How do we weigh the claims of current and future people when current exercise of rights to property conflict with sustainability? Are property rights over theseresources more limited due to the claims of posterity? Lockean property rights allow no right to degrade resources when doing so threatens the basic needs offuture generations. A stewardship conception of property rights can be developed, providing a justification for sustainable management legislation even whensuch law conflicts with the rights an owner would have, were the (...) resource under more full-blown ownership. A protection indicator can be developed that is sensitive to a range of empirical factors such as scarcity, renewability, importance of the resource, and seriousness and reversibility of potential harm. The stewardship conception of rights over environmental resources can be applied in policy settings, for example, in decisions over emissions limits and land-use patterns. Such harnessing of Lockean intuitions to argue for environmental protection is in sharp contrast to Locke’s usual employment by those keen to show that such protection violates owners’ rights. (shrink)
Businesses interface with the natural world through rights to property. The shape of these rights and the responsibilities we assign to managers are important determinants of both patterns of resource use and pollutant levels. Consequently, conflicts have arisen between regulating bodies, indigenous groups, andcorporations over the entitlements of businesses in the use of their property when that property is ecologically sensitive or significant.In this paper I develop an account of the ethical responsibilities of managers regarding their treatment of the environment (...) and their use of natural resources. This account is based on a philosophical examination of the nature of property rights. After a tour of traditional arguments employed to defend the institution ofprivate property, I develop a new conception of property rights over objects that have a high natural resource component. I show that in today’s world, ethical concerns that motivated John Locke will yield property rights that are insufficiently strong to override a democratic say in overall use patterns and mustbe sensitive to factors such as need, scarcity, and the interests of stakeholders. I show a similar result for utilitarian arguments for property.On this foundation I develop a conception of property in key environmental resources that includes a stewardship element. To embody this, I suggest a set of ethical responsibilities for managers over certain natural resources that springs from it. I argue for obligations restricting harmful use patterns as a way ofincluding the other goals (eg public participation, sustainability) that we care about, in a manner which clashes least with the liberty of owners and the efficiency of production. The outcome is a set of rights and responsibilities that take global environmental interests into account, but preserve the thrust of what is good about the institution of private property: that it rewards labour and facilitates a stable and efficient free exchange system. As a version of private property, it retains many of the advantages of global capitalism while attaching responsibilities to business decision makers. (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)
My primary target in this paper is a puzzle that emerges from the conjunction of several seemingly innocent assumptions in action theory and the metaphysics of moral responsibility. The puzzle I have in mind is this. On one widely held account of moral responsibility, an agent is morally responsible only for those actions or outcomes over which that agent exercises control. Recently, however, some have cited cases where agents appear to be morally responsible without exercising any control. This leads some (...) to abandon the control-based account of responsibility and replace it with an alternative account. It leads others to deny the intuition that agents are responsible in these troublesome cases. After outlining the account of moral responsibility I have in mind, I look at some of the arguments made against the viability of this theory. I show that there are conceptual resources for salvaging the control account, focusing in particular on the nature of vigilance. I also argue that there is empirical data that supports the control account so conceived. (shrink)
In his new introduction to this current edition of this classic in the field originally published in 1982 (Humanities Press), Hoppe (economics, U. of Nevada, Las Vegas--as was the late author) extols Rothbard's marriage of the "value-free" science of economics with the normative enterprise of ethics and their offspring: libertarianism. Discussion areas are: natural law, a theory of liberty, the state vs. liberty, modern alternative theories of liberty, and toward a theory of strategy for liberty. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, (...) Inc., Portland, OR. (shrink)
This volume of new essays energizes a growing movement in film theory which questions and seeks to overturn many of the assumptions that have governed film theory for the last twenty years. The book brings together film scholars and philosophers in a united commitment to the standards of argumentation that characterize analytic philosophy rather than a single doctrinal approach. The essays address such topics as authorship, emotion, ideology, representation, and expression in film.
