Abstract The concept of interpersonal forgiveness is described first through an examination of ancient writings and contemporary philosophical and psychological discourse. Two psychological models are then described. The first concerns developmental patterns in how people think about forgiving another. The second describes how people may go about forgiving another. Implications for counseling and education are drawn.
In ‘Two Notions of Being: Entity and Essence’ E. J. Lowe defends “serious essentialism”. Serious essentialism is the position that everything has an essence, essences are not themselves things, and essences are the ground for metaphysical necessity and possibility. Lowe's defence of serious essentialism is both metaphysical and epistemological. In what follows I use Lowe's discussion as a point of departure for, first, adding some considerations for the plausibility of essentialism and, second, some work on modal epistemology.
It is hard to think of a more banal statement one could make about the law than to say that it necessarily claims legal authority to govern conduct. What, after all, is a legal institution if not an entity that purports to have the legal power to create rules, confer rights, and impose obligations? Whether legal institutions necessarily claim the moral authority to exercise their legal powers is another question entirely. Some legal theorists have thought that they do—others have not (...) been so sure. But no one has ever denied that the law holds itself out as having the legal authority to tell us what we may or may not do. (shrink)
This paper examines Irish campaigns for condom access in the early 1990s. Against the backdrop of the AIDS crisis, activists campaigned against a law which would not allow condoms to be sold from ordinary commercial spaces or vending machines, and restricted sale to young people. Advancing a conception of ‘transformative illegality’, we show that illegal action was fundamental to the eventual legalisation of commercial condom sale. However, rather than foregrounding illegal condom sale as a mode of spectacular direct action, we (...) show that tactics of illegal sale in the 1990s built on 20 years of everyday illegal sale within the Irish family planning movement. Everyday illegal sale was a long-term world-making practice, which gradually transformed condoms’ legal meanings, eventually enabling new forms of provocative and irreverent protest. Condoms ‘became legal’ when the state recognised modes of condom sale, gradually built up over many years and publicised in direct action and in the courts. (shrink)
[David Charles] Aristotle, it appears, sometimes identifies well-being with one activity, sometimes with several, including ethical virtue. I argue that this appearance is misleading. In the Nicomachean Ethics, intellectual contemplation is the central case of human well-being, but is not identical with it. Ethically virtuous activity is included in human well-being because it is an analogue of intellectual contemplation. This structure allows Aristotle to hold that while ethically virtuous activity is valuable in its own right, the best life available for (...) humans is centred around, but not wholly constituted by, intellectual contemplation. /// [Dominic Scott] In Nicomachean Ethics X 7-8, Aristotle distinguishes two kinds of eudaimonia, primary and secondary. The first corresponds to contemplation, the second to activity in accordance with moral virtue and practical reason. My task in this paper is to elucidate this distinction. Like Charles, I interpret it as one between paradigm and derivative cases; unlike him, I explain it in terms of similarity, not analogy. Furthermore, once the underlying nature of the distinction is understood, we can reconcile the claim that paradigm eudaimonia consists just in contemplation with a passage in the first book requiring eudaimonia to involve all intrinsic goods. (shrink)
Abstract Two first grade teachers were trained in the use of a social cognitive model developed by the present author. The teachers were instructed to use the model in the naturalistic context of the classroom whenever interpersonal difficulties arose in order to increase the students? levels of interpersonal conceptions and social problem solving abilities. For the first 11 weeks, Class 1 was an experimental condition and Class 2 was a control. After the 11 week period, Class 1 was higher than (...) Class 2 in interpersonal conceptions, social problem solving, and moral judgment, but not in vocabulary. For the next 11 weeks Class 2 started the educational programme and Class 1 continued the programme. At the end of this period, Class 2 was equivalent to Class 1's scores after its first 11 weeks in interpersonal conceptions, social problem solving, and moral judgement. Class 1 maintained its original social cognitive gains. The findings support the model's effectiveness in promoting children's social cognitive development. (shrink)
