Egalitarian thinkers have adopted Ronald Dworkin’s distinction between brute and option luck in their attempts to construct theories that better respect our intuitions about what it is that egalitarian justice should equalize. I argue that when there is no risk-free choice available, it is less straightforward than commonly assumed to draw this distinction in a way that makes brute-luck egalitarianism plausible. I propose an extension of the brute-luck–option-luck distinction to this more general case. The generalized distinction, called the ‘least risky (...) prospect view’ of brute luck, implies more redistribution than Dworkin’s own solution (although less than called for by some of his other critics). Moreover, the generalized brute-luck–option-luck distinction must be parasitical on an underlying non-egalitarian theory of which sets of options are reasonable. The presupposed prior theory may be inimical to the claim that justice requires equality rather than some other distributive pattern. (shrink)
Stakeholder theory usually focuses on the moral responsibility of corporations towards their stakeholders. This article takes the reverse perspective to shed light on the moral responsibility of stakeholders—specifically, investors or 'financiers'. It explicates a distinction between two types of financiers, creditors and shareholders. Many intuitively judge that shareholders have greater or more extensive moral responsibility for the actions of the corporations they invest in than do bondholders and other creditors. Examining the merits of possible arguments for or against treating owners (...) and creditors differently elucidates which arguments can support the moral duties of investors generally, and different duties for different groups of investors specifically. The paper considers three possible lines of arguments, rooting investors' responsibility, respectively, in how they enable corporate conduct, how they benefit from it, and to what extent they are complicit in it. The paper argues that a notion of complicity is the only tenable ground for holding investors liable; sketches an account of complicity based on the recent philosophical literature on collective intention and collective action; and concludes that shareholders but not creditors can generally be seen as complicit on this account. (shrink)
Conventional economic theory assumes that people care only about ultimate outcomes and are indifferent to the decision and allocation processes by which outcomes are brought about. Building on Sen (1997), I relax this assumption, and investigate the formal and philosophical issues that arise. I extend the formal apparatus of preference theory to analyse how processes may enter preferences, and investigate whether traditional invariance requirements like the Weak Axiom of Revealed Preference are still satisfied in this new setting. I show that (...) it is, provided certain conditions of separability hold, and I discuss the plausibility of these conditions. Further, I argue that processes are often valued in a mode that diverges from the conventional modes of instrumental and intrinsic/independent valuation. I introduce the notion of dependent non-instrumental valuation, and show how processes could depend on their instrumental function for their value – making their value dependent – and yet derive their value from something else – making it non-instrumental. Dependent non-instrumental value, I argue, can be explained by symbolic and evidential relations between processes and outcomes. (Published Online July 31 2007) Footnotes1 This article is based on the third chapter of my Ph.D. dissertation (Sandbu 2003). I would like to thank Richard Tuck for many discussions over several years, which helped me develop and elaborate the ideas presented here. I am also very grateful to Amartya Sen, Nien-hê Hsieh, Luc Bovens, and Xaq Pitkow for their close readings of various versions of the paper and their incisive comments, questions, and suggestions. Further thanks go to Christopher Avery, Matthias Benz, Jerry Green, Waheed Hussain, David Laibson, Robert Sugden, Alan Strudler, Justin Wolfers, and seminar participants at Harvard University and the Wharton School of Business. Akshay Jashnani provided helpful research assistance. Most of the ideas in the present article were developed while I was the recipient of a doctoral grant from the Research Council of Norway, which I gratefully acknowledge. (shrink)
Our species is misnamed. Though sapiens defines human beings as "wise" what humans do especially well is to prospect the future. We are homo prospectus. In this book, Martin E. P. Seligman, Peter Railton, Roy F. Baumeister, and Chandra Sripada argue it is anticipating and evaluating future possibilities for the guidance of thought and action that is the cornerstone of human success. Much of the history of psychology has been dominated by a framework in which people's behavior is driven (...) by past history and present circumstances. Homo Prospectus reassesses this idea, pushing focus to the future front and center and opening discussion of a new field of Psychology and Neuroscience.The authors delve into four modes in which prospection operates: the implicit mind, deliberate thought, mind-wandering, and collective imagination. They then explore prospection's role in some of life's most enduring questions: Why do people think about the future? Do we have free will? What is the nature of intuition, and how might it function in ethics? How does emotion function in human psychology? Is there a common causal process in different psychopathologies? Does our creativity change with age?In this remarkable convergence of research in philosophy, statistics, decision theory, psychology, and neuroscience, Homo Prospectus shows how human prospection fundamentally reshapes our understanding of key cognitive processes, thereby improving individual and social functioning. It aims to galvanize interest in this new science from scholars in psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy, as well as an educated public curious about what makes humanity what it is. (shrink)
Routledge is now re-issuing this prestigious series of 204 volumes originally published between 1910 and 1965. The titles include works by key figures such asC.G. Jung, Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget, Otto Rank, James Hillman, Erich Fromm, Karen Horney and Susan Isaacs. Each volume is available on its own, as part of a themed mini-set, or as part of a specially-priced 204-volume set. A brochure listing each title in the International Library of Psychology series is available upon request.
Modern medical ethics developed in America after mid-century chiefly at theological schools, but discourse on bioethics soon moved to the pluralist-secular settings of the academy and the clinic, where it acquired a philosophical and intentionally non-religious cast. An effort was made, on the grounds of ‘liberal culture’ and ‘late Enlightenment rationality’ to find a framework for inquiry which aspired to the universal. Today, while that language persists, it coexists with, challenges, and is challenged by forms of ethical analysis and advocacy (...) which take into consideration the ‘thickness’ of complicating narrative and reasoning based in the many religious traditions. It has become incumbent upon advocates of those traditions to propose ‘publicly accessible’ argument. Keywords: bioethics, church, religion, theology CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Diamantino Martins, one of the main masters of the Braga School, was part of the founding group of the Portuguese Journal of Philosophy. He is the author of a vast philosophical work, and presents an original thought on natural evidence and immediate intuitive knowledge of God. The fine sensitivity and psychological analysis of the feeling of the divine in the deepest identity of the human being manifest, in his work, a penetrating understanding of the actuality of the question of God, (...) very present in the return of the religious and the divine, in the literature of the end of last century. It is also situated in the innovative current of philosophical thought of contemporary Portuguese authors, about the philosophical treatment of the question of God, like Sampaio Bruno and Fernando Pessoa. (shrink)
This paper recounts the pedagogical benefits of the Hobbes Game to introduce students to Hobbes' social contract theory. The author introduces a modified version of John Immerwahr's Hobbes Game and organizes the activities according David Kolb's typology of learning styles. The game provides students with a concrete experience of thought experiments from the text and encourages reflective observation of the theory itself. Since the game mimics the experience of the Hobbesian state of nature students are able to see Hobbes' arguments (...) from different points of view along with abstract conceptualization in an active experimentation. (shrink)