This ar ti cle ex tends, from a philo soph i cal and an thro po log i cal point of view, the re cent dis - cus sions as to what is met a phoric. Lan guage phi - los o phers have con trib uted to the un der stand ing of the na ture and func tion of met a phors, but their com ments have been tra ..
One of the most recent controversies to arise in the field of bioethics concerns the ethics for the Groningen Protocol: the guidelines proposed by the Groningen Academic Hospital in The Netherlands, which would permit doctors to actively euthanise terminally ill infants who are suffering. The Groningen Protocol has been met with an intense amount of criticism, some even calling it a relapse into a Hitleresque style of eugenics, where people with disabilities are killed solely because of their handicaps. The purpose (...) of this paper is threefold. First, the paper will attempt to disabuse readers of this erroneous understanding of the Groningen Protocol by showing how such a policy does not aim at making quality-of-life judgements, given that it restricts euthanasia to suffering and terminally ill infants. Second, the paper illustrates that what the Groningen Protocol proposes to do is both ethical and also the most humane alternative for these suffering and dying infants. Lastly, responses are given to some of the worries expressed by ethicists on the practice of any type of non-voluntary active euthanasia. (shrink)
Laws in the special sciences are usually regarded to be non-universal. A theory of laws in the special sciences faces two challenges. (I) According to Lange's dilemma, laws in the special sciences are either false or trivially true. (II) They have to meet the ?requirement of relevance?, which is a way to require the non-accidentality of special science laws. I argue that both challenges can be met if one distinguishes four dimensions of (non-) universality. The upshot is that I argue (...) for the following explication of special science laws: L is a special science law just if (1) L is a system law, (2) L is quasi-Newtonian, and (3) L is minimally invariant. (shrink)
MacIntyre, Clark, and Heidegger would all agree that the current problem with moral theory is its lack of a satisfactory conception of human telos. This lack leads us to resort to such fictions as rights, interests, and utility, which are “disguises for the will to power.” Ibid., p. 240. These thinkers would also agree that modern nation-states are cut off from the roots of the Western tradition. Modern political economy, with “its individualism, its acquisitiveness and its elevation of the values (...) of the market to a central social place”Ibid., p. 237. is leading us into “the coming age of barbarism and darkness.”Ibid., p. 244. MacIntyre's grim depiction of the future, which Heidegger calls “the time of the darkening of the earth” and “the flight of the gods”,Heidegger, “What Are Poets For?” in Poetry, Language, Thought. can only be met by re-appropriating our own tradition. Although Aristotle has much to tell us, I believe Heidegger is right to turn to Heraclitus for a non-anthropocentric conception of humanity's place in Nature. Other writers, however, such as Arne Naess, George Sessions, and Stuart Hampshire, argue that the writings of Spinoza may offer the most helpful vision of humanity needed to guide our efforts to find a more appropriate basis for our behavior toward each other and toward the non-human world as well.George Sessions, “Spinoza and Jeffets on Man in Nature,” Inquiry 20 (1977):481–528. Sessions' essay was criticized by Genevieve Lloyd in “Spinoza's Environmental Ethics,” Inquiry 23 (1980):293–311. In reply, Arne Naess wrote “Environmental Ethics and Spinoza's Ethics: Comments on Genevieve Lloyd's Article,” Inquiry 23 (1980):313~ 325. Cf. also Stuart Hampshire, Two Theories of Morality (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977). Yet Aristotle, Qark, Heidegger, Heraclitus, Maclntyre, and Spinoza all agree that in order to behave fittingly, we must understand what it means to be human. At this time, I would like to acknowledge the importance of the following objection to what I have been arguing here: While it may be true that the concept of human rights is a fiction, it is nevertheless a very useful fiction for changing how human beings relate to each other. Tom Regan has frequently pointed out that even if the concept of rights proves to be ficticious, it can be helpful in protecting non-human beings from abuse by humans. Cf. his essay “Exploring the Idea of Animal Rights,” Animals' Rights - A Symposium (Sussex and London: Centaur Press Ltd., 1979); Regan, “Animal Rights, Human Wrongs,” Environmental Ethics 2 (1980):99–120. The doctrine of the rights of man justified the American and French revolutions, which brought forth new and important human freedoms. Today, most of humanity still lacks the protection afforded by constitutionally guaranteed human rights. Moreover, even in constitutional democracies there are frequent abuses of and attempts to curtail human rights. Until far more people become committed to protecting human rights, it is unlikely that there will be a big movement to extend rights to non-human beings, much less to overcome the anthropocentrism inherent in the concept of rights. What the Buddhist tradition calls “skillful means” is appropriate in our current situation.My thanks to Professor David Levin of Northwestern University for having reminded me of the importance of approaching the question of human rights in a “skillful” way. We must approach people in a way sensitive to their current self-understanding. Before we can pass on to the stage of planetary unity made possible by non-anthropocentric thinking, we need to find ways that promote mutual respect among human beings.On the topic of the relation between spiritual-psychological growth and the shift in human morality, cf. M.W. Fox, “Animal Rights and Nature Liberation,” in Animals' Rights - A Symposium. Out of such respect there can also arise respect for the non-human as well. While largely in agreement with this point of view, I would like to note that our means must be very skillful, indeed, if we are to transform our relationships to each other and to the natural world before irreparable damage is done to the earth, through nuclear war or environmental destruction. The time grows short for the transformation needed to bring us from the stage of anthropocentrism to a deeper awareness of our internal relationship to the whole world. Some people, such as Peter Russell, argue that we are witnessing the evolution of a non-anthropocentric mode of planetary consciousness that will be supported by the revolution in communications and computers. Peter Russel, The Global Brain: Speculations on the Evolutionary Leap tp Planetary Consciousness (New York: J.P. Tarcher, 1983). Other people, such as Jeremy Rifkin, maintain that the coming computer age promises ever greater intrusions into natural processes, such as the drive for control of genetic structures.Jeremy Rifkin, Algeny (New York: Viking, 1983). In my view, while it is important to extend the idea of human rights wherever possible, it is also crucial that we consider seriously the possibility that the idea of human rights is merely a transitional way of conceiving of morality. As we learn more about the interrelationship of human life with all other aspects of the earth's life, our self-understanding will no longer be in harmony with the human-centered morality we know today. We will either learn to respect all beings and act toward them in appropriate ways, or else we will continue down the road we are now headed - a road which seems to have a very disturbing destination. Learning to dwell appropriately on earth is the most pressing moral issue of the day. (shrink)
