Social impact investing is transforming the availability of private capital for nonprofits and social enterprises, but demand is not yet meeting supply. This paper analyzes the perceived barriers faced by nonprofits in engaging with SII, arguing the need to assess differences using a policy field framework. Four parameters of a subsector are conceptualized as shaping participation in SII: the scale of investment required, embeddedness in place, the need for radical innovation, and the configuration of intermediaries. Based on 25 interviews with (...) leaders of nonprofits and intermediaries in affordable housing and community economic development in Canada, the study finds that significant barriers are a lack of knowledge of the market, inadequate financial literacy, and the challenges of measuring and valuing social impacts. In addition, nonprofits report that, in spite of the inherent importance of social impact in this form of investing, they currently make limited use of evaluation and impact metrics, and perceive that intermediaries and investors, particularly in affordable housing, still put a greater emphasis on financial over social returns. (shrink)
Social contract theory offers a powerful method and metaphor for the study of organizational ethics. This paper considers the variant of the social contract that has arguably gained the most attention among business ethicists: integrative social contracts theory or ISCT [Donaldson and Dunfee: 1999, Ties That Bind (Harvard Business School Press, Boston)]. A core precept of ISCT - that consent to membership in an organization entails obligations to follow the norms of that organization, subject to the moral minimums of basic (...) human rights - is a reasonable and appealing notion. One potential challenge for those attempting to apply this idea, however, lies in the dynamic nature of social norms. Organizational norms evolve, often through the conscious efforts of community members and leaders. As currently formulated, ISCT offers a framework that under-appreciates the evolving nature of moral norms. In this paper, we extend ISCT by considering the circumstances under which the terms of and parties to social contracts change. We also consider a number of principles that should be considered as the terms and parties to organizational social contracts change. (shrink)
Social contract theory offers a powerful method and metaphor for the study of organizational ethics. This paper considers the variant of the social contract that has arguably gained the most attention among business ethicists: integrative social contracts theory or ISCT [Donaldson and Dunfee: 1999, Ties That Bind ]. A core precept of ISCT - that consent to membership in an organization entails obligations to follow the norms of that organization, subject to the moral minimums of basic human rights - is (...) a reasonable and appealing notion. One potential challenge for those attempting to apply this idea, however, lies in the dynamic nature of social norms. Organizational norms evolve, often through the conscious efforts of community members and leaders. As currently formulated, ISCT offers a framework that under-appreciates the evolving nature of moral norms. In this paper, we extend ISCT by considering the circumstances under which the terms of and parties to social contracts change. We also consider a number of principles that should be considered as the terms and parties to organizational social contracts change. (shrink)
Ad hominem arguments are generally dismissed on the grounds that they are not attempts to engage in rational discourse, but are rather aimed at undermining argument by diverting attention from claims made to assessments of character of persons making claims. The manner of this dismissal however is based upon an unlikely paradigm of rationality: it is based upon the presumption that our intellectual capacities are not as limited as in fact they are, and do not vary as much as they (...) do between rational people. When we understand rationality in terms of intellectual virtues, however, which recognize these limitations and provide for the complexity of our thinking, ad hominem considerations can sometimes be relevant to assessing arguments. (shrink)
There is a well-known remark in Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations which even some philosophers sympathetic to his work have found very hard to accept. It reads: Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundation either. It leaves everything as it is. Surely, it is said, that is carrying matters too far. Wittgenstein's hyperbole should be excused as a harmless stylistic flourish.
