Although similar in some respects, Rawls' and Kant' visions of world order fall apart on the question of sovereignty. Rawls never advocates of an international single state with international authority. Kant, on the other hand, inspired by the project of Enlightenment, as a final form of international sovereignty sees federative state of states as a provider for eternal peace among peoples.
Bender, Robert The USA constitution does not have a clause requiring any separation of church and state and until 1948 there were no Supreme Court rulings to ensure that this was seen as a basic constitutional principle. Then in 1945 Vashti McCollum, a 33-year-old part-time squaredancing teacher from Champaign, Illinois, initiated a legal action that changed all that.
The theme of this issue of Ethical Perspectives is the French tradition in liberal thought, and the unique contribution that this tradition can make to debates in contemporary liberalism. It is inspired by a colloquium held at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in December of 2008 entitled “In Search of a Lost Liberalism: Constant, Tocqueville, and the singularity of French Liberalism.” This colloquium was held in conjunction with the retirement of Leuven professor and former Dean of the Institute of Philosophy, André (...) Van de Putte, who found much inspiration in this tradition. A revised version of his valedictory lecture from the conference serves as the final contribution to this issue. Much contemporary liberal political philosophy is currently done in conversation with a line of liberal thinkers starting with John Locke, running through Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill, and culminating in the work of John Rawls and his followers. The reasons for the enormous appeal of this philosophical tradition are, among other things, the combination of the central role of the intuitively appealing value of individual liberty with a strong rationalistic, universalistic, and normative character. The thread running through most of these liberal theories is a commitment to what the French liberal Benjamin Constant referred to as “the liberty of the moderns,” that is, liberty in a negative sense, as a lack of interference in one’s activity from others and from government. This focus has expanded over time to include a richer body of civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights, for instance, in the work of liberal thinkers who have tried to integrate the insights of communitarian thought and discourse ethics in their work. However, the emphasis on individual liberty in the negative sense continues to be the normative and theoretical touchstone and default position for many contemporary liberal theories. The limitation of the canon of liberal thought to the aforementioned authors and themes deprives the contemporary debate of a rich source of ideas: the French liberal tradition. Montesquieu, considered to be the father of this tradition, provides a good example of how it can enrich current debates in liberal theory. Montesquieu’s work evinces a keen eye for the dynamics of power relations and the limitations of the power of the better rational argument. His insight that power can sometimes only be checked by an equal and opposing power, so that a system of separation and balance of powers is necessary in order to preserve liberty, is reflected in the foundations of most modern democracies. Montesquieu also argues that contingent environmental, historical, social and economic conditions play a dramatic role in determining what kind of government is appropriate for a particular society. On his view, ignoring these facts when framing a government can inadvertently end in despotism. Montesquieu’s observations challenge us to reexamine some of contemporary liberalism’s universalist and rationalist claims. Benjamin Constant is most famous for his distinction between two kinds of liberty: the liberty of the ancients and the liberty of the moderns. The ancient form of liberty manifested itself in the active political participation of citizens in the ancient republic. While this form of government and decision-making was suitable for small, homogeneous city-states, Constant argues that it is impracticable for large modern nation-states. Hence, the concept of modern liberty shifts to an emphasis on the rule of law and the non-interference of the state in private matters. This form of liberty is familiar to us from contemporary liberalism – and Constant cherishes this form of freedom as much as any liberal does today. However, his position is complex: he also argues that the liberty of the ancients should not be neglected. Active political participation is needed to ensure that the government is executing its duty of preserving the modern form of liberty by publicly pointing out violations. The contemporary relevance of Constant’s work is clear when we consider the alleged “democratic deficit” that plagues the EU and international institutions such as the UN, the IMF, and the World Bank. Not only does this democratic deficit threaten the modern form of liberty by placing decision-making processes out of sight of the people, it also threatens citizens’ sense of self-respect derived from self-governance. Constant’s argument for the necessity of combining the liberty of the ancients with that of the moderns provides a fruitful resource for confronting these contemporary issues. Tocqueville’s work on liberalism benefits from his opportunity to observe a society founded on liberal democratic principles – the United States of America – in action. In his Democracy in America, he examines the social consequences, both intended and unintended, of building a society on ‘the equality of conditions’, as he defines ‘democracy’. Tocqueville sees a tension between the democratic value of equality and the aristocratic value of the rule of the best. He observes that democratic societies do not necessarily choose the best leaders and instead promote mediocrity instead of virtue, talent, and excellence. Democracy also confronts citizens with the threat of ‘soft despotism’, where a government that preserves the outer signs of the liberty of the moderns nevertheless controls the behavior of its citizens in minute detail through a system of detailed rules ostensibly aimed at their welfare. This paternalism is an even more insidious threat to liberal values than the hard variety of despotism, since it is so difficult to detect and done in the name of liberal values themselves. Taking Tocqueville’s observations seriously would add complexity to attempts to theorize about the modern social-democratic welfare state. The contributions to this issue supplement and critique mainstream liberal thought and its relation to contemporary issues through a serious engagement with the French liberal tradition. Annelien De Dijn’s contribution discusses Bertrand de Jouvenel, a lesser-known 20th Century representative of the French political tradition she terms ‘aristocratic liberalism’. This tradition has its roots in the work of Montesquieu, and emphasizes the importance of intermediary bodies, most importantly the aristocracy, in providing a check to the top-down power of despotic state authorities and the bottom-up power of revolutionary leveling tendencies, both of which threaten liberty. De Dijn situates Jouvenel in this tradition, but then indicates an important difference between his thought and that of his predecessors: his most significant work, On Power, is not only on French history, but on European history. Pointing to the enthusiastic reception of this work in the Anglophone world, she suggests that the rise of totalitarianism in Europe gave the anti-totalitarian features of aristocratic liberalism a broader appeal. Valentino Lumowa’s paper concerns Constant’s classic text, The Liberty of the Ancients Compared with that of the Moderns. Lumowa argues that in order to understand Constant’s piece, we must be aware that its two parts were written under different historical circumstances and decipher the argumentative thrust inherent in the text. Following Stephen Holmes, he argues that to understand the shift Constant made in the second part of the text, we should read it within the context of the increasing influence of the ultra-Royalists in the legislature during the Bourbon Restoration. However, in contrast to Holmes, he contends that the spirit of both civic and individual freedom, which enlivens representative system, is the backbone of the text in its unity. Demin Duan’s essay investigates an apparent ambivalence between liberal and imperialist tendencies in the work of Alexis de Tocqueville, which has already drawn some attention from Tocquevillian scholars. These interpretations of Tocqueville and his writings on empire generally agree that Tocqueville stands in a recognized tradition of liberalism, which is characterized by respect for human rights, individual freedom and a sense of universal humanism. On this standard view, Tocqueville’s support of imperialism represents nothing but an unfortunate breach of his own otherwise