It has long been recognized that Soren Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling is a cryptogram. Encoded within a series of reflections and commentaries on Genesis 22 is a deeper message directed at a reader or readers presumably capable of deciphering the hidden meaning. That this is true is suggested by the book's epigraph: ‘What Tarquinius Superbus said in the garden by means of the poppies, the son understood but the messenger did not.’.
John Stuart Mill's crisis of 1826 has received a great deal of attention from scholars. This attention results from reflection on the importance of the crisis to Mill's mature thought. Did the crisis signal rejection or revision of Benthamism? Or did it have little or no effect on Mill's view of his intellectual inheritance? Ultimately, an interpretation of the cause and resolution of the crisis is integral to an understanding of the nature of Mill's moral and social philosophy. Scholars, in (...) their zeal to understand Mill's crisis, have suggested various reasons for both the onset of the crisis and the recovery. Yet Mill's own perception of his crisis has often been overlooked or rejected. (shrink)
In the 1970s feminist scholars rediscovered J. S. Mill's writings on sexual equality. The new feminist appraisal confronted traditional Mill scholarship which had tended either to neglect Mill's writings on women or to concentrate on Harriet Taylor's influence on Mill's views on sexual equality. But even the most cursory review of the writings of feminist scholars reveals a lack of consensus.
In mid-June 2009, the Obama administration dissolved the President's Council on Bioethics (PCBE), a group established by President George W. Bush in August 2001 and whose nearly eight-year life was marked from beginning to end by controversy. While some will regret the PCBE's passing, others will regard the Council as a failed experiment in doing public bioethics.
The claim that " Everyone's doing it" is frequently offered as a reason for engaging in behavior that is widespread but less-than-ideal. This is particularly true in business, where competitors' conduct often forces hard choices on managers. When is the claim " Everyone's doing it" a morally valid reason for following others' lead? This discussion proposes and develops five prima facie conditions to identify when the existence of prevalent but otherwise undesirable behavior provides a moral justification for our engaging in (...) such behavior ourselves. The balance of the discussion focuses on testing these conditions by applying them to aseries of representative cases in business ethics. (shrink)
For more than 30 years, beginning with the Reagan administration's refusal to support and provide oversight for embryo research, and continuing to the present in congressionally imposed limits on funding for such research, progress in infertility medicine and the development of stem cell therapies has been seriously delayed by a series of political interventions. In almost all cases, these interventions result from a view of the moral status of human embryo premised largely on religious assumptions. Although some believe that these (...) interventions are valid expressions of religious values in the public sector, it is argued here that they, in fact, contradict Rawls's conception of public reasoning. Both the prohibition of research involving the human embryo as well as bans on federal funding for embryo-related research place the particular religious views of some citizens above the pressing health needs of almost all, and thus violate the ideal of civility implicit in the Rawlsian standard. (shrink)
Following an introductory examination of possible reasons why past researchers have overlooked Kierkegaard’s debt to Kant, two specific areas of influence are documented and analyzed: the ideality of ethics, and the notion of faith as a leap. Closing remarks suggest that there are other areas as yet undocumented.
In an article entitled ‘Dworkin's Fallacy, Or What the Philosophy of Language Can't Teach Us about the Law’, I argued that in Law's Empire Ronald Dworkin misderived his interpretive theory of law from an implicit interpretive theory of meaning, thereby committing ‘Dworkin's fallacy’. In his recent book, Justice in Robes, Dworkin denies that he committed the fallacy. As evidence he points to the fact that he considered three theories of law—‘conventionalism’, ‘pragmatism’ and ‘law as integrity’—in Law's Empire. Only the (...) last of these is interpretive, but each, he argues, is compatible with his interpretive theory of meaning, which he describes as the view that ‘the doctrinal concept of law is an interpretive concept’. In this Reply, I argue that Dworkin's argument that he does not commit Dworkin's fallacy is itself an example of the fallacy and that Dworkin's fallacy pervades Justice in Robes just as much as it did Law's Empire. (shrink)
Preparing the Next Generation of Oral Historians is an invaluable resource to educators seeking to bring history alive for students at all levels. Filled with insightful reflections on teaching oral history, it offers practical suggestions for educators seeking to create curricula, engage students, gather community support, and meet educational standards. By the close of the book, readers will be able to successfully incorporate oral history projects in their own classrooms.
