The simple question ‘What is silence?’ does not yield simple answers. Quiet and transcendence, darkness and death are connotations of an acoustical phenomenon that is very rare – if not impossible – in actual life; and if absolute silence would even be thinkable, where and how would it be? Analysing an interdisciplinary range of silent cultural practices and artistic expressions of silence, this article proposes five types of silence: a metaphorical form of silence; two different phenomenological forms of silence; a (...) metaphysical form of silence; and an ontological form of silence. These different forms of silence and their interrelations can be meaningfully represented through a sonological interpretation of Lacan’s psychoanalytical orders of the Symbolic, the Imaginary, and the Real. (shrink)
Chancy modus ponens is the following inference scheme: ‘probably φ’, ‘if φ, then ψ’, therefore, ‘probably ψ’. I argue that Chancy modus ponens is invalid in general. I further argue that the invalidity of Chancy modus ponens sheds new light on the alleged counterexample to modus ponens presented by McGee. I close by observing that, although Chancy modus ponens is invalid in general, we can recover a restricted sense in which this scheme of inference is valid.
The paper explores a structural account of propositional justification in terms of the notion of being in a position to know and negation. Combined with a non-normal logic for being in a position to know, the account allows for the derivation of plausible principles of justification. The account is neutral on whether justification is grounded in internally individuated mental states, and likewise on whether it is grounded in facts that are already accessible by introspection or reflection alone. To this extent, (...) it is compatible both with internalism and with externalism about justification. Even so, the account allows for the proof of principles that are commonly conceived to depend on an internalist conception of justification. The account likewise coheres both with epistemic contextualism and with its rejection, and is compatible both with the knowledge-first approach and with its rejection. Despite its neutrality on these issues, the account makes propositional justification luminous and so is controversial. However, it proves quite resilient in the light of recent anti-luminosity arguments. (shrink)
Sven Bernecker presents an analysis of the concept of propositional (or factual) memory, and examines a number of metaphysical and epistemological issues crucial to the understanding of memory. -/- Bernecker argues that memory, unlike knowledge, implies neither belief nor justification. There are instances where memory, though hitting the mark of truth, succeeds in an epistemically defective way. This book shows that, contrary to received wisdom in epistemology, memory not only preserves epistemic features generated by other epistemic sources but also (...) functions as a source of justification and knowledge. According to the causal theory of memory argued for in this book, the dependence of memory states on past representations supports counterfactuals of the form: if the subject hadn't represented a given proposition in the past he wouldn't represent it in the present. The book argues for a version of content externalism whereupon the individuation of memory contents depends on relations the subject bears to his past physical or social environment. Moreover, Bernecker shows that memory doesn't require identity, but only similarity, of past and present attitudes and contents. The notion of content similarity is explicated in terms of the entailment relation. (shrink)
An alarming number of philosophers and cognitive scientists have argued that mind extends beyond the brain and body. This book evaluates these arguments and suggests that, typically, it does not. A timely and relevant study that exposes the need to develop a more sophisticated theory of cognition, while pointing to a bold new direction in exploring the nature of cognition Articulates and defends the “mark of the cognitive”, a common sense theory used to distinguish between cognitive and non-cognitive processes Challenges (...) the current popularity of extended cognition theory through critical analysis and by pointing out fallacies and shortcoming in the literature Stimulates discussions that will advance debate about the nature of cognition in the cognitive sciences. (shrink)
Many ethicists writing about automated systems attribute agency to these systems. Not only that; they seemingly attribute an autonomous or independent form of agency to these machines. This leads some ethicists to worry about responsibility-gaps and retribution-gaps in cases where automated systems harm or kill human beings. In this paper, I consider what sorts of agency it makes sense to attribute to most current forms of automated systems, in particular automated cars and military robots. I argue that whereas it indeed (...) makes sense to attribute different forms of fairly sophisticated agency to these machines, we ought not to regard them as acting on their own, independently of any human beings. Rather, the right way to understand the agency exercised by these machines is in terms of human–robot collaborations, where the humans involved initiate, supervise, and manage the agency of their robotic collaborators. This means, I argue, that there is much less room for justified worries about responsibility-gaps and retribution-gaps than many ethicists think. (shrink)