The debate between compatibilists and incompatibilists depends in large part on what ordinary people mean by ‘free will’, a matter on which previous experimental philosophy studies have yielded conflicting results. In Nahmias, Morris, Nadelhoffer, and Turner (2005, 2006), most participants judged that agents in deterministic scenarios could have free will and be morally responsible. Nichols and Knobe (2007), though, suggest that these apparent compatibilist responses are performance errors produced by using concrete scenarios, and that their abstract scenarios reveal the folk (...) theory of free will for what it actually is—incompatibilist. Here, we argue that the results of two new studies suggest just the opposite. Most participants only give apparent incompatibilist judgments when they mistakenly interpret determinism to imply that agents’ mental states are bypassed in the causal chains that lead to their behavior. Determinism does not entail bypassing, so these responses do not reflect genuine incompatibilist intuitions. When participants understand what determinism does mean, the vast majority take it to be compatible with free will. Further results indicate that most people’s concepts of choice and the ability to do otherwise do not commit them to incompatibilism, either, putting pressure on incompatibilist arguments that rely on transfer principles, such as the Consequence Argument. We discuss the implications of these findings for philosophical debates about free will, and suggest that incompatibilism appears to be either false, or else a thesis about something other than what most people mean by ‘free will’. (shrink)
In this paper, we focus on whether and to what extent we judge that people are responsible for the consequences of their forgetfulness. We ran a series of behavioral studies to measure judgments of responsibility for the consequences of forgetfulness. Our results show that we are disposed to hold others responsible for some of their forgetfulness. The level of stress that the forgetful agent is under modulates judgments of responsibility, though the level of care that the agent exhibits toward performing (...) the forgotten action does not. We argue that this result has important implications for a long-running debate about the nature of responsible agency. (shrink)
The standard view in epistemology is that propositional knowledge entails belief. Positive arguments are seldom given for this entailment thesis, however; instead, its truth is typically assumed. Against the entailment thesis, Myers-Schulz and Schwitzgebel (Noûs, forthcoming) report that a non-trivial percentage of people think that there can be propositional knowledge without belief. In this paper, we add further fuel to the fire, presenting the results of four new studies. Based on our results, we argue that the entailment thesis does not (...) deserve the default status that it is typically granted. We conclude by considering the alternative account of knowledge that Myers-Schulz and Schwitzgebel propose to explain their results, arguing that it does not explain ours. In its place we offer a different explanation of both sets of findings—the conviction account, according to which belief, but not knowledge, requires mental assent. (shrink)
We sometimes fail unwittingly to do things that we ought to do. And we are, from time to time, culpable for these unwitting omissions. We provide an outline of a theory of responsibility for unwitting omissions. We emphasize two distinctive ideas: (i) many unwitting omissions can be understood as failures of appropriate vigilance, and; (ii) the sort of self-control implicated in these failures of appropriate vigilance is valuable. We argue that the norms that govern vigilance and the value of self-control (...) explain culpability for unwitting omissions. (shrink)
Problems of and explanations for evil -- Neo-cartesianism -- Animal suffering and the fall -- Nobility, flourishing, and immortality : animal pain and animal well-being -- Natural evil, nomic regularity, and animal suffering -- Chaos, order, and evolution -- Combining CDs.
Over recent years, considerable attention has been paid to the National Health Service research governance and ethics approvals process in the UK. New regulations mean that approval from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is now also needed for conducting all clinical trials. Practical experience of gaining MHRA and sponsorship approval has yet to be described and critically explored in the literature. Our experience, from start to finish, of applying for these four approvals for a multicentre randomised controlled trial (...) of two licensed drugs for opiate detoxification in the prison setting is described here. In addition, the implications of the approvals process for research projects, particularly clinical trials, in terms of time and funding, and also indirect implications for NHS patients are discussed. Inconsistencies are discussed and suggestions that could improve and streamline the overall process are made. The current approvals process could now be hindering non-commercial clinical trials, leading to a loss of important evidence-based medical information. (shrink)
We define a class of functions, the descent recursive functions, relative to an arbitrary elementary recursive system of ordinal notations. By means of these functions, we provide a general technique for measuring the proof-theoretic strength of a variety of systems of first-order arithmetic. We characterize the provable well-orderings and provably recursive functions of these systems, and derive various conservation and equiconsistency results.
