This paper looks at the ambiguities which PAS (physician assisted suicide) and voluntary active euthanasia (VAE ) present to the patient, his or her loved ones and the health-care team. The author pleads for a greater emphasis on humanizing the experience of the dying so that a team can meet their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
For a rule to exist in a society, its members must hold a certain attitude. It has proven difficult to identify that attitude, however. Here, I draw on recent work in the philosophy of action to show that the attitude we are looking for is ‘acceptance’ that the rule ought to be complied with, where this acceptance is held independent of any belief about the matter. One implication of this idea is that the attitude that underlies a social rule is (...) analogous to a ‘presumption’ or ‘fiction’ about what ought to be done, as these terms are used in the law of evidence. (shrink)
Much of the discussion surrounding the ethics of abortion has centered around the notion of personhood. This is because many philosophers hold that the morality of abortion is contingent on whether the fetus is a person - though, of course, some famous philosophers have rejected this thesis (e.g. Judith Thomson and Don Marquis). In this article, I construct a novel argument for the immorality of abortion based on the notion of impairment. This argument does not assume that the fetus is (...) a person - indeed, I concede (for the sake of argument) that the fetus is not a person - and hence the morality of abortion is not contingent on whether the fetus is a person. I finish by answering a plethora of objections to my argument, concluding that none of them are successful. (shrink)
The founder of modern linguistics, Ferdinand de Saussure inaugurated semiology, structuralism, and deconstruction and made possible the work of Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Lacan, thus enabling the development of French feminism, gender studies, New Historicism, and postcolonialism. Based on Saussure's lectures, _Course in General Linguistics_ traces the rise and fall of the historical linguistics in which Saussure was trained, the synchronic or structural linguistics with which he replaced it, and the new look of diachronic linguistics that (...) followed this change. Most important, Saussure presents the principles of a new linguistic science that includes the invention of semiology, or the theory of the "signifier," the "signified," and the "sign" that they combine to produce. This is the first critical edition of _Course in General Linguistics_ to appear in English and restores Wade Baskin's original translation of 1959, in which the terms "signifier" and "signified" are introduced into English in this precise way. Baskin renders Saussure clearly and accessibly, allowing readers to experience his shift of the theory of reference from mimesis to performance and his expansion of poetics to include all media, including the life sciences and environmentalism. An introduction situates Saussure within the history of ideas and describes the history of scholarship that made _Course in General Linguistics_ legendary. New endnotes enlarge Saussure's contexts to include literary criticism, cultural studies, and philosophy. (shrink)
In a well-known 1964 essay on the “recovery” of American religious history, Henry F. May observed that some scholars had “revived” religious interpretations of the nation's greatest political crises, including the Civil War. But there was more work to be done. “A religious, or partly religious explanation of the Civil War,” May suggested, would “rest on two assertions: that serious and intractable moral conflicts were important in causing the war and that in nineteenth-century America such conflicts were particularly difficult to (...) avoid or compromise because of the dominance of evangelical Protestantism in both sections.” In fact, both the importance of the moral conflict over slavery and the role of evangelicalism in intensifying hostilities were already attracting attention as historians reexamined previous emphases on economic factors and political bungling as explanations of a tragically unnecessary war. (shrink)
Trent Dougherty has argued that commonsense epistemology and skeptical theism are incompatible. In this paper, I explicate Dougherty’s argument, and show that (at least) one popular form of skeptical theism is compatible with commonsense epistemology.
The “Embryo Rescue Case” (ERC) refers to a thought experiment that is used to argue against the view that embryos have a right to life (i.e. are persons). I will argue that cognitive science undermines the intuition elicited by the ERC; I will show that whether or not embryos have a right to life, our mental tools will make it very difficult to believe that embryos have said right. This suggests that the intuition elicited by the ERC is not truth (...) indicative. The upshot of this is that we have an undercutting defeater for our intuition that embryos do not have a right to life. (shrink)
Tenho dois objetivos principais neste texto. Primeiro, defenderei que a versão de Perry da teoria causal da referência não dá conta de casos de retenção de crença. Faço isto por meio de um contraexemplo à teoria de Perry. Segundo, defenderei que uma versão específica de teoria da identificação é capaz de lidar com o contraexemplo apresentado e, neste sentido, é superior à teoria de Perry.
Attention to virtue ethics in Eastern Christianity complicates the dominant narrative within the field by revealing new ways of conceptualizing classical problems in virtue theory, new insights into the dynamics of virtues’ development, as well as new contexts for applied virtue ethics. Human flourishing is understood as the progressive realization of theosis—a godly mode of being cultivated through liturgy and askesis, marked by the embodiment of the full range of virtues, and crowned by a radical love.
