In this article Luke Pollard examines and expounds the integrity objections to Utilitarianism. He argues for their veracity, and concludes that any ethical theory, such as Utilitarianism, which makes itself impossible for humans to follow, is not what may be considered as a.
So-called 'dynamic' semantic theories such as Kamp's discourse representation theory and Heim's file change semantics account for such phenomena as cross-sentential anaphora, donkey anaphora, and the novelty condition on indefinites, but compare unfavorably with Montague semantics in some important respects (clarity and simplicity of mathematical foundations, compositionality, handling of quantification and coordination). Preliminary efforts have been made by Muskens and by de Groote to revise and extend Montague semantics to cover dynamic phenomena. We present a new higher-order theory of discourse (...) semantics which improves on their accounts by incorporating a more articulated notion of context inspired by ideas due to David Lewis and to Craige Roberts. On our account, a context consists of a common ground of mutually accepted propositions together with a set of discourse referents preordered by relative salience. Employing a richer notion of contexts enables us to extend our coverage beyond pronominal anaphora to a wider range of presuppositional phenomena, such as the factivity of certain sentential-complement verbs, resolution of anaphora associated with arbitrarily complex definite descriptions, presupposition 'holes' such as negation, and the independence condition on the antecedents of conditionals. Formally, our theory is expressed within a higher-order logic with natural number type, separation-style subtyping, and dependent coproducts parameterized by the natural numbers. The system of semantic types builds on proposals due to Thomason and to Pollard in which the type of propositions (static meanings of sentential utterances) is taken as basic and worlds are constructed from propositions (rather than the other way around as in standard Montague semantics). (shrink)
It is well-known that feature structures can be fruitfully viewed as forming a Scott domain. Once a linguistically motivated notion of set value in feature structures is countenanced, however, this is no longer possible inasmuch as unification of set values in general fails to yield a unique result. In Pollard and Moshier 1990 it was shown that, while falling short of forming a Scott domain, the set of feature structures possibly containing set values satisfies the weaker condition of forming (...) a 2/3 SFP domain when equipped with an appropriate notion of subsumption: that is, for any finite setS of feature structures, there is a finite setM of minimal upper bounds ofS such that any upper bound ofS is approximated by a member ofM. Unfortunately, the 2/3 SFP domains are not as pleasant to work with as Scott domains since they are not closed under all the familiar domain constructions; and the question has remained open whether the feature structure domain satisfies the added condition of profiniteness. In this paper we resolve this question in the affirmative. (shrink)
Pollard, Brian The extreme difficulties in attempting to make safe euthanasia law, with an argument of treatment in case of patients who can ask for death to escape from pain and patients who are not in a position to ask, are documented. Published findings of five large inquiries into the issue show that it would not be possible to make such law without endangering the lives of some of those who did not want to die.
From time to time we explain what people do by referring to their habits. We explain somebody’s putting the kettle on in the morning as done through “force of habit”. We explain somebody’s missing a turning by saying that she carried straight on “out of habit”. And we explain somebody’s biting her nails as a manifestation of “a bad habit”. These are all examples of what will be referred to here as habit explanations. Roughly speaking, they explain by referring to (...) a pattern of a particular kind of behaviour which is regularly performed in characteristic circumstances, and has become automatic for that agent due to this repetition. (shrink)
Virtuous actions seem to be both habitual and rational. But if we combine an intuitive understanding of habituality with the currently predominant paradigm of rational action, these two features of virtuous actions are hard to reconcile. Intuitively, acting habitually is acting as one has before in similar contexts, and automatically, that is, without thinking about it. Meanwhile, contemporary philosophers tend to assume the truth of what I call the reasons theory of rational action, which states that all rational actions are (...) actions for reasons. Whilst interpretations of this phrase are disputed, I argue that neither of the two leading views – which I call reasons internalism and reasons externalism – makes room for habitual actions to count as actions for reasons; by the reasons theory, they cannot be rational either. I suggest one way of effecting the reconciliation which, whilst it allows us to keep the reasons theory, requires us to conceive of reasons as even more radically external than current externalists believe them to be. (shrink)
