Between 1906 and 1909 the biologist RonaldRoss and the classicist W.H.S. Jones pioneered interdisciplinary research in biology and history in advancing the claim that malaria had been crucial in the decline of golden-age Greece. The idea had originated with Ross, winner of the Nobel Prize for demonstrating the importance of mosquitoes in the spread of the disease. Jones assembled what, today, we would call an interdisciplinary network of collaborators in the sciences and humanities. But early negative (...) reviews of Jones’s Malaria and Greek History by classicists and historians ended the project, despite a positive reception among malariologists. Today, the “Jones hypothesis” is often used to exemplify the naïvete of past scholarship, and few examine Jones’s evidence and reasoning. In this age of renewed interdisciplinarity, a review of what went wrong is timely. Jones and Ross knew they were opening new methodological territory and struggled with the challenges of multiple ways of knowing. Over 100 years later, malaria remains an important site of historical-biological research, yet integration is elusive. After reviewing the Jones-Ross relationship, Jones’s interdisciplinary campaign, and the reception of the hypothesis among classicists/ancient historians and in malariology, we conclude by highlighting some of the specific challenges faced by those exploring the interface of biology and history. (shrink)
No matter how it is viewed, as a plausible version of anti-utilitarianism or of non-consequentialist, or even as a plausible version of deontology, the theory of prima facie duties certainly makes W. D. Ross one of the most important moral philosopher of the twentieth-century. By outlining his pluralistic deontology, this paper attempts to argue for a positive answer to the question of whether Ross’s theory can offer a solution to the issue of conflicting duties. If such a solution (...) is convincing, as I believe it is, it would indicate the possibility to justify within the deontological framework, i.e., without committing to the principle of good-maximizing, those “hard cases” where people should break a promise or other (prima facie) duty in order to prevent a disastrous outcome. The theory of prima facie duties might then suggest that deontology and utilitarianism would likely be reconcilable. (shrink)
'Post this letter!' does not entail 'Post this letter or drink up my wine!' (the Ross Paradox) because one can be in a state with the content of the former without being in a state with the content of the latter; in turn, because the latter can rationalize drinking up my wine but the former cannot; in turn, because practical rationalization flows toward one's present situation, in contrast with the flow of theoretical rationalization from one's present situation. Formally, this (...) is implemented with a semantics for imperatives involving a partition to set up an issue of significance and a proposition to establish how to settle it. I characterize a series of languages and language-games to implement all this, and appeal to an 'endorsement-theoretic' conception of modals as quantifiers over mental states to explain why 'You must post this letter' does not entail 'You must either post this letter or drink up my wine'. (shrink)
In this chapter I critically discuss the dismissal of the philosophical significance of facts about human evolution and historical development in the work of W. D Ross. I address Ross’s views about the philosophical significance of the emerging human sciences of his time in two of his main works, namely The Right and the Good and The Foundations of Ethics. I argue that the debate between Ross and his chosen interlocutors (Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim and Lucien Levy-Bruhl) (...) shows striking similarities with parallel debates in contemporary moral philosophy. (shrink)
In recent years there has been a growing interest among mainstream Anglophone moral philosophers in the empirical study of human morality, including its evolution and historical development. This chapter compares these developments with an earlier point of contact between moral philosophy and the moral sciences in the early decades of the Twentieth century, as manifested in some of the less frequently discussed arguments of G. E. Moore and W. D. Ross. It is argued that a critical appreciation of Moore (...) and Ross’s response to the emerging moral sciences of their day has significant implications for contemporary moral epistemology. The chapter also offers a novel interpretation of G. E. Moore’s ‘open question argument’. (shrink)
