Traditionally, analytic philosophers writing on aesthetics have given short shrift to nature. The last thirty years, however, have seen a steady growth of interest in this area. The essays and books now available cover central philosophical issues concerning the nature of the aesthetic and the existence of norms for aesthetic judgement. They also intersect with important issues in environmental philosophy. More recent contributions have opened up new topics, such as the relationship between natural sound and music, the beauty of animals, (...) and the aesthetics of gardens. Using these materials, it is now easy to include a module on the aesthetics of nature as one part of an introductory course on aesthetics, or even to design an entire upper-level undergraduate or graduate seminar around the topic. Author Recommends: Don Mannison, 'Comments Stimulated by Reinhardt's Remarks: A Prolegomenon to a Human Chauvinistic Aesthetic'. Environmental Philosophy. Eds. Don Mannison, Michael McRobbie, and Richard Routley (Canberra: Australian National University, 1980), 212–16. Readers coming fresh to contemporary debates may find the lack of attention to natural beauty in twentieth-century philosophy somewhat puzzling. This paper, which defends the view that nature cannot be aesthetically appreciated as such, presents this attitude in a particularly pure form. Ronald Hepburn, 'Contemporary Aesthetics and the Neglect of Natural Beauty'. British Analytical Philosophy. Eds. Bernard Williams and Alan Montefiore (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966), 285–310. Reprinted in The Aesthetics of Natural Environments. Eds. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). This seminal essay marks the beginning of contemporary discussion of the aesthetics of nature. Many of its ideas and themes continue to reverberate in contemporary debates. Allen Carlson, Aesthetics and the Environment: The Appreciation of Nature, Art and Architecture (London: Routledge, 2000). This volume is a collection of Carlson's influential essays on environmental aesthetics. Chapters 4 and 5, 'Appreciation and the Natural Environment' and 'Nature, Aesthetic Judgment, and Objectivity', set the agenda for much subsequent discussion in the aesthetics of nature. Chapter 6, 'Nature and Positive Aesthetics', develops and defends the controversial idea that nature, unlike art, is always aesthetically good. Arnold Berleant, 'The Aesthetics of Art and Nature'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 228–43. Reprinted in The Aesthetics of Natural Environments. Eds. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). In this paper, Berleant presents his influential idea of an 'engaged aesthetics' for nature. Yuriko Saito, 'The Aesthetics of Unscenic Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 101–11. This article develops Saito's idea that ethical considerations play a critical role in the aesthetics of nature, and presents a novel argument for Positive Aesthetics for nature. Malcolm Budd, The Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature: Essays on the Aesthetics of Nature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002). This book collects Budd's papers on the aesthetics of nature, which contain important criticisms of Carlson's natural environmental model and the notion of Positive Aesthetics for nature. Noël Carroll, 'On Being Moved by Nature: Between Religion and Natural History'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 244–66. Reprinted in The Aesthetics of Natural Environments. Eds. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). This paper argues for the importance of aesthetic appreciation that emphasizes emotional responses to nature. A philosophically sophisticated and influential treatment by a leading aesthetician. Ned Hettinger, 'Allen Carlson's Environmental Aesthetics and Protection of the Environment'. Environmental Ethics 27 (2005): 57–76. In this essay, an environmental philosopher gives careful and thorough consideration to the place of aesthetic considerations in environmental protection, focusing on Carlson's work. John Andrew Fisher, 'What the Hills are Alive With: In Defense of the Sounds of Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 167–79. Reprinted in The Aesthetics of Natural Environments. Eds. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). Most discussions of nature aesthetics focus on visual experiences; this essay is the first philosophical study of the aesthetics of natural sounds. A nuanced and original paper. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant. 'Introduction: The Aesthetics of Nature'. The Aesthetics of Natural Environments. Eds. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004), 11–42. A comprehensive review of the literature, this essay contains the best available bibliography on the subject. Online Materials: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/environmental-aesthetics/ Environmental Aesthetics: Allen Carlson's entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. http://www.aesthetics-online.org/articles/index.php?articles_id=17 Teaching Environmental Aesthetics: Allen Carlson's article on the American Society for Aesthetics Web site. http://www.uqtr.uquebec.ca/AE/Vol_6/ Volume 6 of AE: Canadian Aesthetics Journal /Revue canadienne d'esthetique: Papers by Thomas Heyd and Ira Newman on Allen Carlson's book Aesthetics and the Environment, along with a response from Carlson. http://www.contempaesthetics.org/newvolume/pages/article.php?articleID=400 Paradoxes and Puzzles: Appreciating Gardens and Urban Nature: An essay by Stephanie Ross in the online journal Contemporary Aesthetics. Sample Syllabus for a three-week module in an undergraduate aesthetics course: This three week module can easily be adapted to fit shorter available class time or reduced reading expectations for students. A lighter two-week module, for instance, would drop the Hepburn reading and do either the Carroll essay or the Saito essay, but not both. Note that all readings for this module are reprinted in Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (eds.), The Aesthetics of Natural Environments (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). Week 1: Introduction Reading: Ronald Hepburn, 'Contemporary Aesthetics and the Neglect of Natural Beauty'. British Analytical Philosophy. Eds. Bernard Williams and Alan Montefiore (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966), 285–310. Discussion of Hepburn's essay will allow the instructor to bring out the distinctive issues and themes of the aesthetics of nature. Week 2: Objectivity or Subjectivity? Readings: Allen Carlson, 'Appreciation and the Natural Environment'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 37 (1979): 267–76. Arnold Berleant, 'The Aesthetics of Art and Nature'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 228–43. This section covers two very different approaches to thinking about the aesthetic appreciation of nature. Consideration of these provides an opportunity for students to reflect on nature's relationship to art, and on the character of aesthetic experience itself. Week 3: Pluralistic Approaches Readings: Yuriko Saito, 'Appreciating Nature on its Own Terms'. Environmental Ethics 20 (1998): 135–49. Noël Carroll, 'On Being Moved by Nature: Between Religion and Natural History'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 244–66. This section considers approaches that are motivated by perceived limitations of the two approaches mentioned above. In discussing these, students will focus on the significance, for the aesthetics of nature, of emotion and also of broader ethical considerations. Sample Syllabus for an upper-level undergraduate or graduate seminar: Books on Syllabus: Glenn Parsons, Aesthetics and Nature [AN] (London: Continuum Press, forthcoming November 2008). Allen Carlson, Aesthetics and the Environment: The Appreciation of Nature, Art and Architecture [AE] (London: Routledge, 2000). Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (eds.), The Aesthetics of Natural Environments [ANE] (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). Week 1: Introduction Parsons, AN, ch. 1. Allen Carlson, 'Environmental Aesthetics'. The Routledge Companion to Aesthetics. Eds. Berys Gaut and Dominic Lopes (London: Routledge, 2001), 423–36. Don Mannison, 'Comments Stimulated by Reinhardt's Remarks: A Prolegomenon to a Human Chauvinistic Aesthetic'. Environmental Philosophy. Eds. Don Mannison, Michael McRobbie, and Richard Routley (Canberra: Australian National University, 1980), 212–16. Ronald Hepburn, 'Contemporary Aesthetics and the Neglect of Natural Beauty'. British Analytical Philosophy. Eds. Bernard Williams and Alan Montefiore (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966), 