Abstract Two studies with male and female college students (n = 48 in study 1, n = 45 in study 2), who judged themselves to be parentally love?deprived, engaged in a randomised, experimental and control group design focused on forgiving the parent(s). Study 1 was a 4?day workshop centring on a commitment to forgive. Study 2 was a 6?day workshop that included more of the therapeutic regimen from the Enright and the Human Development Study Group (1991) forgiveness model. Study (...) 1 showed only modest effects. The experimental group gained more in hope and in one aspect of forgiveness relative to the control group. Study 2, a more complete programme than the first, showed more broadbased results. Relative to the control group, the experimental group was significantly lower in anxiety and higher in forgiveness, positive attitudes toward the parents, hope and self?esteem. Implications for forgiveness education are drawn. (shrink)
What sorts of things are there in the world? Clearly enough, there are concrete, material things; but are there other things too, perhaps nonconcrete or non-material things? Some people believe that there are such things, which are often called abstract ; purported examples of such objects include numbers, properties, possible but non-actual states of affairs, propositions, and sets. Following a long-standing tradition, I shall describe persons who believe that there are abstract objects as ‘platonists’. In this paper, I shall not (...) directly address the plausibility of platonism, as compared with its rivals; instead, I shall confine my attention to one way in which some people have tried to combine platonism and theism. More specifically, I shall concentrate upon the claim that abstract objects depend upon God ontologically ; I shall argue that platonistic theists should reject DEP in favour of the claim that abstract objects exist independently of God . In order to evaluate the relative merits of DEP versus IND, it will be helpful to examine in some detail a particular articulation of DEP. When it comes to recent work on DEP, we can do no better in this regard than to examine the recent work of Thomas V. Morris and Christopher H. Menzel. According Morris and Menzel, there is a sense in which God literally creates such abstracta through engaging in intellective activities. (shrink)
Rights of Women attracted much UK media attention in late 2014 by bringing a judicial review that challenged the reduced provisions for family law legal aid available for victims of domestic violence: R v The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice  EWHC 35. In June 2015, within Rights of Women’s 40th anniversary year, Hannah Camplin interviewed the organisation’s Director Emma Scott about the decision to bring the judicial review, the advantages and challenges of the judicial review (...) process, and the experience of strategic litigation within the context of Rights of Women’s long history of campaigning for women’s rights. What emerged is a portrait of a feminist organisation in 2015, and, in a fast changing political and financial landscape, the dual importance of collaborative working and the need for flexibility in service provision and campaigning tools. (shrink)
We used a randomized quasi-experimental design to test the effectiveness of three types of perspective-taking condition in a forgiveness education program. Allport’s Contact Hypothesis was used as a framework for the study design. Eighth graders in an urban Midwestern city were invited to participate. We evaluated the effectiveness of perspective-taking approaches in promoting forgiveness and reducing prejudice, anger and emotional reactivity. We also explored the effects of forgiveness education across socially and culturally diverse groups. We did not find differences between (...) the perspective-taking conditions; however, all three groups improved on both forgiveness and prejudice. We also found the pattern of outcomes was different for the African American participants than for the European American participants. Implications for research and education are discussed. (shrink)
In this fascinating work, Scott Soames offers a new conception of the relationship between linguistic meaning and assertions made by utterances. He gives meanings of proper names and natural kind predicates and explains their use in attitude ascriptions. He also demonstrates the irrelevance of rigid designation in understanding why theoretical identities containing such predicates are necessary, if true.
