What are the intellectual origins of the ecological crisis? Which approach can offer an alternative? In the first part of this paper, I argue that the crisis was caused not by faith in reason as such, but instead by distortions of reason. Further, I consider the intellectual prerequisites for ecological destruction, the ultimate cause of which can be seen in the transitional state of our civilisation from a dependent to an interdependent mode of interaction with the biosphere. A possible remedy (...) to this can be the reconciliation of humankind with the biosphere by means of the Gestalt approach. (shrink)
I agreed to review this book based on the title alone (coupled with a cover picture of a adult pig and several piglets outdoors in the grass). My decision was justified, since it offers a coherent, detailed response to an important problem in animal ethics and animal welfare: the question of humane (or “animal friendly”) animal husbandry, especially in the meat industry, in which animals are raised with the end of being killed long before the end of their natural lifespan.Humane (...) animal husbandry is based on two distinct assumptions. The first is that animals’ welfare matters, so that they should have pleasant lives and avoid unnecessary suffering. The second is that killing animals for food is morally justified. This is commonly justified, in both popular and philosophical discourse, with the claim that “the animals are granted pleasant lives, usually in connection with the claim that they would not exist at all if it were not for the purpose of our consumption. By consuming and farmin. (shrink)
Fictional realism, i.e., the view that because fictions exist, fictional characters exist as well, has recently been accused of leading to inconsistency generated by phenomena of indeterminacy and inconsistency in fiction. We examine in detail four arguments against fictional realism, and present a version of fictional realism which can withstand those arguments.
In this paper I confront what I take to be the crucial challenge for fictional realism, i.e. the view that fictional characters exist. This is the problem of accounting for the intuition that corresponding negative existentials such as ‘Sherlock Holmes does not exist’ are true (when, given fictional realism, taken literally they seem false). I advance a novel and detailed form of the response according to which we take them to mean variants of such claims as: there is no concrete (...) x such that x is Sherlock Holmes. (shrink)
In recent work, Louis deRosset (Philosophical Studies 149:73–97, 2010) has argued that priority theorists, who hold that truths about macroscopic objects can be metaphysically explained without reference to such things, cannot meet an independently motivated constraint upon good explanation. By clarifying the nature of the priority theorist’s project, I argue that deRosset’s argument fails to establish its conclusion.
This article explores atheist meaning-making by employing a multidimensional model of meaning operationalized by the Sources of Meaning and Meaning in Life Questionnaire . When compared to a representative sample of “religionists” and “nones” , atheists show lower degrees of meaningfulness, but they do not suffer from crises of meaning more frequently. However, subsequent cluster analysis reveals that heterogeneity within atheism has to be taken into account. Three types of atheists are identified. ‘Low-commitment’ atheists are characterised by generally low commitment; (...) they report very low meaningfulness and a high frequency of crises of meaning. ‘Broad-commitment’ atheists exhibit considerably higher levels of meaningfulness and rare crises of meaning. They evidence, in particular, high scores on the dimension of well-being and relatedness. The third type, primarily committed to “selfactualization,” exhibits moderate levels of meaningfulness, with crises of meaning being literally absent. Common to most atheists is a particular commitment to self-knowledge, freedom, knowledge, individualism, and comfort. In comparing male and female atheists, gendered patterns of commitment are discovered. (shrink)
In the recent literature on all things metaontological, discussion of a notorious Meinongian doctrine—the thesis that some objects have no kind of being at all—has been conspicuous by its absence. And this is despite the fact that this thesis is the central element of the noneist metaphysics of Richard Routley (1980) and Graham Priest (2005). In this paper, we therefore examine the metaontological foundations of noneism, with a view to seeing exactly how the noneist's approach to ontological inquiry differs from (...) the orthodox Quinean one. We proceed by arguing that the core anti-Quinean element in noneism has routinely been misidentified: rather than concerning Quine's thesis that to be is to be the value of a variable, the real difference is that the noneist rejects what we identify as Quine's “translate-and-deflate” methodology. In rejecting this aspect of Quinean orthodoxy, the noneist is in good company: many of those who think that questions of fundamentality should be the proper focus of ontological inquiry can be read as rejecting it too. Accordingly, we then examine the differences between the noneist's conception of ontology and that offered by the fundamentalist. We argue that these two anti-Quinean approaches differ in terms of their respective conceptions of the theoretical role associated with the notion of being. And the contrast that emerges between them is, in the end, an explanatory one. (shrink)
