Engineering the Climate: The Ethics of Solar Radiation Management is a wide-ranging and expert analysis of the ethics of the intentional management of solar radiation. This book will be a useful tool for policy-makers, a provocation for ethicists, and an eye-opening analysis for both the scientist and the general reader with interest in climate change.
Ashley J. Bohrer argues that it is only by considering race, gender, sexuality, and ability within the structures of capitalism and imperialism that we can understand power relations. Bohrer explains how the purported incompatibilities between Marxism and intersectionality arise more from miscommunication than a fundamental conceptual antagonism.
It is often taken for granted that our desires can contribute to what it is rational for us to do. This paper examines an account of desire—the ‘guise of the good’— that promises an explanation of this datum. I argue that extant guise-of-the-good accounts fail to provide an adequate explanation of how a class of desires—basic desires—contributes to practical rationality. I develop an alternative guise-of-the-good account on which basic desires attune us to our reasons for action in virtue of their (...) biological function. This account emphasises the role of desire as part of our competence to recognise and respond to normative reasons. (shrink)
Discussions about the nature of essence and about the inference problem for non-Humean theories of nomic modality have largely proceeded independently of each other. In this article I argue that the right conclusions to draw about the inference problem actually depend significantly on how best to understand the nature of essence. In particular, I argue that this conclusion holds for the version of the inference problem developed and defended by Alexander Bird. I argue that Bird’s own argument that this problem (...) is fatal for David Armstrong’s influential theory of the laws of nature but not for dispositional essentialism is seriously flawed. In place of this argument, I develop an argument that whether Bird’s inference problem raises serious difficulties for Armstrong’s theory depends on the answers to substantial questions about how best to understand essence. The key consequence is that considerations about the nature of essence have significant, underappreciated implications for Armstrong’s theory. (shrink)
The idea that animals make things has entered into popular news and public understanding, but inclusion of animal artifacts within engineering and technology studies lags. This volume works to unite animal construction literature with concepts from epistemology of technology.
According to the powerful qualities view, properties are both powerful and qualitative. Indeed, on this view the powerfulness of a property is identical to its qualitativity. Proponents claim that this view provides an attractive alternative to both the view that properties are pure powers and the view that they are pure qualities. It remains unclear, however, whether the claimed identity between powerfulness and qualitativity can be made coherent in a way that allows the powerful qualities view to constitute this sort (...) of alternative. I argue here that this can be done, given a particular conception of both the qualitativity and powerfulness of properties. On this conception, a property is qualitative just in the sense that its essence is fixed independently of any distinct properties, and it is powerful just if its essence grounds its dispositional role. (shrink)
According to a well-known argument against dispositional essentialism, the nature of unmanifested token powers leaves dispositional essentialists with an objectionable commitment to the reality of non-existent entities. The idea is that, because unmanifested token powers are directed at their non-existent token manifestations, they require the reality of those manifestations. Arguably the most promising response to this argument works by claiming that, if properties are universals, dispositional directedness need only entail the reality of actually existing manifestation types. I argue that this (...) response fails, because no version of the response can adequately accommodate dispositions of the sort that follow from Coulomb’s law. This result both defeats an important argument that dispositional essentialists ought to be realists about universals and appears to leave dispositional essentialists with a problematic commitment to either non-relational connections or a Meinongian ontology. (shrink)
The story of Ashley, a nine-year-old from Seattle, has caused a good deal of controversy since it appeared in the Los Angeles Times on January 3, 2007.1 Ashley was born with a condition called static encephalopathy, a severe brain impairment that leaves her unable to walk, talk, eat, sit up, or roll over. According to her doctors, Ashley has reached, and will remain at, the developmental level of a three-month-old.
