Responding to volatile criticisms frequently leveled at Leo Strauss and those he influenced, the prominent contributors to this volume demonstrate the profound influence that Strauss and his students have exerted on American liberal democracy and contemporary political thought. By stressing the enduring vitality of classic books and by articulating the theoretical and practical flaws of relativism and historicism, the contributors argue that Strauss and the Straussians have identified fundamental crises of modernity and liberal democracy.
This book consists of an introduction by Carnes Lord and nine essays: Stephen Salkever on Aristotle's social science; Cames Lord on Aristotle's anthropology; AbramShulsky on Aristotle's economics; Josiah Ober on Aristotle's sociology of class, status, and Order; David O'Connor on Aristotle's conception of justice; Stephen Salkever on Plato and Aristotle on women, soldiers, and citizens; Waller Newell on Aristotle on monarchy; Barry Strauss on Aristotle on Athenian democracy; and Richard Bodéus on Aristotle on law and regime.
In a recent paper in Psychological Science, Kouider and Dupoux reported obtaining unconscious Stroop priming only when subjects had partial awareness of the masked distractor words . Kouider and Dupoux conjectured that semantic priming occurs only when such partial awareness is present. The present experiments tested this conjecture in an affective categorization priming task that differed from Kouider and Dupoux’s in using masked distractors that subjects had practiced earlier as visible words. Experiment 1 showed priming from practiced words when subjects (...) had no partial awareness of those words. Experiment 2 showed that, in the absence of partial awareness, practiced words yielded priming but not-practiced words did not. Experiment 3 corroborated Experiment 1 and 2s results using a different test of partial awareness. These results suggest that unconscious processing of subword elements drives masked semantic priming by practiced words. (shrink)
This paper is divided into three sections. The first presents some examples of the killing/letting die distinction. The second draws a further distinction between what I call negative and positive cases of acting or refraining. Here I argue that the moral significance of the acting/refraining distinction is different for positive and for negative cases. In the third section I apply the above distinction to euthanasia, and argue that mercy killing should be regarded as analogous to positive rather than negative cases. (...) On the basis of this, I then support active rather than passive euthanasia. (shrink)
What is the proper role of a clinical ethics consultant’s religious beliefs in forming recommendations for clinical ethics consultation? Where Janet Malek has argued that religious belief should have no influence on the formation of a CEC’s recommendations, Clint Parker has argued a CEC should freely appeal to all their background beliefs, including religious beliefs, in formulating their recommendations. In this paper, I critique both their views by arguing the position envisioned by Malek puts the CEC too far from religion (...) and the position envisioned by Parker puts the CEC too close. For a CEC to give recommendations about what is morally prohibited, permissible, or obligatory in the clinic, I propose a view of the CEC that is neither religious nor non-religious but quasi-religious. I argue that a quasi-religious approach avoids the problems of both religious and non-religious views while preserving their benefits. Additionally, a quasi-religious view resists the marginalization of “religious” traditions that occurs when secular ethicists come to think of their approach as somehow distinctly non-religious. (shrink)
The discursive character of human rights prevents a precise summary of historical origin, rationale, or definition outside of the various codifications in religious texts, secular philosophies, founding national documents, and international treaties, charters, conventions, covenants, declarations, and protocols. Regarding the objects of human rights, we can speak of a “foundational five” 1) Personal security 2) Material subsistence 3) Elemental equality 4) Personal Freedom and 5) Recognition as a member of the human community. Despite, or perhaps because of its multivalence, the (...) concept of human rights has been criticized as “foundationalist,” “essentialist,” or “ethnocentric”—its universalism being used as a weapon against itself by critics of cultural imperialism. Even the tolerance discourses so popular in critical theory, however, gain their normative force from the same basic notion of individual or group rights. Notwithstanding these rhetorical abuses, the concept of human rights has proved robust as a doctrine of equality owing to its openness to a pluralism of justifications grounding the basic “goods” agreed as necessary for human development. (shrink)