consistent liberal thinking. Duan’s article questions this standard position. By questioning the assumption of Tocqueville’s liberalism in the first place, he tries to gauge the influence of both the old republican tradition and the new liberal perspective on his thinking. In conclusion, he argues that Tocqueville’s overall thought, especially his notion of freedom, is very much informed by an old republican tradition. His support of French imperialism could be better understood from this perspective rather than be rendered simply as a deviation from liberal norms. Pawel Marczewski’s contribution is an attempt to show that Tocqueville’s conception of liberty transcends the divisions between negative and positive aspects of freedom. He begins by juxtaposing this conception with the opposition drawn by Constant between liberty of the ancients and liberty of the moderns. While Tocqueville and Constant shared a concern for the preservation of individual rights, Tocqueville was much more reluctant to accept the modern loss of the communal dimension of liberty. He did not accept the view that jouissances privées, private pleasures, are the main compensation that the modern world has to offer for the lost ancient treasure of political participation. The essay then looks into the relevance of Tocqueville’s standpoint for current debates between liberal defenders of negative freedom and republican advocates of freedom as non-domination. Participants on both sides of the debate seem to be so devoted to showing that their particular approach provides the best guarantees against actual and possible threats to liberty that they overlook the fact that their definitions of freedom remain significantly similar. By arguing that ‘to be free is to be guided by one’s own will’, contemporary republicans, as well as their liberal counterparts, move along the lines drawn by Constant towards private pleasures. By questioning the inevitability of this turn, Tocqueville provides us with a valuable contribution to these discussions in contemporary political philosophy. Finally, André Van de Putte’s contribution, an adaptation of his emeritus speech that closed the conference on French Liberalism, appeals to Tocqueville in order to draw attention to the importance of intermediary, dialogical bodies in mitigating the implicit despotic tendencies of the democratic drive to equality. In Tocqueville’s view, the transition from the feudal corporate inequality to democratic individual equality was not a clean break. Rather, this transition is a continual process of democratization that is driven by a desire for equality, or egalité des conditions. This dissolution of distinctions of estate, class and status has the unintended consequence of concentrating the diffuse power of these entities into a centralized state, which is responsible for ensuring the equality of all under the law. This process leaves increasingly isolated and atomized individuals to face the power of a monolithic state in defense of their freedom, and moves toward a soft, paternalistic despotism. Constant’s freedom of the moderns is not sufficient to protect individuals from this centralized power. Democracy also requires the political freedom of the ancients. Van de Putte argues for a system in which atomized individuals organize themselves into intermediary bodies that, in a Montesquieuian balance of powers, can enter into dialogue with each other and the state on more equitable terms. Van de Putte’s contribution closes with a plea for a conception of democracy as a regime of dialogue. (shrink)
Every quantum state can be represented as a probability distribution over the outcomes of an informationally complete measurement. But not all probability distributions correspond to quantum states. Quantum state space may thus be thought of as a restricted subset of all potentially available probabilities. A recent publication (Fuchs and Schack, arXiv:0906.2187v1, 2009) advocates such a representation using symmetric informationally complete (SIC) measurements. Building upon this work we study how this subset—quantum-state space—might be characterized. Our leading characteristic (...) is that the inner products of the probabilities are bounded, a simple condition with nontrivial consequences. To get quantum-state space something more detailed about the extreme points is needed. No definitive characterization is reached, but we see several new interesting features over those in Fuchs and Schack (arXiv:0906.2187v1, 2009), and all in conformity with quantum theory. (shrink)
Cosmopolis A Review of Cosmopolitics -/- 2015/3-4 -/- Editorial Dominique de Courcelles & Paul Ghils -/- This issue addresses the general concept of “spirituality” as it appears in various cultural contexts and timeframes, through contrasting ideological views. Without necessarily going back to artistic and religious remains of primitive men, which unquestionably show pursuits beyond the biophysical dimension and illustrate practices seeking to unveil the hidden significance of life and death, the following papers deal with a number of interpretations covering a (...) wide field extending from belief to theory, from emotions to concepts, from the wisdom of personal experience to the most sophisticated doctrines. Spirit and spirituality are indeed many-faceted notions. They may refer to the intricate world of the interacting spirits which inhabit living beings in animistic traditions, without excluding a “grand force” linking human beings within a dynamic whole on which their very existence rely . They also bear upon more atomistic and either/or approaches of Western philosophy, which have become embodied in Cartesian dualism against a monotheist background, to the point of freezing the essence of individuals and culminating in the extreme individualism that characterizes our contemporaries. However, this equally refers to the opposite conception of materialism, across times and cultures, from ancient India and Greece (Cārvāka, originally known as Lokāyata, or some Buddhist doctrines for the former, Democritus or Lucretius for the latter) to more contemporary materialistic schools, whether modern or postmodern. -/- The following papers look at the contrasting forms of the philosophy and spirit of the human factor set into a whole, with no artificial disjoint between the psychical and the physical levels, as Wittgenstein put it: “And how can a body have a soul?”. This approach is not unrelated to the notion of anthropocene examined in a recent issue of Cosmopolis, with provides another comprehensive framework open to a spiritual life emerging from the very environment that generated it. -/- *** The first section of this issue was edited by Dominique de Courcelles, director at the National French Research Centre (CNRS), whom we wish to thank for collecting relevant studies relating to the religious and political questions, with a view to focusing on the war of ideas inevitably waged behind images, concepts and perceptions, taking an asymmetrical approach. To the extent that they are mindful of global/local interactions and include representations, opinions and beliefs, such disciplines as philosophy, philology, history and social sciences can provide useful studies accounting for new practices in geopolitics and a fair diplomacy. -/- In her introduction, Dominique de Courcelles first poses the question of how the religious and political spheres interrelate, with their corresponding religious demands and humanistic values. She then suggests that the right question today may be breaking with the philosophy of human rights concerned with the defense of human beings against the hazards of arbitrary politics or the instrumental use of religion, in favour of a fair philosophy of humankind, a new humanism. This would consist in recognizing a common loyalty of all towards one interhuman, not only interstate community, to protect it from both the autonomy demanded by individuals and the instrumental use of minorities. -/- Considering the fact of diversity, so important today in terms of both politics and religion, Abdelhai Azarkan looks at the conditions under which tolerance could obtain the double status of right and duty. He revisits to two philosophers, John Locke and Voltaire, who thought about it from the historical reality of religious wars. The former made tolerance into a right, basing his analysis on the political-legal level, while the latter saw tolerance as a duty, from an analysis based on ethical-political criteria. -/- Mathieu Guidère examines what he calls semantic denominationalism, a term which implies religious attributes and identities, whichever national loyalties or personal belonging they may have at the same time. Since the early 2000s, thie phenomenon has expanded tremendously, compounded by the “war on terror” and the over media-oriented terrorist actions. Denominational expressions act as formal names for ordinary and high-profile players in domestic and foreign policies of democratic states. These systems reveal a receding secularization, while the powerful comeback of religious identities