This collection of essays represents the work of fifteen scholars in four disciplines: philosophy, theology, sociology, and cultural studies. It offers an interdisciplinary reflection on the role and impact of technology in society, focusing on the i.
Surgical devices are often marketed before there is good evidence of their safety and effectiveness. Our paper discusses the ethical issues associated with the early marketing and use of new surgical devices from the perspectives of the six groups most concerned. Health Canada, which is responsible for licensing new surgical devices, should amend their requirements to include rigorous clinical trials that provide data on effectiveness and safety for each new product before it is marketed. Industry should comply with all Health (...) Canada requirements to obtain licenses for new products. Until Health Canada requires effectiveness and safety data, industry should cooperate with physicians in appropriate studies before releasing new products and should make balanced presentations of all the available evidence. Surgeons should, before using a new surgical device, assess the evidence on its effectiveness and safety and ensure they are properly trained and competent in using the device. Surgeons should provide their patients with an evaluation of the available evidence and inform them about possible complications and the surgeon's level of experience with the new device. Patients, who should be given an honest evaluation of the available evidence, possible complications, and the surgeon's experience, should be encouraged to evaluate the evidence and information to their own satisfaction to ensure that fully informed consent is given. Health institutions, responsible for regulating practice within their walls, should review new devices for safety, effectiveness, and economic impacts, before allowing their use. They should also limit the use of new surgical devices to surgeons trained and competent in the new technology. Professional societies should provide guidance on the early adoption of new surgical devices and technologies. We urge all those involved in the development, licensing, and use of new surgical devices to aim for higher ethical standards to protect the health and safety of patients requiring surgery. The lowest acceptable ethical standard would require device manufacturers to provide surgeons with accurate and timely information on the efficacy and safety of their products, allowing surgeons and patients to evaluate the evidence (and the significance of information not yet available) before surgery. (shrink)
All major western countries today contain groups that differ in their religious beliefs, customary practices or ideas about the right way in which to live. How should public policy respond to this diversity? In this important new work, Brian Barry challenges the currently orthodox answer and develops a powerful restatement of an egalitarian liberalism for the twenty-first century. Until recently it was assumed without much question that cultural diversity could best be accommodated by leaving cultural minorities free to associate (...) in pursuit of their distinctive ends within the limits imposed by a common framework of laws. This solution is rejected by an influential school of political theorists, among whom some of the best known are William Galston, Will Kymlicka, Bhikhu Parekh, Charles Taylor and Iris Marion Young. According to them, this 'difference-blind' conception of liberal equality fails to deliver either liberty or equal treatment. In its place, they propose that the state should 'recognize' group identities, by granting groups exemptions from certain laws, publicly 'affirming' their value, and by providing them with special privileges or subsidies. In Culture and Equality, Barry offers an incisive critique of these arguments and suggests that theorists of multiculturism tend to misdiagnose the problems of minority groups. Often, these are not rooted in culture, and multiculturalist policies may actually stand in the way of universalistic measures that would be genuinely beneficial. (shrink)
Barry Schein proposes combining a second-order treatment of plurals with DonaldDavidson's suggestion that there are positions for reference to events in ordinary predicates inorder to account for several of the more puzzling features of ...
We are often told that we are morally obligated to produce equal opportunity for all. Therefore, it seems we should examine what power we have to produce that desirable state. For it would be nonsense to say we are required to provide what is beyond our power to provide. When we examine this question, we find our power limited by two sets of constraints. One set comprises formal constraints upon the idea itself of equal opportunity. We cannot do the logically (...) impossible. The other set comprises limits upon our ability to produce the directed socio-economic change, getting known outputs for known inputs. I illustrate the formal constraints by outlining the work of Douglas Rae. The constraints upon our abilities I illustrate with evidence from sociology and politics. At the end, we shall discover that our power to make opportunities equal is sharply though not unbearably limited. A critical but unbaised survey will reveal that in the past fifty years we have gone remarkably far towards doing all that we are presently capable of doing to equalize opportunities. Perhaps we shall go even farther when we learn how. The word ‘real’ in the title is opposed to ‘ideal’ or even ‘chimerical'. It may seem an interesting question what equality of opportunity should consist in were we able to produce directed socio-economic change at will. But we are not. Therefore, a more interesting and more important question is what equality of opportunity consists in given the very large number of constraints within which we must work to achieve it. (shrink)
I have chosen this title to set myself the task of commenting on the practice of philosophy in the light of my work as a philosopher in a university postgraduate department of war studies. I shall begin with some general remarks on how we are to understand ‘philosophy’, then discuss a neglected one-sidedness in the commentary which philosophers have attempted on such topics as the problems of the nuclear age.
