I present an original model in judgment aggregation theory that demonstrates the general impossibility of consistently describing decision-making purely at the group level. Only a type of unanimity rule can guarantee a group decision is consistent with supporting reasons, and even this possibility is limited to a small class of reasoning methods. The key innovation is that this result holds when individuals can reason in different ways, an allowance not previously considered in the literature. This generalizes judgment aggregation to subjective (...) decision situations, implying that the discursive dilemma persists without individual agreement on the logical constraints. Notably, the model mirrors the typical method of choosing political representatives, and thus suggests that no voting procedure other than unanimity rule can guarantee representation that reflects electorate opinion. Finally, I apply the results to a normative argument for unanimity rule in contract theory and juries, as well as to problems posed for deliberative democratic theory and the concept of representation. (shrink)
This paper develops twenty hypotheses concerning the relationships among selected individual differences variables (locus of control, delay of gratification, gender, and race) and five different ethical beliefs. The results of a study of collegians provide support for seventeen out of twenty research hypotheses. As predicted, locus of control, delay of gratification, and race are related to ethical beliefs. Also as predicted, gender is not related to ethical beliefs.
According to contemporary representationalism, phenomenal qualia—of specifically sensory experiences—supervene on representational content. Most arguments for representationalism share a common, phenomenological premise: the so-called “transparency thesis.” According to the transparency thesis, it is difficult—if not impossible—to distinguish the quality or character of experiencing an object from the perceived properties of that object. In this paper, I show that Husserl would react negatively to the transparency thesis; and, consequently, that Husserl would be opposed to at least two versions of contemporary representationalism. First, (...) I show that Husserl would be opposed to strong representationalism, since he believes the cognitive content of a perceptual episode can vary despite constancy of sensory qualia. Second, I then show that Husserl would be opposed to weak representationalism, since he believes that sensory qualia—specifically, the sort that he calls “kinesthetic sensations”—can vary despite constancy in representational content. (shrink)
Recently, a number of epistemologists have argued that there are no non-conceptual elements in representational content. On their view, the only sort of non-conceptual elements are components of sub-personal organic hardware that, because they enjoy no veridical role, must be construed epistemologically irrelevant. By reviewing a 35-year-old debate initiated by Dagfinn F.
Three experiments investigated the processing of the implicature associated with some using a “gumball paradigm.” On each trial, participants saw an image of a gumball machine with an upper chamber with 13 gumballs and an empty lower chamber. Gumballs then dropped to the lower chamber and participants evaluated statements, such as “You got some of the gumballs.” Experiment 1 established that some is less natural for reference to small sets and unpartitioned sets compared to intermediate sets. Partitive some of was (...) less natural than simple some when used with the unpartitioned set. In Experiment 2, including exact number descriptions lowered naturalness ratings for some with small sets but not for intermediate size sets and the unpartitioned set. In Experiment 3, the naturalness ratings from Experiment 2 predicted response times. The results are interpreted as evidence for a Constraint-Based account of scalar implicature processing and against both two-stage, Literal-First models and pragmatic Default models. (shrink)
Is it ever fair to limit treatment for diseases like glioblastoma for which prognosis is poor? Because resources are finite and health care spending limits the other possible uses for those resources, limiting access to an intervention that does not generate benefits is ethically sound. Ignoring the balance of benefits and burdens associated with treatment ignores opportunity costs and leads us to treat some lives as more valuable than others. It also ignores evidence that patients and families, when presented with (...) adequate information about the benefits and burdens of aggressive treatment compared with palliative care, often prefer the palliative care option.Should the limitations we set on the availability of care be greater for older people than younger people? Since the 1980s, scholars have called for strong age rationing of medical care in which Medicare would not pay for anything other than palliative care after they have achieved average life expectancy. (shrink)
Is it ever fair to limit treatment for diseases like glioblastoma for which prognosis is poor? Because resources are finite and health care spending limits the other possible uses for those resources, limiting access to an intervention that does not generate benefits is ethically sound. Ignoring the balance of benefits and burdens associated with treatment ignores opportunity costs and leads us to treat some lives as more valuable than others. Although it is ethically sound to set limits on medical care, (...) I argue that biological age is a poor criterion for allocating resources. (shrink)
Since Horn (1972) the notion of conversational implicature proposed by Grice has been put to use to explain certain interpretive differences between expressions in natural language and their counterparts in formal logic. For example, the sentences in (1) seem to convey more than they would be expected to if the natural language disjunction or had the same meaning as the logical disjunction ∨, or if the quantiﬁcational determiner some was interpreted as the existential quantiﬁer ∃.
