This paper examines ethical, legal and economic dimensions of the decision facing employers regarding whether it is appropriate to monitor the electronic mail (e-mail) communications of its employees. We review the question of whether such monitoring is lawful. Recent e-mail monitoring cases are viewed as a progression from cases involving more established technologies (i.e., phone calls, internal memoranda, faxes and voice mail).The central focus of the paper is on the extent to which employer monitoring of employee e-mail presents a structure (...) of costs and benefits to the employer which are unlikely to make such a practice profitable or practical to the employer. The practice of employer monitoring to detect illicit employee behavior (e.g., fraud, harassment of fellow employees, industrial espionage) is considered. (shrink)
The air pollution generated by motor vehicles and by static sources is, in certain geographic areas, a very serious problem, a problem that exists because of a failure of the marketplace. To address this marketplace failure, the State of California has mandated that by 2003, 10% of the Light-Duty Vehicle Fleet (LDV) be composed of Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEVs). However, the policy-making process that was utilized to generate the ZEV mandate was problematic and the resulting ZEV mandate is economically unsound. Moreover, (...) an ethical analysis, based primarily upon the work of John Rawls, suggests that implementation of the California ZEV mandate is—in spite of the wide latitude that ought to be given to policy decision makers—unethical. A more ethical and economically efficient approach to the pollution caused by marketplace failure is one that relies on market incentives and thereby achieves the desired improvement in air quality by appealing both to the self-interest of motorists and to those businesses that are directly or indirectly involved with the automobile industry. Such an approach would take better advantage of the creative forces of the market and improvements in technology over time and avoid the infringements on individual liberty and fairness embodied in the ZEV mandate. (shrink)
Emotion has long been recognized in sociology as crucially important, but most references to it are generalized and vague. In this essay, I nominate shame, specifically, as the premier social emotion. First I review the individualized treatment of shame in psychoanalysis and psychology, and the absence of social context. Then I consider the contributions to the social dimensions of shame by six sociologists (Georg Simmel, Charles Cooley, Norbert Elias, Richard Sennett, Helen Lynd, Erving Goffman) and a psychologist/psychoanalyst (Helen Lewis). I (...) show that Cooley and Lynd, particularly, made contributions to a theory of shame and the social bond. Lewis's idea that shame arises from threats to the bond integrates the contributions of all six sociologists, and points toward future research on emotion, conflict, and alienation/integration. (shrink)
Anyone who admits the existence of composite objects allows a certain kind of coincidence, coincidence of a thing with its parts. I argue here that a similar sort of coincidence, coincidence of a thing with the stuff that constitutes it, should be equally acceptable. Acknowledgement of this is enough to solve the traditional problem of the coincidence of a statue and the clay or bronze it is made of. In support of this, I offer some principles for the persistence of (...) stuff that are general, not relying on the particular features of a kind of stuff in the way that principles for the persistence for a thing would. This provides a non-arbitrary grounding for stuff that is independent of the conditions on the nature and persistence of things the stuff composes. The principles also provide a general basis for responding to other questions about coincident stuff. (shrink)
The paper discusses some aspects of the relationship between Feyerabend and Kuhn. First, some biographical remarks concerning their connections are made. Second, four characteristics of Feyerabend and Kuhn's concept of incommensurability are discussed. Third, Feyerabend's general criticism of Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions is reconstructed. Fourth and more specifically, Feyerabend's criticism of Kuhn's evaluation of normal science is critically investigated. Finally, Feyerabend's re-evaluation of Kuhn's philosophy towards the end of his life is presented.