"Psychiatry and Philosophy of Science" explores conceptual issues in psychiatry from the perspective of analytic philosophy of science. Through an examination of those features of psychiatry that distinguish it from other sciences - for example, its contested subject matter, its particular modes of explanation, its multiple different theoretical frameworks, and its research links with big business - Rachel Cooper explores some of the many conceptual, metaphysical and epistemological issues that arise in psychiatry. She shows how these pose interesting challenges for (...) the philosopher of science while also showing how ideas from the philosophy of science can help to solve conceptual problems within psychiatry. Cooper's discussion ranges over such topics as the nature of mental illnesses, the treatment decisions and diagnostic categories of psychiatry, the case-history as a form of explanation, how psychiatry might be value-laden, the claim that psychiatry is a multi-paradigm science, the distortion of psychiatric research by pharmaceutical industries, as well as engaging with the fundamental question whether the mind is reducible to something at the physical level. "Psychiatry and Philosophy of Science" demonstrates that cross-disciplinary contact between philosophy of science and psychiatry can be immensely productive for both subjects and it will be required reading for mental health professionals and philosophers alike. (shrink)
The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful Discourse about Values in Yoruba Culture Barry Hallen Reveals everyday language as the key to understanding morals and ethics in Yoruba culture. "This contrasts with any suggestion that in Yoruba or, more generally, African society, moral thinking manifests nothing much more than a supine acquiescence in long established communal values.... Hallen renders a great service to African philosophy." —Kwasi Wiredu In Yoruba culture, morality and moral values are intimately linked to aesthetics. The (...) purest expression of beauty, at least for human beings, is to possess good moral character. But how is moral character judged? How do actions, and especially words, reveal good moral character in a culture that is still significantly based on oral tradition? In this original and intimate look at Yoruba culture, Barry Hallen asks the Yoruba onisegun—the wisest and most accomplished herbalists or traditional healers, individuals justly reputed to be well versed in Yoruba thought and expression—what it means to be good and beautiful. Posed as an outsider wanting to gain understanding of how to speak Yoruba correctly, Hallen engages the onisegun and has them explain the subtleties and intricacies of Yoruba language use and the philosophy behind particular word choices. Their instructions reveal a striking and profound depiction of Yoruba aesthetic and ethical thought. The detailed interpretations of everyday language that Hallen supplies challenge prevailing Western views that African thought is nothing more than acquiescence to long-established religious or communal values. The philosophy of ordinary language reveals that moral reflection is indeed individual and that evaluations of action and character take place on the basis of clearly and logically delineated criteria. With the onisegun as his guides, Hallen identifies the priorities of Yoruba philosophy and culture through everyday expression and shows that there are rational pathways to both truth and beauty. Barry Hallen has taught philosophy at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. He is a Fellow at the W. E. B. DuBois Institute for Afro-American Research at Harvard University and Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Morehouse College. He is coauthor of Knowledge, Belief, and Witchcraft: Analytic Experiments in African Philosophy. Contents Ordinary Language and African Philosophy Moral Epistemology Me, My Self, and My Destiny The Good and the Bad The Beautiful Rationality, Individuality, Secularity, and the Proverbial Appendix of Yoruba-Language Quotations Glossary of Yoruba Terms. (shrink)
In this accessible book, Barry Hallen discusses the major ideas, figures, and schools of thought in African philosophy. While drawing out critical issues in the formation of African philosophy, Hallen focuses on the recent scholarship, current issues, and relevant debates that have made African philosophy an important key to understanding the rich and complex cultural heritage of Africa. Hallen builds upon Africa's connections with Western philosophical traditions and explores African contributions to cultural universalism, cultural relativism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, and Marxism. (...) Hallen also examines African challenges to Western conceptions of philosophy by taking on questions such as whether philosophy can exist in cultures that are significantly based in oral traditions and what may or may not constitute philosophical texts. Among the figures whose work is discussed are Ptah-hotep, Zar'a Ya'aqob, Anton Wilhelm Amo, Paulin Hountondji, V. Y. Mudimbe, Oyeronke Oyewumi, Kwame Anthony Appiah, and Kwasi Wiredu. This clearly written, highly readable, and concise work will be essential for students and scholars of African philosophy as well as readers with a wide range of interests in African studies. (shrink)
