My aim in what follows is to sketch with a broad brush fundamental changes involving the concept of obligation in British ethics of the early modern period, as it developed in the direction of the view that obligatory force is a species of motivational force – an idea that deeply informs present thought. I shall also suggest, although I can hardly demonstrate it conclusively here, that one important source for this view was a doctrine which we associate with Kant, and (...) which it may seem surprising to find in British ethics, especially of the early modern period, viz., that rational agents are obligated by motives available through a form of practical thinking necessary for rational autonomy. (shrink)
What are ethical judgments about? And what is their relation to practice? How can ethical judgment aspire to objectivity? The past two decades have witnessed a resurgence of interest in metaethics, placing questions such as these about the nature and status of ethical judgment at the very center of contemporary moral philosophy. Moral Discourse and Practice: Some Philosophical Approaches is a unique anthology which collects important recent work, much of which is not easily available elsewhere, on core metaethical issues. Reinvigorated (...) naturalist moral realism and the various versions of moral realism, as well as irrealist, expressivist, and neo-Kantian constructivist theories are all represented in this fine collection, constituting a rich array of approaches to contemporary moral philosophy's most fundamental debates. An extensive introduction by Darwall, Gibbard, and Railton is also included, making this volume the most comprehensive and up-to-date work of its kind. Moral Discourse is ideally suited for use in courses in contemporary ethics, ethical theory, and metaethics. (shrink)
In what follows, I wish to discuss empathy and sympathy’s relevance to ethics, taking recent findings into account. In particular, I want to consider sympathy’s relation to the idea of a person’s good or well-being. It is obvious and uncontroversial that sympathetic concern for a person involves some concern for her good and some desire to promote it. What I want to suggest is that the concept of a person’s good or well-being is one we have because we are capable (...) of care and sympathetic concern. Well-being is normative for care in the sense that it is intrinsic to the very idea of a person’s good that threats to it are what it makes sense to be concerned about for that person for her sake. (shrink)
In these essays Stephen White examines the forms of psychological integration that give rise to self-knowable and self-conscious individuals who are responsible, concerned for the future, and capable of moral commitment. The essays cover a wide range of basic issues in philosophy of mind, metaphysics, moral psychology, and political philosophy, providing a coherent, sophisticated, and forcefully argued view of the nature of the self. Beginning with mental content and ending with Rawls and utilitarianism, each essay argues a distinctive line. (...) Together they are a unified and powerful philosophical position of considerable scope, one that provides a unique vision of the mind, consciousness, personhood, and morality. White argues that the unity of the self revealed in personal identity and moral responsibility is best understood in normative terms. Basic to such features of the self are the patterns of self-concern in which they are characteristically displayed and the internal justification that supports such concern. The treatment of intentionality and consciousness that grounds this account emphasizes privileged selfknowledge and practical rationality and their corresponding contributions to the unity of the self. A final source of unity emerges from the analysis of our fundamental commitments, an analysis that ensures a central place in moral theory for the notion of the self. Preface Introduction I Content 1 Partial Character and the Language of Thought 2 Narrow Content and Narrow Interpretation II Qualia 3 Curse of the Qualia 4 Transcendentalism and Its Discontents III Identity and Consciousness 5 Metapsychological Relativism and the Self 6 What Is It Like to Be a Homunculus? IV Rationality and Responsibility 7 Self-Deception and Responsibility for the Self 8 Moral Responsibility 9 Rationality, Responsibility, and Pathological Indifference V Moral Theory 10 Rawls and Ideal Reflective Equilibria 11 Utilitarianism, Realism, and Rights Notes Bibliography Index. (shrink)
In this paper I distinguish three alternatives to the functionalist account of qualitative states such as pain. The physicalist-functionalist holds that (1) there could be subjects functionally equivalent to us whose mental states differed in their qualitative character from ours, (2) there could be subjects functionally equivalent to us whose mental states lacked qualitative character altogether and (3) there could not be subjects like us in all objective respects whose qualitative states differed from ours. The physicalist-functionalist holds (1) and (3) (...) but denies (2). The transcendentalist holds (1) and (2) and denies (3). I argue that both versions of physicalist-functionalism inherit the problem of property dualism which originally helped to motivate functionalist theories of mind. I also argue that neither version of physicalist-functionalism can distinguish in a principled way between those neurophysiological properties of a subject which are relevant to the qualitative character of that subject's mental states and those which are not. I conclude that the only alternative to a functionalist account of qualitative states is a transcendentalist account and that this alternative is not likely to appeal to the critics of functionalism. (shrink)
James Madison is the thinker most responsible for laying the groundwork of the American commercial republic. But he did not anticipate that the propertied class on which he relied would become extraordinarily politically powerful at the same time as its interests narrowed. This and other flaws, argues Stephen L. Elkin, have undermined the delicately balanced system he constructed. In Reconstructing the Commercial Republic , Elkin critiques the Madisonian system, revealing which of its aspects have withstood the test of time (...) and which have not. The deficiencies Elkin points out provide the starting point for his own constitutional theory of the republic—a theory that, unlike Madison’s, lays out a substantive conception of the public interest that emphasizes the power of institutions to shape our political, economic, and civic lives. Elkin argues that his theory should guide us toward building a commercial republic that is rooted in a politics of the public interest and the self-interest of the middle class. He then recommends specific reforms to create this kind of republic, asserting that Americans today can still have the lives a commercial republic is intended to promote: lives with real opportunities for economic prosperity, republican political self-government, and individual liberty. (shrink)