Ockhamism implies that future contingents may be true, their historical contingency notwithstanding. It is thus opposed to both the Peircean view according to which all future contingents are false, and Supervaluationist Indeterminism according to which all future contingents are neither true nor false. The paper seeks to defend Ockhamism against two charges: the charge that it cannot meet the requirement that truths be grounded in reality, and the charge that it proves incompatible with objective indeterminism about the future. In each (...) case, the defence draws on the idea that certain truths are truths only courtesy of others and of what makes the latter true. After introduction of the Ockhamist view, its competitors and implications, a suitable definition of grounded truth is being devised that both is faithful to the spirit of the grounding-requirement and allows the Ockhamist to heed that requirement quite comfortably. Then two senses in which the future might be open are being introduced, indeterminacy as failure of predetermination by past and present facts, and indeterminacy as failure of entailment by past and present truths. It is argued that while openness in the former sense, but not in the latter sense, coheres with the Ockhamist view, it is only openness in the former sense that matters for objective indeterminism. (shrink)
Collective emotions are at the heart of any society and become evident in gatherings, crowds, or responses to widely salient events. However, they remain poorly understood and conceptualized in scientific terms. Here, we provide first steps towards a theory of collective emotions. We first review accounts of the social and cultural embeddedness of emotion that contribute to understanding collective emotions from three broad perspectives: face-to-face encounters, culture and shared knowledge, and identification with a social collective. In discussing their strengths and (...) shortcomings and highlighting areas of conceptual overlap, we translate these views into a number of bottom–up mechanisms that explain collective emotion elicitation on the levels of social cognition, expressive behavior, and social practices. (shrink)
This book investigates central issues in the philosophy of memory. Does remembering require a causal process connecting the past representation to its subsequent recall and, if so, what is the nature of the causal process? Of what kind are the primary intentional objects of memory states? How do we know that our memory experiences portray things the way they happened in the past? Given that our memory is not only a passive device for reproducing thoughts but also an active device (...) for processing stored thoughts, when are thoughts sufficiently similar to be memory-related? The Metaphysics of Memory defends a version of the causal theory of memory, argues for direct realism about memory, proposes an externalist response to skepticism about memory knowledge, and develops a contextualist account of the factivity constraint on memory. (shrink)
This article develops a notion of the ‘politics of time’ in order to analyse the effects that imaginations of future emergencies have in the fields of law and economy. Building on Niklas Luhmann’s theory of social time, it focuses on the multiplex temporalities in contemporary society, which are shown to interact differently with the ‘emergency imaginary’. We demonstrate that the apprehension of the future in terms of sudden, unpredictable and potentially catastrophic events reinforces current modes of producing financial futurity, while (...) it undermines the procedural rhythm and retroactive sentencing of liberal law. As a whole, the article supplements the analysis of the ‘politics of truth’ prevalent in the current debate about precaution and pre-emption with a theoretical perspective on social temporality. (shrink)
It is widely thought that if knowledge requires sensitivity, knowledge is not closed because sensitivity is not closed. This paper argues that there is no valid argument from sensitivity failure to non-closure of knowledge. Sensitivity does not imply non-closure of knowledge. Closure considerations cannot be used to adjudicate between safety and sensitivity accounts of knowledge.
This book argues that we need to explore how human beings can best coordinate and collaborate with robots in responsible ways. It investigates ethically important differences between human agency and robot agency to work towards an ethics of responsible human-robot interaction.