Using data from a randomized field experiment within a Deliberative Poll, this paper examines deliberation’s effects on both policy attitudes and the extent to which ordinal rankings of policy options approach single-peakedness (a help in avoiding cyclical majorities). The setting was New Haven, Connecticut, and its surrounding towns; the issues were airport expansion and revenue sharing – the former highly salient, the latter not at all. Half the participants deliberated revenue sharing, then the airport; the other half the reverse. This (...) split-half design helps distinguish the effects of the formal on-site deliberations from those of other aspects of the treatment. As expected, the highly salient airport issue saw only a slight effect, while much less salient revenue-sharing issue saw a much larger one. (shrink)
G. E. Moore observed that to assert, 'I went to the pictures last Tuesday but I don't believe that I did' would be 'absurd'. Over half a century later, such sayings continue to perplex philosophers. In the definitive treatment of the famous paradox, Green and Williams explain its history and relevance and present new essays by leading thinkers in the area.
Traces the search for evidence that Kierkegaard was familiar with the works of Kant, sparked by the observation that Kierkegaard's treatment of ethics and sin is organized exactly as Kant's treatment of the same topics, and even seems to ...
During the eighteenth century, elite women participated in the philosophical, scientific, and political controversies that resulted in the overthrow of monarchy, the reconceptualisation of marriage, and the emergence of modern, democratic institutions. In this comprehensive study, Karen Green outlines and discusses the ideas and arguments of these women, exploring the development of their distinctive and contrasting political positions, and their engagement with the works of political thinkers such as Hobbes, Locke, Mandeville and Rousseau. Her exploration ranges across Europe from (...) England through France, Italy, Germany and Russia, and discusses thinkers including Mary Astell, Emilie Du Châtelet, Luise Kulmus-Gottsched and Elisabetta Caminer Turra. This study demonstrates the depth of women's contributions to eighteenth-century political debates, recovering their historical significance and deepening our understanding of this period in intellectual history. It will provide an essential resource for readers in political philosophy, political theory, intellectual history, and women's studies. (shrink)
Genomic research results and incidental findings with health implications for a research participant are of potential interest not only to the participant, but also to the participant's family. Yet investigators lack guidance on return of results to relatives, including after the participant's death. In this paper, a national working group offers consensus analysis and recommendations, including an ethical framework to guide investigators in managing this challenging issue, before and after the participant's death.
This essay concerns Scott Shapiro's criticism that H.L.A. Hart's theory of law suffers from a Although other philosophers of law have summarily dismissed Shapiro's criticism, I argue that it identifies an important requirement for an adequate theory of law. Such a theory must explain why legal officials justify their actions by reference to abstract propositional entities, instead of pointing to the existence of social practices. A virtue of Shapiro's planning theory of law is that it can explain this phenomenon. Despite (...) these sympathies, however, I end with the suggestion that Shapiro's criticism of Hart, as it stands, is incomplete. Careful attention to Hart's notion of the internal point of view indicates that he was aware that legal justification ends with abstract objects, not practices, and that he offered his own explanation of this phenomenon. (shrink)
Mitchell S. Green presents a systematic philosophical study of self-expression - a pervasive phenomenon of the everyday life of humans and other species, which has received scant attention in its own right. He explores the ways in which self-expression reveals our states of thought, feeling, and experience, and he defends striking new theses concerning a wide range of fascinating topics: our ability to perceive emotion in others, artistic expression, empathy, expressive language, meaning, facial expression, and speech acts. He draws (...) on insights from evolutionary game theory, ethology, the philosophy of language, social psychology, pragmatics, aesthetics, and neuroscience to present a stimulating and accessible interdisciplinary work. (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)
G. E. Moore famously observed that to assert ‘I went to the pictures last Tuesday but I do not believe that I did’ would be ‘absurd’. Moore calls it a ‘paradox’ that this absurdity persists despite the fact that what I say about myself might be true. Krista Lawlor and John Perry have proposed an explanation of the absurdity that confines itself to semantic notions while eschewing pragmatic ones. We argue that this explanation faces four objections. We give a better (...) explanation of the absurdity both in assertion and in belief that avoids our four objections. (shrink)
