Fourteen essays by former pupils of Calhoun, including G. A. Lindbeck, W. A. Christian, N. C. Nielsen, Jr., R. P. Ramsey, and A. C. Outler. The depth of scholarship that these former students have achieved as well as the generally high calibre of all the essays are ample evidence of Calhoun's pedagogical prowess. Most of the contributions are of theological import, and most are historically oriented as the title of the book suggests. Lindbeck's essay, however, "The A Priori in St. (...) Thomas' Theory of Knowledge," has direct philosophical relevance for those concerned over the "Transcendental" interpretation of Thomas' epistemology and metaphysics. Nothing is advanced over the arguments of Maréchal, Lonergan, and Rahner in favor of this interpretation, but this additional support in a new context lends strength to the thesis.—E. A. R. (shrink)
John E. Roemer, one of the founders of analytical Marxism, draws on contemporary mathematical economics to put forward a refined extension of the Marxian theory of exploitation, labour value and class.
The theory of equal opportunity as I have expounded it in Roemer uses a language comprising five words: objective, circumstance, type, effort, and policy. The objective is the kind of outcome or well-being or advantage for whose acquisition one wishes to equalize opportunities, in a given population. Circumstances are the set of environmental influences, beyond the individual’s control, that affect his or her chances of acquiring the objective. A type is the group of individuals in the population with a (...) given set of circumstances. Effort is autonomously chosen action—within the individual’s control—which, if expended in greater amounts, will increase the degree to which the individual acquires the objective. A policy is a social intervention that is used to influence the degree to which individuals acquire the objective. The equal-opportunity policy is the one from the set of feasible policies that will make it the case that the degree to which individuals acquire the objective is independent of their circumstances, and sensitive only to their effort. I propose a way of computing the equal-opportunity policy in any given situation, given the appropriate data, and a decision as to what environmental aspects should be taken to constitute circumstances. This quick summary leaves out many details, which will be focused upon in what follows. (shrink)
This book presents fifteen essays, written over the past dozen years, on egalitarianism. The essays explore contemporary philosophical debates on this subject, using the tools of modern economic theory, general equilibrium theory, game theory, and the theory of mechanism design. Egalitarian Perspectives is divided into four parts: the theory of exploitation; equality of resources; bargaining theory and distributive justice; and market socialism and public ownership. The first part presents Roemer's influential reconceptualisation of the Marxian theory of exploitation as a (...) theory of distributive justice. The second part offers a critique of Ronald Dworkin's equality-of-resources theory, and puts forward a new egalitarian proposal based upon a specific method of measuring individual responsibility. The third part introduces a novel application of the theory of mechanism design to the study of political philosophy, and raises new concerns about the limitations of that application. The fourth part presents the author's views on market socialism and public ownership, and demonstrates that Professor Roemer is at the forefront of refining new theories and conceptions of market socialism. (shrink)
Professor Roemer's goal in this book is to give a rigorous view of classical Marxian economic theory by presenting specific analytic models. The theory is not extended to deal with new problems, but it is deepened: Marxian theory is given micro-foundations and upon those foundations the author begins to rebuild a tightly constructed Marxian economics. The book begins, after a methodological introduction, with an examination of the Marxian notion of equilibrium and the theory of exploitation, and goes on to (...) deal with the theory of the falling rate of profit. The next section explores one of the points made in the first section of the book, that the Marxian theory of exploitation can be constructed completely independently of the labor theory of value as a theory of exchange. Technical study of this problem allows comment on various issues, such as the relative importance of 'marginal utilities' and 'class struggle' in determining relative prices. The final part examines models of various Marxian concepts. (shrink)
Process philosophy is said by some to be the future of American philosophy. This collection of essays, ranging from studies of Whitehead to Camus and Sir Muhammad Iqbal, extends the discussion far beyond the boundaries of North America. Several of the essays are of a more systematic character. Donald Hanks analyzes the category of process as a pre-conceptual principle used to organize experience into an intelligible pattern. Andrew Reck provides an analysis of the meaning and justification of what he considers (...) to be the ten ideas or categories requisite for a system of process philosophy. Charles Schmidtke argues that process philosophy faces a fundamental decision regarding whether the character of reality as process is given as an ultimate datum or whether process philosophy structures reality in accordance with the characteristic of creative becoming. Other essays in the volume are concerned with the concept of process in the work of a variety of philosophers, some of whom are less directly in the process tradition. Ramona Cormier analyzes the relationship of the process of experience to its unchanging aspect in connection with Camus’ concern for the meaningfulness of life and the limitations of rational inquiry. Bertrand P. Helm provides a study of James’ concept of time and Patrick S. Madigan a study of the concept of space in Leibniz and Whitehead. Whitehead’s understanding of the interaction of things provides the basis for R. Kirby Godsey’s study of the categories of substance and relation in Whitehead, and Robert C. Whittemore provides an introduction to the process philosophy of Sir Muhammad Iqbal, the little known poet-philosopher and sometime student of James Ward. James Leroy Smith’s article on Whitehead and Marx is a critical comparison of their political philosophies.—E.T.L. (shrink)
