As we become more aware of the potential causes and consequences of climate change we are left wondering: who is responsible? Climate change has the potential to harm large portions of the global population and, arguably, is already doing so. Further, climate change is argued to be human-caused. If this is true, then it seems to be the case that we can analyze climate change in terms of responsibility. I argue that we can approach environmental harms, such as climate change, (...) through a theory of collective responsibility. I propose an account of reductive collective responsibility that can apply to the unstructured collective causing climate change and determine what we are each individually morally responsible for. To avoid the critiques of reductive collective responsibility for large unstructured harms, I propose we separate the determination of membership and eligibility for responsibility from the attribution of responsibility. Through this method, I can speak to the individual responsibility of each member who contributes to climate change without holding them responsible for that which is outside their control. (shrink)
The third edition of this popular book has been updated to take account of the latest developments in policy and social work practice. It includes new sections on radical/emancipatory and postmodern approaches to ethics, analysis of the latest codes of ethics from over 30 different countries, additional case studies of ethical problems and dilemmas, practical exercises, and annotated further reading lists at the end of each chapter.
Neutral monism is a position in metaphysics defended by Mach, James, and Russell in the early twentieth century. It holds that minds and physical objects are essentially two different orderings of the same underlying neutral elements of nature. This paper sets out some of the central concepts, theses and the historical background of ideas that inform this doctrine of elements. The discussion begins with the classic neutral monism of Mach, James, and Russell in the first part of the paper, then (...) considers recent neo-Russellian versions in the second half. The chances for a revival of neutral monism are probably slight; its key ideas and starting points lie far from those in contemporary philosophy of mind. A better route might be through the philosophy of science and a deeper understanding of causation. (shrink)
The domain of professional ethics -- Virtue, ethics, and professional life -- Virtues, vices, and situations -- Professional wisdom -- Care -- Respectfulness -- Trustworthiness -- Justice -- Courage -- Integrity.
The function of groups as information processors is increasingly being recognised in a number of theories of group cognition. A theme of many of these is an emphasis on sharing cognition. This paper extends current conceptualisations of groups by critiquing the focus on shared cognition and emphasising the distribution of cognition in groups. In particular, it develops an account of the distribution of one cognitive construct, mental models. Mental models have been chosen as a focus because they are used in (...) a number of theories of high level cognition from different areas of research such as cognitive science and human factors and so the implication of this development is wide reaching. This paper reviews the unconnected literatures on distributed cognition and mental models and integrates them in order to extend the theory of mental models to distributed cognitive systems such as groups. The distributed cognition literature is reviewed and the importance of considering the group as single cognitive system is adopted. A range of mental model theories are reviewed leading to the conclusion that they all have, in some form, the central feature of a mapping onto the cognitive system. Combining these two ideas, it is proposed that the model can be a mapping onto the whole group, if the information is distributed appropriately and the connections between parts of the model maintained through communication. This cognitive construct is referred to as a distributed mental model. Implications and applications of this theory are discussed. (shrink)
This book explores the far-reaching ethical implications of recent changes in the organization and practice of the social professions, including social work, community and youth work. Drawing on moral philosophy, professional ethics and new empirical research, the author explores such questions as: * Can any occupation justifiably claim a special set of ethics? * What is the impact of the new 'ethics of distrust' on the autonomy discretion and creativity of practitioners? * How does inter-professional working challenge conceptions of professional (...) identities and roles? * Do 'professional ethics' act as an obstruction to constructive developments? Combing interviews with practitioners with developments in ethical theory, Ethics, Accountability and the Social Professions shows the complexity and range of issues at stake. (shrink)
Extension is probably the most general natural property. Is it a fundamental property? Leibniz claimed the answer was no, and that the structureless intuition of extension concealed more fundamental properties and relations. This paper follows Leibniz's program through Herbart and Riemann to Grassmann and uses Grassmann's algebra of points to build up levels of extensions algebraically. Finally, the connection between extension and measurement is considered.
William James' Radical Empiricist essays offer a unique and powerful argument for direct realism about our perceptions of objects. This theory can be completed with some observations by Kant on the intellectual preconditions for a perceptual judgment. Finally James and Kant deliver a powerful blow to the representational theory of perception and knowledge, which applies quite broadly to theories of representation generally.
