates between two distinct notions of ‘propositional structure ’ when explaining his account. Once the confusion is resolved, it (...) is clear that the syntax-based account suffers from both Benacerraf and grain-size problems after all. I conclude by showing that King's account can be revised to avoid these problems, but only if it abandons its motivating idea that it is syntax that unifies the proposition. (shrink)
Jewish law takes an approach to self-defense that differs dramatically from the conventional assumptions of Western secular legal systems. The central theme of Talmudic jurisprudence is that self-defense rests on a duty not to stand idly by while one's neighbor suffers. “Do not stand on the blood of one's neighbor,” as the point is cryptically put in Leviticus 19:16. This way of thinking about self-defense departs in two significant ways from common Western assumptions. First, it stresses that the roots of (...) self-defense are a duty rather than a right to act; second, it treats the case of third-party defense as logically prior to the first-party case of self -defense. (shrink)
For people to live together in pluralistic communities, they must find someway to cope with the practices of others that they abhor. For that reason, tolerance has always seemed an appealing medium of accommodation. But tolerance also has its critics. One wing charges that the tolerant are too easygoing. They are insensitive to evil in their midst. At the same time, another wing attacks the tolerant for being too weak in their sentimentsof respect. “The Christian does not wish to be (...) tolerated,” as T. S. Eliot said; and by this he meant to claim, presumably, that the Christian desires respect and acceptance, and not merely the forbearance suggested by “tolerance.” To make the case for tolerance, we must engage in a three-front campaign: first, against intolerance; second, against the moral failing of indifference; and third, against the desirability of respecting and accepting everyone. The central claim in making this case will be that unlike these three competing sentiments, tolerance is a complex attitude toward the behavior and beliefs of others. Its complexity consists in both moral disapproval and the avoidance of interference. If there is a case to be made for tolerance, it must derive from this peculiar complexity. After surveying its alternatives, I will argue that the complex sentimentof tolerance is more readily praised than its alternatives. (shrink)
The Grammar of Criminal Law is a 3-volume work that addresses the field of international and comparative criminal law, with its primary focus on the issues of international concern, ranging from genocide, to domestic efforts to combat terrorism, to torture, and to other international crimes. The first volume is devoted to foundational issues. The Grammar of Criminal Law is unique in its systematic emphasis on the relationship between language and legal theory; there is no comparable comparative study of legal language. (...) Written in the spirit of Fletcher's classic Rethinking Criminal Law, this work is essential reading in the field of international and comparative law. (shrink)
America is at war with terrorism. Terrorists must be brought to justice.We hear these phrases together so often that we rarely pause to reflect on the dramatic differences between the demands of war and the demands of justice, differences so deep that the pursuit of one often comes at the expense of the other. In this book, one of the country's most important legal thinkers brings much-needed clarity to the still unfolding debates about how to pursue war and justice in (...) the age of terrorism. George Fletcher also draws on his rare ability to combine insights from history, philosophy, literature, and law to place these debates in a rich cultural context. He seeks to explain why Americans--for so many years cynical about war--have recently found war so appealing. He finds the answer in a revival of Romanticism, a growing desire in the post-Vietnam era to identify with grand causes and to put nations at the center of ideas about glory and guilt.Fletcher opens with unsettling questions about the nature of terrorism, war, and justice, showing how dangerously slippery the concepts can be. He argues that those sympathetic to war are heirs to the ideals of Byron, Fichte, and other Romantics in their belief that nations--not just individuals--must uphold honor and be held accountable for crimes. Fletcher writes that ideas about collective glory and guilt are far more plausible and widespread than liberal individualists typically recognize. But as he traces the implications of the Romantic mindset for debates about war crimes, treason, military tribunals, and genocide, he also shows that losing oneself in a grand cause can all too easily lead to moral catastrophe.A work of extraordinary intellectual power and relevance, the book will change how we think not only about world events, but about the conflicting individualist and collective impulses that tear at all of us. (shrink)
In this one-of-a-kind text, George P. Fletcher, a renowned legal theorist, offers a provocative yet accessible overview of the basics of legal thought. The first section of the book is designed to introduce the reader to fundamental concepts such as the rule of law and deciding cases under the law. It continues with an analysis of the values of justice, desert, consent, and equality, as they figure into our judgment of legal cultures in terms of soundness and legitimacy. The (...) final chapters address the problems of morality and consistency in the law. In each case the author not only introduces the basic ideas but considers important arguments in the contemporary literature and raises original claims of his own. Ideally suited for courses in the philosophy of law, legal issues, and jurisprudence, Basic Concepts of Legal Thought fills a void in the literature, as there is no other volume that both eases law students into the mysteries of legal philosophy and provides an introduction to the legal mind for non-lawyers. (shrink)
Fletcher, Laadan Sir Francis Galton was Charles Darwin's cousin. He was born in Birmingham, and educated at King Edward's School before studying medicine at King's College, London and also graduating from Trinity College, Cambridge. Two years later he travelled in North Africa and in 1850, in hitherto unexplored regions of South Africa; and, in 1855, published a very successful book giving an account of his experiences. He was probably inspired by the celebrated travels of his cousin.