Locke was once supposed to have argued that since the colours, sounds, odours, and other ‘secondary’ qualities things appear to have can vary greatly according to the state and position of the observer, it follows that our ideas of the ‘secondary’ qualities of things do not ‘resemble’ anything existing in the objects themselves. And Berkeley has been credited with the obvious objection that similar facts about the ‘relativity’ of our perception of ‘primary’ qualities show that they do not ‘resemble’ anything (...) existing in the objects either, so that both ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ qualities exist only ‘in the mind’. The falsity of this view of Locke has been amply demonstrated in recent years, but no corresponding revision has been made in what remains the standard interpretation of Berkeley's criticisms of Locke. His objections therefore appear to be based on misunderstanding and to be irrelevant to what is now seen to be Locke's actual view and his reasons for holding it. I think this account of Berkeley, like the old view of Locke, is a purely fictional chapter in the history of philosophy, and in this paper I try to show that Berkeley's criticisms involve no misunderstanding and amount to a direct denial of the view Locke actually held. (shrink)
_Stream of Consciousness_ is about the phenomenology of conscious experience. Barry Dainton shows us that stream of consciousness is not a mosaic of discrete fragments of experience, but rather an interconnected flowing whole. Through a deep probing into the nature of awareness, introspection, phenomenal space and time consciousness, Dainton offers a truly original understanding of the nature of consciousness.
Barry Dainton presents a fascinating new account of the self, the key to which is experiential or phenomenal continuity. Provided our mental life continues we can easily imagine ourselves surviving the most dramatic physical alterations, or even moving from one body to another. It was this fact that led John Locke to conclude that a credible account of our persistence conditions - an account which reflects how we actually conceive of ourselves - should be framed in terms of mental (...) rather than material continuity. But mental continuity comes in different forms. Most of Locke's contemporary followers agree that our continued existence is secured by psychological continuity, which they take to be made up of memories, beliefs, intentions, personality traits, and the like. Dainton argues that that a better and more believable account can be framed in terms of the sort of continuity we find in our streams of consciousness from moment to moment. Why? Simply because provided this continuity is not lost - provided our streams of consciousness flow on - we can easily imagine ourselves surviving the most dramatic psychological alterations. Phenomenal continuity seems to provide a more reliable guide to our persistence than any form of continuity. The Phenomenal Self is a full-scale defence and elaboration of this premise. The first task is arriving at an adequate understanding of phenomenal unity and continuity. This achieved, Dainton turns to the most pressing problem facing any experience-based approach: losses of consciousness. How can we survive them? He shows how the problem can be solved in a satisfactory manner by construing ourselves as systems of experiential capacities. He then moves on to explore a range of further issues. How simple can a self be? How are we related to our bodies? Is our persistence an all-or-nothing affair? Do our minds consist of parts which could enjoy an independent existence? Is it metaphysically intelligible to construe ourselves as systems of capacities? The book concludes with a novel treatment of fission and fusion. (shrink)
A report by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, contrary to the Declaration of Helsinki, permits most important research initiatives in developing countries.The Ethics of Research Related to Health Care in Developing Countries by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics makes a number of innovative recommendations that depart from codes such as the Declaration of Helsinki. It recommends that standards of care might be relativised to the standard of that nation. It recommends that very good reasons need to be given for not (...) giving post-trial access to medications but recognises that there may be justifiable instances of this. It is the view of the authors that these and other recommendations of the report are sensible pieces of advice given the complexities of the developing world. (shrink)
In an article in Cognition, Machery, Mallon, Nichols, and Stich [Machery et al., 2004] present data which purports to show that “East Asian” native Cantonese speakers tend to have descriptivist intuitions about the referents of proper names, while “Western” native English speakers tend to have causal-historical intuitions about proper names. Machery et al take this finding to support the view that some intuitions, the universality of which they claim is central to philosophical theories, vary according to cultural background. Machery et (...) al hypothesize that the differences in intuitions about reference stem from general psychological differences between Eastern and Western subjects. Machery et al conclude from their findings that the philosophical methodology of consulting intuitions about hypothetical cases is flawed vis ` a vis the goal of determining truths about some philosophical domains. To quote Machery et al, “our data indicate that philosophers must radically revise their methodology” because “the intuitions philosophers pronounce from their armchairs are likely to be a product of their own culture and their academic training” ( [Machery et al., 2004] pp.B9). “The evidence suggests that it is wrong for philosophers to assume a priori the universality of their own semantic intuitions” ( [Machery et al., 2004] pp. B8). In the following study, I present data incompatible with Machery et al’s results. Native Cantonese-speaking immigrants from a Cantonese diaspora 1 in Southern California do not have descriptivist intuitions about the referents of proper names when presented with a Cantonese story and Cantonese questions about reference and truth-value. This data raises questions about the quality of Machery et al’s study and the conclusions they draw from it. (shrink)