The many well-publicized food scandals in recent years have resulted in a general state of vulnerable trust. As a result, building consumer trust has become an important goal in agri-food policy. In their efforts to protect trust in the agricultural and food sector, governments and industries have tended to consider the problem of trust as merely a matter of informing consumers on risks. In this article, we argue that the food sector better addresses the problem of trust from the perspective (...) of the trustworthiness of the food sector itself. This broad idea for changing the focus of trust is the assumption that if you want to be trusted, you should be trustworthy. To provide a clear understanding of what being trustworthy means within the food sector, we elaborate on both the concept of trust and of responsibility. In this way we show that policy focused on enhancing transparency and providing information to consumers is crucial, but not sufficient for dealing with the problem of consumer trust in the current agri-food context. (shrink)
Philosophers often aim to demonstrate that the things we ordinarily think and say can be reconciled with our considered beliefs about the world. To this end, many philosophers try to paraphrase ordinary language claims by finding equivalent sentences that are less misleading. For instance, though we know that there is no British family that is the average one, we want to say that the average British family has 1.8 children, and we might do that by paraphrasing this claim as: there (...) are nearly twice as many British children as British families. This article aims to introduce and distinguish different paraphrase strategies, sketch their role in metaphysical debates and highlight some crucial questions that proponents of such strategies face. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to discuss the criminalization of conduct based on human dignity arguments. It proposes a modest version of integrating human dignity into discussions about criminalization. After a critical examination of both the notion of “human dignity as an objective value” and the assumption that the meaning of human dignity can be explained by referring to Kant’s moral philosophy, human dignity violations are characterized as severe humiliations.
This study contributes to the exploration of self-rated spirituality by anchoring self-ratings of spirituality and religiosity in an integrative model of personality. For the measurement of personality dispositions and characteristic adaptations, the NEO Personality Inventory Revised and the Sources of Meaning and Meaning in Life Questionnaire have been administered to a sample of German-speaking students. A three-step study design is employed. First, previous findings on associations between personality and religiosity/spirituality are replicated and supplemented. Second, sources of meaning are shown to (...) explain a considerably higher amount of unique variance in religiosity and spirituality than do personality dispositions. Third, two types of spirituality—religious-and-spiritual and spiritual-but-not-religious—are identified and distinguished on the basis of personality traits. The spiritual-but-not-religious type shows significantly higher degrees of Neuroticism, and lower degrees of Agreeableness. Possible interpretations and lines of future research on ‘spirituality without religion’ are sketched out. (shrink)
Durch Migrationsprozesse und zunehmenden Pluralismus ist in Deutschland das Thema „kulturelle Diversität“ in der Medizin aktueller denn je. In der medizinischen Fachliteratur und im gesellschaftlichen Diskurs wird vermehrt von interkulturellen Konflikten im Kontakt zwischen Arzt und Patient berichtet, was die Frage nach der Rolle von Interkultureller Kompetenz für die klinische Praxis aufwirft. Zunächst widmet sich der Beitrag kritisch den verschiedenen Auffassungen des Begriffs „Kultur“ im medizinischen Kontext, um anschließend eine Methode der interkulturellen Philosophie als eine Möglichkeit für eine kultursensitive Ethik (...) zu skizzieren. Anschließend wird aufgezeigt, welche Schwierigkeiten mit dem Begriff der Interkulturellen Kompetenz verbunden sind und weshalb die Autoren diesen trotzdem als unerlässlich für die Wahrnehmung potentieller Konfliktfelder als auch für den Umgang mit diesen erachten. Schließlich werden derzeitige Entwicklungen in der medizinischen Ausbildung sowie konkrete Beispiele für eine kultursensible Ethikberatung illustriert. Es zeigt sich, dass international zahlreiche Ausgestaltungen Interkultureller Kompetenz in Form von Leitfäden und konkreten Schulungsmodulen existieren, aber auch, dass es in Deutschland an konkreten Umsetzungen in der Breite mangelt und die Zusammenarbeit wissenschaftlicher Disziplinen sowie der betroffenen Institutionen derzeit noch ausbaufähig ist. (shrink)