285–310. Reprinted in ANE. Week 2: Imagination Parsons, AN, ch. 2. Thomas Heyd, 'Aesthetic Appreciation and the Many Stories About Nature'. British Journal of Aesthetics 41 (2001): 125–37. Reprinted in ANE. Emily Brady, 'Imagination and the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 139–47. Reprinted in ANE. Marcia Eaton, 'Fact and Fiction in the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 149–56. Reprinted in ANE. Week 3: Formalism Parsons, AN, ch. 3. Carlson, 'Formal Qualities and the Natural Environment', AE, ch. 3. Allen Carlson, 'On the Possibility of Quantifying Scenic Beauty'. Landscape Planning 4 (1977): 131–72. Ira Newman, 'Reflections on Allen Carlson's Aesthetics and the Environment'. AE: Canadian Aesthetics Journal /Revue canadienne d'esthetique 6 (2001) http://www.uqtr.uquebec.ca/AE/Vol_6/Carlson/newman.html>. Nick Zangwill, 'Formal Natural Beauty'. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 21 (2001): 209–24. Week 4: Science and Nature Aesthetics Parsons, AN, ch. 4. Aldo Leopold, 'Country'. A Sand County Almanac, with Essays on Conservation from Round River (New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 1966), 177–80. Carlson, 'Appreciation and the Natural Environment', AE, ch. 4. Carlson, 'Nature, Aesthetic Judgment, and Objectivity', AE, ch. 5. Glenn Parsons, 'The Aesthetics of Nature'. Philosophy Compass 2 (2007): 358–72. Week 5: Positive Aesthetics Carlson, 'Nature and Positive Aesthetics', AE, ch. 6. Eugene Hargrove, Foundations of Environmental Ethics (Denton, TX: Environmental Ethics Books, 1996), ch. 6. Yuriko Saito, 'The Aesthetics of Unscenic Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 101–11. Malcolm Budd, 'The Aesthetics of Nature'. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 100 (2000): 137–57. Glenn Parsons, 'Nature Appreciation, Science and Positive Aesthetics'. British Journal of Aesthetics 42 (2002): 279–95. Week 6: Animals Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. Ed. James T. Boulton (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1968 ), Pt. III, sec. VI. Holmes Rolston III, 'Beauty and the Beast: Aesthetic Experience of Wildlife'. Valuing Wildlife: Economic and Social Perspectives. Eds. Daniel J. Decker and Gary R. Goff (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1987), 187–96. Glenn Parsons, 'The Aesthetic Value of Animals'. Environmental Ethics 27 (2007): 151–69. Week 7: Pluralism Parsons, AN, ch. 5. Noël Carroll, 'On Being Moved by Nature: Between Religion and Natural History'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 244–66. Reprinted in ANE. Yuriko Saito, 'Appreciating Nature on its Own Terms'. Environmental Ethics 20 (1998): 135–49. Reprinted in ANE. Ronald Hepburn, 'Nature Humanized: Nature Respected'. Environmental Values 7 (1998): 267–79. Ronald Hepburn, 'Trivial and Serious in Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 65–80. Glenn Parsons and Allen Carlson, 'New Formalism and the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 62 (2004): 363–76. Week 8: Engagement Parsons, AN, ch. 6. Arnold Berleant, 'The Aesthetics of Art and Nature'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 228–43. Reprinted in ANE. Cheryl Foster, 'The Narrative and the Ambient in Environmental Aesthetics'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 127–37. Reprinted in ANE. Allen Carlson, 'Aesthetics and Engagement'. British Journal of Aesthetics 33 (1993): 220–27. Week 9: The Sublime Immanuel Kant, Critique of the Power of Judgment. Trans. P. Guyer and E. Matthews (Cambridge University Press, 2000 ). Excerpts from sections 23–9. Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. Ed. James T. Boulton (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1968 ). Excerpts from Pt. II, sections 1–8. Ronald Hepburn, 'The Concept of the Sublime: Has it any Relevance for Philosophy Today?'. Dialectics and Humanism 15 (1988): 137–55. Stan Godlovitch, 'Icebreakers: Environmentalism and Natural Aesthetics'. Journal of Applied Philosophy 11 (1994): 15–30. Reprinted in ANE. Malcolm Budd, 'Delight in the Natural World: Kant on the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature. Part I: The Sublime in Nature'. British Journal of Aesthetics 38 (1998): 233–50. Week 10: Aesthetic Preservation Parsons, AN, ch. 7. Janna Thompson, 'Aesthetics and the Value of Nature'. Environmental Ethics 17 (1995): 291–305. Holmes Rolston III, 'From Beauty to Duty: Aesthetics of Nature and Environmental Ethics'. Environment and the Arts: Perspectives on Environmental Aesthetics. Ed. Arnold Berleant (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2002), 127–41. Ned Hettinger, 'Allen Carlson's Environmental Aesthetics and Protection of the Environment'. Environmental Ethics 27 (2005): 57–76. Keekok Lee, 'Beauty for Ever?'