Robert Boyle, one of the most important intellectuals of the seventeenth century, was a gifted experimenter, an exceptionally able philosopher, and a dedicated Christian. In Boyle's two Excellencies, The Excellency of Theology Compared with Natural Philosophy and About The Excellency and Grounds of the Mechanical Hypothesis, he explains and justifies his new philosophy of science while reconciling it with Christian theology. These pioneering works of early science and theology are now available in a modernized and accessible new edition. (...) This Broadview edition brings spelling and punctuation into line with current conventions and includes notes and references to set the works in their historical and philosophical context. The appendices include works by Boyle's predecessors in the philosophy of science, other philosophical writings by Boyle, and an appendix of the other figures mentioned in the texts. (shrink)
Joseph Boyle discusses deontology, which derives precepts from moral principles, particularly making a case with reference to Alan Donagan's The Theory of Morality, which appeared the same year as Just and Unjust Wars.
This volume surveys the current state of the critical Legal Studies movement- a fifteen year old initiative whose proponents are committed to building a strong progrsseve community inside law schools and the legal profession. In his introduciton, Boyle argues that CLS has succeeded because it analyzes the inadequacies of rights talk, technocracy, and law and economics, and because it connects theory with the everyday experiences of lawyers and legal scholars. Articles present the CLS perspective on legal reasoning, legal hisory, (...) substantive law, legal practice, and social theory. (shrink)
Why do new things happen? Boyle answers through consideration of a conceptual history of the new, logical formalization of how novelty occurs, discussion of the relevance of novelty to scientific questions surrounding Earth, life and consciousness, and integrative reading of the respective philosophies of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Martin Heidegger.
If, as Buddhism claims, the potential for awakening exists in all human beings, we should be able to map the phenomenon with the same science we apply to other forms of consciousness. A student of cognitive social science and a Zen practitioner for more than forty years, Richard P. Boyle brings his sophisticated perspective to bear on the development of a theoretical model for both ordinary and awakened consciousness. Boyle conducts probing interviews with eleven prominent Western Buddhist teachers (...) and one scientist who have experienced awakening. From the paths they traveled to enlightenment and their descriptions of the experience, he derives three fundamental properties of awakened consciousness. He then constructs an overarching model that explains how Buddhist practices help free the mind from attachments to reality and the self and make possible the three properties of awakening. Specifically, these teachers describe how they worked to control attention and quiet the mind, detach from ideas and habits, and open themselves to compassion. Boyle's account incorporates current theories of consciousness, sociological insights, and research in neuroscience to advance the study of awakened consciousness and help an even greater number of people to realize it. (shrink)
A venerable philosophical tradition holds that we rational creatures are distinguished by our capacity for a special sort of mental agency or self-determination: we can “make up” our minds about whether to accept a given proposition. But what sort of activity is this? Many contemporary philosophers accept a Process Theory of this activity, according to which a rational subject exercises her capacity for doxastic self-determination only on certain discrete occasions, when she goes through a process of consciously deliberating about whether (...) P and concludes by “making a judgment”, thereby bringing about a change in what she believes. I argue that this conception of our control over our beliefs implies an unacceptable picture of the agency we exercise in judging, and of the relation of such agency to the condition of belief itself. I suggest that the beliefs of a rational creature are themselves “acts of reason”, which reflect the capacity for doxastic self-determination in their very nature, not merely in certain facts about how they can originate. (shrink)
I argue that a variety of influential accounts of self-knowledge are flawed by the assumption that all immediate, authoritative knowledge of our own present mental states is of one basic kind. I claim, on the contrary, that a satisfactory account of self-knowledge must recognize at least two fundamentally different kinds of self-knowledge: an active kind through which we know our own judgments, and a passive kind through which we know our sensations. I show that the former kind of self-knowledge is (...) in an important sense fundamental, since it is intimately connected with the very capacity for rational reflection, and since it must be present in any creature that understands the first-person pronoun. Moreover, I suggest that these thoughts about self-knowledge have a Kantian provenance. (shrink)
I distinguish two ways of explaining our capacity for ‘transparent’ knowledge of our own present beliefs, perceptions, and intentions: an inferential and a reflective approach. Alex Byrne (2011) has defended an inferential approach, but I argue that this approach faces a basic difficulty, and that a reflective approach avoids the difficulty. I conclude with a brief sketch and defence of a reflective approach to our transparent self-knowledge, and I show how this approach is connected with the thesis that we must (...) distinguish between a kind of self-knowledge that is of oneself as agent and another kind that is of oneself as patient. (shrink)