In this paper we first develop a logic independent account of relevant implication. We propose a stipulative denition of what it means for a multiset of premises to relevantly L-imply a multiset of conclusions, where L is a Tarskian consequence relation: the premises relevantly imply the conclusions iff there is an abstraction of the pair such that the abstracted premises L-imply the abstracted conclusions and none of the abstracted premises or the abstracted conclusions can be omitted while still maintaining valid (...) L-consequence. Subsequently we apply this denition to the classical logic consequence relation to obtain NTR-consequence, i.e. the relevant CL-consequence relation in our sense, and develop a sequent calculus that is sound and complete with regard to relevant CL-consequence. We present a sound and complete sequent calculus for NTR. In a next step we add rules for an object language relevant implication to the sequent calculus. The object language implication reflects exactly the NTR-consequence relation. One can see the resulting logic NTR-> as a relevant logic in the traditional sense of the word. By means of a translation to the relevant logic R, we show that the presented logic NTR is very close to relevance logics in the Anderson-Belnap-Dunn-Routley-Meyer tradition. However, unlike usual relevant logics, NTR is decidable for the full language, Disjunctive Syllogism and Adjunction are valid, and neither Modus Ponens nor the Cut rule are admissible. (shrink)
I argue that a basic similarity analysis of analogical reasoning handles many apparent cases of visual analogy. I consider how the visual and verbal elements interact in analogical cases. Finally, I offer two analyses of visual elements. One analysis is evidential. The visual elements are evidence for their ver-bal counterparts. One is non-evidential: the visual elements link to verbal elements without providing evi-dence for those elements. The result is to make more room for the logical analysis of visual argumentation.
This article provides a conceptual map of the debate on ideal and non‐ideal theory. It argues that this debate encompasses a number of different questions, which have not been kept sufficiently separate in the literature. In particular, the article distinguishes between the following three interpretations of the ‘ideal vs. non‐ideal theory’ contrast: full compliance vs. partial compliance theory; utopian vs. realistic theory; end‐state vs. transitional theory. The article advances critical reflections on each of these sub‐debates, and highlights areas for future (...) research in the field. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to develop a counterfactual theory of explanation. The CTE provides a monist framework for causal and non-causal explanations, according to which both causal and non-causal explanations are explanatory by virtue of revealing counterfactual dependencies between the explanandum and the explanans. I argue that the CTE is applicable to two paradigmatic examples of non-causal explanations: Euler’s explanation and renormalization group explanations of universality.
In recent years, sequencing technologies have enabled the identification of a wide range of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). Unfortunately, annotation and integration of ncRNA data has lagged behind their identification. Given the large quantity of information being obtained in this area, there emerges an urgent need to integrate what is being discovered by a broad range of relevant communities. To this end, the Non-Coding RNA Ontology (NCRO) is being developed to provide a systematically structured and precisely defined controlled vocabulary for the (...) domain of ncRNAs, thereby facilitating the discovery, curation, analysis, exchange, and reasoning of data about structures of ncRNAs, their molecular and cellular functions, and their impacts upon phenotypes. The goal of NCRO is to serve as a common resource for annotations of diverse research in a way that will significantly enhance integrative and comparative analysis of the myriad resources currently housed in disparate sources. It is our belief that the NCRO ontology can perform an important role in the comprehensive unification of ncRNA biology and, indeed, fill a critical gap in both the Open Biological and Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) Library and the National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO) BioPortal. Our initial focus is on the ontological representation of small regulatory ncRNAs, which we see as the first step in providing a resource for the annotation of data about all forms of ncRNAs. The NCRO ontology is free and open to all users, accessible at: http://purl.obolibrary.org/obo/ncro.owl. (shrink)
Political liberalism, conceived of as a response to the diversity of conceptions of the good in multicultural societies, aims to put forward a proposal for how to organize political institutions that is acceptable to a wide range of citizens. It does so by remaining neutral between reasonable conceptions of the good while giving all citizens a fair opportunity to access the offices and positions which enable them to pursue their own conception of the good. Public educational institutions are at the (...) center of the state’s attempt to foster both of these commitments. I argue that recent empirical research on the role that non-cognitive dispositions (such as assertiveness) play in enabling students to have access to two important primary goods – opportunities for higher education and desirable jobs – creates a distinctive challenge for a liberal egalitarian education in remaining neutral with respect to conceptions of the good while promoting equal opportunity. (shrink)
