This book explores and elaborates three theories of public reason, drawn from Rawlsian political liberalism, natural law theory, and Confucianism. Drawing together academics from these separate approaches, the volume explores how the three theories critique each other, as well as how each one brings its theoretical arsenal to bear on the urgent contemporary debate of medical assistance in dying. The volume is structured in two parts: an exploration of the three traditions, followed by an in-depth overview of the conceptual and (...) historical background. In Part I, the three comprehensive opening chapters are supplemented by six dynamic chapters in dialogue with each other, each author responding to the other two traditions, and subsequently reflecting on the possible deficiencies of their own theories. The chapters in Part II cover a broad range of subjects, from an overview of the history of bioethics to the nature of autonomy and its status as a moral and political value. In its entirety, the volume provides a vibrant and exemplary collaborative resource to scholars interested in the role of public reason and its relevance in bioethical debate. (shrink)
Ludwig Wittgenstein’s relation to Gestalt Psychology is typically understood through the lens of his engagement with Wolfgang Köhler’s work. Though valuable, this framing may obscure certain broader points of similarity between Wittgenstein’s methodological approach and the Gestalt school considered as a whole. In what follows I pursue this line of thought by comparing Wittgenstein’s discussion of rule-following in the Philosophical Investigations with Max Wertheimer’s concept of productive thinking. I argue that Wertheimer’s emphasis on the shared and public aspects of Gestalt (...) phenomena counteracts Köhler’s tendency to characterise Gestalts as essentially private entities. I suggest that in this respect at least, Wertheimer’s approach is closer than Köhler’s to Wittgenstein’s later philosophical orientation. (shrink)
In this chapter, I consider the prospects for deploying the concept of public reason in settling practical bioethical questions, focusing in particular on entitlements to healthcare. I begin by tracing the origins of the concept of public reason to the aspirations of the liberal political theorist to find a justification for the authority of government, which reconciles a basic belief in the autonomy of the individual with the legitimacy of the coercive institutions that create and govern the public sphere. I (...) then consider how the concept of public reason may be used in order to justify a universal entitlement to healthcare, paying particular attention to the work of Norman Daniels. Finally, I briefly consider the objection that an entitlement to healthcare grounded on such terms is insufficiently robust, because it downplays the values that healthcare encodes. I conclude by reflecting on whether the concept of public reason can be stretched to include a more robust conception of the value of health. (shrink)
Jecker and Au’s paper raises important issues concerning health equity in pandemic responses, and the importance of considering the long-term effects of pandemic strategy on population health and well-being.1 We welcome their focus on the experience of Asian countries, including Japan. However, we have some concerns with both the distinction which they draw between elimination and mitigation, and their account of the nature and origins of the Japanese response to the COVID-19 pandemic. First, we believe that the distinction between elimination (...) and mitigation is not fine grained enough to capture the various strategies which countries have taken towards the pandemic. Many of Jecker and Au’s criticisms of the elimination strategy relate to specific policies such as lockdowns, travel restrictions and restrictions on businesses, which have been employed by numerous countries irrespective of their end goal. By contrast to the simple elimination/mitigation dichotomy with which Jecker and Au work, Baker et al have identified five separate COVID-19 strategies, namely: exclusion, elimination, suppression, mitigation and no substantive strategy.2 Baker et al define an elimination strategy as ‘maximum action to exclude disease and eliminate community transmission’ with the goal of reaching ‘zero [disease] transmission in the community’. On this account, Japan’s strategy does …. (shrink)
In a series of articles Christopher Cowie has provided what he calls a ‘Master Argument’ against the Companions in Guilt (CG) defence of moral objectivity. In what follows I defend the CG strategy against Cowie. I show, firstly, that epistemic judgements are relevantly similar to moral judgements, and secondly, that it is not possible coherently to deny the existence of irreducible and categorically normative epistemic reasons. My argument for the second of these claims exploits an analogy between the thesis that (...) epistemic norms are non-categorical and G.E. Moore’s paradox concerning first personal belief ascriptions. I argue that the absurdity of the assertion “I have evidence that p but no reason to believe it” shows that the norms of belief are categorical. I then consider the counter-argument that this categoricity is a ‘conceptual’ rather than an ‘objective’ requirement. By drawing on the work of Hilary Putnam and Charles Travis, I show that this counter-argument is unsuccessful. Putnam is one of the original proponents of the Companions in Guilt strategy. Thus, by supporting the CG argument through appeal to other Putnamian theses, I show that its insights can only fully be appreciated in the context of broader metaphysical and semantic lessons. (shrink)
Ethical review systems need to build on their experiences of COVID-19 research to enhance their preparedness for future pandemics. Recommendations from representatives from over twenty countries include: improving relationships across the research ecosystem; demonstrating willingness to reform and adapt systems and processes; and making the case robustly for better resourcing.
