Animal welfare is an importantsocietal issue in Switzerland. Policy makershave responded with a strict legislation onanimal protection and with two programs topromote animal friendly husbandry. Alsoprivate actors in the meat industry initiatedprograms for animal friendly meat productionto meet consumers' expectations. Labeled meathas a market share of over 20%. Depending onthe stakeholders responsible for the labels,their objectives vary. While retailers want toattract consumers with meat produced in ananimal friendly and environmentally compatiblemanner and with products of consistently goodsensory quality, producers want to (...) keep marketshares and increase their revenues. (shrink)
Every body cell of an animal or human being contains the same complete set of genes. In theory any of these cells can be used to start a new embryo. The technique has been employed in the case of frogs. The nucleus is taken out of a body cell of a frog and implanted in an enucleated frog's egg. The resulting egg cell is stimulated to develop into a normal frog, and will be an exact copy of that frog which (...) provided the nucleus with all the genetic information. In normal sexual reproduction, two parents each contribute half their genes, but in the case of cloning, one parent passes on all his or her genes. (shrink)
Sainsbury and Tye (2011) propose that, in the case of names and other simple extensional terms, we should substitute for Frege's second level of content—for his senses—a second level of meaning vehicle—words in the language of thought. I agree. They also offer a theory of atomic concept reference—their ‘originalist’ theory—which implies that people knowing the same word have the ‘same concept’. This I reject, arguing for a symmetrical rather than an originalist theory of concept reference, claiming that individual concepts are (...) possessed only by individual people. Concepts are classified rather than identified across different people. (shrink)
Can quite different values be rationally weighed against one another? Can the value of one thing always be ranked as greater than, equal to, or less than the value of something else? If the answer to these questions is no, then in what areas do we find commensurability and comparability unavailable? And what are the implications for moral and legal decision making? In this book, some of the sharpest minds in philosophy struggle with these questions.
Can quite different values be rationally weighed against one another? Can the value of one thing always be ranked as greater than, equal to, or less than the value of something else? If not, when do we find commensurability and comparability unavailable? What are the moral and legal implications? In this book, philosophers address these questions.
This encyclopedia entry urges what it takes to be correctives to common (mis)understandings concerning the phenomenon of incommensurability and incomparability and briefly outlines some of their philosophical upshots.
In _Feminist Interpretations of John Rawls_, Ruth Abbey collects eight essays responding to the work of John Rawls from a feminist perspective. An impressive introduction by the editor provides a chronological overview of English-language feminist engagements with Rawls from his Theory of Justice onwards. She surveys the range of issues canvassed by feminist readers of Rawls, as well as critics’ wide disagreement about the value of Rawls’s corpus for feminist purposes. The eight essays that follow testify to the continuing (...) ambivalence among feminist readers of Rawls. From the perspectives of political theory and moral, social, and political philosophy, the essayists address particular aspects of Rawls’s work and apply it to a variety of worldly practices relating to gender inequality and the family, to the construction of disability, to justice in everyday relationships, and to human rights on an international level. The overall effect is to give a sense of the broad spectrum of possible feminist critical responses to Rawls, ranging from rejection to adoption. Aside from the editor, the contributors are Amy R. Baehr, Eileen Hunt Botting, Elizabeth Brake, Clare Chambers, Nancy J. Hirschmann, Anthony Simon Laden, Janice Richardson, and Lisa H. Schwartzman. (shrink)
Ruth Garrett Millikan presents a strikingly original account of how we get to grips with the world in thought. Her question is Kant's 'How is knowledge possible?', answered from a contemporary naturalist standpoint. We begin with an understanding of what the world is like prior to cognition, then develop a theory of cognition within that world.
