In this brief, we argue that there is a diversity of ways in which humans (Homo sapiens) are ‘persons’ and there are no non-arbitrary conceptions of ‘personhood’ that can include all humans and exclude all nonhuman animals. To do so we describe and assess the four most prominent conceptions of ‘personhood’ that can be found in the rulings concerning Kiko and Tommy, with particular focus on the most recent decision, Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc v Lavery.
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)
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)
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.
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)
In December 2013, the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) filed a petition for a common law writ of habeas corpus in the New York State Supreme Court on behalf of Tommy, a chimpanzee living alone in a cage in a shed in rural New York (Barlow, 2017). Under animal welfare laws, Tommy’s owners, the Laverys, were doing nothing illegal by keeping him in those conditions. Nonetheless, the NhRP argued that given the cognitive, social, and emotional capacities of chimpanzees, Tommy’s confinement constituted (...) a profound wrong that demanded remedy by the courts. Soon thereafter, the NhRP filed habeas corpus petitions on behalf of Kiko, another chimpanzee housed alone in Niagara Falls, and Hercules and Leo, two chimpanzees held in research facilities at Stony Brook University. Thus began the legal struggle to move these chimpanzees from captivity to a sanctuary, an effort that has led the NhRP to argue in multiple courts before multiple judges. The central point of contention has been whether Tommy, Kiko, Hercules, and Leo have legal rights. To date, no judge has been willing to issue a writ of habeas corpus on their behalf. Such a ruling would mean that these chimpanzees have rights that confinement might violate. Instead, the judges have argued that chimpanzees cannot be bearers of legal rights because they are not, and cannot be persons. In this book we argue that chimpanzees are persons because they are autonomous. (shrink)
Moving back and forth between the history of philosophy and the contributions of philosophers in his own day, Durkheim takes up topics as diverse as philosophical psychology, logic, ethics, and metaphysics, and seeks to articulate a unified philosophical position. Remarkably, in these lectures, given more than a decade before the publication of his groundbreaking book, The Division of Labour in Society, the 'social realism' that is so characteristic of his later work - where he insists, famously, that social facts cannot (...) be reduced to psychological or economic ones, and that such facts constrain human action in important ways - is totally absent in these early lectures. For this reason, they will be of special interest to students of the history of the social sciences, for they shed important light on the course of Durkheim's intellectual development. (shrink)
In Liberalism's Troubled Search for Equality, Robert P. Jones asks why these concerns were dismissed by liberal philosophers and argues that this contradiction exposes a blind spot within liberal political theory.
Spanning more than fifty years of contemporary thought, this collection of essays and reviews by one of the century's most distinguished philosophical critics represents an intellectual odyssey that will reward readers with a creative and penetrating gloss on the major scholarly, political, and literary topics of the era.