Musical collaboration emerges from the complex interaction of environmental and informational constraints, including those of the instruments and the performance context. Music improvisation in particular is more like everyday interaction in that dynamics emerge spontaneously without a rehearsed score or script. We examined how the structure of the musical context affords and shapes interactions between improvising musicians. Six pairs of professional piano players improvised with two different backing tracks while we recorded both the music produced and the movements of their (...) heads, left arms, and right arms. The backing tracks varied in rhythmic and harmonic information, from a chord progression to a continuous drone. Differences in movement coordination and playing behavior were evaluated using the mathematical tools of complex dynamical systems, with the aim of uncovering the multiscale dynamics that characterize musical collaboration. Collectively, the findings indicated that each backing track afforded the emergence of different patterns of coordination with respect to how the musicians played together, how they moved together, as well as their experience collaborating with each other. Additionally, listeners’ experiences of the music when rating audio recordings of the improvised performances were related to the way the musicians coordinated both their playing behavior and their bodily movements. Accordingly, the study revealed how complex dynamical systems methods can capture the turn-taking dynamics that characterized both the social exchange of the music improvisation and the sounds of collaboration more generally. The study also demonstrated how musical improvisation provides a way of understanding how social interaction emerges from the structure of the behavioral task context. (shrink)
The ‘Ashley treatment’ has raised much ethical controversy. This article starts from the observation that this debate suffers from a lack of careful philosophical analysis which is essential for an ethical assessment. I focus on two central arguments in the debate, namely an argument defending the treatment based on quality of life and an argument against the treatment based on dignity and rights. My analysis raises doubts as to whether these arguments, as they stand in the debate, are philosophically (...) robust. I reconstruct what form good arguments for and against the treatment should take and which assumptions are needed to defend the according positions. Concerning quality of life, I argue that to make a discussion about quality of life possible, it needs to be clear which particular conception of the good life is employed. This has not been sufficiently clear in the debate. I fill this lacuna. Regarding rights and dignity, I show that there is a remarkable absence of references to general philosophical theories of rights and dignity in the debate about the Ashley treatment. Consequently, this argument against the treatment is not sufficiently developed. I clarify how such an argument should proceed. Such a detailed analysis of arguments is necessary to clear up some confusions and ambiguities in the debate and to shed light on the dilemma that caretakers of severely disabled children face. (shrink)
Ashley Montagu, who first attacked the term "race" as a usable concept in his acclaimed work, Man's Most Dangerous Myth, offers here a devastating rebuttal to those who would claim any link between race and intelligence. In now classic essays, this thought-provoking volume critically examines the terms "race" and "IQ" and their applications in scientific discourse. The twenty-four contributors--including such eminent thinkers as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Lewontin, Urie Bronfenbrenner, W.F. Bodmer, and Jerome Kagan--draw on fields that range from (...) biology and genetics to psychology, anthropology, and education. What emerges in piece after piece is a deep skepticism about the scientific validity of intelligence tests, especially as applied to evaluating innate intelligence, if only because scientists still cannot distinguish between genetic and environmental contributions to the development of the human mind. Five new essays have been included that specifically address the claims made in the recent, highly controversial book, The Bell Curve. Must reading for anyone interested in racism and education in America, Race and IQ is a brilliantly lucid exploration of the boundary line between race and intelligence. (shrink)
“This is an impressive, well-researched book, of great value. It offers the wider philosophical community a point of entrance, by a proponent of a certain type of Thomism, into a domain that all philosophers think they already understand. The result is the creation of a ‘big picture’ of human knowledge.” —Mark Johnson, Marquette University Working from a realist Thomistic epistemology, noted scholar Benedict Ashley, O.P., asserts that we must begin our search for wisdom in the natural sciences; only then, (...)Ashley believes, can we ensure that our claims about immaterial and invisible things are rooted in reliable experience of the material. Any attempt to share wisdom, he insists, must derive from a context that is both interdisciplinary and intercultural. This capstone of a remarkable career will be welcomed by students in philosophy and theology. (shrink)
“Care robots” offer technological solutions to increasing needs for care just as economic imperatives increasingly regulate the care sector. Ethical critiques of this technology cannot succeed without situating themselves within the crisis of social reproduction under neoliberal capitalism. What, however, constitutes “care” and its status as a potential critical resource, and how might care robots damage this potential? Although robots might threaten norms of care, I argue that they are by no means necessarily damaging. Critiques of care robots must not (...) entrench exclusionary images of the ideal carer. Instead, critical reflection on their use should trouble dominant paradigms of care. (shrink)
