In this collection of essays Samuel Wheeler discusses Derrida and other “deconstructive” thinkers from the perspective of an analytic philosopher willing to treat deconstruction as philosophy, taking it seriously enough to look for and analyze its arguments. The essays focus on the theory of meaning, truth, interpretation, metaphor, and the relationship of language to the world. Wheeler links the thought of Derrida to that of Davidson and argues for close affinities among Derrida, Quine, de Man, and Wittgenstein. He also demonstrates (...) the propinquity of Plato and Derrida and shows that New Criticism shares deconstruction’s conception of language. Of the twelve essays in the collection, four are published here for the first time. The fundamental resemblance between Derrida and such analytic thinkers as Quine, Wittgenstein, and Davidson, the author argues, is that they deny the possibility of meanings as self-interpreting media constituting thoughts and intentions. Derrida argues that some form of magic language has determined the very project of philosophy, and his arguments work out the consequences of denying that there are such self-interpreting mental contents. In addition, Derrida and Davidson agree in denying any “given.” Without a given, questions about realism and idealism cease to have a point. Derrida and Davidson are both committed to the textuality of all significant marks, whether in neurons or on paper. They argue that there is no mode of representation more direct than language. (shrink)
Relative essentialism, the view that multiple objects about which there are distinct de re modal truths can occupy the same space at the same time, is a metaphysical view that dissolves a number of metaphysical issues. The present essay constructs and defends relative essentialism and argues that it is implicit in some of the ideas of W. V. Quine and Donald Davidson. Davidson’s published views about individuation and sameness can accommodate the common-sense insights about change and persistence of Aristotle and (...) Kripke. Aristotle and Kripke have to give up unmediated direct reference resting on a unique correct articulation of reality into entities. Davidson has to acknowledge a distinction between descriptions giving accidental and those giving essential features of an object. Quine and Davidson were in a position to be a relative essentialist, but were over-impressed by supervenience. The relative essentialist view of beings developed from Quine and Davidson strongly suggests the Heideggerian distinction between beings and Being, and is the perspective from which analytic philosophy can engage that topic. Relative essentialism also connects analytic philosophy to Derrida’s thinking about differance. (shrink)
I argue that the paradoxes attributed to the Megarians, namely the Liar, the Sorites, presupposition ("Have you stopped beating your father,") and failure of substitution of co-referential terms in psychological verbs ("The Electra") were intended to be reasons to accept Parmenides view that non-being is an incoherent notion and that there is exactly One Being. That is, Eubulides and others were akin to Zeno, in indirectly supporting Parmenidean monism.
This essay argues that reparations for wrongs by one's ancestors can be justified. Differential benefits to those descended from victims of one's ancestors is discrimination which can be justified by one's right to be partial to one's ancestors, doing what they, with clearer thinking, would have done--namely compensating their victims. So, while there is no obligation to discriminate, one has a right to, in virtue of one's partiality towards one's ancestors.
This article is concerned with ethical issues that have to be considered when under taking qualitative research. Some of the issues - such as informed consent, the dignity and privacy of the research subjects, voluntary participation and protection from harm - are the same as in other types of research and have their basis in moral and ethical principles. Qualitative research, however, generates specific ethical problems because of the close relationship that researchers form with participants. Qualitative research with patients is (...) especially difficult because of their vulnerability and lack of power in the clinical situation. Therefore the potential conflict between the dual role of the nurse - the professional and the research roles - has to be solved. Researchers also learn how to cope with the tension of subjective and objective elements of the research. Nurses who attempt qualitative research have to consider a variety of complex ethical issues, which are addressed in this paper. (shrink)
Kaveny recommends models drawn from the Gospel of John and the practices of the early church for modern Christians in their response to older women and their health needs. She draws upon a historical reconstruction of the early Christian Order of Widows to propose a normative standard of care for elderly women, one that attends seriously to their bodily needs but also to their needs for inclusion and engagement in the social and vocational world both as givers and recipients of (...) care. This is also to serve as an overarching model for a bioethics that prizes the embodied existence of all women and rejects judgments of appropriate treatment based on their social utility. The following response raises questions about the exegetical and historical foundations of Kaveny?s analysis. However, these caveats may not detract substantially from the normative usefulness of her work. (shrink)
This paper argues that the Theaetetus establishes conditions on objects of knowledge which entail that only of Forms can there be knowledge. Plato's arguments for this are valid. The principles needed to make Plato's premises true will turn out to have deep connection with important parts of Plato's over-all theory, and to have consequences which Plato, in the middle dialogues, seems to welcome on other grounds as well.
