In The Ethics of Care, Virginia Held explores what values of care might fulfil normative criteria for evaluating the moral worth of relations. Held identifies seven potential values: attentiveness, empathy, mutual concern, sensitivity, responsiveness, taking responsibility, and trustworthiness. Though Held’s work is helpful as a starting point for conceptualizing some normative criteria, two problems need addressing. First, Held does not provide sufficient justification for why these potential values ought to be considered genuine values in the care ethical framework. Second, Held (...) overlooks two other potential values cited in the care literature: competence and respect. This paper builds upon Held’s work to offer a more coherent understanding of the values of care. It does so by scrutinizing and conceptually organizing the above nine potential values. Of these nine, only four are considered genuine values: attentiveness, mutual concern, responsiveness, and trustworthiness. It is concluded that good caring relations are those that exemplify the four values of care in their deliverance of caring practices. (shrink)
A central focus of care ethics is on the compelling moral salience of attending to the needs of our particular others. However, there is no consensus within the care literature for how and when such partiality is morally justified. This article outlines and defends a novel justificatory argument that grounds partiality in the facts and values of the relation itself. Specifically, this article argues that partiality is justified when grounded in caring values exemplified in good caring relations. Hence, this justification (...) is termed the argument from good caring relations. This justification is promising for two reasons. First, the argument from good caring relations has the potential to spur engagement between care ethics and the broader partiality literature. In particular, the argument from good caring relations could enhance what Simon Keller has termed ‘the relationships view’. Second, the argument from good caring relations is more persuasive than the other major justificatory argument for partiality presently in the care literature: a distributive argument, which takes the form of a modified version of Robert Goodin’s assigned responsibility model of moral obligation. Indeed, where this distributive argument fails, the argument from good caring relation succeeds. This article thus concludes that the argument from good caring relations is preferable for justifying partiality in care ethics. (shrink)
This paper seeks to provide a literary review of advancements in climate change ethics, primarily concerning the issue of climate justice. Through a close examination of three recent books written on this topic, I intend to identify which author’s approach has been the most successful in analyzing the various moral problems associated with climate justice, before elucidating what weaknesses and shortcomings need to be addressed in moving forward. The books examined are The Moral Challenge of Dangerous Climate Change: Values, Poverty, (...) and Policy, by Darrel Moellendorf ; Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle against Climate Change Failed—and What It Means for Our Future, by Dale Jamieson ; and... (shrink)
Care ethics is often criticized for being incapable of outlining what responsibilities we have to persons beyond our personal relations, especially toward distant others. This criticism centres on care theorists’ claim that the concerns of morality emerge between people, generated through our relations of interdependent care: it is difficult to see how moral duties can be applied to those with whom we do not forge a relationship. In this article, I respond to this criticism by outlining a care ethical justification (...) for an interest theory of human rights. This theory will argue that the demands of global justice include various positive actions that aim toward ensuring the conditions for good caring relations to flourish, which in turn protect and promote the vital interests of all persons. In doing so, I aim to concurrently advance the sparse work on human rights within the care literature, systematizing the ideas of care theorists such as Daniel Engster, Virginia Held, and Fiona Robinson. (shrink)
Compared to our understanding of positive prediction error signals occurring due to unexpected reward outcomes, less is known about the neural circuitry in humans that drives negative prediction errors during omission of expected rewards. While classical learning theories such as Rescorla–Wagner or temporal difference learning suggest that both types of prediction errors result from a simple subtraction, there has been recent evidence suggesting that different brain regions provide input to dopamine neurons which contributes to specific components of this prediction error (...) computation. Here, we focus on the brain regions responding to negative prediction error signals, which has been well-established in animal studies to involve a distinct pathway through the lateral habenula. We examine the activity of this pathway in humans, using a conditioned inhibition paradigm with high-resolution functional MRI. First, participants learned to associate a sensory stimulus with reward delivery. Then, reward delivery was omitted whenever this stimulus was presented simultaneously with a different sensory stimulus, the conditioned inhibitor. Both reward presentation and the reward-predictive cue activated midbrain dopamine regions, insula and orbitofrontal cortex. While we found significant activity at an uncorrected threshold for the CI in the habenula, consistent with our predictions, it did not survive correction for multiple comparisons and awaits further replication. Additionally, the pallidum and putamen regions of the basal ganglia showed modulations of activity for the inhibitor that did not survive the corrected threshold. (shrink)
The collection presents a variety of promising new directions in Royce scholarship from an international group of scholars, including historical reinterpretations, explorations of Royce's ethics of loyalty and religious philosophy, and contemporary applications of his ideas in psychology, the problem of reference, neo-pragmatism, and literary aesthetics.
