While epistemic democrats have claimed that majority rule recruits the wisdom of the crowd to identify correct answers to political problems, the conjecture remains abstract. This article illustrates how majority rule leverages the epistemic capacity of the electorate to practically enhance the instrumental value of elections. To do so, we identify a set of sufficient conditions that effect such a majority rule mechanism, even when the decision in question is multidimensional. We then look to the case of sociotropic economic voting (...) in US presidential elections to provide empirical tractability for these conditions. We find that absent such an epistemic capacity a number of presidential elections might well have been decided differently. By generating clear conditions for the plausibility of claims made by epistemic democrats, and demonstrating their correspondence to empirical data, this article strengthens the broader instrumental grounds recommending democracy. (shrink)
A scientific community can be modeled as a collection of epistemic agents attempting to answer questions, in part by communicating about their hypotheses and results. We can treat the pathways of scientific communication as a network. When we do, it becomes clear that the interaction between the structure of the network and the nature of the question under investigation affects epistemic desiderata, including accuracy and speed to community consensus. Here we build on previous work, both our own and others’, in (...) order to get a firmer grasp on precisely which features of scientific communities interact with which features of scientific questions in order to influence epistemic outcomes. (shrink)
fusion theory challenges efforts to see theory as inhibiting by presenting an approach that is innovative, eclectic, and subtle in order to draw out competing and constellating ideas and opinions. This collected volume of essays examines fusion theory and demonstrates how the theory can be applied to the reading of various works of Indian English novelists.
Background There is a need for clearer guidance for pharmacists regarding their responsibilities when selling complementary medicines. A recently published ethical framework provides guidance regarding the specific responsibilities that pharmacists need to meet in order to fulfil their professional obligations and make a positive contribution to health outcomes when selling complementary medicines. Objective Evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of a new ethical framework for the sale of complementary medicines in community pharmacy. Methods Australian community pharmacists were invited to participate in (...) online focus groups and interviews. Participants were recruited via multiple methods, including social media and the professional networks of pharmacy groups. Participants were provided the ethical framework prior to the discussion. Discussions were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Results Seventeen community pharmacists participated in the study. There was good representation among participants in terms of gender, years of practice, pharmacy location and script volume. Participants differed in how proactive they were in relation to selling and providing advice on complementary medicines, how they interpreted evidence in relation to complementary medicines, and how they navigated their practice within the retail environment of community pharmacy. The majority of participants found the framework was acceptable for practice and was feasible for implementation with targeted support. Participants identified two important areas for targeted support in implementing the framework: improved access to evidence-based information resources on complementary medicines and independent evidence-based education and training on complementary medicine for pharmacists and pharmacy support staff. Conclusion The ethical framework addresses an important gap in providing specific professional guidance to pharmacists when selling complementary medicines. The results of the study suggest that the framework may be acceptable to community pharmacists and be feasible to implement with targeted support. (shrink)
As part of a larger study eliciting Canadian producer and non-producer views about animal welfare, open-ended, semi-structured interviews were used to explore opinions about animal welfare of 20 Canadian pig producers, most of whom were involved in confinement-based systems. With the exception of the one organic producer, who emphasized the importance of a “natural” life, participants attached overriding importance to biological health and functioning. They saw their efforts as providing pigs with dry, thermally regulated, indoor environments where animals received abundant (...) feed, careful monitoring and where prospective disease outbreaks could be minimized and controlled. Emphasis was also placed on low-stress handling and agreeable working conditions which were believed to promote good animal care. The fact that pigs tend to respond to such conditions with steady growth reinforced the belief that good welfare was provided. Participants supported the use of sow gestation stalls, but with some reservations, and expressed concern about welfare problems that could occur if sows were grouped. Invasive procedures (castration, tail-docking, teeth clipping) were recognized as painful but were accepted because they were seen as: (1) necessary for sales or management; (2) satisfactory trade-offs to prevent worse welfare problems such as injury or infection; or (3) sufficiently short-term to be relatively unimportant. Participants were adamantly opposed to animal neglect and some welcomed actions of animal protectionists that expose poor care. Producers also welcomed natural-science-based approaches to improving animal welfare. The findings contribute to a broader effort to identify overlapping values among different stakeholder groups as a basis for formulating mutually agreeable, farm animal care and handling polices. (shrink)
This dissertation undertakes a philosophical analysis of “natural capital” and argues that this concept has prompted economists to view Nature in a radically novel manner. Formerly, economists referred to Nature and natural products as a collection of inert materials to be drawn upon in isolation and then rearranged by human agents to produce commodities. More recently, nature is depicted as a collection of active, modifiable, and economically valuable processes, often construed as ecosystems that produce marketable goods and services gratis. Nature (...) is depicted as consisting of various unproduced mechanisms or “natural machines” that are first discovered and then channeled so as to serve human ends. In short, nature as an ideal is a kind of garden that is characterized by natural objects purposefully arranged by intentional human agents. This dissertation first lays out working definitions of the key terms, such as capital and Nature, and then traces the historical roots of natural capital in the writings of eminent classical political economists, such as Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, and Karl Marx. I then examine the question of substitutes for “critical natural capital”, and argue that the preservation paradox is warranted: no one can restore or preserve a part of Nature without turning it into an artifact. Following the recent work of Debra Satz and Michael Sandel, I finish my dissertation by situating the question of natural capital in the broader context of whether some goods should not be for sale, particularly those I define as Basic Ecological Goods. (shrink)
