Climate engineering (CE), the intentional modification of the climate in order to reduce the effects of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, is sometimes touted as a potential response to climate change. Increasing interest in the topic has led to proposals for empirical tests of hypothesized CE techniques, which raise serious ethical concerns. We propose three ethical guidelines for CE researchers, derived from the ethics literature on research with human and animal subjects, applicable in the event that CE research progresses beyond computer (...) modeling. The Principle of Respect requires that the scientific community secure the global public's consent, voiced through their governmental representatives, before beginning any empirical research. The Principle of Beneficence and Justice requires that researchers strive for a favorable risk–benefit ratio and a fair distribution of risks and anticipated benefits, all while protecting the basic rights of affected individuals. Finally, the Minimization Principle requires that researchers minimize the extent and intensity of each experiment by ensuring that no experiments last longer, cover a greater geographical extent, or have a greater impact on the climate, ecosystem, or human welfare than is necessary to test the specific hypotheses in question. Field experiments that might affect humans or ecosystems in significant ways should not proceed until a full discussion of the ethics of CE research occurs and appropriate institutions for regulating such experiments are established. (shrink)
Some types of solar radiation management (SRM) research are ethically problematic because they expose persons, animals, and ecosystems to significant risks. In our earlier work, we argued for ethical norms for SRM research based on norms for biomedical research. Biomedical researchers may not conduct research on persons without their consent, but universal consent is impractical for SRM research. We argue that instead of requiring universal consent, ethical norms for SRM research require only political legitimacy in decision-making about global SRM trials. (...) Using Allen Buchanan & Robert Keohane's model of global political legitimacy, we examine several existing global institutions as possible analogues for a politically legitimate SRM decision-making body. (shrink)
Revisioning macro-democratic processes in light of the processes and promise of micro-deliberation, Innovating Democracy provides an integrated perspective on democratic theory and practice after the deliberative turn.
Utilitarianism, the great reforming philosophy of the nineteenth century, has today acquired the reputation for being a crassly calculating, impersonal philosophy unfit to serve as a guide to moral conduct. Yet what may disqualify utilitarianism as a personal philosophy makes it an eminently suitable guide for public officials in the pursuit of their professional responsibilities. Robert E. Goodin, a philosopher with many books on political theory, public policy and applied ethics to his credit, defends utilitarianism against its critics and (...) shows how it can be applied most effectively over a wide range of public policies. In discussions of such issues as paternalism, social welfare policy, international ethics, nuclear armaments, and international responses to the environment crisis, he demonstrates what a flexible tool his brand of utilitarianism can be in confronting the dilemmas of public policy in the real world. (shrink)
In this strikingly original book, one of the leading scholars in the field focuses on the influential idea of deliberative democracy. Goodin examines the great challenge of how to implement the deliberative ideal among millions of people at once and comes up with a novel solution: 'democratic deliberation within'.
Maximizing want-satisfaction per se is a relatively unattractive aspiration, for it seems to assume that wants are somehow disembodied entities with independent moral claims all of their own. Actually, of course, they are possessed by particular people. What preference-utilitarians should be concerned with is how people's lives go—the fulfilment of their projects and the satisfaction of their desires. In an old-fashioned way of talking, it is happy people rather than happiness per se that utilitarians should be striving to produce.
The precise application of the term ‘heroic measures’ in the discourse of medicine and medical ethics is somewhat uncertain. What counts and what does not is, at the margins, a perpetually contentious issue. Basically, though, we can say that the term refers to the deployment of unusual technologies or treatment regimes, or of ordinary technologies or treatment regimes beyond their usual limits.