. Environmental Values 4 (1995): 213–25. Week 11: Gardens Parsons, AN, ch. 8. Mara Miller, The Garden as an Art (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1993), ch. 1. Mara Miller, 'Gardens as Works of Art: The Problem of Uniqueness'. British Journal of Aesthetics 26 (1986): 252–6. Stephanie Ross, What Gardens Mean (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1998), chs. 1, 7. Tom Leddy, 'Gardens in an Expanded Field'. British Journal of Aesthetics 28 (1988): 327–40. David Cooper, 'In Praise of Gardens'. British Journal of Aesthetics 43 (2003): 101–13. Week 12: Art in Nature Parsons, AN, ch. 9. Carlson, 'Is Environmental Art an Aesthetic Affront to Nature?', AE, ch. 10. Sheila Lintott, 'Ethically Evaluating Land Art: Is It Worth It?'. Ethics, Place & Environment 10 (2007): 263–77. Emily Brady, 'Aesthetic Regard for Nature in Environmental and Land Art'. Ethics, Place & Environment 10 (2007): 287–300. Focus Questions1. Are there any important differences between the aesthetic appreciation of art and the aesthetic appreciation of nature? If so, what are they?2. Is preserving nature for its aesthetic value a coherent idea?3. What is the ugliest natural thing or place you can think of? How might proponents of Positive Aesthetics for nature deal with your example?4. Does the concept of the sublime have any significance for our contemporary experience of nature? If it does, what relation does it bear to our aesthetic appreciation of nature?5. Watch Rivers and Tides (2001), the documentary film about the British environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy. Ethically speaking, how do you think we ought to regard his art-making? (shrink)
According to the subtitle of this anthology, the essays are intended to discuss and explore "the cohesive and disjunctive forces" existing between C. P. Snow's infamous "two cultures" of science and the humanities. As in all the colloquia on this subject, there tends to be a mishmash of problems in definition, with Snow's relatively simple and straightforward contrast lost in the shuffle of terms. The fact that in this volume no one agrees upon what science is tends to limit its (...) ability to solve Snow's problem, but, on the other hand, it offers many ruminations on the various meanings of science. Gyorgy Kepes, for instance, thinks of science mainly as a set of technologically sophisticated instruments and advocates that technicians and visual artists collaborate on the design of "light shows" and other flashy works of modern art, especially the design and execution of environmental art. Harry Levin, the well-known scholar of comparative literature, thinks that the division of intellectual activities into "scientific" and "cultural" might be better replaced with dividing scholars into "generalists" and "specialists," arguing that the human community needs a balanced representation of both camps. Talcott Parsons advocates the incorporation of scientific methods into traditionally humanistic considerations, proposing that social science is the logical amalgam of the two cultures. Parsons, by the way, is more commendable for practicing what he preaches than some of his colleagues in the social sciences, particularly Oscar Handlin, also represented in this volume. Altogether, sixteen points of view are included in the symposium, most filled with sonorous language and unsupported generalizations about matters of historical and current fact, but all of them literate and filled with challenging philosophical puzzles.—E. H. W. (shrink)
Classification of patients with back pain in order to inform treatments is a long‐standing aim in medicine. We used latent class analysis (LCA) to classify patients with low back pain and investigate whether different classes responded differently to a cognitive behavioural intervention. The objective was to provide additional guidance on the use of cognitive behavioural therapy to both patients and clinicians.