Continuous recordings of brain electrical activity were obtained from a group of 176 patients throughout surgical procedures using general anesthesia. Artifact-free data from the 19 electrodes of the International 10/20 System were subjected to quantitative analysis of the electroencephalogram (QEEG). Induction was variously accomplished with etomidate, propofol or thiopental. Anesthesia was maintained throughout the procedures by isoflurane, desflurane or sevoflurane (N = 68), total intravenous anesthesia using propofol (N = 49), or nitrous oxide plus narcotics (N = 59). A set (...) of QEEG measures were found which reversibly displayed high heterogeneity of variance between four states as follows: (1) during induction; (2) just after loss of consciousness (LOC); (3) just before return of consciousness (ROC); (4) just after ROC. Homogeneity of variance across all agents within states was found. Topographic statistical probability images were compared between states. At LOC, power increased in all frequency bands in the power spectrum with the exception of a decrease in gamma activity, and there was a marked anteriorization of power. Additionally, a significant change occurred in hemispheric relationships, with prefrontal and frontal regions of each hemisphere becoming more closely coupled, and anterior and posterior regions on each hemisphere, as well as homologous regions between the two hemispheres, uncoupling. All of these changes reversed upon ROC. Variable resolution electromagnetic tomography (VARETA) was performed to localize salient features of power anteriorization in three dimensions. A common set of neuroanatomical regions appeared to be the locus of the most probable generators of the observed EEG changes. (shrink)
Given the Sellarsian distinction between the space of causes and the space of reasons, the naturalist seeks to articulate how these two spaces are unproblematically related. In Mind and World (1996) John McDowell suggests that such a naturalism can be achieved by pointing out that we work our way into the space of reasons by the process of upbringing he calls Bildung. 'The resulting habits of thought and action', writes McDowell, 'are second nature' (p. 84). In this paper I expose (...) one implication of this remark, namely, that Bildung naturalism requires a conception of a type of action which is at once rational and habitual. Current orthodoxies in the philosophy of action prevent these two features from easily co-existing. Whilst various reconciliations are possible, I argue that only one keeps Bildung naturalism intact. This, however, commits the naturalist to a conception of reasons more radically external than any to be found in current literature, according to which the agent need have no conception of what her reasons are at the time of acting. This is what I call acting in the dark of reasons. One upshot for McDowell is that this conception of reasons may be in tension with some of his other claims. (shrink)
Management and non-management employees of a northeastern bank read a description of a manager who engaged in a breach of confidentiality. Subjects were asked to evaluate the acceptability of 27 excuses. Results showed that subjects' ratings of acceptability were affected by their individual perception of the severity of the stimulus manager's breach of confidentiality. Subjects' rank did not affect acceptability of accounts.
Competent speakers of natural languages can borrow reference from one another. You can arrange for your utterances of ‘Kirksville’ to refer to the same thing as my utterances of ‘Kirksville’. We can then talk about the same thing when we discuss Kirksville. In cases like this, you borrow “ aboutness ” from me by borrowing reference. Now suppose I wish to initiate a line of reasoning applicable to any prime number. I might signal my intention by saying, “Let p be (...) any prime.” In this context, I will be using the term ‘p’ to reason about the primes. Although ‘p’ helps me secure the aboutness of my discourse, it may seem wrong to say that ‘p’ refers to anything. Be that as it may, this paper explores what mathematical discourse would be like if mathematicians were able to borrow freely from one another not just the reference of terms that clearly refer, but, more generally, the sort of aboutness present in a line of reasoning leading up to a universal generalization. The paper also gives reasons for believing that aboutness of this sort really is freely transferable. A key implication will be that the concept “set of natural numbers” suffers from no mathematically significant indeterminacy that can be coherently discussed. (shrink)
In this paper I offer a critique of the view made popular by Davidson that rationalization is a species of causal explanation, and propose instead that in many cases the explanatory relation is constitutive. Given Davidson’s conception of rationalization, which allows that a huge range of states gathered under the heading ‘pro attitude’ could rationalize an action, I argue that whilst the causal thesis may have some merit for some such ‘attitudes’, it has none for others. The problematic ‘attitudes’ are (...) those which can be attributed to the agent only on the basis of her history of doing this sort of thing. In other words, they are among the agent’s habits. I argue that such temporally extended states cannot be the causes of any present occurrence. Instead, I suggest we should think of the present action as partly constituting the state in question, and give a corresponding interpretation of the explanatory relation. Such explanations invite us to abandon a conception of agency narrowly based on psychology, in favour of an enriched one which takes an agent’s habits to partly constitute the agent. (shrink)
• Historical: Adam Smith, Thomas Reid; Kant; Bentham and Mill • Contemporary: Normative ethics: indirect influence through Utilitarian theory; Meta-ethics: “Humean” theories of moral motivation (Smith, Blackburn), (also influences accounts of rational action in general). Non-cognitivism (Mackie, Blackburn, Gibbard).