According to a fairly standard view, there are several reasons for denying that existence is a real property of individuals. One is that 'exists' cannot be predicated of individuals, and another is that first-level properties are parasitic on individuals for their actuality, which is something that existence could never be. A third is that existence adds nothing to individuals. Moreover, even if existence were to survive all three counter-indications, it would be merely the most vacuous of properties. _The Fullness of (...) Being_, however, argues that this view of existence is seriously awry. In this brilliant book, Barry Miller argues that existence is not merely a real property of individuals, but by far the richest of their properties. The commonly accepted view of existence is testimony, contends Miller, to what happens when wrong questions are asked, false assumptions are made, and the possibility of a new paradigm for existence is dismissed without consideration. They bear witness to the substantial flaws underlying the familiar claim 'existence is not a predicate' and the Frege-Russell-Quine view not only of 'exists' as exclusively a second-level predicate, but of existence as no more than a Cambridge property of individuals. By way of contrast, _The Fullness of Being_ is an account of what happens when different questions are asked, when false assumptions are eschewed, and when the possibility of a radically different paradigm for existence is actively explored rather than completely ignored. What began for Miller as an exercise in philosophical logic to determine whether 'exists' is predicable of individuals, ends in an argument with groundbreaking consequences for ontology. "_The Fullness of Being_ is a brilliant and original account of existence. It will be required reading for those philosophers interested in the topic." —_Peter Forrest, professor of philosophy, University of New England, Australia_. (shrink)
How we experience space by listening: the concepts of aural architecture, with examples ranging from Gothic cathedrals to surround sound home theater. We experience spaces not only by seeing but also by listening. We can navigate a room in the dark, and "hear" the emptiness of a house without furniture. Our experience of music in a concert hall depends on whether we sit in the front row or under the balcony. The unique acoustics of religious spaces acquire symbolic meaning. Social (...) relationships are strongly influenced by the way that space changes sound. In Spaces Speak, Are You Listening?, Barry Blesser and Linda-Ruth Salter examine auditory spatial awareness: experiencing space by attentive listening. Every environment has an aural architecture.The audible attributes of physical space have always contributed to the fabric of human culture, as demonstrated by prehistoric multimedia cave paintings, classical Greek open-air theaters, Gothic cathedrals, acoustic geography of French villages, modern music reproduction, and virtual spaces in home theaters. Auditory spatial awareness is a prism that reveals a culture's attitudes toward hearing and space. Some listeners can learn to "see" objects with their ears, but even without training, we can all hear spatial geometry such as an open door or low ceiling. Integrating contributions from a wide range of disciplines—including architecture, music, acoustics, evolution, anthropology, cognitive psychology, audio engineering, and many others—Spaces Speak, Are You Listening? establishes the concepts and language of aural architecture. These concepts provide an interdisciplinary guide for anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of how space enhances our well-being. Aural architecture is not the exclusive domain of specialists. Accidentally or intentionally, we all function as aural architects. (shrink)
These are just some of the fundamental questions addressed in Time and Space. Writing for a primary readership of advanced undergraduate and graduate philosophy students, Barry Dainton introduces the central ideas and arguments that make space and time such philosophically challenging topics. Although recognising that many issues in the philosophy of time and space involve technical features of physics, Dainton has been careful to keep the conceptual issues accessible to students with little scientific or mathematical training. Surveying historical debates (...) and ideas at the forefront of contemporary thinking, the book is unrivaled in its coverage. Topics include McTaggart's argument for the unreality of change; static, tensed, and dynamic time; time travel and causal arrows; space as void, motion, and curved spac; as well as a non-technical introduction to the special theory of relativity and the key features of general relativity, spacetime, and strings. Dainton also addresses the relationship between the philosophy of time and broader human concerns involving actions, ethics, fatalism, and death. (shrink)