The realization relation that allegedly holds between mental and physical properties plays a crucial role for so-called non-reductive physicalism because it is supposed to secure both the ontological autonomy of mental properties and, despite their irreducibility, their ability to make a causal difference to the course of the causally closed physical world. For a long time however, the nature of realization has largely been ignored in the philosophy of mind until a couple of years ago authors like Carl Gillett, Derk (...) Pereboom, or Sydney Shoemaker proposed accounts according to which realization is understood against the background of the so-called 'causal theory of properties'. At least partially, the hope was to solve the problem of mental causation, in particular the kind of causal exclusion reasoning made famous by Jaegwon Kim, in a way acceptable to nonreductive physicalists. The paper asks whether a proper explication of the realization relation can indeed help explain how physically realized mental properties can be causally efficacious in the causally closed physical world and argues for a negative answer: it is important for the non-reductive physicalist to understand what exactly the realization relation amounts to, but it does not solve the problem of mental causation. (shrink)
In the last half century, decision theory has had a deep influence on moral theory. Its impact has largely been beneficial. However, it has also given rise to some problems, two of which are discussed here. First, issues such as risk-taking and risk imposition have been left out of ethics since they are believed to belong to decision theory, and consequently the ethical aspects of these issues have not been treated in either discipline. Secondly, ethics has adopted the decision-theoretical idea (...) that action-guidance has to be based on cause–effect or means–ends relationships between an individual action and its possible outcomes. This is problematic since the morally relevant connections between an action and future events are not fully covered by such relationships. In response to the first problem it is proposed that moral theory should deal directly and extensively with issues such as risk-taking and risk imposition, thereby intruding unabashedly into the traditional territory of decision theory. As a partial response to the second problem it is proposed that moral theorizing should release itself from the decision-theoretical requirement that the moral status of an action has to be derivable from the consequences (or other properties) that are assignable to that action alone. In particular, the effects that an action can have in combination with other actions by the same or other agents are valid arguments in an action-guiding moral discourse, even if its contribution to these combined consequences cannot be isolated and evaluated separately. (shrink)
Formal representations of values and norms are employed in several academic disciplines and specialties, such as economics, jurisprudence, decision theory and social choice theory. Sven Ove Hansson closely examines such foundational issues as the values of wholes and the values of their parts, the connections between values and norms, how values can be decision-guiding and the structure of normative codes with formal precision. Models of change in both preferences and norms are offered, as well as a method to base (...) the logic of norms on that of preferences. Hansson has developed a unified formal representation of values and norms that reflects both their static and their dynamic properties. This formalized treatment, carried out in terms of both informal value theory and precise logical detail, will contribute to the clarification of certain issues in the basic philosophical theory of values and norms. (shrink)
Mainstream moral theories deal with situations in which the outcome of each possible action is well-determined and knowable. In order to make ethics relevant for problems of risk and uncertainty, moral theories have to be extended so that they cover actions whose outcomes are not determinable beforehand. One approach to this extension problem is to develop methods for appraising probabilistic combinations of outcomes. This approach is investigated and shown not to solve the problem. An alternative approach is then developed. Its (...) starting-point is that everyone has a prima facie moral right not to be exposed to risk. However, this right can be overridden if the risk-exposure is part of an equitable system for risk-taking that works to the advantage of the individual risk-exposed person. (shrink)
According to T. M. Scanlon's 'buck-passing' analysis of value, x is good means that x has properties that provide reasons to take up positive attitudes vis-à-vis x. Some authors have claimed that this idea can be traced back to Franz Brentano, who said in 1889 that the judgement that x is good is the judgement that a positive attitude to x is correct ('richtig'). The most discussed problem in the recent literature on buckpassing is known as the 'wrong kind of (...) reason' problem (the WKR problem): it seems quite possible that there is sometimes reason to favour an object although that object is not good and possibly very evil. The problem is to delineate exactly what distinguishes reasons of the right kind from reasons of the wrong kind. In this paper we offer a Brentano-style solution. We also note that one version of the WKR problem was put forward by G. E. Moore in his review of the English translation of Brentano's Vom Ursprung sittlicher Erkenntnis. Before getting to how our Brentano-style approach might offer a way out for Brentano and the buck-passers, we briefly consider and reject an interesting attempt to solve the WKR problem recently proposed by John Skorupski. (shrink)
In this paper, we discuss the ethics of automated driving. More specifically, we discuss responsible human-robot coordination within mixed traffic: i.e. traffic involving both automated cars and conventional human-driven cars. We do three main things. First, we explain key differences in robotic and human agency and expectation-forming mechanisms that are likely to give rise to compatibility-problems in mixed traffic, which may lead to crashes and accidents. Second, we identify three possible solution-strategies for achieving better human-robot coordination within mixed traffic. Third, (...) we identify important ethical challenges raised by each of these three possible strategies for achieving optimized human-robot cordination in this domain. Among other things, we argue that we should not just explore ways of making robotic driving more like human driving. Rather, we ought also to take seriously potential ways of making human driving more like robotic driving. Nor should we assume that complete automation is always the ideal to aim for; in some traffic-situations, the best results may be achieved through human-robot collaboration. Ultimately, our main aim in this paper is to argue that the new field of the ethics of automated driving needs take seriously the ethics of mixed traffic and responsible human-robot coordination. (shrink)
This paper argues that Sosa’s virtue perspectivism fails to combine satisfactorily internalist and externalist features in a single theory. Internalism and externalism are reconciled at the price of creating a Gettier problem at the level of “reflective” or second-order knowledge. The general lesson to be learned from the critique of virtue perspectivism is that internalism and externalism cannot be combined by bifurcating justification and knowledge into an object-level and a meta-level and assigning externalism and internalism to different levels.
