Since the inception of their discipline, anthropologists have studied virtually every conceivable aspect of other peoples' morality - religion, social control, sin, virtue, evil, duty, purity and pollution. But what of the examination of anthropology itself, and of its agendas, epistemes, theories and praxes? Conceived as a response to Patrick Tierney's hugely inflammatory book Darkness in El Dorado , whose allegations of immoral and negligent anthropological research in South America caused a storm of protest and debate, the book combines theoretical (...) papers and case studies from eminent scholars including Steven Nugent, Marilyn Silverman and Veronica Strang. Showing how the topic of ethics goes to the heart of anthropology, it raises the controversial question of why - and for whom - the anthropological discipline functions. (shrink)
*I am very pleased to be able to contribute this paper to a festschrift for Andrea Bonomi. This is not however, the paper I really wanted to write; I would have much rather have contributed a paper comparing the pianistic styles of Lennie Tristano and Bill Evans, which I think Andrea would have found much more fascinating than an essay devoted to an understanding of Frege’s thinking. But I do not totally despair. Andrea’s first paper published in English was entitled (...) “On the Concept of Logical Form in Frege,” so perhaps I can maintain some hope that this paper will appeal to lingering interests that Andrea wrote of in the past. I would like to thank Johannes Brandl, Ben Caplan, Bill Demopoulos, Bob Fiengo, Mark Kalderon, Patricia Marino, Gila Sher, Michael Thau, Dan Vest and especially Aldo Antonelli for very helpful discussion. (shrink)
An imperfect duty such as the duty to aid those in need is supposed to leave leeway for choice as to how to satisfy it, but if our reason for a certain way of satisfying it is our strongest, that leeway would seem to be eliminated. This paper defends a conception of practical reasons designed to preserve it, without slighting the binding force of moral requirements, though it allows us to discount certain moral reasons. Only reasons that offer criticism of (...) alternatives can yield requirements, but our reasons for particular ways of satisfying imperfect duties merely count in favor of the acts in question. When the state is authorized to take over charitable obligations, it should not be seen as enforcing fulfillment of our imperfect duties, but rather as forcing us to help fulfill collective duties that may be substantially modified by transfer to the state, replacing imperfect duties with perfect. Besides the cost to us in freedom of choice there is a moral cost to replacing the virtuous motives of charity with those that tend to accompany paying taxes. However, a compensating feature of state involvement is the fact that its more precise demands come with limits. (shrink)
In Parts of Classes and "Mathematics is Megethology" David Lewis shows how the ideology of set membership can be dispensed with in favor of parthood and plural quantification. Lewis's theory has it that singletons are mereologically simple and leaves the relationship between a thing and its singleton unexplained. We show how, by exploiting Kit Fine's mereology, we can resolve Lewis's mysteries about the singleton relation and vindicate the claim that a thing is a part of its singleton.
Thanks to David Kaplan (1989a, 1989b), we all know how to handle indexicals like ‘I’. ‘I’ doesn’t refer to an object simpliciter; rather, it refers to an object only relative to a context. In particular, relative to a context C, ‘I’ refers to the agent of C. Since different contexts can have different agents, ‘I’ can refer to different objects relative to different contexts. For example, relative to a context cwhose agent is Gottlob Frege, ‘I’ refers to Frege; relative to (...) a context 0* whose agent is Alexius.. (shrink)
Three plausible views—Presentism, Truthmaking, and Independence—form an inconsistent triad. By Presentism, all being is present being. By Truthmaking, all truth supervenes on, and is explained in terms of, being. By Independence, some past truths do not supervene on, or are not explained in terms of, present being. We survey and assess some responses to this.
If musical works are abstract objects, which cannot enter into causal relations, then how can we refer to musical works or know anything about them? Worse, how can any of our musical experiences be experiences of musical works? It would be nice to be able to sidestep these questions altogether. One way to do that would be to take musical works to be concrete objects. In this paper, we defend a theory according to which musical works are concrete objects. In (...) particular, the theory that we defend takes musical works to be fusions of performances. We defend this view from a series of objections, the first two of which are raised by Julian Dodd in a recent paper and the last of which is suggested by some comments of his in an earlier paper. (shrink)
Can a musical work be created? Some say ‘no’. But, we argue, there is no handbook of universally accepted metaphysical truths that they can use to justify their answer. Others say ‘yes’. They have to find abstract objects that can plausibly be identified with musical works, show that abstract objects of this sort can be created, and show that such abstract objects can persist. But, we argue, none of the standard views about what a musical work is allows musical works (...) both to be created and to persist. (shrink)
There are competing ethical concerns when it comes to designing any clinical research study. Clinical trials of possible treatments for Ebola virus are no exception. If anything, the competing ethical concerns are exacerbated in trying to find answers to a deadly, rapidly spreading, infectious disease. The primary goal of current research is to identify experimental therapies that can cure Ebola or cure it with reasonable probability in infected individuals. Pursuit of that goal must be methodologically sound, practical and consistent with (...) prevailing norms governing human subjects research. Some maintain that only randomized controlled trials with a placebo or standard-of-care arm can meet these conditions. We maintain that there are alternative trial designs that can do so as well and that sometimes these are preferable to RCTs. (shrink)
In the nineteenth century, astronomers thought that a planet between Mercury and the Sun was causing perturbations in the orbit of Mercury, and they introduced ‘Vulcan’ as a name for such a planet. But they were wrong: there was, and is, no intra-Mercurial planet. Still, these astronomers went around saying things like (2) Vulcan is a planet between Mercury and the Sun. Some philosophers think that, when nineteenth-century astronomers were theorizing about an intra-Mercurial planet, they created a hypothetical planet.
