What kind of thing are we? Paul Snowdon's answer is that we are animals, of a sort. This view--'animalism'--may seem obvious but on the whole philosophers have rejected it. Snowdon argues that animalism is a defensible way of thinking about ourselves. Its rejection rests on the tendency when doing philosophy to mistake fantasy for reality.
The Pasadena game invented by Nover and Hájek raises a number of challenges for decision theory. The basic problem is how the game should be evaluated: it has no expectation and hence no well-defined value. Easwaran has shown that the Pasadena game does have a weak expectation, raising the possibility that we can eliminate the value gap by requiring agents to value gambles at their weak expectations. In this paper, I first prove a negative result: there are gambles like the (...) Pasadena game that do not even have a weak expectation. Hence, problematic value gaps remain even if decision theory is extended to take in weak expectations. There is a further challenge: the existence of a ‘value gap’ in the Pasadena game seems to make decision theory inapplicable in a number of cases where the right choice is obvious. The positive contribution of the paper is a theory of ‘relative utilities’, an extension of decision theory that lets us make comparative judgements even among gambles that have no well-defined value. (shrink)
Fish proposes that we need to elucidate what 'disjunctivism' stands for, and he also proposes that it stands for the rejection of a principle about the nature of experience that he calls the decisiveness principle. The present paper argues that his first proposal is reasonable, but then argues, in Section II, that his positive suggestion does not draw the line between disjunctivism and non-disjunctivism in the right place. In Section III, it is argued that disjunctivism is a thesis about the (...) special nature of perceptual experience, and the thesis as elucidated here is then distinguished from and related to certain other ideas about perception, namely, direct realism and also McDowell's epistemological disjunctivism. (shrink)
The Unemployed of Marienthal has long been esteemed as a classic of twentieth-century social science; its portrait of the effects of joblessness on individual minds and social institutions has inspired generations of researchers. But this reception has largely overlooked the political origins and implications of the study. This essay resituatesMarienthalin the context of its creation and dissemination: the distinctive Marxism of interwar Austria. Specifically, it demonstrates thatMarienthalintroduced social-psychological methods and findings into Marxist debates about the present state and future prospects (...) of the working class. Led by Paul F. Lazarsfeld, theMarienthalresearchers adopted the Austro-Marxist goal of creating a model proletariat through a program of “anticipatory socialism.” But by finding that unemployment confounded efforts to reform the working class, Marienthal undermined the very program it aimed to support. In fact, the essay shows,Marienthalauthorized arguments that the unemployed were unreliable political actors—“declassed” workers as likely to become reactionaries as revolutionaries. The essay concludes by considering whetherMarienthalembodied a distinctively Austro-Marxist “style” of thinking and research. (shrink)
The authors argue that the time is ripe for national and corporate leaders to move consciously towards the development of global ethics. This papers presents a model of global ethics, a rationale for the development of global ethics, and the implications of the model for research and practice.
My topic is personal identity, or rather, our identity. There is general, but not, of course, unanimous, agreement that it is wrong to give an account of what is involved in, and essential to, our persistence over time which requires the existence of immaterial entities, but, it seems to me, there is no consensus about how, within, what might be called this naturalistic framework, we should best procede. This lack of consensus, no doubt, reflects the difficulty, which must strike anyone (...) who has considered the issue, of achieving, just in one's own thinking, a reflective equilibrium. The theory of personal identity, I feel, provides a curious contrast. On the one side, it seems highly important to know what sort of thing we are, but, on the other, it is hard to find any answer which has a ‘solid’ feel. (shrink)
The ability to imagine hypothetical events in one’s personal future is thought to involve a number of constituent cognitive processes. We investigated the extent to which individual differences in working memory capacity contribute to facets of episodic future thought. College students completed simple and complex measures of working memory and were cued to recall autobiographical memories and imagine future autobiographical events consisting of varying levels of specificity . Consistent with previous findings, future thought was related to analogous measures of autobiographical (...) memory, likely reflecting overlapping cognitive factors supporting both past and future thought. Additionally, after controlling for autobiographical memory, residual working memory variance independently predicted future episodic specificity. We suggest that when imagining future events, working memory contributes to the construction of a single, coherent, future event depiction, but not to the retrieval or elaboration of event details. (shrink)
There are a number of concepts of common-sense morality, what one must do, what one ought to do, the supererogatory, the minimum that duty allows, the morally optional and the morally indifferent, that philosophers have been hard-pressed to represent in an integrated conceptual framework. Indeed, many philosophers have despaired at the attempt and concluded that only a fragment of these concepts belong to that fundamental sphere of morality that is the central focus of the ethicist. For example, the traditional scheme, (...) with its triad of the obligatory, the forbidden and the permissible, pigeonholes all actions into three mutually exclusive and exhaustive classes: those which are obligatory, those which are forbidden and those which are optional. Hence, at best, it can represent exactly two of the six aforementioned concepts. For from the standpoint of this scheme, what one must do and what one ought to do can't be distinguished and hence they can't both be represented. Although the morally optional can be represented, the supererogatory, one of its subclasses, cannot be represented. Furthermore, the