Knowledge about moral development and elderly persons is very limited. A hermeneutical interpretative study was conducted with healthy elderly persons in order to explore and describe their moral orientation based on the paradigms of justice and care . The types of moral reasoning, dominance, alignment and orientation were determined. All but one participant included both types of reasoning when discussing an ethical conflict. None of the men’s moral reasoning was dominated by caring, but justice dominated the reasoning of four women. (...) The implications for ethical decision-making and future research are discussed. (shrink)
As exome and genome sequencing move into clinical application, questions surround how to elicit consent and handle potential return of individual genomic results. This study analyzes nine consent forms used in NIH-funded sequencing studies. Content analysis reveals considerable heterogeneity, including in defining results that may be returned, identifying potential benefits and risks of return, protecting privacy, addressing placement of results in the medical record, and data-sharing. In response to lack of consensus, we offer recommendations.
Senior lecturers/lecturers in mental health nursing (11 in round one, nine in round two, and eight in the final round) participated in a three-round Delphi study into the teaching of health care ethics (HCE) to students of nursing. The participants were drawn from six (round one) and four (round three) UK universities. Information was gathered on the organization, methods used and content of HCE modules. Questionnaire responses were transcribed and the content analysed for patterns of interest and areas of convergence (...) or divergence. Findings include: the majority (72.8%) of the sample believed that insufficient time was allocated to the teaching of HCE; case studies were considered a popular, although problematic, teaching method; the ‘four principles’ approach was less than dominant in the teaching of HCE; and virtue ethics was taught by only 36.4% of the participants. The Delphi technique proved adequate and worth while for the purposes of this study. Further empirical research could aim to replicate or contradict these findings, using a larger sample and recruiting more university departments. Reflection is required on several issues, including the depth and breadth to which ethics theory and, more controversially, meta-ethics, are taught to nursing students. (shrink)
In late January of 1987, the State Treasurer of Pennsylvania, R. Budd Dwyer, shot himself to death in front of a dozen reporters and camera crews during a news conference in his office. Much was subsequently made in the popular press, and within the profession, about the difficult ethical decision television journalists were faced with in determining how much of the very graphic suicide tape to air. A review of the literature in this area suggests, however, that journalists have established (...) a set of relatively detailed conventions for dealing with events involving graphic depictions of death. Analysis of the Dwyer tape and interviews conducted with Pennsylvania television news directors show that eighteen of the twenty stations in the state that carry news used basically the same type and amount of footage in their evening newscasts. One decided to use no tape. One showed the moment of death. When the story broke around noon, two additional stations showed the moment of suicide, but they revised their story for the evening program. In addition, the wide majority of news directors interviewed said they had little difficulty in deciding how to edit the tape. The processing of the Dwyer story suggests that any ethical dilemmas faced by journalists during decision making were put aside for later consideration. The material was edited quickly and according to similar patterns, or conventions, around the state. The study suggests greater attention be given to the definition and interaction of personal professional values, in the ethical sense, and norms of news processing, in the sociological sense. (shrink)
Knowledge about moral development and elderly persons is very limited. A hermeneutical interpretative study was conducted with healthy elderly persons (n = 20) in order to explore and describe their moral orientation based on the paradigms of justice (Kohlberg) and care (Gilligan). The types of moral reasoning, dominance, alignment and orientation were determined. All but one participant included both types of reasoning when discussing an ethical conflict. None of the men’s moral reasoning was dominated by caring, but justice dominated the (...) reasoning of four women. The implications for ethical decision-making and future research are discussed. (shrink)
The return of genetic research results after death in the pediatric setting comes with unique complexities. Researchers must determine which results and through which processes results are returned. This paper discusses the experience over 15 years in pediatric cancer genetics research of returning research results after the death of a child and proposes a preventive ethics approach to protocol development in order to improve the quality of return of results in pediatric genomic settings.