Abstract: Don Ross’ Economic Theory and Cognitive Science (2005) provides an elaborate philosophical defense of neoclassical economics. He argues that the central features of neoclassical theory are associated with what he calls the Robbins-Samuelson argument pattern and that it can be reconciled with recent developments in experimental and behavioral economics, as well as contemporary cognitive science. This paper argues that Ross’ Robbins-Samuelson argument pattern is not in the work of either Robbins or Samuelson and in many ways is (...) in conflict with their own versions, and defenses, of neoclassical theory. (shrink)
This article addresses a pertinent challenge to Scandinavian realism which follows from the widespread perception that the fundamental philosophical premises on which the movement relies, are no longer tenable. Focusing on Alf Ross’s version of Scandinavian realism which has often been at the centre of critical attention, the author argues that Ross’s theory can survive the fall of logical positivism through an exercise of philosophical reconstruction. More specifically, he claims that it is possible to dismount Ross’s realist (...) legal theory almost intact from its commitments to logical positivism and embed it into an alternative naturalist philosophical program that is currently very strong in contemporary philosophy. In so doing, the author applies a narrow Quinean conception of naturalism, also known as replacement naturalism, which differs from a broader inclusive conception which has been applied by other scholars in the field but which leaves the philosophical crisis of Scandinavian realism unsolved. (shrink)
This paper compares and contrasts three groups that conducted biological research at Yale University during overlapping periods between 1910 and 1970. Yale University proved important as a site for this research. The leaders of these groups were Ross Granville Harrison, Grace E. Pickford, and G. Evelyn Hutchinson, and their members included both graduate students and more experienced scientists. All produced innovative research, including the opening of new subfields in embryology, endocrinology and ecology respectively, over a long period of time. (...) Harrison's is shown to have been a classic research school; Pickford's and Hutchinson's were not. Pickford's group was successful in spite of her lack of departmental or institutional position or power. Hutchinson and his graduate and post-graduate students were extremely productive but in diverse areas of ecology. His group did not have one focused area of research or use one set of research tools. The paper concludes that new models for research groups are needed, especially for those, like Hutchinson's, that included much field research. (shrink)
In two excellent recent papers, Jacob Ross has argued that the standard arguments for the ‘thirder’ answer to the Sleeping Beauty puzzle lead to violations of countable additivity. The problem is that most arguments for that answer generalise in awkward ways when he looks at the whole class of what he calls Sleeping Beauty problems. In this note I develop a new argument for the thirder answer that doesn't generalise in this way.
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)
Traditionally, analytic philosophers writing on aesthetics have given short shrift to nature. The last thirty years, however, have seen a steady growth of interest in this area. The essays and books now available cover central philosophical issues concerning the nature of the aesthetic and the existence of norms for aesthetic judgement. They also intersect with important issues in environmental philosophy. More recent contributions have opened up new topics, such as the relationship between natural sound and music, the beauty of animals, (...) and the aesthetics of gardens. Using these materials, it is now easy to include a module on the aesthetics of nature as one part of an introductory course on aesthetics, or even to design an entire upper-level undergraduate or graduate seminar around the topic. Author Recommends: Don Mannison, 'Comments Stimulated by Reinhardt's Remarks: A Prolegomenon to a Human Chauvinistic Aesthetic'. Environmental Philosophy. Eds. Don Mannison, Michael McRobbie, and Richard Routley (Canberra: Australian National University, 1980), 212–16. Readers coming fresh to contemporary debates may find the lack of attention to natural beauty in twentieth-century philosophy somewhat puzzling. This paper, which defends the view that nature cannot be aesthetically appreciated as such, presents this attitude in a particularly pure form. Ronald Hepburn, 'Contemporary Aesthetics and the Neglect of Natural Beauty'. British Analytical Philosophy. Eds. Bernard Williams and Alan Montefiore (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966), 285–310. Reprinted in The Aesthetics of Natural Environments. Eds. