Abstract It would be puzzling if the morally best agents were not so good after all. Yet one prominent account of the morally best agents ascribes to them the exact motivational defect that has famously been called a “fetish.” The supposed defect is a desire to do the right thing, where this is read de dicto . If the morally best agents really are driven by this de dicto desire, and if this de dicto desire is really a fetish, then (...) the morally best agents are moral fetishists. This is puzzling. I resolve the puzzle by showing that on a proper understanding of the interaction between de dicto and de re moral motivation, it is not only not fetishistic, but quite possibly desirable, to be motivated by a de dicto desire to do the right thing. My argument relies partly on an appeal to a non-buck-passing account of moral rightness, according to which rightness is itself an additional reason-giving property over and above the right-making properties of an action. If this account of moral rightness is correct, then we would expect the morally best agents to exhibit de dicto moral motivation. However, since their de dicto desire acts in concert with de re desires, there is no reason to consider it a fetish. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-19 DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9825-z Authors Vanessa Carbonell, Philosophy Department, University of Cincinnati, P.O. Box 210374, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0374, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116. (shrink)
Holobionts are symbiotic assemblages composed by a macrobe host plus its symbiotic microbiota. In recent years, the ontological status of holobionts has created a great amount of controversy among philosophers and biologists: are holobionts biological individuals or are they rather ecological communities of independent individuals that interact together? Chiu and Eberl have recently developed an eco-immunity account of the holobiont wherein holobionts are neither biological individuals nor ecological communities, but hybrids between a host and its microbiota. According to their account, (...) the microbiota is not a proper part of the holobiont. Yet, it should be regarded as a set of scaffolds that support the individuality of the host. In this paper, we approach Chiu and Eberl’s account from a metaphysical perspective and argue that, contrary to what the authors claim, the eco-immunity account entails that the microorganisms that compose the host’s microbiota are proper parts of the holobiont. Second, we argue that by claiming that holobionts are hybrids, and therefore, not biological individuals, the authors seem to be assuming a controversial position about the ontology of hybrids, which are conventionally characterized as a type of biological individual. In doing so, our paper aligns with the contemporary tendency to incorporate metaphysical resources to shed light on current biological debates and builds on that to provide additional support to the consideration of holobionts as biological individuals from an eco-immunity perspective. (shrink)
Marxism is a materialist theory that centers economic life in its analysis of the human social world. This materialist orientation manifests in explanations that take economic class to play a fundamental causal role in determining the emergence, character, and development of race-and sex-based oppression—indeed, of all forms of identity-based oppression within class societies. To say that labor is mediated by class in a class-based society is to say that, in such societies, the class-based division of that activity which produces and (...) reproduces the human species is the definite form in which labor appears, and that the human life which is the product of that self-making activity bears its stamp. Marxism’s emphasis on economic factors as central in the constitution and development of human life has been seized upon as evidence of its alleged “class reductionism”—its supposed tendency to think of all aspects of human life as direct and simple expressions of a class relation. No such thing follows; quite the opposite, a correct understanding of the relationships among capitalism, racism, and sexism only further highlights how central the struggle against each is to the struggles against any of the others. (shrink)
The moral community is a social community, and as such it is vulnerable to social problems and pathologies. In this essay I identify a particular way in which participation in the moral community can be constrained by social factors. I argue that features of the social world—including power imbalances, oppression, intergroup conflict, communication barriers, and stereotyping—can make it nearly impossible for some members of the moral community to hold others responsible for wrongdoing. Specifically, social circumstances prevent some marginalized people from (...) engaging in what Stephen Darwall calls “felicitous moral address” (Darwall 2006). We should think of some members of the moral community as having “second-class moral citizenship” in ways that parallel second-class political citizenship. The injustice of second-class moral citizenship can be understood by drawing an analogy with Miranda Fricker’s notion of “epistemic injustice” (Fricker 2007). Fricker’s account of how people can be undermined in their capacity as knowers can be extended to show how people can be undermined in their capacity as makers of moral claims, which can be called “claimant injustice”. (shrink)