In the words of Catharine MacKinnon, "a woman is not yet a name for a way of being human." In other words, women are still excluded, as authors and agents, from identifying what it is to be human and what therefore violates the dignity and integrity of humans. Recognition, Responsibility, and Rights is written in response to that failure. This collection of essays by prominent feminist thinkers advances the positive feminist project of remapping the moral landscape by developing theory that (...) acknowledges the diversity of women. (shrink)
This article aims at clarifying the philosophical (=phenomenological) implication of Talcott Parsons’s analytical realism. Generally, his theory is understood as being confrontational to phenomenology; however, in his first book, The Structure of Social Action, Parsons positively referred to Husserl’s Logical Investigations. They shared a sense of crisis: Husserl thought that there was no certain basis in modern science, and Parsons had the feeling that there was no common theory to establish sociology as a science. Thus, both of (...) them criticized the factual sciences of positivism (positivistic empiricism) and showed a strong orientation to the general theory. For this, they depended on conceptual realism (Platonic realism). According to Husserl, scientific knowledge will be arbitrary if the Ideal is not there as the norm of fact. He believed that in truth all people always see Ideas. Similarly, Parsons thought that in truth all people always act toward the Ideal, because the Ideal element is necessarily found through the logical framework of sociology, i.e., the action frame of reference. Hence, he maintained that the Ideal element that gives a normative orientation to actions is real, though analytical, insofar as the social order is established. (shrink)
Reviewing "The Ethics of Gender, Feminism and Christian Ethics," and "The Cambridge Companion to Feminist Theology," the author suggests that Susan Parsons responds to questions postmodernism has posed to both feminism and Christian ethics by using insights gained from various accounts of the moral subject found in feminist philosophy, ethics, and theology. Hesitant to embrace postmodernism's critique of the possibility of ethics, Parsons redefines ethics by establishing a moral point of view within discursive communities. Yet in her brief (...) treatment of Emmanuel Levinas, Parsons does not explore the postmodern option he offers feminists: an understanding of moral responsibility that can be critical of ethics. Parsons also ignores some feminist perspectives in the physical and natural sciences, thereby missing valuable insights of feminists who insist upon the materiality of the body. (shrink)
Needless to say, Charles Parsons’s long awaited book1 is a must-read for anyone with an interest in the philosophy of mathematics. But as Parsons himself says, this has been a very long time in the writing. Its chapters extensively “draw on”, “incorporate material from”, “overlap considerably with”, or “are expanded versions of” papers published over the last twenty-five or so years. What we are reading is thus a multi-layered text with different passages added at different times. And this (...) makes for a rather bumpy read. There is another route Parsons could have taken: he could have reprinted the relevant papers with postscripts, and then top-and-tailed the collection with a preface and added concluding reflections. It must sound very ungrateful, but I rather suspect that that might have worked better. Much of the book is about arithmetic. But Parsons has woven into the discussion claims about mathematics more generally and about set theory in particular. We might well have a basic worry about this structure: for do defensible claims about the ontology and epistemology of arithmetic have to be generalizable to apply to more infinitary mathematics? For example, suppose you are attracted to a Hellman-like modal structuralist account of arithmetic: then should you think it a problem if you suspect that such an account can’t readily be extended to cope e.g. with set theory (since you boggle at the idea of possible worlds free of abstracta but with enough structure to somehow model ZFC)? Parsons himself seems to waver over such questions. So for present purposes, I’ll focus just on arithmetic, and in what follows I’ll revisit two of the most familiar Parsonian themes, his views on structuralism as an account of the ontology of arithmetic, and his exploration of the role of intuition in grounding arithmetical knowledge. (shrink)