Many analyses of belief in the soul ignore the soul in the words. Dislocations of concepts occur when words are divorced from their normal implications. The ‘soul’ is sometimes the dislocated utterer of such words. Pictures, including pictures of the soul leaving the body, may mislead us by suggesting applications which they, in fact, do not have. But pictures of the soul may enter people's lives as desires for a temporal eternity. Contrasting conceptions of immortality and eternal life depend on (...) a willingness to say farewell to life. Atheistic denials of temporal eternities, do not appreciate these other possibilities. (shrink)
In a series of lectures on minds and persons, I am going to take advantage of the occasion to ask what kind of person should one be if one has a philosophical mind. I ask the question because it is itself a philosophically contentious issue. Indeed, I shall be offering answers in a climate which is generally hostile to them. I want to aise the issue in three contexts: first, in relation to questions which have been treated epistemologically, but which (...) I think belong to logic; second in relation to miracles; and third in relation to moral convictions. I shall spend most of my time on the first context. (shrink)
Is experiential evidence irrelevant to acceptance or rejection of belief in the existence of a Divine Being? Charles Hartshorne answers that it is indeed irrelevant, and this answer has an initial and, for me, continuing surprising ring to it. Specifically, Hartshorne makes two distinguishable claims: the traditional allegedly a posteriori arguments, the teleological and cosmological, are in fact incompatible with empiricist methodology and are disguised ontological arguments; the conception of God as necessary being demands that belief in such a being's (...) existence or non-existence in no way depend upon empirical evidence. On the contrary, I shall argue, first, that empirical evidence for God is truly empirical and second, that there is no incompatibility between empirical evidence and necessary existence. My argument will involve an attempt to understand and clarify somewhat the very difficult concepts of ‘experience’ and ‘necessity’ as they arise in the context of religious epistemology. I wish to make clear at the outset that my aim is not to eliminate ontological arguments for God in favour of empirical arguments, for I believe that Hartshorne's work on the modal ontological argument contributes substantially to providing grounds for reasonable belief in theism. Rather, my purpose is to show that ontological and empirical patterns of theistic argumentation are neither incompatible with each other nor reducible to each other. (shrink)
In approaching the topic, ‘Objectivity and Cultural Divergence’, there is little doubt that certain styles of philosophizing will conceive of the task confronting them as that of devising or at least calling attention to standards of rationality by which distinctions between objectivity and divergence are to be drawn. This mode of philosophizing is marked by the confidence it has in its own methods. It seldom occurs to it to question its own operations; to ask whether the heterogeneity of our culture (...) does not itself create difficulties for the practice of philosophy. It is to such questionings as these, however, that I want to direct attention in this lecture. (shrink)
Of all the kinds of arguments that philosophers use to support their conclusions, the one type that I find personally to stick longest and most vividly in my mind is the verbal pictures they occasionally draw. Whether this is a result of the fact that I myself think best in pictorial terms or, as I would rather like to believe, is a tribute to the verbal artistry of the writers themselves, it remains true that, for me, the history of philosophy (...) is punctuated with pictures, some pleasing and others perplexing. I need hardly mention Plato; with the Allegory of the Cave, the Myth of Er, the Charioteer of the Soul, and countless others he is beyond question the supreme master of the art. But other examples easily come to mind. I see Descartes seated in solitude before the fire in his dressing gown, suddenly to be surprised by a malignant demon, who appears at his shoulder to whisper insinuatingly into his ear that 2 plus 2 does not equal 4 at all. Or William James on a camping trip with friends trying to decide whether one of their number who keeps circling a tree on which a squirrel clings - and in turn circles the tree at equal speed, keeping the tree between him and his tormenter and never permitting the latter to get into a position behind his back - does or does not circle the squirrel, as he undoubtedly does circle the tree to which the squirrel clings. Or, I see G. E. Moore - and it is this picture that gives rise to the present paper - carefully contemplating two complete, independent, and quite different worlds, trying to decide which of the two is intrinsically better than the other. (shrink)
It has been said that the tendency to make use of examples drawn from literature in discussing problems in moral philosophy is not only dangerous, but needless. Dangers there certainly are, but these have little to do with the reasons offered for the needlessness of such examples. Examples drawn from literature, it is said, introduce an unnecessary complexity into one's philosophising. Indeed, as Peter Winch has pointed out, according to ‘a fairly well-established … tradition in recent Anglo-Saxon moral philosophy … (...) it is not merely permissible, but desirable, to take trivial examples. The rationale of this view is that such examples do not generate the emotion which is liable to surround more serious cases and thus enable us to look more coolly at the logical issues involved’, and it carries the implication that ‘moral concerns can be examined quite apart from any consideration of what it is about these concerns which makes them important to us’. (shrink)
In his 1950 Marett Lecture, Professor Evans-Pritchard gave an account of important methodological developments which had taken place in social anthropology. I should like to use the occasion to concentrate on some of the deep contemporary divisions in another subject which interested R. R. Marett, namely, the philosophy of religion. I shall do so, however, by reference to some of the methodological issues which concerned Evans-Pritchard.
In his paper, ‘The Aroma of Coffee’, H. O. Mounce wants to expose what he takes to be a deep prejudice in philosophy, one which is at work in our culture more generally. Philosophers are reluctant to admit that there is anything which passes beyond human understanding. Of course, they are quite ready to admit that there are plenty of things that they fail to understand but this they would say simply happens to be the case. It does not mean (...) that what they fail to understand is something which is beyond human understanding. Thus even when they fail to understand something, that ‘something’ remains, in principle, within the reach of their understanding. For Mounce this prejudice flies in the face of what is platitudinously obvious: that there is much that passes beyond human understanding. (shrink)
Drawing on philosophical thought from the eighteenth century as well as conceptual frameworks developed in the twenty-first century, the essays in Beyond Sense and Sensibility examine moral formation as represented in or implicitly produced by literary works of late eighteenth-century British authors.