There are now quite a number of popular or semi-popular works urging rejection of the old opposition between rationality and emotion. They present evidence or theoretical arguments that favour a reconception of emotions as providing an indispensable basis for practical rationality. Perhaps the most influential is neuroanatomist Antonio Damasio's Descartes' Error, which argues from cases of brain lesion and other neurological causes of emotional deficit that some sort of emotional ‘marking,’ of memories of the outcomes of our choices with anxiety, (...) is needed to support learning from experience. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue against Millian Descriptivism: that is, the view that, although sentences that contain names express singular propositions, when they use those sentences speakers communicate descriptive propositions. More precisely, I argue that Millian Descriptivism fares no better (or worse) than Fregean Descriptivism: that is, the view that sentences express descriptive propositions. This is bad news for Millian Descriptivists who think that Fregean Descriptivism is dead.
This target article discusses the verbal working memory system used in sentence comprehension. We review the concept of working memory as a short-duration system in which small amounts of information are simultaneously stored and manipulated in the service of accomplishing a task. We summarize the argument that syntactic processing in sentence comprehension requires such a storage and computational system. We then ask whether the working memory system used in syntactic processing is the same as that used in verbally mediated tasks (...) that involve conscious controlled processing. Evidence is brought to bear from various sources: the relationship between individual differences in working memory and individual differences in the efficiency of syntactic processing; the effect of concurrent verbal memory load on syntactic processing; and syntactic processing in patients with poor short-term memory, patients with poor working memory, and patients with aphasia. Experimental results from these normal subjects and patients with various brain lesions converge on the conclusion that there is a specialization in the verbal working memory system for assigning the syntactic structure of a sentence and using that structure in determining sentence meaning that is separate from the working memory system underlying the use of sentence meaning to accomplish other functions. We present a theory of the divisions of the verbal working memory system and suggestions regarding its neural basis. (shrink)
Descriptivists say that every name is synonymous with some definite description, and Descriptivists who are Widescopers say that the definite description that a name is synonymous with must take wide scope with respect to modal adverbs such as “necessarily”. In this paper, I argue against Widescopism. Widescopers should be Super Widescopers: that is, they should say that the definite description that a name is synonymous with must take wide scope with respect to complementizers such as “that”. Super Widescopers should be (...) Super Duper Widescopers: that is, they should say that the definite description that a name is synonymous with must take wide scope with respect to quotation marks. And Super Duper Widescopers should be Ultra Super Duper Widescopers: that is, they should say that, when the definite description that a name is synonymous with itself contains a name, the definite description that that name is synonymous with must take wide scope with respect to modal adverbs, complementizers, and quotation marks. But Descriptivists should not be Ultra Super Duper Widescopers. So Descriptivists should not be Widescopers either. (shrink)
Patients have received experimental pharmaceuticals outside of clinical trials for decades. There are no industry-wide best practices, and many companies that have granted compassionate use, or ‘preapproval’, access to their investigational products have done so without fanfare and without divulging the process or grounds on which decisions were made. The number of compassionate use requests has increased over time. Driving the demand are new treatments for serious unmet medical needs; patient advocacy groups pressing for access to emerging treatments; internet platforms (...) enabling broad awareness of compelling cases or novel drugs and a lack of trust among some that the pharmaceutical industry and/or the FDA have patients’ best interests in mind. High-profile cases in the media have highlighted the gap between patient expectations for compassionate use and company utilisation of fair processes to adjudicate requests. With many pharmaceutical manufacturers, patient groups, healthcare providers and policy analysts unhappy with the inequities of the status quo, fairer and more ethical management of compassionate use requests was needed. This paper reports on a novel collaboration between a pharmaceutical company and an academic medical ethics department that led to the formation of the Compassionate Use Advisory Committee. Comprising medical experts, bioethicists and patient representatives, CompAC established an ethical framework for the allocation of a scarce investigational oncology agent to single patients requesting non-trial access. This is the first account of how the committee was formed and how it built an ethical framework and put it into practice. (shrink)
