As a means of conveying difficult personal experiences, illness narratives and their analysis have the potential to increase awareness of patients’ lives and circumstances. Becoming sensitised to the linguistic texture of narrative offers readers a means of increasing narrative understanding. Using the fictional narrative of The Bell Jar , this paper outlines a novel method for exploring the language of illness narratives. Corpus stylistics provides new insights into narrative texture and demonstrates the importance of recurrent linguistic features in shaping meaning. (...) The paper concludes by proposing the application of a similar methodology to non-fictional illness narratives in therapeutic contexts. (shrink)
How is a person's freedom related to his or her preferences? Liberal theorists of negative freedom have generally taken the view that the desire of a person to do or not do something is irrelevant to the question of whether he is free to do it. Supporters of the “pure negative” conception of freedom have advocated this view in its starkest form: they maintain that a person is unfree to Φ if and only if he is prevented from Φ-ing by (...) the conduct or dispositions of some other person. This definition of freedom is value-neutral in the sense that no reference is made to preferences over options or indeed to any other indicators of the values of options, either in the characterization of “Φ-ing” itself or in the characterization of the way in which Φ-ing can be constrained. (shrink)
For two decades, egalitarian analytical philosophers have sought to identify the metric to be employed in order to ascertain whether any distribution is equal or not. This essay provides a review of the seminal contributions to this debate by Amartya Sen, Ronald Dworkin, Richard Arneson and G.A. Cohen.
Recent critics have called attention to the alienation of contemporary academics from broad currents of intellectual activity in public culture. The general complaint is that intellectuals are finding a professional home in institutions of higher learning, insulated from the concerns and interests of a wider reading audience. The demands of professional expertise do not encourage academics to work as public intellectuals or to take up social, literary, or political matters in imaginative and perspicuous ways. More problematic is the relative absence (...) of religion in the writings of those who aspire to work as public intellectuals. This essay reviews recent attempts by William Dean, Cornel West, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Stephen Carter, and Robin Lovin to remedy the problem of academic alienation and to address the place of religion in American life. (shrink)
It is often said that one person or society is `freer' than another, or that people have a right to equal freedom, or that freedom should be increased or even maximized. Such quantitative claims about freedom are of great importance to us, forming an essential part of our political discourse and theorizing. Yet their meaning has been surprisingly neglected by political philosophers until now. Ian Carter provides the first systematic account of the nature and importance of our judgements about (...) degrees of freedom. He begins with an analysis of the normative assumptions behind the claim that individuals are entitled to a measure of freedom, and then goes on to ask whether it is indeed conceptually possible to measure freedom. Adopting a coherentist approach, the author argues for a conception of freedom that not only reflects commonly held intuitions about who is freer than who but is also compatible with a liberal or freedom-based theory of justice. (shrink)
The authors comments on several articles on addiction. Research suggests that addicted individuals have substantial impairments in cognitive control of behavior. The authors maintain that a proper study of addiction must include a neurobiological model of addiction to draw the attention of bioethicists and addiction neurobiologists. They also state that more addiction neuroscientists like S. E. Hyman are needed as they understand the limits of their research. Accession Number: 24077921; Authors: Carter, Adrian 1; Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org Hall, Wayne (...) 1; Affiliations: 1: The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; Subject: EDITORIALS; Subject: ADDICTIONS; Subject: BEHAVIOR; Subject: HYMAN, S. E.; Subject: NEUROBIOLOGISTS; Subject: NEUROSCIENTISTS; Number of Pages: 3p. (shrink)
This book examines the distinctive and significant contribution of the great French philosopher, Paul Ricoeur to contemporary debates in ethics and philosophy of religion. James Carter argues that Ricoeur's later writings in particular offer a vision of ethical life that can be understood as a moral religion.