Thomas Reid has the unusual distinction of arriving at a metaethical position very much like G. E. Moore’s via a route very similar to that employed by the Kantians. That is, Reid embraces a version of nonnaturalist moral realism by appeal not to open question-style considerations but to a particular account of agency. In this essay, we reconstruct Reid’s agency-centered argument for his constitutivist version of moral nonnaturalism, highlighting its commitments. Having presented Reid’s argument, we close by considering a (...) prominent contemporary Kantian view, namely, Christine Korsgaard’s, and identifying where, despite their common commitments, Reid and Korsgaard part company. The comparison, we suggest, is instructive because it allows us to see more clearly why the link between agency-centered approaches to ethical theorizing and nonrealist, constitutivist views of morality, such as Korsgaard’s, is deeply contingent. (shrink)
The mechanism by which the mammalian kidney creates the osmotic gradient necessary for urine concentration remains an open question. We present a brief survey of the give-and-take between theory and experiment on this question over the last half century. We start with the introduction of the countercurrent multiplier paradigm in 1951. We finish with a description of a recent suggestion that the explanation for the enigmatic inner medullary osmotic gradient may reside in the very metabolism of the inner medullary cells, (...) which are required by the region's hypoxia to obtain their ATP largely from anaerobic glycolysis and which thus, by the same token, furnish net osmoles to the medullary interstitium by convering glucose to lactate. (shrink)
Philosophers have debated for millennia about whether moral requirements are always rational to follow. The background for these debates is often what I shall call “the self-interest model.” The guiding assumption here is that the basic demand of reason, to each person, is that one must, above all, advance one's self-interest. Alternatively, debate may be framed by a related, but significantly different, assumption: the idea that the basic rational requirement is to develop and pursue a set of personal ends in (...) an informed, efficient, and coherent way, whether one's choice of ends is based on self-interested desires or not. For brevity I refer to this as “the coherence-and-efficiency model.” Advocates of both models tend to think that, while it is sufficiently clear in principle what the rational thing to do is, what remains in doubt is whether it is always rational to be moral. They typically assume that morality is concerned, entirely or primarily, with our relations to others, especially with obligations that appear to require some sacrifice or compromise with the pursuit of self-interest. (shrink)
The philosophy of patient-centred care has become widely embraced but its implementation is dependent on interrelated factors. A factor that has received limited attention is the role of policy tools. In Ontario, one method government can use to promote healthcare priorities is through health regulatory colleges, which set the standard of practice for health professionals. The degree to which government policy in support of patient-centered care has influenced the direction provided by health regulatory colleges to their members, and ultimately impacted (...) actual patient care, remains unclear. This study investigates the extent to which Ontario’s health regulatory colleges have provided explicit written guidance to members related to the importance of patient-centred care. It also explores applied and theoretical explanations that may further our understanding of why patient-centred care has not been more fully embraced. Findings reveal that guidance provided by Ontario’s health regulatory colleges varies widely. Institutional barriers and the choice of policy tools for disseminating government preferences may hinder full implementation of the principles of patient-centred care. More fully understanding the role health regulatory colleges’ play in facilitating the implementation of health policy will contribute positively to dialogue and to efforts to achieve positive health system reforms. (shrink)
Affirmative action programs remain controversial, I suspect, partly because the familiar arguments for and against them start from significantly different moral perspectives. Thus I want to step back for a while from the details of debate about particular programs and give attention to the moral viewpoints presupposed in different types of argument. My aim, more specifically, is to compare the “messages” expressed when affirmative action is defended from different moral perspectives. Exclusively forward-looking arguments, I suggest, tend to express the wrong (...) message, but this is also true of exclusively backward-looking arguments. However, a moral outlook that focuses on cross-temporal narrative values suggests a more appropriate account of what affirmative action should try to express. Assessment of the message, admittedly, is only one aspect of a complex issue, but it is a relatively neglected one. My discussion takes for granted some common-sense ideas about the communicative function of action, and so I begin with these. Actions, as the saying goes, often speak louder than words. There are times, too, when only actions can effectively communicate the message we want to convey and times when giving a message is a central part of the purpose of action. What our actions say to others depends largely, though not entirely, upon our avowed reasons for acting; and this is a matter for reflective decision, not something we discover later by looking back at what we did and its effects. The decision is important because “the same act” can have very different consequences, depending upon how we choose to justify it. (shrink)