The reasons for judgment by the Supreme Court of Canada on the appeal in Mabior (2012 SCC 47) fail to address or resolve a number of significant questions. The reasons acknowledge the fundamental role of sexual consent in protecting sexual autonomy, equality, and human dignity, but do not use the law of consent as a tool to assist the Court in crafting a fresh approach to the issue on appeal. Instead the Court adopts the same general approach to analysis of (...) the elements of aggravated sexual assault committed by fraud it used in 1998 in Cuerrier. Fifteen years later, it should be possible to re-conceptualize the problem in a more straightforward manner that reflects Charter values, fundamental common law principles, recent developments in sexual assault law, and the limitations and uncertainties of current HIV treatment and diagnosis. -/- Ironically, the two pronged legal test ultimately proposed by the Court -- non-disclosure of HIV-positive status and a “realistic possibility of transmission,” is likely to give false confidence to individuals who adhere to a regime of anti-retroviral treatment, use good quality latex condoms, and routinely conceal their HIV-positive status from their sexual partners. Research shows that HIV viral loads fluctuate widely in response to a myriad of factors. An inevitable consequence of reliance on the Mabior test will be accused who are shocked to find themselves charged under s. 273, charges that would not apply had they disclosed their HIV-positive status to their sexual partner(s). There are further practical consequences. Non-disclosure will tend to increase the risk of transmission because non-HIV-positive sexual partner(s) will not fully appreciate the actual hazards of improper condom use. As a direct result, careless sexual practices will be more common. And finally, the decision will not contribute to reducing the social stigma that haunts the lives of those who are HIV-positive -- even those who are skilled at deceit. That stigma will not be reduced or eliminated by a ruling that can be seen as tacitly validating stigmatization and fear by appearing to permit infected individuals to pretend they are not HIV-positive when they know or suspect this to be false. Deceit harms the human dignity of the deceived and deceiver alike, and does nothing to build authentic social trust and cohesion. For all these reasons, the problem on appeal in Mabior requires a different approach. This article proposes one. (shrink)
The goals of this paper are two-fold: I wish to clarify the Aristotelian conception of the law of non-contradiction as a metaphysical rather than a semantic or logical principle, and to defend the truth of the principle in this sense. First I will explain what it in fact means that the law of non-contradiction is a metaphysical principle. The core idea is that the law of non-contradiction is a general principle derived from how things are in the world. For example, (...) there are certain constraints as to what kind of properties an object can have, and especially: some of these properties are mutually exclusive. Given this characterisation, I will advance to examine what kind of challenges the law of non-contradiction faces; the main opponent here is Graham Priest. I will consider these challenges and conclude that they do not threaten the truth of the law of non-contradiction understood as a metaphysical principle. (shrink)
[PHILPEOPLE DOESN'T ALLOW PARAGRAPH BREAKS IN ABSTRACTS...] My [Frank Scalambrino's] dissertation first traces the development of a philosophical theory of ontological negation from Plato’s Parmenides and Sophist through Aristotle’s Metaphysics to Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, especially his “Table of Nothing” (A 292). Whereas Plato’s “puzzle of non-being” sets the stage for the subsequent discussion of ontological negation, Kant’s Table of Nothing provides a formalization of the possible solutions to the puzzle. According to Kant, there are four (4) different ways (...) in which “ontological negation” could be meant. By way of this formalization two major trends for interpreting ontological negation may be seen in the history of Western philosophy. The Aristotelian trend may be seen as a reduction of ontological negation to logical negation such that the fourth possibility in Kant’s Table of Nothing is eliminated. This Aristotelian trend was later adopted by both Hegel and Heidegger. [NEW PARAGRAPH........................................................................................... .................................................................................................... .......]The Platonic trend, exemplified by the “puzzle of non-being” from the Sophist, affirms what is later formalized as the fourth possibility in Kant’s Table of Nothing. How exactly to characterize such ontological negation is precisely “the puzzle of non-being.” The idea being that if it is not even possible to characterize this type of ontological negation, then it should be eliminated, that is, by following Aristotle’s trend and reducing ontological negation to logical negation. It was as a reaction against Hegel, and thereby the Aristotelian trend regarding ontological negation, then, which prompted Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Derrida to take up the puzzle of non-being and pursue the Platonic trend. [NEW PARAGRAPH........................................................................................... .................................................................................................... .......]Both of their solutions to the puzzle of non-being follow the Platonic trend in two (2) ways: first, they affirm the fourth possibility in Kant’s Table of Nothing, and, second, they take an approach already initiated in the Sophist; that is, they attempt to characterize ontological negation in terms of one of Plato’s “Great Kinds” – Difference. Of course, both Deleuze and Derrida take a post-Kantian approach to characterizing ontological negation in terms of difference. In fact, given the internal criteria of the puzzle of non-being, in terms of historical hindsight, Kant’s critical turn seems a necessary condition for solving the puzzle. Therefore, both Deleuze and Derrida characterize ontological negation in terms of “pure difference.” When we interrogate the idea of “pure difference” we find that it refers to Différance in Derrida and what Deleuze refers to as “?-being.” [NEW PARAGRAPH........................................................................................... .................................................................................................... .......]Next, my dissertation provides a critical reading of “pure difference” in Deleuze and Derrida by criticizing the ability of “pure difference” to characterize the fourth possibility in Kant’s Table of Nothing. The criticism culminates in my advancing a different characterization of the fourth possibility in Kant’s Table of Nothing. Whereas Deleuze and Derrida provide solutions from the standpoint of a post-Kantian general ontology, I provide a solution from the standpoint of a philosophical psychology, understood in terms of Kant’s theoretical philosophy. That is to say, I provide a characterization of the fourth possibility in Kant’s Table of Nothing in terms of the relation between the Critique of Pure Reason’s Transcendental Aesthetic and the Transcendental Unity of Apperception. By juxtaposing a Kantian ontology in terms of philosophical psychology and general ontology, I examine the difference between the transcendental structure of internal time-consciousness and the register in general ontology conforming to the transcendental structure of time-consciousness, specifically what may be understood as the transcendental structure conditioning the human experience of the duration of a moment. Given that this structure is both “transcendental” and the condition for experiencing “duration,” I refer to it as “transcendental memory.” [NEW PARAGRAPH........................................................................................... .................................................................................................... .......]Thus, the limits constituting the experience of the duration of a moment for humans may be used to characterize the fourth possibility in Kant’s Table of Nothing. On the one hand, this provides a solution to the puzzle of non-being along the lines of the Platonic trend. On the other hand, this provides a solid basis for criticizing attempts to solve the puzzle along the Aristotelian trend. Further, the solution to the puzzle of non-being found in my dissertation provides a way to extend Kant’s theoretical philosophy and a pathway for future metaphysics. (Frank Scalambrino, Ph.D. Duquesne University, 2011). (shrink)