I argue for the existence of a ‘ratcheting-up effect’: the behavior of moral saints serves to increase the level of moral obligation the rest of us face. What we are morally obligated to do is constrained by what it would be reasonable for us to believe we are morally obligated to do. Moral saints provide us with a special kind of evidence that bears on what we can reasonably believe about our obligations. They do this by modeling the level of (...) sacrifice a person can realistically bear. Exposure to moral saints thus ‘ratchets-up’ our obligations by combating a type of ignorance that would otherwise defeat those obligations. (shrink)
There has been an exponential rise in use of the term vulnerability across a number of political and policy arenas, including child protection, sexual offences, poverty, development, care for the elderly, patient autonomy, globalisation, war, public health and ecology. Yet despite its increasing deployment, the exact meaning and parameters of this concept remain somewhat elusive. In this article, we explore the interaction of two very different strategies—one in which vulnerability is relied upon by those seeking improved social justice as a (...) mechanism by which to identify, problematise and compel state responses to a universal condition of precarious dependency, and the other in which it is used as a category of neo-liberal governance which legitimates state encroachment whilst constructing ‘vulnerable’ individuals as ‘risk-managers’ who must behave ‘responsibly’ in the face of disadvantage. We suggest that the co-existence of these divergent approaches highlights the fluidity and malleability of the concept of vulnerability. Using sex work as a specific case study, we explore the ways in which vulnerability bears multiple meanings, and has been used in recent times in the furtherance of moralistic and regressive agendas, which collude with, rather than challenge, state power. Without seeking to reject the label or normative import of vulnerability, we call, therefore, for a more circumspect approach to its usage, and a more critical evaluation of recent claims which hail it as a mechanism, preferable to the conventional use of equality paradigms, by which to secure progressive feminist outcomes. (shrink)
Two environmental accidents in the mining industry provide the context for this study of the Mitchell, Agle, and Wood (1997, The Academy of Management Review 22, 853–886) analysis of stakeholder salience. I examine the reactions of two stakeholder groups: shareholder response is examined in terms of changing share returns and risk; management response through change in disclosure. I find the two decision-makers reacted at different times. Management responded to the first accident, though not the second. Shareholders responded to the second (...) accident alone. My findings support the Mitchell, Agle, and Wood (MAW) assertion that stakeholder status is impermanent, and determined through the eyes of the decision-maker. (shrink)
Here is something puzzling. Still Lifes can be expressive. Expression involves movement. Hence, (some) Still Lifes move. This seems odd. I consider a novel explanation to this ‘static-dynamic’ puzzle from Mitchell Green (2007). Green defends an analysis of artistic expressivity that is heavily indebted to work on intermodal perception. He says visual stimuli, like colours and shapes, can elicit experienced resemblances to sounds, smells and feelings. This enables viewers to know how an emotion feels by looking at the picture. The (...) hypothesis is intriguing, but I show that his suggestion that we empathize with the pictorial content is implausible and that this exposes a flaw in the way his argument moves from experiential mappings to experiential-affective mappings. Consequently, I register some reservations about the way Green supposes we detect these cross-modal qualities. (shrink)
This study tests how various kinds of trust impact attitudes toward euthanasia among the general public. The indication that trust might have an impact on euthanasia attitudes is based on the slippery slope argument, which asserts that allowing euthanasia might lead to abuses and involuntary deaths. Adopting this argument usually leads to less positive attitudes towards euthanasia. Tying in with this, it is assumed here that greater trust diminishes such slippery slope fears, and thereby increases euthanasia acceptance.
One of the most plausible and widely discussed examples of strong emergence is molecular structure. The only detailed account of it, which has been very influential, is due to Robin Hendry and is formulated in terms of downward causation. This paper explains Hendry’s account of the strong emergence of molecular structure and argues that it is coherent only if one assumes a diachronic reflexive notion of downward causation. However, in the context of this notion of downward causation, the strong emergence (...) of molecular structure faces three challenges that have not been met and which have so far remained unnoticed. First, the putative empirical evidence presented for the strong emergence of molecular structure equally undermines supervenience, which is one of the main tenets of strong emergence. Secondly, it is ambiguous how the assumption of determinate nuclear positions is invoked for the support of strong emergence, as the role of this assumption in Hendry’s argument can be interpreted in more than one way. Lastly, there are understandings of causation which render the postulation of a downward causal relation between a molecule’s structure and its quantum mechanical entities, untenable. (shrink)
Susan Wolf famously claimed that the life of the moral saint is unattractive from the “point of view of individual perfection.” I argue, however, that the unattractive moral saints in Wolf’s account are self-defeating on two levels, are motivated in the wrong way, and are called into question by real-life counter-examples. By appealing to a real-life case study, I argue that the best life from the moral point of view is not necessarily unattractive from the individual point of view.