El autor explora en este artículo dos concepciones de la igualdad de oportunidades ampliamente difundidas en las democracias occidentales de nuestros días. Al clásico principio del mérito opone la igualdad de oportunidades en la adquisición del mérito, que discute apoyándose en la metáfora de la nivelación del terreno de juego. Roemer propone un modelo matemático elemental para analizar el peso del esfuerzo y las circunstancias individuales en la formación individual y, de acuerdo con éste, desarrolla un algoritmo para evaluar (...) la inversión estatal en los programas de igualación de oportunidades. Este algoritmo se ilustra con su aplicación en dos casos y se acompaña de una discusión de las dificultades que aparecen en su desarrollo. (shrink)
_A new theory of how and why we cooperate, drawing from economics, political theory, and philosophy to challenge the conventional wisdom of game theory_ Game theory explains competitive behavior by working from the premise that people are self-interested. People don’t just compete, however; they also cooperate. John Roemer argues that attempts by orthodox game theorists to account for cooperation leave much to be desired. Unlike competing players, cooperating players take those actions that they would like others to take—which (...) class='Hi'>Roemer calls “Kantian optimization.” Through rigorous reasoning and modeling, Roemer demonstrates a simpler theory of cooperative behavior than the standard model provides. (shrink)
If one is an egalitarian, what should one want to equalize? Opportunities or outcomes? Resources or welfare? These positions are usually conceived to be very different. I argue in this paper that the distinction is misconceived: the only coherent conception of resource equality implies welfare equality, in an appropriately abstract description of the problem. In this section, I motivate the program which the rest of the paper carries out.
Imagine a society of fisherfolk, who, in the state of nature, fish on a lake of finite size. Fishing on the lake is characterized by decreasing returns to scale in labor, because the lake's finite size imply that each successive hour of fishing labor is less effective than the previous one, as the remaining fish become less dense in the lake. In the state of nature, the lake is commonly owned: each fishes as much as he pleases, and, we might (...) suppose, calculates his fishing plan by taking the labor of the others as given, as he sees it. Each knows that the distribution of fish will be proportional to labor expended among the fisherfolk: if I fish twice as long as you, I will end up with twice as much fish as you. This is not due to some kind of concern with equity among the fisherfolk; it is a technological fact, implied by the assumption that fishing labor is homogeneous, and all are equally likely to catch a fish in a unit of time. An equilibrium under common ownership can be thought of as a Nash equilibrium of the game where each computes his optimal fishing plan, given the labor of the others and knowing what the consequent distribution of fish would be. (shrink)
Radical and liberal theories of egalitarianism are distinguished, in large part, by the differing degrees to which they hold people responsible for their own well-being. The most liberal or individualistic theory calls for equality of opportunity. Once such “starting gate equality,” as Dworkin calls it, is guaranteed, then any final outcome is justified, provided certain rules, such as voluntary trading, are observed. At the other pole, the most radical egalitarianism calls for equality of welfare. In between these two extremes are (...) egalitarian proposals that equalize more than conventional opportunities, yet less than full welfare. Sen speaks of equality of basic capabilities as a goal; implementing that requires more than starting gate equality, because some will require more resources than others to attain the same capabilities. Meeting basic needs is another objective. Equality of needs fulfillment is perhaps less radical than equality of basic capabilities and more radical than equality of opportunity. Rawls takes equality of primary goods as a benchmark; he distinguishes primary goods from welfare, but includes among them goods that are more complicated than conventional resources and opportunities, all of which are supposed inputs into any conception of welfare. One could imagine proposing an egalitarianism that equalized some quite measurable outcome across populations, such as infant mortality. That would be an outcome-equalizing theory where the rate of infant mortality is a proxy, presumably, for some more complicated maximand, such as the degree of wellbeing of a population. (shrink)
All advanced societies maintain a commitment to equal educational opportunity, which they claim to implement through a public school system that is charged toprovide all children with an education up to a state-enforced standard. Indeed, what public schools do, even in the best of circumstances, is to provide all children with a more or less equal exposure to educational inputs, rather than to guarantee them equal educational attainment. Children, as the schools receive them, differ markedly in their docility — due (...) in part to innate ability, but perhaps due more to the economic status and cultural practices of their families. Many, including myself, believe that the task of schools should be to provide some measure of equal educational attainment among students of heterogeneous talent and background. Schools should devote more educational resources to students who require them in order that they be educated to an acceptable standard. (shrink)
This is a review of the book Cultivating Original Enlightenment: Wŏnhyo's Exposition of the Vajrasamādhi-Sūtra, by Robert E. Buswell, Jr., published by the Univeristy of Hawaii Press. This volume, the first to be published in the Collected Works of Wŏnhyo series, contains the translation of a single text by Wŏnhyo, the Kŭmgang Sammaegyŏng Non.