signals the failure of nation-states and the weakening of the humanist spirit. -/- Barbara De Poli retraces the history of a contemporary jihadism claiming its Islamic essence and asserting the truth of genuine coranic principles via the war on infidels, with a view to restoring the Caliphate. After defining the term jihad, she shows that even if this contemporary jiadism is spreading in the Muslim world, it radically departs from Islamic law and the received use of the term jihad, in so far as it is rooted in the early radical thinking of Islamic ideologues in the 20th century, starting with with Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. This current has been fueled by by international conflicts since the outbreak of the war in Afghanistan, in which the so-called Western countries bear a major responsibility. -/- Abderrazak Sayadi starts from the Tunisian experience to ask the question of humanist values and democracy within the relationships between the religious and political spheres. As a historian of religion, he is brought to demystify certain islamic principles and to paying attention to the reform of law, seeing the separation of religion and politics as a precondition to a successful democratic gamble and the establishment of a renewed humanism. -/- Dominique de Courcelles reminds us that getting a better knowledge of narrations and words makes it possible to better understand how logical and rhetorical thinking works for those who wage an asymetriccal war, re-enchanting and mystifying the world to better take control. As soon as 1932, an exchange of letters between Einstein and Freud made it clear that, in order to free man from fatality and war, education understood as culture was fundamental. Such illustrations as the exécution of Oussama ben Laden and the Caliph’s speech in Mossoul show that a premiminary analysis of images and words is essential to a fair diplomacy conducted by people from civil society, whose culture and wisdom allow justice and force to speak together and better resist war. -/- Marcel Boisard thinks that on the day the guns fall silent, exhausted by war, we will not return to the state borders that have prevailed for a century as an outcome of the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916. It is time to prepare the “day after”, which will be a huge challenge. To this end, a summit of Middle-East nations is urgentlyneeded to globally decide the fate of those peoples. On the condition that we know who the enemy is and accept to name it, to understand the history of the countries, groups and alliances, and to question any false or self-interested sense of certainty. -/- *** In the second section, Paul Schafer provides the author’s experiences to explain how culture, from the artistic to the biological, has the power to to open the doors to spirituality, from the inner self to the global environment. He asks himself whether a relative permanence of spirituality can arise from the specific moments that characterize it. Laurent Ledoux synthesizes the conclusion of a symposium held on 22 January 2015 on the links between philosophy and management, on the basis of the spiritual dimension conceived as “natural” and the answers it may suggest to the issues that face the organizations in a “contemporaniversal” world. Jacques Rifflet makes that question in a secular perspective, based on the wellsprings of personal commitment before it can be caught by any religious creed or scientific theory. In this sense spirituality, in alliance with reason, both inspires human consciousness and illuminates its destiny. Sami Aldeeb asks himself whether Islam can be reconciled with human rights. Caught between the belief in an absolute and final Word descended from the sky, and evidence showing that any religion is the creation of a given culture and a society situated in time and space, the Makkan and … contexts et médinois call for differentiated, if not opposite answers and exegeses. Bernard Carmona provides the outline of a dialogical framework, which is known to be a feature of debates between the various philosophical schools of classical India, exemplified here by the transdisciplinary perspective of debates within a Buddhist context. *** The articles not focused on the previous topic include a study by Landry Signé on China’s strategy, competing with the United States to control African resources. The author deals with the specific case of China’s rapprochement with Southern Sudan since Sudan was broken up. In the last paper, Goran Fejić and Rada Iveković, return to the essential role that women should play, and comments upon the role of some international legal instruments related in particular to the elimination of all forms of discrimination. The perspective is transnational and transethnic and is based on secular criteria, as regards nation-building and more generally society-building. Considering the persistence of widespread violence, whether in times of armed conflict or in times of peace, the question remains whether it is possible to fully implement rights and justice instruments. (shrink)
The author discusses several models of the relation of church and state with respect to their advantages and shortfalls to freedom of religion and equality of religions. The first model is the separation of church and state at a great distance, the second the model of equal religions and the third the rapprochement model of civil religion and constitutional ethics. None of these possible models is fully satisfying. Precisely because the minimum pre-requisites for legitimacy and liberality are (...) preserved, or should be preserved, in all three models, the advocates of all of these church-state models should learn to cherish their respective assets in order to ‘bear’ the accompanying losses. (shrink)
Graff observes that the significance of dina de-malkhuta dina and its interpretation ids vital for an understanding of modern Jewish life as well as the relationship of Diaspora Jews to the Jewish community in the state of Israel.
Can the state, as opposed to its individual human members in their personal capacity, intelligibly seek to avoid blame for unjustified wrongdoing by invoking excuses (as opposed to justifications)? Insofar as it can, should such claims ever be given moral and legal recognition? While a number of theorists have denied it in passing, the question remains radically underexplored. -/- In this article (in its penultimate draft version), I seek to identify the main metaphysical and moral objections to state (...) excuses, and begin to investigate their strength. I work from the ecumenical assumption that general understandings of modern states as group moral agents proper or as mere fictional points of imputation for individual behaviour are both plausible, and that the question of state excuses should be asked in terms of both paradigms. Issues addressed include: the lack of state consciousness/affect, the nature and relevance of developmental and executive defects in group agents, the value of state interests and how interests relate to plausible claims of excuses, the shortfall of responsibility argument for group responsibility and its interface with state excuses, the symbolic and consequential (dis)value that state excuses may have, as well as concerns that states are entities that should live up to outstandingly high virtuous standards of impartiality and equanimity. -/- I conclude that even if the range of excuses available to states does not overlap neatly with excuses available to ordinary individuals, some excuses may still be morally available to states. More generally, I emphasize the need for a systematic discussion of group excuses writ large, and of their relationship with the wider question of when group entities may legitimately be singled out to bear adverse normative consequences for wrongdoing. (shrink)
A proposal for an objective interpretation of probability is introduced and discussed: probabilities as deriving from ranges in suitably structured initial-state spaces. Roughly, the probability of an event on a chance trial is the proportion of initial states that lead to the event in question within the space of all possible initial states associated with this type of experiment, provided that the proportion is approximately the same in any not too small subregion of the space. This I would like (...) to call the “natural-range conception” of probability. Providing a substantial alternative to frequency or propensity accounts of probability in a deterministic setting, it is closely related to the so-called “method of arbitrary functions”. It is explicated, confronted with certain problems, and some ideas how these might be overcome are sketched and discussed. (shrink)
