You, who call yourself a rhetorician, what is your art? With what particular thing is your skill concerned? Weaving is concerned with fabricating fabrics, music with making melodies; rhetorician, with what is your know-how concerned? This is the question that Socrates poses to Gorgias in Plato's notorious refutation of rhetoric: "Peri tēs rhētorikēs, peri ti tōn ontōn estin epistēmē?" (1925, 268). Socrates' question frames rhetoric in the genitive case—which, in this case, specifies the source or origin of one thing from (...) another. To ask of rhetoric "peri ti tōn ontōn?" is to ask from whence rhetoric comes, from where rhetoric originates, from what rhetoric is generated. So Socrates' question—"peri ti tōn .. (shrink)
In this new book, Foley defends an epistemology that takes seriously the perspectives of individual thinkers. He argues that having rational opinions is a matter of meeting our own internal standards rather than standards that are somehow imposed upon us from the outside. It is a matter of making ourselves invulnerable to intellectual self-criticism. Foley also shows how the theory of rational belief is part of a general theory of rationality. He thus avoids treating the rationality of belief (...) as a fundamentally different kind of phenomenon from the rationality of decision or action. His approach generates promising suggestions about a wide range of issues--e.g., the distinction between epistemic and non-epistemic reasons for belief; the question of what aspects of the Cartesian project are still worth doing; the significance of simplicity and other theoretical virtues; the relevance of skeptical hypotheses; the difference between a theory of rational belief and a theory of knowledge; the difference between a theory of rational belief and a theory of rational degrees of belief; and the limits of idealization in epistemology. (shrink)
To what degree should we rely on our own resources and methods to form opinions about important matters? To what degree should we depend on various authorities, such as a recognized expert or a social tradition? In this provocative account of intellectual trust and authority, Richard Foley argues that it can be reasonable to have intellectual trust in oneself even though it is not possible to provide a defence of the reliability of one's faculties, methods and opinions that does (...) not beg the question. Moreover, he shows how this account of intellectual self-trust can be used to understand the degree to which it is reasonable to rely on alternative authorities. This book will be of interest to advanced students and professionals working in the fields of philosophy and the social sciences as well as anyone looking for a unified account of the issues at the centre of intellectual trust. (shrink)
Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, encompassing philosophy, literature, politics and history, John Foley examines the full breadth of Camus' ideas to provide a comprehensive and rigorous study of his political and philosophical thought and a significant contribution to a range of debates current in Camus research. Foley argues that the coherence of Camus' thought can best be understood through a thorough understanding of the concepts of 'the absurd' and 'revolt' as well as the relation between them. This book includes (...) a detailed discussion of Camus' writings for the newspaper "Combat", a systematic analysis of Camus' discussion of the moral legitimacy of political violence and terrorism, a reassessment of the prevailing postcolonial critique of Camus' humanism, and a sustained analysis of Camus' most important and frequently neglected work, "L'Homme revolte". (shrink)
In “Conceptual Diversity in Epistemology,” Richard Foley reflects on such central topics in epistemology as knowledge, warrant, rationality, and justification, with the purpose of distinguishing such concepts in a general theory. Foley uses “warrant” to refer to that which constitutes knowledge when added to true belief and suggests that rationality and justification are not linked to knowledge by necessity. He proceeds to offer a general schema for rationality. This schema enables a distinction between “rationality” and “rationality all things (...) considered.” Foley proposes how these concepts can work together in a system that “provides the necessary materials for an approach to epistemology that is clarifying, theoretically respectable, and relevant to our actual lives.”. (shrink)
Almost single-handedly, Ernest L. Fortin resuscitated the study of political philosophy for Catholic theology. Fortin's interests were vast: the Church Fathers, Dante and Aquinas, modern rights, ecumenism. All of these are in Ever Ancient Ever New, the fourth and final volume of Fortin's collected essays. Edited by Michael Foley, the volume contains articles never before published and is for anyone wishing to continue their education from Ernest Fortin or to begin learning from him for the first time.
What propositions are rational for one to believe? With what confidence is it rational for one to believe these propositions? Answering the first of these questions requires an epistemology of beliefs, answering the second an epistemology of degrees of belief.