I shall never forget my astonishment and delight on reading the 1949 essay, "The Function of Criticism at the Present Time," which in turn became the Polemic Introduction to Anatomy of Criticism, and my even greater astonishment and delight at the appearance of "Towards a Theory of Cultural History" , which eventually served as Essay 1 of the Anatomy, when revised and expanded. The remarkable thing about these articles was not so much their content as their assumption, namely, that criticism (...) could at least try to become a science. This assumption was couched in the form of most general scientific orientations, in that Frye took literature in its own terms,1 to begin with, and then did not prejudicially segregate and then destroy the claims of particular "minority groups" within the whole commonwealth of literary life. I did not know it at the time, but Frye was then, as now, fighting for a mode of civil rights. He was then, as now, a libertarian. He first made his name writing on Blake— freedom enough, perhaps—but it has always seemed to me that his center is as much Milton as Blake. But then, to know Blake truly is to understand Milton. · 1. This assumption is to be distinguished from that of "early" Richards, which held that a science for literary studies had to come at literature from the outside, with chiefly psychological instruments. Richards' career has been the most complex critical "life" in our century, I believe, and it should be observed that he has held, and abandoned, more than one assumptive high ground during the course of his long and magnificent involvement with poetry. Angus Fletcher's numerous writings include Allegory: The Thought of a Symbolic Mode, The Prophetic Moment: An Essay on Spenser, The Transcendental Masque: An Essay on Milton's Comus, The Stranger God: A Theoretical Study of the Myth of Dionysus, and Thresholds: A Critical Approach to the English Renaissance. Northrop Frye's response, "Expanding Eyes" appears in the Winter 1975 issue. (shrink)
Well-being occupies a central role in ethics and political philosophy, including in major theories such as utilitarianism. It also extends far beyond philosophy: recent studies into the science and psychology of well-being have propelled the topic to centre stage, and governments spend millions on promoting it. We are encouraged to adopt modes of thinking and behaviour that support individual well-being or 'wellness'. What is well-being? Which theories of well-being are most plausible? In this rigorous and comprehensive introduction to the topic, (...) Guy Fletcher unpacks and assesses these questions and many more, including: Are pleasure and pain the only things that affect well-being? Is desire-fulfilment the only thing that makes our lives go well? Can something be good for someone who does not desire it? Is well-being fundamentally connected to a distinctive human nature? Is happiness all that makes our lives go well? Is death necessarily bad for us? How is the well-being of a whole life related to well-being at particular times? Also included is a glossary of key terms, and annotated further reading and study and comprehension questions follow each chapter, making _The Philosophy of Well-Being_ essential reading for students in ethics and political philosophy, and also suitable for those in related disciplines such as psychology, politics and sociology. (shrink)
Fern Logan’s collection of photographic portraits documents the emergence of the African American artist into mainstream American art. The Artist Portrait Series captures sixty significant artists from the late twentieth century.
This chapter is divided into three parts. First I outline what makes something an objective list theory of well-being. I then go on to look at the motivations for holding such a view before turning to objections to these theories of well-being.