My concern in this paper is with the claim that knowledge is a mental state – a claim that Williamson places front and centre in Knowledge and Its Limits. While I am not by any means convinced that the claim is false, I do think it carries certain costs that have not been widely appreciated. One source of resistance to this claim derives from internalism about the mental – the view, roughly speaking, that one’s mental states are determined by (...) one’s internal physical state. In order to know that something is the case it is not, in general, enough for one’s internal physical state to be a certain way – the wider world must also be a certain way. If we accept that knowledge is a mental state, we must give up internalism. One might think that this is no cost, since much recent work in the philosophy of mind has, in any case, converged on the view that internalism is false. This thought, though, is too quick. As I will argue here, the claim that knowledge is a mental state would take us to a view much further from internalism than anything philosophers of mind have converged upon. (shrink)
Kant's views on revolution have been widely discussed, and commentators have long been astounded that the philosopher who made famous the principle that persons are ends in themselves could reach such abhorent conclusions as that citizens owe unqualified obedience to their supreme ruler. I address an important and ignored sub-issue of this topic: the relations between Kant's doctrine of the division of governmental powers and his doctrine of absolute obedience. I argue that these two doctrines are not compatible; Kant's defense (...) of absolute obedience undermines his own division of powers. Examining exactly why this is the case leads to several further results. First, a constitutional court is crucial to a republic. Second, Kant is closer to a consistent view of government and obedience than first appears. Third, Kant's account of the division of powers was theoretically behind his times. Fourth, there is a crucial distinction between the separation of governmental powers and a system of checks and balances among the three branches of government. Fifth, Kant did grasp the relevant principles governing impeachment - a far more drastic measure than a constitutional court. Finally, most of the principles needed to revise Kant's constitutional theory are already contained in his published writings. Kants Thesen zur Revolution sind viel diskutiert worden, und lange Zeit waren Kommentatoren darüber verwundert, daß der Philosoph, der das Prinzip berühmt gemacht hat, wonach Personen Zwecke an sich selbst sind, insbesondere zu der abschreckenden Schlußfolgerung kommen konnte, die Bürger eines Staates hätten dem Herrscher unbedingten Gehorsam zu leisten. Ich befasse mich mit einem wichtigen und regelmäßig übersehenen Aspekt dieses Problemfeldes: Dem Verhältnis zwischen Kants Lehre von der Gewaltenteilung und seiner These vom absoluten Gehorsam des Staatsbürgers. Ich behaupte, daß diese beiden Lehren nicht miteinander vereinbar sind; Kants Verteidigung des absoluten Gehorsams unterminiert seine Gewaltenteilungsthese. Eine genaue Untersuchung der Frage, warum das so ist, führt zu weiteren Resultaten: Erstens ist ein Verfassungsgericht wesentlich für eine Republik. Zweitens ist Kant näher an einer konsistenten Auffassung von Staat und Gehorsam als dies auf den ersten Blick zu sein scheint. Drittens bleibt Kants Auffassung zur Gewaltenteilung hinter der Entwicklung seiner Zeit zurück. Viertens besteht ein wesentlicher Unterschied zwischen der Trennung der Staatsgewalten einerseits und einem System von "checks and balances" der drei Zweige der Staatslenkung andererseits. Fünftens hat Kant durchaus die relevanten Prinzipien eines "impeachment" erkannt - eine wesentlich drastischere Einrichtung als die eines Verfassungsgerichts. Schließlich sind die meisten der Prinzipien, die für eine Revision von Kants Verfassungstheorie notwendig sind, bereits in seinen eigenen Werken enthalten. (shrink)
The article offers a concise view on the problems related to the Church and State relationship in Latvia. The article presents the author’s hypothesis that under the new circumstances when special legal provisions apply to traditional churches, it must discussed whether the rest of religious organizations could be classified as religious societies, operating in accordance with the Law on Societies and foundations. The author also holds an opinion that it is important for every country to follow the principle of (...)separation of church from state; however, it must be combined with religious freedom. Nevertheless, the article reveals that the task is difficult to follow in practice, in Latvia and in other EU member states alike. (shrink)
The main intention of this article is to analyze the role of Islam in post-Soviet Kazakhstan and its utilization in the nation-building and state-building processes. It is argued that Islam in post-Soviet Kazakhstan is a cultural phenomenon rather than a religious one and is an important marker of national identity despite the competition of radical movements in the “religious field.”.
Usual derivations of Lilders's projection rule show that Liuders's rule is the rule required by quantum statistics to calculate the final state after an ideal (minimally disturbing) measurement. These derivations are at best inconclusive, however, when it comes to interpreting Liuders's rule as a description of individual state transformations. In this paper, I show a natural way of deriving Liiders's rule from well-motivated and explicit physical assumptions referring to individual systems. This requires, however, the introduction of a concept (...) of individual state which is not standard. (shrink)
Endorsing Bill Readings’ argument that there is an intimate relationship between the dissolution of the nation-State, the undermining of the Humboldtian ideal of the university and economic globalization, this paper defends both the nation-State and the Humboldtian university as core institutions of democracy. However, such an argument only has force, it is suggested, if we can revive an appreciation of the real meaning of democracy. Endorsing Cornelius Castoriadis’ argument that democracy has been betrayed in the modern world but (...) disagreeing with his analysis of modernity, it is argued that the tradition of modern democratic thought can only be properly comprehended in relation to the ‘radical enlightenment’ originating in the Renaissance, efforts to subvert this by the ‘moderate enlightenment’, and the revival and reformulation of the radical enlightenment in Germany at the end of the eighteenth century. It is shown that subsequent political thought only becomes fully intelligible in relation to the on-going struggle between the radical and the moderate enlightenments, and that it is necessary to appreciate that the moderate enlightenment, manifesting itself in neo-liberal thought, is profoundly anti-democratic. While the radical enlightenment was developed in the nineteenth century by philosophical idealists, it is suggested that the achievements of the idealists can be successfully defended now only on naturalistic foundations through process metaphysics. Process metaphysics, it is shown, provides the basis for reviving the Humboldtian model of the university, the democratic nation-State, and a vision of the future as ‘communities of communities’ to counter the dissolution of all communities into the global market promoted by neo-liberals. (shrink)
The paper deals with mutual conditionality of existence between the civil society and legal state. The paper is based on the 1918-1940 doctrine of independent Lithuania, the models of the legal state and the tentative models of the civil society created at that time. In the first part of the article, the concept of the legal state is discussed. In terms of creation of the model of the legal state, M. Romeris works are of exceptional importance. (...) It his works, M. Romeris related the legal state in essence with the legal, procedural system for ensuring the lawfulness. On the basis of works of European scholars of the 19th–20th centuries, M. Romeris conducted a critical analysis of the legal state and elucidated its most significant traits. It is notable that M. Romeris was able to make a correct insight into the strategy of advancing towards the legal state. (shrink)