Amongst Kant's lesser known early writings is a short treatise with the curious title Dreams of a Spirit-Seer Explained by Dreams of Metaphysics , in which, with considerable acumen and brilliance, and not a little irony, Kant exposes the empty pretensions of his contemporary, the Swedish visionary and Biblical exegete, Emanuel Swedenborg, to have access to a spirit world, denied other mortals. Despite his efforts, it must be feared, however, that Kant did not, alas, succeed in laying the spirit of (...) Swedenborg himself to rest once and for all, for there has arisen in our own day, and within philosophy itself, a movement of thought, if such it can be called, which, like that of Swedenborg, is founded upon an unbridled and unhealthy exercise of the imagination, and apparently believes that philosophical problems can be discussed and resolved by the elaboration of fantastical, and at times repulsive, examples; if we require a name for this contemporary pretence at philosophy, we could take as our model the Italian word for science fiction, fantascienza , and call it ‘fantaphilosophy’: it is my aim to show that this fantaphilosophy is a phantom philosophy. (shrink)
Students of culture have been increasingly concerned with the ways in which cultural values are 'inscribed' on the body. These essays go beyond this passive construal of the body to a position in which embodiment is understood as the existential condition of cultural life. From this standpoint embodiment is reducible neither to representations of the body, to the body as an objectification of power, to the body as a physical entity or biological organism, nor to the body as an inalienable (...) centre of individual consciousness. This more sensate and dynamic view is applied by the contributors to a variety of topics, including the expression of emotion, the experience of pain, ritual healing, dietary customs, and political violence. Their purpose is to contribute to a phenomenological theory of culture and self - an anthropology that is not merely about the body, but from the body. (shrink)
The essay shows how Heidegger's understanding of physis in Aristotle lays the foundation for his understanding of Ereignis. The essay draws on Heidegger's lecture courses, published and unpublished, particularly "On the Being and Conception of Physis." After introductory remarks on how Heidegger reads Aristotle "phenomenologically" in general, the essay focuses on how Heidegger reads physis as a mode of Being by reading kinesis as a mode of Being, specifically as energeia ateles. But energeia ateles is characterized by Heidegger as Wiederholung (...) and as Eignung. On the basis of that crucial reading of physis, the essay goes on to show how physis-as-dynamis is the foundation for Ereignis in Sein und Zeit through the radical transformation of Wiederholung in natural beings into resolve in Dasein. (shrink)
This article proposes that Goffman's "Frame Analysis" can be interpreted as a step toward unpacking the idea of context. His analysis implies a recursive model involving frames within frames. The key problem is that neither Goffman nor anyone else has clearly defined what is meant by a frame. I propose that it can be represented by a word, phrase, or proposition. A subjective context can be represented as an assembly of these items, joined together by operators such as and, since, (...) if, not, and then. Furthermore, this model can be combined with the recursive levels of mutual awareness in earlier approaches to consensus. The combination would represent the inter subjective context: it can be used to find the minimum amount of background that would allow consensual interpretations of discourse. It could also construct a chain that links discourse to the institutional level, the micro-macro pathway from word and gesture to social structure. Goffman hinted that mathematical notation might be used to represent a frame assembly. By adding levels of awareness to such notation, it could represent social facts. Because the use of vernacular words rather than concepts is a problem in social science, Goffman's approach has a general as well as a particular significance. (shrink)
In critical care medicine, teaching and mentoring practices are extremely important in regard to attracting and retaining young trainees and faculty in this important subspecialty that has a scarcity of needed personnel in the USA. To this end, we argue that Foucault’s Technologies of the Self is critical background reading when endeavoring to effect the positive transformation of faculty into effective teachers and mentors.
Content analysis of three chapters of Jamison’s memoir, An Unquiet Mind, shows that depression, mania, and Bipolar Disorder have a common metaphoric core as a sequential process of suffering and adversity that is a form of malevolence and destruction. Depression was down and in, while mania was up, in and distant, circular and zigzag, a powerful force of quickness and motion, fieriness, strangeness, seduction, expansive extravagance, and acuity. Bipolar Disorder is down and away and a sequential and cyclical process that (...) partakes of the metaphors of its component moods. We conclude that metaphors of mood disorders share a number of structural features and are consistent across different authors. (shrink)
A great deal of modern Protestant theology looks very much like an attempt to conduct a salvage operation which is designed to make clear how it is possible to retain belief in Jesus Christ, and at the same time remain intellectually honest. For the same sceptical challenge which faces the secular historian also faces the theologian. If Christians are correct in arguing that the locus of God's revelation to man is in Jesus of Nazareth, then in order to know about (...) this supposed revelation, it is necessary to know about a period of time in the past; it is necessary to know the history of the man's life and actions. Theologians are therefore faced with the question: how, if at all, is it possible to bridge the logical gap between statements describing what Jesus of Nazareth said and did, and statements describing the evidence for what Jesus of Nazareth said and did. The solution found to this question by theologians tends to be determined by their conscious and unconscious philosophical presuppositions; just as it did in the examples discussed above of secular critical philosophies of history. (shrink)
