There is a long-standing debate in philosophy about whether it is morally permissible to harm one person in order to prevent a greater harm to others and, if not, what is the moral principle underlying the prohibition. Hypothetical moral dilemmas are used in order to probe moral intuitions. Philosophers use them to achieve a reflective equilibrium between intuitions and principles, psychologists to investigate moral decision-making processes. In the dilemmas, the harms that are traded off are almost always deaths. However, the (...) moral principles and psychological processes are supposed to be broader than this, encompassing harms other than death. Further, if the standard pattern of intuitions is preserved in the domain of economic harm, then that would open up the possibility of studying behaviour in trolley problems using the tools of experimental economics. We report the results of two studies designed to test whether the standard patterns of intuitions are preserved when the domain and severity of harm are varied. Our findings show that the difference in moral intuitions between bystander and footbridge scenarios is replicated across different domains and levels of physical and non-physical harm, including economic harms. (shrink)
Employing the tools of logical analysis, Åquist presents a very careful, though cumbrously formalistic, reassessment of Price's Review of the Principal Questions in Morals, a treatise which he considers as the best in its field before Sidgwick and Moore.--A. P. D. M.
Jean Richard | Résumé : René-Michel Roberge proteste contre le modèle hiérarchique, autoritaire, du magistère de l’Église (catholique romaine). Selon ce modèle, la révélation vient d’en haut et passe par la hiérarchie ecclésiale pour parvenir aux fidèles. Cette conception ne fonctionne plus à notre époque, caractérisée par « le refus des arguments d’autorité » (Luc Ferry). Par opposition à ce modèle hiérarchique et doctrinal, notre auteur propose un magistère ecclésial de type pastoral. La fonction magistérielle consiste alors à entretenir (...) et à vitaliser la foi déjà présente dans la communauté des fidèles. |: René-Michel Roberge protests against the pattern of a hierarchical and authoritarian Church magisterium. According to this conception, revelation comes from on high, through the Church hierarchy, to the faithful. Such a conception has become irrelevant in our age, characterized by the rejection of authoritarian arguments (Luc Ferry). By contrast, R.-M. Roberge preconizes a pastoral type of magisterium, which upholds the faith yet present in the community of the faithful. (shrink)
Richard Popkin gives the frame into which the topics of the colloquium fit: Cartesian skepticism about our knowledge of the existence of the self and the external world. Robert Fogelin sketches a prescriptive model for human action, using classical and contemporary ideas on the grammar of act descriptions. Following these individual papers, there are three symposia, consisting of a paper, comments, and author's reply. In the first, with Philip Hugly as commentator, Fred Dretske attempts to undercut skeptical attack on (...) the validity of ordinary perceptual claims. He holds that an epistemic perceptual report conveys two items: a description, and a justification of the increment in knowledge which is the crux of each particular claim. The second symposiast is Roderick Chisholm, writing with historical fluency and analytic skill on the loose and strict senses of identity. In his comments, S. Shoemaker offers a "special concern" criterion for personal identity. In the third symposium, Jaakko Hintikka argues that the logic of perceptual terms is modal, in the extended sense that most of the words used to express propositional attitudes, words like 'knows', 'believes', 'strives', serve as modal operators. Romane Clark is Hintikka's commentator. Again, the comments seem genuinely helpful in clarifying or emphasizing the issues for the reader. Hintikka tells us that he finds that traditional problems in perception are closely related to difficulties logicians have met as they try to understand the interplay between modal notions and the basic logical concepts of identity and existence. His comment expresses the sense of discovery and promise which pervades these papers. It strikes one that this Colloquium achieved a felicitous combination of high-level technique and creative scholarship.--M. B. M. (shrink)
The first four chapters are devoted to an analysis of the network of problems falling under the "faith and history" rubric and to a restatement of Ernst Troeltsch's canons of historical methodology which is free from the dispute over metaphysical presuppositions. The attempt to achieve this by speaking of the morality of historical judgment instead of analyzing historical method is rendered radically ambiguous in that the ideals and duties of the new morality gain their content only by an overt appeal (...) to the same scientific world-view which rendered Troeltsch too metaphysical. The last four chapters are devoted to critique of twentieth century Protestant theologies in their attempts to come to grips with the historical revolution and to the author's own solution to the problem which is developed dialectically out of the positions he criticizes. These include dialectical theology, the so-called new quest of the historical Jesus, and positions which Harvey identifies as "hard" and "soft" perspectivism, attributing them to Alan Richardson and H. Richard Niebuhr.—M. W. (shrink)
The concept of the receptive field, first articulated by Hartline, is central to visual neuroscience. The receptive field of a neuron encompasses the spatial and temporal properties of stimuli that activate the neuron, and, as Hubel and Wiesel conceived of it, a neuron’s receptive field is static. This makes it possible to build models of neural circuits and to build up more complex receptive fields out of simpler ones. Recent work in visual neurophysiology is providing evidence that the classical receptive (...) field is an inaccurate picture. The receptive field seems to be a dynamic feature of the neuron. In particular, the receptive field of neurons in V1 seems to be dependent on the properties of the stimulus. In this paper, we review the history of the concept of the receptive field and the problematic data. We then consider a number of possible theoretical responses to these data. (shrink)
