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)
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)
A Scientific Approach The facts detailed in this briefing are the results of scientific exploration of terror networks and sacred values and their association to political violence. The research is sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the National Science Foundation.
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.
Toward the end of Hume's Dialogues concerning Natural Religion, Philo catalogues the ‘frivolous observances’, ‘rapturous ecstasies’ and ‘bigotted credulity’ of ‘vulgar superstition’, concluding that ‘true religion, I allow, has no such pernicious consequences: But we must treat of religion, as it has com monly been found in the world’. This would be a mild enough sort of caveat were it not nigh on impossible to determine exactly what counts as true religion, and how it figures in Hume's argument. Typically, answers (...) to this puzzle have required identifying the positions of the discussants, and then arguing that one of them represents Hume's views. A catalogue of the options may prove instructive. (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)
Have you ever thought about how self-consciousness (self-awareness) originated in the universe? Understanding consciousness is one of the toughest "nuts to crack." In recent years, scientists and philosophers have attempted to provide an answer to this mystery. The reason for this is simply because it cannot be confined to solely a materialistic interpretation of the world. Some scientific materialists have suggested that consciousness is merely an illusion in order to insulate their worldviews. Yet, consciousness is the most fundamental thing we (...) know, even more so than the external world since we require it to perceive or think about anything. Without it, reasoning would be impossible. Dr. Scott Ventureyra, in this ground-breaking book, explores the idea of the Christian God and Creation in order to tackle this most difficult question. He demonstrates that theology has something significant to offer in reflection of how consciousness originated in the universe. He also makes a modest claim that the Christian conception of God and Creation provide a plausible account for the origin of self-consciousness. He integrates philosophy, theology, and science in an innovative way to embark on this exploration. (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)
Although informed consent is important in clinical research, questions persist regarding when it is necessary, what it requires, and how it should be obtained. The standard view in research ethics is that the function of informed consent is to respect individual autonomy. However, consent processes are multidimensional and serve other ethical functions as well. These functions deserve particular attention when barriers to consent exist. We argue that consent serves seven ethically important and conceptually distinct functions. The first four functions pertain (...) principally to individual participants: providing transparency; allowing control and authorization; promoting concordance with participants' values; and protecting and promoting welfare interests. Three other functions are systemic or policy focused: promoting trust; satisfying regulatory requirements; and promoting integrity in research. Reframing consent around these functions can guide approaches to consent that are context sensitive and that maximize achievable goals. (shrink)
This book analyses the straw man fallacy and its deployment in philosophical reasoning. While commonly invoked in both academic dialogue and public discourse, it has not until now received the attention it deserves as a rhetorical device. Scott Aikin and John Casey propose that straw manning essentially consists in expressing distorted representations of one's critical interlocutor. To this end, the straw man comprises three dialectical forms, and not only the one that is usually suggested: the straw man, the weak (...) man and the hollow man. Moreover, they demonstrate that straw manning is unique among fallacies as it has no particular logical form in itself, because it is an instance of inappropriate meta-argument, or argument about arguments. They discuss the importance of the onlooking audience to the successful deployment of the straw man, reasoning that the existence of an audience complicates the dialectical boundaries of argument. Providing a lively, provocative and thorough analysis of the straw man fallacy, this book will appeal to postgraduates and researchers alike, working in a range of fields including fallacies, rhetoric, argumentation theory and informal logic. (shrink)
In his early lecture courses, Martin Heidegger exhibited an abiding interest in human life. He believed that human life has philosophical import while it is actually being lived; language has philosophical import while it is being spoken. In this book, Scott Campbell traces the development of Heidegger's ideas about factical life through his interest in Greek thought and its concern with Being. He contends that Heidegger's existential concerns about human life and his ontological concerns about the meaning of Being (...) crystallize in the notion of Dasein as the Being of factical human life. Emphasizing the positive aspects of everydayness, Campbell explores the contexts of meaning embedded within life; the intensity of average, everyday life; the temporal immediacy of life in early Christianity; the hermeneutic pursuit of life's self-alienation; factical spatiality; the temporalizing of history within life; the richness of the world; and the facticity of speaking in Plato and Aristotle. He shows how Heidegger presents a way of grasping human life as riddled with deception but also charged with meaning and open to revelation and insight. (shrink)
Introduction: working together on individuality / Lynn K. Nyhart and Scott Lidgard -- The work of biological individuality: concepts and contexts / Scott Lidgard and Lynn K. Nyhart -- Cells, colonies, and clones: individuality in the volvocine algae / Matthew D. Herron -- Individuality and the control of life cycles / Beckett Sterner -- Discovering the ties that bind: cell-cell communication and the development of cell sociology / Andrew S. Reynolds -- Alternation of generations and individuality, 1851 / (...) Lynn K. Nyhart and Scott Lidgard -- Spencer's evolutionary entanglement: from liminal individuals to implicit collectivities / Snait Gissis -- Biological individuality and enkapsis: from Martin Heidenhain's synthesiology to the völkisch national community / Olivier Rieppel -- Parasitology, zoology, and society in France, ca. 1880-1920 / Michael A. Osborne -- Metabolism, autonomy, and individuality / Hannah Landecker -- Bodily parts in the structure-function dialectic / Ingo Brigandt -- Commentaries: historical, biological, and philosophical perspectives -- Distrust that particular intuition: resilient essentialisms and empirical challenges in the history of biological individuality / James Elwick -- Biological individuality: a relational reading / Scott F. Gilbert -- Philosophical dimensions of individuality / Alan C. Love and Ingo Brigandt. (shrink)
