Self-knowledge is the focus of considerable attention from philosophers: Knowing Our Own Minds gives a much-needed overview of current work on the subject, bringing together new essays by leading figures. Knowledge of one's own sensations, desires, intentions, thoughts, beliefs, and other attitudes is characteristically different from other kinds of knowledge: it has greater immediacy, authority, and salience. The contributors examine philosophical questions raised by the distinctive character of self-knowledge, relating it to knowledge of other minds, to rationality and agency, externalist (...) theories of psychological content, and knowledge of language. Together these original, stimulating, and closely interlinked essays demonstrate the special relevance of self-knowledge to a broad range of issues in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language. (shrink)
A debate has been raging in the philosophy of mind for at least the past two decades. It concerns whether the mental can make a causal difference to the world. Suppose that I am reading the newspaper and it is getting dark. I switch on the light, and continue with my reading. One explanation of why my switching on of the light occurred is that a desiring with a particular content (that I continue reading), a noticing with a particular content (...) (that it is getting dark), and a believing with a particular content (that by switching on the light I could continue reading) occurred in me, and these events caused my switching on of the light. This explanation works by citing the intentional contents of mental phenomena as causes of that action. It is because the intentional causes have the contents that they do, and because those contents play a causal role in bringing about my action, that my action is causally explained. (shrink)
: Care work straddles the divide between activities performed out of love and those performed for pay. The tensions created for workers by this divide raise questions concerning connections between recognition and redistribution. Through an analysis of mobilization among childcare workers, we argue that care workers can address redistribution and recognition simultaneously through vocabularies of both skill and virtue. We conclude with a discussion of strategies to overcome the false dichotomy between recognition and redistribution.
We respond to Moses Pava’s defense of the “Triple Bottom Line” concept against our earlier criticisms. We argue that, pacePava, the multiplicity of measures that go into evaluating ethical performance cannot reasonably be compared to the handful of standard methods for evaluating financial performance. We also question Pava’s claim that usage of the term “3BL” is somehow intended to be ironical or subversive.
It is widely accepted that knowledge of certain of one’s own mental states is authoritative in being epistemically more secure than knowledge of the mental states of others, and theories of self-knowledge have largely appealed to one or the other of two sources to explain this special epistemic status. The first, ‘detectivist’, position, appeals to an inner perception-like basis, whereas the second, ‘constitutivist’, one, appeals to the view that the special security awarded to certain self-knowledge is a conceptual matter. I (...) argue that there is a fundamental class of cases of authoritative self-knowledge, ones in which subjects are consciously thinking about their current, conscious intentional states, that is best accounted for in terms of a theory that is, broadly speaking, introspectionist and detectivist. The position developed has an intuitive plausibility that has inspired many who work in the Cartesian tradition, and the potential to yield a single treatment of the basis of authoritative self-knowledge for both intentional states and sensation states. (shrink)
Knowledge of one's own sensations, desires, intentions, thoughts, beliefs, and other attitudes is characteristically different from other kinds of knowledge: it has greater immediacy, authority, and salience. This volume offers a powerful and comprehensive look at current work on this topic, featuring closely interlinked essays by leading figures in the field that examine philosophical questions raised by the distinctive character of self-knowledge, relating it to knowledge of other minds, to rationality and agency, externalist theories of psychological content, and knowledge of (...) language. (shrink)
In this paper I outline and defend an introspectionist account of authoritative self-knowledge for a certain class of cases, ones in which a subject is both thinking and thinking about a current, conscious thought. My account is distinctive in a number of ways, one of which is that it is compatible with the truth of externalism.