There are doubtless many with personal experience of suffering, or of comforting others in distress, who would agree with Milton thus far that philosophic argument is powerless to satisfy those who in their anguish ask the question ‘Why did it happen to me?’ Yet to think so is to underestimate both the necessity and the power of reason: clarity of mind and the disposition to argue are commonly enhanced rather than diminished by suffering; and if reason is an essential part (...) of man's nature, it should serve him, if anywhere, in the trials of life. We have every justification, therefore, despite common opinion, for seeking a rational answer to the question proposed. It must, however, be admitted at the outset that there is no direct answer to the question which can both withstand critical scrutiny and bring genuine comfort to the afflicted, an answer, that is, which accepts the question as it stands with its attendant presuppositions; but there is an indirect answer, which, precisely by rejecting one or more of these presuppositions and restating the question, can indeed satisfy these two requirements. Before such an answer can be outlined, however, the question in its traditional form must be examined and the traditional answers to it critically reviewed. (shrink)
In two experiments, subjects’ task was to decide whether a binocularly viewed target word was evaluatively good (e.g., fame, comedy, rescue) or bad (e.g., stress, detest, malaria) in meaning. Just prior to this target word, a priming word was presented to the nondominant eye, and masked by an immediately following presentation of a letter—fragment pattern to the dominant eye. (Masking effectiveness was demonstrated by subjects’ failure to discriminate the left vs. right position of a test series of words.) In Experiment (...) 1, which used evaluatively positive or negative words as priming stimuli, judgment latency for the evaluative decision task was facilitated by primes that agreed in evaluation with targets, and was retarded by primes that disagreed in evaluation with targets. This result demonstrated that the evaluative meaning of priming stimuli was processed under conditions that prevented subjects from detecting their presence. Primes in Experiment 2 were 2-word strings for which the evaluative meaning of individual words was orthogonal to the evaluative sentence meaning (e.g., the two evaluatively negative words, "enemy fails,“ make up an evaluatively positive sentence). Results of Experiment 2 indicated that masked priming effects were influenced by the evaluative meanings of individual words, but not by their sentence meanings. This result supported the conclusion that the processing of undetected, dichoptically masked words is limited to analyses that are not powerful enough to extract sentence meanings. (shrink)
The Ethics Code of the American Psychological Association is a bedrock of the profession. The contextual factors of society affect the Ethics Code of the APA, resulting in an ever-changing document. The context of the reorganization of the APA after World War II created an initial impetus toward a formalized code. A key contextual feature of the Code's development was the use of the Critical Incident Technique, which was based in the empirical aspirations of the psychological field. This article explores (...) the historical context around the APA's decision to draft an ethics code, reviews its development, and discusses its role for psychologists today. (shrink)
Over 45 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured. Those living in poverty exhibit the worst health status. Employment, education, income, and race are important factors in a person's ability to acquire healthcare access. Having established that there are people lacking healthcare access due to multi-factorial etiologies, the question arises as to whether the intervention necessary to assist them in obtaining such access should be considered a privilege, or a right. The right to healthcare access is examined from the perspective of (...) Western thought. Specifically through the works of Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Hobbes, Thomas Paine, Hannah Arendt, James Rawls, and Norman Daniels, which are accompanied by a contemporary example of intervention on behalf of the medically needy by the The Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute. (shrink)
In his six 1983 lectures published under the title, Fearless Speech (2001), Michel Foucault developed the theme of free speech and its relation to frankness, truth-telling, criticism, and duty. Derived from the ancient Greek word parrhesia, Foucault's analysis of free speech is relevant to the mentoring of medical students. This is especially true given the educational and social need to transform future physicians into able citizens who practice a fearless freedom of expression on behalf of their patients, the public, the (...) medical profession, and themselves in the public and political arena. In this paper, we argue that Foucault's understanding of free speech, or parrhesia, should be read as an ethical response to the American Medical Association's recent educational effort, Initiative to Transform Medical Education (ITME): Recommendations for change in the system of medical education (2007). In this document, the American Medical Association identifies gaps in medical education, emphasizing the need to enhance health system safety and quality, to improve education in training institutions, and to address the inadequacy of physician preparedness in new content areas. These gaps, and their relationship to the ITME goal of promoting excellence in patient care by implementing reform in the US system of medical education, call for a serious consideration and use of Foucault's parrhesia in the way that medical students are trained and mentored. (shrink)
