The following paper outlines the historical and philosophical development of, ‘community of inquiry’ in educational discourse. The origins of community of inquiry can be found in the philosophical work of C. S. Peirce. From Peirce the notion of community of inquiry is adopted and developed by educational theorists of different orientations. Community of inquiry denotes an approach to teaching that alters the structure of the classroom in fundamental ways. With particular consideration given to the unique philosophical origins of this approach, (...) this paper outlines and discusses how community of inquiry is situated in today's educational landscape. (shrink)
Using theoretical understandings from many fields, this article makes a detailed argument for how it is that reading literature is one of the best ways to cultivate the moral imagination. Drawing on sources from cognitive science, philosophy, literature and education, I analyse the inter-relationship between literature, moral imagination and moral judgement by connecting the cognitive underpinnings of the moral imagination (prototypes, metaphor and narrative) to the process of moral judgement. Furthermore, this article argues that a cultivated moral imagination will have (...) greater ability to make sound moral judgements. In this way, an explanation of how we actually make decisions in matters of moral significance is put forth and applied to educational pursuits. (shrink)
Michael J. Zimmerman explores whether and how our ignorance about ourselves and our circumstances affects what our moral obligations and moral rights are. He rejects objective and subjective views of the nature of moral obligation, and presents a new case for a 'prospective' view.
At the heart of ethics reside the concepts of good and bad; they are at work when we assess whether a person is virtuous or vicious, an act right or wrong, a decision defensible or indefensible, a goal desirable or undesirable. But there are many varieties of goodness and badness. At their core lie intrinsic goodness and badness, the sort of value that something has for its own sake. It is in virtue of intrinsic value that other types of value (...) may be understood, and hence that we can begin to come to terms with questions of virtue and vice, right and wrong, and so on. This book investigates the nature of intrinsic value: just what it is for something to be valuable for its own sake, just what sort of thing can have such value, just how such a value is to be computed. In the final chapter, the fruits of this investigation are applied to a discussion of pleasure, pain, and displeasure and also of moral virtue and vice, in order to determine just what value lies within these phenomena. (shrink)
In this essay I elaborate a particular, and particularly important, morality: the morality of human rights. Next, I ask the ground-of-normativity question about the morality of human rights and go on to elaborate a religious response. Then, after explaining why one might be skeptical that there is a plausible secular response to the ground-of-normativity question, I comment critically on John Finnis's secular response. Finally, I consider what difference it makes if there is no plausible secular response to the ground-of-normativity question.
The idea that immoral behaviour can sometimes be admirable, and that moral behaviour can sometimes be less than admirable, has led several of its supporters to infer that moral considerations are not always overriding, contrary to what has been traditionally maintained. In this paper I shall challenge this inference. My purpose in doing so is to expose and acknowledge something that has been inadequately appreciated, namely, the moral aspect of nonmoral goods and evils. I hope thereby to show that, even (...) if immorality can be admirable, this poses no threat to morality. (shrink)
Consider the following situation. It is the first day of school, and the new third-grade students file into the classroom to be shown to their seats for the coming year. As they enter, the third-grade teacher notices one small boy who is particularly unkempt. He looks to be in desperate need of bathing, and his clothes are dirty, torn and tight-fitting. During recess, the teacher pulls aside the boy's previous teacher and asks about his wretched condition. The other teacher informs (...) her that he always looks that way, even though the boy's family is quite wealthy. The reason he appears as he does, she continues, is that the family observes an odd practice according to which the children do not receive many important things – food, clothing, bathing, even shelter – unless they specifically request them. Since the boy, like many third-graders, has little interest in bathing and clean clothes, he just never asks for them. (shrink)
In _The Immorality of Punishment_ Michael Zimmerman argues forcefully that not only our current practice but indeed any practice of legal punishment is deeply morally repugnant, no matter how vile the behaviour that is its target. Despite the fact that it may be difficult to imagine a state functioning at all, let alone well, without having recourse to punishing those who break its laws, Zimmerman makes a timely and compelling case for the view that we must seek and put (...) into practice alternative means of preventing crime and promoting social stability. (shrink)
