Both during and after his long career, many political philosophies have been attributed to John Dewey. Perhaps most familiarly, Dewey is seen as a kind of communitarian or participatory democrat who provides a rich account of human nature requiring a moral state.2 Rob Talisse, for example, defines “Deweyan Democracy” as “a style of substantive democratic theory which emphasizes citizen participation in the shared cooperative undertaking of self-government at all levels of social association” (2003, 1). On this reading, Dewey’s account of (...) “thick” terms like “community” or “growth” and his inter-subjective view of human nature provide philosophical grounds for the normative superiority of participatory democracy. If .. (shrink)
Two overriding considerations shaped the development of early research on the biological effects of microwave radiation—possible medical application and uncertainty about the hazards of exposure to radar. Reports in the late 1940s and early 1950s of hazards resulting from microwave exposure led to the near abandonment of medical research related to microwave diathermy at the same time that military and industrial concern over hazards grew, culminating in the massive research effort known as ‘the Tri-Service program’ . Both the early focus (...) on medical application and the later search for hazards played important roles in dictating how this field of research developed as a science. (shrink)
According to the logic of collective action, mere awareness of the causes of environmental degradation will not motivate rational agents to reduce pollution. Yet some government policies aim to enlist citizens in schemes of voluntary cooperation, drawing on an ethos of collective responsibility. Are such policies doomed to failure? This book provides a novel application of rational choice theory to a large-scale survey of environmental attitudes in The Netherlands. Its main findings are that rational citizens are motivated to cooperate towards (...) a less polluted environment to a large extent, but that their willingness to assume responsibility depends on the social context of the collective action problem they face. This empirical study is an important volume in the development of a more consistent foundation for rational choice theory in policy analysis, which seeks to clarify major theoretical issues concerning the role of moral commitment, self-interest and reciprocity in environmental behaviour. (shrink)
In Anarchy, State, and Utopia, Robert Nozick contrasts entitlement theories of justice and “traditional” theories such as Rawls', utilitarianism or egalitarianism, and advocates the former against the latter. What exactly is an entitlement theory of justice? Nozick's book offers two distinct characterizations. On the one hand, he explicitly describes “the general outlines of the entitlement theory” as maintaining “that the holdings of a person are just if he is entitled to them by the principles of justice in acquisition and transfer, (...) or by the principle of rectification of injustice ”. On the other hand, his famous “Wilt Chamberlain” argument against alternative theories is first said to apply to “non-entitlement conceptions”, and later to any “end-state principle or distributional patterned principle of justice” — which amounts to an implicit characterization of an entitlement conception as a conception of justice which is neither end-state nor patterned. (shrink)
The times of restricting reading to just sitting with a book in a cozy armchair are gone. If you ask a modern teenager or university student how they would prefer to do it, the chances are fairly high that the answer you’ll get is a computer screen or an iPad. Digital technologies have become an ordinary tool for everybody dealing with literature, including common readers, students in the field, and professional scholars who have dedicated their lives to literary research. This (...) means the time has come to simultaneously revise the way literature is taught and explored, and this is where the volume Literary Education and Digital Learning: Methods and Technologies for Humanities Studies, edited by Willie van Peer .. (shrink)
This article challenges the general thesis that an unconditional basic income, set at the highest sustainable level, is required for maximizing the income-leisure opportunities of the least advantaged, when income varies according to the responsible factor of labor input. In a linear optimal taxation model (of a type suggested by Vandenbroucke 2001) in which opportunities depend only on individual productivity, adding the instrument of a uniform wage subsidy generates an array of undominated policies besides the basic income maximizing policy, including (...) a “zero basic income” policy which equalizes the post-tax wage rate. The choice among such undominated policies may be guided by distinct normative criteria which supplement the maximin objective in various ways. It is shown that most of these criteria will be compatible with, or actually select, the zero basic income policy and reject the basic income maximizing one. In view of the model's limited realism, the force of this main conclusion is discussed both in relation to Van Parijs' argument for basic income in Real Freedom for All (1995) and to some key empirical conditions in the real world. Footnotes1 I am grateful for useful comments on various stages of this paper by Marc Fleurbaey, Susan Hurley, Mathias Hild, Dirk Van de gaer, Frank Vandenbroucke, Alex Voorhoeve, Roland van der Veen, Andrew Williams, Chris Woodard and an anonymous referee. Above all I thank Loek Groot for his contribution. The research has also been supported by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), and the Social and Political Theory Program of the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University. (shrink)
