With the subtitle, "A consideration of some aspects of An Essay concerning Human Understanding," this book concentrates on Locke’s doctrine of natural or scientific laws and our knowledge of them. By dealing with a limited theme, Woolhouse feels that he is able to provide a treatment lengthier than usual of central topics of Locke’s thought. The topics selected are: "trifling" and "instructive" propositions; "certain knowledge" and "probable opinion"; the notion of an "idea"; simple and complex ideas; the distinction between modes (...) and substances; the notions of Substance, and of real and nominal essences. In elaborating these topics, Woolhouse tries to pay great attention to the actual text of the Essay and to the adequacy or inadequacy of its interpretation by recent commentators. In addition, he has "tried to explain and evaluate Locke’s thought in terms of the positions, views, and interests of twentieth-century philosophy." The book is based on Woolhouse’s Ph.D. thesis at Cambridge in 1968 entitled, ‘Natural necessity in Locke’s Essay and some recent philosophy'. It includes an eight page bibliography of works referred to and a ten page index.—D. R. P. (shrink)
This is an encyclopedia entry (for the IVR Encyclopedia of legal and political philosophy) covering John Rawls. It aims to provide a general but not superficial introduction to Rawls's theory of justice, justice as fairness.
This is the introduction to the Ashgate volume on Rawls in their history of political thought series. It puts Rawls's life and work in context and then discusses the essays included in the volume, essays of high quality likely to shape scholarship on Rawls for the coming decades.
In this review essay, I first set out and then subject to criticism the main claims advanced by William Talbott in his excellent recent book, “Which Rights Should be Universal?”. Talbott offers a conception of basic universal human rights as the minimally necessary and sufficient conditions to political legitimacy. I argue that his conception is at once too robustly liberal and democratic and too inattentive to key features of the rule of law to play this role. I suggest that John (...) Rawls’s conception of human rights comes closer to hitting the mark Talbott sets for himself and that Talbott incorrectly rejects Rawls’s view. I conclude that what likely divides Talbott and Rawls is that Rawls, but not Talbott, explicitly frames the inquiry into the minimally necessary and sufficient conditions to political legitimacy in terms of a liberal democratic people attempting to determine, as a matter of its just foreign policy, whether or not to recognize other organized polities as independent and self-determining within the international order. (shrink)
Sexual self-determination is considered a fundamental human right by most of us living in Western societies. While we must abide by laws regarding consent and coercion, in general we expect to be able to engage in sexual behaviour whenever, and with whomever, we choose. For older people with dementia living in residential aged care facilities (RACFs), however, the issue becomes more complex. Staff often struggle to balance residents' rights with their duty of care, and negative attitudes towards older people's sexuality (...) can lead to residents' sexual expression being overlooked, ignored, or even discouraged. In particular, questions as to whether residents with dementia are able to consent to sexual activity or physically intimate relationships pose a challenge to RACF staff, and current legislation does little to assist them. This paper will address these issues, and will argue that, while every effort should be made to ensure that no resident comes to harm, RACFs must respect the rights of residents with dementia to make decisions about their sexuality, intimacy and physical relationships. (shrink)
Policies and position statements regarding decision-making for extremely premature babies exist in many countries and are often directive, focusing on parental choice and expected outcomes. These recommendations often state survival and handicap as reasons for optional intervention. The fact that such outcome statistics would not justify such approaches in other populations suggests that some other powerful factors are at work. The value of neonatal intensive care has been scrutinized far more than intensive care for older patients and suggests that neonatal (...) care is held to a higher standard of justification. The relative value placed on the life of newborns, in particular the preterm, is less than expected by any objective medical data or any prevailing moral frameworks about the value of individual lives. Why do we feel less obligated to treat the premature baby? Do we put newborns in a special and lesser moral category? We explore this question from a legal and ethical perspective and offer several hypotheses pertaining to personhood, reproductive choices, “precious children,” and probable evolutionary and anthropological factors. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the Anatman experience as described by Guatma. Many Buddhist philosophers consider the absence of self as a foundational experience of Buddhism. This paper elaborates the Buddhist Absence of Self from the View of Existential Phenomenology. The paper articulates the phenomenological difference between the Ontic-Ontological absence of Self in early Buddhism and the Ontic-Ontological presence of Self in Contemporary Existential Phenomenology. Throughout the paper there is an Existential Phenomenological focus on the intertwining of our Sense of Self (...) and our Sense of Being. The sense of self in early Buddhism is being-less, baseless and empty. Empty of What? Empty of Being! There is no presence of Being and no Being of presence. There is no experience of Being. There is no source of Being. There is no source of Being for our mind. The mind is absent of Being. There is no source of Being for us as person. In early Buddhism the absence of self is the absence of Being-ness. (shrink)