This article responds to a common criticism of Aristotelian naturalism known as the Pollyanna Problem, the objection that Aristotelian naturalism, when combined with recent empirical research, generates morally unacceptable conclusions. In developing a reply to this objection, I draw upon the conception of human nature developed by the ancient Chinese philosopher Mencius, and build up an account of ethical naturalism that provides a satisfying response to the Pollyanna Problem while also preserving what is most attractive about Aristotelian naturalism.
Philosophical investigation of human nature has a long, distinguished, and multifaceted history. In the East some of the most heated philosophical disputes pertaining to issues concerning moral self-cultivation centered on disagreements about human nature. Within the Neo-Confucian tradition that developed out of Korea, issues concerning human nature took center stage in a dispute now known as the “Horak Debate” that began in the eighteenth century. In this paper I seek to introduce the Horak Debate to contemporary philosophers by (a) historically (...) situating the debate within the tradition of Korean NeoConfucianism, (b) providing an outline of the Horak Debate and identifying its central points of contention, and (c) demonstrating the debate’s philosophical significance by revealing how some of its key issues are rooted in disagreements that continue to concern contemporary philosophers. (shrink)
Kim :1099–1112, 2013) defends a logicist theory of numbers. According to him, numbers are adverbial entities, similar to those denoted by “frequently” and “at 100 mph”. He even introduces new adverbs for numbers: “1-wise”, “2-wise”, and so on. For example, “Fs exist 2-wise” means that there are two Fs. Kim claims that, because we can derive Dedekind–Peano axioms from his definition of numbers as adverbial entities, it is a new form of logicism. In this paper, I will, however, argue that (...) his theory is vulnerable to an analogue of the so-called Bad Company objection to neo-Fregeanism. This means that we cannot be sure that numbers are actually given to us by Kim’s definition; for, we don’t know whether it is indeed a good definition. So, unless Kim, or somebody else, provides a demarcation criterion between good and bad adverbial definitions, Kim’s theory will remain incomplete. (shrink)
Astroturf organizations are fake grassroots organizations usually sponsored by large corporations to support any arguments or claims in their favor, or to challenge and deny those against them. They constitute the corporate version of grassroots social movements. Serious ethical and societal concerns underline this astroturfing practice, especially if corporations are successful in influencing public opinion by undertaking a social movement approach. This study is motivated by this particular issue and examines the effectiveness of astroturf organizations in the global warming context, (...) wherein large corporate polluters have an incentive to set up astroturf organizations to undermine the importance of human activities in climate change. We conduct an experiment to determine whether astroturf organizations have an impact on the level of user certainty about the causes of global warming. Results show that people who used astroturf websites became more uncertain about the causes of global warming and humans’ role in the phenomenon than people who used grassroots websites. Astroturf organizations are hence successful in promoting business interests over environmental protection. In addition to the multiple business ethics issues it raises, astroturfing poses a significant threat to the legitimacy of the grassroots movement. (shrink)
Butterfield defined Whig historiography as studying ―the past with reference to the present‖ to make a simple binary categorization of the good and the evil and make history a story of progress. Originally, the Anglo-American historians used Whig historiography to present the Catholic Church as the antithesis of modernity and liberalism in a reductive manner. Baigent and Leigh further this kind of historiography in The Inquisition.
Is the point of belief and assertion invariably to think or say something true? Is the truth of a belief or assertion absolute, or is it only relative to human interests? Most philosophers think it incoherent to profess to believe something but not think it true, or to say that some of the things we believe are only relatively true. Common sense disagrees. It sees many opinions, such as those about matters of taste, as neither true nor false; it takes (...) it as obvious that some of the truth is relative. Mark Richard's accessible book argues that when it comes to truth, common sense is right, philosophical orthodoxy wrong. The first half of the book examines connections between the performative aspects of talk, our emotions and evaluations, and the conditions under which talk and thought qualifies as true or false. It argues that the performative and expressive sometimes trump the semantic, making truth and falsity the wrong dimension of evaluation for belief or assertion. Among the topics taken up are: racial slurs and other epithets; relations between logic and truth; the status of moral and ethical talk; vagueness and the liar paradox. The book's second half defends the idea that much of everyday thought and talk is only relatively true or false. Truth is inevitably relative, given that we cannot work out in advance how our concepts will apply to the world. Richard explains what it is for truth to be relative, rebuts standard objections to relativism, and argues that relativism is consistent with the idea that one view can be objectively better than another. The book concludes with an account of matters of taste and of how it is possible for divergent views of such matters to be equally valid, even if not true or false. When Truth Gives Out will be of interest not only to philosophers who work on language, ethics, knowledge, or logic, but to any thoughtful person who has wondered what it is, or isn't, for something to be true. (shrink)
Face à la démarche théologique qui commence à partir de concepts dogmatiques existants, E. Schillebeeckx, en renversant cette démarche du déductif à l'inductif, élabore une théologie basée sur l'herméneutique de l'expérience et de la praxis. Ainsi aborde-t-il la question de l'actualisation de la foi, en montrant la relation dialectique entre la tradition de la foi et le contexte où vivent les croyants. Se situant dans le champ culturel asiatique, Agnès Kim rappelle qu'il y a là un champ d'interprétation façonné tout (...) autrement que celui que le christianisme a connu jadis. Mais ce champ asiatique est également en train d'être modifié par les expériences nouvelles qui critiquent aussi l'ensemble de l'expérience acquise. S'imposent ainsi à elle de doubles contextes existentiels qui la conduisent à poser la question des énoncés dogmatiques en situant cette question au sein de ces contextes, qui sont quelque peu en discontinuité par rapport à l'ancien, et qu'elle considère comme paradigmes du contexte interculturel. In face of the theological approach that begins with existing dogmatic concepts, E. Schillebeeckx, in reversing the approach from the deductive to the inductive, develops a theology based on a hermeneutics of experience and praxis. Thus he approaches the question of the actualization of the faith by showing the dialectical relationship between the tradition of faith and the context in which believers live. Putting herself in the Asian cultural context, Agnès Kim reminds us it is a sphere of interpretation that has been fashioned quite differently from the one experienced by Christianity in the past. But this Asian context is also being modified by new experiences that criticize acquired experience as a whole. Twofold existential contexts thus dominate her approach, leading her to raise the question of dogmatic statements while situating the question in these contexts, which are somewhat discontinuous in relation to the former one and which she considers to be paradigms of the intercultural context. (shrink)
The ‘right to the truth’ involves disclosing all the pertinent facts to a patient so that an informed decision can be made. However, this concept of a ‘right to the truth’ entails certain ambiguities, especially since it is difficult to apply the concept in medical practice based mainly on current evidence-based data that are probabilistic in nature. Furthermore, in some situations, the doctor is confronted with a moral dilemma, caught between the necessity to inform the patient (principle of autonomy) and (...) the desire to ensure the patient's well-being by minimising suffering (principle of beneficence). To comply with the principle of beneficence as well as the principle of non-maleficence ‘to do no harm’, the doctor may then feel obliged to turn to ‘therapeutic privilege’, using lies or deception to preserve the patient's hope, and psychological and moral integrity, as well as his self-image and dignity. There is no easy answer to such a moral dilemma. This article will propose a process that can fit into reflective practice, allowing the doctor to decide if the use of therapeutic privilege is justified when he is faced with these kinds of conflicting circumstances. We will present the conflict arising in practice in the context of the various theoretical orientations in ethics, and then we will suggest an approach for a ‘practice of truth’. Last, we will situate this reflective method in the broader clinical context of medical practice viewed as a dialogic process. (shrink)