When surveying the scholarly literature over Wittgensteinian fideism, it is easy to get the sense that the principal interlocutors, Kai Nielsen and D.Z. Phillips, talk past one another, but finding the right words for appraising the distance between the two voices is difficult. In this paper, I seek to appreciate this intellectual distance through an exploration of the varying philosophical aims of Nielsen and Phillips, of the different intellectual imperatives that guide their respective conceptions of philosophical practice. In (...) so doing, I seek to show how a contemplative mode in philosophy may be used to appraise a philosophical dispute and the terms of disagreement. In this case, a contemplative approach to understanding the dispute would frame Nielsen’s and Phillips’ contributions against the backdrop of the ends they conceive philosophy to have. (shrink)
Phillip Johnson claims that Creationism is a better explanation of the existence and characteristics of biological species than is evolutionary theory. He argues that the only reason biologists do not recognize that Creationist's negative arguments against Darwinism have proven this is that they are wedded to a biased ideological philosophy —Naturalism — which dogmatically denies the possibility of an intervening creative god. However,Johnson fails to distinguish Ontological Naturalism from Methodological Naturalism. Science makes use of the latter and I (...) show how it is not dogmatic but follows from sound requirements for empirical evidential testing. Furthermore, Johnson has no serious alternative type of positive evidence to offer for Creationism, and purely negative argumentation, despite his attempt to legitimate it, will not suffice. (shrink)
David Phillips’s Sidgwickian Ethics is a penetrating contribution to the scholarly and philosophical understanding of Henry Sidgwick’s The Methods of Ethics. This note focuses on Phillips’s understanding of (aspects of) Sidgwick’s argument for utilitarianism and the moral epistemology to which he subscribes. In § I, I briefly outline the basic features of the argument that Sidgwick provides for utilitarianism, noting some disagreements with Phillips along the way. In § II, I raise some objections to Phillips’s account (...) of the epistemology underlying the argument. In § III, I reply to the claim that there is a puzzle at the heart of Sidgwick’s epistemology. In § IV, I respond to Phillips’s claim that Sidgwick is unfair in his argument against the (deontological) morality of common sense. (shrink)
In a recent article, David Kyle Johnson has claimed to have provided a ‘refutation’ of skeptical theism. Johnson’s refutation raises several interesting issues. But in this note, I focus on only one—an implicit principle Johnson uses in his refutation to update probabilities after receiving new evidence. I argue that this principle is false. Consequently, Johnson’s refutation, as it currently stands, is undermined.
Ralph Johnson's Manifest Rationality (2000) is a major contribution to the field of informal logic, but the concept of argument that is central to its project suffers from a tension between the components that comprise it. This paper explores and addresses that tension by examining the implications of each of five aspects of the definition of ‘argument’.
This article is a discussion of Ralph Johnson’s concept of practice of argumentation. Such practice is characterized by three properties: (1) It is teleological, (2) it is dialectical, and (3) it is manifestly rational. I argue that Johnson’s preferred definition of practice—which is Alasdair MacIntyre’s concept of practice as a human activity with internal goods accessible through partcipation in that same activity—does not fit these properties or features. I also suggest that this failure should not require Johnson (...) to adjust the properties to make them fit the practice concept. While MacIntyre’s concept of practice clearly has some attractive features, it does not provide what Johnson wants from a concept of practice. (shrink)
It is widely held that the logical problem of evil, which alleges an inconsistency between the existence of evil and that of an omnipotent and morally perfect God, has been solved. D. Z. Phillips thinks this is a mistake. In The Problem of Evil and the Problem of God, he argues that, within the generally assumed framework, “neither the proposition ’God is omnipotent’ nor the proposition ‘God is perfectly good’ can get off the ground.” Thus, the problem of evil (...) leads to the problem of God. Phillips goes on to provide an alternative response to the problem of evil, expounded by means of his Wittgensteinian analyses of various concepts drawn from the Christian tradition. I argue that his criticisms of the traditional conception of God either fail outright or are at best inconclusive. I also point out that the religious concepts analyzed by Phillips are not and cannot be the same concepts as those employed in the Christian tradition from which they are supposedly drawn. For the concepts as traditionally employed presuppose the actual existence and activity of precisely the sort of being that, according to Phillips, “God cannot be.”. (shrink)