Using various meanings of ?visit? and ?friend? this essay freely explores connections between Milton's cultivation of fame in Europe, leading to reports in the early lives of visits of scholarly foreigners to his door, and the extraordinary concentration on scenarios of human and divine visitation in the late poems. Social, political and religious strands are followed, from humanist self-presentation in the sonnets through to prophetic isolation in the late poems. Codes of friendship are rehearsed concerning confidentiality and betrayal, and attention (...) is paid to the effect of blindness on the activities of the humanist writer, the need for supporting visits, and an increasing interiority and preoccupation with the responsibilities of those engaged with God's special causes. The proto-humanist visit of Raphael to Adam in Paradise Lost and the many guiding visitations in that poem are contrasted with the situation in Samson Agonistes, where divine guidance is presented as clearer in the past than the present, and the reader is invited to share difficulties of discernment in the Restoration world, prefigured in Judges. The essay ends with the simultaneous publication of Milton's humanist legacy and sale of many of his foreign-language books. (shrink)
In the United States, property rights are afforded protection, but moral rights are not. Up until 1989, the United States adamantly refused to join the Berne Copyright Convention, the first multilateral copyright treaty, now ratified by seventy-eight countries. The American government refused to comply because the Berne Convention grants moral rights to authors. This international policy was—and is—incompatible with United States copyright law, which recognizes only economic rights. Although ten states have enacted some form of moral rights legislation, federal copyright (...) laws tend to prevail, and those are still wholly economic in their motivation. Indeed, the recent pressure for the United States to agree, at least in part, to the terms of the Berne Convention came only as a result of a dramatic increase in the international piracy of American records and films.In September 1986, Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts first introduced a bill called the Visual Artists Rights Act. This bill attempts to amend federal copyright laws to incorporate some aspects of international moral rights protection. The Kennedy bill would prohibit the intentional distortion, mutilation, or destruction of works of art after they have been sold. Moreover, the act would empower artists to claim authorship, to receive royalties on subsequent sales, and to disclaim their authorship if the work were distorted.4 This legislation would have prevented Clement Greenburg and the other executors of David Smith’s estate from authorizing the stripping of paint from Several of Smith’s later sculptures so that they would resemble his earlier—and more marketable—unpainted sculptures. Such moral rights legislations would have prevented a Japanese bank in New York from removing and destroying a sculpture by Isamu Noguchi simply because the bank president did not like it. And such legislation would have prevented the United States government from destroying Tilted Arc. 4. Although this section appeared in the original version of Kennedy’s bill, the current version provides for a study of resale royalties. Richard Serra is known for his large-scale site-specific works in landscapes, urban environments, and museums. (shrink)
This is a reply to de Sousa's 'Emotional Truth', in which he argues that emotions can be objective, as propositional truths are. I say that it is better to distinguish between truth and accuracy, and agree with de Sousa to the extent of arguing that emotions can be more or less accurate, that is, based on the facts as they are.
Adam Świeżyński | : The experience of loneliness is usually seen as a negative aspect of human existence and something to overcome. However, it is worth trying to break free, if only on a trial basis, from the established traditional perception of loneliness, and strive to reduce it immediately from being one of the main sources of human affliction and to rethink its importance in human life. In order to do this, we must first consider the question of the (...) essence of loneliness, and then examine the question of its axiological status, i.e. its value. The ontological dimension and the axiological dimension of the issue should include the opportunity to construct the concept of human loneliness, by taking into account its internal and external aspect. The purpose of this paper is to propose an outline concept of loneliness, which, on the basis of findings on its essence, seeks to determine its axiological nature. The designated point of departure is the biblical image of human loneliness presented in Genesis. | : L’expérience de la solitude est souvent perçue comme un aspect négatif de l’existence humaine, nécessitant d’être surmonté. Il convient cependant d’essayer de se libérer de cette perception figée de la solitude, selon laquelle celle-ci est réduite immédiatement à l’une des sources fondamentales du malheur humain, et d’essayer de revisiter le sens qu’elle a l’égard de la vie humaine. Pour ceci, il est nécessaire dans un premier lieu de considérer l’être de la solitude pour ensuite analyser son statut axiologique. La dimension axiologique et ontologique de la question évoquée devraient ensemble permettre de construire une conception de la solitude considérant sont aspect extérieur et intérieur. L’objet de cet écrit est de proposer une esquisse de la conception de la solitude qui en partant des précisions sur son être a pour objectif de définir son caractère axiologique. L’image de la solitude humaine telle que présentée dans la Genèse sera prise comme point de départ. (shrink)
Alston's perceptual account of mystical experience fails to show how it is that the sort of predicates that are used to describe God in these experiences could be derived from perception, even though the ascription of matched predicates in the natural order are not derived in the manner Alston has in mind. In contrast, if one looks to research on shared attention between individuals as mediated by mirror neurons, then one can give a perceptual account of mystical experience which draws (...) a tighter connection between what is reported in mystical reports and the most similar reports in the natural order. (shrink)
This edition of John M. Lothian’s transcription of an almost complete set of a student’s notes on Smith’s lectures given at the University of Glasgow in 1762–63 brings back into print not only an important discovery but a valuable contribution to eighteenth-century rhetorical theory.
