Is it morally acceptable to use human embryos left over from fertility treatments in research that would harm or destroy them? Many answer "no" to this question on the grounds that all human beings, including human embryos, have a basic moral status that forbids such use. There are some, though, who accept this claim about the basic moral status of human embryos but who believe nevertheless that frozen human embryos which were generated for fertility treatments but which are no longer (...) wanted for that project are a morally acceptable source of human embryonic stem cells and are acceptable subjects of other forms of research that would destroy them in course. The reasoning offered in defense of this position typically employs the claim that since these embryos are going to be discarded anyway, their possibly fruitful use by researchers is a preferable alternative and one that is not inconsistent with their basic moral status. Howard Curzer has offered a well-developed argument of this sort, defending the use of these embryos in the ways mentioned while at the same time allowing for their equal basic moral status. This article challenges Curzer’s case and offers reasons to reject the moral acceptability of using even these to-be-discarded embryos as research material. (shrink)
During the last forty years, the Aboriginal peoples of the Americas, of the British Commonwealth, and of other countries colonized by Europeans over the last five hundred years have demanded that their forms of property and government be recognized in international law and in the constitutional law of their countries. This broad movement of 250 million Aboriginal people has involved court cases, parliamentary politics, constitutional amendments, the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, the development of an international law of (...) Aboriginal peoples, and countless nonviolent and violent actions in defense of Aboriginal systems of property and cultures. The Aboriginal peoples of New Zealand, Canada, and the United States have been at the forefront of the movement, and it is in these countries that the greatest legal recognition has been achieved. (shrink)
G. E. Moore's ‘A Defence of Common Sense’ has generated the kind of interest and contrariety which often accompany what is new, provocative, and even important in philosophy. Moore himself reportedly agreed with Wittgenstein's estimate that this was his best article, while C. D. Broad has lamented its very great but largely unfortunate influence. Although the essay inspired Wittgenstein to explore the basis of Moore's claim to know many propositions of common sense to be true, A. J. Ayer judges its (...) enduring value to lie in provoking a more sophisticated conception of the very type of metaphysics which disputes any such unqualified claim of certainty. (shrink)
Timothy Knepper’s book is divided into two parts, the first and more critical of which seeks to uncover the limits and weaknesses of analytic and continental philosophy of religion, while the second and more constructive section seeks to develop an alternative and more fruitful way of practising philosophy of religion, “one that is historically grounded and religiously diverse” (p. xiii). Much of the impetus behind the book derives from feelings of dismay and dissatisfaction, familiar especially to religious studies scholars, (...) over the fact that “philosophy of religion often takes as its primary object of inquiry either ahistorical theism or postmodern philosophy, not the religions of the world in their historical complexity and cultural diversity” (p. ix). I found this to be a clear, well-argued and often provocative book, but also one flawed in some respects in its attempt to renew and reconceive the philosophy of religion.The starting-point of Chapter 1 (The End and Ends of Philosoph. (shrink)
A general method for constructing a new class of topological Ramsey spaces is presented. Members of such spaces are infinite sequences of products of Fraïssé classes of finite relational structures satisfying the Ramsey property. The Product Ramsey Theorem of Sokič is extended to equivalence relations for finite products of structures from Fraïssé classes of finite relational structures satisfying the Ramsey property and the Order-Prescribed Free Amalgamation Property. This is essential to proving Ramsey-classification theorems for equivalence relations on fronts, generalizing the (...) Pudlák–Rödl Theorem to this class of topological Ramsey spaces. To each topological Ramsey space in this framework corresponds an associated ultrafilter satisfying some weak partition property. By using the correct Fraïssé classes, we construct topological Ramsey spaces which are dense in the partial orders of Baumgartner and Taylor generating p-points which are k-arrow but not \-arrow, and in a partial order of Blass producing a diamond shape in the Rudin-Keisler structure of p-points. Any space in our framework in which blocks are products of n many structures produces ultrafilters with initial Tukey structure exactly the Boolean algebra \\). If the number of Fraïssé classes on each block grows without bound, then the Tukey types of the p-points below the space’s associated ultrafilter have the structure exactly \. In contrast, the set of isomorphism types of any product of finitely many Fraïssé classes of finite relational structures satisfying the Ramsey property and the OPFAP, partially ordered by embedding, is realized as the initial Rudin-Keisler structure of some p-point generated by a space constructed from our template. (shrink)