The article deals with relations between the individual and human rights on the one hand, and the State on the other, in the context of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland. The author poses the question whether the idea of subordination of the State to the individual is really a central idea of that constitution. He puts forward many arguments against such suggestion. These arguments relate, above all, to the arrangement of the constitution: a chapter concerning human (...) rights is chapter II, while chapter I deals with foundation of the State; the goals of the State are specified in the preamble including the following initial phrase “the existence and future of Poland as our Homeland” and in Article 5 where human rights are as subject of protection by the State is mentioned after independence and integrity of [its] territory; a general concept of human rights protection adopted in the constitution is dominated by the structures typical of law in its objective sense; the way of regulation admissible limitations on human rights differs from international standards; possibility of claiming human rights is constitutionally guaranteed, mostly by constitutional complaint which is above all aimed at correction of legal system, rather than claiming of rights by the individual; Article 1 (“The Republic of Poland shall be the common good of all its citizens”) interpreted as referring to Article 1 paragraph 1 of the April Constitution of 1935, one of the main ideas of which was precedence of the State over the individual. He also analyses the arguments in favour of the recognition of the idea of subordination of the State. Nevertheless, they cannot be accepted as resolving the question of whether it is a central idea of the constitution. These arguments include in particular: the principle of subsidiarity contained in the preamble, even if it has not been appropriately emphasized there; recognition of inherent and inalienable dignity of the person, but it was not until Article 30 that this provision has been contained and it does not determine the relations between the human dignity and rights and the State. The author suggests that the only conclusive way to justify the subordination of the State in relation to the individual as a central idea of the constitution is by means of Article 1. Taking into account, above all, preparatory work, we should reject the interpretation of that article referring to the April (1935) Constitution. Essential interpretative context may be found in preparatory work and social teachings of the Catholic Church, referred to therein. In that case, the common good means the entirety of the conditions of social life which favour the human development. These conditions include above all the respect for human dignity. Such interpretation of Article 1 gives priority to proposals on what the State should be to serve the individual rather than to safeguard obligations of citizens in relation to the State. (shrink)
Analyses of market-based reforms of state schooling have occasionally acknowledged positional elements in parental demand, but none has fully examined their nature and implications. Contrary to the normal predictions of orthodox economic analysis, competition in positional markets can result in inefficient outcomes. Predominantly relying upon recent British experience, we examine the extent to which compulsory schooling can be viewed as a positional good and explore its implications for policy. In particular, we consider whether policies targeting increases in parental choice (...) assist a rise in the overall level of educational attainment. (shrink)
This article provides a comparative summary of the findings of the survey of Business Ethics as field of Teaching, Training and Research across the four sub-regions in Sub-Saharan Africa (Western Africa, Southern Africa, Eastern Africa and Francophone Africa). The article commences with a discussion on the terminology that is used to refer to Business and Economic Ethics in Sub-Saharan Africa. It then provides an overview of the prevalence and distribution of Business Ethics as field of Teaching, Training and Research in (...) Sub-Saharan Africa that demonstrates the substantial growth in the field of Business Ethics since 2000 when an earlier survey was conducted. The focus areas in the field of Business Ethics are identified as well as the major themes that were found with regard to Teaching, Training and Research in Business Ethics. Also the major challenges that are foreseen in the field of Business Ethics over the next five year are discussed. Finally a number of concluding remarks are made that highlight unique features and challenges in the current state of Business Ethics in Sub-Saharan Africa. (shrink)
In Sovereignty’s Promise: The State as Fiduciary, Evan Fox-Decent uses the idea of fiduciary relationships to explain the legitimate exercise of governmental authority. He makes use of the idea of the state as a fiduciary for the people to ground an account of the duty to obey the law, to explain the proper relationships between colonial (or “settler”) societies and aboriginal populations, the role of agency discretion and judicial review in the administrative state, the rule of law, (...) the relationship between law and morality, and the foundations of human rights. While I was not convinced by several of the arguments, the book does have many important virtues. In particular, it provides a clear discussion of the idea of fiduciary relationships and duties that is useful for, and should be largely accessible to, non-lawyers. And, though I do not think that Fox-Decent has established all that he hoped to in the book, he does a good job of showing how fiduciary relationships are relevant to the above issues and worth considering. (shrink)
How does a sense of touch, figuratively and practically, get deployed within equality governance, and to what questions and ways of thinking about the state does this direct us? Taking 2009–2010 as a snap-shot moment in the development of British equality reform—the year leading up to passage of the Equality Act 2010—this article explores the relationship between touch (the haptic) and equality governance from three angles. First, how have governmental bodies used touch language and imagery, including in geometrical representations (...) of disadvantage? Second, what other, more challenging encounters and actions are imaginable; specifically, can touch mobilise the feeling state as a critical form of active citizenship? Third, what re-conceptualisations of the state does the touching, feeling state invoke, and with what effects? Specifically, does conceiving of the state as a multi-identity formation reframe the risks associated with a haptic state, thereby opening up new strategies for political action? (shrink)
Wallace, Max; Wallace, Meg On 31 July this year submissions closed to the government's Constitutional Advisory Panel concerning a constitution for New Zealand. New Zealand, like England, does not have a written constitution. On 13 July there was a day-long seminar sponsored by the Law Faculty at Victoria University in Wellington on the question of separation of church and state. One reason for this seminar was the lack of constitutional separation in New Zealand.
In 20th Century America, and in countries of similar political culture, it seemed a permanently established principle that there should be a "wall of separation" between Church and State. But the separation has again become contentious. It is rejected by Muslims and in the US it is under attack from "evangelical" Christians (see Theocracy watch " website). It seems useful to look again at the doctrine of "separation of Church and State", to see what various (...) things the phrase might mean, and what reasons there might be, for and against, regarding at least some of the possible formulations of the doctrine. (shrink)
The United States Constitution is arguably the greatest practical achievement of the Enlightenment. Yet most of the elements of the Constitution are borrowed from elsewhere. Its single wholly original component is the separation of church and state. The doctrine of separation has become controversial of late: Numerous ministers and politicians insist that the United States is in truth a "Christian nation" with Christian institutions that has been overtaken by secular humanism; they call for bringing the United States (...) back to its original unity with Christianity. They argue, accordingly, that although toleration of other faiths might be practiced, the explicitly Christian character of the nation and its political institutions should be reasserted in law and policy rather than denied by secularists. Pat Robertson, for example, has maintained that separation of church and state is a "lie of the left.". (shrink)
Thomas Hobbes bequeathed to us a comprehensive system, the interpretation of which remains a matter of disagreement even today. In his political theory, he pays most attention to the state community. He deliberates over the reasons for its origin, its decline and fall. Among the more detailed issues dealt with in his reflections, the more important ones are the following: the concept of the state of nature, human motivation, the state of war and peace, as well as (...) considerations concerning the social contract. In order to be consistent in his argument, Hobbes also deals with the analysis of the structures of the state, the division of power and with the functions a state should perform. Due to these deliberations, he finally arrives at the secret of the state's durability. Though it is certainly the case that, since his times, the socio-political situation and circumstances have changed, many of the solutions postulated by Hobbes have not lost their value. (shrink)
A new model for the aether is suggested according to which it is a superfluid state of fermion and antifermion pairs, describable by a macroscopic wave function. The vacuum state of this superfluid pervades the entire universe and may account for the missing matter. The visible matter in the universe appears as excitations from the underlying superfluid vacuum.