What is morality? Where does it come from? And why do most of us heed its call most of the time? In Braintrust, neurophilosophy pioneer Patricia Churchland argues that morality originates in the biology of the brain. She describes the "neurobiological platform of bonding" that, modified by evolutionary pressures and cultural values, has led to human styles of moral behavior. The result is a provocative genealogy of morals that asks us to reevaluate the priority given to religion, absolute rules, (...) and pure reason in accounting for the basis of morality. Moral values, Churchland argues, are rooted in a behavior common to all mammals--the caring for offspring. The evolved structure, processes, and chemistry of the brain incline humans to strive not only for self-preservation but for the well-being of allied selves--first offspring, then mates, kin, and so on, in wider and wider "caring" circles. Separation and exclusion cause pain, and the company of loved ones causes pleasure; responding to feelings of social pain and pleasure, brains adjust their circuitry to local customs. In this way, caring is apportioned, conscience molded, and moral intuitions instilled. A key part of the story is oxytocin, an ancient body-and-brain molecule that, by decreasing the stress response, allows humans to develop the trust in one another necessary for the development of close-knit ties, social institutions, and morality. A major new account of what really makes us moral, Braintrust challenges us to reconsider the origins of some of our most cherished values. (shrink)
The movement to try to close the ever-widening gap between demand and supply of organs has recently arrived at the prison gate. While there is enthusiasm for using executed prisoners as sources of organs, there are both practical barriers and moral concerns that make it unlikely that proposals to use prisoners will or should gain traction. Prisoners are generally not healthy enough to be a safe source of organs, execution makes the procurement of viable organs difficult, and organ donation post-execution (...) ties the medical profession too closely to the act of execution. (shrink)
In recent work, Peter Hanks and Scott Soames argue that propositions are types whose tokens are acts, states, or events. Let’s call this view the type view. Hanks and Soames think that one of the virtues of the type view is that it allows them to explain why propositions have semantic properties. But, in this paper, we argue that their explanations aren’t satisfactory. In Section 2, we present the type view. In Section 3, we present one explanation—due to Hanks (2007, (...) 2011) and Soames (2010)—of why propositions have semantic properties. We criticize this first explanation in Section 4. In Section 5, we present another explanation—due to Soames (2104)—of why propositions have semantic properties. We criticize this second explanation in Section 6. (shrink)
In a series of recent publications, Jeffrey King (The nature and structure of content, 2007; Proc Aristot Soc 109(3):257–277, 2009; Philos Stud, 2012) argues for a view on which propositions are facts. He also argues against views on which propositions are set-theoretical objects, in part because such views face Benacerraf problems. In this paper, we argue that, when it comes to Benacerraf problems, King’s view doesn’t fare any better than its set-theoretical rivals do. Finally, we argue that his view faces (...) a further Benacerraf problem, one that threatens to undercut his explanation of why propositions have truth-conditions. If correct, our arguments undercut King’s main motivation for accepting his view over its rivals. (shrink)
The field of medical rehabilitation is relatively new.... Until recently, the ethical problems of this new field were neglected. There seemed to be more pressing concerns as rehabilitation medicine struggled to establish itself, sometimes in the face of considerable skepticism or hostility. There also seemed no pressing moral questions of the kind and intensity to be encountered, say, in high-technology acute care medicine or genetic engineering.... Those in biomedical ethics could and did easily overlook the quiet, less obtrusive issues of (...) rehabilitation.... The Hastings Center set out in 1985 to rectify that situation.... To explore the issues, the Center assembled a group of practitioners in the field, Hastings Center staff members, and individuals experienced in other areas of medical ethics.... The report that follows was written by Arthur Caplan and Daniel Callahan, assisted by Dr. Janet Haas of the Moss Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia... (shrink)
In this innovative study Patricia Kitcher argues that we can only understand the deduction of the categories in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason in terms of his attempt to fathom the psychological prerequisites of thought. Thus a consideration of his conception of psychology is essential to an understanding of his philosophy. Kitcher specifically considers Kant's claims about the unity of the thinking self; the spatial forms of human perceptions; the relations among mental states necessary for them to have content; (...) the relations between perceptions and judgment; and the limits of philosophical insight into psychological processes. (shrink)
For decades The People’s Republic of China has been expanding its capacity to perform organ transplants, primarily kidneys and livers but also hearts, lungs and multiorgan transplants. The annual number of organ transplants performed is estimated to be over 30 000. The number is expected to grow with a projected market for immunosuppressants expected to be over ¥30 billion/$4.3 billion by 2024.1 China is second only to the USA and is expected to become the country with the largest number of (...) organ transplants by 2021 or 2022. Many transplants are performed on Chinese citizens but an active market in transplants for ‘tourists’ is ongoing.2 The source of the supply of organs to fuel this rapid growth has long been suspect.3 China had no system for obtaining organs for many years from cadaver sources making it impossible to credit claims that gifts from the newly dead were the sole or even majority source of transplantable organs. Critics, including myself, have long alleged that the only possible source of organs for both Chinese citizens and transplant tourists are executed prisoners. Many accounts, commissions and investigations have confirmed an immoral reliance on this vulnerable …. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that, when it comes to explaining what can be described as “representational” properties of propositions, Soames’s new conception of propositions—on which the proposition that Seattle is sunny is the act of predicating the property being sunny of Seattle and to entertain that proposition is to perform that act—does not have an advantage over traditional ones.