According to the standard story given by reductive versions of the Causal Theory of Action, an action is an intrinsically mindless bodily movement that is appropriately caused by an intention. Those who embrace this story typically take this intention to have a coarse-grained content, specifying the action only down to the level of the agent's habits and skills. Markos Valaris argues that, because of this, the standard story cannot make sense of the deep reach of our non-observational knowledge of action. (...) He concludes that we therefore have to jettison its conception of actions as mindless bodily movements animated from the outside by intentions. Here we defend the standard story. We can make sense of the reach of non-observational knowledge of action once we reject the following two assumptions: (i) that an intended habitual or skilled action is a so-called basic action—that is, an action that doesn't involve any finer-grained intentions—and (ii) that an agent, in acting, is merely executing one intention rather than a whole hierarchy of more or less fine-grained intentions. We argue that (i) and (ii) are false. (shrink)
I argue first that attention is a (maybe the) paradigmatic case of an object-directed, non-propositional intentional mental episode. In addition attention cannot be reduced to any other (propositional or non-propositional) mental episodes. Yet, second, attention is not a non-propositional mental attitude. It might appear puzzling how one could hold both of these claims. I show how to combine them, and how that combination shows how propositionality and non-propositionality can co-exist in a mental life. The crucial move is one away from (...) an atomistic, building block picture to a more holistic, structural picture. (shrink)
Identification of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) has been significantly enhanced due to the rapid advancement in sequencing technologies. On the other hand, semantic annotation of ncRNA data lag behind their identification, and there is a great need to effectively integrate discovery from relevant communities. To this end, the Non-Coding RNA Ontology (NCRO) is being developed to provide a precisely defined ncRNA controlled vocabulary, which can fill a specific and highly needed niche in unification of ncRNA biology.
In this essay I argue that a broadly Kantian strategy for demonstrating and explaining the existence, semantic structure, and psychological function of essentially non-conceptual content can also provide an intelligible and defensible bottom-up theory of the foundations of rationality in minded animals. Otherwise put, if I am correct, then essentially non-conceptual content constitutes the semantic and psychological substructure, or matrix, out of which the categorically normative a priori superstructure of epistemic rationality and practical rationality - Sellars's "logical space of reasons" (...) - grows. (shrink)
The quantum theoretical concepts of modular momentum and dynamical non-locality, which were introduced four decades ago, have recently been used to explain single particle quantum interference phenomena. Although the non-local exchange of modular momentum associated with such phenomena cannot be directly observed, it has been suggested that effects induced by this exchange can be measured experimentally using weak measurements of pre- and post-selected ensembles of particles. This paper reports on such an optical experiment that yielded measured weak values that were (...) consistent with the theoretical prediction of an effect induced by a non-local exchange of modular momentum. (shrink)
. In the XIXth century there was a persistent opposition to Aristotelian logic. Nicolai A. Vasiliev (1880–1940) noted this opposition and stressed that the way for the novel – non-Aristotelian – logic was already paved. He made an attempt to construct non-Aristotelian logic (1910) within, so to speak, the form (but not in the spirit) of the Aristotelian paradigm (mode of reasoning). What reasons forced him to reassess the status of particular propositions and to replace the square of opposition by (...) the triangle of opposition? What arguments did Vasiliev use for the introduction of new classes of propositions and statement of existence of various levels in logic? What was the meaning and role of the “method of Lobachevsky” which was implemented in construction of imaginary logic? Why did psychologism in the case of Vasiliev happen to be an important factor in the composition of the new ‘imaginary’ logic, as he called it? (shrink)
This article describes a logic of distinction and succession within the late-twentieth-century Leningrad-St. Petersburg cultural field, whereby consecutive intelligentsia mainstreams were replaced by their avant-garde peripheries. In this dynamic picture of socio-cultural transformations, I propose a working hypothesis of a repeated stratification of the field into an ‘official’, an ‘unofficial’, and a third ‘non-aligned’ intelligentsia. This hypothesis is tested in reference to the ‘non-aligned’ groups founded by the avant-garde artist and ideologue Timur Novikov (1958–2002). Three major shifts are described: from (...) the politicized late-Brezhnevite early 1980s to the apolitical radicalism of Novikov’s New Artists; from this anarchistic underground, through the perestroika era, to the playful ‘classicism’ of the New Academy of Fine Arts in the 1990s; and from this postmodern international orientation to an arch-reactionary, neo-imperial posturing at the turn of the 2000s. Lastly, this ‘non-aligned’ intelligentsia is suggested as a possible precedent, or, indeed, a model for understanding other historically significant avant-garde peripheries, which commonly seek to distinguish themselves from (often mutually-exclusive) centres. (shrink)
Deformation quantisation is applied to ordinary Quantum Mechanics by introducing the star product in a configuration space combining a Riemannian structure with a Poisson one. A Hilbert space compatible with such a configuration space is designed. The dynamics is expressed by a Hermitian Hamiltonian containing a scalar potential and a one-form potential. As a simple illustration, it is shown how a particular type of non-commutativity of the star product is interpretable as generating the Zeeman effect of ordinary Quantum Mechanics.