Additive theories of rationality, as I use the term, are theories that hold that an account of our capacity to reflect on perceptually-given reasons for belief and desire-based reasons for action can begin with an account of what it is to perceive and desire, in terms that do not presuppose any connection to the capacity to reflect on reasons, and then can add an account of the capacity for rational reflection, conceived as an independent capacity to ‘monitor’ and ‘regulate’ our (...) believing-on-the-basis-of-perception and our acting-on-the-basis-of-desire. I show that a number of recent discussions of human rationality are committed to an additive approach, and I raise two difficulties for this approach, each analogous to a classic problem for Cartesian dualism. The interaction problem concerns how capacities conceived as intrinsically independent of the power of reason can interact with this power in what is intuitively the right way. The unity problem concerns how an additive theorist can explain a rational subject's entitlement to conceive of the animal whose perceptual and desiderative life he or she oversees as ‘I’ rather than ‘it’. I argue that these difficulties motivate a general skepticism about the additive approach, and I sketch an alternative, ‘transformative’ framework in which to think about the cognitive and practical capacities of a rational animal. (shrink)
This review of how dolphins are portrayed in popular media reveals four themes that may influence public acceptance of current scientific research into dolphin cognition. These themes are: dolphin as peer to humans, of equal intelligence or at least capable of communicating with or helping humans; the dolphin as the representation of a romantic notion of ideal freedom in nature, embodying principles of peace, harmony or love; the dolphin as a naïve, innocent being that is subordinate and in need of (...) human protection; and the dolphin as superior to humans, potentially affiliating with a higher power or intelligence. This review revealed that the use of dolphins in humor reinforced or lampooned the four identified themes, indicating a common acceptance of these themes. The paper concludes with a discussion of the importance of considering popular narratives in the presentation of scientific research results. (shrink)
I argue that cognitively mature human beings have an important sort of control or discretion over their own beliefs, but that to make good sense of this control, we must reject the common idea that it consists in a capacity to act on our belief-state by forming new beliefs or modifying ones we already hold. I propose that we exercise agential control over our beliefs, not primarily in doing things to alter our belief-state, but in holding whatever beliefs we hold. (...) Our beliefs are thus not normally things on which we act; they are themselves our acts, in a sense I seek to explicate. (shrink)
The use of terminal sedation to control theintense discomfort of dying patients appearsboth to be an established practice inpalliative care and to run counter to the moraland legal norm that forbids health careprofessionals from intentionally killingpatients. This raises the worry that therequirements of established palliative care areincompatible with moral and legal opposition toeuthanasia. This paper explains how thedoctrine of double effect can be relied on todistinguish terminal sedation from euthanasia. The doctrine of double effect is rooted inCatholic moral casuistry, but (...) its applicationin law and morality need not depend on theparticular framework in which it was developed. The paper further explains how the moral weightof the distinction between intended harms andmerely foreseen harms in the doctrine of doubleeffect can be justified by appeal to alimitation on the human capacity to pursue good. (shrink)
Nuclear deterrence requires objective ethical analysis. In providing it, the authors face realities - the Soviet threat, possible nuclear holocaust, strategic imperatives - but they also unmask moral evasions - deterrence cannot be bluff, pure counterforce, the lesser (or greater) evil, or a step towards disarmament. They conclude that the deterrent is unjustifiable and examine the new question of conscience that this raises for everyone.
I critically discuss the account of self-knowledge presented in Dorit Bar-On’s Speaking My Mind (OUP 2004), focusing on Bar-On’s understanding of what makes our capacity for self-knowledge puzzling and on her ‘neo-expressivist’ solution to the puzzle. I argue that there is an important aspect of the problem of self-knowledge that Bar-On’s account does not sufficiently address. A satisfying account of self-knowledge must explain not merely how we are able to make accurate avowals about our own present mental states, but how (...) we can reasonably regard ourselves as entitled to claim self-knowledge. Addressing this aspect of the problem of self-knowledge requires confronting questions about the metaphysical nature of mental states, questions that Bar-On’s approach seeks to avoid. (shrink)
Some scholars have argued that Margaret Cavendish was ambivalent about women's roles and capabilities, for she seems sometimes to hold that women are naturally inferior to men, but sometimes that this inferiority is due to inferior education. I argue that attention to Cavendish's natural philosophy can illuminate her views on gender. In section II I consider the implications of Cavendish's natural philosophy for her views on male and female nature, arguing that Cavendish thought that such natures were not fixed. However, (...) I argue that although Cavendish thought women needed to be better educated, and could change if they had such an education, she also thought their education should reinforce the feminine virtues. Section III examines Cavendish's notorious “Preface to the Reader” (from The Worlds Olio), where Cavendish claims that women are naturally inferior in strength and intelligence to men. Section IV addresses another notorious Cavendish text, “Female Orations,” arguing that its message is similar to that of the “Preface to the Reader.” Nonetheless, although Cavendish held conventional views about male and female nature and appropriate gender roles, she also recognized how social institutions could limit women's freedom; section V explores the complexities of Cavendish's critique of one such institution, patriarchal marriage. (shrink)
