Ethics and Sustainability: Guest or Guide? On Sustainability as a Moral Ideal Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-5 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9322-6 Authors Franck L. B. Meijboom, Ethics Institute, Utrecht University, Janskerkhof 13a, 3512 BL Utrecht, The Netherlands Frans W. A. Brom, Ethics Institute, Utrecht University, Janskerkhof 13a, 3512 BL Utrecht, The Netherlands Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
The use of biotechnology in food productiongives rise to consumer concerns. The term ``consumerconcern'' is often used as a container notion. Itincludes concerns about food safety, environmental andanimal welfare consequences of food productionsystems, and intrinsic moral objections againstgenetic modification. In order to create clarity adistinction between three different kinds of consumerconcern is proposed. Consumer concerns can be seen assigns of loss of trust. Maintaining consumer trustasks for governmental action. Towards consumerconcerns, governments seem to have limitedpossibilities for public policy. Under current (...) WTOregulations designed to prevent trade disputes,governments can only limit their policies to 1) safetyregulation based upon sound scientific evidence and 2)the stimulation of a system of product labeling. Ananalysis of trust, however, can show that ifgovernments limit their efforts in this way, they willnot do enough to avoid the types of consumer concernsthat diminish trust. The establishment of a technicalbody for food safety – although perhaps necessary –is in itself not enough, because concerns that relatedirectly to food safety cannot be solved by ``pure''science alone. And labeling can only be a good way totake consumer concerns seriously if these concerns arerelated to consumer autonomy. For consumer concernsthat are linked to ideas about a good society,labeling can only provide a solution if it is seen asan addition to political action rather than as itssubstitution. Labeling can help consumers take uptheir political responsibility. As citizens, consumershave certain reasonable concerns that can justifiableinfluence the market. In a free-market society, theyare, as buyers, co-creators of the market, andsocietal steering is partly done by the market.Therefore, they need the information to co-create thatmarket. The basis of labeling in these cases, however,is not the good life of the individual but thepolitical responsibility people have in their role asparticipants in a free-market. Then, public concernsare taken seriously. Labeling in that case does nottake away the possibilities of reaching politicalgoals, but it adds a possibility. (shrink)
The combination of breeding for increased production and the intensification of housing conditions have resulted in increased occurrence of behavioral, physiological, and immunological disorders. These disorders affect health and welfare of production animals negatively. For future livestock systems, it is important to consider how to manage and breed production animals. In this paper, we will focus on selective breeding of laying hens. Selective breeding should not only be defined in terms of production, but should also include traits related to animal (...) health and welfare. For this we like to introduce the concept of robustness. The concept of robustness includes individual traits of an animal that are relevant for health and welfare. Improving robustness by selective breeding will increase (or restore) the ability of animals to interact successfully with the environment and thereby to make them more able to adapt to an appropriate husbandry system. Application of robustness into a breeding goal will result in animals with improved health and welfare without affecting their integrity. Therefore, in order to be ethically acceptable, selective breeding in animal production should accept robustness as a breeding goal. (shrink)
The leading question of this article is whether it is acceptable, from a moral point of view, to take wild animals that are ill out of their natural habitat and temporarily bring them under human control with the purpose of curing them. To this end the so-called 'seal debate' was examined. In the Netherlands, seals that are lost or ill are rescued and taken into shelters, where they are cured and afterwards reintroduced into their natural environment. Recently, this practice has (...) been criticised because it is thought to interfere with the wildness of the animals and population. In this research, the moral assumptions behind the arguments of both the proponents and opponents of sheltering have been analysed within a morally pluralistic framework. It is concluded that sheltering on too large a scale would be contrary to the efforts of the last few decades to maintain an independent or wild seal population, which means that a certain amount of caution is called for. However, in the current situation there is no decisive reason to completely prohibit shelters either. Good arguments can even be given in favour of sheltering. It also becomes clear that the acceptability of sheltering wild animals depends on the specific circumstances in which an animal is encountered. (shrink)