The many problems we face in today's world -- among them war, environmental destruction, religious and racial intolerance, and inappropriate technologies -- demand that we carefully re-evaluate such issues as our relation to the environment, the nature of progress, ultimate purposes, and human values. These are all issues, Robert Carter explains, that are intimately linked to our perception of life's meaning. While many books discuss life's meaning either analytically or prescriptively, Carter addresses values and ways of meaningful living (...) from a broader perspective, using Japanese philosophy to augment his investigation. He examines Martin Heidegger's distinction between "dwelling" and existing in the world, Lawrence Kohlberg's "stage seven" of human moral development, and the works of Viktor Frankl, Carol Gilligan, and Nel Noddings. He applies hermeneutic and deconstructionist theory to the question of meaning, and explores the feminist contribution to ethics and its relation to the interconnectedness of things celebrated in Zen and Shinto thought. Bridging various dichotomies such as East/West, reason/emotion, male/female, and caring/justice, Carter shows that ethics, environmental concern, caring, and joy in living are dependent on the growth and transformation of the self. Only by becoming aware of the interrelatedness of things, Carter reveals, can we become as supple and as strong as the bamboo tree, long the symbol of longevity and constancy. (shrink)
The essence of life in an oligarchy like George Orwell presents in '1984' is that freedom of choice is virtually non-existent. But what happens when so many trivial and meaningless choices inundate a culture such as our own and freedom itself becomes devalued? In 'A Do-It-Yourself Dystopia', through a variety of essays, Steven Carter addresses this and other issues in a wide-ranging search for hidden oligarchies of the American self.
Rita Carter ponders the nature, origins, and purpose of consciousness in this fascinating inquiry into the toughest problem facing modern science and philosophy. Building on the foundation of her bestselling book _Mapping the Mind, _she considers whether consciousness is merely an illusion, a by-product of our brain's workings, some as yet inexplicable feature or property of the material universe or—as the latest physics may suggest—the very fundament of reality. Little, she discovers, is as it first seems. Carter draws (...) from a solid body of knowledge—empirical findings and theoretical hypotheses--about consciousness, much of it derived from recent discoveries about the brain. Her lively, accessible narrative ranges widely over new ways of thinking about the subject and what direction new research is taking. Leading scholars from a range of perspectives provide topical essays that complement Carter's account. The book also discusses how traditional approaches—philosophical, scientific, and experiential—might be brought together to create a more complete understanding of consciousness. (shrink)
Look around you. The world is more homogenous than you think. Far too often, distinctions among people, places, and things are matters of degree rather than kind. Many are illusory. As satire, Little House of Imaginary Distinctions is meant to complement Steven Carter's previous book, Little House of Oxymorons, published by Hamilton Books in 2010.
In this remarkable and often dazzling book, Paul Carter explores the conditions for sociability in a globalized future. He argues that we make many assumptions about communication but overlook barriers to understanding between strangers as well as the importance of improvisation in overcoming these obstacles to meeting. While disciplines such as sociology, legal studies, psychology, political theory, and even urban planning treat meeting as a good in its own right, they fail to provide a model of what makes meeting (...) possible and worth pursuing: a yearning for encounter. The volume's central narrative-between Northern cultural philosophers and Australian societies-traverses the troubled history of misinterpretation that is characteristic of colonial cross-cultural encounter. As he brings the literature of Indigenous and non-Indigenous anthropological research into dialogue with Western approaches of conceptualizing sociability, Carter makes a startling discovery: that meeting may not be desirable and, if it is, its primary objective may be to negotiate a future of non-meeting. To explain the phenomenon of encounter, Carter performs it in differing scales, spaces, languages, tropes, and forms of knowledge, staging in the very language of the book what he calls "passages." In widely varying contexts, these passages posit the disjunction of Greco-Roman and Indigenous languages, codes, theatrics of power, social systems, and visions of community. In an era of new forms of technosocialization, Carter offers novel ways of presenting the philosophical dimensions of waiting, meeting, and non-meeting. (shrink)
Does each of us have the right to terminate our own existence if we so decide? Can we delegate this task to others? With what methods can we decide these questions? With Michele Carter, John Loughney, and Patrick Sullivan.
Este artículo atiende la manera en que Ronald Dworkin –como H. L. A. Hart y John Rawls, a quienes él sigue– enuncia el fundamento de los derechos humanos. Cierta presencia de iusnaturalismo en ese fundamento es señalado por Dworkin, Hart y Rawls y ellos buscan cuáles serían los derechos naturales del hombre, i.e., ellos son derechos que no pueden depender de un contrato social porque ellos son primeros para estos y son presupuestos; debido a esto, ellos no pueden depender (...) de la sola positivación. Hay, entonces, un iusnaturalismo escondido o latente en el fundamento de los derechos humanos como derechos morales. (shrink)
Ronald Dworkin’s posthumous book Religion Without God searches for the possibility of atheistic religiosity. Rather than clarifying the situation, this book does more to confuse it, and succeeds in undermining his expressed humanitarian goals.
