This paper develops and extends the concept of ecological identity work through an investigation of issues of identity among students studying the environment at one US university. We conceptualize identity work as both an individual and group process through which students locate themselves in relation to particular, relatively preformed ecological identities, while also attempting to redefine the boundaries of ecological identity itself. Using interview and participant observation data we ask what kinds of ecological identity work takes place among students and (...) who is involved in defining and policing ecological identities. We argue that this approach can contribute to our understanding of the relationship between environmental education, philosophy and action. (shrink)
In the Summa Theologiae ‘simplicity’ is treated as pre–eminent among the terms which may properly be used to describe the divine nature. The Question in which Thomas demonstrates that God must be ‘totally and in every way simple’ immediately follows the five proofs of God's existence, preceding the treatment of His other perfections, and being frequently used as the basis for proving them. Then in Question 13 ‘univocal predication' is held to be ‘impossible between God and creatures’ so that at (...) best ‘some things are said of God and creatures analogically’ because of the necessity of using ‘various and multiplied conceptions’ derived from our knowledge of created beings to refer to what in God is simple for ‘the perfections flowing from God to creatures… pre–exist in God unitedly and simply, whereas in creatures they are received divided and multiplied’ . In line with this, in the De Potentia Dei the treatment of analogical predication is integrated into that of ‘the Simplicity of the Divine Essence’ . Moreover, it lies at the root of Thomas's rejection of any possibility of a Trinitarian natural theology such as, for instance, St Anselm or Richard of St Victor had attempted to develop, on the grounds that ‘it is impossible to attain to the knowledge of the Trinity by natural reason’ since ‘we can know what belongs to the unity of the essence, but not what belongs to the distinction of the persons’ . Even modern minds sympathetic to Thomas have clearly found it difficult to understand his concern for the divine simplicity: in his Aquinas Lecture Plantinga speaks for many in stating that it is ‘a mysterious doctrine’ which is ‘exceedingly hard to grasp or construe’ and ‘it is difficult to see why anyone should be inclined to accept it’. Not surprisingly, therefore, some of the most widely read twentieth–century commentators on Aquinas have paid little attention to it. Increased interest has recently been shown in it, but a number of discussions pay insufficient attention to the historical context out of which Thomas's interest in the doctrine emerged, and consequently tend to misconstrue its nature. (shrink)
The Structure of Emotions argues that emotion concepts should have a much more important role in the social and behavioural sciences than they now enjoy, and shows that certain influential psychological theories of emotions overlook the explanatory power of our emotion concepts. Professor Gordon also outlines a new account of the nature of commonsense (or ‘folk’) psychology in general.
How should we understand the emotional rationality? This first part will explore two models of cognition and analogy strategies, test their intuition about the emotional desire. I distinguish between subjective and objective desire, then presents with a feeling from the "paradigm of drama" export semantics, here our emotional repertoire is acquired all the learned, and our emotions in the form of an object is fixed. It is pretty well in line with the general principles of rationality, especially the lowest reasonable (...) principles. Turned to the second part of this side of reasonable. I will inquire how emotional beliefs, desires, and behaviors contribute to the rationality. I will present a very general biological hypothesis: emotions by controlling highlights the characteristics of perception and reasoning, so that we remove the difficulties due in particular to lead to paralysis; they are being simulated by a simplified perception of information, thus limiting our practice and cognitive choice. How are we to understand emotional or axiological rationality? I pursue analogies with both the cognitive and the strategic models, testing them against intuitions about emotional desires. We distinguish two different classes of desires, the subjective and the objective, and propose that emotions have a semantics that derives from "paradigmatic scenarios", in terms of which our emotional repertoire is learned and the formal objects of our emotions fixed. This fits in well with emerging facts about how our emotional capacities develop, and it can also be squared with the general principles of rationality, particularly minimal rationality. In the second part, I return to the perspective of rationality. I ask how emotions contribute to the rationality of beliefs, desires, and behavior. I proffer a very general biological hypothesis: Emotions spare us the paralysis potentially induced by a particular predicament by controlling the salience of features of perception and reasoning; they temporarily mimic the informational encapsulation of perception and so circumscribe our practical and cognitive options. (shrink)
When a new, brain-based definition of death was proposed fifty years ago, no one realized that the issue would remain unresolved for so long. Recently, six new controversies have added to the debate: whether there is a right to refuse apnea testing, which set of criteria should be chosen to measure the death of the brain, how the problem of erroneous testing should be handled, whether any of the current criteria sets accurately measures the death of the brain, whether standard (...) criteria include measurements of all brain functions, and how minorities who reject whole-brain-based definitions should be accommodated. These controversies leave little hope of consensus on how to define death for social and public policy purposes. Rather, there is persistent disagreement among proponents of three major groups of definitions of death: whole-brain, cardiocirculatory or somatic, and higher-brain. Given the persistence and reasonableness of each of these groups of definitions, public policy should permit individuals and their valid surrogates to choose among them. (shrink)