In his 1963 article, “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?”1 Edmund Gettier devised a pair of counterexamples designed to illustrate that knowledge cannot be adequately defined as justified true belief. The basic idea behind both of his counterexamples is that one can be justified in believing a falsehood P from which one deduces a truth Q, in which case one has a justified true belief in Q but does not know Q. Gettier’s article inspired numerous other counterexamples, and the search was (...) on for a fourth condition of knowledge, one that could be added to justification, truth, and belief to produce an adequate analysis of knowledge. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to describe the development of a model of moral distress in military nursing. The model evolved through an analysis of the moral distress and military nursing literature, and the analysis of interview data obtained from US Army Nurse Corps officers (n = 13). Stories of moral distress (n = 10) given by the interview participants identified the process of the moral distress experience among military nurses and the dimensions of the military nursing moral distress (...) phenomenon. Models of both the process of military nursing moral distress and the phenomenon itself are proposed. Recommendations are made for the use of the military nursing moral distress models in future research studies and in interventions to ameliorate the experience of moral distress in crisis military deployments. (shrink)
A common complaint against contemporary epistemology is that its issues are too rarified and, hence, of little relevance for the everyday assessments we make of each other=s beliefs. The notion of epistemic rationality focuses on a specific goal, that of now having accurate and comprehensive beliefs, whereas our everyday assessments of beliefs are sensitive to the fact that we have an enormous variety of goals and needs, intellectual as well as nonintellectual. Indeed, our everyday assessments often have a quasi-ethical dimension; (...) we want to know, for example, whether someone has been responsible, or at least non-negligent, in forming opinions. Nevertheless, epistemology, properly conceived, is relevant to our commonplace intellectual concerns. Epistemic rationality is an idealized notion, but its idealized character makes it suitable to serve as a theoretical anchor for other notions of rationality, including notions that are less idealized and, hence, potentially more directly relevant to our everyday assessments. (shrink)
An increasing number of epistmeologists claim that having beliefs which are reliable is a prerequisite of having epistemically rational beliefs. Alvin Goldman, for instance, defends a view he calls “historical reliabilism.” According to Goldman, a person S rationally believes a proposition p only if his belief is caused by a reliable cognitive process. Goldman adds that a proposition p is epistemically rational for 5, whether or not it is believed by him, only if there is available to S a reliable (...) cognitive process which if used would result in S’s believing p. Likewise, Marshall Swain, Ernest Sosa, and William Alston all claim that reliability is a prerequisite of epistemic rationality. Swain claims that S rationally believes p only if he has reasons for p which are reliable indicators that p is true. Sosa says S rationally believes p only if the belief is the product of an intellectual virtue, where intellectual virtues are stable dispositions to acquire truths. And, Alston says that S rationally believes p only if the belief is acquired or held in such a way that beliefs held in that way are reliable, i.e., mostly true. (shrink)
According to the PubMed resource from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, over 750,000 scientific articles have been published in the ~5000 biomedical journals worldwide in the year 2007 alone. The vast majority of these publications include results from hypothesis-driven experimentation in overlapping biomedical research domains. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of information being generated by the biomedical research enterprise has made it virtually impossible for investigators to stay aware of the latest findings in their domain of interest, let alone to (...) be able to assimilate and mine data from related investigations for purposes of meta-analysis. While computers have the potential for assisting investigators in the extraction, management and analysis of these data, information contained in the traditional journal publication is still largely unstructured, free-text descriptions of study design, experimental application and results interpretation, making it difficult for computers to gain access to the content of what is being conveyed without significant manual intervention. In order to circumvent these roadblocks and make the most of the output from the biomedical research enterprise, a variety of related standards in knowledge representation are being developed, proposed and adopted in the biomedical community. In this chapter, we will explore the current status of efforts to develop minimum information standards for the representation of a biomedical experiment, ontologies composed of shared vocabularies assembled into subsumption hierarchical structures, and extensible relational data models that link the information components together in a machine-readable and human-useable framework for data mining purposes. (shrink)
The central issue of Descartes’s Meditations is an intensely personal one. Descartes asks a simple question of himself, one that each of us can also ask of ourselves, “What am I to believe?” One way of construing this question--indeed, the way Descartes himself construed it--is as a methodological one. The immediate aim is not so much to generate a specific list of propositions for me to believe. Rather, I want to formulate for myself some general advice about how to proceed (...) intellectually. (shrink)
Significant efforts have been made to define ethical responsibilities for professionals engaged in nanotechnology innovation. Rosalyn Berne delineated three ethical dimensions of nanotechnological innovation: non-negotiable concerns, negotiable socio-cultural claims, and tacitly ingrained norms. Braden Allenby demarcated three levels of responsibility: the individual, professional societies (e.g. engineering codes), and the macro-ethical. This article will explore how these definitions of responsibility map onto practitioners’ understanding of their responsibilities and the responsibilities of others using the nanotechnology innovation community of the greater Phoenix area, (...) which includes academic researchers, investors, entrepreneurs, manufacturers, insurers, attorneys, buyers, and media. To do this we develop a three-by-three matrix that combines Berne’s three dimensions and Allenby’s three levels. We then categorize the ethical responsibilities expressed by forty-five practitioners in semi-structured interviews using these published dimensions and levels. Two questions guide the research: (i) what responsibilities do actors express as theirs and/or assign to other actors and; (ii) can those responsibilities be mapped to the presented ethical frameworks? We found that most of the responsibilities outlined by our respondents concentrate at the professional society + non-negotiable and professional + negotiable intersections. The study moves from a philosophical exploration of ethics to an empirical analysis, exploring strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in the existing nanotechnology innovation network. This opens the door for new practitioners to be introduced in an effort to address responsibilities that are not currently recognized. (shrink)