This paper argues that Cicero develops a new view of the state as a partnership in his work De republica. Like any other partnership, the Roman state is upheld by the agreement of its members and an allocation of rewards that is proportionate to the contributions. Cicero sketches an outline of this view in his definition of this state. By focusing on how Cicero uses the definition in the construction of his argument, the paper attempts to uncover (...) a detailed view of the state as a partnership. The ancestral Roman constitution, Cicero argues, surpasses all other constitutions in offering the best division of contributions and rewards. Although the state is held together by the agreement of the whole people, there is an enormous disparity in the assessment of contributions and rewards among different social groups. (shrink)
This paper analyzes the hitherto neglected political philosophy contained in Schelling’s Berlin lectures on the philosophy of mythology and of revelation in the context of the complex and politically charged debates of the German Vormärz period. It will be shown that, in his political philosophy, the Berlin Schelling rejects social contract models of the state and follows conservative theorists who conceive of the state as a collective order that supersedes the individual, while at the same time preserving the (...) freedom of the individual and rejecting religious legitimizations of the state. Schelling’s theory of the state is characterized by its distinctive internal tensions and by its multidimensionality. This complexity of his theory of the state helps to account for the diverse range of receptions and assessments of his political philosophy, both among his contemporaries and by subsequent commentators. (shrink)
Jerry Fodor now holds (1990) that the content of mental state types opaquely taxonomized (de dicto content: DDC) is determined by the 'orthographical' syntax + the computational/functional role of such states. Mental states whose tokens are both orthographically and truth-conditionally identical may be different with regard to the computational/functional role played by their respective representational cores. This make them tantamount to different contentful states, i.e. states with different DDCs, insofar as they are opaquely taxonomized. Indeed they cannot both be (...) truthfully ascribed to a single subject at the same time. Some years ago (1987), Fodor postulated a notion of mental content which also went beyond that of a mental state's truth-conditions. States whose tokens differ in their truth-conditions, or broad content, might, he claimed, still share a narrow content (NC), which was causally responsible for the shared behavior of the subjects of these states. For instance, two molecularly identical individuals, living in environments in all respects the same, except for the chemical substance of the phenomenically indistinguishable liquids filling their respective lakes and rivers, would behave similarly when having truth-conditionally different thoughts regarding those liquids. According to Fodor, this sameness of behavior was causally dependent on the sameness of the NC of the two individuals' truth-conditionally different thoughts. Now, this way of individuating mental states is still of interest for semantics. Indeed, NC allows one contextually to fix the broad content of a mental state token. Echoing Kaplan's notion of character,1 Fodor explained NC as a function that mapped contexts (of thought) onto broad contents. NC was thus invoked by Fodor mainly in order to account for sameness of intentional behavior. But DDC also plays a role in explaining intentional behavior, precisely by explaining why a subject whose thought-tokens have identical truthconditions may behave differently.. (shrink)
The ability to dominate or exercise will in social encounters is often assumed in social theory to define power, but there is another form of power that is often confused with it and rarely analyzed as distinct: logistics or the ability to mobilize the natural world for political effect. I develop this claim through a case study of seventeenthcentury France, where the power of impersonal rule, exercised through logistics, was fundamental to state formation. Logistical activity circumvented patrimonial networks, disempowering (...) the nobility and supporting a new regime of impersonal rule: the modern, territorial state. (shrink)
ABSTRACT In the following text we aim to present a proposal of interpretation of Hobbes's work from sociobiology viewpoint. Despite the fact it may strike some at first as an anachronism or straightforward wrong, reading the philosopher of Mamelsbury from a sociobiological perspective, can shed light on some particular aspects of his argument, particularly those referring to the construction of human nature and its influence on the modulation of the state of nature and on the justification of authority and (...) political obligation. So, Hobbes proceeds as a sociobiologist since he offers us a tale about the emergence of morality from where it didn't exist before and moves from there to a specific understanding of political authority. RESUMO No texto a seguir, pretendemos apresentar uma proposta de interpretação da obra de Hobbes a partir de sociobiologia. Apesar de poder chocar alguns em primeiro lugar como um anacronismo ou errado, ler o filósofo da Mamelsbury a partir de uma perspectiva sociobiológica pode lançar luz sobre alguns aspectos particulares do seu argumento, em especial os referentes à construção da natureza humana e sua influência sobre a modulação do estado de natureza e sobre a justificação da autoridade e obrigação política. Portanto, Hobbes procede como um sociobiólogo, já que ele nos oferece um conto sobre o surgimento da moralidade de onde ela não existia antes e se move de lá para uma compreensão específica da autoridade política. (shrink)
Each of us is a measure. The project of advocates of change in Plato’s Theaetetus as compared with sophistic thought -/- Summary -/- One of the most intriguing motives in Plato’s Theaetetus is its historical-based division of philosophy, which revolves around the concepts of rest (represented by Parmenides and his disciples) and change (represented by Protagoras, Homer, Empedocles, and Epicharmus). This unique approach gives an opportunity to reconstruct the views of marginalized trend of early Greek philosophy - so called (...) „the sophistic movement”. Paradoxically, previous research shows little interest in sophistic thought as a source of the standpoint of advocates of change („the secret doctrine”). The roots of „the secret doctrine” were investigated in the works of Heraclitus, Aristippus, and Antisthenes or those related to “neoheracliteanism”. However, researchers did not make any significant attempt to confront this concept with the contemporary research on the sophistic movement. The conviction that sophistry was primarily humanistically oriented was one of the main reasons why researches were opposed to the fact that „the secret doctrine” could represent a true expression of Protagoras’ views. This is why J. Burnet and F. M. Cornford in their seminal works assumed that “the secret doctrine” should be attributed to Plato, who simply combined a series of loose statements into one single project. In this work, we argue that the thesis which questions the parallels between the sophists’ interests and the philosophers of nature requires a significant revision. There is ample evidence to suggest that the philosophy of nature was a part of sophists’ research. This is supported by two main arguments. First, the tutors of sophists were philosophers of nature. Second, there are numerous sources that explicitly show sophists’ interest in the physical issues. These sources include anecdotal evidence about the fact that sophists wrote works On nature. There is also information confirming that they deliberated on detailed physical issues. The analogies between the concepts attributed to the advocates of change and our knowledge about sophists from other sources is very wide and contains most elements, which are included in the project of “changeable reality” presented in Theaetetus. The deliberations on the mechanism of perception, which are close to those of flux theory of perception in Theaetetus, are present in the sources referring to Gorgias of Leontinoi, the famous sophist and rhetorician. Also, the second element of “the secret doctrine” that is the metaphysics of flux matches up with what we know about the sophists’ views from other sources. On this basis, one can deduce that – contrary to the tradition which marginalized the role of sophistic considerations on the issue of being and non-being – it was one of the major subjects of sophistic research. Its main point was the criticism of the Eleatic conception of a single and unchangeable being, which also plays a key role in the doctrine of flux in Theaetetus. The epistemological theses which are presented in Theaetetus are borne out in sophistic sources. They include the definition of knowledge as perception, the „Man-measure” formula and a number of principles, which result from these foundational theses. Sophists’ empirical preferences resonate with the theses of the advocates of change in Theaetetus. Special attention that is given to the issues of differences among people, and even to cognitive differences in one person depending on the changeable states to which a person is subject, goes well together with what we know about reciprocal influence between the sophistry and medicine. The consequences of the epistemological conception present in Theaetetus have their equivalents in sophists’ works and other testimonies. An example of these consequences may be the abolition of truth and falsehood or the abolition of contradiction, which finds its expression in the thesis ouk estin antilegein. The analogies also concern reflections on the language itself. The project of the “new language” uses categories, which were developed by sophists. These include the antithesis of nomos and physis. The general intentions of this project reflect Protagoras’ ideas, at least to the extent to which they are known from the sources reporting his thoughts on language. Plato’s Theaetetus can thus be considered a veritable treasury of sophistic motifs. Even though the problem remains unsolved and one is still not able to unambiguously decide about the author of “the secret doctrine”, one can come to a certain conclusion – even if Plato synthesized various doctrines, he must have relied in his project mostly on the elements that he borrowed from sophists. Moreover, the value of reconstructing the project of the advocates of change in Theaetetus does not consist of mere enumeration of sophistic motifs. The dialogue is key to understanding the sophistic movement, whose separate doctrines – for the lack of sources and as a result of centuries-old disregard – are usually treated as rhetorical formulae that are interpreted in many ways and have no philosophical foundations. If it is really the case that the theses attributed to Protagoras in Theaetetus were actually a part or a derivative of Protagoras’ thought, or – speaking more conservatively – if they constitute a synthesis of sophistic thought done by Plato, they could represent philosophical foundations for the most important sophistic theses: the “Man-measure” formula, the ouk estin antilegein principle, the concept of language as a tool, the idea of the relativity of good and the whole practical sphere of sophists’ activity. Contrary to the views of many researchers, we are certain that the representatives of the sophistic movement did not limit themselves only to the application of practical rules, which determined the extent of their educational or rhetorical-political activity. They were capable of creating – indeed, they did create comprehensive projects that embraced the whole thematic scope subject to philosophical reflection. (shrink)