Consumer concerns pop up. They are relatedto the safety of agrifood products for people, foranimals, and for the environment as well as the socialand ethical implications of certain agrifoodproduction methods. At first sight, the WTO agreementand the SPS and TBT agreements appear to offersufficient legal scope to deal with these concerns andresolve trade conflicts. The events of recent years,however, have shown the limitations of theseagreements in dealing with cultural differencesbetween nations and in dealing with the social andpolitical pressure on national (...) governments to lay downrestrictive, trade distorting measures. It is vitalthat we consider the dynamic relationship betweennational governments, civil society, and the market.In the United States, Canada, and Europe, thisrealization is growing. We propose that these issuesshould be studied by experts in several disciplines:technical experts, hygiene experts and veterinarians,public administration experts, lawyers, philosophers,ethicists, sociologists, and, of course, economists.To unite these disciplines and provide a platform fordiscussion in the light of international tradeliberalisation, the cultural identity of distinctcommunities, and the functioning of the democraticnation state an international network is needed. Wetherefore propose establishing a network to explorethe issues and dynamics described above. The networkshould be international and interdisciplinary withparticipants, initially, from science and government.The purpose of the network would be to present newperspectives to the negotiating parties in the nextWTO round. The first steps to development of thisnetwork have since been taken and an initial group hasbeen established. (shrink)
Results of studies that cast doubt on the safety of genetically modified crops have been published since the first GM crop approval for commercial release. These ‘alarming studies’ challenge the dominant view about the adequacy of current risk assessment practice for genetically modified organisms. Subsequent debates follow a similar and recurring pattern, in which those involved cannot agree on the significance of the results and the attached consequences. The standard response from the government—a reassessment by scientific advisory bodies—seems insufficient to (...) bring the debate to a satisfactory closure. The recurrence of the same debate every time an alarming study is published shows that science alone cannot solve the problem. We believe that further analysis is needed to investigate if and how we can prevent this repetitive cycle that creates frustration amongst all stakeholders. In this paper, we analyse the dynamics behind discussions which occur following alarming studies. We will use a selection of representative alarming GMO case studies to underpin our claim that it is likely that there will be a permanent difference in view of opinion that cannot be solved with more data or new facts. The current strategy of more research is a pitfall that is unlikely to solve this issue. Instead, the focus of the GM crop discussion should shift towards managing permanent different viewpoints and providing a platform for a broader conversation on agriculture and food production. (shrink)
This Companion brings together a team of leading figures in contemporary philosophy to provide an in-depth exposition and analysis of Quine’s extensive influence across philosophy’s many subfields, highlighting the breadth of his work, and revealing his continued significance today. Provides an in-depth account and analysis of W.V.O. Quine’s contribution to American Philosophy, and his position as one of the late twentieth-century’s most influential analytic philosophers Brings together newly-commissioned essays by leading figures within contemporary philosophy Covers Quine’s work across philosophy of (...) logic, philosophy of language, ontology and metaphysics, epistemology, and more Explores his work in relation to the origins of analytic philosophy in America, and to the history of philosophy more broadly Highlights the breadth of Quine’s work across the discipline, and demonstrates the continuing influence of his work within the philosophical community. (shrink)
There is not, and may there never be, any treatise by me …onthese things, for the subject is not communicable in words, as othersciences are. Rather is it that, after long association in the business itself and a shared life, a light is lit in the soul, kindled, as it were, by a leaping flame, and thenceforward feeds itself.