This paper critically reviews the judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit In re: Jayson Reynoso: Frankfort Digital Services et al., v. Sara L. Kistler, United States Trustee et al. (2007) 447 F.3d 1117. The appellants, who were non-lawyers, were indicted with unauthorised practice of law for offering bankruptcy petition services via online legal software or expert systems in law configured for filing bankruptcy petition forms. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (...) found inter alia that appellants were bankruptcy petition preparers, and not being lawyers, had exceeded their clerical remit by offering legal advice and legal services in contravention of California law regulating legal practice and 11 U.S.C. Sect. 110 of the Bankruptcy Code (2002). While examining the legal ramifications of the use of legal software by non-lawyers in the preparation of legal documents, the paper critically reviews the factual circumstances of the Reynoso decision in the context of juridical and statutory constructs of unauthorised practice of law in the United States. The paper poses the question whether Reynoso should be viewed as a one-off decision bound by its peculiar facts, or good law for the broad proposition that non-lawyers cannot use legal software in legal documents preparation. The paper also notes the possible legal barriers to an unconditional ban on the design, sale, distribution, and uses of legal software by non-lawyers. These range from the First Amendment right to free speech, constitutional right to pro se legal representation, interstate commerce doctrine, to antitrust provisions of the Sherman Act. A regime of best practices for the use of legal software or expert systems in law by non-lawyers is proffered. (shrink)
Many of us agree that we ought not to wrong future people, but there remains disagreement about which of our actions can wrong them. Can we wrong individuals whose lives are worth living by taking actions that result in their very existence? The problem of justifying an answer to this question has come to be known as the non-identity problem. While the literature contains an array of strategies for solving the problem, in this paper I will take what I call (...) the harm-based approach, and I will defend an account of harming—which I call the existence account of harming—that can vindicate this approach. -/- Roughly put, the harm-based approach holds that, by acting in ways that result in the existence of individuals whose lives are worth living, we can harm and thereby wrong those individuals. An initially plausible way to try to justify this approach is to endorse the non-comparative account of harming, which holds that an event harms an individual just in case it causes her to be in a bad state, such that the state’s badness does not derive from a comparison between that state and some alternative state that the individual would or could have been in. However, many philosophers argue that the non-comparative account of harming is inadequate, and one might be tempted to infer from this that any harm-based approach to the non-identity problem will fail. My proposal, which I call the existence account of harming, will show that this inference is faulty: we can vindicate the harm-based approach without relying on the non-comparative account of harming. (shrink)
We have argued that it is rational to have asymmetric attitudes toward prenatal and posthumous non-existence insofar as this asymmetry is a special case of a more general (and arguably rational) asymmetry in our attitudes toward past and future pleasures. Here we respond to an interesting critique of our view by Jens Johansson. We contend that his critique involves a crucial and illicit switch in temporal perspectives in the process of considering modal claims (sending us to other possible worlds).
In Book 3 of 'On Abstinence from Animal Food', Porphyry is traditionally taken to be arguing in favour of the belief that animals are rational. However, elsewhere in his corpus, he endorses the opposite view, declaring that man differs from other mortal animals because he is rational and they are irrational. Jonathan Barnes offers a way of understanding Porphyry’s logical theory which is intended to make it consistent with the traditional interpretation of 'On Abstinence'. He suggests that the same predicate (...) can be related to different subjects in different ways. Porphyry’s claim that man differs from other mortal animals with respect to the predicate ‘rational’, is best understood to mean that whereas ‘rational’ is specifically predicated of man, it is non-specifically predicated of animals. This explains how they differ from man with respect to this predicate, without failing to be rational. This paper argues that there are reasons for rejecting Barnes’ interpretation. Barnes must maintain, for example, that animals possess the apparently incompatible properties of being specifically irrational and non-specifically rational simultaneously. Since Barnes fails to resolve the conflict, Porphyry’s claims that animals are irrational in his logical works pose a significant problem for the traditional interpretation of 'On Abstinence'. (shrink)
Patients in a vegetative state/ unresponsive wakefulness syndrome pose ethical dilemmas to those involved. Many conflicts occur between professionals and families of these patients. In the Netherlands physicians are supposed to withdraw life sustaining treatment once recovery is not to be expected. Yet these patients have shown to survive sometimes for decades. The role of the families is thought to be important. The aim of this study was to make an inventory of the professional perspective on conflicts in long-term care (...) of patients in VS/UWS. A qualitative study of transcripts on 2 Moral Deliberations in 2 cases of patients in VS/UWS in long-term care facilities. Six themes emerged: 1) Vision on VS/UWS; 2) Treatment and care plan; 3) Impact on relationships; 4) Feelings/attitude; 5) Communication; 6) Organizational aspects. These themes are related to professionals and to what families had expressed to the professionals. We found conflicts as well as contradictory feelings and thoughts to be a general feature in 4 of these themes, both in professionals and families. Conflicts were found in several actors: within families concerning all 6 themes, in nurse teams concerning the theme treatment and care plan, and between physicians concerning all 6 themes. Different visions, different expectations and hope on recovery, deviating goals and contradictory feelings/thoughts in families and professionals can lead to conflicts over a patient with VS/UWS. Key factors to prevent or solve such conflicts are a carefully established diagnosis, clarity upon visions, uniformity in treatment goals and plans, an open and empathic communication, expertise and understanding the importance of contradictory feelings/thoughts. Management should bridge conflicts and support their staff, by developing expertise, by creating stability and by facilitating medical ethical discourses. Shared compassion for the patient might be a key to gain trust and bridge the differences from non-shared to shared decision making. (shrink)