In recognition of the important ethical issues posed by qualitative research in health care, the authors present key questions to aid ethical review. The purpose is to assist lay and professional members of research ethics committees in their assessment of applications involving qualitative research methods and to inform researchers intending to submit such applications for ethical approval. For the benefit of those less familiar with this type of research, the authors include an overview of different types of qualitative research, together (...) with an explanation of terms commonly used by qualitative researchers. (shrink)
As the Association for Computing Machinery Code of Ethics has an important guiding role in embedding ethics into computing practice, both in the United States and around the globe, its content is important. This paper considers a way of analyzing the Code into ethical categories, inspired by a soft systems 'rich picture' Information Systems framework. A list of seven stakeholder categories, together with the major components of applied ethical theory, are used to map the elements of the ACM Code. While (...) such an analysis is imprecise due to human interpretation, so also is the art of applied ethics. Yet, by framing the ACM Code according to stakeholder roles and basic ethical analysis tools, the ACM Code of Ethics becomes more useful in various ways. Overlaps and gaps can be identified, various interpretations of word meanings can be more easily identified and debated, and, perhaps, most importantly in the global ethical arena, a better comparison of the ACM with other codes of ethics is facilitated. (shrink)
This article deals with legal corporate behavior and corporate structures. It discusses the activity within and between business units. It explains studies on corporate behavior in a threefold order—the first order deals with the gap between formal legal contracts and informal corporate covenants; the second order deals with norms that govern alternative contractual norms; and the third order exclusively deals with the economic aspects of the study. The legal-economic approach tries to identify the gap between actual behavior and ideal behavior. (...) This article demonstrates that investors are claimed to be non-interventionist and only the investor's direct involvement necessitates direct monitoring. It examines new arenas of contract practice such as Internet shopping and e-commerce more generally. (shrink)
This essay shows that Derrida's discussion of "Differance," is remarkably parallel to Plato's discussion of Difference in the Parmenides. Plato's presentation of "Parmenides'" discussion of generation from a One which Is is a version of Derrida's preconceptual spacing. Derrida's implicit reference to Plato both interprets Plato and explains the obscure features of "Differance." Derrida's paradoxical remarks about Differance are very like what Plato implies about Difference. Derrida's Differance addresses the puzzle that concepts are required to construct the beings in a (...) plurality of objects, but concepts cannot differentiate unless there is already a plurality of objects. Plato's version of the same problem is a notational variant of Derrida's Husserlian dilemma. Derrida, following Davidson, is not only skeptical about the project of founding metaphysics on simple entities, but also holds that necessity has no foundation in the "world." Plato, on the other hand, retains the idea that necessity has an objective basis in the self-evident truths of mereology. (shrink)
Here, in the middle of the well-known simile that depicts Aeneas and Turnus as bulls fighting for territory and a herd , Vergil registers the reactions of the onlookers. Commentators and lexicographers disagree about what the heifers are doing, interpreting ‘mussant’ in different ways. Servius glosses the verb as ‘dubitant’. By contrast, Heyne offers the paraphrase ‘anxii expectant’, responding to the theme of fear in the two preceding cola: cf. ‘pavidi’ and ‘metu’. Forbiger's explanatory ‘tacite expectant’ stresses rather the note (...) of silence introduced by ‘stat pecus omne metu mutum’. Lewis and Short and Georges concur with Forbiger when they translate ‘mussant’ ‘expect in silence’ and ‘stumm harren’. Other authorities, however, underscore the verb's onomatopoeic sense. Julius Caesar Scaliger, for example, observes of Vergil's usage: ‘sane verbum factitium, neque absonum a bourn voce’. Accordingly, some older commentators interpret ‘mussant’ as a restrained form of ‘mugiunt’. More recently, the OLD and TLL cite Aen. 12.718 under the definitions ‘mutter in indecision’ and ‘mussantem dubitare’. Although there is general agreement that ‘mussant’ connotes uncertainty, there still remains the problem of whether it indicates silence, faint lowing, or muttering. The purpose of this note is to call attention to an unrecognized etymological wordplay in line 718 which helps explain what the heifers are doing and why there are varying interpretations of ‘mussant’. (shrink)
Much contemporary metaphysics, moved by an apparent necessity to take reality to consist of given beings and properties, presents us with what appear to be deep problems requiring radical changes in the common sense conception of persons and the world. Contemporary meta-ethics ignores questions about logical form and formulates questions in ways that make the possibility of correct value judgments mysterious. In this book, Wheeler argues that given a Davidsonian understanding of truth, predication, and interpretation, and given a relativised version (...) of Aristotelian essentialism compatible with Davidson’s basic thinking, many metaphysical problems are not very deep. Likewise, many philosophers' claims that common sense needs to be modified are unfounded. He argues further that a proper consideration of questions of logical form clarifies and illuminates meta-ethical questions. Although the analyses and arguments he gives are often at odds with those at which Davidson arrived, they apply the central Davidsonian insights about semantics, understanding, and interpretation. (shrink)
Here Ovid treats the demiurge's disposition of weightless aether over the other elements. This section of the cosmogony follows one that is devoted to the sphere of aer where the creator settles the turbulent winds and other threatening meteorological phenomena. Recently Denis Feeney has suggested that Ovid's demiurge ‘does not act in a very epic manner’ by placing weightless aether on top of the winds. He argues: ‘The oddness of the control is caught in a moment of comparison with Vergil's (...) universe: Vergil's Jupiter controls the winds by putting on top of them a mass of mountains, while Ovid's mundi fabricator places above them the aether, explicitly “liquid and lacking weight, containing nothing of earthly sediment” ’. Feeney's observation has much to recommend it. To begin with, Ovid's excursus on the cardinal winds evokes Vergil's set piece on the cave of Aeolus in Aeneid l. And the demiurge's subsequent placement of aether seems to echo the action of the Vergilian Jupiter. However, Feeney's conclusion that the demiurge's action is ‘redolent of anti-epic allegiances’ needs some adjustment.4 For his reading neglects an important verbal and structural allusion to the cosmogony of Lucretius . Accordingly, the conclusion to be drawn from lines 67–8 may be, not that Ovid momentarily reveals his Callimachean colours in an epic context, but that he plays Lucretius off against Vergil and so establishes his own position in the epic tradition of cosmological poetry. (shrink)