Legal precedent, professional‐society statements, and even many medical ethicists agree that some situations may call for a clinician to engage in an act of lying or nonlying deception of a patient or patient's family member. Still, the moral terrain of clinical deception is largely uncharted, and when it comes to practical guidance for clinicians, many might think that ethicists offer nothing more than the rule never to deceive. This guidance is insufficient to meet the real‐world demands of clinical practice, and (...) this article endeavors to articulate a framework to help clinicians better navigate the ethics of clinical deceit. The framework articulates four morally relevant dimensions of a potential deceptive act that should be examined to better determine the moral justification that might be required: the target of the act, the nature of the information, the nature of the act, and the context of the act. (shrink)
Our aim in this article is to bring some clarity to the clinical ethics expertise debate by critiquing and replacing the taxonomy offered by the Core Competencies report. The orienting question for our taxonomy is: Can clinical ethicists offer justified, normative recommendations for active patient cases? Views that answer “no” are characterized as a “negative” view of clinical ethics expertise and are further differentiated based on (a) why they think ethicists cannot give justified normative recommendations and (b) what they think (...) ethicists can offer, if they cannot offer recommendations. Views that answer “yes” to the orienting question are characterized as a “positive” view of clinical ethics expertise. Positive views are distinguished according to four additional questions. First (P1), how are those recommendations generated? Second (P2), what is the nature of the recommendations? Third (P3), we ask, how are the recommendations justified? And finally (P4), how are the recommendations communicated? (shrink)
This paper reports of a case where a physician conscientiously objected to prescribing PrEP to a bisexual patient so as not to “enable immoral sexual behavior.” The case represents an instance of conscience creep, a phenomenon whereby clinicians invoke conscientious objection in sometimes objectionable ways that extend beyond the traditional contexts of abortion, sterilization, or physician aid in dying. This essay uses a reasonability view of conscientious objection to argue that the above case represents a discriminatory instance of conscience creep (...) that should not be permitted. (shrink)
The democratic surprises of 2016—Brexit and the Trump phenomenon—fueled by “fake news”, both real and imagined, have come to constitute a centrifugal, nationalistic, even tribal moment in politics. Running counter to the shared postwar narrative of increasing internationalism, these events reignited embers of cultural and moral relativism in academia and public discourse dormant since the culture wars of the 1990s and ‘60s. This counternarrative casts doubt on the value of belief in universal human rights, which many in the humanities and (...) social sciences argue have of late been used as instruments of postcolonial oppression. This book essay introduces three texts written before the dawn of the latest “post-truth” era—The Sociology of Human Rights by Mark Frezzo, The Political Sociology of Human Rights by Kate Nash, and Keeping Faith with Human Rights by Linda Hogan—that address moral skepticism of human rights. Along with these authors, the essay briefly treats human rights’ past and prospects, analogizing it to the waves of feminist thought: in international politics, developing nations first desired a seat at the table and repeal of discriminatory laws and practices; when one-nation-one-vote did not result in equal treatment, the persistence of hierarchy helped developing nations awaken to their own evolving national identities and they wished to be recognized as not only equal, but different and unique. The essay recapitulates and amplifies these authors’ argument that the contemporary challenge for all nations, their citizens, and for the human rights community is to deliberatively decide what values unite these identities beyond simple self-determination and extend them toward the goal of a just global whole. The essay also makes an original contribution in summarizing the initial post-war debate in the United Nations that birthed the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights, which has been subject to revisionism and perspectivism typical of cultural and moral relativism. It provides some social scientific, historical, and philosophic grounding for serious conversation of the ideas of truths in politics, and universal, transcultural goods and rights that underpin the authority of the international human rights regime in theory and practice. It does so while recognizing the serious epistemological challenges to this universalist conception, chiefly: how a social construct can be both time-bound human creation and continue to be morally binding across space, time, and the accelerated change global citizens of all corners are experiencing, simultaneously yet in their own way. (shrink)