This article distinguishes between Machian empiricism and the logical positivism of the Vienna Circle and associated philosophers. Mach's natural philosophy was a first order attempt to reform and reorganize physics, not a second order reconstruction of the "language" of physics. Mach's elements were not sense data but realistic events in the natural world and in minds, and Mach admitted unobserved elements as part of his world view. Mach's critique of metaphysics was far more subtle and concerned the elimination of sensory (...) visual imagery from natural science, leaving only concrete elements and functions, very much an inspiration to the young Einstein and Heisenberg and a useful engine of theory construction in physics. (shrink)
This paper, for two upcoming volumes, makes what I consider to be the definitive textual case for finally rejecting the phenomenalist interpretation of Ernst Mach's works, and his customary association with the Vienna Circle, in favor of a stronger realistic neutral monist reading connecting him to James, Russell and the American realist movement and today's neutral monism (for example my 2014). I hope that this reading will eventually supplant the previously mistaken view of Mach's work and that his views of (...) science and philosophy of space and time can be revised as well. (shrink)
A consideration of Mach's elements, his philosophy of neutral monism, and philosophy of physics, especially space and time, much of it based on unpublished writings from the Nachlass and other original sources. The historical connection between Mach and logical positivism is shown to be superficial at best, and Mach's elements are shown to be mind independent natural qualities (world-elements) with dynamic force, not limited to human sensations.
This paper for an upcoming journal volume examines Grete Hermann's Naturphilosophischen Grundlagen der Quantenmechanik (1935) and the relative context, or perspectival, interpretation of standard quantum mechanics found therein. I find an argument for the emergence of limited spatio-temporal and retrocausal stories, from a chosen experimental perspective, within a larger set of entangled systems not subject to a spatio-temporal interpretation. This argument can be read in reverse as giving some of the necessary preconditions of spatio-temporal representations as based upon perspectival relations, (...) carrying on a Kantian transcendental argument on one hand, and on the other hand, looking forward to Weyl's use of symmetry groups, Lie algebras and their representations in quantum mechanics. (shrink)
Abstract. The American dream of the “self-made man” is as central to the functioning of our capitalist society as Wall Street and as familiar as the Statue of Liberty. According to this dream, the tired masses have a shot at making it on their own if they have the will power, stamina, and intestinal fortitude to survive and compete. What do we do now that we are faced with scientific evidence that this very strategy is driving society into disconnection, despair, (...) and even poor health? Relational-cultural theory states that growth happens through and toward relationships not toward increased separation and autonomy. Relational-cultural theory describes empathy and mutuality as key components to healthy relationships. This essay will focus on the latest research in the neuroscience of relationships—the development of the capacity to connect within relationships, the systems that help us read and empathize with others, the adaptability and plasticity of the central nervous system, and the destructive nature of isolation. (shrink)
A full appreciation for Ernst Mach's doctrine of the economy of thought must take account of his direct realism about particulars (elements) and his anti-realism about space-time laws as economical constructions. After a review of thought economy, its critics and some contemporary forms, the paper turns to the philosophical roots of Mach's doctrine. Mach claimed that the simplest, most parsimonious theories economized memory and effort by using abstract concepts and laws instead of attending to the details of each individual event (...) or experiment. For Mach, the individual case never truly repeated in all of its uniqueness, nor was all of the individual detail of a physical element adequately captured in abstract laws and schemata, however necessary these were for the pursuit of science. As can be shown from specific passages, some already published, some not, Mach's elements included physical qualia in nature similar to Russell's unsensed sensibilia, which existed even where there were no conscious observers. An argument will be presented to make the case that Mach believed in the mind-independent elements from the 1870s on, while other aspects of his thought evolved over time; I have thus dated the references to reflect this historical progression. I concentrate on Mach's ontology, as it bears on economy of thought, not his epistemology per se, which might well have been restricted to observable elements/sensations. After his own conversion to neutral monism, in the 1920s, Bertrand Russell echoed Mach's call for a 'future science' capable of handling the 'intrinsic character' of qualitative data directly without the excessive abstraction of physics. (shrink)
An overview of the problem of constructing extension combinatorially from qualities cum dispositional powers. In the model recommended here, Grassmann's algebra provides the combinatorial structure while Machian elements give the content.