This collection of essays serves both as an introduction to Ruth Millikan’s much-discussed volume Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories and as an extension and application of Millikan’s central themes, especially in the philosophy of psychology. The title essay discusses meaning rationalism and argues that rationality is not in the head, indeed, that there is no legitimate interpretation under which logical possibility and necessity are known a priori. In other essays, Millikan clarifies her views on the nature of mental (...) representation, explores whether human thought is a product of natural selection, examines the nature of behavior as studied by the behavioral sciences, and discusses the issues of individualism in psychology, psychological explanation, indexicality in thought, what knowledge is, and the realism/antirealism debate. Table of Contents Preface Acknowledgments Introduction 1 In Defense of Proper Functions 2 Propensities, Exaptations, and the Brain 3 Thoughts without Laws 4 Biosemantics 5 On Mentalese Orthography, Part 1 6 Compare and Contrast Dretske, Fodor, and Millikan on Teleosemantics 7 What Is Behavior? A Philosophical Essay on Ethology and Individualism in Psychology, Part 1 8 The Green Grass Growing All Around: A Philosophical Essay on Ethology and Individualism in Psychology, Part 2 9 Explanation in Biopsychology 10 Metaphysical Antirealism? 11 Truth Rules, Hoverflies, and the Kripke-Wittgenstein Paradox 12 Naturalist Reflections on Knowledge 13 The Myth of the Essential Indexical 14 White Queen Psychology; or, The Last Myth of the Given References Index. (shrink)
Ontology. Revisited. Groff's argument cuts against a familiar anti-metaphysical grain. Social and political philosophy, she maintains, is not as metaphysically neutral as it may seem. Even the most deontological of theories connects up with a ...
Ruth Millikan is well known for having developed a strikingly original way for philosophers to seek understanding of mind and language, which she sees as biological phenomena. She now draws together a series of groundbreaking essays which set out her approach to language. Guiding the work of most linguists and philosophers of language today is the assumption that language is governed by prescriptive normative rules. Millikan offers a fundamentally different way of viewing the partial regularities that language displays, comparing (...) them to biological norms that emerge from natural selection. This yields novel and quite radical consequences for our understanding of the nature of public linguistic meaning, the process of language understanding, how children learn language, and the semantics/pragmatics distinction. (shrink)
Written by one of today's most creative and innovative philosophers, Ruth Garrett Millikan, this book examines basic empirical concepts; how they are acquired, how they function, and how they have been misrepresented in the traditional philosophical literature. Millikan places cognitive psychology in an evolutionary context where human cognition is assumed to be an outgrowth of primitive forms of mentality, and assumed to have 'functions' in the biological sense. Of particular interest are her discussions of the nature of abilities as (...) different from dispositions, her detailed analysis of the psychological act of reidentifying substances, and her critique of the language of thought for mental representation. In a radical departure from current philosophical and psychological theories of concepts, this book provides the first in-depth discussion on the psychological act of reidentification. (shrink)
Charles Taylor is one of the most influential and prolific philosophers in the English-speaking world today. The breadth of his writings is unique, ranging from reflections on artificial intelligence to analyses of contemporary multicultural societies. This thought-provoking introduction to Taylor's work outlines his ideas in a coherent and accessible way without reducing their richness and depth. His contribution to many of the enduring debates within Western philosophy is examined and the arguments of his critics assessed. Taylor's reflections on the topics (...) of moral theory, selfhood, political theory and epistemology form the core chapters within the book. Ruth Abbey engages with the secondary literature on Taylor's work and suggests that some criticisms by contemporaries have been based on misinterpretations and suggests ways in which a better understanding of Taylor's work leads to different criticisms of it. The book serves as an ideal companion to Taylor's ideas for students of philosophy and political theory, and will be welcomed by the non-specialist looking for an authoritative guide to Taylor's large and challenging body of work. (shrink)
" Biosemantics " was the title of a paper on mental representation originally printed in The Journal of Philosophy in 1989. It contained a much abbreviated version of the work on mental representation in Language Thought and Other Biological Categories. There I had presented a naturalist theory of intentional signs generally, including linguistic representations, graphs, charts and diagrams, road sign symbols, animal communications, the "chemical signals" that regulate the function of glands, and so forth. But the term " biosemantics " (...) has usually been applied only to the theory of mental representation. Let me first characterize a more general class of theories called "teleological theories of mental content" of which biosemantics is an example. Then I will discuss the details that distinguish biosemantics from other naturalistic teleological theories. (shrink)