The doctrine of double effect continues to be an important tool in bioethical casuistry. Its role within the Catholic moral tradition continues, and there is considerable interest in it by contemporary moral philosophers. But problems of justification and correct application remain. I argue that if the traditional Catholic conviction that there are exceptionless norms prohibiting inflicting some kinds of harms on people is correct, then double effect is justified and necessary. The objection that double effect is superfluous is a rejection (...) of that normative conviction, not a refutation of double effect itself. This justification suggests the correct way of applying double effect to controversial cases. But versions of double effect which dispense with the absolutism of the Catholic tradition lack justification and fall to the objection that double effect is an unnecessary complication. Keywords: double effect, intention, side effect CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
This study considers customer characteristics as situational influences on a salesperson'sethical judgment formation. Specifically, customer gender, income, and propensity to buy were considered as factors which may bias these judgments. Additionally, the gender of the salesperson and their moral value structure were examined as moderating effects. An experiment using real estate agents reading hypothetical sales scenarios revealed differences across (1) customer gender, (2) customer income, and (3) level of the respondent'sidealism. Significant interactive effects with these factors were also found involving (...) respondent gender and level of idealism. These and previous findings which consider situational effects on ethical decision-making, indicate that a more contingent approach to ethics studies is warranted. (shrink)
Human beings who have mastered a natural language are self-conscious creatures: they can think, and indeed speak, about themselves in the first person. This dissertation is about the significance of this capacity: what it is and what difference it makes to our minds. My thesis is that the capacity for self-consciousness is essential to rationality, the thing that sets the minds of rational creatures apart from those of mere brutes. This, I argue, is what Kant was getting at in a (...) famous passage of his Critique of Pure Reason, when he claimed that a representation which could not be “accompanied with the ‘I think’” would be “nothing to me” as a thinking being. I call this claim the Kantian thesis. My dissertation seeks to explain and defend the Kantian thesis, to show how it entails that the advent of self-consciousness brings with it a new kind of mind, and to sketch the implications of this point for a philosophy of mind that seeks to understand the minds of rational creatures. This involves, on the one hand, an investigation of the kinds of capacities that characterize a rational creature, and, on the other hand, an argument connecting reason with self-consciousness. I show that a rational creature, in the interesting sense, is one capable of conceptual representation, and I argue that (1) to represent conceptually is to represent in a way that decouples information from any particular context or purpose, (2) this special form of representation is possible only in a creature that can reflect explicitly on grounds for judging a proposition true, and (3) to have this capacity to reflect explicitly on grounds is necessarily to have the crux of self- consciousness. If this is right, then the representations of a rational creature must differ from those of a nonrational creature not merely in complexity but in kind. The dissertation sketches the implications of this point for various forms of naturalism and reductionism in the philosophy of mind, for debates about how to explain “first person authority,” and for our understanding of the sort of failure of self-consciousness involved in self-deception. (shrink)
This paper is a critical study of Quassim Cassam’s Self-Knowledge for Humans (Oxford University Press, 2014). Cassam claims that theorists who emphasize the “transparency” of questions about our own attitudes to questions about the wider world are committed to an excessively rationalistic conception of human thought. I dispute this, and make some clarificatory points about how to understand the relevant notion of “transparency”. I also argue that Cassam’s own “inferentialist” account of attitudinal self-knowledge entails an unacceptable alienation from our own (...) attitudes. In closing, I make some brief remarks on the value of understanding privileged self-knowledge, and how this topic is connected with more general questions about the nature of subjectivity. (shrink)
Service-learning has received a great deal of attention in the management education literature over the past decade, as a method by which students can acquire moral and civic values as well as gain academic knowledge and practice real-world skills. Scholars focus on student and community impact, curricular design, and rationale. However, the educational environment (“context”) in which service-learning occurs has been given less attention, although experienced educators know that the classroom is hardly a vacuum and that students learn a great (...) deal from the non-curricular aspects of their educational experience. Moral values in particular are conveyed by what is not said. Given this, I argue that the contexts in which service-learning takes place are as important as the activity itself. Three perspectives on context will be described and assessed: the “hidden” curriculum, the educational atmosphere, and the university’s orientation towards social responsibility. (shrink)