This article discusses the nature of interprofessional ethics and some of the ethical issues and challenges that arise when practitioners from different professions work closely together in the fields of health and social care. The article draws on materials from a conference on this theme, covering issues of confidentiality and information sharing in practice and research with vulnerable people; challenges for teaching and learning about ethics in interprofessional settings; the potential of virtue ethics and an ethic of care for understanding (...) and handling ethical issues in interprofessional practice; and the extent to which interprofessional working may be about surveillance and control. It concludes that the need to understand and handle ethical issues in interprofessional working is contributing to the revitalisation of professional ethics as a dynamic field of study. (shrink)
This paper offers a "tu quoque" defense of strong AI, based on the argument that phenomena of self-consciousness and intentionality are nothing but the "negative space" drawn around the concrete phenomena of brain states and causally connected utterances and objects. Any machine that was capable of concretely implementing the positive phenomena would automatically inherit the negative space around these that we call self-consciousness and intention. Because this paper was written for a literary audience, some examples from Greek tragedy, noir fiction, (...) science fiction and Dada are deployed to illustrate the view. (shrink)
Grete Hermann’s essay “Die naturphilosophischen Grundlagen der Quantenmechanik” has received much deserved scholarly attention in recent years. In this paper, I follow the lead of Elise Crull who sees in Hermann’s work the general outlines of a neo-Kantian interpretation of quantum theory. In full support of this view, I focus on Hermann’s central claim that limited spatio-temporal, and even analogically causal, representations of events exist within an overall relational structure of entangled quantum mechanical states that defy any unified spatio-temporal description. (...) In my view, Hermann also advances an important transcendental argument that perspectival spatio-temporal representations of nature have their foundations in general relational networks that are not spatio-temporal. The key point is that the adoption of a perspectival system within the general network induces the representation but only for that context. These ideas are consistent with a perspectival subject–object principle in Kant and also with Weyl’s work on Lie groups and their representations. (shrink)
I examine Mach's influence on American philosophy from 1890-1910, on Carus, James, Peirce, the American Realists and J.B. Stallo. I also consider the question of whether Mach was a pragmatist in the sense of Peirce and James. I conclude that early pragmatism was a method-centric theory whereas Mach's empiricism prized agreement with experience and downplayed the significance of inductive-scientific methods in general as a guide to discovery.
Bertrand Russell in "My Philosophical Development" claimed he converted to neutral monism in 1919, in the essay "On Propositions." I question whether Russell was really a complete neutral monist in the style of Mach and James and conclude that he was not. Russell's lingering commitment to image propositions and a linguistic theory of meaning and truth and falsity separate him from the more naturalistic causal theory of knowledge and error one finds in James and Mach.
This piece comprises short presentations given by contributors to a symposium organized by the journal Ethics & Social Welfare on the theme of global ethics for social work. The contributors offer their reflections on the extent to which universally accepted international statements of ethical principles in social work are possible or useful, engaging with debates about cultural diversity, relativism and the relevance of human rights in non-Western countries.
Ethics is an increasingly important theme in social work practice. Worldwide, social workers experience common ethical challenges in very different contexts – from disaster relief in China to child protection work in Palestine. This book takes as its starting point real life cases featuring ethical problems in the areas of: negotiating roles and boundaries, respecting rights, being fair, challenging and developing organisations and working with policy and politics. Each case opens with a brief introduction, is followed by two commentaries and (...) ends with questions for reflection. The commentaries, written by authors from different countries, refer to relevant theories, concepts, practical matters, alternative courses of action and their implications. Features within the book include: An introductory chapter covering issues of global ethics Cases and commentaries drawn from across the world – from Peru to Finland Cases based on real life situations and chapter introductions from leading authorities in social work and ethical theory Questions and practical exercises to aid teaching and professional development This book is a unique and accessible resource for stimulating ethical reflection, expanding ethical horizons and developing ethical and intercultural sensitivity. It is designed for use by undergraduate and postgraduate students and professionals in the fields of social work, social education/pedagogy, social care work, international social work, community development, community organisation, youth work and related fields. (shrink)
Ethical Issues in Youth Work presents a systematic analysis of some of the core ethical dilemmas facing youth workers in their day to day practice. Among the topics discussed are: *when to break confidentiality *the ethics of religious conversion *conflicts between cultures *balancing the autonomy and control of young people *maintaining an equilibrium between accountability to funders, empolyers and young people This book also examines some of the key issues facing youth workers in the context of public fears of youth (...) crime, lawlessness, drug use, teenage pregnancy and policies designed to control and contain as well as educate and care for young people. Ethical Issues in Youth Work offers a timely and unique insight into both the perennial dilemmas of youth work practice and some of the more recent challanges faced by youth workers in the light of current public attitudes and government policy towards young poeple. (shrink)