Connected Lives examines the account of human nature that is implicit in an ethics of care, a picture of human lives that emphasizes interdependency, embodiment, and social connectedness. The book makes important connections to the picture of human life found in theorists of love such as St. Augustine and Emmanuel Levinas, and shows that when care theory is articulated clearly, it provides resources for thinking through some of the difficult moral issues we face in the contemporary world, issues such as (...) assisted reproduction and the new genetic technologies. (shrink)
While it is uncontroversial to point to the liberal roots of feminism, a major issue in English-language feminist political thought over the last few decades has been whether feminism's association with liberalism should be relegated to the past. Can liberalism continue to serve feminist purposes? This book examines the positions of three contemporary feminists - Martha Nussbaum, Susan Moller Okin and Jean Hampton - who, notwithstanding decades of feminist critique, are unwilling to give up on liberalism. This book examines why, (...) and in what ways, each of these theorists believes that liberalism offers the normative and political resources for the improvement of women's situations. It also brings out and tries to explain and evaluate the differences among them, notwithstanding their shared allegiance to liberalism. In so doing, the books goes to the heart of recent debates in feminist and political theory. (shrink)
Ruth Boeker offers a new perspective on Locke’s account of persons and personal identity by considering it within the context of his broader philosophical project and the philosophical debates of his day. Her interpretation emphasizes the importance of the moral and religious dimensions of his view. By taking seriously Locke’s general approach to questions of identity, Boeker shows that we should consider his account of personhood separately from his account of personal identity over time. On this basis, she argues (...) that Locke endorses a moral account of personhood, according to which persons are subjects of accountability, and that his particular thinking about moral accountability explains why he regards sameness of consciousness as necessary for personal identity over time. In contrast to some Neo-Lockean views about personal identity, Boeker argues that Locke’s account of personal identity is not psychological per se, but rather his underlying moral, religious, metaphysical, and epistemic background beliefs are relevant for understanding why he argues for a consciousness-based account of personal identity. Taking his underlying background beliefs into consideration not only sheds light on why many of his early critics do not adopt Locke’s view, but also shows why his view cannot be as easily dismissed as some of his critics assume. -/- . (shrink)
In liberal political theory, meaningful work is conceptualised as a preference in the market. Although this strategy avoids transgressing liberal neutrality, the subsequent constraint upon state intervention aimed at promoting the social and economic conditions for widespread meaningful work is normatively unsatisfactory. Instead, meaningful work can be understood to be a fundamental human need, which all persons require in order to satisfy their inescapable interests in freedom, autonomy, and dignity. To overcome the inadequate treatment of meaningful work by liberal political (...) theory, I situate the good of meaningful work within a liberal perfectionist framework, from which standpoint I develop a normative justification for making meaningful work the object of political action. To understand the content of meaningful work, I make use of Susan Wolf’s distinct value of meaningfulness, in which she brings together the dimensions of objectivity and subjectivity into the ‘bipartite value’ of meaningfulness (BVM) (Wolf, Meaning in life and why it matters, 2010). However, in order to be able to incorporate the BVM into our lives, we must become valuers, that is, co-creators of values and meanings. This demands that we acquire the relevant capabilities and status as co-authorities in the realm of value. I conclude that meaningful work is of first importance because it is a fundamental human need, and that society ought to be arranged to allow as many people as possible to experience their work as meaningful through the development of the relevant capabilities. (shrink)
Ruth Abbey presents a close study of Nietzsche's works, Human, All Too Human, Daybreak, and The Gay Science. Although these middle period works tend to be neglected in commentaries on Nietzsche, they repay careful attention. Abbey's commentary brings to light important differences across Nietzsche's oeuvre that have gone unnoticed, filling a serious gap in the literature.
Austrian immigration authorities frequently reject the family reunion applications of immigrant workers. They justify their decisions not only on legal grounds but also on the basis of their own often prejudiced judgements of the applicants' ability to `integrate' into Austrian society. A discourse-historical method is combined with systemic-functionally oriented methods of text analysis to study the official letters which notify immigrant workers of the rejection of their family reunion applications. The systemic-functionally oriented methods are used in a detailed analysis of (...) a sample of rejection letters while the discourse-historical method allows this analysis to be intertextually connected to other related genres of discourse and strategies of argumentation, and to the history of post-war immigration in Austria generally. (shrink)
Over the last four decades computers and the internet have become an intrinsic part of all our lives, but this speed of development has left related philosophical enquiry behind. Featuring the work of computer scientists and philosophers, these essays provide an overview of an exciting new area of philosophy that is still taking shape.