In his paper “The Catholic Church, the American Military, and Homosexual Reorientation Therapy,” David W. Lutz ultimately concludes that it is “appropriate, and highly ethical” for the American military to offer reorientation therapy to help homosexuals overcome “the vice of sodomy.” The major thrust of his paper, however, is to call for abandonment of the “Don't Ask/Don't Tell” policy currently in place in the military. Lutz's paper covers much ground, and this review begins by examining whether such a wide view (...) is necessary for the ultimate conclusions. It goes on to ask whether Lutz has omitted to mention important considerations bearing on this issue, and whether Lutz's call for the introduction of reorientation therapy is a serious call or a symbolic response to homosexual activities. Lutz fails to address essential issues such as the actual experiences of other nations having homosexuals in the military, and issues regarding what constitutes “reorientation therapy,” the latter leading to questions about how such a therapy would actually be implemented. (shrink)
Em 1821, Friedrich W. Schelling inaugura um novo caminho para o seu pensamento. Esse novo caminho, como afirma o próprio filósofo, divide sua filosofia em duas partes, a saber, a filosofia negativa, que diz respeito a toda sua produção anterior, e a filosofia positiva que se inaugura a partir das aulas de Erlangen. Contudo, como veremos neste artigo, suas duas filosofias estão unidas na busca pelo pensamento da Unidade. Essa busca traduz-se na Spätphilosophie como busca do Absoluto. O presente artigo (...) tem como objetivo refletir sobre os escritos da chamada Filosofia da Mitologia que visam pensar o caminho do Absoluto. Tal caminho relaciona-se com o caminho percorrido pela própria consciência humana e, ao mesmo tempo, coincide com ela. Portanto, a análise culminará no que chamou de processo mitológico e sua relação com o politeísmo sucessivo, já que a mitologia teria se constituído graças à sucessão dos deuses efetuada na consciência humana. In 1821, Friedrich W. Schelling opens a new path for his thinking. This new path, as affirmed by the philosopher himself, he divides his philosophy in two parts: the negative philosophy, which concerns all his previous production, and the positive philosophy that is inaugurated by the Erlangen courses. However, both philosophies are linked together by the search of the thought of the Unity, a search manifested in the Spätphilosophie as the quest for the Absolute. The present article aims to reflect upon the writings of the so-called Philosophy of Mythology, which intends to think about the way to the Absolute. Such way is related to the path followed by the human conscience itself and, at the same time, it coincides with the conscience itself. Therefore, the analysis shall culminate in what Schelling called "mythological process" and in its relation with the successive polytheism, since mythology may have constituted itself by the succession of gods, effected in human conscience. (shrink)
The world of John Dewey scholarship recently lost one of its most thoughtful contributors, and teachers of all kinds lost one of their most passionate and committed advocates. Philip W. Jackson was born in 1928 in Vineland, New Jersey, a locale known historically for its excellent grape-growing soil and veterinarian Arthur Goldhaft’s famous pledge to “put a chicken in every pot.” Jackson’s adoptive parents were, appropriately enough, chicken farmers, and, as the story goes, they noticed early on his indisputable knack (...) for singing and poetry recitation. Feeling very at home on the stage, the plucky six-year-old even tried his hand as a vaudevillian, performing a snake charmer act between reels at.. (shrink)
How, in pursuit of ontological neutrality, should one talk about values? I propose to say: there are values . Those three words do nothing to define within what kind of conception of a world values are at home. 1 I take it that the ‘realist’ must have more to say about values and their world . I recognize that an ‘anti-realist’ may prefer to talk of value- terms ; I ask him to wait and see whether taking the linguistic turn (...) is the only way to put values in their place. (shrink)
We all ‘know’ that public opinion came to prominence in the political vocabulary of the late eighteenth century. It may be that this dates its rise a bit late, but it is not relevant to argue the matter here. My concern is rather that we be equally aware of the purposes for which people made use of the concept. Here I wish to consider various possible contexts for speaking or writing of public opinion, or ‘opinion’, as it was usually called (...) prior to the mid-eighteenth century. It may be possible to define, more fully than heretofore, the work that the expression did in eighteenth-century thought. As contemporary students of public opinion have been learning, an answer to this question may not even be wholly irrelevant to the task of specifying the nature of public opinion in our own time. (shrink)