In this article, I consider whether a suitably stripped-down version of Kant's aesthetic theory could nevertheless provide philosophical foundations for musical formalism. I begin by distinguishing between formalism as a view about the nature of music and formalism as an approach to music criticism, arguing that Kant's aesthetics only rules out the former. Then, using an example from the work of musicologist and composer Edward T. Cone, I isolate the characteristics of formalist music criticism. With this characterization in mind, I (...) conclude by showing that even if Kant's aesthetic theory is reduced to its most fundamental claims, the logic of formalist music criticism precludes its practice within even a kantian perspective. (shrink)
This article proposes that Goffman's Frame Analysis can be interpreted as a step toward unpacking the idea of context. His analysis implies a recursive model involving frames within frames. The key problem is that neither Goffman nor anyone else has clearly defined what is meant by a frame. I propose that it can be represented by a word, phrase, or proposition. A subjective context can be represented as an assembly of these items, joined together by operators such as and, since, (...) if, not, and then. Furthermore, this model can be combined with the recursive levels of mutual awareness in earlier approaches to consensus. The combination would represent the intersubjective context: it can be used to find the minimum amount of background that would allow consensual interpretations of discourse. It could also construct a chain that links discourse to the institutional level, the micro-macro pathway from word and gesture to social structure. Goffman hinted that mathematical notation might be used to represent a frame assembly. By adding levels of awareness to such notation, it could represent social facts. Because the use of vernacular words rather than concepts is a problem in social science, Goffman's approach has a general as well as a particular significance. (shrink)
Reflective thought (critical thinking) is essential to the medical student who hopes to become an effective physician. John Dewey, one of America's foremost educators in the early twentieth century, revolutionized critical thinking and its role in education. In the mid twentieth century Hannah Arendt provided profound insights into the problem of diminishing human agency and political freedom. Taken together, Dewey's insight regarding reflective thought, and Arendt's view of action, speech, and power in the public realm, provide mentors and teachers of (...) medical students guidance in the training of thought and the need for its effective projection at the patient's bedside and in the community. (shrink)
Thomas J.J. Altizer is one of the most important theologians of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, and all radical theology must pass through and be conversant with his work and the historical significance of his earlier contributions. This chapter presents Altizer’s essential ideas in a straightforward and accessible manner and provides a guide for the beginning reader.
This article suggests that studies of self-esteem using scales have reached a dead end, and suggest alternative directions. First we show how significance tests have obscured meager results. According to reviews, this huge body of research has yielded no substantial findings. Some sub-fields show consistent, but trivially small, effects; reviews of the entire field show none at all. Most important, the size of effects does not seem to be increasing. Three questions are raised: 1. Are new standards needed to determine (...) when to continue or stop a given line of research? 2. Are new approaches needed alternative to standardized scales and statistical tests? 3. Should future studies of self-esteem emphasize feeling and social components at least as much as cognitive components? Studies of self-esteem using interview techniques by George Brown and his colleagues suggest the need to move closer to actual data. An exploratory study that takes this direction a step further is described. We analyze social and cognitive/emotional elements second by second in discourse about topics relevant to self-appraisal and self-feeling. (shrink)
This paper critiques the standard presentation of arguments from analogy in logic textbooks and offers an alternative way of understanding them which renders them both more plausible and more easily evaluated for their strength. The typical presentation presents analogies as inductive arguments in which a set of properties, known to be shared by two logical domains, supports an inference about a further property, known to belong to one domain and inferred to belong to the target domain. But framed in these (...) terms, the strength of the argument depends entirely on the relevance of the known shared properties to the inferred shared property, meaning the argument rests on an unstated assumption. Against this view, the author maintains that arguments from analogy are figurative ways of addressing properties of the target logical domain. By comparing or contrasting two logical domains, analogies articulate a general principle which illustrates something difficult to imagine or to describe literally about the target domain. Analogies can be reformulated and evaluated as deductive arguments on this view, with their chief logical import being the inquiry they incite in students as to whether the general principle is true and sufficiently general to apply to the target domain. (shrink)
In studying logic, one learns how to establish that a conclusion follows from a set of premises. Those arguments that exhibit one of the valid forms of the deductive system under study are valid. There may be questions about what forms are exhibited by various arguments - Is this English conditional really truth-functional? Is this disjunction really inclusive? Are the English predicates used with uniform meaning? - but none of these problems undermine the claim that if an argument exhibits a (...) valid form of a system for deductive logic, then that argument is valid.When we move on to study invalidity, however, we find that the situation is not parallel. Every argument is an instance of some invalid argument forms, and we cannot say that every instance of every invalid form is invalid. (shrink)