It seems certain that one day we will allow the genetic technology which will enhance our offspring. A highly effective new tool, called CRISPR, which allows for carving out genes, is already being used to edit the genomes of animals. In July 2017, the FDA legalized that germline drugs for therapeutic purposes could be sold in the market. It is a high time, now, that we need engage in discussions about the ethics of germline intervention. To contribute to the discussion (...) by showing our thought and to educate the public, we write this paper. (shrink)
I will focus on Dworkin’s use of idealisation in his “Prudent Insurance” Ideal for healthcare. Dworkin identifies problems with the circumstances under which people make their insurance decisions in the current United States healthcare system and he sees these as being the cause of strange resource allocation outcomes. He therefore imagines idealising away these prima facie unjust circumstances to develop a hypothetical market in which people are able to make better decisions (Section “Idealisation of Circumstance”). I will identify two further (...) idealisations that Dworkin relies on in his theory. The first is to idealise people to be perfectly prudent (Section “Idealisation of Prudence”), which I consider to be justifiable, but difficult to actually apply in practise. The second is to idealise people to be perfectly self-interested (Section “Idealisation to Self-interest”). I do not see this as a justifiable idealization since it ignores principles of altruism and citizenship, which would seem to be deeply relevant to a theory of justice. (shrink)
This article juxtaposes a jurisprudential thesis and a practical problem in an attempt to gain critical insight into both. The jurisprudential thesis is Dworkin’s rights thesis. The practical problem revolves around judicial resort to the floodgates argument in civil adjudication (or, more specifically, a version of this argument focused on adjudicative resources, which is dubbed here the FA). The analysis yields three principal observations: (1) Judicial resort to the FA is discordant with the rights thesis. (2) The rights thesis is (...) instructive in one way but mistaken in another. While Dworkin has highlighted some valid and sound reasons against judicial policymaking, his conclusive exclusion of judicial policymaking from civil law adjudication is erroneous. Civil law adjudication, it is argued, is an arena of ineliminable tension between principle and policy. (3) The FA is a type of policy argument particularly vulnerable to objections against judicial policymaking. There should, therefore, be a (rebuttable) presumption against judicial resort to it. (shrink)
Science has always strived for objectivity, for a ‘‘view from nowhere’’ that is not marred by ideology or personal preferences. That is a lofty ideal toward which perhaps it makes sense to strive, but it is hardly the reality. This collection of thirteen essays assembled by Denis R. Alexander and Ronald L. Numbers ought to give much pause to scientists and the public at large, though historians, sociologists and philosophers of science will hardly be surprised by the material covered (...) here. (shrink)
Professor Narveson's comments about my papers on equality are both penetrating and comprehensive. I cannot hope to discuss all the issues he raises in any detail. But there is a special problem: his main question is about what I have not said. He asks how I might defend equality of resources other than simply by describing a version of it, and of course this question will require some extended discussion. But he is right to say that this is his most (...) important question, and I should hate to lose the opportunity of encouraging discussion of it. So I shall begin with some general remarks about the defence of the idea of equality and then take up, in a very hasty and summary way, the other problems he discusses or raises. Please allow me, however, this apology and caution. I know that what I shall say about the defense of equality is at many points dogmatic and at others unmindful of very natural objections and replies. I want to answer Narveson only by showing in a rough and general way how far I think a defense of equality is possible, what kind of defense this can be, and what form it should take. (shrink)
Alan Carter's recent review in Mind of my Ethics of the Global Environment combines praise of biocentric consequentialism with criticisms that it could advocate both minimal satisfaction of human needs and the extinction of ‘inessential species’ for the sake of generating extra people; Carter also maintains that as a monistic theory it is predictably inadequate to cover the full range of ethical issues, since only a pluralistic theory has this capacity. In this reply, I explain how the counter-intuitive (...) implications of biocentric consequentialism suggested by Carter are not implications, and argue that since pluralistic theories either generate contradictions or collapse into monistic theories, the superiority of pluralistic theories is far from predictable. Thus Carter's criticisms fail to undermine biocentric consequentialism as a normative theory applicable to the generality of ethical issues. (shrink)