Throughout his career, Wittgenstein was preoccupied with issues in the philosophy of perception. Despite this, little attention has been paid to this aspect of Wittgenstein's work. This volume redresses this lack, by bringing together an international group of leading philosophers to focus on the impact of Wittgenstein's work on the philosophy of perception. The ten specially commissioned chapters draw on the complete range of Wittgenstein's writings, from his earliest to latest extant works, and combine both exegetical approaches with engagements with (...) contemporary philosophy of mind. Topics covered include: perception and judgement in the _Tractatus _ aspect-perception the putative intentionality of perception representationalism. The book also includes an overview which summarises the evolution of Wittgenstein's views on perception throughout his life. With an outstanding array of contributors, _Wittgenstein and Perception_ is essential reading for students and scholars of Wittgenstein’s work, as well as those working in philosophy of mind and philosophy of perception. Contributors: Yasuhiro Arahata, Michael Campbell, William Child, Daniel Hutto, Michael O’Sullivan, Marie McGinn, Michel terHark, Charles Travis, and José Zalabardo. (shrink)
IntroductionKraut defines absolute goodness as follows: for something to be absolutely good is for its goodness to be unrelated to the needs or interests of any individual.See Richard Kraut, Against Absolute Goodness , pp. 4ff. Let’s allow goodness to apply broadly to objects, states of affairs and events . Treat x as a variable ranging over these categories. Then, to say that x is absolutely good in this sense is to say that a world containing x is better than a (...) world in which x is absent, whether or not x contributes, in that world, to the satisfaction of anyone’s needs or interests. For example, to say that the Bamiyan Buddhas are absolutely good is to claim that a world in which all sentient life has be .. (shrink)
Descartes’s Meditations on First Philosophy, regarded by many as his masterpiece, has been the subject of significant philosophical debate since its publication in 1641. Yet the Meditations is remarkable not only for its philosophical ideas but also for the style in which it was written. Two of the most notable stylistic elements of the Meditations are the use of temporal markers—a significant departure from analogous philosophical treatises of the same period—and the fact that the text is written in such a (...) way as to invite readers to subsume themselves into the role of the narrator, so as to experience its arguments for themselves. Many commentators have hinted at the importance of the narrator. But there has been little attempt at a sustained engagement. The function of the text as a series of days of meditation has also been insufficiently explored. In order to further investigate the roles of time and narrative within the Meditations, this thesis uses various reading methods provided by narrative theory, with particular focus on Monika Fludernik’s experiential model of narrative. Fludernik’s model allows for a clearer articulation of the role readers play in enacting meaning, and the way in which readers will in a sense “author” a text on their own terms. Reading the Meditations as an experiential narrative also illuminates significant issues to do with Descartes’s distinction between geometric and discursive argument, his conception of time, the specific expression of the Cogito in the Meditations, and the “reorientation” at the heart of the text—which I am calling a sort of conversion. The conversion at the heart of the Meditations will be explored in parallel with Saint Augustine’s Confessions and Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises, two texts which—like the Meditations—can be thought of as experiential narratives designed to bring about some kind of conversion. I argue that such an experiential reading, drawing on the roles of time and narrative in the text, offers to enrich our understanding of the Meditations. (shrink)
This volume unites Peter Winch's previously unpublished work on Baruch de Spinoza. The primary source for the text is a series of seminars on Spinoza that Winch gave, first at the University of Swansea in 1982 and then at King's College London in 1989. What emerges is an original interpretation of Spinoza's work that demonstrates his continued relevance to contemporary issues in metaphysics, epistemology and ethics, and establishes connections to other philosophers - not only Spinoza's predecessors such as René Descartes, (...) but also important 20th Century philosophers such as Ludwig Wittgenstein and Simone Weil. Alongside Winch's lectures, the volume contains an interpretive essay by David Cockburn, and an introduction by the editors. (shrink)
