What kind of properties are moral qualities, such as rightness, badness, etc? Some ethicists doubt that there are any such properties; they maintain that thinking that something is morally wrong (for example) is comparable to thinking that something is a unicorn or a ghost. These "moral error theorists" argue that the world simply does not contain the kind of properties or objects necessary to render our moral judgments true. This radical form of moral skepticism was championed by the philosopher John (...) Mackie (1917-1981). This anthology is a collection of philosophical essays critically examining Mackie’s view. (shrink)
My purpose in what follows is not so much to defend the basic principle of utilitarianism as to indicate the form of it which seems most promising as a basic moral and political position. I shall take the principle of utility as offering a criterion for two different sorts of evaluation: first, the merits of acts of government, social policies, and social institutions, and secondly, the ultimate moral evaluation of the actions of individuals. I do not take it as implying (...) that the individual should live his life on the basis of constant evaluations of this sort. For there are different levels of decision making each with its appropriate criteria. For example, we each inevitably make many of our decisions from the point of view of our own personal self-fulfilment and this cannot regularly take a directly utilitarian form, nor should the utilitarian want it to do so. His claim is at most that we should sometimes review our life from the point of view of a kind of impersonal moral truth of a universalistic utilitarian character. (shrink)
This research examines the extent to which similarities and differences exist in the codes of professional conduct of certified (chartered) accountants across the following countries: the United States, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Ontario (Canada), Australia, India, and Hong Kong. These eight countries exemplify some of the diversity in economic, political, legal, and cultural environments in which public accountants practice. The professional codes of ethics establish the ethical boundary parameters within which professional accountants must operate and they are a function of (...) these environments.The results of the study reveal that commonalities exist on some ethical rules indicating that some rules are indeed "culture free". Cross-country variations, however, exist as to the specificity and elaborateness of the rules. Such variations can be attributed to cultural and legal differences, as well as the length of time each professional organization has been in existence. An understanding of the similarities and differences in the codes is important to individuals who may work in these countries. Professional accountants involved in international business must understand the implications of the decisions they make in light of the ethical codes and moral values of their counterparts in foreign countries. After a discussion of the similarities and differences in the codes, the implications of these comparisons for accounting practice are discussed. (shrink)
Social evolution theory conventionally takes an externalist explanatory stance, treating observed cooperation as explanandum and the positive assortment of cooperative behaviour as explanans. We ask how the circumstances bringing about this positive assortment arose in the first place. Rather than merely push the explanatory problem back a step, we move from an externalist to an interactionist explanatory stance, in the spirit of Lewontin and the Niche Construction theorists. We develop a theory of ‘social niche construction’ in which we consider biological (...) entities to be both the subject and object of their own social evolution. Some important cases of the evolution of cooperation have the side-effect of causing changes in the hierarchical level at which the evolutionary process acts. This is because the traits that act to align the fitness interests of particles in a collective can also act to diminish the extent to which those particles are bearers of heritable fitness variance, while augmenting the extent to which collectives of such particles are bearers of heritable fitness variance. In this way, we can explain upward transitions in the hierarchical level at which the Darwinian machine operates in terms of particle-level selection, even though the outcome of the process is a collective-level selection regime. Our theory avoids the logical and metaphysical paradoxes faced by other attempts to explain evolutionary transitions. (shrink)
In the study of categories whose morphisms display a behaviour similar to that of partial functions, the concept of morphism domain is, obviously, central. In this paper an operation defined on morphisms describes those properties which are related to morphisms being regarded as abstractions of partial functions. This operation allows us to characterise the morphism domains directly, and gives rise to an algebra defined by a simple set of identities. No product-like categorical structures are needed therefore. We also develop the (...) construction of topologies together with the notion of continuous morphism, in order to test the effectiveness of this approach. It is interesting to see how much of the computational character of the morphisms is translated into continuity. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with Coleridge's view of science as at once a branch of knowledge and a creative activity, mediating between man and nature, and thereby complementing poetry. Coleridge was well-informed about contemporary science. He stressed the symbolic status of scientific language, the role of scientific genius, and the need in science to rely upon reason rather than the unqualified senses. Kepler and, more recently, John Hunter and Humphry Davy provided his favorite instances of scientific genius, while chemistry—Davy's not (...) Lavoisier's—was poetic. Science and poetry could both rely on reason, the power of language, and faithfulness to nature. (shrink)