A Kantian evaluation of Taylorism in the workplace requires a consideration of four problems; (1) the conditions of agency, (2) the relation of Taylorism to these conditions, (3) an explanation of the method given by the Typic for applying the Categorical Imperative, and (4) the actual application of the Categorical Imperative to Taylorism. An agent who views himself as a performer is distinguished from an agent who is a mere observer of his own actions, and it is argued that Taylorism (...) in effect attempts to remove the purposiveness of action from the workmen and to reduce them to the state of being mere observers of their own actions. Then it is argued that in order for one to attempt to think of a maxim as a universal law, one must posit a universal and necessary connection between the circumstances and the performances and then another such connection between the action and the purpose to be achieved. A model is constructed using heat-seeking machines, and it is argued that a principle analogous to Taylorism could not hold as a universal law for such machines. Thus, Taylorism is not an acceptable solution to the problem of coordinating the activities of self-directed agents within the workplace. (shrink)
Two visual world experiments investigated the processing of the implicature associated with some using a “gumball paradigm.” On each trial, participants saw an image of a gumball machine with an upper chamber with orange and blue gumballs and an empty lower chamber. Gumballs dropped to the lower chamber, creating a contrast between a partitioned set of gumballs of one color and an unpartitioned set of the other. Participants then evaluated spoken statements, such as “You got some of the blue gumballs.” (...) Experiment 1 investigated the time course of the pragmatic enrichment from some to not all when the only utterance alternatives available to refer to the different sets were some and all. In Experiment 2, the number terms two, three, four, and five were also included in the set of alternatives. Scalar implicatures were delayed relative to the interpretation of literal statements with all only when number terms were available. The results are interpreted as evidence for a constraint-based account of scalar implicature processing. (shrink)
An agent is one who regulates his/her own actions through positive and negative feedback. It is painful for a rational being to set himself a task and then find himself unable to complete it entirely as he/she conceives it. To escape this pain, a person may use self-deception to avoid such negative feedback. When this denial becomes universalized, an agent can no longer function as a self-regulating, cybernetic system, i.e., as an agent who directs his/her own actions. Ten types of (...) moral self-deception are distinguished, and the duty of moral self-knowledge is clarified. (shrink)
Since 1980, the number of twin births in the United States has increased 76 percent, and the number of triplets or higher-order multiples has increased over 400 percent. These increases are due in part to increased maternal age, which is associated with spontaneous twinning. But the primary reason for these increases is that more and more people are undergoing fertility treatment. Despite an emerging (but not absolute) consensus in the medical literature that multiples, including twins, should be a far less (...) frequent outcome of fertility treatment, American clinicians currently practice fertility medicine in ways likely to result in twins and, occasionally, triplets-often, they tell us, at the request of their patients. At first blush, one might conclude that these practice patterns show that patients and their doctors have weighed the risks associated with twins against the benefits of swiftly completing their families and decided that the risks are worth taking. That is, their requests for twins must represent their free and informed choices. But there are reasons to be skeptical of this interpretation, including that the preferences of many patients seem to be very strongly shaped, if not sometimes completely constrained, by concerns about costs-costs that mainly result from the routine exclusion of in vitro fertilization from health insurance coverage. It is quite possible, we believe, that these cost concerns actually undermine the autonomy of fertility patients, pushing many of them to take risks with their health and the health of their hoped-for future children. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]. (shrink)
I argue Leibniz could not have been a dualist since his notion of matter is not defined by extension but by mentalistic "primitive passive force." So Leibniz was some kind of idealist. However, Leibniz was neither a phenomenal idealist like Berkeley nor a conceptualist idealist like Hegel. Instead, despite some suggestions in favor of the latter kind of idealism, Leibniz must be regarded as an idealist who admitted extraconceptual considerations irreducible to materialism.
￼In this paper, I defend Husserl against Derrida's critique that Husserl's phenomenology is of a piece with the "the metaphysics of presence." I show much of Derrida's critique can be met by what Husserl calls "genetic phenomenology.".