In recent years, scholars have shown renewed interest about the ways in which Paul’s letters utilize divine conflict traditions. In Romans 5–8 and 16:20a Paul frames the human predicament in terms of cosmic conflict and adapts divine conflict traditions, but other passages also reflect the apostle’s adaptations of these motifs. This essay will first consider the broad contours of portrayals of God as warrior in Israel’s Scriptures. Discussion will then focus on vocabulary and themes in Rom 1:18–32 and 11:25–32 to (...) demonstrate that in these texts Paul also works with images related to divine conflict. Considering these passages from Romans alongside the divine conflict traditions of earlier voices–especially the Israelite prophets–assists in understanding Paul’s comments on wrath and judgment and assists in understanding Paul’s comments on wrath, judgment, and deliverance. (shrink)
This paper addresses a significant gap in the conceptualization of business ethics within different cultural influences. Though theoretical models of business ethics have recognized the importance of culture in ethical decision-making, few have examinedhow this influences ethical decision-making. Therefore, this paper develops propositions concerning the influence of various cultural dimensions on ethical decision-making using Hofstede''s typology.
There is widespread agreement that there should be a principle requiring that artificial intelligence be ‘explicable’. Microsoft, Google, the World Economic Forum, the draft AI ethics guidelines for the EU commission, etc. all include a principle for AI that falls under the umbrella of ‘explicability’. Roughly, the principle states that “for AI to promote and not constrain human autonomy, our ‘decision about who should decide’ must be informed by knowledge of how AI would act instead of us” :689–707, 2018). There (...) is a strong intuition that if an algorithm decides, for example, whether to give someone a loan, then that algorithm should be explicable. I argue here, however, that such a principle is misdirected. The property of requiring explicability should attach to a particular action or decision rather than the entity making that decision. It is the context and the potential harm resulting from decisions that drive the moral need for explicability—not the process by which decisions are reached. Related to this is the fact that AI is used for many low-risk purposes for which it would be unnecessary to require that it be explicable. A principle requiring explicability would prevent us from reaping the benefits of AI used in these situations. Finally, the explanations given by explicable AI are only fruitful if we already know which considerations are acceptable for the decision at hand. If we already have these considerations, then there is no need to use contemporary AI algorithms because standard automation would be available. In other words, a principle of explicability for AI makes the use of AI redundant. (shrink)
This manuscript reviews and synthesizes most of the major research studies in the area of consumer ethics that have appeared since 1990. It examines both conceptual and empirical works with an objective of encouraging researchers to pursue research in the consumer ethics area. Toward this end, the paper also suggests directions for future research.
Using the language of common-sense psychology, we explain human behavior by citing its reason or purpose, and this is central to our understanding of human beings as agents. On the other hand, since human beings are physical objects, human behavior should also be explicable in the language of physical science, in which causal accounts cast human beings as collections of physical particles. CSP talk of mind and agency, however, does not seem to mesh well with the language of physical science.In (...) Teleological Realism, Scott Sehon argues that CSP explanations are not causal but teleological -- that they cite the purpose or goal of the behavior in question rather than an antecedent state that caused the behavior. CSP explanations of behavior, Sehon claims, are answering a question different from that answered by physical science explanations, and, accordingly, CSP explanations and physical science explanations are independent of one another. Common-sense facts about mind and agency can thus be independent of the physical facts about human beings, and, contrary to the views of most philosophers of mind in recent decades, common-sense psychology will not be subsumed by physical science.Sehon defends his non-reductionist account of mind and agency in clear and nontechnical language. He carefully distinguishes his view from forms of "strong naturalism" that would seem to preclude it. And he evaluates key objections to teleological realism, including those posed by Donald Davidson's influential article "Actions, Reasons and Causes" and some put forth by more recent proponents of causal theories of action. CSP, Sehon argues, has a different realm than does physical science; the normative notions that are central to CSP are not reducible to physical facts and laws. (shrink)
Business and marketing ethics have come to the forefront in recent years. While consumers have been surveyed regarding their perceptions of ethical business and marketing practices, research has been minimal with regard to their ethical beliefs and ideologies. This research investigates general attitudes of consumers relative to business, government and people in general, and compares these attitudes to their beliefs concerning various questionable consumer practices. The results show that consumers'' ethical beliefs are determined, in part, by who is at fault (...) in the unethical behavior (the seller or the buyer). The results also indicate that those with a more positive attitude toward business are less likely to engage in questionable consumer practices, but one''s attitudes toward salespeople, the government and people in general arenot related to the consumer''s ethical beliefs. (shrink)