My title is a quotation from Davidson's essay ‘On Saying That’. And although my concerns are at some remove from his, they do connect at one significant point. We find ourselves under the continual pressure of theory to deny that ordinary familiar semantic features of ordinary familiar words equip them to serve certain ordinary familiar functions. One of Davidson's aims is to resist that pressure as far as the function of reporting indirect speech is concerned. In similar vein I want (...) to look at some common things that we do with words and show how we can hold fast to a simple common-sense view of what we are doing despite the doubts to which reflection is apt to give rise. In fact I want to look at six things we do with words, six linguistic moves we make. These six moves are related in a number of important ways. Even so, they are really the subjects of six separate essays, and I am well aware that treating them together in the way that I shall be doing—worse still, trying thereby to make some headway with solving one or two extremely difficult philosophical problems, as I shall also be doing—will mean that in each case I can at best produce something highly programmatic. (shrink)
If we cannot agree that evaluations are judgements that both describe things and express sentiments, we lack any shared understanding of a common topic. If we ever come to agree how the describing and expressing relate, we shall lose a debate. Suppose that evaluation is a mode of description essentially expressive of sentiment, and that some evaluations can be known to be true: then there must exist properties of such a kind that they can be apprehended only from appropriately affective (...) points of view. Alternatively, it may be that evaluation involves some element distinct from description, so that, in principle, one could always accept the descriptive core of an evaluation while distancing oneself from a non-descriptive element that makes it evaluative. We may distinguish the two kinds of view as lumping , or descriptivist- cum -expressivist, and splitting , or descriptivist- plus -expressivist. Both ascribe to evaluations an expressive aspect as well as a descriptive content; what is at issue is whether the former is integral to the latter, or detachable from it. (shrink)
Different questions generate different forms of practical reasoning. A contextually unrestricted ‘What shall I do?’ is too open to focus reflection. More determinately, an agent may ask, ‘Shall I do X, or Y?’ To answer that, he may need to weigh things up—as fits the derivation of ‘deliberation’ from libra. Ubiquitous and indispensable though this is, I mention it only to salute it in passing. Or he may ask how to achieve a proposed end: if his end is to do (...) X, he may ask ‘How shall I do X?’ Or he may ask how to apply a universal rule or particular maxim. Aristotle supplies examples in De Motu Animalium, whose wording I freely adapt to my own purposes: A1 reasons to a necessary means to achieving an end: I will make a cloak. To make a cloak I must do A. So, I will do A. (shrink)
The contribution focuses on philosophical issues of justice of positive law in the light of the social teaching of John Paul II. The analyses start with consideration of anthropological foundations of justice as virtue, develop with the reflexion upon justice of actions realizing justice and finally arrive at examination of the criteria of justice of law. -/- It is argued that relations between a human being and goods (ends of actions) form ontological basis of natural law and justice of actions (...) – orders and prohibitions are secondary in respect to these relations. An aim of just law (and natural law) is not preservation or restoration of abstractly understood moral order based on norms – orders and prohibitions) but integral development (good) of a person – a being possessing dignity. John Paul’s II philosophy of law takes advantage primarily of Thomas Aquinas’ approach to law and combines it with constructions which are typical for modern human rights protection. John Paul’s II conception of natural law is anthropocentric and bases on subjective rights thinking. Human dignity and human rights which derive from it provide basic criteria for the justice of law. Human rights as subjective rights disclose natural law which is understood as a set of goods for a human person. These goods are ends of actions and as such they determine actions and their forms. This