The Free Will Defence has been attacked as being unsound, implausible and, more recently, irrelevant. The first section of the paper returns to a discussion on the relevance of the Free Will Defence, arguing that the case for its irrelevance is inextricably impaled on the horns of a dilemma. In the second section it is shown that Free Will Theodicy, even in a form extended to include natural evil, need not be as implausible as it is sometimes portrayed for it (...) demands no more than that good, on the whole, outweighs evil, on the whole. Finally, some tempting objections to the strategy employed in this argument are considered and rejected, both on the grounds that they are untenable in themselves and on the paradoxical ground that, if valid, the objections would appear to rule out any creation. (shrink)
How does our understanding of the reality of race as a category of being affect our understanding of racism as a social phenomenon, and vice versa? How should we envision the aims and methods of our struggles against racism?Traditionally, the Western political and philosophical tradition held that true social justice points toward a raceless future---that racial categories are themselves inherently racist, and a sincere advocacy for social justice requires a commitment to the elimination or abolition of race altogether. This book (...) focuses on the underlying assumptions that inform this view of race and raceism, arguing that it is ultimately bound up in a "politics of purity"---an understanding of human agency, and reality itself, as requiring all-or-nothing categories with clear and unambiguous bounderies.Drawing upon a close engagement with historical treatments of the development of racial categories and identities, the book argues that races should be understood not as clear and distinct categories of being but rather as ambiguous and indeterminate processes of social negotiation. As one of its central examples, it lays out the case of the Irish in seventeenth-century Barbados, who occasionally united with black slaves to fight white supremacy---and did so as white people, not as nonwhites who later became white when they capitulated to white supremacy.Against the politics of purity, Monahan calls for the emergence of a "creolizing subjectivity" that would place such ambiguity at the center of our understanding of race. (shrink)
_Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction_ is for students who have already completed an introductory philosophy course and need a fresh look at the central topics in the core subject of metaphysics. It is essential reading for any student of the subject. This Fourth Edition is revised and updated and includes two new chapters on Parts and Wholes, and Metaphysical Indeterminacy or vagueness. This new edition also keeps the user-friendly format, the chapter overviews summarizing the main topics, concrete examples to clarify difficult (...) concepts, annotated further reading at the end of each chapter, endnotes, and a full bibliography. Topics addressed include: the problem of universals the nature of abstract entities the problem of individuation the nature of modality identity through time the nature of time the nature of parts and wholes the problem of metaphysical indeterminacy the Realism/anti-Realism debate. Wherever possible, Michael J. Loux and Thomas M. Crisp relate contemporary views to their classical sources in the history of philosophy. As experienced teachers of philosophy and important contributors to recent debates, Loux and Crisp are uniquely qualified to write this book. (shrink)
Every choice we make is set against a background of massive ignorance about our past, our future, our circumstances, and ourselves. Philosophers are divided on the moral significance of such ignorance. Some say that it has a direct impact on how we ought to behave - the question of what our moral obligations are; others deny this, claiming that it only affects how we ought to be judged in light of the behaviour in which we choose to engage - the (...) question of what responsibility we bear for our choices. Michael Zimmerman claims that our ignorance has an important bearing on both questions, and offers an account of moral obligation and moral responsibility that is sharply at odds with the prevailing wisdom. His book will be of interest to a wide range of readers in ethics. (shrink)
A liberal society seeks not to impose a single way of life, but to leave its citizens as free as possible to choose their own values and ends. It therefore must govern by principles of justice that do not presuppose any particular vision of the good life. But can any such principles be found? And if not, what are the consequences for justice as a moral and political ideal? These are the questions Michael Sandel takes up in this penetrating (...) critique of contemporary liberalism. Sandel locates modern liberalism in the tradition of Kant, and focuses on its most influential recent expression in the work of John Rawls. In the most important challenge yet to Rawls' theory of justice, Sandel traces the limits of liberalism to the conception of the person that underlies it, and argues for a deeper understanding of community than liberalism allows. (shrink)