Carter argues that Wittgensteinian moral philosophy – typified by the work of Raimond Gaita and Christopher Cordner – rests on shaky foundations because it vacillates between grounding moral judgements in grammar and in a form of life. In this article, I respond to Carter's criticism. I defend Wittgensteinian moral philosophy by showing that Gaita and Cordner specifically repudiate the purported dichotomy between grammar and a form of life. I then go on to explain why Wittgensteinian moral philosophers are right not (...) to try to ground moral judgements in features of a shared form of life. (shrink)
This article explores Descartes's philosophy of time as articulated in the 'non-endurance doctrine' in the Third Meditation. I argue that what has been overlooked in prior readings of this doctrine is acknowledgement that it is articulated by a fictional character within a fictional span of time. The text, therefore, expresses a temporal reality, as well as articulating a temporal theory. I explore the temporality of the text, and the fictionality of the narrator, through the lens of Monika Fludernik's theory of (...) experiential narrative. (shrink)
Michael Campbell ABSTRACT: In a series of articles Christopher Cowie has provided what he calls a ‘Master Argument’ against the Companions in Guilt defence of moral objectivity. In what follows I defend the CG strategy against Cowie. I show, firstly, that epistemic judgements are relevantly similar to moral judgements, and secondly, that it is...
In this paper, I consider how we ought to read the aspect‐perception passages in the Tractatus Logico‐Philosophicus (TLP) in the light of its ethics. I engage with a recent proposal, of Genia Schönbaumsfeld's, that we should replace the TLP account of aspect‐perception with that which Wittgenstein puts forward in the Philosophical Investigations (PI). I show that, far from helping us to grasp the ethical vision contained in the TLP, this proposal obscures it. I go on to draw some conclusions from (...) this as to how to read the TLP in its relation to Wittgenstein's other work. (shrink)
In British Columbia, brown bears , black bears , and cougars must relate to growing human populations. This study examines age- and gender-related attitudes to these animals in the urbanizing, agriculturally significant, intermontane city of Kamloops. Most respondents, especially women, feared cougars and bears, saw bears as more troublesome than cougars, and were concerned for child and adult safety. More middle-aged and older participants perceived brown bears as dangerous to companion animals, and black bears as troublesome, than did younger participants, (...) and more middle-aged participants perceived brown bears as troublesome than did younger and older participants. Opinions favored trapping and removal of animals rather than shooting or toleration, but more younger participants opted for shooting, whereas more middle-aged and older participants opted for toleration and removal. Majorities agreed that the animals serve useful functions, women more than men for cougars, middle-aged more than old or young for bears, but saw only cougars as increasing their quality of life. These findings contribute to knowledge about human-wildlife relations, an important first step toward more efficient local and more general conservation policy. (shrink)
The sharp increase in the human population of Vancouver Island; the urban development policy favoring forest fragmentation and smaller, scattered settlements; and the relatively sizable population of large predatory mammals have contributed to one of the highest human-large predator contact zones in North America. Although some studies have evaluated public attitudes toward larger carnivores from urban/rural, gender, and generational perspectives, few have focused on black bears and cougars on the British Columbia coast. In this study, four hundred people in the (...) densely populated southeast corner of Vancouver Island were interviewed about their attitudes toward black bear and cougar presence and behavior. The majority of interviewees had positive attitudes toward both bears and cougars, and were opposed to the shooting of carnivores, preferring trapping and removal. Contrary to expectation, few respondents saw carnivores as threats to livestock, companion animals, or children. Both black bears and cougars were perceived as serving useful functions as part of the island’s heritage and cultural development. (shrink)