Hintikka has criticized psychologists for "hasty epistemologizing," which he takes to be an unwarranted transfer of ideas from psychology (a discipline dealing with questions of fact) into epistemology (a discipline dealing with questions of method and theory). Hamlyn argues, following Hintikka, that Gibson's theory of perception is an example of such an inappropriate transfer, especially insofar as Hamlyn feels Gibson does not answer several important questions. However, Gibson's theory does answer the relevant questions, albeit in a new and radical way, (...) which suggests that the alleged distinction between psychology and epistemology is suspect. In fact, contrary to Hintikka and Hamlyn's claims, Gibson's theory of perception appears to be a valuable source of epistemological as well as psychological ideas. (shrink)
Preanalytically, we are all scientific realists. But both philosophers and scientists become uncomfortable when forced into analysis. In the case of scientists, this discomfort often arises from practical difficulties in setting out a carefully described set of objects which adequately account for the phenomena with which they are concerned. This paper offers a set of representative examples of these difficulties for contemporary physicists. These examples challenge the traditional realist vision of mature scientific activity as struggling toward an ontologically well-defined world (...) picture. They challenge antirealist alternatives as well. (shrink)
It is proposed that the Darwinian theoretical approach and account of living systems has not yet been clearly given. A first approximation to this is attempted, focussing on behavior in evolving environments. A theoretical terminology is defined emphasizing the mutuality of organism and environment and the existence of biologically theoretical entities.
In De Interpretatione 6-9, Aristotle considers three logical principles: the principle of bivalence, the law of excluded middle, and the rule of contradictory pairs (according to which of any contradictory pair of statements, exactly one is true and the other false). Surprisingly, Aristotle accepts none of these without qualification. I offer a coherent interpretation of these chapters as a whole, while focusing special attention on two sorts of statements that are of particular interest to Aristotle: universal statements not made universally (...) and future particular statements. With respect to the former, I argue that Aristotle takes them to be indeterminate and so to violate the rule of contradictory pairs. With respect to the latter, the subject of the much discussed ninth chapter, I argue that the rule of contradictory pairs, and not the principle of bivalence, is the focus of Aristotle's refutation. Nevertheless, Aristotle rejects bivalence for future particular statements. (shrink)
We propose to understand the global financial crisis of 2008 as an historical event marked by public decisions, economic evaluations and ratings, and business practices driven by a sense of subjugation to powerful others, uncritical conformity to serendipitous rules, and a levelling down of all meaningful differences. The crisis has also revealed two important things: that the free-market economy has inherent problems highlighting the limits of business, and, consequently, that the business organisation is not as strong as is usually assumed. (...) We reconstruct some of the most dramatic events of that time by using the narratives of two former Lehman Brothers insiders. We then provide an interpretation of that world by using Heidegger’s notions of being and care. Our investigation uncovers persistent inauthentic relationships nourished by the public structure of the financial market, which, drawing on Heidegger, we call the they. In the financial market the what of the world becomes more important than authentic being and self. But a hitch-free switch to authenticity becomes possible through anxiety and the call of conscience. (shrink)
Reductionism’s approach brings together many of the most interesting questions today in philosophy and in science . It also presents a brief history of how reductionism has developed in Western philosophy and religion, with reference to Indian philosophy on certain issues.
I argue that the problem of religious luck posed by Zagzebski poses a problem for the theory of hell proposed by Buckareff and Plug, according to which God adopts an open-door policy toward those in hell. Though escapism is not open to many of the criticisms Zagzebski raises against potential solutions to the problem of luck, escapism fails to solve the problem: it merely pushes luck forward into the afterlife. I suggest a hybrid solution to the problem which combines escapism (...) and the claim that God gives enough grace to those in hell to cancel out any bad moral luck. (shrink)
This article is an attempt to clarify a confusion in the brain death literature between logical sufficiency/necessity and natural sufficiency/necessity. We focus on arguments that draw conclusions regarding empirical matters of fact from conceptual or ontological definitions. Specifically, we critically analyze arguments by Tom Tomlinson and Michael B. Green and Daniel Wikler. which, respectively, confuse logical and natural sufficiency and logical and natural necessity. Our own conclusion is that it is especially important in discussing the brain death issue to observe (...) the distinction between logical and natural sufficiency/necessity in a strict fashion. (shrink)
The internet is widely used for health information and support, often by vulnerable people. Internet-based research raises both familiar and new ethical problems for researchers and ethics committees. While guidelines for internet-based research are available, it is unclear to what extent ethics committees use these. Experience of gaining research ethics approval for a UK study (SharpTalk), involving internet-based discussion groups with young people who self-harm and health professionals is described. During ethical review, unsurprisingly, concerns were raised about the vulnerability of (...) potential participants. These were dominated by the issue of anonymity, which also affected participant safety and consent. These ethical problems are discussed, and our solutions, which included: participant usernames specific to the study, a closed website, private messaging facilities, a direct contact email to researchers, information about forum rules displayed on the website, a ‘report’ button for participants, links to online support, and a discussion room for forum moderators. This experience with SharpTalk suggests that an approach to ethics, which recognises the relational aspects of research with vulnerable people, is particularly useful for internet-based health research. The solutions presented here can act as guidance for researchers developing proposals and for ethics committees reviewing them. (shrink)
The role of corporate counsel in the corporate governance process has been long overlooked. This paper uses recent comments by Breeden as the springboard for a discussion of the issues surrounding significant roles for lawyers in corporations. It considers these both from a practical and a theoretical perspective and identifies why it is problematic merely to assume hiring lawyers will ensure good compliance both in terms of legal and ethical obligations.