have come in for increasing attention and controversy. A good example would be recent debates about moral realism where question of the relation between ethics (or ethical judgment) and the will has come to loom large.' Unfortunately, however, the range of positions labelled internalist in ethical writing is bewilderingly large, and only infrequently are important distinctions kept clear.2 Sometimes writers have in mind the view that sincere assent to a moral (or, more generally, an ethical) judgment concerning what one should (...) do is necessarily connected to motivation (actual or dispositional).s This necessity may be conceptual, or perhaps metaphysical, the thought being.. (shrink)
We review the argument that latent image formation is a measurement in which the state vector collapses, requiring an enhanced noise parameter in objective reduction models. Tentative observation of a residual noise at this level, plus several experimental bounds, imply that the noise must be colored, and hence frame dependent and non-relativistic. Thus a relativistic objective reduction model, even if achievable in principle, would be incompatible with experiment; the best one can do is the non-relativistic CSL model. This negative conclusion (...) has a positive aspect, in that the non-relativistic CSL reduction model evades the argument leading to the Conway–Kochen “Free Will Theorem”. (shrink)
Varying conceptions of and purposes for dialogue exist. Recent dialogic theorists and advocates urge exploration of forms of dialogue for learning and applying relational responsibilities within stakeholder networks. A related phenomenon has been the recent emergence of multi-stakeholder dialogues that involve parties significantly affected by major issues or concerns, such as environmental sustainability, that have complex and wide-spread implications. The extent to which these recent multi-stakeholder dialogues assume anything resembling the relationship or caring and the learning potentials of dialogic goals (...) and processes suggested by recent advocates, however, can certainly be questioned. This article explores potential directions for research on enhanced forms of multi-stakeholder dialogues that emphasize goals of dialogic learning, relationship building, and business social responsiveness within a more reflective practice of corporate citizenship. Many issues and questions concerning appropriate antecedents, processes, and outcomes for these enhanced multi-stakeholder dialogues are raised and discussed. (shrink)
Various measures related to individual values, ethical attitudes and moral reasoning exist and are being increasingly applied for research in business and professional ethics. The England Personal Values Questionnaire, the Rokeach Value Survey, and Rest's Defining Issues Test have received stronger support and application for management and organizational behavior research than other instruments, such as Gordon's Survey of Personal Values and Hogan's Survey of Ethical Attitudes. Beyond research usage, many of these measures offer potential for instructional purposes. Knowledge of the (...) characteristics and limitations of values and ethics-related measures allows business educators to make better selections of possible supplements to traditional instructional methods. (shrink)
Hrotsvit wrote stories, plays, and histories during the reign of Emperor Otto the Great. Twelve original essays survey her work, showing historical roots and contexts, Christian values, and a surprisingly modern grappling with questions of identity and female self-realization.
In a world where every person is exposed daily through the mass media to images of violence and suffering, as most dramatically exemplified in recent years by the ongoing tragedy in Darfur, the question naturally arises: What responsibilities do we, as bystanders to such social injustice, bear in holding accountable those who have created the conditions for this suffering? And what is our own complicity in the continuance of such violence—indeed, how do we contribute to and benefit from it? How (...) is our responsibility as individuals connected to our collective responsibility as members of a society? Such questions underlie Stephen Esquith’s investigation in this book. For Esquith, being responsible means holding ourselves accountable as a people for the institutions we have built or tolerated and the choices we have made individually and collectively within these institutional constraints. It is thus more than just acknowledgment; it involves settling accounts as well as recognizing our own complicity even as bystanders. (shrink)
This paper introduces Leo Strauss’s thematic question, “Progress or return?” to the context of psychoanalysis. the conversation within psychoanalysis. Progress signifies development or advancement, a mode that Freud embraced wholeheartedly. Strauss’s pursuit of a return questions the presumption of the goodness of progress. Freud’s thinking forecloses critical considerations within religion and metaphysics, circumscribing his consideration to adaptation within a given particular time and place. By contrast, a return transcends the particular setting. I address the question, “Progress or Return?” to historical (...) and individual development. If a life of progress points away from nature toward civilization, the life of return points away from civilization and toward nature. Freud epitomizes the idea of progress and pathologizes the notion of return, consequently foreclosing the questioning of authority as well as the quest for a natural law that would supersedes authority. True progress, I argue, is not linear but dependent on return. (shrink)
Between the later views of Wittgenstein and those of connectionism 1 on the subject of the mastery of language there is an impressively large number of similarities. The task of establishing this claim is carried out in the second section of this paper.
_ Virtue Ethics_ collects, for the first time, the main classical sources and the central contemporary expressions of virtue ethics approach to normative ethical theory. Edited and introduced by Stephen Darwall, these readings are essential for anyone interested in normative theory. Introduced by Stephen Darwall, this collection brings together classic and contemporary readings which define and advance the literature on virtue ethics. Includes six essays which respond to the classic sources. Includes a contemporary discussion on character and virtue (...) by Gary Watson. Includes classic essays by Aristotle, Francis Hutcheson and David Hume, and recent reactions to this work by philosophers including Philippa Foot, John McDowell, Alasdair MacIntyre, Annette Baier, Rosalind Hursthouse, and Michael Slote. (shrink)
The formulation is persuasive. Yet clearly it does assert a necessary connection between any occurrence and its antecedents. In order for a different result to occur, there has to be a corresponding difference in the antecedents. This means that from any determinate set of antecedents, a single determinate result must follow. It is a formula for determinism. Anscombe wants to caution us not to take what it says for granted.
Evidence from molecular genetics bolsters the claim that color is not a perceptuolinguistic and behavioral universal. Neurobiology continues to fill in many details about the flow of color information from photon reception to central processing in the brain. Humans have the most acute color vision in the biosphere because of natural selection and adaptation, not coincidence.