This paper looks at conflicts of interest in the not-for-profit sector. It examines the nature of conflicts of interest and why they are of ethical concern, and then focuses on the way not-for-profit organisations are especially prone to and vulnerable to conflict-of-interest scandals. Conflicts of interest corrode trust; and stakeholder trust (particularly from donors) is the lifeblood of most charities. We focus on some specific challenges faced by charitable organisations providing funding for scientific (usually medical) research, and examine a case (...) study involving such an organisation. One of the principal problems for charities of this kind is that they often distribute their funds within a relatively small research community (defined by the boundaries of a small region, like an American state or Spanish Autonomous region, or a small country), and it often proves difficult to find high-level researchers within the jurisdiction to adjudicate impartially the research grants. We suggest and recommend options appropriate for our case study and for many other organisations in similar situations. (shrink)
This article seeks an improved understanding of nurse autonomy by looking at nursing through the lens of what recent feminist scholars have called ‘relational’ autonomy. A relational understanding of autonomy means a shift away from older views focused on individuals achieving independence, towards a view that seeks meaningful self-direction within a context of interdependency. The main claim made here is that nurse autonomy is, indeed, relational. The article begins with an explanation of the notion of relational autonomy. It then explains (...) both the collective and the individual application of the term ‘professional autonomy’. Finally, it argues that both senses of professional autonomy are best understood as relational, and suggests some implications of this conclusion. (shrink)
This paper considers whether individual companies have an ethical obligation to label their Genetically Modified (GM) foods. GM foods and ingredients pervade grocery store shelves, despite the fact that a majority of North Americans have worries about eating those products. The market as whole has largely failed to respond to consumer preference in this regard, as have North American governments. A number of consumer groups, NGO’s, and activist organizations have urged corporations to label their GM products. This paper asks whether, (...) in such a situation, individual corporations can be ethically required to take such unilateral action. We argue that they cannot. Given the lack of solid evidence for any risk to human health, and the serious market disadvantage almost surely associated with costly unilateral action, no individual company has an ethical obligation to label its GM foods. (shrink)
This volume provides an introduction to and review of key contemporary debates concerning connectionism, and the nature of explanation and methodology in cognitive psychology. The first debate centers on the question of whether human cognition is best modeled by classical or by connectionist architectures. The second centres on the question of the compatibility between folk, or commonsense, psychological explanation and explanations based on connectionist models of cognition. Each of the two sections includes a classic reading along with important responses, and (...) concludes with a specially commissioned reply by the main contributor. The editorial introductions provide a comprehensive survey and map through the debates. (shrink)
_Varieties of Things: Foundations of Contemporary Metaphysics_ is about some of the most fundamental kinds of things that there are; the things that we encounter in everyday experience. A book about the things that we encounter in everyday experience. Contains a thorough and accessible discussion of the nature and aims of metaphysics. Examines a wide range of ontological categories, including both particulars and universals. Mounts a forceful and persuasive case for anti-reductionism.
Traditionally, physicians and parents made decisions about children’s health care based on western practices. More recently, with legal and ethical development of informed consent and recognition for decision making, children are becoming active participants in their care. The extent to which this is happening is however blurred by lack of clarity about what children — of diverse levels of cognitive development — are capable of understanding. Moreover, when there are multiple surrogate decision makers, parental and professional conflict can arise concerning (...) children’s ‘best interest’. Giving children a voice and offering choice promotes their dignity and quality of life. Nevertheless, it also presents with many challenges. Case studies using pseudonyms and changed situational identities are used in this article to illuminate the complexity of ethical challenges facing nurses in end-of-life care with children and families. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore briefly the "secular priesthood" metaphor often applied to bioethicists. I next ask: if, despite our discomfort with the metaphor, we were to embrace the best aspects of the priesthood(s) ? which I identify as the missionaries' willingness to work among sinners and lepers, at their own peril ? would we be able to live up to that standard of bravery? I then draw a parallel with the fears of contagion currently be voiced (by Carl Elliott (...) and others), with regard to bioethicists working in or near corporate settings. I argue that such fears may themselves have a number of deleterious effects, and I suggest several possible positive steps in response to that fear. (shrink)
What is knowledge of one's own current, consciously entertained intentional states a form of inner awareness? If so, what form? In this paper I explore the prospects for a quasi-observational account of a certain class of cases where subjects appear to have self-knowledge, namely, the so-called cogito-like cases. In section one I provide a rationale for the claim that we need an epistemology of self-knowledge, and specifically, an epistemology of the cogito-like cases. In section two I argue that contentful properties (...) in such cases have two features in common with observational properties of objects. In section three, I develop a quasi-observational account of self-knowledge for the cogito-like cases by considering various accounts of the nature of observational properties and by applying them to these cases. I conclude by addressing some important objections to the account. (shrink)
In this paper, we examine critically the notion of “Triple Bottom Line” accounting. We begin by asking just what it is that supporters of the Triple Bottom Line idea advocate, and attempt to distil specific, assessable claims from the vague, diverse, and sometimescontradictory uses of the Triple Bottom Line rhetoric. We then use these claims as a basis upon which to argue (a) that what issound about the idea of a Triple Bottom Line is not novel, and (b) that what (...) is novel about the idea is not sound. We argue on bothconceptual and practical grounds that the Triple Bottom Line is an unhelpful addition to current discussions of corporate social responsibility. Finally, we argue that the Triple Bottom Line paradigm cannot be rescued simply by attenuating its claims: the rhetoric isbadly misleading, and may in fact provide a smokescreen behind which firms can avoid truly effective social and environmental reporting and performance. (shrink)
Genetic testing in the workplace is a technology both full of promise and fraught with ethical peril. Though not yet common, it is likely to become increasingly so. We survey the key arguments in favour of such testing, along with the most significant ethical worries. We further propose a set of pragmatic criteria, which, if met, would make it permissible for employers to offer (but not to require) workplace genetic testing.