We emerge from certain activities with an altered sense of self. Whether returning from a warzone or from an experience as common as caring for an aging parent, one might remark, “I’m not the same person I was.” I argue that such transformations are relevant to debates about what morality requires of us. To undergo an alteration in one’s self is to make a special kind of sacrifice, a sacrifice of self. Since projects can be more or less morally obligatory (...) to the extent that they require more or less sacrifice, we must incorporate these unique sacrifices into any accounting of the contours and limits of moral obligation. But sacrifices of self pose a special difficulty for any such accounting, precisely because of their transformative nature. Unlike most other sacrifices, they cannot be analyzed entirely in terms of wellbeing. Using real-world case studies and examples, I argue for the existence of two types of sacrifice of self, involving changes in identity and moral agency. I argue that sacrifices of self require particular attention because they may be extra difficult to compare with other costs and with moral gains. (shrink)
The animal in Nietzsche's philosophy -- Culture and civilization -- Politics and promise -- Culture and economy -- Giving and forgiving -- Animality, creativity, and historicity -- Animality, language, and truth -- Biopolitics and the question of animal life.
Actionable Postcolonial Theory in Education illustrates how postcolonial theory can be put to work in education. It offers an accessible and handy overview and comparison of postcolonial theory and other theoretical debates related to critiques of Western ethnocentrism and hegemony. It also offers examples that illustrate how a discursive strand of postcolonial theory has been applied successfully in the contexts of educational research/critique and in pioneering pedagogical projects. Andreotti encourages educators and researchers in education to engage with postcolonial theoretical frameworks (...) and their implications for research and educational practice. (shrink)
Contemporary biological research has suggested that some host–microbiome multispecies systems (referred to as “holobionts”) can in certain circumstances evolve as unique biological individual, thus being a unit of selection in evolution. If this is so, then it is arguably the case that some biological adaptations have evolved at the level of the multispecies system, what we call hologenomic adaptations. However, no research has yet been devoted to investigating their nature, or how these adaptations can be distinguished from adaptations at the (...) species-level (genomic adaptations). In this paper, we cover this gap by investigating the nature of hologenomic adaptations. By drawing on the case of the evolution of sanguivory diet in vampire bats, we argue that a trait constitutes a hologenomic adaptation when its evolution can only be explained if the holobiont is considered the biological individual that manifests this adaptation, while the bacterial taxa that bear the trait are only opportunistic beneficiaries of it. We then use the philosophical notions of emergence and inter-identity to explain the nature of this form of individuality and argue why it is special of holobionts. Overall, our paper illustrates how the use of philosophical concepts can illuminate scientific discussions, in the trend of what has recently been called metaphysics of biology. (shrink)
A survey on the knowledge and attitudes towards the Austrian organ donation legislation (an opt-out solution) of selected groups of the Austrian population taking into account factors such as age, gender, level of education, affiliation to healthcare professions and health related studies was conducted.
This paper draws on the economics of ethical compliance model to examine the association between ethical reasoning, perceived risk of detection, perceived levels of penalties and Chinese auditors'' ethical behavior in an audit conflict situation. Using 53 Chinese auditors from Shenzen as subjects, and a survey questionnaire, this study found that there is a significant negative association between ethical reasoning and the likelihood of unethical behavior and that this negative association is weaker for auditors who perceive higher risks of detection.