This stimulating collection of essays in ethics eschews the simple exposition and refinement of abstract theories. Rather, the author focuses on everyday moral issues, often neglected by philosophers, and explores the deeper theoretical questions which they raise. Such issues are: Is it wrong to tell a lie to protect someone from a painful truth? Should one commit a lesser evil to prevent another from doing something worse? Can one be both autonomous and compassionate? Other topics discussed are servility, weakness of (...) will, suicide, obligations to oneself, snobbery, and environmental concerns. A feature of the collection is the contrast of Kantian and utilitarian answers to these problems. The essays are crisply and lucidly written and will appeal to both teachers and students of philosophy. (shrink)
Thomas Hill, a leading figure in the recent development of Kantian moral philosophy, presents a set of essays exploring the implications of basic Kantian ideas for practical issues. The first part of the book provides background in central themes in Kant's ethics; the second part discusses questions regarding human welfare; the third focuses on moral worth-the nature and grounds of moral assessment of persons as deserving esteem or blame. Hill shows moral, political, and social philosophers just how valuable moral (...) theory can be in addressing practical matters. (shrink)
Back to Kant is a study of the rise of the neo-Kantian movement from its origins in the 1850s to its academic preeminence in the years before World War I. Thomas E. Willey describes early neo-Kantianism as a reaction of scientists and scientific philosophers against both the then discredited Hegelianism and Naturphilosophie of the preceding era and the simplistic and deterministic scientific materialism of the 1850s. "Back to Kant" was the slogan of a revolt against theories of knowledge which (...) seemed inadequate to recent discoveries in thermodynamics, physiology, optics and other fields. Because Immanuel Kant was the philosopher who placed Newtonian physics on new epistemological foundations and demonstrated the possibility of universal scientific truth, he was the right thinker for a generation of scholars living through a new scientific revolution in Germany and dissatisfied with both speculative idealism and crude materialism. The second wave of neo-Kantians continued to discuss problems of scientific epistemology in the 1880s and after, but they also showed a keen interest in political and social matters, attempting to bridge liberalism and socialism with Kantian ethics. Neo-Kantians had to face questions of socialism, the place of the working class in society, the phenomenon of social welfare, the challenge of political democracy. Willey uses the biographical approach to develop the relationship between unity and diversity in the movement, and to underscore the importance of personality in history. While individual dissertations and monographs have been written on various thinkers and schools within neo-Kantianism, this is the first wide-ranging history of the entire phenomenon. Willey observes that the movement did succeed in reasserting ethical values and in separating humanistic studies from the methods of physical science. He also discusses the possibility that a wider acceptance of neo-Kantian ideals among bourgeois intellectuals and socialist leaders might have reduced class antagonisms and sustained a stronger feeling of community between Germany and the West. (shrink)
This essay first distinguishes different questions regarding moral objectivity and relativism and then sketches a broadly Kantian position on two of these questions. First, how, if at all, can we derive, justify, or support specific moral principles and judgments from more basic moral standards and values? Second, how, if at all, can the basic standards such as my broadly Kantian perspective, be defended? Regarding the first question, the broadly Kantian position is that from ideas in Kant's later formulations of the (...) Categorical Imperative, especially human dignity and rational autonomous law-making, we can develop an appropriate moral perspective for identifying and supporting more specific principles. Both the deliberative perspective and the derivative principles can be viewed as “constructed,” but in different senses. In response to the second question, the essay examines two of Kant's strategies for defending his basic perspective and the important background of his arguments against previous moral theories. (shrink)
Respect, Pluralism, and Justice is a series of essays which sketches a broadly Kantian framework for moral deliberation, and then uses it to address important social and political issues. Hill shows how Kantian theory can be developed to deal with questions about cultural diversity, punishment, political violence, responsibility for the consequences of wrongdoing, and state coercion in a pluralistic society.