Sense of agency is a compelling but fragile experience that is augmented or attenuated by internal signals and by external cues. A disruption in SoA may characterise individual symptoms of mental illness such as delusions of control. Indeed, it has been argued that generic SoA disturbances may lie at the heart of delusions and hallucinations that characterise schizophrenia. A clearer understanding of how sensorimotor, perceptual and environmental cues complement, or compete with, each other in engendering SoA may prove valuable in (...) deepening our understanding the agency disruptions that characterise certain focal neurological disorders and mental illnesses. Here we examine the integration of SoA cues in health and illness, describing a simple framework of this integration based on Bayesian principles. We extend this to consider how alterations in cue integration may lead to aberrant experiences of agency. (shrink)
No consensus yet exists on how to handle incidental fnd-ings in human subjects research. Yet empirical studies document IFs in a wide range of research studies, where IFs are fndings beyond the aims of the study that are of potential health or reproductive importance to the individual research participant. This paper reports recommendations of a two-year project group funded by NIH to study how to manage IFs in genetic and genomic research, as well as imaging research. We conclude that researchers (...) have an obligation to address the possibility of discovering IFs in their protocol and communications with the IRB, and in their consent forms and communications with research participants. Researchers should establish a pathway for handling IFs and communicate that to the IRB and research participants. We recommend a pathway and categorize IFs into those that must be disclosed to research participants, those that may be disclosed, and those that should not be disclosed. (shrink)
So-called theories of well-being (prudential value, welfare) are under-represented in discussions of well-being. I do four things in this article to redress this. First, I develop a new taxonomy of theories of well-being, one that divides theories in a more subtle and illuminating way. Second, I use this taxonomy to undermine some misconceptions that have made people reluctant to hold objective-list theories. Third, I provide a new objective-list theory and show that it captures a powerful motivation for the main competitor (...) theory of well-being (the desire-fulfilment theory). Fourth, I try to defuse the worry that objective-list theories are problematically arbitrary and show how the theory can and should be developed. (shrink)
Sense of agency refers to the sense of initiating and controlling actions in order to influence events in the outside world. Recently, a distinction between implicit and explicit aspects of sense of agency has been proposed, analogous to distinctions found in other areas of cognition, notably learning. However, there is yet no strong evidence supporting separable implicit and explicit components of sense of agency. The so-called ‘Perruchet paradigm’ offers one of the few convincing demonstrations of separable implicit and explicit learning (...) systems. We adopted this approach to evaluate the implicit–explicit distinction in the context of a simple task in which outcomes were probabilistically caused by actions. In line with our initial predictions, we found evidence of a dissociation. We discuss the implications of this result for theories of sense of agency. (shrink)
The moral error theorist claims that moral discourse is irredeemably in error because it is committed to the existence of properties that do not exist. A common response has been to postulate ‘companions in guilt’—forms of discourse that seem safe from error despite sharing the putatively problematic features of moral discourse. The most developed instance of this pairs moral discourse with epistemic discourse. In this paper, I present a new, prudential, companions-in-guilt argument and argue for its superiority over the epistemic (...) alternative. (shrink)
Claims about needs are a ubiquitous feature of everyday practical discourse. It is therefore unsurprising that needs have long been a topic of interest in moral philosophy, applied ethics, and political philosophy. Philosophers have devoted much time and energy to developing theories of the nature of human needs and the like. -/- Philosophers working on needs are typically committed to the idea that there are different kinds of needs and that within the different kinds of needs is a privileged class (...) of needs that is especially normatively significant. -/- Some philosophers go further and make rather grand claims about needs. They claim that needs are central or fundamental to moral thinking and that we must have a needs-centred moral theory or a general reorientation of moral philosophy around needs. -/- In this paper I aim to do two things. First, to show how applying recent work on modal terms can help us to understand thought and talk about needs. This is the positive part. I then use these ideas to cast doubt on the more ambitious claims about needs. Put briefly, a proper understanding of claims about needs undermines the idea that the concept of needs is fundamental in moral thought or in moral philosophy. Ambitious needs theory fails. (shrink)
This paper attacks an account of Kant's controversial distinction between "free" and "dependent" beauty. I present three problems—The Lorland problem, The Crawford Problem, and the problem of intrinsic relation—that are shown to be a consequence of various interpretations of Kant's distinction. Next, I reconstruct Robert Wicks' well-known account of dependent beauty as "the appreciation of teleological style" and point out a key equivocation in the statement of Wicks' account: the judgment of dependent beauty can be thought to consist in comparing (...) any two objects' teleological styles either in respect of how or in respect of how well each realizes a common purpose. I argue that this equivocation forces Wicks into a dilemma: either he must assert the impossibility of ugliness or he must assert that the judgment of dependent beauty is reducible to the judgment of perfection. Either way, he denies important theoretic desiderata. (shrink)
THE STRUCTURE OF THIS PAPER IS AS FOLLOWS. I begin §1 by dealing with preliminary issues such as the different relations expressed by the “good for” locution. I then (§2) outline the Locative Analysis of good for and explain its main elements before moving on to (§3) outlining and discussing the positive features of the view. In the subsequent sections I show how the Locative Analysis can respond to objections from, or inspired by, Sumner (§4-5), Regan (§6), and Schroeder and (...) Feldman (§7). I then (§8) reply to an imagined objector who claims that the Locative Analysis generates implausible results with respect to punishment, virtue and agent-centered duties. (shrink)