Publication date: 26 January 2017 Source: Author: Abolfazl Mohammadi, Javad Momeni Angela Carter in her famous short story, The Bloody Chamber, depicts a protagonist whose identity seems to be a predetermined sign in a signifying loop from which she can make no escape. In the first part of our paper, we attempt to show how The protagonist’s ensuing psychological tension is aggravated by the conflict which she feels between her ideal ego and her ego-ideal and which leads her to (...) unrelenting introspection and interior dialogue with her existential states. Such interior dialogue provides the protagonist with an existential ground on which she empties all her life events of their presence by signifying them through Derridean Differance. Therefore, her interior dialogue results in non-identity in her subjectivization both in the realm of signs and of events. Then, we focus on the protaganist’s paradoxical urges spontaneously outflowed from within which, by resisting symbolization, provide her with the possibility of becoming what she thinks she has never been and allow for her moments of self-determination. Finally, we illustrate how such psychological odyssey takes shape in the Gothic setting which arouses, in Lacanian terminology, pre-symbolic tendencies and which involves the coincidence of Gothic horror with the horrors of social reality. (shrink)
The recent nationalist movements in liberal democratic states such as the US, the UK, and Germany have been related to xenophobia. The rise of Trumpism brands Muslims and Mexicans as outsiders, while part of the motivation behind Brexit was animosity towards non-Britons like Poles and Muslims. The question is how are nationalism and xenophobia related. According to Ronald Sundstrom, nationalism shelters xenophobia by creating obstacles that prevent immigrants and refugees from attaining a sense of civic belonging. He uses the (...) metaphor of sheltering to suggest that xenophobia becomes a byproduct of nationalism in the right conditions. I think this is a misunderstanding of the relationship between nationalism and xenophobia. In this essay, I do three things: first, I articulate Sundstrom’s argument explaining how each of the three obstacles works to produce an environment of xenophobia; then I consider what reforms might look like, yet these reforms would no longer leave us with something that we can recognize as nationalism; lastly, I argue that nationalism just is the modern day manifestation of xenophobia and so they are inseparable social phenomena. (shrink)
Exploring Law's Empire is a collection of essays by leading legal theorists and philosophers who have been invited to develop, defend, or critique Ronald Dworkin's controversial and exciting jurisprudence. The volume explores Dworkin's critique of legal positivism, his theory of law as integrity, and his writings on constitutional jurisprudence. Each essay is a cutting-edge contribution to its field of inquiry, the highlights of which include an introduction by Justice Stephen Breyer of the United States Supreme Court, and a concluding (...) essay by Dworkin himself. This final chapter responds to the preceding essays and lays out Dworkin's own vision for the future of jurisprdence over the coming years. (shrink)
We would like to thank Ian Carter and Matthew Kramer for their challenging reply to our recent article. Dowding and van Hees is one of a series of articles in which we try to address measurement issues with regard to individual freedom. Our aim is to provide a conception of freedom that will eventually yield a way of measuring the relative freedom of groups of people within a society and a relative measure of freedom across societies. In doing so, (...) we draw upon the important work of Carter and Kramer, but as should be clear, we also depart from it in several respects. (shrink)
Paying strict attention to Brandon Carter's several published renditions of anthropic reasoning, we present a ``nutshell'' version of the Doomsday argument that is truer to Carter's principles than the standard balls-and-urns or otherwise ``naive Bayesian'' versions that proliferate in the literature. At modest cost in terms of complication, the argument avoids commitment to many of the half-truths that have inspired so many to rise up against other toy versions, never adopting posterior outside of the convex hull of one's (...) prior distribution over the ``true chance'' of Doom. The hyper-pessimistic position of the standard balls-and-urn presentation and the hyper-optimistic position of naive self-indicators are seen to arise from dubiously extreme prior distributions, leaving room for a more satisfying and plausible intermediate solution. (shrink)
My theory of biocentric consequentialism is first shown not to be significantly inegalitarian, despite not advocating treating all creatures equally. I then respond to Carter's objections concerning population, species extinctions, the supposed minimax implication, endangered interests, autonomy and thought-experiments. Biocentric consequentialism is capable of supporting a sustainable human population at a level compatible with preserving most non-human species, as opposed to catastrophic population increases or catastrophic decimation. Nor is it undermined by the mere conceivable possibility of counter-intuitive implications. While (...)Carter shows that value-pluralism need not be riddled with contradictions, his version still introduces some, and faces further problems. Thus consequentialist theories may be needed to sift our values, at least if our values are commensurable. Carter's apparent suggestion that monistic theories such as biocentric consequentialism can never be harnessed to rich theories of value and must each myopically give undue prominence to a single value is questioned. (shrink)
Este artigo analisa em perspectiva histórica a discussão eugênica do estatístico inglês Ronald Aylmer Fisher no início da sua trajetória profissional. Entre 1914 a 1919, Fisher publicou artigos e revisões de livros na revista especializada The Eugenics Review, na qual expunha a viabilidade do pensamento eugenista. Por meio de tais fontes investigo de que modo estatística e biologia evolutiva estavam ligadas às suas propostas eugênicas e qual era o contexto científico da eugenia nas primeiras décadas do século XX.