A milestone in Wittgenstein scholarship, this collection of essays ranges over a wide area of the philosopher's thought, presenting divergent interpretations of his fundamental ideas. Different chapters raise many of the central controversies that surround current understanding of the Tractatus, providing an interplay that will be particularly useful to students. Taken together, the essays present a broader and more comprehensive view of Wittgenstein's intellectual interests and his impact on philosophy than may be found elsewhere.The thirteen chapters treat topics from both (...) periods of Wittgenstein's work: More than half are devoted to his early thought, the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus of 1921, reflecting a growing interest today among philosophers in reexamining this seminal book, while three chapters treat the Philosophical Investigations, published posthumously in 1953. The remaining chapters discuss such "nonstandard" topics as philosophy of religion, aesthetics, and anthropology.Contents: The Early Wittgenstein and the Middle Russell, Kenneth Blackwell; Frege and Wittgenstein, Michael Dummett; Wittgenstein and the Theory of Types, Hide Ishiguro; The So-called Realism of Wittgenstein's Tractatus, Brian McGuinness; The Logical Independence of Elementary Propositions, David Pears; The Rise and Fall of the Picture Theory, Peter Hacker; The Picture Theory and Wittgenstein's Later Attitude to It, Erik Stenius; Wittgenstein's Early Philosophy of Mind, Anthony Kenny; A Theory of Language?, G. E. M. Anscombe; Im Anfang war die Tat, Peter Winch; Wittgenstein's Full Stop, D. Z. Phillips; Quote: Judgments from Our Brain, Paul Ziff; Wittgenstein and the Fire Festivals, Frank Cioffi, Index.Irving Block is Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department at The University of Western Ontario. (shrink)
Empirical research in bioethics has developed rapidly over the past decade, but has largely eschewed the use of technology-driven methodologies. We propose “design bioethics” as an area of conjoined theoretical and methodological innovation in the field, working across bioethics, health sciences and human-centred technological design. We demonstrate the potential of digital tools, particularly purpose-built digital games, to align with theoretical frameworks in bioethics for empirical research, integrating context, narrative and embodiment in moral decision-making. Purpose-built digital tools can engender situated engagement (...) with bioethical questions; can achieve such engagement at scale; and can access groups traditionally under-represented in bioethics research and theory. If developed and used with appropriate rigor, tools motivated by “design bioethics” could offer unique insights into new and familiar normative and empirical issues in the field. (shrink)
This is the first book that explains how you actually go about doing good bioethics. John McMillan develops an account of the nature of bioethics; he reveals how a number of methodological spectres have obstructed bioethics; and then he shows how moral reason can be brought to bear upon practical issues via an 'empirical, Socratic' approach.
Psychedelic-assisted Psychotherapy combines the use of psychedelic compounds, such as psilocybin, with psychotherapy. PAP has shown some promise as a novel treatment for Major Depressive Disorder, and empirical research suggests that its efficacy turns on the altered states induced by psychedelic compounds. In this paper we draw on the literature of phenomenology to explain the therapeutic potential of psychedelic experiences. Svenaeus characterises mental illness as a form of suffering that entails three distinct but related experiences of alienation or “unhomelike being-in-the-world”: (...) illness suffering, which relates to embodiment; existential suffering, which relates to self-narratives, and political suffering, which relates to social relationships. Ratcliffe further characterises the experience of MDD in phenomenological terms as a loss of pre-intentional possibility that manifests as excessive noematic feeling in the experience of embodiment, restrictive narratives in the construction of self, and disconnectedness in experience of the social world. We contend that PAP ameliorates the suffering associated with MDD by inducing and consolidating a state of broadened pre-intentional possibility—one that entails sudden, profound and enduring changes in embodiment, self-narratives, and social experience. We argue further that this phenomenological account is consistent with a bio-psycho-social model of mental health and illness, and we frame it as an argument supporting the plausibility of recent claims about treatment success. This helps to justify ongoing future empirical research in this setting. (shrink)