Democracy used to be seen as a relatively mechanical matter of merely adding up everyone's votes in free and fair elections. That mechanistic model has many virtues, among them allowing democracy to 'track the truth', where purely factual issues are all that is at stake. Political disputes invariably mix facts with values, however, and then it is essential to listen to what people are saying rather than merely note how they are voting. The great challenge is how to implement that (...) deliberative ideal among millions of people at once. In this strikingly original book, Goodin offers a solution: 'democratic deliberation within'. Building on models of ordinary conversational dynamics, he suggests that people simply imagine themselves in the position of various other people they have heard or read about and ask, 'What would they say about this proposal?' Informing the democratic imaginary then becomes the key to making deliberations more reflective - more empathetic, more considered, more expansive across time and distance. (shrink)
Bracket out the wrong of committing a wrong, or conspiring or colluding or conniving with others in their committing one. Suppose you have done none of those things, and you find yourself merely benefiting from a wrong committed wholly by someone else. What, if anything, is wrong with that? What, if any, duties follow from it? If straightforward restitution were possible — if you could just ‘give back’ what you received as a result of the wrongdoing to its rightful owner (...) — then matters are morally more straightforward. But in real-world cases that is often impossible, and questions of ‘how much, from whom and to whom?’ become far more vexing. The beneficiary disgorging all benefits of the wrong is part of the story, but where that is not possible or will not suffice to compensate the victim of wrongdoing we discuss various ways of allocating the cost of making the victim whole, including supplementation from public coffers. (shrink)
This volume includes Whewell's seminal studies of the logic of induction (with his critique of Mill's theory), arguments for his realist view that science discovers necessary truths about nature, and exercises in the epistemology and ontology of science. The book sets forth a coherent statement of a historically important philosophy of science whose influence has never been greater: every one of Whewell's fundamental ideas about the philosophy of science is presented here. -/- .
Many in science are disposed not to take biosemiotics seriously, dismissing it as too anthropomorphic. Furthermore, biosemiotic apologetics are cast in top-down fashion, thereby adding to widespread skepticism. An effective response might be to approach biosemiotics from the bottom up, but the foundational assumptions that support Enlightenment science make that avenue impossible. Considerations from ecosystem studies reveal, however, that those conventional assumptions, although once possessing great utilitarian value, have come to impede deeper understanding of living systems because they implicitly depict (...) the evolution of the universe backward. Ecological dynamics suggests instead a smaller set of countervailing postulates that allows evolution to play forward and sets the stage for tripartite causalities, signs, and interpreters—the key elements of biosemiosis—to emerge naturally out of the interaction of chance with configurations of autocatalytic processes. Biosemiosis thereby appears as a fully legitimate outgrowth of the new metaphysic and shows promise for becoming the supervenient focus of a deeper perspective on the phenomenon of life. (shrink)
Philosophers who complain about the ‹demandingness’ of morality forget that a morality can make too few demands as well as too many. What we ought be seeking is an appropriately demanding morality. This article recommends a ‹moral satisficing’ approach to determining when a morality is ‹demanding enough’, and an institutionalized solution to keeping the demands within acceptable limits.
The VIA Classification of Strengths and Virtues attempts to provide a comprehensive model of character based on 24 character strengths. The present study is the largest study to date exploring the structure of the 24 strengths in youth. One sample completed the VIA-Youth, a teen measure of the VIA Classification. Based on a random subsample, it was determined the data were best modeled using four factors. The remainder of the sample was used to demonstrate measurement invariance for the four-factor model (...) across ages 10–17 and country. Comparison with 471 English academy school students who completed two alternate measures of the VIA Classification also demonstrated measurement invariance. The results suggest a four-factor model that includes two primarily interpersonal factors, one reflecting general engagement, the second other-directedness. Other factors involved intellectual and self-control strengths. Implications for the understanding of character strengths in youth versus adults are discussed. (shrink)
Physicalism holds that the laws of physics are inviolable and ubiquitous and thereby account for all of reality. Laws leave no “wiggle room” or “gaps” for action by numinous agents. They cannot be invoked, however, without boundary stipulations that perforce are contingent and which “drive” the laws. Driving contingencies are not limited to instances of “blind chance,” but rather span a continuum of amalgamations with regularities, up to and including nearly determinate propensities. Most examples manifest directionality, and their very definition (...) encompasses intentionality. Contingencies, via their interactions with laws, can reinforce and maintain one another, thereby giving rise to enduring, ordered configurations of constraints. All of ordered nature thus results from ongoing transactions between mutualistic contingencies that constrain possibilities and entropic chance events that degrade order but diversify opportunities. Laws do not of themselves determine reality; interactions among contingencies do. For believers, the robust abundance of indeterminacies provides ample latitude for divine intervention, free will, and prayer. The priority of contingency also affords some insight into the meaning of suffering and evil. (shrink)