Thinking on Screen: Film as Philosophy is an accessible and thought-provoking examination of the way films raise and explore complex philosophical ideas. Written in a clear and engaging style, Thomas Wartenberg examines films’ ability to discuss, and even criticize ideas that have intrigued and puzzled philosophers over the centuries such as the nature of personhood, the basis of morality, and epistemological skepticism. Beginning with a demonstration of how specific forms of philosophical discourse are presented cinematically, Wartenberg moves on to (...) offer a systematic account of the ways in which specific films undertake the task of philosophy. Focusing on the films The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Modern Times, The Matrix, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Third Man, The Flicker , and Empire , Wartenberg shows how these films express meaningful and pertinent philosophical ideas. This book is essential reading for students of philosophy with an interest in film, aesthetics, and film theory. It will also be of interest to film enthusiasts intrigued by the philosophical implications of film. (shrink)
Ancient moral philosophers, especially Aristotle and his followers, typically shared the assumption that ethics is primarily concerned with how to achieve the final end for human beings, a life of “happiness” or “human flourishing.” This final end was not a subjective condition, such as contentment or the satisfaction of our preferences, but a life that could be objectively determined to be appropriate to our nature as human beings. Character traits were treated as moral virtues because they contributed well toward this (...) ideal life, either as means to it or as constitutive aspects of it. Traits that tended to prevent a “happy” life were considered vices, even if they contributed to a life that was pleasant and what a person most wanted. The idea of “happiness” was central, then, in philosophical efforts to specify what we ought to do, what sort of persons we should try to become, and what sort of life a wise person would hope for. (shrink)
The classic model of blood pressure regulation by Guyton et al. (Annu Rev Physiol 34:13–46, 1972a; Ann Biomed Eng 1:254–281, 1972b) set a new standard for quantitative exploration of physiological function and led to important new insights, some of which still remain the focus of debate, such as whether the kidney plays the primary role in the genesis of hypertension (Montani et al. in Exp Physiol 24:41–54, 2009a; Exp Physiol 94:382–388, 2009b; Osborn et al. in Exp Physiol 94:389–396, 2009a; Exp (...) Physiol 94:388–389, 2009b). Key to the success of this model was the fact that the authors made the computer code (in FORTRAN) freely available and eventually provided a convivial user interface for exploration of model behavior on early microcomputers (Montani et al. in Int J Bio-med Comput 24:41–54, 1989). Ikeda et al. (Ann Biomed Eng 7:135–166, 1979) developed an offshoot of the Guyton model targeting especially the regulation of body fluids and acid–base balance; their model provides extended renal and respiratory functions and would be a good basis for further extensions. In the interest of providing a simple, useable version of Ikeda et al.’s model and to facilitate further such extensions, we present a practical implementation of the model of Ikeda et al. (Ann Biomed Eng 7:135–166, 1979), using the ODE solver Berkeley Madonna. (shrink)
Immanuel Kant is known for his ideas about duty and morally worthy acts, but his conception of virtue is less familiar. Nevertheless Kant’s understanding of virtue is quite distinctive and has considerable merit compared to the most familiar conceptions. Kant also took moral education seriously, writing extensively on both the duty of adults to cultivate virtue and the empirical conditions to prepare children for this life-long responsibility. Our aim is, first, to explain Kant’s conception of virtue, second, to highlight some (...) distinctive and potentially appealing features of the Kantian account of virtue, third, to summarize and explain Kant’s prescriptions for educating young children and youth as well as the duty of moral self-improvement that he attributes to all adults, and, fourth, to respond to some common objections that we regard as misguided or insubstantial. (shrink)
I examine the thesis that Otto Neurath anticipated the programme of naturalised epistemology already at the time of the Vienna Circle and consider the relation between Neurath's proposals and those of two contemporary theorists whose research programmes he would thus have broadly anticipated. The thesis is confirmed by reference to Neurath's own writings. The connection between Neurath's programme and the programmes of his two successors considered here, however, is found to be highly indirect in one case and nonexistent in the (...) other — despite their undeniable overlap. (shrink)
The tendency to attribute foundationalist ambitions to the Vienna Circle has long obscured our view of its attempted revolution in philosophy. The present paper makes the case for a consistently epistemologically anti-foundationalist interpretation of all three of the Circle's main protagonists: Schlick, Carnap, and Neurath. Corresponding to the intellectual fault lines within the Circle, two ways of going about the radical reorientation of the pursuit of philosophy will then be distinguished and the contemporary potential of Carnap's and Neurath's project explored.
In this paper we propose a formal theory of partitions (ways of dividing up or sorting or mapping reality) and we show how the theory can be applied in the geospatial domain. We characterize partitions at two levels: as systems of cells (theory A), and in terms of their projective relation to reality (theory B). We lay down conditions of well-formedness for partitions and we define what it means for partitions to project truly onto reality. We continue by classifying well-formed (...) partitions along three axes: (a) degree of correspondence between partition cells and objects in reality; (b) degree to which a partition represents the mereological structure of the domain it is projected onto; and (c) degree of completeness and exhaustiveness with which a partition represents reality. This classification is used to characterize three types of partitions that play an important role in spatial information science: cadastral partitions, categorical coverages, and the partitions involved in folk categorizations of the geospatial domain. (shrink)
Logical Empiricism is commonly regarded as uninterested in, if not hostile to sociological investigations of science. This paper reconstructs the views of Otto Neurath and Philipp Frank on the legitimacy and relevance of sociological investigations of theory choice. It is argued that while there obtains a surprising degree of convergence between their programmatic pronouncements and the Strong Programme, the two types of project nevertheless remain distinct. The key to this differences lies in the different assessment of a supposed dilemma facing (...) post-Mertonian sociologists of science. (shrink)