Brodtkorb's "phenomenological reading" discusses the conceptually resistant realities, "World," "Body," "Others," and "Time," as they are interpreted in Moby Dick, and are focused by Melville in the inscrutable meaning of the white whale. "Mediation" is the key to interpretation, and, thus, the hero of the novel is Ishmael, who understands that the whale's meaning is constituted anew by each perceiver; Ishmael's mental life is a succession of attitudes—a series of "incantations"—which matches existence as process. From this phenomenological point of view, (...) Ahab's rigid interpretation of the whale as an allegory of divine malevolence is doomed, since allegory is a static mediated category, untrue to process. Yet this processional epistemology is itself in doubt if, as Brodtkorb admits, the uncertainty of the inscrutable is itself in question; and this doubt allows for the potential correctness of even Ahab's reductive allegorization. Thus, while Brodtkorb's phenomenology is a very sensitive instrument for indicating the shifting meanings of Melville's world, the final relation of potentially correct and incantatory concepts to this world is weakly conceived, due to the weakness of the instrument itself.—E. S. T. (shrink)
This paper describes how the physics department of the University of Bristol grew from relative provincial obscurity to international stature. Emphasis is placed on the role of Arthur Tyndall, who as head of the department played a crucial role by attracting external funding to provide for and maintain modern laboratory facilities, through his skill in recruiting staff and his general management of resources. Such essentially entrepreneurial qualities, it is argued, were fundamental to the rapid expansion of Bristol physics and for (...) its emergence as a new centre of excellence. (shrink)
Ronald Dworkin argues on the basis of a theory of well-being that critical paternalism is self-defeating. People must endorse their lives if they are to benefit. This is the endorsement constraint and this paper rejects it. For certain kinds of important mistakes that people can make in their lives, the endorsement constraint is either incredible or too narrow to rule out as much paternalism as Dworkin wants. The endorsement constraint cannot be interpreted to give sensible judgements when people change their (...) minds about the value of their lives. And the main argument for the endorsement constraint, which is based on the value of integrity, does not support Dworkin's anti-paternalism. (shrink)
Can a rule be followed by one person who has lived all his life in as complete isolation from other human beings as is consistent with his mere physical survival? This question divides philosophers as sharply today as it did over thirty years ago when, prompted by their reading of Wittgenstein, they first asked it. My aim here is to suggest a way of reconciling the two opposing sides in the current debate. I also hope to explain why it was (...) that Wittgenstein did not concern himself with the complexities I am about to discuss, which none the less are, I believe, at the root of the difficulties we experience when we try to understand what Wittgenstein said about following a rule and to think clearly about this question. (shrink)
Utilitarian ethics and metaphysical idealism, especially of a Bradleyan sort, are not usually thought of as natural allies. Yet when one considers that it is a crucial part of utilitarian doctrine that the only genuine value is experienced value and almost the definition of idealism that for it the only genuine reality is experienced reality one should surely suspect that the two views have a certain affinity. The essential impulse behind utilitarianism is the sense that the only criterion of something (...) really being intrinsically good is that it feels good. To the ordinary man to say that something feels good is much the same as saying that it is a pleasure, so that for him it is a small step from identifying good with what feels good to identifying it with pleasure. It suggests itself, then, that the utilitarian is essentially one who thinks that, so far as the good goes, esse ispercipi. In that case the utilitarian is an idealist about value. It does not follow that he should be an idealist about things in general, but it does suggest the converse, that the idealist about things in general might be expected to be a utilitarian in his ethics. (shrink)
J. S. Mill's distinction between higher and lower pleasures is often thought to conflict with his commitment to psychological and ethical hedonism: if the superiority of higher pleasures is quantitative, then the higher/lower distinction is superfluous and Mill contradicts himself; if the superiority of higher pleasures is not quantitative, then Mill's hedonism is compromised.
