In the criminal law of many jurisdictions complicity, though not itself a substantive crime but a way of committing a crime, is a doctrine that determines when one person is legally liable for a criminal offense that was committed by another person, typically by being an accomplice. That doctrine has a number of troubling moral implications with respect to responsibility, particularly when complicity is employed as a devise to capture one agent as morally accountable for the actions of another agent (...) and/or the consequences of those actions. I focus on the issue of responsibility for consequences and actus reus and mens rea difficulties with complicity as a moral concept in the light of two cases in which complicity is the basis for ascriptions of moral and criminal responsibility to someone who was not the primary wrongdoer. The book on the topic by Chiara Lepora and Robert E. Goodin provokes my discussion. (shrink)
The tragic crash of Air New Zealand's flight TE-901 into Mt. Erebus in Antarctica provides a fascinating case for the exploration of the notion of corporate moral responsibility. A principle of accountability that has Aristotelian roots and is significantly different from the usual strict intentional action principles is examined and defined. That principle maintains that a person can be held morally accountable for previous non-intentional behavior that has harmful effects if the person does not take corrective measures to adjust his (...) ways of behavior so as not to produce repetitions. This principle is then applied to the Mt. Erebus disaster. (shrink)
Ethics and College Sports is a careful analysis of the root problems in intercollegiate athletics in American universities. It examines the prevalent myths that are regularly used to justify the inclusion of intercollegiate athletics, and all of the abuses and scandals it has brought to university campuses, from a moral perspective.
_The Scope of Morality _ was first published in 1980. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions. The scope of morality, Peter A. French contends, is much narrower than many traditional and contemporary works in ethical theory suggest. We trivialize morality if we think it has something to say about everything we do; it touches us all, but not at all times. This (...) essay in philosophical ethics focuses upon the origin, purpose, and function of the various concepts to be found in a more or less mature morality. The author draws a distinction between moral concepts that arise from an individual's wish to live a worthwhile life and those directed towards the development of virtue in the moral community. Moral concepts, in his view, are subjective creations of human beings rather than laws with an objective basis in nature. The ethics of sociobiology, of the lifeboat and spaceship models, and of game theory all come under his critical eye in this useful and progressive work. _The Scope of Morality_, says Hector-Neri Castaneda, "represents a serious effort at discussing the nature of morality, taking into account the most important contributions of recent writers.". (shrink)
In the following essay, the theoretical apparatus for distinguishing various types of collectivities (aggregates and conglomerates) is described. This is followed by a consideration of how responsibility ascriptions to different types of collectivities are to be understood vis à vis those to individual group members. It is suggested that the "medical profession" (distinctly different from the "medical team" and the "hospital corporation") is an aggregate collectivity. That is, the "medical profession" consists of the "sum" of the identities of its membership, (...) which can be shown to entail that if the "profession" is held responsible for something, each of its members is responsible, in some way, for it. This is to suggest that the "medical profession" is not a shield that hides individual medical practitioners from responsibility for the general state of health care. Quite the contrary. The use of the name of the aggregate in such a responsibility ascription puts each and every one of them "on call." CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
This collection of essays focuses on a current issue of central important in contemporary philosophy, the relationship between philosophy and empirical studies. Explores in detail a range of examples which demonstrate how the older paradigm – philosophy as conceptual analysis – is giving way to a more varied set of models of philosophical work Each of the featured papers is a previously unpublished contribution by a major scholar.
I. On the morning of 28 November 1979 flight TE-901, a DC-10 operated by Air New Zealand Limited, took off from Auckland, New Zealand, on a sightseeing passenger flight over a portion of Antarctica. The pilot in command was Captain Collins. The following are paragraphs from the official Report of the Royal Commission that inquired into the events surrounding that flight.
Richard Rorty has drawn a distinction between three ways philosophers in the 20th Century have conceived of the enterprise of philosophy. There are those who see it as the guardian of the sciences, those who treat it as a kina of poetry, and those who view philosophy as a political exercise. In this paper, I try to show that Wittgenstein, despite certain popular conceptions of his project, belongs more in the third group than in the other two. The paper focuses (...) on Wittgenstein's notes On Certainty in order to reveal the structure of Wittgenstein's notion of epistemological privilege and how it depends on communal agreement and behaviour. The system of conventions and commitments on which our vanouis practices are grounded is not justifiable. It is a matter of forms of life. (shrink)
Despite the bad press that revenge has received from moral philosophers and legal theorists, it can be a legitimate way to forge a link between wrongful behavior and penalties that karmic moral theories can only postulate. It can be especially effectual in commonplace cases that are under the radar of formal systems of justice. In such cases it can play a positive role in strengthening the moral foundations of a community. In those cases acts of revenge can provide a morally (...) valuable antidote to the negative participant reactive attitudes of community members. They can be an expression of morality in and for itself while exorcizing such pent up emotions as resentment, hatred, indignation, anger, antipathy, annoyance, umbrage, and ire. I maintain that responding in morally appropriate ways to insults, derisions, disparagements, and other forms of perceived wrongful disrespect and ill will is elemental in sustaining equitable human relations. To reiterate and paraphrase a point Robert Nozick made, the only power that morality has to affect human affairs resides in the critical responses moral people feel obliged to make upon recognizing the wrongful quality of another person’s acts or will. In this paper I apply the four criteria I defended in the book The Virtues of Vengeance to rather mundane cases of perceived maltreatment, exploitation, oppression, and/or neglect, and I deal with the issue of regulating multiple avengers who are bent on dealing out revenge to offenders in such commonplace cases. (shrink)
The philosophy of language has emerged in the 20th century as a fundamental area of philosophic inquiry. It is unquestionably central to research in many other areas, and some have even suggested that it should now be seen as the foundation of philosophy.