Our primary focus is on analysis of the concept of voluntariness, with a secondary focus on the implications of our analysis for the concept and the requirements of voluntary informed consent. We propose that two necessary and jointly sufficient conditions must be satisfied for an action to be voluntary: intentionality, and substantial freedom from controlling influences. We reject authenticity as a necessary condition of voluntary action, and we note that constraining situations may or may not undermine voluntariness, depending on the (...) circumstances and the psychological capacities of agents. We compare and evaluate several accounts of voluntariness and argue that our view, unlike other treatments in bioethics, is not a value-laden theory. We also discuss the empirical assessment of individuals? perceptions of the degrees of noncontrol and self-control. We propose use of a particular Decision Making Control Instrument. Empirical research using this instrument can provide data that will help establish appropriate policies and procedures for obtaining voluntary consent to research. (shrink)
The origins of professional ethical codes and oaths are explored. Their legitimacy and usefulness within the profession are questioned and an alternative ethical source is suggested. This source relies on a commonly shared, naturally knowable set of principles known as common morality.
Modern historical criticism of the gospels and Christian origins began in the seventeenth century largely as an attempt to debunk the Christian religion as a pious fraud. The gospels were seen as bits of priestcraft and humbug of a piece with the apocryphal Donation of Constantine. In the few centuries since Reimarus and his critical kin, historical criticism has been embraced and assimilated by many Christian scholars who have seen in it the logical extension of the grammatico-historical method of the (...) Reformers. The new views of New Testament exegesis and of early Christian history are important and well known. Many New Testament scholars would now hold with Schweitzer and Bultmann that Jesus was a preacher of the imminent end of the world. He may have secretly considered himself to be the Messiah, or he may have simply sought to pave the way for another, the apocalyptic Son of Man. After his execution, his disciples' experiences of his resurrection forced on them a conclusion already implicit in his teachings and personal piety: that Jesus was indeed, or had become, the Messiah, and was in fact God's Son. They expected he would soon return as the Son of Man he had predicted. (shrink)
After distinguishing two different meanings of the notion of a morality internal to medicine and considering a hypothetical case of a society that relied on its surgeons to eunuchize priest/cantors to permit them to play an important religious/cultural role, this paper examines three reasons why morality cannot be derived from reflection on the ends of the practice of medicine: (1) there exist many medical roles and these have different ends or purposes, (2) even within any given medical role, there exists (...) multiple, sometimes conflicting ends, and, most critically, (3) the ends of any practice such as medicine must come from outside the practice, that is, from the basic ends or purposes of human living. The paper concludes by considering whether these ends external to medicine are universally part of the moral reality or whether they are socially constructed. The paper argues that, even if various cultural accounts of the common, universal morality are socially constructed, they may, nevertheless, be reflections, however, imperfect, of a more universal common morality that should be thought of as real. Therefore, the morality of medicine must come from a more fundamental morality external to medicine. That external morality will be socially constructed, but may nevertheless reflect an underlying common morality. (shrink)
How did meat emerge to become such an important feature in Western society? In both popular and academic literatures, biophysical and political-economic factors are often cited as the reason for meat’s preeminent status. In this paper, we perform a comprehensive investigation of these claims by reviewing the available evidence on the political-economic and biophysical features of meat over the long arc of Western history. We specifically focus on nine critical epochs: the Paleolithic, early to late Neolithic, antiquity, ancient Israel and (...) early Christian societies, medieval Europe, early modern Europe, colonial America, the American frontier, and the modern industrial era. We find that except under conditions of environmental scarcity, the meaning and value of meat cannot be attributed to intrinsic biophysical value or to the political-economic actors who materially benefit from it. Rather, meat’s status reflects the myriad cultural contexts in which it is socially constructed in people’s everyday lives, particularly with respect to religious, gender, communal, racial, national, and class identity. By deconstructing the normalized/naturalized materialist assumptions circling around meat consumption, this paper clears a space for a more nuanced appreciation of the role that culture has played in the legitimation of meat, and by extension, the possibility of change. (shrink)