Pushing past the constraints of postmodernism which cast "reason" and"religion" in opposition, God, the Gift, and Postmodernism, seizes the opportunity to question the authority of "the modern" and open the limits of possible experience, including the call to religious experience, as a new millennium approaches. Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstruction, engages with Jean-Luc Marion and other religious philosophers to entertain questions about intention, givenness, and possibility which reveal the extent to which deconstruction is structured like religion. New interpretations of (...) Kant, Heidegger, Husserl, and Derrida emerge from essays and discussions with distinguished philosophers and theologians from the United States and Europe. The result is that God, the Gift, and Postmodernism elaborates a radical phenomenology that stretches the limits of its possibility and explores areas where philosophy and religion have become increasingly and surprisingly convergent. Contributors include: John D. Caputo, John Dominic Crossan, Jacques Derrida, Robert Dodaro, Richard Kearney, Jean-Luc Marion, Frangoise Meltzer, Michael J. Scanlon, Mark C. Taylor, David Tracy, Merold Westphal and Edith Wyschogrod. (shrink)
The principal aim of this book is to develop and defend an analysis of the concept of moral obligation. The analysis is neutral regarding competing substantive theories of obligation, whether consequentialist or deontological in character. What it seeks to do is generate solutions to a range of philosophical problems concerning obligation and its application. Amongst these problems are deontic paradoxes, the supersession of obligation, conditional obligation, prima facie obligation, actualism and possibilism, dilemmas, supererogation, and cooperation. By virtue of its normative (...) neutrality, the analysis provides a theoretical framework within which competing theories of obligation can be developed and assessed. This study is a major contribution to metaethics that will be of particular interest to all philosophers concerned with normative ethical theory. (shrink)
Intrinsic value has traditionally been thought to lie at the heart of ethics. Philosophers use a number of terms to refer to such value. The intrinsic value of something is said to be the value that that thing has “in itself,” or “for its own sake,” or “as such,” or “in its own right.” Extrinsic value is value that is not intrinsic.
There is currently an explosion of interest in grounding. In this article we provide an overview of the debate so far. We begin by introducing the concept of grounding, before discussing several kinds of scepticism about the topic. We then identify a range of central questions in the theory of grounding and discuss competing answers to them that have emerged in the debate. We close by raising some questions that have been relatively neglected but which warrant further attention.
Introduction: Doing the right thing -- Utilitarianism : Bentham and J.S. Mill -- Libertarianism -- John Locke -- Markets and morals -- Immanuel Kant -- John Rawls -- Affirmative action -- Aristotle -- Liberals and communitarians -- Conclusion: Reconnecting politics and morals.
This superbly crafted account of the notion of moral responsibility and of its relations to freedom, control, ignorance, negligence, attempts, omissions, compulsion, mental disorders, virtues and vices, desert, and punishment fills that gap. The treatment of character and luck is particularly sophisticated and well-argued.
This essay focuses on a recently prominent notion of ground which is distinctive for how it links metaphysics to explanation. Ground is supposed to serve both as the common factor in diverse in virtue of questions as well as the structuring relation in the project of explaining how some phenomena are “built” from more fundamental phenomena. My aim is to provide an opinionated synopsis of this notion of ground without engaging with others. Ground, so understood, generally resists illumination by appeal (...) to more familiar models of explanation. Nevertheless, its distinctive explanatory and metaphysical aspects guide us on characterizing its explanatory logic and its metaphysical features. Some issues concerning the meta-question of what grounds ground are explored, as well as some recent skeptical challenges to ground. (shrink)
In this paper we discuss ethical implications of the use of mobile phone apps in the control of the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact tracing is a well-established feature of public health practice during infectious disease outbreaks and epidemics. However, the high proportion of pre-symptomatic transmission in COVID-19 means that standard contact tracing methods are too slow to stop the progression of infection through the population. To address this problem, many countries around the world have deployed or are developing mobile phone apps (...) capable of supporting instantaneous contact tracing. Informed by the on-going mapping of ‘proximity events’ these apps are intended both to inform public health policy and to provide alerts to individuals who have been in contact with a person with the infection. The proposed use of mobile phone data for ‘intelligent physical distancing’ in such contexts raises a number of important ethical questions. In our paper, we outline some ethical considerations that need to be addressed in any deployment of this kind of approach as part of a multidimensional public health response. We also, briefly, explore the implications for its use in future infectious disease outbreaks. (shrink)