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). This seminal essay marks the beginning of contemporary discussion of the aesthetics of nature. Many of its ideas and themes continue to reverberate in contemporary debates. Allen Carlson, Aesthetics and the Environment: The Appreciation of Nature, Art and Architecture (London: Routledge, 2000). This volume is a collection of Carlson's influential essays on environmental aesthetics. Chapters 4 and 5, 'Appreciation and the Natural Environment' and 'Nature, Aesthetic Judgment, and Objectivity', set the agenda for much subsequent discussion in the aesthetics of nature. Chapter 6, 'Nature and Positive Aesthetics', develops and defends the controversial idea that nature, unlike art, is always aesthetically good. Arnold Berleant, 'The Aesthetics of Art and Nature'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 228–43. Reprinted in The Aesthetics of Natural Environments. Eds. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). In this paper, Berleant presents his influential idea of an 'engaged aesthetics' for nature. Yuriko Saito, 'The Aesthetics of Unscenic Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 101–11. This article develops Saito's idea that ethical considerations play a critical role in the aesthetics of nature, and presents a novel argument for Positive Aesthetics for nature. Malcolm Budd, The Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature: Essays on the Aesthetics of Nature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002). This book collects Budd's papers on the aesthetics of nature, which contain important criticisms of Carlson's natural environmental model and the notion of Positive Aesthetics for nature. Noël Carroll, 'On Being Moved by Nature: Between Religion and Natural History'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 244–66. Reprinted in The Aesthetics of Natural Environments. Eds. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). This paper argues for the importance of aesthetic appreciation that emphasizes emotional responses to nature. A philosophically sophisticated and influential treatment by a leading aesthetician. Ned Hettinger, 'Allen Carlson's Environmental Aesthetics and Protection of the Environment'. Environmental Ethics 27 (2005): 57–76. In this essay, an environmental philosopher gives careful and thorough consideration to the place of aesthetic considerations in environmental protection, focusing on Carlson's work. John Andrew Fisher, 'What the Hills are Alive With: In Defense of the Sounds of Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 167–79. Reprinted in The Aesthetics of Natural Environments. Eds. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). Most discussions of nature aesthetics focus on visual experiences; this essay is the first philosophical study of the aesthetics of natural sounds. A nuanced and original paper. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant. 'Introduction: The Aesthetics of Nature'. The Aesthetics of Natural Environments. Eds. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004), 11–42. A comprehensive review of the literature, this essay contains the best available bibliography on the subject. Online Materials: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/environmental-aesthetics/ Environmental Aesthetics: Allen Carlson's entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. http://www.aesthetics-online.org/articles/index.php?articles_id=17 Teaching Environmental Aesthetics: Allen Carlson's article on the American Society for Aesthetics Web site. http://www.uqtr.uquebec.ca/AE/Vol_6/ Volume 6 of AE: Canadian Aesthetics Journal /Revue canadienne d'esthetique: Papers by Thomas Heyd and Ira Newman on Allen Carlson's book Aesthetics and the Environment, along with a response from Carlson. http://www.contempaesthetics.org/newvolume/pages/article.php?articleID=400 Paradoxes and Puzzles: Appreciating Gardens and Urban Nature: An essay by Stephanie Ross in the online journal Contemporary Aesthetics. Sample Syllabus for a three-week module in an undergraduate aesthetics course: This three week module can easily be adapted to fit shorter available class time or reduced reading expectations for students. A lighter two-week module, for instance, would drop the Hepburn reading and do either the Carroll essay or the Saito essay, but not both. Note that all readings for this module are