Expiratory flow limitation (EFL) can occur in mechanically ventilated patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other disorders. It leads to dynamic hyperinflation with ensuing deleterious consequences. Detecting EFL is thus clinically relevant. Easily applicable methods however lack this detection being routinely made in intensive care. Using a simple mathematical model, we propose a new method to detect EFL that does not require any intervention or modification of the ongoing therapeutic. The model consists in a monoalveolar representation of the respiratory (...) system, including a collapsible airway that is submitted to periodic changes in pressure at the airway opening: EFL provokes a sharp expiratory increase in the resistance Rc of the collapsible airway. The model parameters were identified via the Levenberg-Marquardt method by fitting simulated data on the airway pressure and the flow signals recorded in 10 mechanically ventilated patients. A sensitivity study demonstrated that only 8/11 parameters needed to be identified, the remaining three being given reasonable physiological values. Flow-volume curves built at different levels of positive expiratory pressure, PEEP, during PEEP trials (stepwise increases in positive end-expiratory pressure to optimize ventilator settings) have shown evidence of EFL in three cases. This was concordant with parameter identification (high Rc during expiration for EFL patients). We conclude from these preliminary results that our model is a potential tool for the non-invasive detection of EFL in mechanically ventilated patients. (shrink)
In his paper The Opposite of Human Enhancement: Nanotechnology and the Blind Chicken problem (Nanoethics 2:305–316, 2008) Paul Thompson argues that the possibility of disenhancing animals in order to improve animal welfare poses a philosophical conundrum. Although many people intuitively think such disenhancement would be morally impermissible, it’s difficult to find good arguments to support such intuitions. In this brief response to Thompson, I accept that there’s a conundrum here. But I argue that if we seriously consider whether creating beings (...) can harm or benefit them, and introduce the non-identity problem to discussions of animal disehancement, the conundrum is even deeper than Thompson suggests. (shrink)
Climate change confronts humanity with a challenge it has never faced before. It combines issues of global justice and intergenerational justice on an unprecedented scale. In particular, it stands to adversely affect the global poor. So far, the global community has failed to reduce emissions to levels that are necessary to avoid unacceptable risks for the future. Nor are the burdens of emission reductions and of coping with climate impacts fairly shared. The shortcomings of both political and individual climate action (...) thus seem like a paradigmatic case for non-ideal theory. Non-ideal theory can be understood as a form of political theorising that compares different responses to (i) failures of agents to comply with the demands of justice and (ii) unfavourable circumstances. Insofar as non-ideal theory also aims to be action-guiding, it asks normative theorists for a more thorough engagement with the empirical context so as to arrive at practical recommendations for the ‘here and now’. This volume examines the normative issues that become relevant when the non-ideal circumstances of the climate context are fully taken into account. It is comprised of three parts: The first collects chapters that reflect on general issues in responding to the shortcomings of current climate action. Chapters in the second part propose more specific practical reforms. The third part examines how moral values ought to be brought into the scientific, political, and public debates under the non-ideal circumstances of this world. (shrink)
Mark Jago has presented a dilemma for truthmaker non-maximalism—the thesis that some but not all truths require truthmakers. The dilemma arises because some truths that do not require truthmakers by the non-maximalist’s lights (e.g., that Santa Claus does not exist) are necessitated by truths that do (e.g., that Barack Obama knows that Santa Claus does not exist). According to Jago, the non-maximalist can supply a truthmaker for such a truth only by conceding the primary motivation for the view: that it (...) allows one to avoid positing strange ‘negative’ entities without adopting a non-standard account of the necessary features of ordinary things. In this paper, I sketch out and defend two plausible non-maximalist proposals that evade Jago’s dilemma. (shrink)
This paper introduces some basic ideas and formalism of physics in non-commutative geometry. My goals are three-fold: first to introduce the basic formal and conceptual ideas of non-commutative geometry, and second to raise and address some philosophical questions about it. Third, more generally to illuminate the point that deriving spacetime from a more fundamental theory requires discovering new modes of `physically salient' derivation.
Bruce Waller has defended a deductive reconstruction of the kinds of analogical arguments found in ethics, law, and metaphysics. This paper demonstrates the limits of such a reconstruction and argues for an alternative. non-deductive reconstruction. It will be shown that some analogical arguments do not fit Waller's deductive schema, and that such a schema does not allow for an adequate account of the strengths and weaknesses of an analogical argument. The similarities and differences between the account defended herein and the (...) Trudy Govier's account are discussed as well. (shrink)
Non-profit (NP) organizations present complex challenges in managing stakeholder relationships, particularly during times of environmental change. This places a premium on knowing which stakeholders really matter if an effective relationship marketing strategy is to be developed. This article presents the successful application of a model, which combines Mitchell’s theory of stakeholder saliency and Coviello’s framework of contemporary marketing practices in a leading NP organization in the U.K. A cooperative enquiry approach is used to explore stakeholder relationships, dominant marketing practices, and (...) to surface differing perceptions about the organization’s marketing strategy. Resolving these differences sets the scene for developing choices in marketing strategy for the future. (shrink)
Blame is multifarious. It can be passionate or dispassionate. It can be expressed or kept private. We blame both the living and the dead. And we blame ourselves as well as others. What’s more, we blame ourselves, not only for our moral failings, but also for our non-moral failings: for our aesthetic bad taste, gustatory self-indulgence, or poor athletic performance. And we blame ourselves both for things over which we exerted agential control (e.g., our voluntary acts) and for things over (...) which we lacked such control (e.g., our desires, beliefs, and intentions). I argue that, despite this manifest diversity in our blaming practices, it’s possible to provide comprehensive account of blame. Indeed, I propose a set of necessary and sufficient conditions that aims to specify blame’s extension in terms of its constitution as opposed to its function. And I argue that this proposal has a number of advantages beyond accounting for blame in all its disparate forms. For one, it can account for the fact that one’s having had control over whether one was to φ is a necessary condition for one’s being fittingly blamed for having φ-ed. For another, it can account for why, unlike fitting shame, fitting blame is always deserved, which in turn explains why there is something morally problematic about ridding oneself of one’s fitting self-blame (e.g., one’s fitting guilt). (shrink)