Durante todo o século XVIII, existiu um grande fascínio por seres humanos hermafroditas. Este interesse encontra-se patenteado nas suas inúmeras exibiçōes públicas e nas vánas dissertaçōes académicas sobre o tema. Neste período, e em contraste com o anterior, a existência de seres humanos hermafroditas passou a ser questionada por membros da comunidade médica da época incluindo James Parsons, para o qual a figura do hermafrodita deveria ser erradicada do entendimento anatómico da diferença sexual. Albrecht von Haller nāo ficou indiferente (...) à controvérsia sobre a existência de hermafroditas humanos. Este artigo tem como objectivo apresentar e debater a sua visāo sobre esta temática, primeiramente apresentada na sua dissertaçāo sobre hermafroditas datada de 1752 e depois num artigo da Encyclopédie de 1777. De que modo a sua abordagem do problema foi distinta da dos seus contemporâneos? Qual foi o seu contúbuto para o entendimento da ambiguidade sexual? Haller pnvilegiou o estudo de homens com deformaçōes genitais habitualmente descrítos como hermafroditas mas que, no seu entender, deveriam ser considerados verdadeiros homens com plenos direitos legais e sociais. Mais ainda, Haller não tinha uma visāo redutora sobre o problema da ambiguidade sexual. No seu entender, os seres humanos hermafroditas, embora raros, poderíam existir. Afinal, o estudo da natureza mostrava o quāo ela era fértil na produçãāo de novas figuras e formas. Throughout the eighteenth century, there was a great fascination with human hermaphrodites. This interest is evident in their frequent public exhibitions and in the numerous academic dissertations published on the subject. In contrast with the previous period where men, women and hermaphrodites where thought to exist, the very existence of the latter was called into question by some members of the medical community including James Parsons for whom the the category of hermaphrodite should be eradicated from the understanding of sexual diference. Albrecht von Haller was not indifferent to the controversy on the existence of human hermaphrodites. This article is concerned with his views on the issue first presented in his dissertation on hermaphrodites and later in the French Encyclopédie . To what extent were his views on the subject different from the ones argued by other anatomists of the period? What was his contribute to the understanding of sexual ambiguity? In this paper, I will argue that Haller was especially concerned with men with genital deformations who, in his view, should not be described as hermaphrodites and should have the same social rights as other men. Moreover, Haller had an open view on the issue of the existence of human hermaphrodites. Although he considered the possibility of their existence rare, he did not deny the vast potential of nature in producing new shapes and forms. (shrink)
During the 19th and the 20th century the concept of system undergoes significant transformations. The interplay of biology and sociology gives rise to an olistic definition of the concept, in order to understand society by means of schemes developed in the field of theoris of organisms. It is possible to follow this development from Pareto and Henderson, to Parsons, and finally to Luhmann, by examining the various biological models to which they refer.
In 'Axiological Actualism' Josh Parsons argues that 'axiological actualism', which is 'the doctrine that ethical theory should refrain from assigning levels of welfare, or preference orderings, or anything of the sort to merely possible people', lends plausibility to 'the converse intuition'. This is the proposition that 'the welfare a person would have, were they actual, can give us a reason not to bring that person into existence'. I show that Parsons's argument delivers less than he promises. It could (...) be convincing only to actualists who hold certain views about normative ethics, and could at most convince them to heed the converse intuition only under certain circumstances. (shrink)
This text examines the distinction and relation between legal philosophy and legal theory in the book Law and Democracy by Jürgen Habermas. To that end, I seek at first to reflect on the concepts of law sociology and philosophy of justice from the dialogue that opposes Habermas to Dworkin and Rawls, on the philosophical basis of equality and distribution. Subsequently, we analyse the arguments about the social integrative function of law that Habermas develops from the works of Parsons and (...) Weber, in order to see what Habermas meant by integrative function of law as well as the contribution of that category for a reconstructive theory of the society. The conclusion points to the link between his philosophy of right to a sociological theory, when, through the concept of communicative reason, he eschews metaphysical discussions of the absolute and seeks to develop a concept of society capable of resisting the dimensions of the life world and system. (shrink)