point of view is compatible with Aquinas’ definition: “law is nothing but a rational plan of operation, and … the rational plan of any kind of work is derived from the end” (Summa contra gentiles, lib. 3, cap. 114, n. 5). -/- Positive (human) law which is not just has no normative power in this sense that it does not in itself provide reasons for concrete actions of a concrete actor. Sometimes there are moral reasons for following unjust law, however if its norm prescribes actions which are wrong in themselves (internally wrong) there is moral obligation to act contrary to such a legal norm. -/- Zasadniczym przedmiotem opracowania jest filozoficzna refleksja Jana Pawła II nad sprawiedliwością prawa stanowionego. Analizy przebiegają od zagadnienia antropologicznych podstaw sprawiedliwości poprzez problematykę działań realizujących sprawiedliwość do zagadnienia sprawiedliwości prawa stanowionego. Opracowanie zamykają uwagi wskazujące na kontekst teologiczny istotny dla problematyki sprawiedliwości, którego analiza wykracza jednak poza podjęte zamierzenie koncentrujące się na problematyce filozoficznoprawnej. Argumentuje się, że u podstaw tej refleksji leży namysł nad relacją człowieka do dobra, która stanowi ontologiczną podstawę prawa naturalnego i sprawiedliwości – nakazy i zakazy są wtórne wobec tej relacji. Celem prawa i sprawiedliwości jest dobro konkretnego, obdarzonego godnością człowieka, a nie np. przywracanie abstrakcyjnie pojętego porządku moralnego. Od strony konstrukcji teoretycznej, filozofia prawa Jana Pawła II jest osadzona przede wszystkim na koncepcji Tomasza z Akwinu łączonej z konstrukcjami typowymi dla współczesnej ochrony praw człowieka. To w godności i wynikających z niej prawach człowieka poszukiwać trzeba zasadniczych treściowych kryteriów sprawiedliwości prawa. Prawa człowieka jako prawa podmiotowe są podstawowym wyrazem prawa naturalnego, stanowiącego ontyczną podstawę sprawiedliwości i które pojmowane jest jako zespół dóbr dla osoby, zatem i celów kształtujących działanie. Perspektywa pojmowania prawa naturalnego jest antropocentryczna. Prawo stanowione, które nie jest sprawiedliwe, nie ma „mocy prawa”, przede wszystkim w takim sensie, że nie stanowi samo w sobie racji działania. Niekiedy, ze względów moralnych, niesprawiedliwe prawo wymaga posłuszeństwa. Jeśli jednak prawo stanowione daje uprawnienia do czynów wewnętrznie złych i nakazuje takie czyny, to nie tylko nie obowiązuje w sumieniu i nie jest racją działania, ale obowiązkiem jest postępowanie wbrew takiemu prawu. (shrink)
w a y s h a v e b e e n . W e a l l r e m e m b e r M a r x ' s p o l e m i c a g a i n s t P r o u d h o n , t h e Manifesto's critique of "historical action [yielding] to personal inventive action, historically created conditions of emancipation to fantastic ones, and the gradual spontaneous class (...) organizations of the proletariat to an organization of society specially contrived by these inventors" (Marx and Engels, 1986, 64), and the numerous other occasions when the fathers of "scientific socialism" went a f t e r t h e " u t o p i a n s . " I n general this Marxian aversion to drawing up blueprints has been healthy, fueled at least in part by a respect for the concrete specificity of the revolutionary situation and for the agents engaged in revolutionary activity: it is not the business of Marxist intellectuals to tell the agents of revolution how they are to construct their postrevolutionary economy. (shrink)
This paper examines E. W. Beth's work in the philosophy of physics, both from a historical and a systematic point of view. Beth saw the philosophy of physics first of all as an opportunity to illustrate and promulgate a new and modern general approach to the philosophy of nature and to philosophy tout court: an approach characterized negatively by its rejection of all traditional metaphysics and positively by its firm orientation towards science. Beth was successful in defending this new ideology, (...) and became its leading Dutch representative in the first two decades after the second world war. Beth also contributed importantly to the method of the philosophy of physics in a narrower sense, by proposing and promoting the semantic approach in the formal analysis of physical theories. Finally, he worked on several specific foundational questions; but he was probably too much of a logician to leave his mark in this area. (shrink)
Reviews : Gregor McLennan, Marxism and the Methodologies of History, , pp. 272. Anthony Giddens, A Contemporary Critique of Historical Materialism, , pp. 294. Raphael Samuel, ed., People's History and Socialist Theory. History Workshop Series, , pp. vi + 417. G. Osborne and W. F. Mandle, eds., New History Studying Australia Today, , pp. 216.