This book concentrates on research done during the last twenty years on the philosophy of quantum mechanics. In particular, the author focuses on three major issues: whether quantum mechanics is an incomplete theory, whether it is non-local, and whether it can be interpreted realistically. Much of the book is concerned with distinguishing various senses in which these questions can be taken, and assessing the bewildering variety of answers philosophers and physicists have given up to now. The book is self-contained in (...) that it presents the necessary parts of the mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics and also covers other interpretative topics, such as the problem of measurement and the uncertainty relations. A considerable portion of the book is based on original arguments presented by the author in lectures and research papers over the past ten years. However, this material is integrated with a broad coverage of most of the recent research in the field, so as to provide a balanced introduction to the whole subject. (shrink)
ABSTRACT This paper deals with the problem of characterizing the content of experience as either conceptual or non-conceptual in -/- Kant’s transcendenta -/- l philosophy, a topic widely debated in contemporary philosophy. I start out with -/- Kant’s pre -/- -critical discussions of space and time in which he develops a specific notion of non-conceptual content. Secondly, I show that this notion of non-conceptual intuitional content does not seem to match well with the Transcendental Deduction. This incongruity results in three (...) interrelated problems that are -/- inherent to Kant’s -/- Transcendental Deduction in the -/- Critique -/- 1 -/- : the ‘Independency Disagreement’, the ‘Conceptualism Contradiction’ and the ‘Intuition Inconsistency’. -/- These three problems derive from apparently contradictory claims concerning the possibility of non-conceptual content. Contemporary Kantian conceptualists and non-conceptualists tend to take a stance at either side of the dilemma rather than trying to dissolve these tensions. In response to this, I propose a new solution to these difficulties based on a distinction between two kinds of conceptualism. This will reveal why Kant is a non-conceptualist in one significant sense, but also why he is still better regarded a conceptualist. -/- . (shrink)
The recent Ebola virus disease outbreak in Western African countries has raised questions regarding the feasibility of adopting conventional trial designs such as randomized controlled trials for conducting experimental trials in the midst of a fatal epidemic. In the context of Ebola ça Suffit trial conducted in Guinea for testing the efficacy and effectiveness of rVSV–ZEBOV, a candidate vaccine, I argue that the trial design and the methodologies adopted for the trial have been rightly chosen for their ethical appropriateness and (...) social utilities rather than only epistemic advantages. In this paper, I propose and defend the view that in varying scientific research contexts, it is entirely legitimate that non-epistemic values may be prioritized over epistemic considerations. Two vital methodological choices scientists should make while designing a clinical trial are: the choice of appropriate control group and the choice of appropriate randomization. Given this background, I show that the choice of delayed vaccination arm as the control group over placebo control group and the choice of cluster randomization over individually controlled randomization for conducting Ebola ça Suffit trial are perfect instances of such a scenario where addressing social and ethical issues have been justifiably prioritized over epistemic values so that the research in a specific scientific context could be conducted in a socially relevant manner. (shrink)
This paper investigates the seeming incompatibility of reductionism and non-reductionism in the context of complexity sciences. I review algorithmic information theory for this purpose. I offer two physical metaphors to form a better understanding of algorithmic complexity, and I briefly discuss its advantages, shortcomings and applications. Then, I revisit the non-reductionist approaches in philosophy of mind which are often arguments from ignorance to counter physicalism. A new approach called mild non-reductionism is proposed which reconciliates the necessities of acknowledging irreducibility found (...) in complex systems, and maintaining physicalism. (shrink)
A novel conceptual framework is introduced for the Complexity Levels Theory in a Categorical Ontology of Space and Time. This conceptual and formal construction is intended for ontological studies of Emergent Biosystems, Super-complex Dynamics, Evolution and Human Consciousness. A claim is defended concerning the universal representation of an item’s essence in categorical terms. As an essential example, relational structures of living organisms are well represented by applying the important categorical concept of natural transformations to biomolecular reactions and relational structures that (...) emerge from the latter in living systems. Thus, several relational theories of living systems can be represented by natural transformations of organismic, relational structures. The ascent of man and other living organisms through adaptation, is viewed in novel categorical terms, such as variable biogroupoid representations of evolving species. Such precise but flexible evolutionary concepts will allow the further development of the unifying theme of local-to-global approaches to highly complex systems in order to represent novel patterns of relations that emerge in super- and ultra-complex systems in terms of compositions of local procedures. Solutions to such local-to-global problems in highly complex systems with ‘broken symmetry’ might be possible to be reached with the help of higher homotopy theorems in algebraic topology such as the generalized van Kampen theorems (HHvKT). Categories of many-valued, Łukasiewicz-Moisil (LM) logic algebras provide useful concepts for representing the intrinsic dynamic ‘asymmetry’ of genetic networks in organismic development and evolution, as well as to derive novel results for (non-commutative) Quantum Logics. Furthermore, as recently pointed out by Baianu and Poli (Theory and applications of ontology, vol 1. Springer, Berlin, in press), LM-logic algebras may also provide the appropriate framework for future developments of the ontological theory of levels with its complex/entangled/intertwined ramifications in psychology, sociology and ecology. As shown in the preceding two papers in this issue, a paradigm shift towards non-commutative, or non-Abelian, theories of highly complex dynamics—which is presently unfolding in physics, mathematics, life and cognitive sciences—may be implemented through realizations of higher dimensional algebras in neurosciences and psychology, as well as in human genomics, bioinformatics and interactomics. (shrink)
Some argue that Candrakīrti is committed to rejecting all theories of perception in virtue of the rejection of the foundationalisms of the Nyāya and the Pramāṇika. Others argue that Candrakīrti endorses the Nyāya theory of perception. In this paper, I will propose an alternative non-foundationalist theory of perception for Candrakīriti. I will show that Candrakrti’s works provide us sufficient evidence to defend a typical Prāsagika’s account of perception that, I argue, complements his core non-foundationalist ontology.