New concepts may prove necessary to profit from the avalanche of sequence data on the genome, transcriptome, proteome and interactome and to relate this information to cell physiology. Here, we focus on the concept of large activity-based structures, or hyperstructures, in which a variety of types of molecules are brought together to perform a function. We review the evidence for the existence of hyperstructures responsible for the initiation of DNA replication, the sequestration of newly replicated origins of replication, cell division (...) and for metabolism. The processes responsible for hyperstructure formation include changes in enzyme affinities due to metabolite-induction, lipid-protein affinities, elevated local concentrations of proteins and their binding sites on DNA and RNA, and transertion. Experimental techniques exist that can be used to study hyperstructures and we review some of the ones less familiar to biologists. Finally, we speculate on how a variety of in silico approaches involving cellular automata and multi-agent systems could be combined to develop new concepts in the form of an Integrated cell (I-cell) which would undergo selection for growth and survival in a world of artificial microbiology. (shrink)
This note examines the mereological component of Geoffrey Hellman's most recent version of modal structuralism. There are plausible forms of agnosticism that benefit only a little from Hellman's mereological turn.
Ruling Passions is Simon Blackburn’s latest attempt to defend a theory of practical reason which he calls “expressivism”.2 In the first three chapters Blackburn outlines an account of how we should understand statements of right, good and virtue, as well as their negative counterparts (“the Ethical [or Moral] Proposition”, as he terms this amalgam). This he calls “quasi-realism”. I shall describe what this position entails in the first section. Secondly I shall consider the opposition to this view advanced by McDowell (...) (1987), who in turn takes his inspiration from Wiggins (1976a, 1976b). Finally I shall assess Blackburn’s reply to McDowell and Wiggins (found in Chapter 4 of RP), and argue that it is inadequate. (shrink)
This essay defends the following two claims: (1) liraitation-of-size reasoning yields enough sets to meet the needs of most mathematicians; (2) set formation and mereological fusion share enough logical features to justify placing both in the genus composition (even when the components of a set are taken to be its members rather than its subsets).
• Life sciences: Father was Macedonian court doctor; ¼ of surviving work on biology • Alienation: spent most of life as an exile in Athens; can’t be assumed to be naïve defender of status quo. • Plato: Worked with Plato at the Academy in Athens for 20 years; later formed the..
Tom Regan argues that human beings and some non-human animals have moral rights because they are “subjects of lives,” that is, roughly, conscious, sentient beings with an experiential welfare. A prominent critic, Carl Cohen, objects: he argues that only moral agents have rights and so animals, since they are not moral agents, lack rights. An objection to Cohen’s argument is that his theory of rights seems to imply that human beings who are not moral agents have no moral rights, but (...) since these human beings have rights, his theory of rights is false, and so he fails to show that animals lack rights. Cohen responds that this objection fails because human beings who are not moral agents nevertheless are the “kind” of beings who are moral agents and so have rights, but animals are not that “kind” of being and so lack rights. Regan argues that Cohen’s “kind” arguments fail: they fail to explain why human beings who are not moral agents have rights and they fail to show that animals lack rights. Since Cohen’s “kind” arguments are influential, I review and critique Regan’s objections . I offer suggestions for stronger responses to arguments like Cohen’s. (shrink)
For the past thirty years, the late Tom Regan bucked the trend among secular animal rights philosophers and spoke patiently and persistently to the best angels of religious ethics in a stream of publications that enjoins religious scholars, clergy, and lay people alike to rediscover the resources within their traditions for articulating and living out an animal ethics that is more consistent with their professed values of love, mercy, and justice. My aim in this article is to showcase some of (...) the wealth of insight offered in this important but under-utilized archive of Regan’s work to those of us, religious or otherwise, who wish to challenge audiences of faith to think and do better by animals. (shrink)