The aim of this paper is to show that Shaftesbury’s thinking about liberty is best understood in terms of self-mastery. To examine his understanding of liberty, I turn to a painting that he commissioned on the ancient theme of the choice of Hercules and the notes that he prepared for the artist. Questions of human choice are also present in the so-called story of an amour, which addresses the difficulties of controlling human passions. Jaffro distinguishes three notions of self-control that (...) are present in the story of an amour. Although I agree with many aspects of Jaffro’s interpretation, I question his conclusion that self- control in the Stoic sense is best reserved for ‘moral heroes.’ I propose an alternative developmental interpretation, according to which all human beings are on an intellectual journey aimed at personal and moral improvement. My interpretation takes seriously that for Shaftesbury philosophy is meant to be practical and help improve our lives. I end by arguing that rather than trying to situate Shaftesbury’s concept of liberty within debates among compatibilists and incompatibilists it is more promising to understand it in terms of self- mastery and thus regard it as a version of positive liberty. (shrink)
By whatever general principles and mechanisms animal behavior is governed, human behavior control rides piggyback on top of the same or very similar mechanisms. We have reflexes. We can be conditioned. The movements that make up our smaller actions are mostly caught up in perception-action cycles following perceived Gibsonian affordances. Still, without doubt there are levels of behavior control that are peculiar to humans. Following Aristotle, tradition has it that what is added in humans is rationality ("rational soul"). Rationality, however, (...) can be and has been characterized in many different ways. I am going to speculate about two different kinds of cognitive capacities that we humans seem to have, each of which is at least akin to rationality as Aristotle described it. The first I believe we share with many other animals, the second perhaps with none. Since this session of the conference on rational animals has been designated a "brainstorming" session, I will take philosopher's license, presenting no more than the softest sort of intuitive evidence for these ideas. (shrink)
In this article, we illuminate the affective phenomenon of loneliness by exploring the question of how it relates to love and other forms of friendship. We reflect in particular on the question of how different forms of loneliness are relevant to human existence. Distinguishing three forms of loneliness, we first introduce two border cases of loneliness: unfelt loneliness in which one’s individuality is denied and one therefore cannot feel lonely; and existential loneliness in which the possibility of intimacy and existential (...) communication are denied and one therefore cannot but feel lonely. We then turn to loneliness that occurs within intimate friendships—even the most intimate ones. In our analysis, we pay attention especially to the role of communication. In order to do so, we repeatedly turn to poetic expressions of loneliness. We argue that loneliness cannot reflect only the absence or partial failure of communication but also the inherent limits of communication. These limits in turn point back to the nature of human existence and love itself. (shrink)
For many years, William Morris’s utopian novel, _News From Nowhere_, has been considered a socialist classic. In it, he describes a future society in which poverty and hardship have been overcome and where individuals are free to express their creativity. For many readers it has been an inspirational text but, at the same time, scholars have openly admitted that the society it describes is impractical. Indeed, in recent years, writers and politicians sympathetic to Morris’s socialism have tended to defend the (...) relevance of his political thought by passing over the details of his vision and translating his ideas to a set of familiar values or ideas: freedom, equality, fraternity, ecology, environmentalism. In this stimulating study, Ruth Kinna reviews the debates that have surrounded Morris’s work and suggests that the romanticism and utopianism of _News From Nowhere _have been treated wrongly as a weakness of his thought. By analyzing the impact that Morris’s understanding of art had on his political thought, she argues that his socialism was driven by a deeply romantic impulse and that this impulse underpinned his central contribution to socialist thought. In today’s political climate, the assumptions that Morris made about the revolution and his idea about the socialist economy and the role of women appear impractical and outdated. Nevertheless, this study suggests that there is a role for utopian thought in practical politics and that Morris’s image of the good society remains relevant today. (shrink)
The Western musical tradition has produced not only music, but also countless writings about music that remain in continuous—and enormously influential—dialogue with their subject. With sweeping scope and philosophical depth, _A Language of Its Own_ traces the past millennium of this ongoing exchange. Ruth Katz argues that the indispensible relationship between intellectual production and musical creation gave rise to the Western conception of music. This evolving and sometimes conflicted process, in turn, shaped the art form itself. As ideas entered (...) music from the contexts in which it existed, its internal language developed in tandem with shifts in intellectual and social history. Katz explores how this infrastructure allowed music to explain itself from within, creating a self-referential and rational foundation that has begun to erode in recent years. A magisterial exploration of a frequently overlooked intersection of Western art and philosophy, _A Language of Its Own_ restores music to its rightful place in the history of ideas. (shrink)