Stephen Morse seems to have adopted a controversial position regarding the mindbody relationship: John Searle’s non-reductivism, which claims that conscious mental states are causal yet not reducible to their underlying brain states. Searle’s position has been roundly criticized, with some arguing the theory taken as a whole is incoherent. In this paper I review these criticisms and add my own, concluding that Searle’s position is indeed contradictory, both internally and with regard to Morse's other views. Thus I argue that Morse (...) ought to abandon Searle’s non-reductive theory. Instead, I claim Morse ought to adopt a non-eliminative reductive account that can more easily support his realism about folk psychological states, and the existence of causally effective mental states in a purely physical world. (shrink)
In this paper I propose a new approach to the foundation of mathematics: non-monotonic set theory. I present two completely different methods to develop set theories based on adaptive logics. For both theories there is a finitistic non-triviality proof and both theories contain (a subtle version of) the comprehension axiom schema. The first theory contains only a maximal selection of instances of the comprehension schema that do not lead to inconsistencies. The second allows for all the instances, also the inconsistent (...) ones, but restricts the conclusions one can draw from them in order to avoid triviality. The theories have enough expressive power to form a justification/explication for most of the established results of classical mathematics. They are therefore not limited by Gödel’s incompleteness theorems. This remarkable result is possible because of the non-recursive character of the final proofs of theorems of non-monotonic theories. I shall argue that, precisely because of the computational complexity of these final proofs, we cannot claim that non-monotonic theories are ideal foundations for mathematics. Nevertheless, thanks to their strength, first order language and the recursive dynamic (defeasible) proofs of theorems of the theory, the non-monotonic theories form (what I call) interesting pragmatic foundations. (shrink)
This study provides a comparison of the ethical perceptions of managers and non-managers, including professionals, teachers, sales persons and clerks, as well as technical and plant workers. Data of working individuals were collected in Hong Kong in the form of questionnaires which contain vignettes of questionable ethical issues. Factor analysis was used to identify the major ethical dimensions which were then used as the basis of comparison. Regression analyses were used to study the effect of various variables on ethical perceptions (...) in terms of the identified dimensions. Our study reviews that managers tend to possess deontological views that are more ethical than that found in other occupations. The gap between managers and professionals in perceiving unethical behavior is narrower compared to that between the former and individuals in other occupations. The acceptability of unethical behavior tends to decline with income. Besides, there are indications that people working in non-profit organizations tend to have higher ethical standards. Based on our results, recommendations are made to improve the ethical culture of organizations. (shrink)
Many people in the developing world access essential health services either partially or primarily through programs run by international non-governmental organizations (INGOs). Given that such programs are typically designed and run by Westerners, and funded by Western countries and their citizens, it is not surprising that such programs are regarded by many as vehicles for Western cultural imperialism. In this chapter, I consider this phenomenon as it emerges in the context of development and humanitarian aid programs, particularly those delivering medical (...) treatment, nutrition and access to clean water. I argue that in order to avoid contributing to cultural imperialism, INGOs have a duty to ensure that they do not offer services in a way that requires their beneficiaries to choose between accessing essential health services and violating or otherwise undermining traditional norms and practices which have significance for their beneficiaries. Following Onora O'Neill, I argue that offers requiring such a choice are effectively “unrefuseable” and so coercive. INGOs therefore, must avoid making such offers, and can accomplish this by means of an iterated process of reciprocal negotiation under conditions of equality, in which both the INGOs’ and the beneficiaries’ deep values and concerns play a role. In essence, I claim that employing such a process is a requirement of procedural justice, given the non-ideal conditions in which INGOs must operate. (shrink)
Do theories of quantum mechanics and quantum gravity require spacetime to be a basic, ground level feature, or can spacetime be seen as an emergent element of these theories? While several commentators have raised serious doubts about the prospects of forgoing the standard spacetime backdrop, it will be argued that a defense of these emergent spacetime interpretations of quantum mechanics and quantum gravity hypotheses can be made, whether as an inference to the best explanation or using another strategy. Furthermore, the (...) idea that space and time can arise from a quite different, non-spatiotemporal level of reality will be shown to have various historical precedents, especially in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a realization that may help dispel some of the mystery associated with these types of hypotheses. (shrink)
If moral responsibility requires uncaused action, as I believe, and if a reasons explanation of an action must be a causal explanation, as many philosophers of action suppose, then it follows that our responsible actions are ones we do for no reason, which is preposterous. In previous work I have argued against the second premise of this deduction, claiming that the statement that a person did A in order to satisfy their desire D will be true if the person, while (...) doing A, intended of that action that it contribute to satisfying their desire D, a condition that does not entail any causal connection between the explaining desire and the explained action. This claim has received trenchant criticism from Randolph Clarke. The main part of the present paper responds to Clarke’s latest objections. The rest of the paper addresses another worry about my account : does my non-causal sufficient condition hold as widely as it needs to if responsible, uncaused actions are as widespread as we would like to think? (shrink)
According to Cian Dorr, non-cognitivism has the implausible implication that arguments like the following are cases of wishful thinking: If lying is wrong, then the souls of liars will be punished in the afterlife; lying is wrong; therefore, the souls of liars will be punished in the afterlife. Dorr further claims that if non-cognitivism implies that the above argument and similar arguments are cases of wishful thinking, then non-cognitivism remains implausible even if one solves the so-called Frege-Geach problem. Dorr’s claims (...) have faced a number of objections, but I believe that Dorr is on to something. So, after summarizing Dorr’s argument and briefly describing three flaws in what Dorr claims, I shall present a distinct objection to non-cognitivism and use the preceding to show what Dorr’s argument gets right and what it gets wrong. (shrink)
This paper follows Francois Laruelle’s non-philosophy and his non-religion and non-theology to suggest anon-philosophical approach to the sociology of religious pluralism. The entanglements of experiences of the religious end-user are analysed vis-a-vis Laruelle’s thought and a dogma free inclusive approach to religion is envisaged.
T. Govier's description of âconductive argumentâ and 'A priori analogy' is taken as a start to investigate non-deductive argumentation. It is here argued, that the nature of those types can be better understood when taking up a dynamic view (in addition to the usual structural view). The concepts of âframeâ and âpositionâ are constructed in order to establish such a twofold approach.