Is it possible for a person to understand that what he proposes to do is morally wrong and yet prefer to do it nonetheless? I shall argue that wickedness consists in a defect of character that results in one's often having just such preferences. Yet many philosophers think that wickedness so conceived is impossible, because, for them, having such a preference is incompatible with believing, or at least knowing, that the act would be wrong.
A significant criticism of the anthropic principle as a scientific claim is that testable predictions cannot be derived from it. Brandon Carter has argued, however, that the principle can be used to predict on the one hand that the period of time biological evolution is intrinsically likely to require is very large, and on the other that the number of ‘critical steps’ that have occurred in the evolution of life on earth is related to the length of time life (...) can continue to evolve. I attempt to show that neither of Carter's arguments provides a convincing defence of the testability of the anthropic principle. (shrink)
Ideal interpretation is understanding a text in the best possible way. It is usually used when the text has a canonical status, such as the Bible or the U.S. Constitution. We argue that Zhu Xi’s view about interpreting the Four Books and Ronald Dworkin’s view about constitutional interpretation are examples of ideal interpretation and that their basic principles are similar. Each holds, roughly, that their target text contains moral truth; that the author’s mind requires the mediation of learning; that (...) the purpose of interpretation is not only to lead the reader to the moral truth but to become a better person; that all propositions are about the same moral truth or about political justice; that the interpretation ultimately must come from oneself, purged of prejudices; and that the only correct interpretation is one that captures the original meaning. (shrink)
Se discute el proyecto de la naturalización de la filosofía de la ciencia, a través de las teorías de Ronald Giere y Philip Kitcher. Ambas tienen en común la atención preferente que prestan a los procesos de decisión de los científicos individuales y la defensa de una concepción realista y racionalista de la ciencia. La comparación se lleva a cabo desde una triple perspectiva: su consideración como teorías darwinianas del desarrollo científico, su referencia a los modelos de la psicología (...) cogni tiva, y su posible coherencia con la tesis de la simetría defendida por los sociólogos de la escuela de Edimburgo. (shrink)
This paper responds to the commentaries from Stacy Carter and Alan Cribb. We pick up on two main themes in our response. First, we reflect on how the process of setting standards for empirical bioethics research entails drawing boundaries around what research counts as empirical bioethics research, and we discuss whether the standards agreed in the consensus process draw these boundaries correctly. Second, we expand on the discussion in the original paper of the role and significance of the concept (...) of ‘integrating’ empirical methods and ethical argument as a standard for research practice within empirical bioethics. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to consider, in principle and at the most general level, a particular possible approach to educational policy‐making. This approach involves an education‐specific application of the notion of hypothetical markets first developed in Ronald Dworkin's book Sovereign Virtue: The theory and practice of equality . The paper distinguishes the concept of the market from the operation of any actual market, and from the operation of ‘market forces’ in any generalised sense. It continues by arguing (...) that hypothetical markets of the kind identified by Dworkin are not only distinct, in both their nature and purpose, from actual markets operating in education, but also—in the face of continuing widespread debate about the value, at particular times and places, of such actual markets—a potentially valuable theoretical tool for educational policy‐making. The paper then briefly considers a particular instance of such debate about actual markets in education. (shrink)
A recent paper by David Levy focuses on “utility enhancing consumption constraints.” Levy concludes by noting that his analysis stays within standard utility maximizing theory, in contrast to my analysis of rule-governed behavior which allows imperfect decisions that don't always maximize utility. I wish to show how our two theories can be integrated, thereby representing complementary, rather than conflicting, explanations. In the process, I argue that imperfect decisions are an essential factor in the stability of any rule that constrains freedom (...) of choice. I also briefly discuss certain intrinsic problems with achieving “self-stabilizing” rules applied to moral teachings. (shrink)