O artigo tenciona, primeiramente, enriquecer o estudo da função que o conceito de tom desempenha na ideia kantiana de razão, ao estendê-lo à análise da música como arte dos sons que a Crítica do Juízo contém. Em segundo lugar, propõe-se determinar os motivos pelos quais a matemática se revela incapaz, devido à especificidade do método filosófico e à corporalidade da ecepção musical, respectivamente, de expressar o modo de proceder da razão e da arte dos sons. Finalmente, aponta-se para uma semelhança (...) entre música e razão, no que diz respeito à rejeição que compartilham da queda na Schwärmerei, apesar da distância que se estabelece entre ambas enquanto duas maneiras contrárias de exercitar e fomentar a vida e o sentimento dela. (shrink)
Tom Regan's seafaring dog that is justifiably thrown out of the lifeboat built for four to save the lives of four humans has been the topic of much discussion. Critics have argued in a variety of ways that this dog nips at Regan's Achilles heel. Without reviewing previous discussions, with much of which I certainly agree, this article develops an unexplored approach to exposing the vulnerability of the position that Regan takes on sacrificing the dog to save the humans. It (...) argues that when dealing with the seafaring dog, Regan abandons his own principles, and that this is exactly what he should do. Regan should abandon his view that all subjects-of-a-life have equal inherent worth. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 117 - 134 This essay attends to both the critical and poetic work of David Pollard. In so doing, it not only engages the works themselves, but also allows the contours of such an engagement to manifest themselves, both with regards to the works at hand and more broadly. What does reading and thinking with Pollard give us to experience about reading and thinking as such?
Many corporate managers are increasingly looking to the covenant model for inspiration, guidance, and most of all, practical business wisdom. While some managers seemingly exploit the religiously inspired language of covenant for purely self-interested reasons, other managers and executives like Tom Chappell of Tom''s of Maine, Max De Pree of Herman Miller, Aaron Feurstein of Malden Mills, and C. William Pollard of ServiceMaster, express an authentic attachment to the idea. While these executives have been the most articulate and the (...) most extreme spokesmen for the application of the covenant model for business, other companies have attempted to benefit from the concept, albeit in less explicitly religious terms.Our research suggests that the most fundamental answer to the question of what makes a "business covenant" work is – covenantal leadership. Simply put, but easily forgotten, the one thesis which emerges over and over again in our research is that covenantal organizations require covenantal leadership. (shrink)
The principal thesis in this book is that bioethics emerged—in the 1960s through the 1980s—under the influence of philosophers who claimed to have universally valid principles that could steer medicine and research to the solution of ethical problems, including even those arising at the bedside of patients. Tom Koch contends that these philosophers and their allied bioethicists “stole medicine” and its traditional values, substituting a philosophical discourse generally inaccessible to the average person. Philosophers thereby refashioned medical ethics in accordance with (...) their vision of a morally and intellectually robust new field. Koch maintains that philosophers have failed to deliver on their promises and that .. (shrink)
In his article in this issue, " 'How do Mādhyamikas Think?' Revisited," Tom Tillemans reflects on his earlier article "How do Mādhyamikas Think?" (2009), itself a response to earlier work of ours (Deguchi et al. 2008; Garfield and Priest 2003). There is much we agree with in these non-dogmatic and open-minded essays. Still, we have some disagreements. We begin with a response to Tillemans' first thoughts, and then turn to his second thoughts.Tillemans (2009) maintains that it is wrong to attribute (...) to Nāgārjuna or to his Mādhyamika followers a strong dialetheism, according to which some contradictions of the form p ∧ ¬p are to be accepted. He argues that, nonetheless, a weak dialetheism may be implicit in the .. (shrink)
Tom Kelly argues that instrumentalist aeeounts of epistemie rationality fail beeause what a person has reason to believe does not depend upon the eontent of his or her goals. However, his argument fails to distinguish questions about what the evidence supports from questions about what a person ought to believe. Once these are distinguished, the instrumentalist ean avoid Kelly’s objeetions. The paperconcludes by sketehing what I take to be the most defensible version of the instrumentalist view.