Thanks to David Kaplan, we all know how to handle indexicals like ‘I’. ‘I’ doesn’t refer to an object simpliciter; rather, it refers to an object only relative to a context. In particular, relative to a context C, ‘I’ refers to the agent of C. Since different contexts can have different agents, ‘I’ can refer to different objects relative to different contexts. For example, relative to a context c whose agent is Gottlob Frege, ‘I’ refers to Frege; relative to a (...) context c* whose agent is Alexius Meinong, ‘I’ refers to Meinong. (shrink)
In “Tropes and Ordinary Physical Objects”, Kris McDaniel argues that ordinary physical objects are fusions of monadic and polyadic tropes. McDaniel calls his view “TOPO”—for “Theory of Ordinary Physical Objects”. He argues that we should accept TOPO because of the philosophical work that it allows us to do. Among other things, TOPO is supposed to allow endurantists to reply to Mark Heller’s argument for perdurantism. But, we argue in this paper, TOPO does not help endurantists do that; indeed, we argue (...) that anyone who accepts TOPO should reject endurantism. (shrink)
In ‘Truth, Relativism, and Serial Fiction’, Andrew McGonigal presents new data that a theory of truth in fiction should account for, and argues that the data is best accounted for by his relativist view. I argue against McGonigal’s relativist view and in favour of a more metaphysical view. The key feature of this view is that it is one on which the content of a work of fiction can change over time. Along the way I also argue against Ross Cameron’s (...) contextualist view. (shrink)
In Emotions and Reasons, Patricia Greenspan offers an evaluative theory of emotion that assigns emotion a role of its own in the justification of action. She analyzes emotions as states of object-directed affect with evaluative propositional content possibly falling short of belief and held in mind by generalized comfort or discomfort.
Researchers are developing a fertility preservation technique?testicular tissue cryopreservation (TTCP)?for prepubescent boys who may become infertile as a result of their cancer treatment. Although this technique is still in development, some researchers are calling for its widespread use. They argue that if boys do not bank their tissue now, they will be unable to benefit from any therapies that might be developed in the future. There are, however, risks involved with increasing access to an investigational procedure. This article examines four (...) methods of expanding access to TTCP: (1) expansion of institutional review board (IRB)-approved research trials; (2) offering TTCP as an innovative procedure in hospitals; (3) offering TTCP as a standard practice in hospitals; and (4) commercialization of TTCP. The ethical and practical implications of each are evaluated through a comparison with umbilical cord blood banking (UCBB), a technology that has achieved widespread use based on similar claims of future benefit. (shrink)
In my dissertation (UCLA 2002), I argue that, by appropriating Fregean resources, Millians can solve the problems that empty names pose. As a result, the debate between Millians and Fregeans should be understood, not as a debate about whether there are senses, but rather as a debate about where there are senses.
Some argue that to be effective in healthcare settings autonomy needs to be strengthened. The author thinks autonomy is fundamentally inadequate in healthcare settings and requires supplementation by experience-based paternalism on the part of doctors and healthcare providers.
In "Demonstratives or Demonstrations", Marga Reimer argues that quotation marks are demonstrations and that expressions enclosed with them are demonstratives. In this paper, I argue against her view. There are two objections. The first objection is that Reimer''s view has unattractive consequences: there is more ambiguity, there are more demonstratives, and there are more English expressions than we thought. The second objection is that, unlike other ambiguous expressions, some expressions that are ambiguous on Reimer''s view can''t be disambiguated by using (...) subscripts. This suggests that, contrary to her view, those expressions aren't really ambiguous. (shrink)