Abstract In Restoring the Lost Constitution, Randy Barnett defends the idea that judges should interpret the U.S. Constitution according to its original public meaning, for in his view the Constitution, rightly understood, satisfies the appropriate normative criterion for determining when a constitution is legitimate and should be followed. As it turns out, however, even if the Constitution did mean what Barnett says it does, it would not meet his criterion of legitimacy, and therefore should not be followed. Moreover, Barnett is (...) just as guilty of reading certain clauses out of the Constitution as are his critics. Given the lack of a persuasive reason to follow the original Constitution consistently, judges must turn to sources of authority other than the Constitution in deciding constitutional cases. (shrink)
Human rights may be the most globalized political value of our times. The rights paradigm has been criticized, however, for being theoretically unsound, legalistic, individualistic and based on the assumption that there is a given and universal humanness. Its use in the area of health is relatively new. Proponents point to its power to frame health as an entitlement rather than a commodity. The problems and the possibilities of a rights approach in addressing health ethics issues are explored in this (...) article. (shrink)
When nurses have active and untreated addictions, patient safety may be compromised and nurse-health endangered. Genuine responses are required to fulfil nurses' moral obligations to their patients as well as to their nurse-colleagues. Guided by core elements of relational ethics, the influences of nursing organizational responses along with the practice environment in shaping the situation are contemplated. This approach identifies the importance of consistency with nursing values, acknowledges nurses interdependence, and addresses the role of nursing organization as moral agent. By (...) examining the relational space, the tension between what appears to be opposing moral responsibilities may be healed. Ongoing discourse to identify authentic actions for the professional practice issue of nursing under the influence is called upon. (shrink)
That holobionts are units of selection squares poorly with the observation that microbes are often recruited from the environment, not passed down vertically from parent to offspring, as required for collective reproduction. The taxonomic makeup of a holobiont’s microbial community may vary over its lifetime and differ from that of conspecifics. In contrast, biochemical functions of the microbiota and contributions to host biology are more conserved, with taxonomically variable but functionally similar microbes recurring across generations and hosts. To save what (...) is of interest in holobiont thinking, we propose casting metabolic and developmental interaction patterns, rather than the taxa responsible for them, as units of selection. Such units need not directly reproduce or form parent-offspring lineages: their prior existence has created the conditions under which taxa with the genes necessary to carry out their steps have evolved in large numbers. These taxa or genes will reconstruct the original interaction patterns when favorable conditions occur. Interaction patterns will vary in ways that affect the likelihood of and circumstances under which such reconstruction occurs. Thus, they vary in fitness, and evolution by natural selection will occur at this level. It is on the persistence, reconstruction, and spread of such interaction patterns that students of holobiosis should concentrate, we suggest. This model also addresses other multi-species collectively beneficial interactions, such as biofilms or biogeochemical cycles maintaining all life. (shrink)
This ain’t your grandma’s virtue theory.In Michael Austin’s bold new collection, Virtues in Action: New Essays in Applied Virtue Ethics, gone are the pretentions of defining right action generically as what a virtuous person would do in the circumstances, while acting in and from character, provided that a virtuous person would end up in those circumstances. Instead, we find detailed explorations of specific virtues and vices related to specific fields of activity and problems, with attention (some of it careful (...) – some less so) to relevant empirical literature and elbowroom for alternative normative approaches and conceptions. Aristotle tells us about courage, temperance, generosity, magnificence, magnanimity, even temper, pride, justice, and friendship. The first wave neo-Aristotelians such as Peter Geach (The Virtues. Cambridge University Press, 1977) tell us about prudence, justice, temperance, courage, faith, hope, and charity. Contributors to the present volume tell us about inst .. (shrink)
Using a Solomon four-group design, we investigate the effect of a case-based critical thinking intervention on students’ critical thinking skills. We randomly assign 31 sessions of business classes to four groups and collect data from three sources: in-class performance, university records, and Internet surveys. Our 2 × 2 ANOVA results showed no significant between-subjects differences. Contrary to our expectations, students improve their critical thinking skills, with or without the intervention. Female and Caucasian students improve their critical thinking skills, but males (...) and non-Caucasian do not. Positive performance goals and negative mastery goals enhance and decrease improvements of their CTA scores, respectively. ACT and age are related to pre- and post-test. Gender is related to pre-test. GPA is related to post-test. Results shed light on the Pygmalion effect, the Galatea effect, ability, motivation, and opportunity as signals for human capital, and business ethics. (shrink)