In ‘On McDowell's identity conception of truth’ , we suggested that McDowell's Identity Theory, according to which a proposition is true if and only if it is identical with a fact, is only fully understood when we realize that there are two identity claims involved. The first is that, when one thinks truly, the content of a whole thought is identical with a Tractarian Tatsachen – a complex fact constituted by simple Sachverhalte – and the second is that these simple (...) Sachverhalte are in turn identical with simple Fregean senses. 1As an example, we suggested that the complex content/proposition/Fregean sense is identical with the Tractarian Tatsachen constituted by the two Sachverhalte: the object's being a tiger and the object's being undernourished, both of which can be seen, as the second identity with simple Fregean senses requires, to present an object in a certain way – as being, in turn, a tiger and undernourished.In his response to our article, Julian Dodd raises three internal criticisms concerning the coherence of the view as a whole, as well as the interpretative criticism that, regardless of the internal coherence of the view, it is not McDowell's. We think that Dodd fails to appreciate the view we have developed in our article, so much so that he believes that his own proffered view of McDowell, articulated in the final section of his response, is an alternative to our own position when in fact it is simply a restatement of that position. Because this point is so fundamental, we begin below by spelling out exactly where Dodd's understanding of our view goes wrong and so why his interpretative criticism misses its target before addressing the internal criticisms concerning the coherence of the view as a …. (shrink)
In March 2003, President Bush declared the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the anticipated commencement of intensive American-led military operations in Iraq. With this declaration, the media began intense coverage of military operations from the field. For the first time, viewers were able to see images of actual events. This was due to three developments: the advancement of technology allowing immediate transmission of text and images, the actual presence of journalists identified as "embedded journalists" at military sites, and the fierce (...) competition among networks for viewers. One result of this constant coverage was significant pressure on decision makers within the television and cable news networks to decide within a matter of seconds which images to air. In particular, producers and broadcasters of competing networks experienced this pressure. Though the radio and broadcasting industry has a published code of standards, it is "general and advisory rather than specific and restrictive." Therefore, it did not address the unique time sensitive decision-making required within this new environment. Issues such as the security of soldiers, confidentiality of troop maneuvers, and the safety of the embedded journalists were critically important. Equally serious were the concerns about the impact of the immediate airing of information and violent images to the public. This research used Patrick Primeaux's ' mind-heart-sou¾ model of decision-making as its theoretical framework. The study investigated the gender and industry experience of selected professionals in a cable news network, MSNBC, to explore how ethical codes of behavior are integrated when people make decisions. Decision-making in both their professional and personal lives was examined. It is from this perspective that their professional decisions to air/not to air material from Operation Iraqi Freedom were studied. The findings on decisions about airing/not airing material from Operation Iraqi Freedom yielded both expected and unexpected results. There was no clear gender difference regarding ethical decision-making, but there was a difference when analyzed by industry experience. When the study focused on questions regarding the respondents' personal lives, the original hypothesis that there was a gender difference was validated. (shrink)
What is introspective knowledge of one's own intentional states like? This paper aims to make plausible the view that certain cases of self-knowledge, namely the cogito-type ones, are enough like perception to count as cases of quasi-observation. To this end it considers the highly influential arguments developed by Sydney Shoemaker in his recent Royce Lectures. These present the most formidable challenge to the view that certain cases of self-knowledge are quasi-observational and so deserve detailed examination. Shoemaker's arguments are directed against (...) two models of ordinary perception, the "object perception model" and the "broad perceptual model". I argue that the core theses that Shoemaker associated with them are either dubious in their own right or applicable to certain cases of self-knowledge. Overall the aim is to show that there is such a variety of patterns in each case that simple analogies or disanalogies are unhelpful. (shrink)
The notion of “relational” autonomy—as described by feminist scholars such as Susan Sherwin and Anne Donchin—has been the subject of a significant body of literature over the last few years and has recently generated some interest within the field of bioethics. Although the focus of this interest has been the autonomy of ordinary moral agents, the analysis of relational autonomy can usefully be extended to apply to the autonomy of professionals, not only as individual moral agents, but in their roles (...) as professionals as well. In this paper, I argue that professional autonomy, rightly understood, is relational in nature. This understanding of professional autonomy stands to improve our understanding of professional ethics, as well as providing a particular, concrete example of what we mean when we call autonomy “relational” and “socially embedded. (shrink)