This paper proposes a brain-inspired cognitive architecture that incorporates approximations to the concepts of consciousness, imagination, and emotion. To emulate the empirically established cognitive efficacy of conscious as opposed to non-conscious information processing in the mammalian brain, the architecture adopts a model of information flow from global workspace theory. Cognitive functions such as anticipation and planning are realised through internal simulation of interaction with the environment. Action selection, in both actual and internally simulated interaction with the environment, is mediated by (...) affect. An implementation of the architecture is described which is based on weightless neurons and is used to control a simulated robot. (shrink)
Murray Edelman's work raised significant theoretical and methodological questions regarding the symbolic nature of politics, and specifically the role played by non?rational beliefs in the shaping of political preferences. According to Edelman, beneath an apparently functional and accountable democratic state lies a symbolic system that renders an ignorant public quiescent. The state, the media, civil society, interpersonal relations, even popular art are part of a mass spectacle kept afloat by empty symbolic beliefs. However suggestive it is, the weaknesses of (...) Edelman's theoretical and methodological approach, and the relative strengths of more recent research on the politics of cultural symbols, render Edelman's work unable to serve as either model or springboard for the contemporary study of political symbols. (shrink)
This paper explores a novel philosophy of ethical care in the face of burgeoning biomedical technologies. I respond to a serious challenge facing traditional bioethics with its roots in analytic philosophy. The hallmarks of these traditional approaches are reason and autonomy, founded on a belief in the liberal humanist subject. In recent years, however, there have been mounting challenges to this view of human subjectivity, emerging from poststructuralist critiques, such as Michel Foucault's, but increasingly also as a result of advances (...) in biotechnology itself. In the face of these developments, I argue that the theoretical relevance and practical application of mainstream bioethics is increasingly under strain. Traditionalists will undoubtedly resist. Together, professional philosopher-bioethicists, public health policymakers, and the global commercial healthcare industry tend to respond conservatively by shoring up the liberal humanist subject as the foundation for medical ethics and consumer decision-making, appealing to the familiar tropes of reason, autonomy, and freedom. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that sentences that contain ‘omission’ tokens that appear to function as singular terms are meaningful while maintaining the view that omissions are nothing at all or mere absences. I take omissions to be fictional entities and claim that the way in which sentences about fictional characters are true parallels the way in which sentences about omissions are true. I develop a pragmatic account of fictional reference and argue that my fictionalist account of omissions implies a (...) plausible account of the metaphysics of omissions. (shrink)
Abstract For Murray Edelman, political realities are largely inaccessible to the public, save by the mediation of symbols generated by elites. Such symbols often create the illusion of political solutions to complex problems?solutions devised by experts, implemented by effective leaders, and undemonstrably successful in their results.
Combined oral contraceptives have been demonstrated to have significant benefits for the treatment and prevention of disease. These medications also are associated with untoward health effects, and they may be directly contraceptive. Prescribers and users must compare and weigh the intended beneficial health effects against foreseeable but unintended possible adverse effects in their decisions to prescribe and use. Additionally, those who intend to abide by Catholic teachings must consider prohibitions against contraception. Ethical judgments concerning both health benefits and contraception are (...) approached in this essay through an overview of the therapeutic, prophylactic, untoward, and contraceptive effects of COC and discussion of magisterial and traditional Catholic teachings from natural law. Discerning through the principle of double effect, proportionate reason, and evidence gathered from the sciences, medical and moral conclusions are drawn that we believe to be fully compliant with good medicine and Catholic teaching. (shrink)
_The Athiest’s Primer_ is a concise but wide-ranging introduction to a variety of arguments, concepts, and issues pertaining to belief in God. In lucid and engaging prose, Malcom Murray offers a penetrating yet fair-minded critique of the traditional arguments for the existence of God. He then explores a number of other important issues relevant to religious belief, such as the problem of suffering and the relationship between religion and morality, in each case arguing that atheism is preferable to theism. (...) The book will appeal to both students and professionals in the philosophy of religion, as well as general audiences interested in the topic. (shrink)
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) comprise the sector of society that attempts to hold business and other institutions accountable for their social responsibility. Yet NGOs rarely have established governance mechanisms whereby their members and supporters can hold them accountable for their activities. In contrast, other major acton in the society -notably governments, corporations, and unions -maintain long established albeit imperfect instruments of governance and responsibility. This article presents a variety of ways in which NGOs could voluntarily strengthen their internal governance and thus (...) become more accountable to their members and supporters as well as society at large. In the process, these important civil society organizations would enhance their effectiveness in achieving improvements in key areas of public policy. (shrink)
Why Agamben? -- Key ideas -- Language and the negativity of being -- Infancy and archaeological method -- Potentiality and the task of the coming philosophy -- Politics : bare life and sovereign power -- The homeland of gesture : art and cinema -- The laboratory of literature -- Bearing witness and messianic time -- After Agamben.
Review boards responsible for vetting the ethical conduct of research have been criticised for their costliness, unreliability and inappropriate standards when evaluating some non-medical research, but the basic value of mandatory ethical review has not been questioned. When the standards that review boards use to evaluate research proposals are applied to review board practices, it is clear that review boards do not respect researchers or each other, lack merit and integrity, are not just and are not beneficent. The few benefits (...) of mandatory ethical review come at a much greater, but mainly hidden, social cost. It is time that responsibility for the ethical conduct of research is clearly transferred to researchers, except possibly in that small proportion of cases where prospective research participants may be so intrinsically vulnerable that their well-being may need to be overseen. (shrink)
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