I defend (metaphysical) ground against recent, unanswered objections aiming to dismiss it from serious philosophical inquiry. Interest in ground stems from its role in the venerable metaphysical project of identifying which facts hold in virtue of others. Recent work on ground focuses on regimenting it. But many reject ground itself, seeing regimentation as yet another misguided attempt to regiment a bad idea (like phlogiston or astrology). I defend ground directly against objections that it is confused, incoherent, or fruitless. This vindicates (...) the very attempt to regiment ground. It also refocuses our attention on the genuine open questions about ground and away from the distracting, unpersuasive reasons for dismissing them. (shrink)
Interest surges in a distinctively metaphysical notion of ground. But a Schism has emerged between Orthodoxy’s view of ground as inducing a strict partial order structure on reality and Heresy’s rejection of this view. What’s at stake is the structure of reality (for proponents of ground), or even ground itself (for those who think this Schism casts doubt upon its coherence). I defend Orthodoxy against Heresy.
A commonly held view is that a central aim of metaphysics is to give a fundamental account of reality which refers only to the fundamental entities. But a puzzle arises. It is at least a working hypothesis for those pursuing the aim that, first, there must be fundamental entities. But, second, it also seems possible that the world has no foundation, with each entity depending on others. These two claims are inconsistent with the widely held third claim that the fundamental (...) just is the foundational. It is tempting to resolve the puzzle by rejecting the first or second claim, perhaps because it is obscure how the third claim might plausibly be challenged. But I develop a new analysis of fundamentality which challenges the third claim by allowing for an entity to be fundamental without being foundational. The analysis, roughly, is that an entity is fundamental just in case not all facts about it are grounded in facts about other entities. The possibility of fundamentality without foundations not only provides for a novel resolution to the puzzle, but has applications to some live debates: for example, it undermines Jonathan Schaffer's modal argument for priority monism. (shrink)
Prussia's Edict on Religion of 1788 forbade sermons that undermined popular belief in the Holy Trinity and the Bible. Scholars have assumed that this act was counter-enlightened because it limited the free use of reason in public. An analysis of two court cases related to the edict reveals, however, that both the edict and its “enlightened” opponents within the state assumed that public expression should be disciplined. With respect to the enlightened bureaucratic elite that opposed the edict, it identifies two (...) factors that impelled them toward the disciplining of public communication: 1) German universities created an elite social group that assiduously cultivated its own intellectual sphere, and 2) having access to state power gave each member of the elite something to lose if the process of the Enlightenment proved politically or socially destabilizing. As a result, the fight over the Edict on Religion cannot be understood in terms of an Enlightenment/counter-Enlightenment dichotomy, but must be seen as a debate within the German elite about the level of social discipline that was sufficient for maintaining domestic tranquility. (shrink)
Higher-Order Logic (HOL) is a proof development system intended for applications to both hardware and software. It is principally used in two ways: for directly proving theorems, and as theorem-proving support for application-specific verification systems. HOL is currently being applied to a wide variety of problems, including the specification and verification of critical systems. Introduction to HOL provides a coherent and self-contained description of HOL containing both a tutorial introduction and most of the material that is needed for day-to-day work (...) with the system. After a quick overview that gives a "hands-on feel" for the way HOL is used, there follows a detailed description of the ML language. The logic that HOL supports and how this logic is embedded in ML, are then described in detail. This is followed by an explanation of the theorem-proving infrastructure provided by HOL. Finally two appendices contain a subset of the reference manual, and an overview of the HOL library, including an example of an actual library documentation. (shrink)