Nanotechnology research is beginning to see widespread coverage in the media and popular science literatures, but discussions of hopes and fears about nanotechnology have already become polarised into utopian and dystopian visions. More moderate discussions focus on the near-term applications of nanotechnologies, and on potential benefits and harms. However, in exploring the social and ethical implications of nanotechnology, important lessons should be learned from experiences in other fields. In particular, studies of the ethical, legal, and social issues of genetics research (...) have successfully mapped out many of the issues that arise when new technologies are deployed. It is our contention that, for the most part, the ethical and social issues arising in nanomedicine are not altogether new, and thus do not require novel ethical principles or frameworks, nor a massive investment in ‘NELSI’ research. Instead, what is needed is support for the development of a culture of ethics amongst scientists and clinicians, basic scientific and medical knowledge for bioethicists, and a social competency for citizens to participate actively in debates about the implications of new technologies in general. (shrink)
Discussions of conflict of interest (COI) in the university have tended to focus on financial interests in the context of medical research; much less attention has been given to COI in general or to the policies that seek to manage COI. Are university COI policies accessible and understandable? To whom are these policies addressed (faculty, staff, students)? Is COI clearly defined in these policies and are procedures laid out for avoiding or remedying such situations? To begin tackling these important ethical (...) and governance questions, our study examines the COI policies at the Group of Thirteen (G13) leading Canadian research universities. Using automated readability analysis tools and an ethical content analysis, we begin the task of comparing the strengths and weaknesses of these documents, paying particular attention to their clarity, readability, and utility in explaining and managing COI. (shrink)
Externalism in the philosophy of mind is threatened by the view that subjects are authoritative with regard to the contents of their own intentional states. If externalism is to be reconciled with first-person authority, two issues need to be addressed: (a) how the non-evidence-based character of knowledge of one's own intentional states is compatible with ignorance of the empirical factors that individuate the contents of those states, and (b) how, given externalism, the non-evidence-based character of such knowledge could place its (...) subject in an authoritative position. This paper endorses a standard strategy for dealing with (a). The bulk of the paper is devoted to (b). The aim is to develop an account of first-person authority for a certain class of intentional states that is capable of explaining (1) why knowledge of one's own intentional states is peculiarly authoritative, and (2) why such authority is compatible with externalism. (shrink)
Our day-to-day experience of the world regularly brings us into contact with middlesized objects such as apples, dogs, and other human beings. These objects possess observable properties, properties that are available or accessible to the unaided senses, such as redness and roundness, as well as properties that are not so available, such as chemical ones. Both of these kinds of properties serve as valuable sources of information about our familiar middle-sized objects at least to the extent that they enable us (...) to understand the behaviours of those objects and their effects on each other and on us. I see the apple on the table before me, and in doing so I see its redness, its roundness, and so on. I do not see, but know that it has, a certain chemical constitution. The knowledge gained of the apple by means of both properties tells me something about the nature of that apple. In general, most, if not all, of the properties that objects in the observable world possess serve as the basis of our knowledge of such objects. But the subject-predicate form of much of our discourse and thought about objects suggests that substances are one kind of thing, properties another. We use subject terms such as names to identify objects, predicate terms to attribute properties to them. What, then, is it for an object to have a property? And what is the relation between an object and its properties? (shrink)
How did I raise my arm? The simple answer is that I raised it as a consequence of intending to raise it. A slightly more complicated response would mention the absence of any factors which would inhibit the execution of the intention- and a more complicated one still would specify the intention in terms of a goal (say, drinking a beer) which requires arm-raising as a means towards that end. Whatever the complications, the simple answer appears to be on the (...) right track. (shrink)
What is knowledge of one's own current, consciously entertained intentional states a form of inner awareness? If so, what form? In this paper I explore the prospects for a quasi-observational account of a certain class of cases where subjects appear to have self-knowledge, namely, the so-called cogito-like cases. In section one I provide a rationale for the claim that we need an epistemology of self-knowledge, and specifically, an epistemology of the cogito-like cases. In section two I argue that contentful properties (...) in such cases have two features in common with observational properties of objects. In section three, I develop a quasi-observational account of self-knowledge for the cogito-like cases by considering various accounts of the nature of observational properties (specifically, secondary qualities) and by applying them to these cases. I conclude by addressing some important objections to the account. (shrink)