Eukaryogenesis is widely viewed as an improbable evolutionary transition uniquely affecting the evolution of life on this planet. However, scientific and popular rhetoric extolling this event as a singularity lacks rigorous evidential and statistical support. Here, we question several of the usual claims about the specialness of eukaryogenesis, focusing on both eukaryogenesis as a process and its outcome, the eukaryotic cell. We argue in favor of four ideas. First, the criteria by which we judge eukaryogenesis to have required a genuinely (...) unlikely series of events 2 billion years in the making are being eroded by discoveries that fill in the gaps of the prokaryote:eukaryote “discontinuity.” Second, eukaryogenesis confronts evolutionary theory in ways not different from other evolutionary transitions in individuality; parallel systems can be found at several hierarchical levels. Third, identifying which of several complex cellular features confer on eukaryotes a putative richer evolutionary potential remains an area of speculation: various keys to success have been proposed and rejected over the five-decade history of research in this area. Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, it is difficult and may be impossible to eliminate eukaryocentric bias from the measures by which eukaryotes as a whole are judged to have achieved greater success than prokaryotes as a whole. Overall, we question whether premises of existing theories about the uniqueness of eukaryogenesis and the greater evolutionary potential of eukaryotes have been objectively formulated and whether, despite widespread acceptance that eukaryogenesis was “special,” any such notion has more than rhetorical value. (shrink)
‘After it, the philosophy of perception cannot be discussed in ways it usually was discussed before.’ This is said about Sense and Sensibilia by Mr Bernard Williams in an article, ‘J. L. Austin's philosophy’, published in the Oxford Magazine of 6 December 1962. It is not quite clear what Mr Williams means by the remark. It might be understood as an endorsement of Austin's insistence that philosophers have lapsed into crudity and error through their neglect of distinctions marked (...) by the rich variety of linguistic expressions in ordinary use. But Mr Williams himself in his article makes some effective criticisms of Austin's opinion that ordinary language is a reservoir of philosophically significant distinctions, and points out also that Austin's own practice in these lectures did not exhibit any close connection between his survey of the variety of the uses of such words as ‘look’, ‘seem’, ‘appear’, and his criticism of theories of perception. (shrink)
The most popular sport in the United States, football is an American institution. It dominates television ratings, it is a major source of revenue on college campuses, and its crowning event, the Super Bowl, now is celebrated as a veritable national holiday. Football and Philosophy: Going Deep investigates many of the issues surrounding the nation's biggest sport. From a review of the flaws of the Bowl Championship Series, to a study of the violence inherent in the game, to an examination (...) of Vince Lombardi's views on winning, the essays in this collection tackle the moral and philosophical principles behind gridiron competition. The result is an insightful, humorous, and entirely original book that will engage all fans of the game. (shrink)
I define humility as a virtue that includes both proper self-assessment and a self-lowering other-centeredness. I then argue that humility, so understood, is a virtue in the context of sport, for several reasons. Humility is a component of sportspersonship, deters egoism in sport, fuels athletic aspiration and risk-taking, fosters athletic forms of self-knowledge, decreases the likelihood of an athlete seeking to strongly humiliate her opponents or be weakly humiliated by them, and can motivate an athlete to achieve greater levels of (...) excellence in her sport. In the context of team sports, humility can contribute to an athlete being a better teammate, foster unity amidst diversity within a team, and contribute to the overall moral and athletic excellence of a team. I also argue that an individual who is truly the world's greatest athlete can know and communicate this truth, while remaining humble. (shrink)
Provides a philosophical analysis of the numerous and distinct conceptions of parenthood. This work considers such issues as the nature and justification of parental rights, the sources of parental obligations, the value of autonomy, and the moral obligations and tensions present within interpersonal relationships.
Some followers of Christ claim that sports are pointless activities and even spiritually dangerous, given some of the values that are present within them. Other Christians look more favorably upon the value of sports. In this paper, I defend the latter view. I focus on the manner in which sports can provide a context for and be exercises in Christian spiritual formation. I then examine the practical implications this has for Christians who are athletes, coaches, and parents of children who (...) participate in sports, and conclude that sports can offer a unique way for us to glorify God. (shrink)
Sport builds character. If this is true, why is there a consistent stream of news detailing the bad behavior of athletes? We are bombarded with accounts of elite athletes using banned performance-enhancing substances, putting individual glory ahead of the excellence of the team, engaging in disrespectful and even violent behavior towards opponents, and seeking victory above all else. We are also given a steady diet of more salacious stories that include various embarrassing, immoral, and illegal behaviors in the private lives (...) of elite athletes. Elite sport is not alone in this; youth sport has its own set of moral problems. Parents assault officials, undermine coaches, encourage a win-at-all costs mentality, and in many cases ruin sport for their children. (shrink)
Rights and Obligations of Parents Historically, philosophers have had relatively little to say about the family. This is somewhat surprising, given the pervasive presence and influence of the family upon both individuals and social life. Most philosophers who have addressed issues related to the parent-child relationship—Kant and Aristotle, for example—have done so in a fairly […].
