Late in 1990, the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions at Illinois Institute of Technology (lIT) received a grant of more than $200,000 from the National Science Foundation to try a campus-wide approach to integrating professional ethics into its technical curriculum.! Enough has now been accomplished to draw some tentative conclusions. I am the grant's principal investigator. In this paper, I shall describe what we at lIT did, what we learned, and what others, especially philosophers, can learn (...) from us. We set out to develop an approach that others could profitably adopt. I believe that we succeeded. (shrink)
I here respond to James Warren and John Shand's replies to my paper ‘In Defence of Four Socratic Doctrines’ by questioning the supremacy of contextualist history of philosophy over the so-called ‘analytic’ approach.
Machine generated contents note: -- Doing the Things We Do * The Reasons for which We Act * The Objects of Action Explanation * Things That Move Us to Act * Various Explananda, Various Explanantia * Agents and Their Actions * Causation in Action Individuation.
This paper documents a conversation between a philosopher and a human computer interaction researcher whose research has been enormously influenced by Wittgenstein. In particular, the in vivo use of categories in the design of communications and AI technologies are discussed, and how this meaning needs to evolve to allow creative design to flourish. The paper will be of interest to anyone concerned with philosophical tools in everyday action.
In this paper I formulate the thesis of the Division of Epistemic Labor as a thesis of epistemic dependence, illustrate several ways in which individual subjects are epistemically dependent on one or more of the members of their community in the process of knowledge acquisition, and draw conclusions about the cognitively distributed nature of some knowledge acquisition.
Clinical practice and research are governed by distinct rules and regulations and have different approaches to, for example, consent and providing results. However, genomics is an example of where research and clinical practice have become codependent. The 100 000 genomes project is a hybrid venture where a person can obtain a clinical investigation only if he or she agrees to also participate in ongoing research—including research by industry and commercial companies. In this paper, which draws on 20 interviews with professional (...) stakeholders involved in 100kGP, we investigate the ethical issues raised by this project’s hybrid nature. While some interviewees thought the hybrid nature of 100kGP was its vanguard, interviewees identified several tensions around hybrid practice: how to decide who should be able to participate; how to determine whether offering results might unduly influence participation into wide-ranging but often as yet unknown research and how to ensure that patients/families do not develop false expectations about receiving results. These areas require further debate as 100kGP moves into routine healthcare in the form of the national genomic medicine service. To address the tensions identified, we explore the appropriateness of Faden et al.’s framework of ethical obligations for when research and clinical care are completely integrated. We also argue that enabling ongoing transparent and trustworthy communication between patients/families and professionals around the kinds of research that should be permitted in 100kGP will help to understand and ensure that expectations remain realistic. Our paper aims to encourage a focused discussion about these issues and to inform a new ‘social contract’ for research and clinical care in the health service. (shrink)
We propose an "explanation scheme" for why the Gibbs phase average technique in classical equilibrium statistical mechanics works. Our account emphasizes the importance of the Khinchin-Lanford dispersion theorems. We suggest that ergodicity does play a role, but not the one usually assigned to it.
