This reprint of a collection of essays on problems concerning future generations examines questions such as whether intrinsic value should be placed on the preservation of mankind, what are our obligations to posterity, and whether potential people have moral rights.
The article reviews the book Słowa i zbawienie. Dyskurs religijny w perspektywie filozofii Hilarego Putnama [Words and Salvation: Religious Discourse in the Perspective of Hilary Putnam's Philosophy], by Piotr Sikora.
The main purpose of this thesis is to explore de Finetti's ideas and contributions to decision theory. Such ideas are not as well-known as his work on probability. ;The first part of the work is placed in a unisubjective decision-making context. It starts by including a discussion on predictivism, an approach to statistics which de Finetti insisted on and which has only recently been rediscovered and advocated. ;The second part is placed in the context of group, or multisubjective, decision-making. This (...) area is well-known for its negative results, starting with Arrow's impossibility theorem. While being aware of such difficulties, de Finetti made important contributions to this field, which he saw as the appropriate context to approach basic concepts such as "objectivity" and Wald's admissibility theorem. Such concepts, together with exchangeability, illuminate the Bayesian position by also making connection with the non-Bayesian approach. ;The last part of the work starts with a critical discussion of classical methods which are unacceptable for Bayesians. Finally, an important application problem--environmental stress screening--is solved from a Bayesian predictivist point of view. (shrink)
Act Utilitarianism has traditionally been regarded as the view that you should always perform the action that will bring about the greatest possible excess of happiness over unhappiness or, if there is no such alternative, the least possible excess of unhappiness over happiness.1 Following Rawls, I shall call this the classical principle. An alternative which Rawls calls the average principle is the view that you should always do the thing that will bring about the highest possible average happiness level. Rawls, (...) Rescher and Broad2 regard the average principle as superior to the classical principle, and there are considerable grounds for supposing that Mill accepted the average principle.3 Smart favours the classical position but confesses that if someone doesn't feel the same way, he doesn't know how to argue with him.4. (shrink)
I shall argue here that the reason supererogatory acts are not obligatory is that they require too much personal sacrifice, and that in order for an act to be supererogatory, it must have a kind of result that you would have an obligation to bring about if you could do so with no personal sacrifice. I further argue that traditional utilitarianism should be modified so as not to treat supererogatory acts as obligatory.
John Searle attempts to show through a consideration of promising that at least some ‘ought’ statements can be derived from ‘is’ statements. He thinks that you can determine on purely factual grounds that a person has made a promise, and that it follows logically from the statement that a person has made a promise that he has at least a prima facie obligation to do the thing he promised to do. I agree with but not with.
If the argument from analogy is an argument for other minds it must rely on a single case, The correlation of your mind with your body. If instead it only attempts to show that certain sorts of experiences are associated with other bodies, It can rely on innumerable correlations of your experiences with your behavior. Having determined in this way that ostensive memories are associated with another body and that they are the kind one would expect if one mind had (...) been associated with this body throughout its existence, You can then offer another argument to this effect--And you could do so even if your own memories associated your own experiences with a succession of different bodies. (shrink)
There are many arguments that so-called pluralistic theologies of religions face difficulties in being sufficiently pluralistic. In order to meet such an objection, a pluralist offers different solutions. I argue that the range of plausible possibilities for a pluralist is strongly constrained by philosophical arguments which one can develop out of the philosophy of Hilary Putnam. In the first part of this paper, I sketch out three important strands of the Putnamian thought I consider worth defending. Given such presuppositions, I (...) formulate two constraints on pluralistic theology of religions. In the last section of my paper, I briefly point out which of the particular standpoints, often labelled as “pluralistic theology of religions,” have problems with meeting formulated constraints, and which of the “pluralists” seem to be in accordance with them. (shrink)
The essays which follow, as theological reflections of a Christian the ontological reality of philosopher, are essays of inquiry concerning and underlying truths revealed by God. Divine revelation of course cannot be encompassed within a few dogmatic formulae in any ade quate manner; it is the mysterious plenitude of the historical human encounter with the self-revealing God Who has revealed His salvific designs for men. This revelation can be approached from many view points of scientific study, such as those of (...) religious psychology, histori cal theology, Scriptural study, the history of dogmas, but also that of the philosophical thinker seeking to understand what he has already believed - so far as this be possible in regard to the mysteries of God's inner life and of the new creation that He works in us by His grace. In our rather non-metaphysical age such an inquiry into the underlying ontological reality opened to us by the revelation of God is somewhat unfashionable; but the issues remain, and in fact one can only choose between a rather unconsciously and uncritically accepted attitude about the ontological significance of such dogmatic truths as the existence of the Trinity and the hypostatic union and created grace, and a consciously and critically developed analysis in the light of, and with the help of such understanding of being as the philosophers can offer. Metaphysical theology of this kind is here to stay, regardless of some "prophets" who would cut away the ground on which they stand. (shrink)
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