morally indifferent, another subclass of the optional--one which is obviously disjoint from the supererogatory--cannot be represented. Finally, the minimum that duty allows finds no distinctive place in the traditional scheme. Thus, on the face of it, the traditional scheme is radically incomplete. ;I present, motivate and defend a new conceptual scheme for common-sense morality in which these concepts are represented and systematically integrated. An intuitively motivated semantic framework underpinning this conceptual scheme is also presented. Such a scheme, along with the associated semantic framework, is motivated by reflecting on the supererogationist's objections to utilitarianism and to the traditional scheme. But in addition, a new integrated network of linguistic motivations for this conceptual scheme is uncovered, one which is completely independent of supererogationistic considerations. Hence, these two separate sources of evidence for the centrality of this new scheme to our pre-theoretic thinking corroborate one another--thus jointly boosting the evidence beyond the mere sum of their separate evidential values. (shrink)
We should seek an ethic internal to marketing arising from marketing's societal function, rather than imposing some add-on ethic. This suggests that marketing should enhance the information and the freedom the potential customer brings to the market transaction. Defining and achieving this information and freedom is difficult, but marketers suggest that the market itself drives out major violators, a suggestion less persuasive concerning increasingly complex goods and services. Marketing also is tempted to appeal to our baser, darker side. These problems (...) are better addressed through self-regulation guided by a vision of advertising and business in the service of society, and by the marketer's own sense of integrity than through external regulation. (shrink)
Ein eben erschienenes Buch „Der Typenbegriff im Lichte der neuen Logik“ wird zum Anlass genommen, methodologische Probleme der Verwendung von Typenbegriffen zu diskutieren. Drei verschiedene Arten von Attributen werden unterschieden : klassifizierende Merkmale, abstufbare Merkmale und Massgrössen. Abstuf- bare Begriffe können standardisiert werden. So entstandene Standards werden als Quasi-Typen bezeichnet. Echte Typen entstehen aus Merkmalkombinationen. Diese Kombinationen werden in einem Merkmalsraum vorgenommen mit Hilfe sogenannter Reduktionen. Drei Arten von Reduktionen werden unterschieden. Die für die empirische Sozialforschung wichtigste Reduktion ist die (...) pragmatische : sie fasst Klassen von Merkmalkombinationen so zusammen, wie es ein vorliegendes Erhebungsproblem erfordert. Im allgemeinen werden Typen intuitiv gebildet, und erst nachher wird die ihnen entsprechende Merkmalskombination aufgedeckt. Dieses Verfahren heisst Substruktion. An Beispielen wird seine Bedeutung für die Praxis dargestellt. Es wird betont, dass die typologischen Operationen nichts darüber aussagen, was ein Typus ist und wie er gefunden wird. Sie weisen nur gewisse formale Eigenschaften auf, die allen typologischen Systemen gemeinsam sind.Un livre récemment paru „Le concept de type à la lumière de la nouvelle logique“ fournit Toccasion de discuter quelques-uns des problèmes que pose l'emploi des concepts de type. On distingue trois catégories de caractères : caractères classificatoires, caractères gradués et mesures de grandeur. Les concepts gradués peuvent être standardisés de telle manière que naissent des standards que l'on peut qualifier de quasi-types. Les types authentiques naissent par combinaison de caractères. Ces combinaisons s'opèrent dans un „lieu de caractères“ à l'aide d'un procédé nommé réduction. On distingue trois sortes de réduction. La réduction la plus importante pour la recherche sociale est la réduction pragmatique : elle embrasse des classes de caractères combinés en fonction des exigences d'une enquête donnée. En général, les types sont formés intuitivement, ensuite seulement on découvre la combinaison de caractères correspondante. Cette démarche s'appelle substruction. On en montre la signification pour la pratique dans une série d’exemples. On souligne que les opérations typologiques ne nous permettent nullement de dire ce qu'est un type et comment il a été découvert. Elles indiquent seulement certains caractères formels qui sont communs à tous les systèmes typologiques. (shrink)
Arguing that the grounding of philosophical ethics is more complex than De George's reference to reason and human experience reflects, and that religious ethics is less doctrinaire and less given to indoctrination than De George suggests, Camenisch maintains that De George has portrayed an artifically wide gap between the two fields. Rejecting De George's typology of religious ethics as unhelpful, Camenisch suggests that the crucial distinction between philosophical and religious/theological ethics is the community or lived nature of the latter. The (...) implications of this dimension of religious ethics for business ethics is briefly explored in relation to the use of cases, the role of the lives of moral exemplars, corporate responsibility, and obligations to future generations, to indicate not that religious ethics generates answers different from those of philosophy, but that it provides a different perspective on some central moral matters. (shrink)
Professor Donaldson in his book Corporations and Morality has attempted to use a social contract theory to develop moral principles for regulating corporate conduct. I argue in this paper that his attempt fails in large measure because what he refers to as a social contract theory is, in fact, a weak functionalist theory which provides no independent basis for evaluating business corporations. I further argue that given the nature of a morality based on contract and the nature of the modern (...) corporation, it is highly unlikely that any plausible contract theory of business ethics can be developed. (shrink)
In chapter 3 of Individuals, entitled ‘Persons’, Strawson argues against dualism and the no-ownership theory, and proposes instead that our concept of a person is a primitive concept. In this paper, it is argued that the basic questions that frame Strawson’s discussion, and some of his main arguments and claims, are dubious. A general diagnosis of the source of these problems is proposed. It is argued that despite these problems Strawson gives an accurate and very insightful description of the way (...) we think about ourselves, which should form the starting point for more speculative accounts of ourselves. (shrink)