This essay offers a constructive criticism of Part I of Davis’ Meaning, Expression and Thought. After a brief exposition, in Sect. 2, of the main points of the theory that will concern us, I raise a challenge in Sect. 3 for the characterization of expression that is so central to his program. I argue first of all that a sincere expression of a thought, feeling, or mood shows it. Yet attention to this fact reveals that it does not go without (...) saying how it is possible to show such things as thoughts, feelings or moods; we need an account of how this is possible, and I offer a partial such account in Sect. 4. Second, much of the attraction of Davis’ program depends on its ability to explain how linguistic meaning can be arrived at without covertly presupposing linguistic conventions. This in turn depends, in Davis’ hands, upon the claim that it is possible to express any of a wide range of ideas in the absence of conventions. I argue in Sect. 5 that the account of showing at which we will by then have arrived makes clear that Davis needs, and lacks, an explanation of how it is possible to do this. (shrink)
The relation between two systems of attitude ascription that capture all the empirically significant aspects of an agents thought and speech may be analogous to that between two systems of magnitude ascription that are equivalent relative to a transformation of scale. If so, just as an objects weighing eight pounds doesnt relate that object to the number eight (for a different but equally good scale would use a different number), similarly an agents believing that P need not relate her to (...) P (for a different but equally adequate interpretive scheme could use a different proposition). In either case the only reality picked out by any system of ascription is what is common to all equivalent rivals. By emphasizing some contrasts between decision theory and belief-desire psychology, it is argued that if attitude ascription is appropriately analogous to measurement then not only is being related to a proposition an artifact of the system of representation chosen, so are belief and desire. (shrink)
Over the last two decades J.N. Williams has developed an account of the absurdity of such utterances as Its raining but I dont believe it that is both intuitively plausible and applicable to a wide variety of forms that this so-called Moorean absurdity can take. His approach is also noteworthy for making only minimal appeal to principles of epistemic or doxastic logic in its account of such absurdity. We first show that Williams places undue emphasis upon assertion and belief: It (...) is similarly absurd for a person to accept a proposition P as a supposition for the sake of argument while denying that her state of mind is one of supposing P, yet Williams has no account of this. Williams approach is then modified to account for such a case. That modification employs a principle of doxastic logic that is at least plausible as the one on which Williams relies, while being unlike his principle in applying to cases other than belief. (shrink)
Using the theoretical approach he introduced in his acclaimed Religious Reason (Oxford, 1978), and drawing on contemporary rationalist ethical theory as well as a variety of religious traditions and issues, Ronald M. Green here provides a simple, effective model for understanding the complexity of religious life. He shows clearly and convincingly that the basic processes of religious reasoning are the same everywhere and that they give rise, in perfectly understandable ways, to the rich diversity of religious expression worldwide. (...) This is a major resource for courses in the philosophy of religion. (shrink)
One of the foundational texts of interpersonal psychoanalysis, _Prelogical Experience_ is a pioneering attempt to elaborate an interpersonal theory of personality that encompasses the nonpropositional, nonverbal dimension of human experience. Prelogical processes, the authors hold, cannot be consigned to infancy; rather they shape experience throughout life and are especially salient in relation to dreams, emotion, perception, and the arts. Of special note is Tauber and Green's elaboration of the clinical situation that grows out of an appreciation of prelogical experience. (...) In a striking anticipation of contemporary thinking, they approach patient-therapist interaction in terms of the continuous exchange of "presentational data" by patient and analyst. These data enable patient and therapist alike to "know" more about the other than can ever be expressed in propositional terms. This perspective assigns an important role to what Piaget would term "the cognitive unconscious" in the clinical process. It likewise sustains a view of the countertransference - which includes the analyst's own dreams - as a vital source of presentational data about the patient. As Donnel Stern notes in his Introduction, these and other insights "amount to a surprisingly contemporary description of psychoanalytic treatment.". (shrink)
The text in which the original JRE editors announced the mission of their newly launched scholarly journal is susceptible to different readings. While RonaldGreen has interpreted it as an intention to "effect" a "movement from Christian ethics to religious ethics," the author expresses doubt that any such general framework of "religious ethics" can be discerned in or imposed on distinctive religious traditions. He suggests that the problem of "parochialism and Western bias" is best addressed not through the (...) imperialism of the generic but through sustained attention to the distinctive and particular in all its variations. (shrink)
The author considers the achievements of the Journal of Religious Ethics against a larger history of philosophical theology and comparative religious studies, suggesting the wisdom of modesty and raising the possibility that contemporary academic inquiry in religious ethics is actually less rich and less supple than is suggested in Green's review. Of particular concern are unproductive nondialogues between philosophical secularists and confessional "narrativists," present tendencies toward anti-institutional ab- straction, the contemporary overvaluation of suspicion and critique, and a pervasive anti (...) theological bias. (shrink)