This essay introduces a thematic issue focused on the contributions to clinical ethics and the philosophy of medicine by Richard M. Zaner. We consider the apparent divorce of Zaners philosophical roots from his recent narrative immersions into the blooming, buzzing confusions of clinical-moral lifeworlds. Our considerations of the Zanerian context and origins of the clinical encounter introduce the fundamental questions faced by Zaner and his commentators in this issue, questions about the role of ethics consultants, moral authority, and clinical (...) truths. (shrink)
The present study seeks to lay out the most basic elements of the ontology of classical Aš‘arite theology. In several cases this requires a careful examination of the traditional and the formal lexicography of certain key expressions. The topics primarily treated are: how they understood “Being/ existence” and “being/existent” and essential natures; the systematic exploitation of the equivocities of certain expressions within a general context in which other than words there are no universals proves to be elegant as well as (...) insightful; the basic categories of primary entities: independant beings and nonindependant beings, created and uncreated, the equivocity of “being/existent” as predicated of contingent entities on the one hand and of God and His attributes on the other, and certain problems that arise because of the rigid application of the system's underlying analytic principles. Nous essayons ici de presenter les éléments fondamentaux de l'ontologie de l'aš‘arisme classique. Pour quelques expressions, il a fallu examiner la lexicographie et ordinaire et technique pour bien comprendre leur emploi et leur signification. Les sujets examinés sont: le sens de “Etre/existence” et de “être/existant” et le concept de réalité essentielle; l'emploi nuancé des équivocités de quelques expressions dans un contexte où les seuls universaux sont des mots, emploi qui se révèle philosophiquement élégant; les catégories fondamentales des êtres: êtres indépendants et êtres non-indépendants, soit créés soit incréés, l'équivocité de “être/existant” dit des êtres contingents d'une part, de Dieu et ses attributs d'autre part, et enfin quelques difficultiés qui résultent de l'application rigide des principes analytiques du système. (shrink)
Our intention here is to present the essential character of classical, sunnī kalām within a strictly formal perspective and to set out its basic aspects. It was conceived by the mutakallimīn as a rational, conceptual, and critical science and, although kalām differed in a number of basic concepts and constructs and in its analytic system, the topical organisation of the major compendia parallels that of metaphysics as understood in the contemporary Aristotelian tradition. The debates between kalām and falsafa need to (...) be examined within this context. Kalām, however, is theological in the strict sense of the term and it is as such that its problematic and its procedures are primarily to be understood. Thus seen, the object of kalām is to rationalise the cognitive content presented to Believers in the symbolic language of the koranic revelation. It has, then, four principal tasks, sc, to conceptualise, to order, to explain, and where possible to justify the primary doctrines of the community whose belief is held to be normative. Within this framework the differences that characterise the major schools as such and the various tendencies of individual masters within each school may readily be brought to light. On se propose ici de présenter, d'un point de vue strictement formel, la nature du kālam classique sunnite et d'identifier ses caractéristiques principales. II avait été conçu par les mutakallimin comme une science rationelle, conceptuelle et critique. L'organisation des matières dans ses traités reprend celle de la métaphysique dans la tradition aristotélicienne de l'époque, bien que le kalām s'en distingue par plusieurs de ses structures et concepts fondamentaux, ainsi que par son système analytique. C'est dans ce contexte qu'il faut considérer les debats qui s'instaurèrent entre kalām et falsafa. Le kalām, cependant, est d'ordre strictement théologique et c'est principalement dans ce cadre qu'il faut comprendre sa problématique et ses procédures. Le kalām a pour fonction de rationaliser le contenu cognitif offert aux croyants dans le langage symbolique de la révélation coranique. Il en résulte quatre tâches principales; il s'agit de conceptualiser, ordonner, expliquer et, dans le mesure du possible, justifier les doctrines principales reconnues par la communauté faisant référence en matière de croyance. Dans ce cadre, il sera possible de mettre en lumière les différences entre les principales écoles, ainsi que les tendances qui distinguent certains de leurs grands maîtres respectifs. (shrink)
Richard M. Gale Richard Gale was an American philosopher known for defending the A-theory of time against the B-theory. The A-theory implies, for example, that tensed predicates are not reducible to tenseless predicates. Gale also argued against the claim that negative truths are reducible to positive ones. He created a new modal version of … Continue reading Gale, Richard M. →.
The first thought that comes to mind when reading Richard Shusterman’s The Adventures of the Man in Gold is how refreshingly unorthodox its author is. Shusterman is a respected aesthetician, responsible for books such as Surface and Depth: Dialectics of Criticism and Culture, Body Consciousness: A Philosophy of Mindfulness and Somaesthetics, and Pragmatist Aesthetic: Living Beauty, Rethinking Art —all disciplined, carefully argued contributions to the philosophy of art and/or the body. The new book steps off path. It presents (...) a different kind of philosophical intervention, one that encourages reconsidering philosophical methodology and its less-explored possibilities. You will be reading a work... (shrink)
When Richard Shusterman burst on the academic scene some decades ago he quickly became the golden boy of aesthetics. Now in his late sixties he is hardly a boy anymore, but possibly a golden oldie. Nevertheless, he is still prone to boyish pranks as can be seen in parts of his new book, The Adventures of the Man in Gold. Paths between Art and Life.