Since the publication of David Lewis’ Counterfactuals, the standard line on subjunctive conditionals with impossible antecedents (or counterpossibles) has been that they are vacuously true. That is, a conditional of the form ‘If p were the case, q would be the case’ is trivially true whenever the antecedent, p, is impossible. The primary justification is that Lewis’ semantics best approximates the English subjunctive conditional, and that a vacuous treatment of counterpossibles is a consequence of that very elegant theory. Another justification (...) derives from the classical lore than if an impossibility were true, then anything goes. In this paper we defend non-vacuism, the view that counterpossibles are sometimes non-vacuously true and sometimes non-vacuously false. We do so while retaining a Lewisian semantics, which is to say, the approach we favor does not require us to abandon classical logic or a similarity semantics. It does however require us to countenance impossible worlds. An impossible worlds treatment of counterpossibles is suggested (but not defended) by Lewis (Counterfactuals. Blackwell, Oxford, 1973), and developed by Nolan (Notre Dame J Formal Logic 38:325–527, 1997), Kment (Mind 115:261–310, 2006a: Philos Perspect 20:237–302, 2006b), and Vander Laan (In: Jackson F, Priest G (eds) Lewisian themes. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2004). We follow this tradition, and develop an account of comparative similarity for impossible worlds. (shrink)
Several themes of David Lewis's theory of counterfactuals, especially their sensitivity to context, pave the way for a viable theory of non-trivial counterpossibles. If Lewis was successful in defending his account against the early objections, a semantics of counterpossibles can be defended from similar objections in the same way. The resulting theory will be extended to address 'might' counterfactuals and questions about the relative "nearness" of impossible worlds.
In this paper, we report on the development and validity of the Professional Decision-Making in Research measure, a vignette-based test that examines decision-making strategies used by investigators when confronted with challenging situations in the context of empirical research. The PDR was administered online with a battery of validity measures to a group of NIH-funded researchers and research trainees who were diverse in terms of age, years of experience, types of research, and race. The PDR demonstrated adequate reliability and parallel form (...) correlation. As hypothesized, the PDR was significantly negatively correlated with narcissism, cynicism, moral disengagement, and compliance disengagement; it was not correlated with socially desirable responding. In regression analysis, the strongest predictors of higher PDR scores were low compliance disengagement, speaking English as a native language, conducting clinical research with human subjects, and low levels of narcissism. Given that the PDR was written at an eighth grade reading level to be suitable for use with English as a second language participants and that only one-fourth of items focused on clinical research, further research into the possible roles of culture and research ethics training across specialties is warranted. This initial validity study demonstrates the potential usefulness of the PDR as an educational outcome assessment measure and a research instrument for studies on professionalism and integrity in research. (shrink)
It is often alleged that Cantor’s views about how the set theoretic universe as a whole should be considered are fundamentally unclear. In this article we argue that Cantor’s views on this subject, at least up until around 1896, are relatively clear, coherent, and interesting. We then go on to argue that Cantor’s views about the set theoretic universe as a whole have implications for theology that have hitherto not been sufficiently recognised. However, the theological implications in question, at least (...) as articulated here, would not have satisfied Cantor himself. (shrink)
The best arguments for possible worlds as states of affairs furnish us with equally good arguments for impossible worlds of the same sort. I argue for a theory of impossible worlds on which the impossible worlds correspond to maximal inconsistent classes of propositions. Three objections are rejected. In the final part of the paper, I present a menu of impossible worlds and explore some of their interesting formal properties.
Plausibly, if an object persists through time, then its later existence must be caused by its earlier existence. Many theists endorse a theory of continuous creation, according to which God is the sole cause of a creature's existence at a given time. The conjunction of these two theses rather unfortunately implies that no object distinct from God persists at all. What strategies for resolving this difficulty are available? (Published Online April 7 2006).