Donald Davidson holds that metaphors have no linguistic meaning in addition to their literal meaning. Max Black and Frank B. Farrell each contends that Davidson’s view is inconsistent with the fact that metaphors are appropriate objects of explication and evaluation. However, as I show, Davidson’s view actually is entirely consistent with this fact. I also argue that Black’s and Farrell’s own accounts of metaphor imply that sometimes the linguistic meaning of a sentence is other than a product of the meanings (...) of its words and its logical form, and I give a reason why accounts of metaphor with this implication are best rejected. E.M. Zemach, for his part, agrees with Davidson about what metaphors mean, but contends that, on Davidson’s recent account of language and interpretation, all metaphors turn out to be true; metaphors express novel or impractical but nonetheless literally true comparisons or categorizations. Zemach, however, I argue, has neglected the distinction between how speakers actually apply their words to things and their standards of correct application. (shrink)
Ronald Mercer - Levinas and the Philosophy of Religion - Journal of the History of Philosophy 40:3 Journal of the History of Philosophy 40.3 410-411 Book Review Levinas and the Philosophy of Religion Jeffrey L. Kosky. Levinas and the Philosophy of Religion. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001. Pp. xxiv + 223. Cloth, $39.95. Emmanuel Levinas's thought has been a sleeping giant in continental philosophy, having influence upon many of his contemporaries while drawing minimal attention to himself. In the last (...) few years, however, as evidenced by the explosion of secondary literature on Levinas, it is clear that scholars are awakening to Levinas's importance. Jeffrey Kosky's work, Levinas and the Philosophy of Religion, joins this secondary.. (shrink)
According to a well-known argument, originally due to David Armstrong, powers theory is objectionable, as it leads to a ‘Meinongian’ ontology on which some entities are real but do not actually exist. I argue here that the right conclusion to draw from this argument has thus far not been identified and that doing so has significant implications for powers theory. Specifically, I argue that the key consequence of the argument is that it provides substantial grounds for trope powers theorists, but (...) not other powers theorists, to accept one version of the view that properties are powerful qualities. In particular, they have grounds to favour the view that powerful properties are properties with exclusively qualitative natures that ground modal facts. (shrink)
Desire satisfaction has not received detailed philosophical examination. Yet intuitive judgments about the satisfaction of desires have been used as data points guiding theories of desire, desire content, and the semantics of ‘desire’. This paper examines desire satisfaction and the standard propositional view of desire. Firstly, I argue that there are several distinct concepts of satisfaction. Secondly, I argue that separating them defuses a difficulty for the standard view in accommodating desires that Derek Parfit described as ‘implicitly conditional on their (...) own persistence’, a problem posed by Shieva Kleinschmidt, Kris McDaniel, and Ben Bradley. The solution undercuts a key motivation for rejecting the standard view in favour of more radical accounts proposed in the literature. (shrink)
The use of nonhuman animals as models in research and drug testing is a key route through which contemporary scientific knowledge is certified. Given ethical concerns, regulation of animal research promotes the use of less “sentient” animals. This paper draws on a documentary analysis of legal documents and qualitative interviews with Named Veterinary Surgeons and others at a commercial laboratory in the UK. Its key claim is that the concept of animal sentience is entangled with a particular imaginary of how (...) the general public or wider society views animals. We call this imaginary societal sentience. Against a backdrop of increasing ethnographic work on care encounters in the laboratory, this concept helps to stress the wider context within which such encounters take place. We conclude that societal sentience has potential purchase beyond the animal research field, in helping to highlight the affective dimension of public imaginaries and their ethical consequences. Researching and critiquing societal sentience, we argue, may ultimately have more impact on the fate of humans and nonhumans in the laboratory than focusing wholly on ethics as situated practice. (shrink)
This book offers a major reassessment of Leibniz's metaphysics. Christia Mercer has exposed the underlying doctrines of Leibniz's philosophy. By analysing Leibniz's early works she demonstrates that the metaphysics of pre-established harmony developed many years earlier than previously believed and for reasons which have not been understood. As a result of this analysis she has unearthed a philosophical school that Leibniz scholars have not recognized. A much deeper understanding of some of Leibniz's key doctrines emerges. Moreover, since the Leibniz (...) that is revealed here does not fit neatly into the standard accounts of the history of philosophy and science, Christia Mercer's study will prompt scholars to reconsider their basic assumptions about early modern philosophy and science. (shrink)
This “current controversies” contribution describes the recent case of a severely disabled six year old girl who has been subjected to a range of medical interventions at the request of her parents and with the permission of a hospital clinical ethics committee. The interventions prescribed have become known as “the Ashley treatment” and involve the performance of invasive medical procedures (eg, hysterectomy) and oestrogen treatment. A central aim of the treatment is to restrict the growth of the child and (...) thus make it easier for her parents to care for her at home. The paper below discusses the main objections to the treatment. It concludes that the most serious concern raised by the case is that it may set a worrying precedent if the moral principle employed in justification of the treatment is applied again to endorse it in similar circumstances. Finally, it raises the possibility that that same moral principle may even be invoked to justify more radical interventions than those that were actually performed in the Ashley treatment. (shrink)
