If stem cell-based therapies are developed, we will likely confront a difficult problem of justice: for biological reasons alone, the new therapies might benefit only a limited range of patients. In fact, they might benefit primarily white Americans, thereby exacerbating long-standing differences in health and health care.
This paper addresses the following questions: (a) what did Locke mean when he said that ‘words signify ideas’? and (b) what is Locke’s argument for this thesis, and how successful is it? The paper argues that the two most prominent interpretations, those of Norman Kretzmann and E. J. Ashworth, attribute to Locke an argument for his semantic thesis that is fallacious, and that neither can make good sense of two key passages in book 3 of the Essay concerning Human Understanding. (...) An alternative understanding of signification, drawn from the works of Hobbes and the Port-Royal logicians, is explored and shown to provide both a satisfactory interpretation of these two passages and an understanding of Locke’s argument for the thesis that absolves him of fallacy. (shrink)
The Alligator's Child was full of 'satiable curtiosity. One day while rummaging in a trunk in the lumber room he came across a photograph of his father wearing an aardvark uniform and standing by a large ant hill. All excitement, he rushed to his father and breathlessly said, ‘Father, I didn't know that you had been an aardvark! What is it like to be an aardvark?’.
Assertion plays a crucial dual role in Frege's conception of logic, a formal and a transcendental one. A recurrent complaint is that Frege's inclusion of the judgement-stroke in the Begriffsschrift is either in tension with his anti-psychologism or wholly superfluous. Assertion, the objection goes, is at best of merely psychological significance. In this paper, I defend Frege against the objection by giving reasons for recognising the central logical significance of assertion in both its formal and its transcendental role.
What is it to be a woman? What is it to be a man? We start by laying out desiderata for an analysis of 'woman' and 'man': descriptively, it should link these gender categories to sex biology without reducing them to sex biology, and politically, it should help us explain and combat traditional sexism while also allowing us to make sense of the activist view that gendering should be consensual. Using a Putnam-style 'Twin Earth' example, we argue that none of (...) the existing analyses in the feminist literature succeeds in meeting all of our desiderata. Finally, we propose a positive account that we believe can satisfy all the desiderata outlined. According to our theory, the genders 'woman' and 'man' are individuated not by their contemporary connections to sex biology, but by their historical continuity with classes that were originally closely connected to sex biology. (shrink)
There has been much discussion about how to obtain legitimacy at macro-level priority setting in health care by use of fair procedures, but how should we consider priority setting by individual clinicians or health workers at the micro-level? Despite the fact that just health care totally hinges upon their decisions, surprisingly little attention seems being paid to the legitimacy of these decisions. This paper addresses the following question: what are the conditions that have to be met in order to ensure (...) that individual claims on health care are well aligned with an overall concept of just health care? Drawing upon a distinction between individual and aggregated needs, I argue that even though we assume the legitimacy of macro-level guidelines, this legitimacy is not directly transferable to decisions at micro-level simply by adherence to the guidelines’ recommendation. Further, I argue that individual claims are subject to the formal principle of equality and the demands of vertical and horizontal equity in a way that gives context- and patient-related equity concerns precedence over equity concerns captured at the macro-level. I conclude that if we aim to achieve just health care, we need to develop a complementary framework for legitimising individual judgment of patients’ claims on health care resources. Moreover, I suggest the basic structure of such a framework. (shrink)
Frege seems committed to the thesis that the senses of the fundamental notions of arithmetic remain stable and are stably grasped by thinkers throughout history. Fully competent practitioners grasp those senses clearly and distinctly, while uncertain practitioners see them, the very same senses, “as if through a mist”. There is thus a common object of the understanding apprehended to a greater or lesser degree by thinkers of diverging conceptual competence. Frege takes the thesis to be a condition for the possibility (...) of the rational intelligibility of mathematical practice. I argue however that the idea that senses could be grasped as a matter of degree is in tension with the constitutive theses that Frege held with regard to sense. Given those theses, there can in fact be no such thing as misty grasp of sense, since any uncertainty as to the logical features of a given sense will entail that one is getting hold of a different sense or of no sense at all. I consider various ways of resolving the tension and conclude that Frege’s thesis cannot be defended if we take it to be a thesis about our competence with concepts. This leaves unresolved what I call the problem of normative guidance, that is, the problem of explaining how the fundamental notions of logic and arithmetic can provide inferential guidance to thinkers. (shrink)
This article presents a new criticisms of reductive approaches to knowledge-‘wh’ (i.e., those approaches on which whether one stands in the knowledge-‘wh’ relation to a question is determined by whether one stands in the knowledge-‘that’ relation to some answer(s) to the question). It argues in particular that the truth of a knowledge-‘wh’ attribution like ‘Janna knows where she can buy an Italian newspaper’ depends not only on what Janna knows about the availability of Italian newspapers, but on what she believes (...) about the matter. This dependence of Janna's knowledge-‘wh’ on her (possibly false) beliefs is incompatible with the reductive approach. (shrink)
The Hutchins Commission's notion of media responsibility is being re-invigorated by the Corporate Social Responsibility/sustainability movement among U.S. and European corporations, though media companies tend to lag behind in adopting these programs. One exception is Britain's Guardian News that is, that the concept is too vague and poorly elaborated.
This paper considers two of the most prominent kinds of evidence that have been used to argue that certain embedded questions receive weakly exhaustive interpretations. The first kind is exemplified by judgments of consistency for declarative sentences that attribute knowledge of a wh-question and ignorance of the negation of that question to the same person, and the second concerns asymmetries between the role of positive and negative information in validating question-embedding surprise ascriptions, and similar judgments for other attitudes. I argue (...) that neither type suffices to show weak exhaustivity. The first can be analyzed in terms of strong exhaustivity in combination with domain restriction effects, while the second can be analyzed in terms of a mention-some interpretation. These kinds of evidence have served as the empirical basis for many claims about weakly exhaustive readings, so the observation that they are unreliable calls into questions a large body of established work on the semantics of question embedding. (shrink)
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