The viewpoint that consciousness, including feeling, could be fully expressed by a computational device is known as strong artificial intelligence or strong AI. Here I offer a defense of strong AI based on machine-state functionalism at the quantum level, or quantum-state functionalism. I consider arguments against strong AI, then summarize some counterarguments I find compelling, including Torkel Franzén’s work which challenges Roger Penrose’s claim, based on Gödel incompleteness, that mathematicians have nonalgorithmic levels of “certainty.” Some consequences of strong (...) AI are then considered. A resolution is offered of some problems including John Searle’s Chinese Room problem and the problem of consciousness propagation under isomorphism. (shrink)
This paper aims at shedding light on an obscure point in Kant's theory of the state. It discusses whether Kant's rational theory of the state recognises the fact that certain exceptional social situations, such as the extreme poverty of some parts of the population, could request institutional state support in order to guarantee the attainment of a minimum threshold of civil independence. It has three aims: 1) to show that Kant's Doctrine of Right can offer solutions for (...) the complex relation between economics and politics in our present time; 2) to demonstrate the claim that Kant embraces a pragmatic standpoint when he tackles the social concerns of the state, and so to refute the idea that he argues for an abstract conception of politics; and 3) to suggest that a non-paternalistic theory of rights is not necessarily incompatible with the basic tenets of a welfare state. O presente artigo tenciona contribuir a esclarecer uma questão, tão complicada quanto polêmica, no âmbito da teoria kantiana do Estado de direito. Pretendo submeter à discussão se a teoria racional de Kant sobre o Estado legal sustenta ou rejeita o fato de que certas situações sociais excepcionais, como a extrema pobreza de uma parte da população, requerem o apoio institucional do Estado para garantir a consecução de um limiar mínimo de independência civil. Proponho-me os três seguintes objetivos: 1) argumentar a capacidade da doutrina kantiana do direito para propor soluções para a difícil relação entre economia e política, no tempo presente; 2) mostrar que o ponto de vista pragmático que Kant adota quando analisa as preocupações sociais do Estado recusa a ideia segundo a qual Kant sustenta uma concepção abstrata da política e 3) sugerir a tese de uma teoria não paternalista do Estado de direito sem ter que renunciar necessariamente aos princípios básicos do welfare state. (shrink)
Determinism, as the thesis that given the state of the world at a moment there is only one way it can be at the next moment, is problematic. After explaining why the thesis is defined as it is, the paper goes on to raise questions about the terms in which it is defined. Is the 'world' to be understood as constituted by whatever figures in our talk or thought, or to what is reconstituted by an ontology seemingly derived from (...) the sciences? Either way of understanding it is shown to be inadequate. (shrink)
In this article I argue that Jacques Derrida is correct in holding that the law is always an authorized force but that he is mistaken in suggesting that its ultimate font or origin (what he calls the mystical foundation of authority) is an originary or foundationalional act of violence. I suggest that Derrida and, more recently, Jens Bartelson fall prey to a curious, one-sided narrow view of foundationalism and contrast their overly architecturalized image of the foundation of authority with the (...) foundationalism of Thomas Hobbes which is, I shall argue, architectural only as and when appropriate. I also suggest that Hobbes helps us to see that the state, strictly speaking, does not have or exercise authority but that it is, rather, the font or source of the authority wielded by its (empirical) government. Key Words: Jens Bartelson Jacques Derrida Thomas Hobbes justice Immanuel Kant law Michel de Montaigne Blaise Pascal violence. (shrink)
When the state buys and then provides to the citizens goods and services, the state may certainly choose to audit, independently and comprehensively, the quality of the goods and services so provided, particularly when citizens are reporting back that the goods or services are causing unwanted, deleterious effects. This principle applies to intellectual property -- information -- education -- as well as to other goods and services. In particular, it applies to the theory of evolution as taught by (...) the state in its schools, colleges, and universities. A substantial public has long expressed concern; and the state may properly respond to that concern. Naturally, the state would never allow the vendor of goods and services to dictate that only its employees, or others whom it effectively controls, may be allowed to conduct audits. Indeed, persons substantially subject to the control of the vendor are the last possible choices to serve as independent auditors. The conflict-of-interest is well-recognized regarding information and opinion services: a huge problem arose with the big national auditing firms when they also established management consulting divisions -- the auditors tended to report favorably about companies and projects on which their own management consultants were involved. Yet the science community quite bluntly and openly proclaims that only its members -- persons it controls -- may function as auditors of the quality of scientific statements and propositions. They do this by asserting that only scientists may declare what is, or is not, scientific. Now it may be true that within any company, only employees of that company may properly develop the products that the company sells, and only they may deliver the company's statements regarding the quality of its own products. But when a company sells its products outside of itself, to others, such as the government, it may not impose as a condition of sale that only its employees may continue to render opinions about the quality of the product. When the science community actively urges the government to take-up and re-distribute its product, it necessarily surrenders any claim to a monopoly over auditing the product. A difficulty of conducting truly independent audits of science product vended to the government for delivery to the people lies in the fact that to-date, there is no systematic program of developing and training people to serve as such independent auditors. The closest group of people to rely on for this would be lawyers who, in litigation, have developed the ability to cross-examine expert witnesses in cases such as patent cases, or product-liability cases, or other litigations that involve expert testimony in advanced academic fields. This paper outlines a program by which states can conduct appropriate independent audits of evolution as vended to the state by the science community. (shrink)
Determinism, as the thesis that given the state of the world at a moment there is only one way it can be at the next moment, is problematic. After explaining why the thesis is defined as it is, the paper goes on to raise questions about the terms in which it is defined. Is the ‘world’ to be understood as constituted by whatever figures in our talk or thought, or to what is reconstituted by an ontology seemingly derived from (...) the sciences? Either way of understanding it is shown to be inadequate. (shrink)
In Democratic Authority and the Separation of Church and State, Robert Audi addresses disagreements among equally rational persons on political matters of coercion by analysing the features of discussions between epistemic peers, and supporting a normative principle of toleration. It is possible to question the extent to which Audi’s views are consistent with the possibility of religious citizens being properly defined as epistemic peers with their non-religious counterparts, insofar as he also argues for some significant constraints on religious (...) reasons in public debates, and he advocates secular reasons being considered as equivalent to natural reasons. I shall also consider Jürgen Habermas’s criticism of Audi’s stance. One of Habermas’ main points focused on Audi’s strong division between religious and non-religious arguments that requires religious citizens to artificially split their reasons, while non-religiously affiliated citizens are not met with any similar requirement. Also, analysing the concept of epistemic parity, we can as well grasp some of the main features of the Habermasian idea of postsecularism. The difference between secular and postsecular views can be framed as hinging on what it means to be epistemic peers, thus bearing consequences on the understanding of the relationship between church and state—particularly regarding the nature of state neutrality and the different status of churches and organised secular groups. (shrink)
The article deals with the criteria upon which the powers of the Seimas (the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania) and the Government are delimited in the constitutional jurisprudence of Lithuania. It analyses how the Constitutional Court construes the principle of separation of powers as entrenched in the Constitution and evaluates the meaning of the provision of the Constitution that corresponding ‘relations are regulated by law’. If the Constitution provides that certain relations are regulated by means of a law, (...) such relations may be regulated only by means of a legal act, which takes the form of a law, and it is, therefore, not permissible to regulate such relations by Government resolutions or other acts of the executive. The most important elements of legal relations must be regulated (established) by means of a law, whereas Government resolutions might establish the procedure for the implementation of such laws. Rulings of the Constitutional Court reveal that once the powers of a specific branch of state power have been directly established in the Constitution, an institution of state power may not assume the said powers fr om another state institution. It may not transfer or waive them; and such powers may not be amended or limited by means of a law. The question remains, whether the provision of the Law on the Diplomatic Service wh ereby the candidacy of a diplomatic representative must be reviewed by the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs in advance is not in conflict with the Constitution. (shrink)
This paper aims to analyze the social structure of the society in Teutonic state (1226-1525), which was distinct from structure of estate societies. The author put hypothesis that Teutonic Knight monopolised in their state political, economical and spiritual power. In the light of this thesis certain trends from history of the state of Teutonic Order are explained.