An ascent routine (AR) allows a speaker to self-ascribe a given propositional attitude (PA) by redeploying the process that generates a corresponding lower level utterance. Thus, we may report on our beliefs about the weather by reporting (under certain constraints) on the weather. The chief criticism of my AR account of self-ascription, by Alvin Goldman and others, is that it covers few if any PA’s other than belief and offers no account of how we can attain reliability in identifying our (...) attitude as belief, desire, hope, etc., without presupposing some sort of recognition process. The criticism can be answered, but only by giving up a tacit—and wholly unnecessary—assumption that has influenced discussions of ascent routines. Abandoning the assumption allows a different account of ARs that avoids the criticism and even provides an algorithm for finding a corresponding lower level utterance for any PA. The account I give is supported by research on children’s first uses of a propositional attitude vocabulary. (shrink)
The puzzling case of the broken arm -- Hernias, diets, and drugs -- Why physicians cannot know what will benefit patients -- Sacrificing patient benefit to protect patient rights -- Societal interests and duties to others -- The new, limited, twenty-first-century role for physicians as patient assistants -- Abandoning modern medical concepts: doctor's "orders" and hospital "discharge" -- Medicine can't "indicate": so why do we talk that way? --"Treatments of choice" and "medical necessity": who is fooling whom? -- Abandoning informed (...) consent -- Why physicians get it wrong and the alternatives to consent: patient choice and deep value pairing -- The end of prescribing: why prescription writing is irrational -- The alternatives to prescribing -- Are fat people overweight? -- Beyond prettiness: death, disease, and being fat -- Universal but varied health insurance: only separate is equal -- Health insurance: the case for multiple lists -- Why hospice care should not be a part of ideal health care I: the history of the hospice -- Why hospice care should not be a part of ideal health care II: hospice in a postmodern era -- Randomized human experimentation: the modern dilemma -- Randomized human experimentation: a proposal for the new medicine -- Clinical practice guidelines and why they are wrong -- Outcomes research and how values sneak into finding of fact -- The consensus of medical experts and why it is wrong so often. (shrink)
While twentieth-century medical ethics has focused on the duty of physicians to benefit their patients, the next century will see that duty challenged in three ways. First, we will increasingly recognize that it is unrealistic to expect physicians to be able to determine what will benefit their patients. Either they limit their attention to medical well-being when total well-being is the proper end of the patient or they strive for total well-being, which takes them beyond their expertise. Even within the (...) medical sphere, they have no basis for choosing among the proper medical goals for medicine. Also, there are many plausible strategies for relating predicted benefits to harms, and physicians cannot be expert in picking among these strategies. Second, increasingly plausible ethical systems recognize that in some cases, patient benefit must be sacrificed to protect patient rights including the right to the truth, to have promises kept, to have autonomy respected, and to not be killed. Third, ethics of the next century will increasingly recognize that some patient benefits must be sacrificed to fulfill duties to others - either the duty to serve the interests of others or other duties such as keeping promises, telling the truth, and, particularly, promoting justice. Physicians in the twenty-first century will be seen as having a new, more limited duty to assist the patient in pursuing the patient's understanding of the patient's interest within the constraints of deontological ethical principles and externally imposed duties to promote justice. The result will be a duty to be loyal to the consumer of health care with the recognition that often this will mean that the physician is not permitted to pursue the physician's understanding of the patient's well-being. (shrink)
: Research by Siminoff and colleagues reveals that many lay people in Ohio classify legally living persons in irreversible coma or persistent vegetative state (PVS) as dead and that additional respondents, although classifying such patients as living, would be willing to procure organs from them. This paper analyzes possible implications of these findings for public policy. A majority would procure organs from those in irreversible coma or in PVS. Two strategies for legitimizing such procurement are suggested. One strategy would be (...) to make exceptions to the dead donor rule permitting procurement from those in PVS or at least those who are in irreversible coma while continuing to classify them as living. Another strategy would be to further amend the definition of death to classify one or both groups as deceased, thus permitting procurement without violation of the dead donor rule. Permitting exceptions to the dead donor rule would require substantial changes in law—such as authorizing procuring surgeons to end the lives of patients by means of organ procurement—and would weaken societal prohibitions on killing. The paper suggests that it would be easier and less controversial to further amend the definition of death to classify those in irreversible coma and PVS as dead. Incorporation of a conscience clause to permit those whose religious or philosophical convictions support whole-brain or cardiac-based death pronouncement would avoid violating their beliefs while causing no more than minimal social problems. The paper questions whether those who would support an exception to the dead donor rule in these cases and those would support a further amendment to the definition of death could reach agreement to adopt a public policy permitting organ procurement of those in irreversible coma or PVS when proper consent is obtained. (shrink)
I argue that there is no conflict between the simulation theory, once it is freed from certain constraints carried over from theory theory, and Gallagher's view that our primary and pervasive way of engaging with others rests on 'direct', non-mentalizing perception of the 'meanings' of others' facial expressions, gestures, and intentional actions.