reprinted in Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (eds.), The Aesthetics of Natural Environments (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). Week 1: Introduction Reading: Ronald Hepburn, 'Contemporary Aesthetics and the Neglect of Natural Beauty'. British Analytical Philosophy. Eds. Bernard Williams and Alan Montefiore (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966), 285–310. Discussion of Hepburn's essay will allow the instructor to bring out the distinctive issues and themes of the aesthetics of nature. Week 2: Objectivity or Subjectivity? Readings: Allen Carlson, 'Appreciation and the Natural Environment'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 37 (1979): 267–76. Arnold Berleant, 'The Aesthetics of Art and Nature'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 228–43. This section covers two very different approaches to thinking about the aesthetic appreciation of nature. Consideration of these provides an opportunity for students to reflect on nature's relationship to art, and on the character of aesthetic experience itself. Week 3: Pluralistic Approaches Readings: Yuriko Saito, 'Appreciating Nature on its Own Terms'. Environmental Ethics 20 (1998): 135–49. Noël Carroll, 'On Being Moved by Nature: Between Religion and Natural History'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 244–66. This section considers approaches that are motivated by perceived limitations of the two approaches mentioned above. In discussing these, students will focus on the significance, for the aesthetics of nature, of emotion and also of broader ethical considerations. Sample Syllabus for an upper-level undergraduate or graduate seminar: Books on Syllabus: Glenn Parsons, Aesthetics and Nature [AN] (London: Continuum Press, forthcoming November 2008). Allen Carlson, Aesthetics and the Environment: The Appreciation of Nature, Art and Architecture [AE] (London: Routledge, 2000). Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (eds.), The Aesthetics of Natural Environments [ANE] (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). Week 1: Introduction Parsons, AN, ch. 1. Allen Carlson, 'Environmental Aesthetics'. The Routledge Companion to Aesthetics. Eds. Berys Gaut and Dominic Lopes (London: Routledge, 2001), 423–36. Don Mannison, 'Comments Stimulated by Reinhardt's Remarks: A Prolegomenon to a Human Chauvinistic Aesthetic'. Environmental Philosophy. Eds. Don Mannison, Michael McRobbie, and Richard Routley (Canberra: Australian National University, 1980), 212–16. Ronald Hepburn, 'Contemporary Aesthetics and the Neglect of Natural Beauty'. British Analytical Philosophy. Eds. Bernard Williams and Alan Montefiore (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966), 285–310. Reprinted in ANE. Week 2: Imagination Parsons, AN, ch. 2. Thomas Heyd, 'Aesthetic Appreciation and the Many Stories About Nature'. British Journal of Aesthetics 41 (2001): 125–37. Reprinted in ANE. Emily Brady, 'Imagination and the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 139–47. Reprinted in ANE. Marcia Eaton, 'Fact and Fiction in the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 149–56. Reprinted in ANE. Week 3: Formalism Parsons, AN, ch. 3. Carlson, 'Formal Qualities and the Natural Environment', AE, ch. 3. Allen Carlson, 'On the Possibility of Quantifying Scenic Beauty'. Landscape Planning 4 (1977): 131–72. Ira Newman, 'Reflections on Allen Carlson's Aesthetics and the Environment'. AE: Canadian Aesthetics Journal /Revue canadienne d'esthetique 6 (2001) http://www.uqtr.uquebec.ca/AE/Vol_6/Carlson/newman.html>. Nick Zangwill, 'Formal Natural Beauty'. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 21 (2001): 209–24. Week 4: Science and Nature Aesthetics Parsons, AN, ch. 4. Aldo Leopold, 'Country'. A Sand County Almanac, with Essays on Conservation from Round River (New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 1966), 177–80. Carlson, 'Appreciation and the Natural Environment', AE, ch. 4. Carlson, 'Nature, Aesthetic Judgment, and Objectivity', AE, ch. 5. Glenn Parsons, 'The Aesthetics of Nature'. Philosophy Compass 2 (2007): 358–72. Week 5: Positive Aesthetics Carlson, 'Nature and Positive Aesthetics', AE, ch. 6. Eugene Hargrove, Foundations of Environmental Ethics (Denton, TX: Environmental Ethics Books, 1996), ch. 6. Yuriko Saito, 'The Aesthetics of Unscenic Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 101–11. Malcolm Budd, 'The Aesthetics of Nature'. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 100 (2000): 137–57. Glenn Parsons, 'Nature Appreciation, Science and Positive Aesthetics'. British Journal of Aesthetics 42 (2002): 279–95. Week 6: Animals Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. Ed. James T. Boulton (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1968 ), Pt. III, sec. VI. Holmes Rolston III, 'Beauty and the Beast: Aesthetic Experience of Wildlife'. Valuing Wildlife: Economic and Social Perspectives. Eds. Daniel J. Decker and Gary R. Goff (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1987), 187–96. Glenn Parsons, 'The Aesthetic Value of Animals'. Environmental Ethics 27 (2007): 151–69. Week 7: Pluralism Parsons, AN, ch. 5. Noël Carroll, 'On Being Moved by Nature: Between Religion and Natural History'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 244–66. Reprinted in ANE. Yuriko Saito, 'Appreciating Nature on its Own Terms'. Environmental Ethics 20 (1998): 135–49. Reprinted in ANE. Ronald Hepburn, 'Nature Humanized: Nature Respected'. Environmental Values 7 (1998): 267–79. Ronald Hepburn, 'Trivial and Serious in Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 65–80. Glenn Parsons and Allen Carlson, 'New Formalism and the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 62 (2004): 363–76. Week 8: Engagement Parsons, AN, ch. 6. Arnold Berleant, 'The Aesthetics of Art and Nature'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 228–43. Reprinted in ANE. Cheryl Foster, 'The Narrative and the Ambient in Environmental Aesthetics'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 127–37. Reprinted in ANE. Allen Carlson, 'Aesthetics and Engagement'. British Journal of Aesthetics 33 (1993): 220–27. Week 9: The Sublime Immanuel Kant, Critique of the Power of Judgment. Trans. P. Guyer and E. Matthews (Cambridge University Press, 2000 ). Excerpts from sections 23–9. Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. Ed. James T. Boulton (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1968 ). Excerpts from Pt. II, sections 1–8. Ronald Hepburn, 'The Concept of the Sublime: Has it any Relevance for Philosophy Today?'. Dialectics and Humanism 15 (1988): 137–55. Stan Godlovitch, 'Icebreakers: Environmentalism and Natural Aesthetics'. Journal of Applied Philosophy 11 (1994): 15–30. Reprinted in ANE. Malcolm Budd, 'Delight in the Natural World: Kant on the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature. Part I: The Sublime in Nature'. British Journal of Aesthetics 38 (1998): 233–50. Week 10: Aesthetic Preservation Parsons, AN, ch. 7. Janna Thompson, 'Aesthetics and the Value of Nature'. Environmental Ethics 17 (1995): 291–305. Holmes Rolston III, 'From Beauty to Duty: Aesthetics of Nature and Environmental Ethics'. Environment and the Arts: Perspectives on Environmental Aesthetics. Ed. Arnold Berleant (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2002), 127–41. Ned Hettinger, 'Allen Carlson's Environmental Aesthetics and Protection of the Environment'. Environmental Ethics 27 (2005): 57–76. Keekok Lee, 'Beauty for Ever?'. Environmental Values 4 (1995): 213–25. Week 11: Gardens Parsons, AN, ch. 8. Mara Miller, The Garden as an Art (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1993), ch. 1. Mara Miller, 'Gardens as Works of Art: The Problem of Uniqueness'. British Journal of Aesthetics 26 (1986): 252–6. Stephanie Ross, What Gardens Mean (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1998), chs. 1, 7. Tom Leddy, 'Gardens in an Expanded Field'. British Journal of Aesthetics 28 (1988): 327–40. David Cooper, 'In Praise of Gardens'. British Journal of Aesthetics 43 (2003): 101–13. Week 12: Art in Nature Parsons, AN, ch. 9. Carlson, 'Is Environmental Art an Aesthetic Affront to Nature?', AE, ch. 10. Sheila Lintott, 'Ethically Evaluating Land Art: Is It Worth It?'. Ethics, Place & Environment 10 (2007): 263–77. Emily Brady, 'Aesthetic Regard for Nature in Environmental and Land Art'. Ethics, Place & Environment 10 (2007): 287–300. Focus Questions1. Are there any important differences between the aesthetic appreciation of art and the aesthetic appreciation of nature? If so, what are they?2. Is preserving nature for its aesthetic value a coherent idea?3. What is the ugliest natural thing or place you can think of? How might proponents of Positive Aesthetics for nature deal with your example?4. Does the concept of the sublime have any significance for our contemporary experience of nature? If it does, what relation does it bear to our aesthetic appreciation of nature?5. Watch Rivers and Tides (2001), the documentary film about the British environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy. Ethically speaking, how do you think we ought to regard his art-making? (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.