With their remarkable electoral successes, Green parties worldwide seized the political imagination of friends and foes alike. Mainstream politicians busily disparage them and imitate them in turn. This new book shows that 'greens' deserve to be taken more seriously than that. This is the first full-length philosophical discussion of the green political programme. Goodin shows that green public policy proposals are unified by a single, coherent moral vision - a 'green theory of value' - that is largely independent of the (...) `green theory of agency' dictating green political mechanisms, strategies and tactics on the one hand, and personal lifestyle recommendations on the other. The upshot is that we demand that politicians implement green public policies, and implement them completely, without committing ourselves to the other often more eccentric aspects of green doctrine that threaten to alienate so many potential supporters. (shrink)
The common understanding of Chuang-Tzu as one of the earliest deconstructionists is only half true. This article sets out to challenge conventional characterizations of Chuang-Tzu by adding the important caveat that not only is he a philosophical deconstructionist but that his writings also reveal a non-relativistic, transcendental basis to understanding. The road to such understanding, as argued by this author, can be found in Chuang-Tzu’s emphasis on the illusory or dream-like nature of the self and, by extension, the subject-object dichotomy (...) inherent in all forms of conceptualization and descriptive language. These two obstacles to true understanding - the self and literal, linguistic expressions - are overcome in the Chuang-Tzu by implementing metaphorical and poetic language, such as the Kun-Peng myth, the swamp pheasant parable, the introduction of physically deformed interlocutors, various dream analogies, and so forth. By employing such literary devices in a comprehensible and non-mystical manner, this article concludes that Chuang-Tzu successfully communicates his essential wisdom by guiding the reader to a higher state of spiritual awareness, a state in which one transcends the self, language, conceptual paradoxes, and even the idea of transcendence itself. Consequently, through the following explication of Chuang-Tzu’s complementary emphasis on both preventing mental rigidity and promoting spiritual transcendence, this article seeks to earn Chuang-Tzu the reputation of a deconstructionist with a difference. (shrink)
Introduction -- Modes of settling: settling down, settling in, settling up, settling for, settling one's affairs, settling on -- The value of settling: settling as an aid to planning and agency, settling, commitment, trust, and confidence, settling the social fabric -- What settling is not: settling is not just compromising, settling is not just conservatism, settling is not just resignation -- Settling in aid of striving: settling in order to strive, what strivings require settling, and why, when to switch between (...) one and the other, and why -- Conclusions. (shrink)
William Whewell is considered one of the most important nineteenth-century British philosophers of science and a contributor to modern philosophical thought, particularly regarding the problem of induction and the logic of discovery. In this volume, Robert E. Butts offers selections from Whewell's most important writings, and analysis of counter-claims to his philosophy.
The respondent agrees with William Grassie that many windows on nature are possible; that emphasis must remain on the generation of order; that “chance” would better be recast as “contingency”; and that the ecological metaphysic has wide implications for a “politics of nature”. He accepts the challenge by Pedro Sotolongo to extend his metaphysic into the realm of pan-semiotics and agrees that an ecological perspective offers the best hope for solving the world’s inequities. He replies to Stanley Salthe that he (...) now agrees that the second law of thermodynamics is the overarching law of nature, but only when the duality inherent in of the concept of entropy is widely recognized. The respondent is enthusiastic over Jeffrey Lockwood’s extrapolation of process ecology to include the concept of “species” and over John Haught’s description of how the construct paves the way for a “theology of evolution” by recasting evolution as an unfolding “drama”. (shrink)
This book offers a fundamentally new interpretation of the philosophy of the Chuang-Tzu. It is the first full-length work of its kind which argues that a deep level cognitive structure exists beneath an otherwise random collection of literary anecdotes, cryptic sayings, and dark allusions. The author carefully analyzes myths, legends, monstrous characters, paradoxes, parables and linguistic puzzles as strategically placed techniques for systematically tapping and channeling the spiritual dimensions of the mind. Allinson takes issue with commentators who have treated the (...) Chuang-Tzu as a minor foray into relativism. Chapter titles are re-translated, textual fragments are relocated, and inauthentic, outer miscellaneous chapters are carefully separated from the transformatory message of the authentic, inner chapters. Each of the inner chapters is shown to be a building block to the next so that they can only be understood as forming a developmental sequence. In the end, the reader is presented with a clear, consistent and coherent view of the Chuang-Tzu that is more in accord with its stature as a major philosophical work. (shrink)
Hegel.Robert E. Wood - 2012 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 16 (2):337-349.details
Misunderstandings of Hegel have several roots: one is the intrinsic difficulty of his highly technical and interrelated conceptual sets, another is ideological opponents who consequently take statements out of context, and a third is following those of high stature who pass on the misunderstandings. Typical misunderstandings concern freedom and necessity, slavery, that status of the individual, God and the State, facts measuring up to concepts, the relation of rationality and actuality, the status of passion, and, above all, the nature of (...) absolute knowing. Resituating these notions within the whole of the System shows the one-sidedness of typical misunderstandings and opens the way toward appropriation. (shrink)