Among the founders of classical German sociology, Ferdinand Tonnies is still relatively neglected. Many reasons are given, but the most widespread and the most damning is that Tonnies is a pessimist who wished, in the face of modernity, to return to the supposed Golden Age of rural Germany, when the community, ruled by patriarchs, gathered on the land. This interpretation is fundamentally flawed: although Tonnies wanted to describe the rootless, ruthless, calculating individuals of modern society, he wished to recall (...) the past primarily in order to develop a blueprint for the future, in which the so-called feminine traits of conscience, empathy, and care would govern the community. Rather than yearning for the past, Tonnies was a utopian who had a vision of the future and tried to make it a reality. (shrink)
Wie sollen sich autonome Fahrzeuge verhalten, wenn ein Unfall nicht mehr abwendbar ist? Die Komplexität spezifischer moralischer Dilemmata, die in diesem Kontext auftreten können, lässt bewährte ethische Denktraditionen an ihre Grenzen stoßen. Dieser Aufsatz versteht sich als Versuch, neue Lösungsperspektiven mithilfe einer risikoethischen Sichtweise auf die Problematik zu eröffnen und auf diese Weise deren Relevanz für die Programmierung von ethischen Unfallalgorithmen aufzuzeigen. Im Zentrum steht dabei die Frage, welche Implikationen sich aus einer Auffassung von Dilemma-Situationen als risikoethische Verteilungsprobleme im Hinblick (...) auf die Zulässigkeit von entsprechenden Risikoübertragungen ergeben. Dabei wird zunächst eine risikoethische Interpretation des zugrundeliegenden Entscheidungsproblems skizziert, welches durch seine dilemmatische Struktur eine besondere Risikokonstellation begründet. Ausgehend von den Positionen von Sven Ove Hansson und Julian Nida-Rümelin wird für einen deontologisch-risikoethischen Ansatz argumentiert, der auf Individualrechten einerseits und einer interpersonell gerechten Verteilung der entstehenden Schadensrisiken anderseits basiert. Diese beiden Kriterien werden für den Anwendungskontext des autonomen Fahrens konkretisiert. Zum einen wird in Bezug auf das erste Kriterium argumentiert, dass individuelle Rechte genau dann als angemessen gewahrt gelten können, wenn die resultierenden Risikoübertragungen auf die Einzelnen in ihrer absoluten Höhe jeweils zumutbar sind. Zum anderen werden Schwierigkeiten skizziert, die sich hinsichtlich der konkreten Umsetzung des zweiten Kriteriums der Verteilungsgerechtigkeit ergeben. In diesem Zusammenhang werden beispielsweise ethische Herausforderungen in Bezug auf einen möglichen Vorteilsausgleich, das Prinzip der Schadensminimierung sowie individuell unterschiedliche Ausgangsbedingungen der persönlichen Schadensreduktion kritisch in den Blick genommen. (shrink)
Holobionts are symbiotic assemblages composed by a host plus its microbiome. The status of holobionts as individuals has recently been a subject of continuous controversy, which has given rise to two main positions: on the one hand, holobiont advocates argue that holobionts are biological individuals; on the other, holobiont detractors argue that they are just mere chimeras or ecological communities, but not individuals. Both parties in the dispute develop their arguments from the framework of the philosophy of biology, in terms (...) of what it takes for a “conglomerate” to be considered an interesting individual from a biological point of view. However, the debates about holobiont individuality have important ontological implications that have remained vaguely explored from a metaphysical framework. The purpose of this paper is to cover that gap by presenting a metaphysical approach to holobionts individuality. Drawing upon a conception of natural selection that puts the focus on the transgenerational recurrence of the traits and that supports the thesis that holobionts are units of selection, we argue that holobionts bear emergent traits and exert downward powers over the entities that compose them. In this vein, we argue, a reasonable argument can be made for conceiving holobionts as emergent biological individuals. (shrink)
The field of emotion understanding is replete with measures, yet lacks an integrated conceptual organizing structure. To identify and organize skills associated with the recognition and knowledge of emotions, and to highlight the focus of emotion understanding as localized in the self, in specific others, and in generalized others, we introduce the conceptual framework of Emotion Understanding in Recognition and Knowledge Abilities. We then categorize 56 existing methods of emotion understanding within this framework to highlight current gaps and future opportunities (...) in assessing emotion understanding across the lifespan. We hope the EUReKA model provides a systematic and integrated framework for conceptualizing and measuring emotion understanding for future research. (shrink)