Eugenio Bulygin is a distinguished representative of legal science and legal philosophy as they are known on the European continent - no accident, given the role of the civil law tradition in his home country, Argentina. Over the past half-century, Bulygin has engaged virtually all major legal philosophers in the English-speaking countries, including H.L.A. Hart, Ronald Dworkin, and Joseph Raz. Bulygin's essays, several written together with his eminent colleague and close friend Carlos E. Alchourrón, reflect the genre familiar from (...) Alf Ross's On Law and Justice, Hans Kelsen's Pure Theory of Law, and Georg Henrik von Wright's Norm and Action. Bulygin's wide-ranging interests include most of the topics found under the rubric of analytical jurisprudence - interpretation and judicial reasoning, validity and efficacy of law, legal positivism and the problem of normativity, completeness and consistency of the legal system, the nature of legal norms, and the role of deontic logic in the law. The reader will take delight in the often agreeably unorthodox character of Bulygin's views and in his hard-hitting arguments in defence of them. He challenges the received opinion on gaps in the law, on legal efficacy, on permissory norms, and on the criteria for legal validity. Bulygin's essays have been wellnigh inaccessible in the past, appearing in specialized journals, often in Spanish or German. They are now available for the first time in an English-language collection. (shrink)
This thesis sets out an argument in defence of moral objectivism. It takes Mackie as the critic of objectivism and it ends by proposing that the best defence of objectivism may be found in what I shall call Kantian intuitionism, which brings together elements of the intuitionism of Ross and a Kantian epistemology. The argument is fundamentally transcendental in form and it proceeds by first setting out what we intuitively believe, rejecting the sceptical attacks on those beliefs, and by (...) then proposing a theory that can legitimize what we already do believe. Chapter One sets out our intuitive understanding of morality: that morality is cognitive, moral beliefs can be true or false; that morality is real, we do not construct it; that morality is rational, we can learn about it by rational investigation; and that morality places us under an absolute constraint. The chapter ends by clarifying the nature of that absolute demand and by arguing that the critical idea within morality is the idea of duty. In Chapter Two Mackie’s sceptical attack on objectivism is examined. Four key arguments are identified: that moral beliefs are relative to bfferent agents; that morality is based upon on non-rational causes; that the idea of moral properties or entities is too queer to be sustainable; and that moral objectivism involves queer epistemological commitments. Essentially all of these arguments are shown to be ambiguous; however it is proposed that Mackie has an underlying epistemological and metaphysical theory, scientific empiricism, which is hostile to objectivism and a theory that many find attractive for reasons that are independent of morality. Chapter Three explores the nature of moral rationality and whether scientific empiricism can use the idea of reflective equilibrium to offer a reasonable account of moral rationality. It concludes that, while reflective equilibrium is a useful account of moral rationality, it cannot be effectively reconciled with scientific empiricism. In order to function effectively as a rational process, reflective equilibrium must be rationally constrained by our moral judgements and our moral principles. Chapter Four begins the process of exploring some alternative epistemologies and argues that the only account that remains true to objectivism and the needs of reflective equilibrium is the account of intuitionism proposed by Ross. However this account can be developed further by drawing upon number of Kantian ideas and using them to supplement Ross’s intuitionism. So Chapter Five draws upon a number of Kant's ideas, most notably some key notions from the Critique of Judgement. These ideas are: that we possess a rational will that is subject to the Moral law and determined by practical reason; that we possess a faculty of judgement which enables us to become aware of moral properties and that these two faculties together with the third faculty of thought can function to constitute the moral understanding. Using these ideas the thesis explores whether they can serve to explain how intuitions can be rational and how objectivism can be justified. (shrink)