Hannah Arendt's essays about the 1957 crisis over efforts of a group of youth, the “Little Rock Nine,” to desegregate a high school in Little Rock, Arkansas, reveal a tension in her vision of the “public.” In this article Aaron Schutz and Marie Sandy look closely at the experiences of the youth desegregating the school, especially those of Elizabeth Eckford, drawing upon them to trace a continuum of forms of public engagement in Arendt's work. This ranges from arenas of (...) “deliberative friendship,” where unique individuals collaborate on common efforts, to a more conflictual “public stage,” where groups act in solidarity to change aspects of the public world. While Arendt famously asserted in her essay “The Crisis in Education” that political capacities should not be taught in schools, it makes more sense to see this argument as focused on what she sometimes called the conflictual “public stage,” reflecting the experience of the Little Rock Nine. In contrast, Schutz and Sandy argue that Arendt's own work implies that “deliberative friendship,” as described in her essay “Philosophy and Politics” and elsewhere, should be part of everyday practices in classrooms and schools. (shrink)
Since van Fraassen first put forward the suggestive idea that many philosophical positions should be construed as ‘stances’ rather than factual beliefs, there have been various attempts to spell out precisely what a philosophical stance might be, and on what basis one should be adopted. In this paper I defend a particular account of stances, the view that they are pragmatically justified perspectives or ways of seeing the world, and compare it to some other accounts that have been offered. In (...) Sect. 2 I consider van Fraassen’s argument for construing empiricism as a stance, and look at some responses to it. In Sect. 3 I outline my conception of stances as perspectives or ways of seeing, and explain how stances so understood may be justified. I illustrate this conception by way of a discussion of the model pluralist position with respect to the units of selection debate in biology, and suggest that on the model pluralist view different perspectives on the units of selection, such as the gene’s eye view, are in fact van Fraassian stances. In Sect. 4 I discuss the view put forward by Teller and Chakravartty among others that stances should be understood as epistemic policies, and argue that it is consistent with the conception of stances as perspectives. In the final section I criticise Rowbottom’s attempt to assimilate stances to Kuhnian paradigms. I argue that he has overlooked some important disanalogies between stances and paradigms, so that the comparison obscures more than it reveals. (shrink)
What can nurse scientists learn from Rorty in the development of a philosophical foundation? Indeed, Rorty in his 1989 text entitled Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity tantalizes the reader with debates of reason 'against' philosophizing. Forget truth seeking; move on to what matters. Rorty would rather the 'high brow' thinking go to those that do the work in order to make the effort useful. Nursing as an applied science, has something real that is worth looking at, and that nurse researchers need (...) to think about. And as a profession built upon relationships, we should be thinking of the exchanges we have with those around us, of the contrasts in vocabularies used and of the contingencies involved, letting this launch us into our imaginings and areas of enquiry. The business of nurse researchers is to study what nurses do – how we care; Rorty would have us care. But, not to dismiss the reflective thinker as Rorty advocates for the self-doubting ironist to continue to seek the final vocabulary, the ideal of what 'this' means, accepting this as the best to be offered at the time. As a science struggling to find foundation, we need only to look at what we do and value – as antifoundational as Rorty portrays himself, Rorty 'ironically' may have revealed a foundation for nursing science that is consistent with its path. (shrink)
I consider the broad perspectives in biology known as ‘functionalism’ and ‘structuralism’, as well as a modern version of functionalism, ‘adaptationism’. I do not take a position on which of these perspectives is preferable; my concern is with the prior question, how should they be understood? Adapting van Fraassen’s argument for treating materialism as a stance, rather than a factual belief with propositional content, in the first part of the paper I offer an argument for construing functionalism and structuralism as (...) stances also. The argument draws especially on Gould’s insights concerning functionalism and structuralism, in particular their apparent historical continuity from the pre-Darwinian period through to today. In the second part of the paper I consider Godfrey-Smith’s distinction between empirical and explanatory adaptationism, and suggest that while the former is an empirical scientific hypothesis, the latter is closely related to the functionalist stance. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to defend a novel characterization of epistemic luck. Helping myself to the notions of epistemic entitlement and adequate explanation, I propose that a true belief suffers from epistemic luck iff an adequate explanation of the fact that the belief acquired is true must appeal to propositions to which the subject herself is not epistemically entitled. The burden of the argument is to show that there is a plausible construal of the notions of epistemic entitlement (...) and adequate explanation on which the resulting characterization of epistemic luck, though admittedly programmatic, has several important virtues. It avoids difficulties which plague modal accounts of epistemic luck; it can explain the conflicting temptations one can feel in certain alleged cases of epistemic luck; it offers a novel account of the value of knowledge, without committing itself to any particular analysis of knowledge; and it illuminates the significance for epistemology of the phenomenon of epistemic luck itself. (shrink)
This paper introduces an innovative curricular approach—the Health Humanities Portrait Approach —and its pedagogical tool—the Health Humanities Portrait. Both enable health professions learners to examine pressing social issues that shape, and are shaped by, experiences of health and illness. The Portrait Approach is grounded in a set of “critical portraiture” principles that foster humanities-driven analytical skills. The HHP’s architecture is distinctively framed around a pressing social theme and utilizes a first-person narrative and scholarship to explore how the dimensions of the (...) personal and the structural are mutually constituted. We argue that when creator-educators adopt the Portrait Approach and its critical portraiture principles to design and teach the HHP, they enable learners to become proficient in synthesizing and analyzing—with both depth and breadth—the human and social dimensions of patients’ lives. This inventive curricular intervention provides a needed contribution to health professions education in that it utilizes health humanities methodologies to elucidate the multiple aspects of health, illness, disability, and healthcare. (shrink)
This paper has the aim of making Johannes von Kries’s masterpiece, Die Principien der Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung of 1886, a little more accessible to the modern reader in three modest ways: first, it discusses the historical background to the book ; next, it summarizes the basic elements of von Kries’s approach ; and finally, it examines the so-called “principle of cogent reason” with which von Kries’s name is often identified in the English literature.