Stemming from a reading of Hegel’s account of the struggle for recognition in the Phenomenology of Spirit, Kojève argued that death is the central notion of Hegel’s philosophy. I will discuss several themes in relation to this claim of Kojève’s interpretation of Hegel, namely the themes of freedom, individuality, and historicity. I will also discuss Kojève’s reading that Hegel rejects both all conceptions of the afterlife, and too the belief in the afterlife as a manifestation of the “unhappy consciousness”. I (...) will point out flaws of Kojève’s interpretation throughout. (shrink)
A fetish is a specific emotionally loaded object, body part, or situation that draws our attention and desire, and sexual fetishism is the sexual arousal that a person experiences when in contact with such a loaded object. Until now, psychology has had trouble understanding the distinctive lust objects and the orchestration of urges in the world of fetishism, so fetishism has therefore fallen into the category of perversions and abnormal behavior. In this study, fetishism is moved to the field of (...) aesthetics, and a new theory is presented: Fetishism is the attraction to certain species-specific key stimuli that are perceived as especially beautiful and exciting. A topic or an object that contains important key stimuli automatically becomes a power object or a fetish. Therefore, we have to look into the innate sensibilities on which our aesthetics are based and into the micro-processes of the aesthetic impulse to understand why something captivates and fascinates us in a fetishist way. (shrink)
This innovative volume, by Michael Shapiro, is not about Adam Smith in the sense in which 'about' is usually understood, for it is neither a comprehensive explication of his views nor a careful tracing of the sources of them. Instead it is a confrontation. This is a book about modernity whose vehicle is a reading of Adam Smith—it is an enactment of the convention that despite the contribution Smith made to creating and legitimating the conceptual space for modern, commercial, (...) liberal, and democratic society, his views are inadequate for those who want an effective, politicized understanding of the present. Shapiro's ultimate goal in this examination is to 'exemplify a way of doing political theory—one that challenges some traditional ways of constructing and celebrating the 'political theory cannon.'. (shrink)
The following argument is addressed: (1) a person is morally responsible for an event's occurring only if that event's occurring was not a matter of luck; (2) no event is such that its occurring is not a matter of luck; therefore, (3) no event is such that someone is morally responsible for its occurring. Two notions of control are distinguished: restricted and complete. (2) is shown false on the first interpretation, (1) on the second. The discussion involves a distinction between (...) resultant and situational luck, And it is argued that, Even when luck's role in life, And the unfairness that stems from it, Is acknowledged, Moral responsibility remains possible. (shrink)
Of all topics within the psychology of education, learning is one of the most crucial. Yet in terms of practical texts likely to be of use to teachers, it is one of the most neglected. This book is a short, down-to-earth account of learning by children of the kinds of knowledge and skills they acquire at school. Though it does not aim to show teachers how to teach, it gives a highly practical account of learning, remembering and related processes. Some (...) recent developments in mainstream psychology promise to be of enormous potential benefit for classroom work: increasing attention is given to the ways in which people use their knowledge and skills to acquire new information. Psychologists have come to grips with practical questions about the determinants of effective remembering and we are now much better informed about what children need to do in order to learn. This book is the first to present this material in a form suitable for those training and working as teachers. (shrink)
Partisan or Neutral? critically examines the Rawlsian ideal of a public, supposedly neutral, political theory meant to justify contemporary constitutional democracies. Placing this ideal-appealed to by neo-natural law theorists and advocates of "public theology" as well as by political theorists-against the background of the history of political liberalism, White shows its contradictory nature. He argues that any such legitimating theory will be 'partisan,' in the sense of appealing to convictions concerning the human good that will not be universally accepted. He (...) concludes that all politics must be imperfect-a matter of pragmatism and prudence in forming the most workable compromises possible and in acquiescing, where our principles allow us to do so, in situations that are often far from optimal. (shrink)
Sceptical theists--e.g., William Alston and Michael Bergmann--have claimed that considerations concerning human cognitive limitations are alone sufficient to undermine evidential arguments from evil. We argue that, if the considerations deployed by sceptical theists are sufficient to undermine evidential arguments from evil, then those considerations are also sufficient to undermine inferences that play a crucial role in ordinary moral reasoning. If cogent, our argument suffices to discredit sceptical theist responses to evidential arguments from evil.