American weird fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft and British science fiction writer Olaf Stapledon are antithetical in many ways, from their educational experiences to their politics, yet both imagined alien societies as utopias whose order, stability, and destiny are predicated on the eugenically altered physiologies of their citizens. While Stapledon’s focus on eugenics as a key means for achieving planetary utopia during the interwar period is well known, Lovecraft’s worldview is generally understood to be dysgenic and dystopian in its obsession (...) with perceived threats of racial degeneration and cultural decadence. Nevertheless, Lovecraft’s most extensive and sympathetic depiction of an... (shrink)
Timothy Raylor's book constitutes a major advance in understanding Thomas Hobbes's thought in several dimensions: of course, in philosophy and rhetoric, as his title indicates, but also in Hobbes's views of history, science, and civic humanism. Raylor's scholarship is of the highest order; and his judgment about texts, Hobbes's and others', is acute. His book should be as important to historians of philosophy as to rhetoricians and intellectual historians. Placing "Philosophy" and "Rhetoric" before Hobbes's name in the title is (...) appropriate because it is the interplay between conceptions of philosophy and rhetoric in the early seventeenth century that Raylor explores, with special attention to Hobbes. At one time... (shrink)
Lots of folks nowadays think there is an intimate connection between what we assert and what we know. Talk of this connection is largely oriented around Timothy Williamson’s claim that you shouldn’t assert p unless you know p. Hereafter, I will treat this claim as follows: -/- (KNA) Don’t assert that p unless so asserting expresses your knowledge that p. -/- (KNA) is for “Knowledge Norm of Assertion”. -/- A primary aim here is to defend the KNA. However, getting (...) in the best position to do so requires attention to an older strain in the discussion of how knowledge and assertion are interrelated. This older strain is oriented less around explicit norms of assertion, and more around what assertion does. Said G.E. Moore, “by asserting p positively you imply, though you don’t assert, that you know that p” (1962: 277). Peter Unger put it this way: “If someone asserts, states, or declares that something is so, then it follows that he represents himself as knowing that it is so” (1975: 253). I will abbreviate this claim as -/- (ARK) Asserting that p represents the speaker as knowing that p. -/- (ARK) for “Assertion Represents Knowledge”. -/- The central contention of this paper is this: if ARK is true, we should accept the KNA too. S shouldn’t assert that p unless p expresses S’s knowledge because, given ARK, when S asserts that p, S gives her interlocutors entitlement to infer that S knows that p. An assertion that p that does not express knowledge that p is thus defective, however blameless or praiseworthy it may be for other reasons. (As we’ll see, you can accomplish noble, worthy things through infelicitous assertions.) The argument will proceed as follows. §1 musters some of the best evidence for thinking that ARK is true. Some of this evidence is re-appropriated from arguments for the KNA; yet more is extracted from proposed counterexamples to the KNA that (plausibly) apply ARK. §2 builds on Ishani Maitra’s (2011) treatment of constitutive rules to make the case for treating ARK, rather than the KNA, as the constitutive rule of assertion. §3 builds on the results of the previous sections to show the advantages of a KNA grounded in ARK. (shrink)
Suppose \ is a computable real. We extend previous work of Clanin, Stull, and McNicholl by determining the degrees of categoricity of the separable \ spaces whose underlying measure spaces are atomic but not purely atomic. In addition, we ascertain the complexity of associated projection maps.
In this preliminary volume of the forthcoming edition of Richard Fishacre’s opus magnum, his Commentary on the Sentences, Professor Long and Dr. O’Carroll review in an informative and engaging manner Fishacre’s life and writings. Composed of five chapters supported by a substantial bibliography and graced with an appendix, the volume treats successively Fishacre’s life, painstakingly reconstructed from local archival, episcopal, and royal records, the range of his writings, the scope of the Sentences in particular, and the manuscripts in which that (...) work is preserved as well as the general editorial principles for the edition. (shrink)
The KK-principle can be defined as follows: “For any subject x : if x knows that p, then she is always in a position to know that she knows that p ”. This principle has been widely accepted in the history of philosophy. However, in contemporary epistemology it is considered controversial and regarded as an important part of the debate concerning the nature of knowledge. One of the arguments against the KK-principle has been presented by Timothy Williamson and it (...) involves the so-called “safety principle”. In this paper, I argue against this account. My argument consists of two parts: in the first part, it is argued that the safety principle presented by Williamson contradicts Dretske’s account of knowledge. In the second part, I claim that the safety principle, as defined by Williamson, is not precise enough, which enables one to argue that it does not contradict the KK-principle. (shrink)
Readers are invited to contact Greg S. Loeben in writing at Midwestern University, Glendale Campus, Bioethics Program, 19555 N. 59th Ave., Glendale, AZ 85308 regarding books they would like to see reviewed or books they are interested in reviewing.