Moral elevation is described as a state of positive emotion that includes uplifting feelings, positive views of humanity and a desire to be a better person. Numerous empirical studies have demonstrated that elevation has powerful effects on people’s moral intention and behavior. The next step is to investigate how to maximize the emotion of elevation. According to the evolution of moral elevation research and the theory of moral disgust, we hypothesized that the consequences of moral action would influence moral elevation. (...) The results of two studies in the present research demonstrated that moral acts with good consequences were more effective in inducing moral elevation than moral acts with bad consequences. The implications for research and practice are discussed. (shrink)
A problem which was widely recognised during Schleiermacher's life, and one which I think is not yet satisfactorily solved, concerned the integration of feeling and concepts within human consciousness. Within the domain of philosophy of religion it may be phrased as follows: How does religious feeling relate to rational reflection such that each complements and enriches the other? Schleiermacher was convinced that religion never originates in human understanding or autonomy and that one's understanding of the world is not necessarily dependent (...) on religious faith. But he was equally convinced that reflection and religion ought to enjoy a harmony which reflects the harmony of the universe, and this ideal motivated his continuous attempt to construct a complementary philosophy and theology. His hope was to show that ‘understanding and feeling… remain distinct, but they touch each other and form a galvanic pile.… The innermost life of the spirit consists in the galvanic action thus produced in the feeling of the understanding and the understanding of the feeling, during which, however, the two poles always remain deflected from each other.’. (shrink)
This article examines the place of forgiveness within the Positive Youth Development paradigm. We suggest knowledge of forgiveness can be advanced by understanding it from a developmental perspective. We review research indicating that forgiveness can contribute to positive developmental outcomes during adolescence and we explore theoretical relationships between forgiveness and three important components of the PYD perspective: the development of a moral identity, developmental assets and adolescents as co-producers of their development. These particular PYD concepts are discussed because of their (...) relation to scholarly work on forgiveness and because they can provide a developmental perspective that may advance our understanding of forgiveness. Finally, we discuss the implications of conceptualising forgiveness from a PYD perspective for research on forgiveness and for forgiveness education. Research implications include examining how youth move from one point in the forgiveness process to the next, investigating forgiveness across transgressors and contexts and exploring individual differences in forgiveness. Implications for education include integrating forgiveness education into youth programmes, developing models of forgiveness and teaching youth strategies to gain self-awareness and increase intentional action. (shrink)
In this book, Scott Soames illuminates the notion of truth and the role it plays in our ordinary thought as well as in our logical, philosophical, and scientific theories. Soames aims to integrate and deepen the most significant insights on truth from a variety of sources. He powerfully brings together the best technical work and the most important philosophical reflection on truth and shows how each can illuminate the other. Investigating such questions as whether we need a truth predicate (...) at all, what theoretical tasks it allows us to accomplish, and how we are to understand the content of any predicate capable of accomplishing these tasks, Soames organizes his discussion into three parts. Part I addresses crucial foundational issues as it identifies the bearers of truth, provides a basis for distinguishing truth from other notions, and formulates positive responses to well-known forms of truth-skepticism. Part II explicates the formal theories of Alfred Tarski and Saul Kripke and evaluates the philosophical significance of their work. It discusses their treatments of the Liar paradox, the relationship between truth and proof, the notion of a partially defined predicate, the concepts of logical truth and logical consequence, and the connection between truth and meaning. Part III extends important lessons drawn from Tarski and Kripke into new domains: vague predicates, the Sorites paradox, and the development of a larger, deflationary perspective on truth. Throughout the book, Soames examines a wide range of deflationary theories of truth, and attempts to separate what is correct and worth preserving in them from what is not. In doing so, he seeks to clear up many of the most significant philosophical doubts about truth. Written for a general audience while offering engaging material to the specialist, this rich study will be profitably read by both. (shrink)
This ambitious, interdisciplinary book seeks to explain the origins of religion using our knowledge of the evolution of cognition. A cognitive anthropologist and psychologist, Scott Atran argues that religion is a by-product of human evolution just as the cognitive intervention, cultural selection, and historical survival of religion is an accommodation of certain existential and moral elements that have evolved in the human condition.