Introduction -- Value theory : the nature of the good life -- Epicurus letter to Menoeceus -- John Stuart Mill, Hedonism -- Aldous Huxley, Brave new world -- Robert Nozick, The experience machine -- Richard Taylor, The meaning of life -- Jean Kazez, Necessities -- Normative ethics : theories of right conduct -- J.J.C. Smart, Eextreme and restricted utilitarianism -- Immanuel Kant the good will & the categorical imperative -- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan -- Philippa Foot, Natural goodness -- Aristotle, Nicomachean (...) ethics -- W.D. Ross, What makes right acts right? -- Hilde Lindemann, What is feminist ethics? -- Metaethics : the status of morality -- David Hume, Moral distinctions not derived from reason -- J.L. Mackie, The subjectivity of values -- Gilbert Harman, Ethics and observation -- Mary Midgley, Trying out one's new sword -- Michael Smith, Rrealism -- Renford Bambrough, Pproof -- Moral problems -- Peter Singe, The Singer solution to world poverty -- Heidi Malm, Paid surrogacy: arguments and responses -- Ronald Dworkin, Playing God : genes, clones, and luck -- James Rachels, The morality of euthanasia -- John Harris, The survival lottery -- Peter Singer, Unsanctifying human life -- William F. Baxter, People or penguins : the case for optimal pollution -- Judith Jarvis, Tthomson a defense of abortion -- Don Marquis, Why abortion is immoral -- Jonathan Bennett, The conscience of Huckleberry Finn -- Michael Walzer, Terrorism : a critique of excuses -- David Luban, Liberalism, torture, and the ticking bomb -- Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham City Jail -- Igor Primoratz, Justifying legal punishment -- Stephen Nathanson, An eye for an eye -- Michael Huemer, America's unjust drug war -- John Corvino, Why shouldn't Tommy and Jimmy have sex? : a defense of homosexuality -- Bonnie Steinbock, Adultery -- Hugh Lafollette, Licensing parents -- Jane English, What do grown children owe their parents? (shrink)
Che cosa distingue, concettualmente, l’esattore delle tasse che esiga da un uomo, a pena di sanzioni, una determinata somma di denaro, dal bandito che gli intimi, sotto la minaccia di un’arma, di consegnargli la medesima somma? È sul soddisfacimento del requisito della giustizia che si fonda, come sostenne Agostino, l’eterogeneità tra uno Stato e un’accolita di furfanti? «Se non è rispettata la giustizia, che cosa sono gli Stati, se non delle grandi bande di ladri? Perché le bande di briganti che (...) cosa sono, se non dei piccoli Stati?». Il volume ripercorre le risposte più autorevoli fornite nel XX secolo, entro un orizzonte postmetafisico, alla domanda agostiniana: prima dell’avvento del regime nazista, la tesi che un’associazione a delinquere sia indistinguibile da uno Stato è stata sostenuta da Benedetto Croce, Santi Romano e Hans Kelsen; dopo l’esperienza del nazismo e delle sue atrocità, perpetrate in nome dello Stato e della legge, le questioni relative alla natura del diritto e alla relazione tra morale e diritto hanno assunto – come ha osservato Robert Alexy – «l’urgenza di un problema scottante», e la domanda filosofica sulla validità della legge ingiusta è apparsa ineludibile non solo ai maggiori filosofi del diritto (Herbert L.H. Hart, Alf Ross, Ronald Dworkin e lo stesso Alexy), ma alle stesse corti tedesche. (shrink)
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)
Paul Sheehy has argued that the modal realist cannot satisfactorily allow for the necessity of God's existence. In this short paper I show that she can, and that Sheehy only sees a problem because he has failed to appreciate all the resources available to the modal realist. God may be an abstract existent outside spacetime or He may not be: but either way, there is no problem for the modal realist to admit that He exists at every concrete possible world.
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)
Ladyman, Ross and their collaborators (Spurrett is a co-author of two chapters, Collier of one) begin their book with a ferocious attack on "analytic metaphysics", as it is currently practiced. Their opening blast claims that contemporary analytic metaphysics 'contributes nothing to human knowledge': its practitioners are 'wasting their talents', and the whole enterprise, although 'engaged in by some extremely intelligent and morally serious people, fails to qualify as part of the enlightened pursuit of objective truth, and should be discontinued' (...) (vii). They set out on a 'mission of disciplinary rescue' in the spirit of Hume and the logical positivists, in which a fair proportion of philosophy as currently practiced -- as they realize, their critique applies far beyond the boundaries of metaphysics proper -- will be consigned to the flames. (shrink)