Various fields have examined the activity of flirting, predominantly based on experimental and reported data; the interactional workings are therefore often overlooked. Based on emails and chats from two Danish online dating sites, this article investigates how users negotiate romantic connections through the flirting strategy of ‘imagined togetherness’, linguistically constructing imagery of a shared future. Using the notion of the chronotope, turn-by-turn analysis demonstrates how users, embedded in the activity of getting to know each other, tenuously communicate romantic interest by (...) alluding to future points at which they might be together. Central to the strategy is a sequential pattern of avoiding closure and thereby preserving the imagery’s implicitness. The article concludes by arguing that while imagined togetherness functions to probe interests and thus protects oneself from potential rejection, it also draws on fundamental dynamics of fantasy in nourishing the excitement of romantic possibility. (shrink)
If we ask ourselves whether ultimate moral conflicts exist, and if we take seriously the goal of capturing ordinary emotional experience in our views about morality, we find the evidence mixed. We might have some reason for concluding that some situations are ultimate moral conflicts, but we also have good reasons of the same kind for concluding that these situations are not ultimate moral conflicts. So this kind of argument does not provide secure enough footing for any sort of powerful (...) criticism of moral theories which deny the existence of ultimate moral conflicts. Those who want to argue for the reality of ultimate moral conflicts can still argue from something other than ordinary emotional experience. Any such alternative strategy, though, will involve a retreat from the idea that ordinary emotional experience provides unambiguous support for the existence of ultimate moral conflicts and a secure point from which to criticize moral theories.I conclude, then, that accepting the reality of ultimate moral conflicts does not allow a truer picture of ordinary emotional experience. I am not sure, though, that this should be good news for those who believe in a moral realm without ultimate moral conflicts. What is most striking about ordinary emotional experience is not its tendency to support one or another picture of the moral realm, with or without ultimate moral conflicts, but its failure to endorse any very determinate picture of a moral realm. This suggests a rather shocking gap in our understanding of the concepts of moral obligation, prohibition, and permission, concepts which, after all, are alleged to play a familiar and vital role in our lives. Perhaps this gap can be filled by arguments beginning somewhere other than ordinary emotional experience. (Although skeptics will point to the failure of deontic logicians to find any decisive reason to choose between accounts that do and do not permit ultimate moral conflicts.) Alternatively, though, the ambiguity of ordinary emotional experience on the question of ultimate moral conflict might provide one kind of support for the suspicion, famously entertained by Elizabeth Anscombe, that the word “ought,” used to refer to a specifically moral realm, is a word “containing no intelligible thought: a word retaining the suggestion of force, and apt to have a strong psychological effect, but which no longer signifies a real concept at all - No content could be found in the notion ‘morally ought’; if it were not that - philosophers try to find an alternative (very fishy) content and to retain the psychological force of the term.” G.E.M. Anscombe, “Modem Moral Philosophy,” Philosophy 33 (1958): 8. (shrink)
Images of Native Americans and of aspects of Native American culture are common in advertisements in the United States. Three such images can be distinguished — the Noble Savage, the Civilizable Savage and the Bloodthirsty Savage images. The aim of this paper is to argue that the use of such images is not morally acceptable because these images depend upon an underlying conception of Native Americans that denies that they are human beings. By so doing, it also denies to them (...) any moral standing and thus any claim to moral consideration and treatment. I begin by arguing that the traits which are distinctively human are fostered only within a cultural framework consisting of the accumulated knowledge and activities of a group of human beings. I then argue that savages are conceptualized as natural and cultureless beings. Furthermore, within the traditional Western conceptualization of the world mere natural objects have no moral standing. Thus, it follows that Native Americans insofar as they are also merely natural objects would have no standing or status as moral beings. The conception of Native Americans as savages undercuts the very conditions for the possibility of moral respect. I then turn to an application of these principles to some current commercial uses of images of Native Americans and other indigenous peoples. (shrink)
In a recent review article, Jeff Popke (2006, p. 510) calls for a ?more direct engagement with theories of ethics and responsibility? on the part of human geographers, and for a reinscription of the social as a site of ethics and responsibility. This requires that we also continue to develop ways of thinking through our responsibilities toward unseen others?both unseen neighbours and distant others?and to cultivate a renewed sense of social interconnectedness. Popke suggests that a feminist-inspired ethic of care might (...) be instrumental in developing this expanded, relational and collective vision of the social, which is particularly prescient given the contemporary economic downturn throughout the globe. Thus, as the ?moral turn? in geography continues to evolve, this special issue seeks to bring together geographers working within feminist or feminist-inspired frameworks, and with a shared interest in the changing geographies of ethics, responsibility and care. The collection of papers has its origins in conference sessions on Care-full Geographies, organised by the Guest Editors at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers in 2007. In this editorial we seek to position the papers within broader debates about care, responsibility and ethics that have emerged in geography and the wider social sciences in recent years, and to highlight the key issues that have framed these debates. (shrink)
Discussions of fairness in the workplace are built on assumptions about the organization of work and about fairness. Writers on business ethics have not appreciated that work is often organized differently in different stages of the life cycle of a firm. In this paper it is argued that the conceptions of fairness applied to a mature firm are often not applicable to a fledgling one. In a mature firm authority and responsibility are typically delegated and divided into specific jobs with (...) relatively rigid boundaries. Thus, it has been argued that fairness in hiring requires specific job descriptions, fairness in remuneration requires standardized and graded salaries, and fairness in due process requires peer review. However, in the formative stages of a corporation, there may be very little differentiation or specialization. There is a continual re-definition of individual tasks through interaction with others as knowledge about products, production, and consumer demand are acquired by trial and error in the marketplace. Fairness takes a different form in this firm. The principle that similar people are to be treated similarly and different people differently can be operationalized in two ways. The mature firm typically focuses on differences; a fledgling, entrepreneurial one on similarities. How some of the issues of fairness in hiring, pay, and due process need to be reformulated once they are placed within the context of an entrepreneurial firm with its emphasis on similarity are then discussed. (shrink)