This monograph is a detailed study, and systematic defence, of the Growing Block Theory of time (GBT), first conceived by C.D. Broad. The book offers a coherent, logically perspicuous and ideologically lean formulation of GBT, defends it against the most notorious objections to be found in the extant philosophical literature, and shows how it can be derived from a more general theory, consistent with relativistic spacetime, on the pre-relativistic assumption of an absolute and total temporal order. -/- The authors devise (...) axiomatizations of GBT and its competitors which, against the backdrop of a shared quantified tense logic, significantly improves the prospects of their comparative assessment. Importantly, neither of these axiomatizations involves commitment to properties of presentness, pastness or futurity. The authors proceed to address, and defuse, a number of objections that have been marshaled against GBT, including the so-called epistemic objection according to which the theory invites skepticism about our temporal location. The challenge posed by relativistic physics is met head-on, by replacing claims about temporal variation by claims about variation across spacetime. -/- The book aims to achieve the greatest possible rigor. The background logic is set out in detail, as are the principles governing the notions of precedence and temporal location. The authors likewise devise a novel spacetime logic suited for the articulation, and comparative assessment, of relativistic theories of time. The book comes with three technical appendices which include soundness and completeness proofs for the systems corresponding to GBT and its competitors, in both their pre-relativistic and relativistic forms. -/- The book is primarily directed at researchers and graduate students working on the philosophy of time or temporal logic, but is of interest to metaphysicians and philosophical logicians more generally. (shrink)
Following the recent call for advancement in knowledge about business ethics in East Asia, this study proposes a complementary perspective on business ethics in South Korea. We challenge the conventional view that South Korea is a strictly collectivist country, where group norms and low trust determine the norms and values of behavior. Using the concept of civil religion, we suggest that the center of the South Korean civil religion can be seen in the affective ties and networks pervading the economic, (...) political, and social institutions, embedded in and guided by Confucian ideals. We argue that South Korea should be seen not as a collectivist low-trust society, but rather as an affective-relational society, in which the relational context determines whether collectivism or individualism prevails. Further, we assert that trust, the cohesive factor of affective ties and networks, has until now been inadequately captured by conventional surveys. Our proposed perspective contributes to a more holistic picture and a more firmly grounded understanding of business ethics in South Korea. (shrink)
Self-driving cars hold out the promise of being safer than manually driven cars. Yet they cannot be a 100 % safe. Collisions are sometimes unavoidable. So self-driving cars need to be programmed for how they should respond to scenarios where collisions are highly likely or unavoidable. The accident-scenarios self-driving cars might face have recently been likened to the key examples and dilemmas associated with the trolley problem. In this article, we critically examine this tempting analogy. We identify three important ways (...) in which the ethics of accident-algorithms for self-driving cars and the philosophy of the trolley problem differ from each other. These concern: the basic decision-making situation faced by those who decide how self-driving cars should be programmed to deal with accidents; moral and legal responsibility; and decision-making in the face of risks and uncertainty. In discussing these three areas of disanalogy, we isolate and identify a number of basic issues and complexities that arise within the ethics of the programming of self-driving cars. (shrink)
In this anthology, distinguished editors Sven Bernecker and Fred Dretske offer the most comprehensive review available of contemporary epistemology. They bring together the most important and influential writings in the field, including selections that cover frequently neglected topics such as dominant responses to skepticism, introspection, memory, and testimony. Knowledge is divided into fifteen subject areas and includes forty-one readings by eminent contributors. An accessible introduction to each subject area outlines the problems discussed in the essays that follow so that (...) students can focus on analyzing them. (shrink)
PurposeIn this article, we aim to present and defend a contextual approach to mathematical explanation.MethodTo do this, we introduce an epistemic reading of mathematical explanation.ResultsThe epistemic reading not only clarifies the link between mathematical explanation and mathematical understanding, but also allows us to explicate some contextual factors governing explanation. We then show how several accounts of mathematical explanation can be read in this approach.ConclusionThe contextual approach defended here clears up the notion of explanation and pushes us towards a pluralist vision (...) on mathematical explanation. (shrink)