Although virtually all comparative research about risk perception focuses on which hazards are of concern to people in different culture groups, much can be gained by focusing on predictors of levels of risk perception in various countries and places. In this case, we examine standard and novel predictors of risk perception in seven sites among communities affected by a flood in Mexico (one site) and volcanic eruptions in Mexico (one site) and Ecuador (five sites). We conducted more than 450 interviews (...) with questions about how people feel at the time (after the disaster) regarding what happened in the past, their current concerns, and their expectations for the future. We explore how aspects of the context in which people live have an effect on how strongly people perceive natural hazards in relationship with demographic, well-being, and social network factors. Generally, our research indicates that levels of risk perception for past, present, and future aspects of a specific hazard are similar across these two countries and seven sites. However, these contexts produced different predictors of risk perception—in other words, there was little overlap between sites in the variables that predicted the past, present, or future aspects of risk perception in each site. Generally, current stress was related to perception of past danger of an event in the Mexican sites, but not in Ecuador; network variables were mainly important for perception of past danger (rather than future or present danger), although specific network correlates varied from site to site across the countries. (shrink)
That great apes are the only primates to recognise their reflections is often taken to show that they are self-aware—however, there has been much recent debate about whether the self-awareness in question is psychological or bodily self-awareness. This paper argues that whilst self-recognition does not require psychological self-awareness, to claim that it requires only bodily self-awareness would leave something out. That is that self-recognition requires ‘objective self-awareness’—the capacity for first person thoughts like ‘that's me’, which involve self-identification and so are (...) vulnerable to error through misidentification. This objective self-awareness is distinct from bodily or psychological self-awareness, requires cognitive sophistication and provides the beginnings of a more conceptual self-representation which might play a role in planning, mental time travel and theory of mind. (shrink)
In preparation for development of an exhibit on the cognitive abilities of dolphins, the Wildlife Conservation Society sought to determine potential visitor's social perspectives about dolphin intelligence, and how these beliefs might influence acceptance of scientific information. The study reported here used Q methodology to identify these underlying social perspectives. The study of adults and the study of children each revealed three distinct perspectives. While consensus emerged among adults on points about dolphins' high intelligence and communication abilities, the three perspectives (...) differed in their acceptance of the extent of self-awareness, learning capacity, and affinity for humans shown by dolphins. Among children, consensus emerged about dolphins' physical abilities, but analysis found differences in belief regarding instinctive versus intentional behavior, mystical connections, and dolphins' relationship to humans. Agreement among all of these perspectives, particularly on the topic of communication, suggests powerful common ways to begin thinking about dolphin cognition. Conversely, the unique attributes of each perspective, and the potential for interaction between individuals with differing perspectives in an exhibit setting, provide opportunities to engage visitors in discussion about animal intelligence. (shrink)
Foucault’s posthumously-published late work on epimeleia heautou might inaugurate a new partnership between classicists and Foucault. This work, however, has been misconstrued in recent classical scholarship, an important instance of which I consider here. I remedy the errors of one of Foucault’s classical interpreters; diagnose the reasons for the errors; and briefly suggest the transformative potential of Foucault’s work for students of antiquity.
In the United Kingdom women have access to termination of pregnancy for maternal reasons until 24 weeks’ completed gestation, but it is accepted practice for children born at or beyond 25 weeks’ gestation to be treated according to the child’s perceived best interests even if this is not in accordance with parental wishes. The authors present a case drawn from clinical practice which highlights the discomfort that parents may feel about such an abrupt change in their rights over their child, (...) and argue that parents should have greater autonomy over treatment decisions regarding their prematurely born children. (shrink)
The authors demonstrate that ethical judgments can be biased when previous judgments serve as a point of reference against which a current situation is judged. Scenarios describing ethical or unethical sales practices were used in an experiment to prime subjects who subsequently rated the ethics of an ethically ambiguous target scenario. The target tended to be rated as more ethical by subjects primed with unethical scenarios, and less ethical by subjects primed with ethical scenarios. This "contrast effect," however, is contingent (...) upon individual differences. Specifically, subjects with high (versus low) needs for cognition are more likely to process and use the information presented in the priming scenarios as a point of reference against which to judge the target situation, and hence more prone to the contrastive bias. Implications for avoiding unintentional moral relativism in business decision-making are discussed. (shrink)
In this paper we suggest that the ethical duties of business schools can be understood as representing stewardship in the Aristotelian tradition. In Introduction section we briefly explain the nature of ethical stewardship as a moral guideline for organizations in examining their duties to society. Ethical Stewardship section presents six ethical duties of business schools that are owed to four distinct stakeholders, and includes examples of each of those duties. Utilizing this Framework section identifies how this framework of duties can (...) be used in the process of self-examination and transformation within business schools. Why It Matters section concludes by explaining why the process of examining ethical duties at business schools is vitally important for both business schools and the larger communities that they serve. (shrink)