Douglas Diekema has argued that it is not the best interest standard, but the harm principle that serves as the moral basis for ethicists, clinicians, and the courts to trigger state intervention to limit parental authority in the clinic. Diekema claims the harm principle is especially effective in justifying state intervention in cases of religiously motivated medical neglect in pediatrics involving Jehovah’s Witnesses and Christian Scientists. I argue that Diekema has not articulated a harm principle that is capable of justifying (...) state intervention in these cases. Where disagreements over appropriate care are tethered to metaphysical disagreements, it is moral-metaphysical standards, rather than merely moral standards, that are needed to provide substantive guidance. I provide a discussion of Diekema’s harm principle to the broader end of highlighting an inconsistency between the theory and practice of secular bioethics when overriding religiously based medical decisions. In a secular state, ethicists, clinicians, and the courts are purportedly neutral with respect to moral-metaphysical positions, especially regarding those claims considered to be religious. However, the practice of overriding religiously based parental requests requires doffing the mantle of neutrality. In the search for a meaningful standard by which to override religiously based parental requests in pediatrics, bioethicists cannot avoid some minimal metaphysical commitments. To resolve this inconsistency, bioethicists must either begin permitting religiously based requests, even at the cost of children’s lives, or admit that at least some moral-metaphysical disputes can be rationally adjudicated. (shrink)
Lucid, non-intimidating presentation of propositional logic, propositional calculus and predicate logic by Russian scholar. Topics of concern in a variety of fields, including computer science, systems analysis, linguistics, etc. Accessible to high school students; valuable review of fundamentals for professionals. Exercises (no solutions). Preface. Three appendices. Indices. Bibliogaphy. 14 figures.
This article examines a handful of recent creative works that reflect speculatively on transgender pasts. I argue that each of these creative texts uses ontological interventions to reimagine moments in trans activist history that scholars have narrated only in terms of the attenuation of sociality and of political participation. These works do this by ratifying trans activists’ relations of reciprocity with extraordinary entities that are not often supported by secular and anthropocentric historiographies. Instead of engaging accounts of coalition work with (...) extraterrestrials, nonhuman animals, and magical powers mainly as sites of “subjugated knowledges”, these creative works all consider the political capacitations afforded by trans collaborations with other-than-human agencies. In order to make this argument, I draw from the recent body of anthropological scholarship known as the “new animism,” and consider the absence of commentary on religion and secularism within the Anglo-American posthuman turn. Ultimately, beyond offering alternatives to historical declension narratives about trans activism, these works urge scholars to consider how relations with “subaltern” agentive forces have become increasingly important to disenfranchised communities’ efforts to negotiate the political debilitations of a post-neoliberal world. (shrink)
BackgroundThe purpose of this study is to make a philosophical argument against the phenomenological critique of standardization in clinical ethics. We used the context of clinical ethics in Saudi Arabia to demonstrate the importance of credentialing clinical ethicists.MethodsPhilosophical methods of argumentation and conceptual analysis were used.ResultsWe found the phenomenological critique of standardization to be flawed because it relies on a series of false dichotomies.ConclusionsWe concluded that the phenomenological framing of the credentialing debate relies upon two extreme views to be navigated (...) between, not chosen among, in the credentialing of clinical ethicists. (shrink)
Because the goal of reducing violence is nearly universally accepted, the uniquely prescriptive character of peace and conflict studies is rarely scrutinized. However, prescriptive pacifism in social psychological peace research (SPPR) masks a diversity of opinion on whether nonintervention is more effective in promoting peace than intervention to punish aggression, restore stability, and/or prevent atrocity. SPPR’s skepticism is sharper in the post–9/11 era when states use public fear of terrorist threat to promote sometimes-unrelated domestic and geostrategic interests. The most frequently (...) proposed remedy for this kind of abuse is some form of international legal positivism that permits the use of force only in self-defense, per strict interpretation of the United Nations Charter, or not at all—a position the author calls ‘prescriptive pacifism." This project critically examines the metaethical premises of prescriptive pacifism, positivism, and realism, how these animate the moral and political skepticism of peace studies, psychology, and international relations, respectively, and meet in SPPR. After comparing the intellectual development