Wittgenstein teaches us that, contrary to current philosophical and scientific trends, the understanding of others is not to be achieved through some kind of emotional tool providing an access-pass to otherwise hidden ‘mental contents’. This insight goes against the popular grain of empathy as a form of informational ‘mindreading’, founded upon John Locke’s assumption that understanding another is a matter of obtaining and decoding the stored in their mind. We would do best to replace this radically distorted account of what (...) it takes to understand others with a stance that places priority on shared aspects of our lives. Only then can we even begin to try and tackle our moral, cultural, religious, and socio-political differences. (shrink)
This article is in two parts. The first part critically examines the foundations of Weinrib’s theory of corrective justice. It casts doubt upon his claim that private law faces incoherence if it is not entirely based upon corrective justice and questions the normative appeal of that view. The second part makes a variety of critical observations in relation to Weinrib’s corrective-justice-based treatment of particular areas of private law.
The starting point for my reading of the exchanges between Marx and Balzac is the repetition in The Eighteenth Brumaire of a striking image employed in Colonel Chabert to represent the force of ideology as experienced by a man forcibly set outside the conventions it endorses. Balzac first: “The social and judicial world weighted on his breast like a nightmare.”3 Marx’s appropriation occurs in a much-quoted meditation on the past as impediment to the future.Men make their own history, but they (...) do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.4What is the weight of an nightmare, and why do Balzac and Marx agree that invoking it is a valid means to express humanity’s relation to its history?5 4. Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, p. 15; my emphasis. Further references to this work, abbreviated EB, will be included in the text.5. In French and German: “Le monde social et judiciare lui pesait sur la poitrine comme un cauchemar”; “Die Tradition aller toten Geschlechter lastet wie ein Alp auf dem Gehirne der Lebenden.” This strikes me as so obvious a borrowing that I have to wonder why it does not seem to be generally known. On contributing factor may be that the standard French translation of The Eighteenth Burmaire gives a fanciful version of the sentence in Marx: “La tradition de toutes les generations mortes pèse d’un poids très lourd sur le cerveau des vivants”. Does this poids très lourd come from a misreading of ein Alp as eine Alp? Sandry Petrey is professor of French and comparative literature at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. The author of History in the Text: Quatrevingt-Treize and the French Revolution, he is completing a book entitled Realism and Revolution. (shrink)
The aim of this book is to provide an in-depth account of Hegel’s writings on human action as they relate to contemporary concerns in the hope that it will encourage fruitful dialogue between Hegel scholars and those working in the philosophy of action. During the past two decades, preliminary steps towards such a dialogue were taken, but many paths remain uncharted. The book thus serves as both a summative document of past interaction and a promissory note of things to come. (...) We begin this introduction with some general words regarding the philosophy of action before singling out reasons for exploring Hegel’s thought in relation to it. We next present a brief overview of studies conducted to this day, followed by a thematic appraisal of the contributions appearing in this volume. (shrink)
Where most discussions of trust focus on the rationality of trust, in this paper I explore the doxastic justification of beliefs formed through trust. I examinetwo forms of trust: the self-trust that is involved when one trusts one’s own basic cognitive faculties, and the interpersonal trust that is involved when one trusts another speaker. Both cases involve regarding a source of information as dependable for the truth. In thinking about the epistemic significance regarding a source in this way, I call (...) upon Process Reliabilism (PR). With its core idea that the epistemic goodness of a belief tracks the reliability of the process through which the belief was formed, PR suggests one way to think about the (potential) epistemic benefits and risks of trust: in cases of trust the process through which belief is formed includes reliance on an information source, where the reliability with which the source produced its information is the main determinant of the epistemic status of the beliefs formed through trusting that source. While it is much more common to find something like this picture endorsed in connection withcases of self-trust, I argue that it ought to be endorsed for cases of interpersonal trust as well. The failure to do so, I submit, reflects a commitment to an individualistic orientation that proponents of PR need not, and should not, endorse. (shrink)