In his paper “Eating Animals the Nice Way” McMahan : 66–76, 2008) explores whether there are ways of routinely using non-human animals for human consumption that are morally acceptable. He dismisses a practice of benign animal husbandry, in which animals are killed prematurely and believes that a practice in which animals were engineered to drop down dead instantaneously at the same age would be equally wrong, even though it would not involve killing. Yet, McMahan considers his intuition that both practices (...) are equally wrong with regard to our duties towards the involved animals hard to justify. This paper explains in more detail why this commonsensical intuition is indeed hard to justify and explores what it would take to justify it. It takes nothing less than a yet-to-be-specified plausible theory in population ethics and an account of welfare that deals in a plausible way with non-identity cases involving species- or breed-related differences in life expectancy. (shrink)
Realists about fictional entities often distinguish the properties that a fictional character has and the properties a character holds. Roughly, this is the distinction between the properties that a character really possesses and the properties it fictionally possess. But despite the popularity of this distinction in realist circles, it gives rise to a number of subtle issues about which fictional realists can and do disagree. In this paper, we aim to clarify these issues and defend three related theses. One: that (...) to say that Hermione holds the property of being female is just to say that the singular proposition ⟨Hermione, being female⟩ is true according to Harry Potter. Two: that ordinary objects can hold properties insofar as propositions like ⟨Napoleon, being French⟩ can be true according to fictions like War and Peace. Three: that the distinction between having and holding should not be thought to play any semantic role within the context of fictional realism. (shrink)
The article examines whether state officials may shoot down a hijacked airplane which carries uninvolved passengers, if it is known that the plane will be used against the lives of other human beings. In its first sections, it explains the German Federal Constitutional Courtâs verdict against such a permission, and it scrutinizes the crucial arguments in this ruling. The author then extends the discussion beyond the path taken by the court. She examines the defensive claims of passengers aboard the plane (...) and the protective claims of potential victims who are present at the hijackersâ target zone. In contrast to the German Federal Constitutional Court, she concludes that state officials must take the claims of both groups of potential victims equally serious, and that such conditions allow applying a consequentialist calculus because it is the only way out of a genuine dilemma. (shrink)
Ayahuasca is a psychoactive beverage that is mostly used in ritualized settings (Santo Daime rituals, neo-shamanic rituals, and even do-it-yourself-rituals). It is a common practice in the investigated socio-cultural field to call these settings “healing rituals.” For this study, 15 people who underwent ayahuasca (self-)therapy for a particular disease like chronic pain, cancer, asthma, depression, alcohol abuse, or Hepatitis C were interviewed twice about their subjective concepts and beliefs on ayahuasca and healing. Qualitative data analysis revealed a variety of motivational (...) patterns, subjective effects, and user types. Most participants were convinced that ayahuasca had influenced their illness positively or improved their coping with their illness. More importantly, it had enhanced their well being in general. As a result, we concluded that the effects of ayahuasca should not be reduced to a pharmacological model. The substance should be conceptualized as a psychological catalyst that unfolds within different fields of sociocultural ideas. (shrink)