In this paper I shall speak sympathetically of a hedonistic theory of intrinsic value which, ignoring any other such theories, I shall simply call the hedonistic theory of value. How far I am finally committed to it will partly appear at the end.
My point in this paper is to focus on some details of Alfred Tarski’s writing that in my opinion have not been aptly represented — or aptly rejected — in Richard Montague’s grammar and to agree with those who share Tarski’s view that human language is something uncapturable. The paper consists of two parts, concerning 1) some attempts to formalize the non-declarative utterances, and 2) the limitations of T-scheme and of Montague grammar.
Green agrees with Kant on the abstract character of moral law as categorical imperatives and that intentional dispositions are central to a moral justification of punishment. The central problem with Kant's account is that we are unable to know these dispositions beyond a reasonable estimate. Green offers a practical alternative, positing moral law as an ideal to be achieved, but not immediately enforceable through positive law. Moral and positive law are bridged by Green's theory of the common good through the (...) dialectic of morality. Thus, Green appears to offer an alternative that remains committed to Kantian morality whilst taking proper stock of our cognitive limitations. Unfortunately, Green fails to unravel fully Kant's dichotomy of moral and positive law that mirrors Green's solution, although Green offers a number of improvements, such as the importance of the community in establishing rights and linking the severity of punishment to the extent that a criminal act threatens the continued maintenance of a system of rights. (shrink)
It is not easy to see how self-deception is possible because the man who deceives himself seems to be required to play two incompatible roles, that of deceiver and that of deceived. This makes self-deception sound about as difficult as presiding at one's own funeral. Many attempts have been made to remove the air of paradox from self-deception. These attempts are all unsuccessful, and they are best seen as expressions of philosophical puzzlement rather than as actual solutions. In particular, the (...) whole of the literature on self-deception is vitiated by two serious confusions. First, deception is confused with deceit; secondly, it is wrongly assumed that every case of deceiving oneself is automatically a case of self-deception and so self-deception proper becomes confused with other things. (shrink)
Background: People with a personality disorder suffer from enduring inflexible patterns in cognitions and emotions, leading to significant subjective distress, affecting both self and interpersonal functioning. In clinical practice, Dance Movement Therapy is provided to clients with a PD, and although research continuously confirms the value of DMT for many populations, to date, there is very limited information available on DMT and PD. For this study, a systematic literature review on DMT and PD was conducted to identify the content of (...) the described DMT interventions and the main treatment themes to focus upon in DMT for PD.Methods: A systematic search was conducted across the following databases: EMBASE, MEDLINE, PubMed, WEB OF SCIENCE, PsycINFO/OVID, and SCOPUS following the PRISMA guidelines. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme for qualitative studies was used to rank the quality of the articles. The Oxford Center for Evidence-based Medicine standards were applied to determine the hierarchical level of best evidence. Quantitative content analysis was used to identify the intervention components: intended therapeutic goals, therapeutic activities leading to these goals, and suggested therapeutic effects following from these activities. A thematic synthesis approach was applied to analyze and formulate overarching themes.Results: Among 421 extracted articles, four expert opinions met the inclusion criteria. Six overarching themes were found for DMT interventions for PD: self-regulation, interpersonal relationships, integration of self, processing experiences, cognition, and expression and symbolization in movement/dance. No systematic descriptions of DMT interventions for PD were identified. A full series of intervention components could be synthesized for the themes of self-regulation, interpersonal relationships, and cognition. The use of body-oriented approaches and cognitive strategies was in favor of dance-informed approaches.Conclusions: Dance movement therapists working with PD clients focus in their interventions on body-related experiences, non-verbal interpersonal relationships, and to a lesser extent, cognitive functioning. A methodological line for all intervention components was synthesized for the themes of self-regulation, interpersonal relationships, and cognition, of importance for developing systematic intervention descriptions. Future research could focus on practitioners' expertise in applying DMT interventions for PD to develop systematic intervention descriptions and explore the suitability of the identified themes for clinical application. Clients' experiences could offer essential insights on how DMT interventions could address PD pathology and specific PD categories. (shrink)