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.
This article sympathetically explores the phenomenological pragmatism of Robert E. Innis in Consciousness and the Play of Forms and Pragmatism and the Forms of Sense. Disputing both the realistic view that perception underlies semiosis and deconstructionist reversals of this, Innis claims they are inextricably interwoven. He forges an alliance between pragmatists Peirce and Dewey, and Continental phenomenologists Polanyi, Bühler, and Cassirer, a "polyphony" that also yields a richly aesthetic critique of technology. By restricting his analysis to a methodological "frame," (...) Innis overlooks a metaphysical tension between Polanyi's realism and Cassirer's idealism, though potentially resolvable in Dewey's transactional philosophy. (shrink)
Elsewhere I have defended utilitarianism as a philosophy peculiarly well suited to the conduct of public affairs, on grounds of the peculiar tasks and instruments confronting public officials. Here I add another plank to that defence of ‘utilitarianism as a public philosophy’, focusing on the peculiar role responsibilities of people serving in public capacities. Such ‘public service utilitarianism’ is incumbent not only upon public officials but also upon individuals in their capacities as citizens and voters. I close with reflections on (...) how best to evoke appreciation of these utilitarian role responsibilities from officials and electors alike. (shrink)
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.
Although Darwinian concepts have largely been banned from the social sciences of the last century, they have recently seen a revival in several disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, or economics. Most of the current proponents of evolutionary theorizing in the social sciences avoid references to the older literature on social evolution. On that background, this article presents a contribution to Darwinist thinking in early American sociology that has mainly been overlooked in the literature. As the leading figure of the Human (...) Ecology Approach, which was established during the 1920s and 1930s, Robert Ezra Park drew heavily on evolutionary concepts to explain human evolution. A systematic presentation of these concepts in the light of the modern discussion on sociocultural evolution is given, followed by a conclusion about what can be learned from Park today. (shrink)
O presente artigo procura mostrar a crítica conservadora inglesa do século XVII às noções de liberdade natural e contrato originário, ao deslocar a origem do poder político para as relações afetivas estabelecidas pelos laços sentimentais de família que mantêm pais e filhos unidos. Mais exatamente, a legitimação política do poder teria como fundamento uma autoridade natural semelhante à relação verificada entre pais e filhos. Segundo essa teoria, cujo mais importante representante foi Robert Filmer, o fundamento da autoridade política não (...) é fruto de uma instituição arbitrária dos homens, mas uma necessidade introduzida por Deus, com o propósito de justificar as monarquias absolutistas. (shrink)
On reflecting about the prospects of advancing the egalitarian cause in the United States, John Roemer makes the case for more traditional strategies than the coupon socialism model he advocated in earlier work. First of all, he suggests, an ethos of solidarity must be developed and the super-rich be subjected to higher taxation. This comment assesses this proposal. On the one hand it is discussed whether the ethos of solidarity Roemer calls for in order to counteract the culture (...) of greed among American elites requires nurturing an undesirable culture of envy among the rest of the population. On the other hand it is considered whether the neoclassical principal-agent model—that Roemer believes must be contested in order to popularize a steep progressive income tax—might be one of the more promising tools to restructure the incentives of economic elites and curb casino capitalism. (shrink)
Robert Innis has performed an immensely valuable service for scholars in the fields of American philosophy, aesthetics, and semiotics. Not only does his comprehensive view of Susanne K. Langer’s opus show us its development, but this is the only book in English devoted solely to Langer. I hope it may help retrieve her considerable philosophical achievement from the penumbral, fading status it has today. Not only does Innis give us a close discussion of Langer’s philosophy, but he also presents (...) a running argument that she should be embraced as an “American philosopher” and semiotician who shares themes with Dewey and Peirce. This is significant insofar as Langer held herself aloof from the work of both Dewey and . (shrink)