Gricean pragmatics seems to pose a dilemma. If semantics is limited to the conventional meanings of types of expressions, then the semantics of an utterance does not determine what is said. If all that figures in the determination of what is said counts as semantics, then pragmatic reasoning about the specific intentions of a speaker intrudes on semantics. The dilemma is false. Key points: Semantics need not determine what is said, and the description, with which the hearer begins, need not (...) provide the hearer with knowledge of what was said, or the ability to express what was said, from the hearer's context. (shrink)
To better understand the multiple individual factors that contribute to college cheating, we undertook a multivariate analysis of a national sample of 2,503 college students. Our findings indicated that demographic characteristics, character qualities, college experience, and student perceptions and attitudes are all significantly associated with academic cheating.
This anthology of essays on the work of David Kaplan, a leading contemporary philosopher of language, sprang from a conference, "Themes from Kaplan," organized by the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University.
The thesis that anything conceivable is possible plays a central role in philosophical debates about the self. Discussions about free will have focused, at least in the last hundred years, on whether a free yet determined action is conceivable. If it is, and if anything conceivable is possible, then a deterministic physics would by itself pose no obstacle to human freedom. Current debates about the nature and value of personal survival turn on whether it is conceivable for a person to (...) move from one body to another. Discussions about the topic of John Perry’s impressive book, the relation between a person’s mental and physical states, has recently centered on whether it is conceivable for physically identical beings to differ in their conscious experiences. Some claim that zombies, beings physically just like us but without any conscious experiences at all, are conceivable. If they are, and if anything conceivable is possible, then it would seem to follow that facts about conscious experience are not physical. In short, some form of mind-body dualism would have to be right after all. (shrink)
To understand H.L.A. Hart's general theory of law, it is helpful to distinguish between substantive and methodological legal positivism. Substantive legal positivism is the view that there is no necessary connection between morality and the content of law. Methodological legal positivism is the view that legal theory can and should offer a normatively neutral description of a particular social phenomenon, namely law. Methodological positivism holds, we might say, not that there is no necessary connection between morality and law, but rather (...) that there is no connection, necessary or otherwise, between morality and legal theory. The respective claims of substantive and methodological positivism are, at least on the surface, logically independent. Hobbes and Bentham employed normative methodologies to defend versions of substantive positivism, and in modern times Michael Moore has developed what can be regarded as a variant of methodological positivism to defend a theory of natural law. (shrink)
This article is a response to Stephen Law's article ‘The evil-god challenge’. In his article, Law argues that if belief in evil-god is unreasonable, then belief in good-god is unreasonable; that the antecedent is true; and hence so is the consequent. In this article, I show that Law's affirmation of the antecedent is predicated on the problem of good (i.e. the problem of whether an all-evil, all-powerful, and all-knowing God would allow there to be as much good in the world (...) as there is), and argue that the problem of good fails. Thus, the antecedent is unmotivated, which renders the consequent unmotivated. Law's challenge for good-god theists is to show that good-god theism is not rendered unreasonable by the problem of evil in the same way that evil-god theism is rendered unreasonable by the problem of good. Insofar as the problem of good does not render belief in evil-god unreasonable, Law's challenge has been answered: since it is not unreasonable to believe in evil-god (at least for the reasons that Law gives) it is not unreasonable to believe in good-god. Finally, I show that – my criticism aside – the evil-god challenge turns out to be more complicated and controversial than it initially appears, for it relies on the (previously unacknowledged) contentious assumption that sceptical theism is false. (shrink)
Approaches to well-being have been hotly debated across the social sciences, with most challenging the conventional economic approach which uses income as a key indicator of happiness. This volume compares and contrasts two such approaches, the Capability and Happiness Approach, via a series of interdisciplinary papers from top names in the field.
In my article "Even if the fetus is not a person, abortion is immoral: The impairment argument" (this journal), I defended what I called “The impairment argument” which purports to show that abortion is immoral. Bruce Blackshaw (2019) has argued that my argument fails on three accounts. In this article, I respond to his criticisms.
Skeptical theism is a popular response to arguments from evil. Many hold that it undermines a key inference often used by such arguments. However, the case for skeptical theism is often kept at an intuitive level: no one has offered an explicit argument for the truth of skeptical theism. In this article, I aim to remedy this situation: I construct an explicit, rigorous argument for the truth of skeptical theism.
Arguments from evil purport to show that some fact about evil makes it (at least) probable that God does not exist. Skeptical theism is held to undermine many versions of the argument from evil: it is thought to undermine a crucial inference that such arguments often rely on. Skeptical objections to skeptical theism claim that it (skeptical theism) entails an excessive amount of skepticism, and therefore should be rejected. In this article, I show that skeptical objections to skeptical theism have (...) a very limited scope: only those who reject certain (apparently) popular epistemological theories will be threatened by them. (shrink)