This paper presents the results of five years of research involving three studies. The first two studies investigated the impact of the value honesty/integrity on the ethical decision choice an individual makes, as moderated by the individual personality traits of self-monitoring and private self-consciousness. The third study, which is the focus of this paper, expanded the two earlier studies by varying the level of moral intensity and including the influence of demographical factors and other workplace values: achievement, fairness, and concern (...) for others on the ethical decision process. These studies were designed using a laboratory format and a decision exercise that attempted to establish realistic business conflict situations through decision scenarios. Support is presented for the influence of gender and achievement on ethical choice. Recommendations for the future direction of this stream of research are given. (shrink)
If the force on a particle fails to satisfy a Lipschitz condition at a point, it relaxes one of the conditions necessary for a locally unique solution to the particle’s equation of motion. I examine the most discussed example of this failure of determinism in classical mechanics—that of Norton’s dome—and the range of current objections against it. Finding there are many different conceptions of classical mechanics appropriate and useful for different purposes, I argue that no single conception is preferred. Instead (...) of arguing for or against determinism, I stress the wide variety of pragmatic considerations that, in a specific context, may lead one usefully and legitimately to adopt one conception over another in which determinism may or may not hold. (shrink)
Fixed-rate versions of rule-consequentialism and rule-utilitarianism evaluate rules in terms of the expected net value of one particular level of social acceptance, but one far enough below 100% social acceptance to make salient the complexities created by partial compliance. Variable-rate versions of rule-consequentialism and rule-utilitarianism instead evaluate rules in terms of their expected net value at all different levels of social acceptance. Brad Hooker has advocated a fixed-rate version. Michael Ridge has argued that the variable-rate version is better. The debate (...) continues here. Of particular interest is the difference between the implications of Hooker's and Ridge's rules about doing good for others. (shrink)
Behavioural flexibility is often treated as the gold standard of evidence for more sophisticated or complex forms of animal cognition, such as planning, metacognition and mindreading. However, the evidential link between behavioural flexibility and complex cognition has not been explicitly or systematically defended. Such a defence is particularly pressing because observed flexible behaviours can frequently be explained by putatively simpler cognitive mechanisms. This leaves complex cognition hypotheses open to ‘deflationary’ challenges that are accorded greater evidential weight precisely because they offer (...) putatively simpler explanations of equal explanatory power. This paper challenges the blanket preference for simpler explanations, and shows that once this preference is dispensed with, and the full spectrum of evidence—including evolutionary, ecological and phylogenetic data—is accorded its proper weight, an argument in support of the prevailing assumption that behavioural flexibility can serve as evidence for complex cognitive mechanisms may begin to take shape. An adaptive model of cognitive-behavioural evolution is proposed, according to which the existence of convergent trait–environment clusters in phylogenetically disparate lineages may serve as evidence for the same trait–environment clusters in other lineages. This, in turn, could permit inferences of cognitive complexity in cases of experimental underdetermination, thereby placing the common view that behavioural flexibility can serve as evidence for complex cognition on firmer grounds. (shrink)
In this paper, I examine how philosophers before and after G. E. Moore understood intrinsic value. The main idea I wish to bring out and defend is that Moore was insufficiently attentive to how distinctive his conception of intrinsic value was, as compared with those of the writers he discussed, and that such inattentiveness skewed his understanding of the positions of others that he discussed and dismissed. My way into this issue is by examining the charge of inconsistency that Moore (...) levels at the qualitative hedonism outlined by J. S. Mill in Utilitarianism. Along the way I suggest that there are a number of ways in which Moore was unfair in rejecting qualitative hedonism as inconsistent. I close by relating the issues that arise in discussion of Moore to contemporary debates on value and reasons. (shrink)
This paper aims to cast doubt upon a certain way of analysing prudential value (or good for ), namely in the manner of a ‘buck-passing’ analysis. It begins by explaining why we should be interested in analyses of good for and the nature of buck-passing analyses generally (§I). It moves on to considering and rejecting two sets of buck-passing analyses. The first are analyses that are likely to be suggested by those attracted to the idea of analysing good for in (...) a buck-passing fashion (§II). The second are the buck-passing analyses of good for proposed by John Skorupski (§III), Henry Sidgwick (§IV), and Stephen Darwall (§V). Along the way the paper shows that Michael Smith’s and Peter Railton’s analyses of other concepts—analyses that could be (and have been) taken to be analyses of good for —are similarly unsuitable as analyses of it. The paper concludes by suggesting that the fact that none of the buck-passing accounts of good for considered here is satisfactory, coupled with an appreciation of the various problems that a buck-passing analysis of good for would have to avoid, suggests that we should be sceptical about the prospects of finding such an analysis and should look for one of a different type. (shrink)
Linnebo and Pettigrew present some objections to category theory as an autonomous foundation. They do a commendable job making clear several distinct senses of ‘autonomous’ as it occurs in the phrase ‘autonomous foundation’. Unfortunately, their paper seems to treat the ‘categorist’ perspective rather unfairly. Several infelicities of this sort were addressed by McLarty. In this note I address yet another apparent infelicity.