Aristophanes' comic masterpiece Thesmophoriazusae has long been recognized amongst the plays of Old Comedy for its deconstruction of tragic theatricality. This book reveals that this deconstruction is grounded not simply in Aristophanes' wider engagement with tragic realism. Rather, it demonstrates that from its outset Aristophanes' play draws upon Parmenides' philosophical revelations concerning reality and illusion, employing Eleatic strictures and imagery to philosophize the theatrical situation, criticize Aristophanes' poetic rival Euripides as promulgator of harmful deceptions, expose the dangerous complicity of Athenian (...) theatre audiences in tragic illusion, and articulate political advice to an audience negotiating a period of political turmoil characterized by deception and uncertainty. The book thereby restores Thesmophoriazusae to its proper status as a philosophical comedy and reveals hitherto unrecognized evidence of Aristophanes' political use of Eleatic ideas during the late fifth century BC. (shrink)
The rise of technology in controlling and performing legal processes has created a new digital legality, signalling a transformation of law from an analog paper-based interpretative activity to an autonomous system governed by the rigidity and speed of code. This emerging digital legality converts life and living to data to be processed and catalogued. This process is exemplified and normalised within video games making them important cultural artefacts through which to identify the features and anxieties of digital legality. While video (...) games have so far gone unrepresented in cultural legal theory, this article uses the iconic video game franchise of Super Mario to unlock the emerging features and anxieties of digital legality as involving rigidity, speed and the normalisation of self as data. (shrink)
Ashley Woodward demonstrates what a new generation of scholars are just discovering: that Lyotard's incisive work is essential for current debates in the humanities. Lyotard's ideas about the arts and the confrontations between humanist traditions and cutting-edge sciences and technologies are today known as 'posthumanism'. Woodward presents a series of studies to explain Lyotard's specific interventions in information theory, new media arts and the changing nature of the human. He assesses their relevance and impact in relation to a number (...) of important contemporary thinkers including Bernard Stiegler, Luciano Floridi, Quentin Meillassoux and Paul Virilio. (shrink)
while no one was looking, contextualism replaced rational reconstructionism as the dominant methodology among English-speaking early modern historians of philosophy. In this paper, I expose the contours of this silent revolution, show that rational reconstructionism is a thing of the past among early modern historians, and examine the current state of early modern scholarship.1 As the contextualist revolution has increasingly widened our perspective and revealed the period’s philosophical diversity, it has encouraged early modernists to develop new skills and expertise. I (...) propose here that current early modern historians are devoted to maximize... (shrink)
In this paper I argue that ethics and evidence are intricately intertwined within the clinical practice of differential diagnosis. Too often, when a disease is difficult to diagnose, a physician will dismiss it as being “not real” or “all in the patient’s head.” This is both an ethical and an evidential problem. In the paper my aim is two-fold. First, via the examination of two case studies (late-stage Lyme disease and Addison’s disease), I try to elucidate why this kind of (...) dismissal takes place. Then, I propose a potential solution to the problem. I argue that instead of dismissing a patient’s illness as “not real,” physicians ought to exercise a compassionate suspension of judgment when a diagnosis cannot be immediately made. I argue that suspending judgment has methodological, epistemic, and ethical virtues and therefore should always be preferred to patient dismissal in the clinical setting. (shrink)
Despite what you have heard over the years, the famous evil deceiver argument in Meditation One is not original to Descartes. Early modern meditators often struggle with deceptive demons. The author of the Meditations is merely giving a new spin to a common rhetorical device. Equally surprising is the fact that Descartes’ epistemological rendering of the demon trope is probably inspired by a Spanish nun, Teresa of Ávila, whose works have been ignored by historians of philosophy, although they were a (...) global phenomenon during Descartes’ formative years. In this paper, I first answer the obvious question as to why previous early modernists have missed something so important as the fact that Descartes’ most famous publication relies on a well-established genre and that his deceiver argument bears a striking similarity to ideas in Teresa’s final work, El Castillo Interior? I discuss the meditative tradition at the end of which Descartes’ Meditations stands, present evidence to support the claim that Descartes was familiar with Teresa’s proposals, contrast their meditative goals, and make a point-by-point comparison between the meditative steps in Teresa’s Interior Castle and those in Descartes’ Meditations which constitute their common deceiver strategy. My conclusion makes a case for a broader and more inclusive history of philosophy. (shrink)
Leveraging firsthand experience, BRAIN-funded investigators conducting intracranial human neuroscience research propose two fundamental ethical commitments: (1) maintaining the integrity of clinical care and (2) ensuring voluntariness. Principles, practices, and uncertainties related to these commitments are offered for future investigation.
This article traces the centrality of capitalism in the work of three decolonial feminists: María Lugones, Sylvia Wynter, and Sayek Valencia. Elaborating on the role of capitalism in each of their work separately, I argue that each of these thinkers conceptualizes capitalism in a novel and urgent way, charting new directions for both theory and social movement practice. I thus argue that the decolonial feminist tradition holds crucial philosophical and historical resources for understanding the emergence of capitalism and its endurance.