This article provides a conceptual map of the debate on ideal and non‐ideal theory. It argues that this debate encompasses a number of different questions, which have not been kept sufficiently separate in the literature. In particular, the article distinguishes between the following three interpretations of the ‘ideal vs. non‐ideal theory’ contrast: full compliance vs. partial compliance theory; utopian vs. realistic theory; end‐state vs. transitional theory. The article advances critical reflections on each of these sub‐debates, and highlights areas for future (...) research in the field. (shrink)
Non-cognitivism is a variety of irrealism about ethics with a number of influential variants. Non-cognitivists agree with error theorists that there are no moral properties or moral facts. But rather than thinking that this makes moral statements false, noncognitivists claim that moral statements are not in the business of predicating properties or making statements which could be true or false in any substantial sense. Roughly put, noncognitivists think that moral statements have no truth conditions. Furthermore, according to non-cognitivists, when people (...) utter moral sentences they are not typically expressing states of mind which are beliefs or which are cognitive in the way that beliefs are. Rather they are expressing non-cognitive attitudes more similar to desires, approval or disapproval. Cognitivism is the denial of non-cognitivism. Thus it holds that moral statements do express beliefs and that they are apt for truth and falsity. But cognitivism need not be a species of realism since a cognitivist can be an error theorist and think all moral statements false. Still, moral realists are cognitivists insofar as they think moral statements are apt for truth and falsity and that many of them are in fact true. (shrink)
What does it mean to be an embodied thinker of abstract concepts? Does embodiment shape the character and quality of our understanding of universals such as “dog” and “beauty,” and would a non-embodied mind understand such concepts differently? I examine these questions through the lens of Thomas Aquinas’s remarks on the differences between embodied intellects and non-embodied intellects. In Aquinas, I argue, the difference between embodied and non-embodied intellection of extramental realities is rooted in the fact that embodied and non-embodied (...) intellects grasp different kinds of universals by means of different kinds of intelligible species, which elicit in them different “modes” of understanding. By spelling out what exactly it means to be an embodied knower, on Aquinas’s account, I argue, we can also shed new light on his mysterious claim that the embodied intellect “turns to phantasms”—the imagination’s likenesses of individuals—in its acts of understanding. (shrink)
Status inequalities seem to play a fairly big role in creating inequalities in health. This article assumes that there can be good reasons to fight status inequalities in order to reduce inequalities in health. It examines whether the neorepublican ideal of non-dominance does a better job as a theoretical foil for this as compared to a liberal notion of non-interference. The article concludes that there is a prima facie case for incorporating non-dominance into our thinking about public health, but that (...) it needs to go hand in hand with a more traditional liberal ideal of non-interference. (shrink)
This article defends the principle of non-establishment against 21st-century projects of political religion, constitutional theocracy and political theology. It is divided into two parts. The first part, published in special issue 39.4–5 of Philosophy and Social Criticism, proceeds by constructing an ideal type of political secularism, and then discussing the innovative American model of constitutional dualism regarding religion that combined constitutional protection for the freedom of religious conscience and exercise with the principle of non-establishment. It then critically assesses the integrationist (...) approach –disguised as a concern for pluralism and fairness – as an alternative to this framework. The integrationist approach challenges ‘separation’ and political secularism in a subtle attack on the non-establishment principle, aimed at drastically narrowing its scope. Successes of this approach in recent Supreme Court jurisprudence and politics, have triggered a response by liberal egalitarians. I address this response – the equal liberty model – in this second part, arguing that although on the right track, it fails to find a middle ground between political secularism and integration. Instead, by abandoning the discourse of separation, it plays into populist integrationist hands without delivering on the promise of providing a coherent standard for deciding cases. The article proposes a third approach, one that does not throw out the non-establishment baby with the strict separationist bathwater and that wholeheartedly endorses political secularism, a sine qua non for 21st-century constitutional democracy. Equal liberty properly construed can help provide criteria for determining when an accommodation, a regulation or no regulation of religion by the state is appropriate. But it must be supplemented by other values – democratic and civil republican. The article concludes with a typology of the forms of regulation that are warranted under the conditions of the contemporary regulatory state, now the target and prize of politicized religion. (shrink)