The global method safety account of knowledge states that an agent’s true belief that p is safe and qualifies as knowledge if and only if it is formed by method M, such that her beliefs in p and her beliefs in relevantly similar propositions formed by M in all nearby worlds are true. This paper argues that global method safety is too restrictive. First, the agent may not know relevantly similar propositions via M because the belief that p is the (...) only possible outcome of M. Second, there are cases where there is a fine-grained belief that is unsafe and a relevantly similar coarse-grained belief that is safe and where both beliefs are based on the same method M. Third, the reliability of conditional reasoning, a basic belief-forming method, seems to be sensitive to fine-grained contents, as suggested by the wide variation in success rates for thematic versions of the Wason selection task. (shrink)
A conceptual analysis of falsificationism is performed, in which the central falsificationist thesis is divided into several components. Furthermore, an empirical study of falsification in science is reported, based on the 70 scientific contributions that were published as articles in Nature in 2000. Only one of these articles conformed to the falsificationist recipe for successful science, namely the falsification of a hypothesis that is more accessible to falsification than to verification. It is argued that falsificationism relies on an incorrect view (...) of the nature of scientific inquiry and that it is, therefore, not a tenable research methodology. (shrink)
So far overlooked by the international business ethics literature, we introduce, characterize, and normatively analyze the use of affective ties and networks in South Korea from an ethical point of view. Whereas the ethics of using Guanxi in China has been comprehensively discussed, Korean informal networks remain difficult to manage for firms in South Korea due to the absence of existing academic debate and research in this field. In this study, we concentrate mainly on the question of whether foreign firms (...) will and can use affective ties in Korea. The informal social network forms are classified and contrasted with the conventional ethical approaches used in international business ethics to assess which categories can be regarded as ethical or unethical. Finally, foreign firms are advised how to cope with and use different affective network types. Although the nature of affective ties and networks in Korea differs from that found for instance in China, consistent with the conclusion of prior research, we recommend particularistic analysis and decision making regarding the circumstances in which to conclude affective ties and networks and when to opt out. We conclude that foreign firms in Korea should invest in establishing Inmaek, refrain from engaging in Yonjul, and support host country nationals’ Yongo ties. Moreover, it is suggested that foreign firms should find ways to monitor and manage informal ties effectively. (shrink)
Memory occupies a fundamental place in philosophy, playing a central role not only in the history of philosophy but also in philosophy of mind, epistemology, and ethics. Yet the philosophy of memory has only recently emerged as an area of study and research in its own right. -/- The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Memory is an outstanding reference source on the key topics, problems and debates in this exciting area, and is the first philosophical collection of its kind. The (...) forty-eight chapters are written by an international team of contributors, and divided into nine parts: -/- The nature of memory The metaphysics of memory Memory, mind and meaning Memory and the self Memory and time The social dimension of memory The epistemology of memory Memory and morality History of philosophy of memory. -/- Within these sections, central topics and problems are examined, including: truth, consciousness, imagination, emotion, self-knowledge, narrative, personal identity, time, collective and social memory, internalism and externalism, and the ethics of memory. The final part examines figures in the history of philosophy, including Aristotle, Augustine, Freud, Bergson, Wittgenstein and Heidegger, as well as perspectives on memory in Indian and Chinese philosophy. -/- Essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy, particularly philosophy of mind and psychology, the Handbook will also be of interest to those in related fields, such as psychology and anthropology. (shrink)
Epistemology, the philosophy of knowledge, is at the core of many of the central debates and issues in philosophy, interrogating the notions of truth, objectivity, trust, belief and perception. _The Routledge Companion to Epistemology_ provides a comprehensive and the up-to-date survey of epistemology, charting its history, providing a thorough account of its key thinkers and movements, and addressing enduring questions and contemporary research in the field. Organized thematically, the _Companion_ is divided into ten sections: Foundational Issues, The Analysis of Knowledge, (...) The Structure of Knowledge, Kinds of Knowledge, Skepticism, Responses to Skepticism, Knowledge and Knowledge Attributions, Formal Epistemology, The History of Epistemology, and Metaepistemological Issues. Seventy-eight chapters, each between 5000 and 7000 words and written by the world’s leading epistemologists, provide students with an outstanding and accessible guide to the field. Designed to fit the most comprehensive syllabus in the discipline, this text will be an indispensible resource for anyone interested in this central area of philosophy. _The Routledge Companion to Epistemology_ is essential reading for students of philosophy. (shrink)