This study provides a representation of the broad spectrum of theoretical work on topics related to business ethics, with a particular focus on corporate citizenship. It considers relations of business and society alongside social responsibility and moves on to examine the historical and systemic foundations of business ethics, focusing on the concepts of social and ethical responsibilities. The contributors explore established theories and concepts and their impact on moral behaviour. Together, the contributions offer varied philosophical theories in approaches to business (...) ethics. The book will be a valuable resource for academics and researchers with an interest in the theoretical development of business ethics. -/- Reviews: 'The rapidly expanding business ethics field is often populated by thinly theorised work. This book is a welcome exception. It is also distinctive in that it embraces a clear macro perspective whereas much of the debate is rather stuck at the level of the individual or the organisation. As such the book has a distinctively European flavour and should be considered as an intellectually stimulating collection offering original perspectives on business ethics.' Laura J. Spence, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK -/- 'This book makes an important contribution to our knowledge and understanding of corporations especially in the areas of corporate citizenship and responsibility as well as ethics and economic ethics. In addition the relationship of these areas with the social contract is well argued.' Australian Journal of Corporate Law. (shrink)
There is growing evidence that words that are acquired early in life are processed faster and more accurately than words acquired later, even by adults. As neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies have implicated different brain networks in the processing of action verbs and concrete nouns, the present study was aimed at contrasting reaction times to early and later-acquired action verbs and concrete nouns, in order to determine whether effects of word learning age express differently for the two types of words. Our (...) results show that while word frequency affected both types of words in the same way, distinct learning age effects were observed for action verbs and concrete nouns. A further experiment specified that this difference was observed for verbs describing actions belonging to the human motor repertoire, but not for verbs denoting actions past this repertoire (e.g., to neigh). We interpret these data within a recently emerging framework according to which language processing is associated with sensory motor programs. (shrink)
For historians of medicine, the professor Theodor Billroth of the University of Vienna was the leading European surgeon of the late nineteenth century and the personification of intervention by organ or body part removal. For social and political historians, he was a German nationalist whose book on medical education heralded the rise of anti-Semitism in the Austrian public sphere. This article brings together and critically reassesses these two hitherto separate accounts to show how, in a period of dramatic social and (...) political change, Viennese surgery split into two camps. One, headed by Billroth, was characterized by an alliance with the German educational model, German nationalism leading to racial anti-Semitism and an experimental approach to the construction of surgical procedure, which heavily relied on the methods of pathological physiology. The other, which followed a long Austrian tradition, stood for a clinically oriented and strictly organized medical education that catered to an ethnically and socially diverse population and, simultaneously, for an anatomically oriented surgery, largely of the locomotor apparatus. This study shows how, in a major centre of medical education and capital of a multiethnic empire, surgical and national identities were forged together. (shrink)
As a member of the British Oxford Group, psychologist Richard Ryder marked the beginning of the modern animal rights and animal welfare movement in the seventies. By introducing the concept “speciesism.” Ryder contributed importantly to the expansion of this movement. Surprisingly little attention has been paid to Ryder’s moral theory, “painism”, that aims to resolve the conflict between the two predominant rival theories in animal ethics, the deontological of Tom Regan and the utilitarian of Peter Singer. First, this paper examines (...) the kernel and historical sources of Ryder’s painist theory, linking it to the work of John Rawls and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Second, it examines Ryder’s critique of utilitarianism. It is argued that his critique of Singer’s use of the word “sentience” is unconvincing and that his critique of utilitarian aggregation as not taking a full account of the metaphysical separateness of persons, has already been countered and dealt with. Finally this paper looks at some of the counterintuitive implications of Ryder’s theory and argues that utilitarianism might have more resources for dealing with its own alleged counterintuitive implications than Ryder acknowledges. (shrink)