The focus of this dissertation is on the rationality of emotion directed toward fiction. The launch of the cognitive theory of emotion in philosophy of mind and in psychology provides us with a way to show how emotion is not, by nature, opposed to reason and rationality. However, problems still remain with respect to emotion directed toward fiction, because we are emotionally involved with a story about people that do not exist and events that did not happen. This is called (...) the paradox of fiction. ;The current debate in relation to emotion and fiction in aesthetics revolves around the paradox of fiction. I believe that the paradox of fiction consists of two different problems: an explicatory problem and a classificatory problem. The former concerns how we apprehend fiction if we do not believe that what is described in fiction happened, while the latter concerns the problem concerning if our emotional responses toward fiction do not require belief of the relevant sort, how should we classify them? I examine four theories on the first issue: the make-believe theory, the simulation theory, the revisionist theory, and the thought theory. I believe that the revisionist theory and the thought theory provide us with the most plausible view on how we apprehend fiction. For the latter issue, I divide cognitivism in general into two different kinds: narrow cognitivism and broad cognitivism. I defend broad cognitivism against narrow cognitivism. ;However, I believe that cognitivism in general falls short of giving a full account of emotion directed toward fiction, since it neglects the role of non-representational features of fiction in arousing emotion in the reader. In this regard, I attempt to go beyond cognitivism. Last, I examine how we can attribute rationality to emotion directed toward fiction, given the fact that not all emotional responses are accompanied by cognition, strictly called. By discussing various warranting conditions, I try to show how emotions can be warranted not only in terms of their cognitive component, but also in terms of the perceptual element involved in emotion. (shrink)
I defend a conception of Logic as normative for the sort of activities in which inferences super-vene, namely, reasoning and arguing. Toulmin’s criticism of formal logic will be our framework to shape the idea that in order to make sense of Logic as normative, we should con-ceive it as a discipline devoted to the layout of arguments, understood as the representations of the semantic, truth relevant, properties of the inferences that we make in arguing and reason-ing.
Even among those who find lethal defense against non-responsible threats, innocent aggressors, or justified aggressors justified even in one to one cases, there is a debate as to what the best explanation of this permissibility is. The contenders in this debate are the liability account, which holds that the non-responsible or justified human targets of the defensive measures are liable to attack, and the justified infringement account, which claims that the targets retain their right not to be attacked but may (...) be attacked anyway, even in one to one situations. Given that we normally think that rights are trumps, this latter claim is counter-intuitive and rather surprising, and therefore in need of justification and explanation. So far only Jonathan Quong has actually tried to provide an explanation; however, I will argue that his explanation fails and that Quong’s own account of liability is misguided. I then address Helen Frowe’s critique of the liability account. She makes the important concession that the tactical bomber has to compensate his victims, but she tries to block the conclusion that he must therefore be liable. I will demonstrate that her attempt to explain away liability fails once that concession is made. (shrink)
In this article, I respond to ‘Fighting Status Inequalities’. I first note a niggle about the paper’s assumption that lowering socio-economic inequalities will lower the social gradient in health. I then suggest two further ways in which neorepublicanism may relate to social epidemiology: in terms of ‘moral physiology’ and through analysing which inequalities are unjust.
People have understandable concerns over what happens to their bodies, both during their life and after they die. Consent to organ donation is often perceived as an altruistic decision made by individuals prior to their death so that others can benefit from use of their organs once they have died. More recently, live organ donation has also been possible, where an individual chooses to donate an organ or body tissue that will not result in their death (such as a kidney). (...) Although these live organ donations can be purely altruistic, they are usually done to benefit a close family member. An additional complicating factor with both kinds of donation is whether forms of extended decision-making can be used as a means of consent. This is where instructions are issued through some form of advance directive giving specific written instructions as to donation or by appointing a proxy surrogate decision-maker to determine such issues. In the case of deceased donation, there is a question as to whether an advance directive can override the wishes of family members. In the case of live organ donation, there is a largely untested concern as to whether advance directives or surrogates can provide acceptable consent to donation when an individual, though still alive, has lost the capacity to consent for themselves. In this paper, I will focus predominantly on the second of these issues concerning live organ donation and the challenges this poses for donors who have lost capacity to consent. I argue that the limitations on advance directives and surrogate decision-making mean that they can only give us an indication of preference and cannot serve as an authoritative consent where there is any dispute over donation. Instead, in turns out that family members have a significant and usually determinate role to play in these decisions. Although I am focusing on organ donation, the implications for this potentially extend to the use of other tissues and even gametes, which could be used for reproductive purposes. (shrink)
It is commonly held that retraction data, if we accept them, show that assessment relativism is to be preferred over non-indexical relativism (a.k.a. non-indexical contextualism). I will argue that this is not the case. Whether retraction data have the suggested probative force depends on substantive questions about the proper treatment of tense and location. One’s preferred account in these domains should determine which form of relativism one prefers.