In a recent article, Sabine Müller, Merlin Bittlinger, and Henrik Walter launch a sweeping attack against what they call the "personal identity debate" as it relates to patients treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS). In this critique offered by Müller et al., the so-called personal identity debate is said to: (a) be metaphysical in a problematic way, (b) constitute a threat to patients, and (c) use "vague" and "contradictory" statements from patients and their families as direct evidence for metaphysical theories. (...) In this response, I critically evaluate Müller et al.'s argument, with a special focus on these three just-mentioned aspects of their discussion. My conclusion is that Müller et al.'s overall argument is problematic. It overgeneralizes criticisms that may apply to some, but certainly not to all, contributions to what they call the personal identity-debate. Moreover, it rests on a problematic conception of what much of this debate is about. Nor is Müller et al.'s overall argument fair in its assessment of the methodology used by most participants in the debate. For these reasons, we should be skeptical of Müller et al.'s claim that the "personal identity debate" is a "threat to neurosurgical patients". (shrink)
We prove that four theses commonly associated with coherentism are incompatible with the representation of a belief state as a logically closed set of sentences. The result is applied to the conventional coherence interpretation of the AGM theory of belief revision, which appears not to be tenable. Our argument also counts against the coherentistic acceptability of a certain form of propositional holism. We argue that the problems arise as an effect of ignoring the distinction between derived and non-derived beliefs, and (...) we suggest that the kind of coherence relevant to epistemic justification is the coherence of non-derived beliefs. (shrink)
This paper attempts to answer the question of what defines mnemonic confabulation vis-à-vis genuine memory. The two extant accounts of mnemonic confabulation as “false memory” and as ill-grounded memory are shown to be problematic, for they cannot account for the possibility of veridical confabulation, ill-grounded memory, and wellgrounded confabulation. This paper argues that the defining characteristic of mnemonic confabulation is that it lacks the appropriate causal history. In the confabulation case, there is no proper counterfactual dependence of the state of (...) seeming to remember on the corresponding past representation. (shrink)
Reuben Hersh confided to us that, about forty years ago, the late Paul Cohen predicted to him that at some unspecified point in the future, mathematicians would be replaced by computers. Rather than focus on computers replacing mathematicians, however, our aim is to consider the (im)possibility of human mathematicians being joined by “artificial mathematicians” in the proving practice—not just as a method of inquiry but as a fellow inquirer.
Kantians are increasingly deserting the universal law formula in favor of the humanity formula. The former, they argue, is open to various decisive objections; the two are not equivalent; and it is only by appealing to the humanity formula that Kant can reliably generate substantive implications from his theory of an acceptable sort. These assessments of the universal law formula, which clash starkly with Kant's own assessment of it, are based on various widely accepted interpretative assumptions. These assumptions, it is (...) argued in this article, depend on misleading translations of key terms; selective attention to Kant's concrete examples; not taking seriously Kant's theoretical claims about the relations among his various ideas; and a failure to take into account Kant's idiosyncratic definitions of key concepts. The article seeks to right these interpretative wrongs, and finds that the universal law formula is not open to many of the standard objections. (shrink)
Abstract: This article offers a perspective on the role of philosophy in relation to other academic disciplines and to society in general. Among the issues treated are the delimitation of philosophy, whether it is a science, its role in the community of knowledge disciplines, its losses of subject matter to other disciplines, how it is influenced by social changes and by progress in other disciplines, and its role in interdisciplinary work. It is concluded that philosophy has an important mission in (...) promoting clarity, precision, and open-mindedness in academic research and in society at large. (shrink)
In the first part of this paper, I clear the ground from frequent misconceptions of the relationship between fact and value by examining some uses of the adjective “natural” in ethical controversies. Such uses bear evidence to our “natural” tendency to regard nature as the source of ethical norms. I then try to account for the origins of this tendency by offering three related explanations, the most important of which is evolutionistic: if any behaviour that favours our equilibrium with the (...) environment is potentially adaptive, nothing can be more effective for this goal than developing an attitude toward the natural world that considers it as a dispenser of sacred norms that must be invariably respected. By referring to the Aristotelian notion of human flourishing illustrated in the first part of the paper, in the second I discuss as a case study some ethical problems raised by mini-chips implantable in our bodies. I conclude by defending their potential beneficial effects of such new technological instruments. (shrink)
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