In the recent literature on all things metaontological, discussion of a notorious Meinongian doctrine—the thesis that some objects have no kind of being at all—has been conspicuous by its absence. And this is despite the fact that this thesis is the central element of the noneist metaphysics of Richard Routley and Graham Priest. In this paper, we therefore examine the metaontological foundations of noneism, with a view to seeing exactly how the noneist's approach to ontological inquiry differs from the orthodox (...) Quinean one. We proceed by arguing that the core anti-Quinean element in noneism has routinely been misidentified: rather than concerning Quine's thesis that to be is to be the value of a variable, the real difference is that the noneist rejects what we identify as Quine's "translate-and-deflate" methodology. In rejecting this aspect of Quinean orthodoxy, the noneist is in good company: many of those who think thatquestions of fundamentality should be the proper focus of ontological inquiry can be read as rejecting it too. Accordingly, we then examine the differences between the noneist's conception of ontology and that offered by the fundamentalist. We argue that these two anti-Quinean approaches differ in terms of their respective conceptions of the theoretical role associated with the notion of being. And the contrast that emerges between them is, in the end, an explanatory one. (shrink)
This paper focuses on a crucial and insufficiently examined issue of the conflict between legality and legitimacy, seen as a key element in securing continuity and providing the intellectual justification of the Francoist regime. Without analyzing the tension between legality and legitimacy, it is impossible to comprehend and successfully dismantle the thesis of the regime's intellectuals, recently revitalized by revisionist historians, according to which Francoism succeeded in re-establishing historical continuity and political normalcy in Spanish society. In the context of the (...) Cold War, it was crucial for Spanish legal scholars to portray Francoism not as a bastion of anti-liberalism, but as a regime whose survival entailed an original interpretation of notions such as freedom, rule of law, sovereignty and authority. They argued that the significance of Francoism consisted not only in defeating liberalism in Spain but in offering an alternative interpretation of its main tenets. By aspiring to justify and overcome its own historical exceptionality, the Francoist regime sought to avoid the inevitability of its demise. By virtue of its failure to do so, Francoism remained outside the European political norm, to which only democratic Spain would be re-admitted. (shrink)
This title sees the re-emergence of the seminal 1970s magazine Curtains edited by Paul Buck. With its early promotion of French writers such as Georges Bataille, Maurice Blanchot, Jacques Derrida, Jean-Pierre Faye and Edmond Jabès, Curtains’ re-appearance in 2016 arrives after an exhibition at Focal Point Gallery in 2012 that was recreated from an earlier 1992 work at Cabinet Gallery around the concept of ‘disappearing’. The invited contributions come from thirteen artists with whom the editor has engaged over the years. (...) In addition, Buck has returned to pull threads from the earlier editions of his magazine to explore ideas with writers encountered in the intervening years, making all appear in a consolidated grouping as a final gesture, one that refuses to disappear. Contributions include those by: Kathy Acker, Anne-Marie Albiach, Mireille Andres, Stephen Barber, David Barton, Diane Bataille, Georges Bataille, Mathieu Bénézet, Jean-Pierre Bobillot, Joë Bousquet, Michael Camus, Danielle Collobert, David Coxhead, John Cussans, Tatjana Doll, Jerry Estrin, Ulli Freer, Margarita Gluzsberg, Paul Green, Anouchka Grose, Pierre Guyotat, Susan Hiller, Andrew Hunt, Franz Kamin, Chris Kraus, Liane Lang, Roger Laporte, Francesca Lisette, Lucy McKenzie, Bernard Noël, Hestia Peppe, Holly Pester, Perle Petit, Richard Prince, Pascal Quignard, Clunie Reid, Mitsou Ronat, Claude Royet-Journoud, Eugène Savitzkaya, Will Shutes, Sophie Sleigh-Johnson, Miroslav Tichy, Colette Thomas, Simon Thompson, Sophie von Hellermann, and Gabrielle Wittkop. (shrink)
In this article, I comment on Simester and von Hirsch’s theory of criminalization and discuss general principles of criminalization. After some brief comments on punishment theories and the role of moral wrongdoing, I examine main lines of contemporary criminalization theories which tend to focus on the issues of harm, offense, paternalism and side-constraints. One of the points of disagreement with Simester and von Hirsch concerns the role of the harm principle. I rely on a straightforward normative concept of “rights of (...) others,” not in the sense of rights granted in positive law but in the sense of rights which are to be justified in political philosophy. With a rights-centered rather than a harm-centered approach, a prima facie reason for criminalization is the violation of others’ rights. It is unnecessary to develop a separate category of “offense to others,” and paternalistic interventions can be criticized straightforwardly because rights can be waived. (shrink)