Today, DIY -- do-it-yourself -- describes more than self-taught carpentry. Social media enables DIY citizens to organize and protest in new ways and to repurpose corporate content in order to offer political counternarratives. This book examines the usefulness and limits of DIY citizenship, exploring the diverse forms of political participation and "critical making" that have emerged in recent years. The authors and artists in this collection describe DIY citizens whose activities range from activist fan blogging and video production to knitting (...) and the creation of community gardens. Contributors examine DIY activism, describing new modes of civic engagement that include Harry Potter fan activism and the activities of the Yes Men. They consider DIY making in learning, culture, hacking, and the arts, including do-it-yourself media production and collaborative documentary making. They discuss DIY and design and how citizens can unlock the black box of technological infrastructures to engage and innovate open and participatory critical making. And they explore DIY and media, describing activists' efforts to remake and reimagine media and the public sphere. As these chapters make clear, DIY is characterized by its emphasis on "doing" and making rather than passive consumption. DIY citizens assume active roles as interventionists, makers, hackers, modders, and tinkerers, in pursuit of new forms of engaged and participatory democracy. _Contributors_Mike Ananny, Chris Atton, Alexandra Bal, Megan Boler, Catherine Burwell, Red Chidgey, Andrew Clement, Negin Dahya, Suzanne de Castell, Carl DiSalvo, Kevin Driscoll, Christina Dunbar-Hester, Joseph Ferenbok, Stephanie Fisher, Miki Foster, Stephen Gilbert, Henry Jenkins, Jennifer Jenson, Yasmin B. Kafai, Ann Light, Steve Mann, Joel McKim, Brenda McPhail, Owen McSwiney, Joshua McVeigh-Schultz, Graham Meikle, Emily Rose Michaud, Kate Milberry, Michael Murphy, Jason Nolan, Kate Orton-Johnson, Kylie A. Peppler, David J. Phillips, Karen Pollock, Matt Ratto, Ian Reilly, Rosa Reitsamer, Mandy Rose, Daniela K. Rosner, Yukari Seko, Karen Louise Smith, Lana Swartz, Alex Tichine, Jennette Weber, Elke Zobl. (shrink)
This paper responds to two aspects of Ralph Johnson's Manifest Rationality (2000). The first is his critique of deductivism. The second is his failure to make room for some species of argument (e.g., visual and kisceral arguments) proposed by recent commentators. In the first case, Johnson holds that argumentation theorists have adopted a notion of argument which is too narrow. In the second, that they have adopted one which is too broad. I discuss the case Johnson makes (...) for both claims, and possible objections to his analysis. (shrink)
As an illustration of what Phillips called the "heterogeneity of sense," this essay concentrates on differences in what is meant by a "reason for belief." Sometimes saying that a belief is reasonable simply commends the belief's unquestioned acceptance as a part of what we understand as a sensible outlook. Here the standard picture of justifying truth claims on evidential grounds breaks down; and it also breaks down in cases of fundamental moral and religious disagreement, where the basic beliefs that (...) we hold affect our conception of what counts as a reliable ground of judgment. Phillips accepts the resultant variations in our conceptions of rational judgment as a part of logic, just as Wittgenstein did. All objective means of determining the truth or falsity of an assertion presume some underlying conceptual agreement about what counts as good judgment. This means that the possibility of objective justification is limited. But no pernicious relativism results from this view, for as Wittgenstein said, "After reason comes persuasion." There is, moreover, a non-objective criterion of sorts in the moral and religious requirement that one be able to live with one's commitments. In such cases, good judgment is still possible, but it differs markedly from the standard model of making rational inferences. (shrink)
D. Z. Phillips is widely assumed to have held that Christian immortality has no reality outside of language. The author challenges that assumption, demonstrating that Phillips wished to show that contemporary analytic philosophy distorts the reality that immortality has for believers. While most philosophical accounts of Christian immortality depend upon terms that have little religious significance, Phillips offered accounts that stress the centrality of that significance. The author gives an account of the sort of philosophical attention that (...)Phillips gave to Christian immortality and demonstrates Phillips’ lament for both the lack of this sort of attention in contemporary philosophy as well as the loss of certain ways of living that exemplify a belief in eternal life with God. (shrink)
This paper critically discusses D. Z. Phillips’ use of literary works as a resource for philosophical reflection on religion. Beginning by noting Phillips’ suggestion, made in relation to Waiting for Godot , that the possibilities of meaning that we see in a literary work can reveal something of our own religious sensibility, I then proceed to show what we learn about Phillips from his readings of certain works by Larkin, Tennyson, and Wharton. Through exploring alternative possible readings, (...) I argue that, although Phillips’ discussions are of considerable philosophical interest, they undermine his claim to be deploying a purely contemplative hermeneutical method. (shrink)