In this book one of the world's foremost philosophers of language presents his unifying vision of the field--its principal achievements, its most pressing current questions, and its most promising future directions. In addition to explaining the progress philosophers have made toward creating a theoretical framework for the study of language, Scott Soames investigates foundational concepts--such as truth, reference, and meaning--that are central to the philosophy of language and important to philosophy as a whole. The first part of the book (...) describes how philosophers from Frege, Russell, Tarski, and Carnap to Kripke, Kaplan, and Montague developed precise techniques for understanding the languages of logic and mathematics, and how these techniques have been refined and extended to the study of natural human languages. The book then builds on this account, exploring new thinking about propositions, possibility, and the relationship between meaning, assertion, and other aspects of language use. An invaluable overview of the philosophy of language by one of its most important practitioners, this book will be essential reading for all serious students of philosophy. (shrink)
There has been a flood of scholarship over the years on whether there is a “right to privacy” in the Constitution of the United States. Griswold v. Connecticut was, of course, the Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates to this river of commentary. A subject search for “privacy, right of” in the College of William and Mary's on-line library catalog located 360 book titles. A perusal of the leading law review bibliographic indices turned up still more. Whether the Constitution (...) contains some sort of “right to be let alone” is plainly one of the central questions of contemporary constitutional discourse. (shrink)
David Schweickart has challenged a number of claims that are central to my argument that market socialism would probably degenerate into something only nominally distinguishable from capitalism. Chief among these is the claim that competitive pressures would force the workers in a worker-controlled firm to create pay and authority differentials that would make such firms structurally homologous to capitalist firms. Schweickart challenges this on two fronts: He argues that there is no good reason to believe that market forces under market (...) socialism would create the pay and authority differentials characteristic of capitalism. He further argues that certain structural features of market socialism would insure that competition would not be as intense as it is under capitalism. Consequently, even if capitalistically structured firms were more efficient, it would not make much difference, since no sword of Damocles would hang over the heads of those firms whose workers prefer more collectivist methods of control. Let us consider each of these points in turn. (shrink)
Marsha Familaro Enright discusses the commonly accepted view in Objectivism that "emotions are not tools of cognition," i.e., that one cannot and should not use emotions in one's reasoning process. Ayn Rand's views on emotions are extensively examined and evaluated in light of common experience and current scientific evidence. The author draws on neuropsychological as well as other scientific evidence to more precisely define the relation between reason and emotion, and she examines Rand's premises in light of the evidence.
There is a section in Samuel Delany’s magnificent autobiographical meditation, The Motion of Light in Water, that dramatically raises the problem of writing the history of difference, the history, that is, of the designation of “other,” of the attribution of characteristics that distinguish categories of people from some presumed norm.1 Delany recounts his reaction to his first visit to the St. Marks bathhouse in 1963. He remembers standing on the threshold of a “gym-sized room” dimly lit by blue bulbs. The (...) room was full of people, some standing, the rest an undulating mass of naked, male bodies, spread wall to wall. My first response was a kind of heart-thudding astonishment very close to fear. I have written of a space at certain libidinal saturation before. That was not what frightened me. It was rather that the saturation was not only kinesthetic but visible.2Watching the scene establishes for Delany a “fact that flew in the face” of the prevailing representation of homosexuals in the 1950s as “isolated perverts,” as subjects “gone awry.” The “apprehension of massed bodies” gave him a “sense of political power”:what this experience said was that there was a population—not of individual homosexuals … not of hundreds, not of thousands, but rather of millions of gay men, and that history had, actively and already, created for us whole galleries of institutions, good and bad, to accommodate our sex. [M, p. 174] 2. Samuel R. Delany, The Motion of Light in Water: Sex and Science Fiction Writing in the East Village, 1957-1965 , p. 173; hereafter abbreviated M. Joan W. Scott is professor of social science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. She is the author, most recently, of Gender and the Politics of History and is currently at work on a history of feminist claims for political rights in France during the period 1789-1945 as a way of exploring arguments about equality and difference. (shrink)
Despite the increased number of moral development programmes on the elementary and secondary school level (Blatt and Kohlberg, in press; Cooney, 1977; Turiel, 1966), there have been few investigations of the effectiveness of college programmes in increasing students? level of moral judgment. The present study examined the influences on moral growth of a combined full?time helping and full?time academic experience for a group of college undergraduates. It was expected that the helping experiences would lead to increased moral judgments since similar (...) programmes on the high school level have produced such growth (Mosher and Sprinthall, 1971). (shrink)