ABSTRACTInattentional blindness occurs when observers fail to detect unexpected objects or events. Despite the adaptive importance of detecting unexpected threats, relatively little research has examined how stimulus threat influences IB. The current study was designed to explore the effects of stimulus threat on IB. Past research has also demonstrated that individuals with elevated negative affectivity have an attentional bias towards threat-related stimuli; therefore, the current study also examined whether state and trait levels of negative affectivity predicted IB for threat-related stimuli. (...) One hundred and eleven participants completed an IB task that included both threat-related and neutral unexpected stimuli, while their eye movements were tracked. Participants were significantly more likely to detect the threatening stimulus than the neutral stimulus p =.035, odds ratio = 4.0, 95% confidence interval OR [1.13, 14.17]. Neither state nor trait... (shrink)
This book attacks the assumption found in moral philosophy that social control as such is an intellectually and morally destructive force. It replaces this view with a richer and deeper perspective on the nature of social character aimed at showing how social freedom cannot mean immunity from social pressure. The author demonstrates how our competence as rational and social agents depends on a constructive adaptation of social control mechanisms. Our facility at achieving our goals is enhanced, rather than undermined, by (...) social control. The author then articulates sources, contracts, and degrees of legitimate social control in different social and historical settings. Drawing on a wide range of material in moral and political philosophy, law, cognitive and social psychology, anthropology and literature, Professor Schoeman shows how the aim of moral philosophy ought to be to understand our social character, not to establish fortifications against it in the name of rationality and autonomy. (shrink)
The aim of compiling the various essays presented here is to make readily accessible many of the most significant and influential discussions of privacy to be found in the literature. In addition to being representative of the diversity of attitudes toward privacy, this collection has a coherence that results from the authors' focus on the same issues and theories. The main issue addressed in this book is the moral significance of privacy. Some social science and legal treatments are included because (...) of their direct bearing on the moral issues that privacy raises. In addition to the classics on privacy, the author has included an interpretative essay on the privacy literature, which provides a philosophical guideline as to what the issues are and how various thinkers have contributed to their resolution. (shrink)
This volume of original essays addresses a range of issues concerning the responsibility individuals have for their actions and for their characters. Among the central questions considered are the following: What scope is there for regarding a person as responsible for his or her character given genetic and environmental factors? Does an account of responsibility provide a legitimate basis for the retributive emotions? Are we ever justified in feeling guilty for occurences over which we have no control? Does responsibility for (...) the consequences of our acts require that they were intended or simply expected? How have a number of influential previous philosophers, including Aristotle, Maimonides, and Spinoza, approached these questions? (shrink)
We obtain rich measures of the risk preferences of a sample of Vietnamese farmers, and revisit the link between risk preferences and economic well-being. Far from being particularly risk averse, our farmers are on average risk neutral and, thus, more risk tolerant than typical Western subject populations. This generalises recent findings indicating that students in poorer countries are more risk tolerant than students in richer countries to a general population sample. Risk aversion is, furthermore, negatively correlated with income within our (...) sample, but does not correlate with wealth. This also casts doubt on high levels of risk aversion causing failure to adopt new technologies, which we discuss. (shrink)
Based on prior studies which show that firms headquartered in high religiosity counties exhibit high level of business ethics, this study examines whether these firms are associated with low audit risk, and therefore low audit fees. In investigating this relationship, we draw a distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic religiosity of auditees. Using a sample of 25,872 U.S. observations from 2003 to 2012, we find that intrinsic religiosity of the auditees is associated with low audit fees after controlling for auditee extrinsic (...) religiosity, social capital, firm-specific characteristics, and county-specific characteristics. Furthermore, we find that external monitoring weakens the negative relationship between auditee intrinsic religiosity and audit fees. Finally, we conclude that the effect of auditor religiosity on audit fees is a regional effect that may affect the relationship between audit fees and auditee intrinsic religiosity. (shrink)