The foundation for a system of morals, this 1749 work is a landmark of moral and political thought. Its highly original theories of conscience, moral judgment, and virtue offer a reconstruction of the Enlightenment concept of social science, embracing both political economy and theories of law and government.
‘The Principles of the Pure Type Theory’ is a translation of Leon Chwistek's 1922 paper ‘Zasady czystej teorii typów’. It summarizes Chwistek's results from a series of studies of the logic of Whitehead and Russell's Principia Mathematica which were published between 1912 and 1924. Chwistek's main argument involves a criticism of the axiom of reducibility. Moreover, ‘The Principles of the Pure Type Theory’ is a source for Chwistek's views on an issue in Whitehead and Russell's ‘no-class theory of classes’ involving (...) the notion of ‘scope’. (shrink)
This thoughtful new abridgment is enriched by the brilliant commentary which accompanies it. In it, Laurence Dickey argues that the _Wealth of Nations_ contains--and conceals--a great deal of how Smith actually thought a commercial society works. Guided by his conviction that the so-called Adam Smith Problem--the relationship between ethics and economics in Smith's thinking--is a core element in the argument of the work itself, Dickey's commentary focuses on the devices Smith uses to ground his economics in broadly ethical and (...) social categories. An unparalleled guide to an often difficult and perplexing work. (shrink)
For most of the two hundred years or so that have passed since the publication of the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith's writings on political and economic questions have been viewed within a liberal capitalist perspective of nineteenth- and twentieth- century provenance. This essay in interpretation seeks to provide a more historical reading of certain political themes which recur in Smith's writings by bringing eighteenth-century perspectives to bear on the problem. Contrary to the view that sees Smith's work as (...) marking the point at which 'politics' was being eclipsed by 'economics', it claims that Smith has a 'politics' which goes beyond certain political attitudes connected with the role of the state in economic affairs. It argues that he employs a consistent mode of political analysis which cannot be encompassed within the standard liberal capitalist categories, but can be understood by reference to the language and qualities of contemporary political debate, and of the eighteenth-century science of politics cultivated by Montesquieu and, above all, Hume, particularly as revealed by recent scholarship. A concluding chapter draws the various strands of the interpretation together to form a portrait of what Smith might legitimately be said to have been doing when he wrote on these matters. (shrink)
Proponents of permitting living kidney sales often argue as follows. Many jobs involve significant risks; people are and should be free to take these risks in exchange for money; the risks involved in giving up a kidney are no greater than the risks involved in acceptable hazardous jobs; so people should be free to give up a kidney for money, too. This paper examines this frequently invoked but rarely analysed analogy. Two objections are raised. First, it is far from (...) clear that kidney sales and dangerous jobs involve comparable risks on an appropriately broad comparison. Second, and more importantly, even if they do involve comparable risks it does not follow that kidney sales must be permitted because dangerous jobs are. The analogy assumes that kidney sales are banned for paternalistic reasons. But there may be other, non-paternalistic reasons for the ban. And paternalists, too, can consistently defend the ban even if kidney sales are no riskier than occupations that they find acceptable. Soft paternalists may want to protect would-be vendors from harms that they have not voluntarily chosen. Egalitarian hard paternalists may want to protect already badly off vendors from further worsening their situation. For neither species of paternalist is the size of the risk prevented decisive. I conclude that the analogy with dangerous jobs, while rhetorically powerful, pulls little real argumentative weight. Future debates on living kidney sales should therefore proceed without it. (shrink)
It is a pleasure to be able to pay tribute to Adam Potkay’s interesting and impressive book on two of the most important figures in the eighteenth century. It brings together the philosophical and the literary, the “anatomist” and the “painter” of the passions and the moral life, integrating worlds that, however isolated they may have become in the twentieth century, were not seen as all that distinct in the eighteenth. Having said this, the most remarkable feature of Potkay’s (...) book is that it unites two figures usually thought to be opposed—the irascible, domineering, and deeply Christian Johnson and the dispassionate, moderate, and pagan Hume. (shrink)