This volume focuses on Hegel's philosophy of action in connection to current concerns. Including key papers by Charles Taylor, Alasdair MacIntyre, and John McDowell, as well as eleven especially commissioned contributions by leading scholars in the field, it aims to readdress the dialogue between Hegel and contemporary philosophy of action. Topics include: the nature of action, reasons and causes; explanation and justification of action; social and narrative aspects of agency; the inner and the outer; the relation between intention, planning, and (...) purposeful behaviour; freedom and responsibility; and self-actualisation. This book will appeal alike to Hegel scholars and philosophers of action. -/- List of Contributors: Katerina Deligiorgi, Stephen Houlgate, Dudley Knowles, Arto Laitinen, Alasdair MacIntyre, John Mcdowell, Francesca Menegoni, Dean Moyar, Terry Pinkard, Robert B. Pippin, Michael Quante, Constantine Sandis, Hans-Christoph Schmidt Am Busch, Allen Speight, Charles Taylor, Allen W. Wood. (shrink)
This paper examines the relation between the various forces which underlie human action and verbal reports about our reasons for acting as we did. I maintain that much of the psychological literature on confabulations rests on a dangerous conflation of the reasons for which people act with a variety of distinct motivational factors. In particular, I argue that subjects frequently give correct answers to questions about the considerations they acted upon while remaining largely unaware of why they take themselves to (...) have such reasons to act. Pari passu, experimental psychologists are wrong to maintain that they have shown our everyday reason talk to be systematically confused. This is significant because our everyday reason-ascriptions affect characterizations of action that are morally and legally relevant. I conclude, more positively, that far from rendering empirical research on confabulations invalid, my account helps to reveal its true insights into human nature. (shrink)
I start by reconsidering two familiar arguments against modal realism. The argument from epistemology relates to the issue whether we can infer the existence of concrete objects by a priori means. The argument from pragmatics purports to refute the analogy between the indispensability of possible worlds and the indispensability of unobserved entities in physical science and of numbers in mathematics. Then I present two novel objections. One focusses on the obscurity of the notion of isolation required by modal realism. The (...) other stresses the arbitrary nature of the rules governing the behaviour of Lewisean universes. All four objections attack the reductive analysis of modality that is supposed to be the chief merit of modal realism. (shrink)
This article derives from a doctoral thesis in which a particular discourse was used as a ‘paradigm case’. From this discourse an ethic set within a South African culture arose. Using many cultural ‘voices’ to aid the understanding of this narrative, the ethic shows that one can build on both a ‘justice’ and a ‘care’ ethic. With further development based on African culture one can take the ethic of care deeper and reveal ‘layers of understanding’. Care, together with compassion, forms (...) the foundation of morality. Nursing ethics has followed particular western moral philosophers. Often nursing ethics has been taught along the lines of Kohlberg’s theory of morality, with its emphasis on rules, rights, duties and general obligations. These principles were universalistic, masculine and noncontextual. However, there is a new ethical movement among Thomist philosophers along the lines to be expounded in this article. Nurses such as Benner, Bevis, Dunlop, Fry and Gadow - to name but a few - have welcomed the concept of an ‘ethic of care’. Gilligan’s work gave a feminist view and situated ethics in the everyday aspects of responsiveness, responsibility, context and concern. Shutte’s search for a ‘philosophy for Africa’ has resulted in finding similarities in Setiloane and in Senghor with those of Thomist philosophers. Using this African philosophy and a research participant’s narrative, an African ethic evolves out of the African proverb: ‘A person is a person through other persons’, or its alternative rendering: ‘I am because we are: we are because I am.’ This hermeneutic narrative reveals ‘the way affect imbues activity with ethical meaning’ within the context of a black nursing sister in a rural South African hospital. It expands upon the above proverb and incorporates the South African constitutional idea of ‘Ubuntu’ (compassion and justice or humanness). (shrink)