This volume brings together a range of influential essays by distinguished philosophers and political theorists on the issue of global justice. Global justice concerns the search for ethical norms that should govern interactions between people, states, corporations and other agents acting in the global arena, as well as the design of social institutions that link them together. The volume includes articles that engage with major theoretical questions such as the applicability of the ideals of social and economic equality to the (...) global sphere, the degree of justified partiality to compatriots, and the nature and extent of the responsibilities of the affluent to address global poverty and other hardships abroad. It also features articles that bring the theoretical insights of global justice thinkers to bear on matters of practical concern to contemporary societies, such policies associated with immigration, international trade, and climate change. -/- Contents: Introduction; Part I Standards of Global Justice: (i) Assistance-Based Responsibilities to the Global Poor: Famine, affluence and mortality, Peter Singer; We don't owe them a thing! A tough-minded but soft-hearted view of aid to the faraway needy, Jan Narveson; Does distance matter morally to the duty to rescue? Frances Myrna Kamm. (ii) Contribution-Based Responsibilities to the Global Poor: 'Assisting' the global poor, Thomas Pogge; Should we stop thinking about poverty in terms of helping the poor?, Alan Patten; Poverty and the moral significance of contribution, Gerhard Øverland. (iii)Cosmopolitans, Global Egalitarians, and its Critics: The one and the many faces of cosmopolitanism, Catherine Lu; Cosmopolitan justice and equalizing opportunities, Simon Caney; The problem of global justice, Thomas Nagel; Against global egalitarianism, David Miller; Egalitarian challenges to global egalitarianism: a critique, Christian Barry and Laura Valentini. Part II Pressing Global Socioeconomic Issues: (i) Governing the Flow of People: Immigration and freedom of association, Christopher Wellman; Democratic theory and border coercion: no right to unilaterally control your own borders, Arash Abizadeh; Justice in migration: a closed borders utopia?, Lea Ypi. (ii) Climate Change: Global environment and international inequality, Henry Shue; Valuing policies in response to climate change: some ethical issues, John Broome; Saved by disaster? Abrupt climate change, political inertia, and the possibility of an intergenerational arms race, Stephen M. Gardiner; Polycentric systems for coping with collective action and global environmental change, Elinor Ostrom. (iii) International Trade: Responsibility and global labor justice, Iris Marion Young; Property rights and the resource curse, Leif Wenar; Fairness in trade I: obligations arising from trading and the pauper-labor argument, Mathias Risse; Name index. -/- See: www.ashgate.com/default.aspx?page=637&calctitle=1&pageSubject=483&sort=pubdate&forthcoming=1&title_i d=9958&edition_id=13385. (shrink)
As the author of Justice as Impartiality, I am not ashamed to admit that I was delighted by the liveliness of the discussion generated by it at the meeting on which this symposium is based. I am likewise grateful to the six authors for finding the book worthy of the careful attention that they have bestowed on it. Between them, the symposiasts take up many more points than I can cover in this response. I shall therefore focus on some themes (...) that cluster round the contractual device that I associate with the notion of justice as impartiality. Is it necessary? If it is not necessary is it nevertheless useful? Within an overall contractual framework is the form of contract that I propose uniquely justifiable? And does the form of contract that I defend generate the implications that I claim for it? (shrink)
Barry Taylor's book mounts a major new argument against one of the fundamental tenets of much contemporary philosophy, the idea that we can make sense of reality as existing objectively, independently of our capacities to come to know it. He concludes that there is no defensible notion of truth which preserves the theses of traditional realism, nor any extant position sufficiently true to the ideals of that doctrine to inherit its title. In presenting his case Taylor engages with many (...) key works of contemporary metaphysics, semantics, and philosophical logic, so his book will be of interest to a broad spectrum of scholars and students. (shrink)
Despite the emphasis on the state in the history of political philosophy, the twentieth century has been characterized by a remarkable lack of philosophical reflection on the concept. Until recently analytical philosophy had eschewed those evaluative arguments about political obligation and the limits of state authority that were typical of political theory in the past in favour of the explication of the meaning of the concept. However, even here the results have been disappointing. Logical Positivist attempts to locate some unique (...) empirical phenomenon which the word state described proved unsuccessful, and indeed led to the odd conclusion that there was nothing about the state that distinguished it from some other social institutions. For example, its coercive power was said to be not unique: in some circumstances trade unions and Churches exercised similar power over their members. Ordinary language philosophers were far more interested in the complexities that surround words such as law, authority and power than in the state. In all this there was perhaps the fear that to concentrate attention on the state was implicitly to give credence to the discredited doctrine that it stood for some metaphysical entity; propositions about which could not be translated into propositions about the actions of individuals , and which represented higher values than those of ordinary human agents. (shrink)
Barry L. Gan's Violence and Nonviolence: An Introduction introduces readers to myths about the violence taken for granted in our daily lives, and advocates for more principled, nonviolent action on moral, ethical and philosophical grounds.