Many philosophers have assumed, without argument, that Wittgenstein influenced Austin. More often, however, this is vehemently denied, especially by those who knew Austin personally. We compile and assess the currently available evidence for Wittgenstein’s influence on Austin’s philosophy of language. Surprisingly, this has not been done before in any detail. On the basis of both textual and circumstantial evidence we show that Austin’s work demonstrates substantial engagement with Wittgenstein’s later philosophy. In particular, Austin’s 1940 paper, (...) ‘The Meaning of a Word’, should be construed as a direct response to and development of ideas he encountered in Wittgenstein’s Blue Book. Moreover, we argue that Austin’s mature speech-act theory in How to Do Things with Words was also significantly influenced by Wittgenstein. (shrink)
The doctrine of theosis is receiving increased attention from contemporary evangelicals. In this paper, I explore theosis and its importance for our understanding and practice of the Christian moral and spiritual life. I discuss the connection between theosis and how we understand the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer, and conclude with some practical applications related to this doctrine.
Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing. Vince Lombardi The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered, but to have fought well. The Olympic Creed These two statements reflect two very different approaches to sport. The Lombardi quote reflects the view that we should take a win-at-all-costs approach. By contrast, (...) the Olympic Creed includes the idea that there is something more important in sport than victory. Perhaps the Olympic Creed is correct, and Lombardi mistaken. Perhaps the value of winning is found primarily in its potential to foster both athletic and moral excellence, while the overvaluing of victory for its own sake suffers from several deficiencies as an approach to sport. (shrink)
In this philosophical note I first offer a brief sketch of a Christian conception of humility. Next, I consider two criticisms of the claim that humility is a virtue, one from David Hume and a second from contemporary philosopher Tara Smith. What follows in this note is not a comprehensive defense of the claim that humility is a virtue. However, if humility is not a virtue, it will be for reasons other than those proffered by Hume and Smith, as their (...) criticisms fail on philosophical and empirical grounds. (shrink)
Alvin Plantinga, in Warranted Christian Belief, offers a model for the rationality of a particular version of Christian theistic belief. After briefly summarizing Plantinga’s model, I argue that there are significant moral difficulties present within it. The Christian believer who gives assent to Plantinga’s model is vulnerable tocharges of irrationality and/or immorality when one considers the role and effects of original sin in the model. Similar difficulties arise when one considers a problem posed by religious pluralism for the model. I (...) consider some possible responses to these difficulties, and conclude that these issues merit more attention than they are given in Warranted Christian Belief. (shrink)
abstract In this paper, I first develop a neo-Aristotelian account of the virtue of magnanimity. I then apply this virtue to ethical issues that arise in sport, and argue that the magnanimous athlete will rightly use sport to foster her own moral development. I also address how the magnanimous athlete responds to the moral challenges present in sport by focusing on the issue of performance-enhancing drugs, and conclude that athletic excellence as it is conventionally understood, without moral excellence, has very (...) little value. (shrink)
I argue for a moderate view of the justification and the extent of the moral rights of parents that avoids the extremes of both children’s liberationism and parental absolutism. I claim that parents have rights qua parents, and that these prima facie rights are grounded in certain fundamental interests that both parents and children possess, namely, psychological well-being, intimate relationships, and the freedom to pursue that which brings satisfaction and meaning to life. I also examine several issues related to public (...) policy and the moral dimensions of the family—child abuse, children divorcing their parents, and the religious upbringing of children—and consider what implications the argument has for these issues. I conclude that the argument’s implications with respect to these issues further increases its plausibility. (shrink)
A unique anthology of essays exploring the philosophical wisdom runners contemplate when out for a run. It features writings from some of America’s leading philosophers, including Martha Nussbaum, Charles Taliaferro, and J.P. Moreland. A first-of-its-kind collection of essays exploring those gems of philosophical wisdom runners contemplate when out for a run Topics considered include running and the philosophy of friendship; the freedom of the long distance runner; running as aesthetic experience, and “Could a Zombie Run a Marathon?” Contributing essayists include (...) philosophers with athletic experience at the collegiate level, philosophers whose pasttime is running, and one philosopher who began running to test the ideas in his essay. (shrink)
In recent decades, many philosophers have considered the strengths and weaknesses of a virtue-centered approach to moral theory. Much less attention has been given to how such an approach bears on issues in applied ethics. The essays in this volume apply a virtue-centered perspective to a variety of contemporary moral issues, and in so doing offer a fresh and illuminating perspective. Some of the essays focus on a particular virtue and its application to one or more realms of applied ethics, (...) such as temperance and sex or humility and environmental ethics. Other chapters focus on an issue in applied ethics and bring several virtues into a discussion of that issue or realm of life, such as sport, education, and business. Finally, several of the chapters engage relevant psychological research as well as current neuroscience, which enhances the strength of the philosophical arguments. (shrink)