In the context of the mandated phaseout of methyl bromide, California’s strawberry industry has increased its use of chloropicrin, another soil fumigant that has long been on the market. However, due to its 2010 designation as a toxic air contaminant, the US Environmental Protection Agency and California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation have developed enhanced application protocols to mitigate exposures of the chemical to bystanders, nearby residents, and farmworkers. The central feature of these mitigation technologies are enhanced buffer zones between treated (...) fields and nearby buildings. Not only do buffer zones inherently privilege neighbors over farmworkers, but the determinations of the size of these buffer zones are also based on acceptable threshold levels and probabilities that allow significant exposures to those they are designed to protect. Moreover, these protocols require human monitors to detect sensory irritation. While the science and technology studies literature is highly useful for understanding the inextricability of science and politics in developing protective measures and is attentive to what counts as data in setting acceptable thresholds, it tends to overlook that social sorting is intrinsic to such regulation. We thus turn to Foucault’s biopolitics to make sense of regulations that are designed to protect but inherently allow some to become ill. Doing so illuminates how determinations of the bright line are at once technical–political as well as implicit decisions about whose bodies count. (shrink)
I outline a neo-Fregean strategy in the debate on the existence of possible worlds. The criterion of identity and the criterion of application are formulated. Special attention is paid to the fact that speakers do not possess proper names for worlds. A broadly Quinean solution is proposed in response to this difficulty.
Improvements in production methods over the last two decades have resulted in aquaculture becoming a significant contributor to food production in many countries. Increased efficiency and production levels are off-setting unsustainable capture fishing practices and contributing to food security, particularly in a number of developing countries. The challenge for the rapidly growing aquaculture industry is to develop and apply technologies that ensure sustainable production methods that will reduce environmental damage, increase productivity across the sector, and respect the diverse social and (...) cultural dimensions of fish farming that are observed globally. The aquaculture industry currently faces a number of technology trajectories, which include the option to commercially produce genetically modified (GM) fish. The use of genetic modification in aquaculture has the potential to contribute to increased food security and is claimed to be the next logical step for the industry. However, the potential use of these technologies raises a number of important ethical questions. Using an ethical framework, the Ethical Matrix, this paper explores a number of the ethical issues potentially raised by the use of GM technologies in aquaculture. Several key issues have been identified. These include aspects of distributive justice for producers; use of a precautionary approach in the management of environmental risk and food safety; and impacts on the welfare and intrinsic value of the fish. There is a need to conduct a comparative analysis of the full economic cycle of the use of GM fish in aquaculture production for developing countries. There is also a need to initiate an informed dialogue between stakeholders and strenuous efforts should be made to ensure the participation of producers and their representatives from developing nations. An additional concern is that any national licensing of the first generation of GM fish, i.e., in the USA, may initiate and frame an assessment cycle, mediated by the WTO, which could dominate the conditions under which the technology will be applied and regulated globally. Therefore, an integrated analysis of the technology development trajectories, in terms of international policy, IPR, and operational implications, as well as an analysis of a broader range of ethical concerns, is needed. (shrink)
Some theorists are bewildered by the effectiveness of mathematical concepts. For example, Steiner attempts to show that there can be no rational explanation of mathematical applicability in physics. Others (notably Penrose) are concerned primarily with the unexpected effectiveness within mathematics. Both views consist of two parts: a puzzle and a positive solution. I defend their paradoxical parts against the sceptics who do not believe that the very problem of effectiveness is a genuine one. Utilising Horwich’s theory of surprise, I argue (...) that the central cases of effectiveness discussed by Steiner and Penrose are indeed surprising and call for an explanation. (shrink)