Perhaps the most remarkable event in social thought of the last twenty years has been the resurgence of various strands of individualism as political doctrines. The term ‘individualism’ is a kind of general rubric that encompasses elements of nineteenth century classical liberalism, laissez-faire economics, the theory of the minimal state, and an extreme mutation out of this intellectual gene pool, anarcho-capitalism. The term libertarianism itself is applied indiscriminately to all of those doctrines. It has no precise meaning, except that in (...) a general sort of way libertarianism describes a more rigorous commitment to moral and economic individualism and a more ideological approach to social affairs than conventional liberalism. I suspect that its current usage largely reflects the fact that the word with the better historical pedigree, liberalism, has been associated, in America especially, with economic doctrines that are alien to the individualist tradition. (shrink)
We focus on the task of finding a 3D conductivity structure for the DO-18 and DO-27 kimberlites, historically known as the Tli Kwi Cho kimberlite complex in the Northwest Territories, Canada. Two airborne electromagnetic surveys are analyzed: a frequency-domain DIGHEM and a time-domain VTEM survey. Airborne time-domain data at TKC are particularly challenging because of the negative values that exist even at the earliest time channels. Heretofore, such data have not been inverted in three dimensions. In our analysis, we start (...) by inverting frequency-domain data and positive VTEM data with a laterally constrained 1D inversion. This is important for assessing the noise levels associated with the data and for estimating the general conductivity structure. The analysis is then extended to a 3D inversion with our most recent optimized and parallelized inversion codes. We first address the issue about whether the conductivity anomaly is due to a shallow flat-lying conductor or a vertical conductive pipe; we conclude that it is the latter. Both data sets are then cooperatively inverted to obtain a consistent 3D conductivity model for TKC that can be used for geologic interpretation. The conductivity model is then jointly interpreted with the density and magnetic susceptibility models from a previous paper. The addition of conductivity enriches the interpretation made with the potential fields in characterizing several distinct petrophysical kimberlite units. The final conductivity model also helps better define the lateral extent and upper boundary of the kimberlite pipes. This conductivity model is a crucial component of the follow-up paper in which our colleagues invert the airborne EM data to recover the time-dependent chargeability that further advances our geologic interpretation. (shrink)
While the UK Home Office’s proposals to preventively detain people with what it has called dangerous severe personality disorder have been subjected to debate and criticism the deeply troubling jurisprudential issues in these proposals have not yet entered into public debate in a way that their seriousness deserves.1 It is good that a commentator as well known as Professor Szasz is speaking out on this issue.Professor Szasz focuses upon a crucial question by calling into question the medicalisation of terms like (...) dangerousness and mental illness.2 There is a great temptation for legislators and the public to treat these terms as if they are purely scientific terms and to think of risk assessment as a precise science. I don’t share Professor’s Szasz’s worry about how psychiatry is using these terms but I think there are some important questions about how these concepts function in the public sphere.This issue is important enough to justify the use of some rhetorical claims because such claims can serve to bring out what are neglected and important issues. In raising the following objections I am not attempting to refute the message that is in Szasz’s article or to say that he is not making an important point but rather to attempt to sharpen the issues and to suggest ways that we can respond to Professor Szasz’s challenge.Psychiatry has progressed in a number of ways since Professor Szasz wrote The Myth of Mental Illness.3 The science is much better, we have much better medications, and psychiatrists are acutely aware of the tension between treating their patient and their obligations to the public interest.So when Professor Szasz says: “Psychiatrists offer to relieve the disturbed person of the burden of coping …. (shrink)
Barry Allen explores the concept of knowledge in Chinese thought over two millennia and compares the different philosophical imperatives that have driven Chinese and Western thought. Challenging the hyperspecialized epistemology of modern Western philosophy, he urges his readers toward an ethical appreciation of why knowledge is worth pursuing.