of these fields and just war theory, I present influential psychologist Albert Bandura’s social cognitive theory (SCT) of moral judgment and aggression as a case study. I present evidence of the problematic nature of Bandura and others’ formulation of moral engagement and disengagement, tracing their contradictions to the named premises. In brief, I argue that SCT’s underlying skepticism of individual moral judgment implies elite or consensus-driven models of social and political change whose institutional gradualism contradicts these authors’ and SPPR’s stated progressive aims, and whose utilitarian ethos undermines the egalitarian individualism that underpins both the liberal conception of the rule of law and the international human rights regime. Finally, I present an alternative model of moral reasoning and engagement based on a Kantian constructivist understanding of international ethics, and the theory of the just war. I outline two instruments inspired by these related normative frameworks that in addition to being more internally coherent, operationalize moral engagement and disengagement in a manner more consonant with political liberalism, existing international humanitarian law, and the emergent norm known as Responsibility to Protect. Intended for use in the collection and coding of qualitative responses to survey research of public opinion on morally ambiguous issues in international politics such as intervention and territorial integrity, these instruments avoid the tendency of existing SPPR frameworks toward false positives of militarism and pacifism. Their presentation also makes mutually comprehensible the often-confusing professional idioms of international relations, political theory, moral philosophy, and social psychology, standing to make a contribution to each. (shrink)
In the debate over clinicians’ conscience, there is a greater ethical, legal, and scholarly focus on negative, rather than positive, claims of conscience. This asymmetry produces a seemingly unjustified double standard with respect to clinicians’ conscience under the law. For example, a Roman Catholic physician working at a secular institution may refuse to provide physician-aid-in-dying on the basis of conscience, but a secular physician working at a Roman Catholic institution may not insist on providing physician-aid-in-dying on the basis of conscience. (...) This article outlines arguments against this asymmetry and critiques them for failing to distinguish between positive claims of conscience as positive or negative rights. I suggest the asymmetry debate should be focused on whether positive claims of conscience as positive rights ought to enjoy the same protections as negative claims of conscience. Clarifying the debate in this way helps elucidate some of the best reasons for the asymmetry, which these arguments have not addressed. This article does not take a definitive position on whether the asymmetry is justified, but attempts to bring some focus to the debate by directing arguments against the asymmetry to address the significant differences between positive claims of conscience as positive rights and negative claims of conscience. (shrink)
In a recent issue of the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, several scholars wrote on the topic of ethics expertise in clinical ethics consultation. The articles in this issue exemplified what we consider to be two troubling trends in the quest to articulate a unique expertise for clinical ethicists. The first trend, exemplified in the work of Lisa Rasmussen, is an attempt to define a role for clinical ethicists that denies they have ethics expertise. Rasmussen cites the dependence of ethical (...) expertise on irresolvable meta-ethical debates as the reason for this move. We argue against this deflationary strategy because it ends up smuggling in meta-ethical assumptions it claims to avoid. Specifically, we critique Rasmussen’s distinction between the ethical and normative features of clinical ethics cases. The second trend, exemplified in the work of Dien Ho, also attempts to avoid meta-ethics. However, unlike Rasmussen, Ho tries to articulate a notion of ethics expertise that does not rely upon meta-ethics. Specifically, we critique Ho’s attempts to explain how clinical ethicists can resolve moral disputes using what he calls the “Default Principle” and “arguments by parity.” We show that these strategies do not work unless those with the moral disagreement already share certain meta-ethical assumptions. Ultimately, we argue that the two trends of attempting to avoid meta-ethics by denying that clinical ethicists have ethics expertise, and attempting to articulate how ethics expertise can be used to resolve disputes without meta-ethics both fail because they do not, in fact, avoid doing meta-ethics. We conclude that these trends detract from what clinical ethics consultation was founded to do and ought to still be doing—provide moral guidance, which requires ethics expertise, and engagement with meta-ethics. To speak of ethicists without ethics expertise leaves their role in the clinic dangerously unclear and unjustified. (shrink)