Minors are generally considered incompetent to provide legally binding decisions regarding their health care, and parents or guardians are empowered to make those decisions on their behalf. Parental authority is not absolute, however, and when a parent acts contrary to the best interests of a child, the state may intervene. The best interests standard is the threshold most frequently employed in challenging a parent''s refusal to provide consent for a child''s medical care. In this paper, I will argue that (...) the best interest standard provides insufficient guidance for decision-making regarding children and does not reflect the actual standard used by medical providers and courts. Rather, I will suggest that the Harm Principle provides a more appropriate threshold for state intervention than the Best Interest standard. Finally, I will suggest a series of criteria that can be used in deciding whether the state should intervene in a parent''s decision to refuse medical care on behalf of a child. (shrink)
The theory of the separation of powers between a legislature, an executive and a judiciary is still the foundation of modern representative democracy. It was developed by Montesquieu and came to replace the older theory of the mixed constitution which goes back to Plato, Aristotle and Polybios: there are three types of constitution: monarchy, oligarchy and democracy; when institutions from each of the three types are mixed, an interplay between the institutions emerges that affects all functions of state: (...) legislation, implementation of laws and jurisdiction. Today Montesquieu's separation of powers is riddled with so many exceptions that it is an obstacle rather than a help to understand the structure of modern democracy. The mixed constitution deserves to be revived as a corrective to the prevailing view that Western states are pure democracies and that democracy is rule by the people. (shrink)
As new HIV prevention tools are developed, researchers face a number of ethical and logistic questions about how and when to include novel HIV prevention strategies and tools in the standard prevention package of ongoing and future HIV prevention trials. Current Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS /World Health Organization guidance recommends that participants in prevention trials receive ‘access to all state of the art HIV risk reduction methods’, and that decisions about adding new tools to the prevention package (...) be made in consultation with ‘all relevant stakeholders’. The guidance, however, leaves open questions of both process and implementation. In March 2009, the Global Campaign for Microbicides, UNAIDS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention convened a consultation to develop practical answers to these questions. Fifty-nine diverse participants, including researchers, ethicists, advocates and policymakers, worked to develop consensus criteria on when to include new HIV prevention tools in future trials. Participants developed a set of questions to guide decision-making, including: whether the method has been recommended by international bodies or adopted at a national level; the size of the effect and weight of the evidence; relevance to the trial population; whether the tool has been approved or introduced in the trial country; whether adding the tool might lead to trial futility; outstanding safety issues and status of the trial. Further work is needed to develop, implement and evaluate approaches to facilitate meaningful stakeholder participation in this deliberative process. (shrink)
The 1995 Encyclopedia of Bioethics is an almost complete reworking of the original 1978 edition, due to the expanding nature of the field. The following article focuses on how the second edition of the Encyclopedia deals with the topic of “clinical ethics” and three related topics: “nursing ethics”, “trust”, and “conflict of interest”. We assess their relevance to the current developments in these fields and the Encyclopedia's usefulness as a resource to ethics consultants, researchers and clinicians. We emphasize the heterogeneity (...) of clinical ethics as a still new and evolving field. (shrink)
A term of art, originally Italian, becoming common usage in other European vernaculars in the late sixteenth century. It meant practical reflection, albeit in writing and general in form, about all aspects of statecraft . It claimed practical usefulness in virtue of its grounding in experience and history, contrasting itself with “mirrors of princes,” which were supposedly ignorant of the realities of politics. More narrowly, reason of state meant a “Machiavellian” disregard for legal, moral, and religious considerations when the (...) “interests of the state” or “necessity” required it. Particularly contentious were the justifiability of dishonesty, duplicity, breach of faith and even treaty obligations, violence against opponents and competitors, illegal taxation, disregard of the claims of traditional institutions and officeholders, and the practice of religious toleration. Opponents of “reason of state” attempted to demonstrate that, on the contrary, adherence to religion, morality, and legality was the best policy, in that it earned providential rewards, but also that in strictly pragmatic terms it was most likely to bring political success. However, these proponents of “true reason of state” acknowledged that strict adherence to these norms was sometimes impossible, and when it was, statesmen must attempt to avoid the greater evil. Having become the subject of a vast literature and even a standard university topic, reason of state faded as an issue in the later seventeenth century. Realpolitik from the nineteenth century onwards resembles it, with the state representing a morality superior to the norms of legality and private morality, a view in turn contested by advocates of human rights and international morality. (shrink)
The minimally conscious sta te (MCS) is usually ascribed when a patientwith brain damage exhibits obser vable volitional behaviors that predict recovery ofcognitive funct ions. Nevertheless, a patient with brain damage who lacks motorcapacit y might nonetheless be in MCS. For this reason, some clinicians use neuralsignals as a communicative means for MCS ascription. For instance, a vegetativestate patient is diagnosed with MCS if activity in the motor area is observed whenthe instruction to imagine wiggling toes is given. The validi (...) ty of using neuralsignals in ascribing MCS requires a special sort of inference. That is, no-reportparadigmatic assessments must have inductively strong ways of inferring a pur-ported informationa l content from the observed neural signal that grounds the factthat the patient has top-down cognitive control (or residual volition). Shannon’smathemat ical theory of communication and Bayes’ theorem reveals the formalstructure of neural communication. On the basis of relevant data from the neuro-science literature, I conclude that the formal structure combined with the data showsthat neural signals can be used as a communicative means for operational diagnosticcriteria for MCS ascription. (shrink)