This is the first book to offer the best essays, articles, and speeches on ethics and intelligence that demonstrate the complex moral dilemmas in intelligence collection, analysis, and operations. Some are recently declassified and never before published, and all are written by authors whose backgrounds are as varied as their insights, including Robert M. Gates, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; John P. Langan, the Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Professor of Catholic Social Thought at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown (...) University; and Loch K. Johnson, Regents Professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia and recipient of the Owens Award for contributions to the understanding of U.S. intelligence activities. Creating the foundation for the study of ethics and intelligence by filling in the gap between warfare and philosophy, this is a valuable collection of literature for building an ethical code that is not dependent on any specific agency, department, or country. (shrink)
Although the focus of "Globalizing Democracy and Human Rights" is practical, Gould does not shy away from hard theoretical questions, such as the relentless debate over cultural relativism, and the relationship between terrorism and democracy.
Among the principles that are generally taken to underlie the general theory of relativity is a general principle of relativity. Such a principle is supposed to extend the special principle of relativity, which holds observers in uniform motion to be indistinguishable by appeal to the laws of physics, to a requirement on observers in arbitrary states of motion. Starting with physical intuitions described graphically by Galileo, proceeding through a series of formal requirements on reference frames defined on models of space-time (...) theories, and considering other "observations" commonly associated with relativity principles, this paper argues that the general principle of relativity is neither justified by "fact", nor exemplified by the general theory of relativity. (shrink)
Plato’s Socrates is often thought to hold that wisdom or virtue is sufficient for happiness, and Euthydemus 278-282 is often taken to be the locus classicus for this sufficiency thesis in Plato’s dialogues. But this view is misguided: Not only does Socrates here fail to argue for, assert, or even implicitly assume the sufficiency thesis, but the thesis turns out to be hard to square with the argument he does give. I argue for an interpretation of the passage that explains (...) the central importance of wisdom for Socrates without committing him to the sufficiency thesis. The result is that the Euthydemus displays a plausible but distinctively Socratic argument for making the pursuit of wisdom the central concern of one’s life. (shrink)
The problems presented by the use of named child patients and their medical histories in television, radio and newspapers is discussed. It is suggested that it is not acceptable to regard this as comparable to their participation in non-therapeutic research, and that no one, not even the parent has the authority to give consent to such use.
How do we go about understanding the "classic texts" of sociological theory? This paper begins by reviewing the historicist position of Jones, with its foundations in the work of Quentin Skinner and other historians of political theory. This position then is criticized from the standpoint of the neo-Deweyan pragmatism of Richard Rorty. Specifically, Rorty's pragmatism encourages us to revise Skinner's and Jones's historicism on three specific points: the acceptance of treatments of classical texts that are undeniably anachronistic but nonetheless unobjectionable; (...) the restriction of Skinner's notion of an agent's "privileged access" to his or her intentions; and the adoption of a view of the history of sociological theory as a succession of vocabularies-a view that encourages a new kind of dialogue between historians of sociological theory and theorists themselves. The last point is articulated in a concrete example of the interpretation of one of Durkheim's most characteristic arguments. The conclusion again stresses the benefits to be derived from viewing sociological theory-both past and present-from this pragmatist perspective. (shrink)
Historically, for Black writers, literary fiction has been a site for transforming the discursive disciplinary spaces of political oppression. From 19th century “slave narratives” to the 20th century, Black novelists have created an impressive literary counter-canon in advancing liberatory struggles. W.E.B. Du Bois argued that “all art is political.” Many Black writers have used fiction to create spaces for political and social freedom—from the early work of Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig; or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black (1859)—to (...) the enduring works of the Harlem Renaissance (Toomer, Hurston, and Schuyler)—to the great revolutionary Black literature after WWII (Wright, Baldwin, Williams)—to contemporary Black writers (Toni Morrison, Edward Jones, Samuel Delany)—Black fictive space continues to be a necessary site for resistance. Black literary fiction is a vast counter-canon to mainstream literature which unquestioningly reinforces global white supremacy, capitalistic political oppressions, and the dominance/subordinance relations upon which they depend. (shrink)
We argue that the recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine’s 2011 report, Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research : Assessing the Necessity, are methodologically and ethically confused. We argue that a proper understanding of evolution and complexity theory in terms of the science and ethics of using chimpanzees in biomedical research would have had led the committee to recommend not merely limiting but eliminating the use of chimpanzees in biomedical research. Specifically, we argue that a proper understanding of the (...) difference between the gross level of examination of species and examinations on finer levels can shed light on important methodological and ethical inconsistencies leading to ignorance of potentially unethical practices and policies regarding the use of animals in scientific research. (shrink)