Software piracy is older than the PC and has been the subject of several studies, which have found it to be a widespread phenomenon in general, and among university students in particular. An earlier study by Cohen and Cornwell from a decade ago is replicated, adding questions about downloading music from the Internet. The survey includes responses from 224 students in entry-level courses at two schools, a nondenominational suburban university and a Catholic urban college with similar student profiles. The study (...) found that there has been few if any changes in student opinions regarding the unauthorized duplication of copy- righted materials. Students generally felt that copying commercial software and downloading music from the Internet was acceptable and found that there was no significant correlation between student attitudes and their school’s religious affiliation or lack thereof. Additionally, the study found that a small but significant percentage of respondents considered the other questionable behaviors as ethically acceptable. Finally, the reasons for these attitudes are discussed as well as what colleges can do to correct the situation. (shrink)
The Turing Test, originally proposed as a simple operational definition of intelligence, has now been with us for exactly half a century. It is safe to say that no other single article in computer science, and few other articles in science in general, have generated so much discussion. The present article chronicles the comments and controversy surrounding Turing's classic article from its publication to the present. The changing perception of the Turing Test over the last fifty years has paralleled the (...) changing attitudes in the scientific community towards artificial intelligence: from the unbridled optimism of 1960's to the current realization of the immense difficulties that still lie ahead. I conclude with the prediction that the Turing Test will remain important, not only as a landmark in the history of the development of intelligent machines, but also with real relevance to future generations of people living in a world in which the cognitive capacities of machines will be vastly greater than they are now. (shrink)
: Free-market libertarians have long supported incentives to increase organ procurement, but those oriented to justice traditionally have opposed them. This paper presents the reasons why those worried about justice should reconsider financial incentives and tolerate them as a lesser moral evil. After considering concerns about discrimination and coercion and setting them aside, it is suggested that the real moral concern should be manipulation of the neediest. The one offering the incentive (the government) has the resources to eliminate the basic (...) needs that pressure the poor into a willingness to sell. It is unethically manipulative to withhold those resources and then offer payment for organs. Nevertheless, the poor have been left without basic necessities for 20 years since the passage of the prohibition on incentives. As long as the government continues to withhold a decent minimum of welfare, liberals should, with shame, cease opposing financial incentives for organ procurement. (shrink)
In celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the publication of Beauchamp and Childress’s Principles of Biomedical Ethics, a review is undertaken to compare the lists of principles in various bioethical theories to determine the extent to which the various lists can be reconciled. Included are the single principle theories of utilitarianism, libertarianism, Hippocratism, and the theories of Pellegrino, Engelhardt, The Belmont Report, Beauchamp and Childress, Ross, Veatch, and Gert. We find theories all offering lists of principles numbering from one to (...) ten. Many of the differences can be reconciled, but some critical differences remain. (shrink)
This book provides a lucid commentary on Hegel’s Philosophy of Right and on Hegel’s other major writings on ethics and politics. Since it is the only commentary in English that covers the Philosophy of Right almost section by section, from start to finish, and it also carries on an instructive dialogue with many of the other commentaries published in recent years, it will be very useful to students and to scholars who aren’t specialists in Hegel. Although Franco can’t, of course, (...) afford to go into great detail on all of the many issues that he deals with, his judiciousness and wide reading in Hegel enable him to clarify a remarkable number of them, especially in the domain of “ethical life”. His discussions of Hegel’s conceptions of the state and of war and international relations are especially well balanced, neither avoiding difficulties nor abandoning Hegel to his legions of critics. His treatments of Hegel’s earlier works—especially the Jena lectures and the relevant portions of the Phenomenology of Spirit—are also quite helpful. Only readers who have themselves attempted to reconcile these disparate and dense texts and to reconstruct some of Hegel’s major arguments in ordinary language will fully appreciate how much Franco has accomplished. (shrink)