Philosophy, according to a prominent conception of its nature and method, consists primarily of conceptual or linguistic analysis. Because the relations between concepts are logical, and because the propositions which express them are necessary, philosophy is taken to be an a priori activity.
This article addresses the ethics of selling transplantable organs. I examine and refute the claim that Catholic teaching would permit and even encourage an organ market. The acceptance of organ transplantation by the Church and even its praise of organ donors should not distract us from the quite explicit Church teaching that condemns an organ market. I offer some reasons why the Church should continue to disapprove of an organ market. The recent commercial turn in medicine can blind us to (...) the problems of an organ market. In addition, the reliance on the gift image in organ transplantation raises difficulties of its own. What is needed is a fuller appreciation of the fact that the human person is essentially embodied with all its parts, and not merely an autonomous being that possesses organs as property to sell. I support this vision of the embodied human person by appealing to the writings of Immanuel Kant. (shrink)
This chapter presents an essay by W. E. B. Du Bois that deals with the issue of race. He raises questions such as: What is the real meaning of race. What has, in the past, been the law of race development? What lessons has the past history of race development to teach the rising Negro people? He describes the American Negro Academy, which aims at once to be the epitome and expression of the intellect of the black-blooded people of America, (...) the exponent of the race ideals of one of the world's great races. He concludes by outlining a proposed creed for the Academy. (shrink)
This metaphysical essay opposes all theories which place man's ultimate significance within a totality. The priority of a rupture of the totality is asserted in such phenomena as desire, enjoyment, will, reason, and communication. The reasoning and problems chosen are too often dependent upon a special existential-phenomenological vocabulary.--E. W.
William Ernest Johnson was a renowned British logician and economist, and also a fellow of King's College, Cambridge. Originally published in 1921, this book forms the first of a three-volume series by Johnson relating to 'the whole field of logic as ordinarily understood'. The series is widely regarded as Johnson's greatest achievement, making a significant contribution to the tradition of philosophical logic. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in Johnson's theories, philosophy and the historical development (...) of logic. (shrink)
While legal rights to make medical treatment decisions at the end of one's life have been recognized by the courts, particular religious traditions put axiological and metaphysical meat on the bare bones of legal rights. Mere legal rights do not capture the full reality, meaning and importance of death. End-of-life decisions reflect not only the meaning we find in dying, but also the meaning we have found in living. The Christian religions bring particular understandings of the vision of life as (...) a gift from God, human responsibility for stewardship of that life, the wholeness of the person, and the importance of the dying process in preparing spiritually for life beyond earthly life, to bear on end-of-life decisions. (shrink)
C. S. Peirce argued that inductive reasoning and probability judgments are adequately secure only in the indefinitely long run, and that therefore it is illogical to employ these modes of inference unless one's chief devotion is to the interests of an ideal community of all rational beings, past, present, and future. He thought of this devotion as a "social sentiment", involving self-sacrifice. An examination of his argument shows that the attitude presupposed by his conceptions of induction and probability is in (...) fact not self-sacrificial and is social only in a very special sense. Furthermore, it seems doubtful that this attitude is characteristic of practicing scientists; and this is a reason for questioning Peirce's analysis of induction and probability. (shrink)
Roman Catholicism has long opposed suicide. Although Scripture neither condones nor condemns suicide explicitly, cases in the Bible that are purported to be suicides fall into several different categories, and the Roman Catholic tradition can show why some of these should be considered morally wrong and some should not. While Christian martyrdom is praised, it is not correct to argue that this Christian outlook invites suicide, or that it recommends physician-assisted suicide for altruistic motives. Church Tradition, from its earliest days, (...) has clearly distinguished martyrdom from suicide. The principles of double effect and cooperation, mainstays in Roman Catholic moral theology, enable one to see the moral difference between martyrdom and suicide, and to appreciate why physician-assisted suicide is wrong for both patient and physician. (shrink)
We shall argue that there is adequate moral justification for capital punishment with linkage, that is, with linkage to keeping non-murderers from dying. We present the argument with two aims in mind. The first is to question the conventional wisdom, seldom challenged even by proponents of capital punishment, that being an abolitionist is closely connected to having a civilized respect for human life. This conventional wisdom, we hope to show, is somewhat off the mark. To this end we exhibit structural (...) similarities between so-called lifeboat dilemmas and the public's relationship to a murderer. In a lifeboat dilemma one must choose between saving this life or that, since the lifeboat will not hold both persons. Now if this life were an innocent's and that one a murderer's, a choice to save the latter would not be met with accusations of callousness towards human life. We hope to project everyone's intuitions about this case onto the more baffling case of a society's relationship to the murderers and dying innocents in its midst. (shrink)
This chapter presents an essay by W. E. B. Du Bois on the strivings of the American Negro. He cites the double-consciousness of the Negro, the sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness—an American, a Negro two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength (...) alone keeps it from being torn asunder. He argues that the history of the American Negro is the history of this strife,—this longing to attain self—conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. (shrink)
Scientific authority and physician authority are both challenged by Thomas Kuhn's concept of incommensurability. If competing “paradigms” or “world views” cannot rationally be compared, we have no means to judge the truth of any particular view. However, the notion of local or partial incommensurability might provide a framework for understanding the implications of contemporary philosophy of science for medicine. We distinguish four steps in the process of translating medical science into clinical decisions: the doing of the science, the appropriation of (...) the scientific findings by the clinician, the transfer of the findings from the clinician to the patient, and the choice of a treatment regimen. Incommensurability can play a role in each stage. There is at least some theory- and value-ladenness in science that is dependent on the world view of those who construct the scientific theories. Clinicians who must use the results of scientific research will inevitably interpret the research from the standpoint of their own world view. There may be further incommensurability when these data are communicated to the patient. Finally, clinician and patient values must come into play in any decision about choice of treatment. No stage of medical research or practice is value-free. This position does not imply relativism; some scientific accounts are better than others. However, the challenge of the incommensurabilists shows that further analysis is needed to establish how particular accounts are better or worse. (shrink)
This book is a fresh study of the fourth century B.C. Greek adventurer, writer, and student of Socrates, Xenophon. An innovating author of many guises, an important source for the history of his time, a wit and a philosopher, he no longer enjoys the reputation he once did. Suggesting that such a radical de-valuation is more a reflection on nineteenth- and twentieth-century attitudes and scholarship than on the worth of Xenophon, the author in this book attempts to reassert Xenophon’s rightful (...) position by offering a close, literary-historical reading of all of Xenophon’s writings and by focusing in this process on the alluring reticence and ironic subtlety many have often failed to appreciate before offering what turn out to be their too hasty criticisms. It is hoped that this study will help to bring about the realization that Xenophon, when properly read and read without preconceptions, may yet prove an invaluable guide to the development of Greek thought in general and the world of fourth-century Greece in particular. Xenophon emerges as one of the last great representatives of that civilization which reached its height in Athens, and it is in this context that he is best understood, not, as so often previously, against the Peloponnesian and especially Spartan background where he had friends and where he spent a long exile. (shrink)
This volume of newly commissioned essays provides comprehensive coverage of African philosophy, ranging across disciplines and throughout the ages. Offers a distinctive historical treatment of African philosophy. Covers all the main branches of philosophy as addressed in the African tradition. Includes accounts of pre-colonial African philosophy and contemporary political thought.