H. A. Prichard ascribed to Aristotle a form of closeted hedonism. Aristotle allegedly misunderstood his own task: while his avowed goal in Nicomachean Ethics is to give an account of the nature of happiness, his real goal must be to offer an account of the factors most efficiently generating happiness. The reason is that the nature of happiness is enjoyment, and this fact is supposed to have been recognised by Aristotle and his audience. While later writers judged Prichard's view obviously (...) mistaken, I argue that the issue is more complex. In the process of reconstructing the logical skeleton of Prichard's argument I show that Aristotle may have had to endorse the identification of the subject's good with that subject's psychological satisfaction. But I also argue that, while making prior assumptions about the meaning of `eudaimonia', Aristotle made no such assumptions about the nature of eudaimonia. (shrink)
This chapter describes the logic of inductive inference as seen through the eyes of the modern theory of personal probability, including a number of its recent refinements and extensions. The structure of the chapter is as follows. After a brief discussion of mathematical probability, to establish notation and terminology, it recounts the gradual evolution of the probabilistic explication of induction from Bayes to the present. The focus is not in this history per se, but in its use to highlight the (...) key assumptions, criticisms, refinements, and achievements of that theory. Along the way, the structure of the modern theory is presented, and its relation to the problem of induction discussed. (shrink)
Opposition within the organic agriculture community to a state regulatory initiative intended to close a loophole on the prohibition of stoop labor in California agriculture illuminates critical tensions around the “labor question” underpinning California's rapidly expanding organic sector. Through an exploration of the contradictions between the political economic realities of organic agriculture, the lived realities of farm workers, and the ideological framework of “agricultural exceptionalism” espoused in the organic community, this article challenges widely held assumptions that organic agriculture embodies a (...) more socially sustainable form of production. We conclude that these tensions must be confronted if any progress is to be made toward the incorporation of social justice into definitions of agro-food system sustainability. (shrink)
This essay is motivated by the thought that the things we do are to be distinguished from our acts of doing them. I defend a particular way of drawing this distinction before proceeding to demonstrate its relevance for normative ethics. Central to my argument is the conviction that certain ongoing debates in ethical theory begin to dissolve once we disambiguate the two concepts of action in question. If this is right, then the study of action should be accorded a far (...) more prominent place within moral philosophy than previously supposed. I end by considering an extension of the above to aesthetic evaluation and,mutatis mutandis, that of our lives in general. (shrink)
To mark the 50th anniversary of Donald Davidson's 'Actions, reasons and causes', eight philosophers with distinctive and contrasting views revisit and update the reasons/causes debate.Their essays are preceded by a historical introduction which traces current debates to their roots in the philosophy of history and social science, linking the rise of causalism to a metaphysical backlash against the linguistic turn. Both historically grounded and topical, this volume will be of great interest to both students and scholars in the philosophy of (...) action and related areas of study. (shrink)
_The Philosophy of Action: An Anthology_ is an authoritative collection of key work by top scholars, arranged thematically and accompanied by expert introductions written by the editors. This unique collection brings together a selection of the most influential essays from the 1960s to the present day. An invaluable collection that brings together a selection of the most important classic and contemporary articles in philosophy of action, from the 1960’s to the present day No other broad-ranging and detailed coverage of this (...) kind currently exists in the field Each themed section opens with a synoptic introduction and includes a comprehensive further reading list to guide students Includes sections on action and agency, willing and trying, intention and intentional action, acting for a reason, the explanation of action, and free agency and responsibility Written and organised in a style that allows it to be used as a primary teaching resource in its own right. (shrink)