This addition to the Midwest Studies in Philosophy series comprises the most recent volume on the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein to date. Here 16 philosophers explore both the challenges Wittgenstein presented to philosophy as well as the responses to those challenges from such noted thinkers as Kripke. By addressing various questions raised by Wittgenstein's work, these original essays aim to illuminate in one way or another the impact Wittgenstein's legacy has had on 20th-century philosophy.
This book is concerned with how we should think and act in our work, leisure activities, and time utilization in order to achieve flourishing lives. The scope papers range from general theoretical considerations of the value, e.g. 'What is a balanced life?', to specific types of considerations, e.g. 'How should we cope with the effects of work on moral decision-making?'.
Contemporary Perspectives on the History of Philosophy was first published in 1983. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions. The authors of the 27 appears in Volume 8, Midwest Studies in Philosophy,have established reputations as historians of philosophy, but their vantage point, here, is from "contemporary perspectives" - they use contemporary analytic skills to examine problems and issues considered by past philosophers. The (...) papers, arranged in historical order, fall into six groups: ancient philosophy (the Pythagoreans, Plato, and Aristotle); the seventeenth-century rationalists (Descartes, Leibniz and Spinoza); the empiricists (Locke, Berkeley, and Hume); Kant; the nineteenth century (Hegel, Schopenhauer, and Mill); and, in conclusion, an essay on Wittgenstein's Tractatus and two broad, retrospective papers entitled "Old Analyses of the Physical World and new Philosophies of Language" and "Moral Crisis and the History of Ethics.". (shrink)
Early Modern Philosophy Reconsidered: Essays in Honor of Paul Hoffman is an international collection of essays from both well-established and younger scholars. In keeping with the example of Hoffman's own work, the essays are written in the spirit of promoting serious philosophical engagement with the historical figures they discuss. Among the philosophers whose views are explored in the collection are Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Berkeley, and Kant."--Publisher's website.
The essays in this volume explore various issues pertaining to human agency, such as the relationship between free will and causal determinism, and the nature and conditions of moral responsibility. Builds on and extends some of the very best recent work in the field. Features lively and vigorous debate. Forges connections between abstract philosophical theorizing and applied work in neuroscience and even criminal law.
_Philosophy and Poetry_ is the 33rd volume in the _Midwest Studies in Philosophy_ series. It begins with contributions in verse from two world class poets, JohnAshbery and Stephen Dunn, and an article by Dunn on the creative processthat issued in his poem. The volume features new work from an internationalcollection of philosophers exploring central philosophical issues pertinent topoetry as well as the connections between the two domains.
Truth and Its Deformities is the 32nd volume in the Midwest Studies in Philosophy series. It contains major new contributions on a range of topics related to the general theme of the volume by some of the most important philosophers writing on truth in recent years.
Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Volume XXIV, Life and Death: Metaphysics and Ethics is an important contribution to the literature on the intersection of issues of metaphysics and issues of ethics. In the Midwest Studies tradition, twenty of the more important philosophers writing in this area have contributed original papers that extend the boundaries of philosophical discussion of issues that are of both theoretical and practical concern to a wide-ranging audience. Topics considered include the concept of human life, the relationship between (...) the concept of personal identity and the understanding of death, normative appraisals of death, capital punishment, euthanasia, the postponement of death and the impact of a theory of death and afterlife on one's ethical perspective. (shrink)
In this volume leading contemporary philosophical historians of the Renaissance and Early Modern periods examine the works of important figures of the fifteenth through the eighteenth century. While Midwest Studies in Philosophy has produced other volumes devoted to historical periods in philosophy, this is the first to offer such extensive and focused original materials on specific crucial figures as this volume. Original papers by twenty contemporary philosophers writing about the works of the major philosophers of the Fifteenth through the Eighteenth (...) centuries This historically and philosophically broad collection extends from such fifteenth century figures as Ficino, Machiavelli, and Pompanazzi to the work of Montesquieu in the eighteenth century. (shrink)
__The Concept of Evil__ is dedicated to the analysis of the concept of evil. The term "evil" is used widely in ordinary language and yet philosophers have disagreed on what, if anything, distinguishes an evil act from a wrong act or an evil person from a bad one. Is "evil" a distinct and important moral category? Which agents and acts can and should be classified as "evil"? In which areas of practice does evil arise? These questions indicate three essential categories (...) that belong to a thorough analysis of the concept of evil: meta-evil, the nature of evil, and applied evil. The articles presented in this volume provide insight into these categories. (shrink)
This Volume illuminates the notion of meaning in the arts-in literature, painting, music, and dance. Specific topics include theory in the arts; interpretations of meaning; objectivity in meaning; and the consumer as a participant in art. Brings together articles from prominent philosophers and practitioners of the arts, which illuminate the notion of meaning in the arts. Addresses meaning in literature, painting, music, and dance. Explores the relationship between authorial intentions and the viewer's interpretation of meaning; the possibility of objective meaning; (...) and the role of the consumer as a participant in the work of art. (shrink)
Philosophy and Poetry is the 33rd volume in the Midwest Studies in Philosophy series. It begins with contributions in verse from two world class poets, JohnAshbery and Stephen Dunn, and an article by Dunn on the creative processthat issued in his poem. The volume features new work from an internationalcollection of philosophers exploring central philosophical issues pertinent topoetry as well as the connections between the two domains.