The paper addresses a contemporary Polish debate on the limits and functions of juristic interpretation of law. After presenting the main theses and features of Jerzy Wróblewski’s clarificative theory of juristic interpretation and Maciej Zieliński’s derivational theory of juristic interpretation, the author critically discusses various arguments used in the debate. Finally, a tentative solution of the controversy, based on the criticism of Zieliński’s conception of legal norm, is proposed. It is argued that his conception is utopian and not recommendable, due (...) to unacceptable conceptual and practical consequences. (shrink)
We support the development of non-reductive cognitive science and the naturalization of phenomenology for this purpose, and we agree that the ‘relational turn’ defended by Gallagher is a necessary step in this direction. However, we believe that certain aspects of his relational concept of nature need clarification. In particular, Gallagher does not say whether or how teleology, affect, and other value-related properties of life and mind can be naturalized within this framework. In this paper, we argue that given the phenomenological (...) standards recognized by Gallagher, his commitment to a naturalized phenomenology should entail a commitment to a naturalized concept of value; and the kind of ‘relational nature’ described by Gallagher in his paper is insufficient for this purpose. (shrink)
According to the view that Peacocke elaborates in A Study of Concepts (1992), a concept can be individuated by providing the conditions a thinker must satisfy in order to possess that concept. Hence possessions conditions for concepts should be specifiable in a way that respects a non-circularity constraint. In a more recent paper “Implicit Conceptions, Understanding and Rationality” (1998a) Peacocke argues against his former view, in the light of the phenomenon of rationally accepting principles which do not follow from what (...) the thinker antecedently accepts. In this paper I defend the view of the book from his more recent criticisms, claiming that the noncircularity constraint should be respected, and that Peacocke's more recent insights could be accommodated in the framework of his former theory of concepts. (shrink)
Since 2010, demand for non-GMO food products has grown dramatically. Two non-GMO labels dominate the market: USDA Organic and the Non-GMO Project Verified. However, the non-GMO status of Organic is not obvious from the label and many consumers are unaware of this. As sales of products carrying the Project’s non-GMO label have exploded, concern has increased among some Organic proponents that demand for non-GMO threatens the organic market. In response, both sides are seeking to build legitimacy and authority for their (...) label by emphasizing the value of their standards for determining a food product’s non-GMO status within a GMO contaminated agrifood system. Drawing on in-depth interviews with key informants with knowledge of non-GMO standards and labels, we examine the knowledge systems, discourses and actors that proponents of the Project and USDA Organic privilege in their effort to legitimize their standards. Here, the Project emphasizes its application of technoscientific norms, especially thresholds and testing, which they argue provide the best means for preventing GMO contamination and helping consumers find non-GMO ‘purity’. In contrast, proponents of Organic favor a process standard that excludes GMOs, arguing that non-GMO ‘purity’ is unrealistic in today’s agrifood system that is widely contaminated by GMOs and where mandatory testing would unnecessarily harm organic producers. We conclude that tensions between the two groups are unlikely to be easily reconciled since these two distinct marketing labels rely on different knowledge and verification claims to vie for consumers and increase market share. (shrink)
According to the view that Peacocke elaborates in _A Study of Concepts_ (1992), a concept can be individuated by providing the conditions a thinker must satisfy in or- der to possess that concept. Hence possessions conditions for concepts should be specifiable in a way that respects a non-circularity constraint. In a more recent paper.
This article defends the principle of non-establishment against 21 st -century projects of political religion, constitutional theocracy and political theology. It is divided into two parts, which will appear in two consecutive issues of Philosophy & Social Criticism, 39 and 39. Part 1 proceeds by constructing an ideal type of political secularism, and then discussing the innovative American model of constitutional dualism regarding religion that combined constitutional protection for the freedom of religious conscience and exercise with the principle of non-establishment. (...) The article analyses the strengths and limits of the ‘separation– accommodation’ frame that became hegemonic in 1 st amendment jurisprudence from the 1940s to the 1990s. It challenges the standard caricature of the American model as strictly separationist and privatizing. It then critically assesses two contemporary alternatives to that frame: the integrationist approach and the equal liberty approach. The first, disguised as a concern for pluralism and fairness, challenges ‘separation’ and political secularism in a subtle attack on the non-establishment principle, aimed at drastically narrowing its scope. Successes of this approach in recent Supreme Court jurisprudence and politics have triggered a response by liberal egalitarians. The author addresses this response – the equal liberty model – in part 2, which will appear in Philosophy & Social Criticism 39, arguing that although on the right track, it fails to find a middle ground between political secularism and integration. (shrink)