I hope to persuade Charles Fried to think again about his developing views on distributive justice. Since I live at a certain remove from Cambridge, the best I can offer is a hypothetical dialogue with an imaginary person whose views seem, to me at least, of a Friedian inspiration. My central question deals with the way Fried establishes his rights to things he candidly concedes he does not deserve. To present my problems, I shall begin with a simpler case than (...) those – involving kidneys and talents – that Fried makes central to his discussion. Rather than starting with these rather special goods, I find it clarifying to focus first on more garden variety commodities – which, to emphasize their character, I shall call apples. (shrink)
I respond to Jonathan Chimakonam’s paper in which he presents an approach to dialogue in philosophical space, and raises questions about my own approach. I raise four questions to his understanding of conversation. First, I ask him for more details on his conception of conversation. Second, what happens if not everyone cares to enter into conversation? Third, is conversation a prerequisite to philosophy, or a part of philosophy? And fourth, how does wonder fit into conversation in and about place?
A substantial proportion of human embryos spontaneously abort soon after conception, and ethicists have argued this is problematic for the pro-life view that a human embryo has the same moral status as an adult from conception. Firstly, if human embryos are our moral equals, this entails spontaneous abortion is one of humanity’s most important problems, and it is claimed this is absurd, and a reductio of the moral status claim. Secondly, it is claimed that pro-life advocates do not act as (...) if spontaneous abortion is important, implying they are failing to fulfill their moral obligations. We report that the primary cause of spontaneous abortion is chromosomal defects, which are currently unpreventable, and show that as the other major cause of prenatal death is induced abortion, pro-life advocates can legitimately continue efforts to oppose it. We also defend the relevance of the killing and letting die distinction, which provides further justification for pro-life priorities. (shrink)
In this book, Bruce Waller attacks two prevalent philosophical beliefs. First, he argues that moral responsibility must be rejected; there is no room for such a notion within our naturalist framework. Second, he denies the common assumption that moral responsibility is inseparably linked with individual freedom. Rejection of moral responsibility does not entail the demise of individual freedom; instead, individual freedom is enhanced by the rejection of moral responsibility. According to this theory of "no-fault naturalism," no one deserves either (...) blame or reward.In the course of arguing against moral responsibility, Waller critiques major compatibilist arguments-by Dennett, Frankfurt, Strawson, Bennett, Wolf, Hampshire, Glover, Rachels, Sher, and others. In addition, the implications of denying moral responsibility-for individual freedom, for moral judgments and moral behavior, and for social justice-are examined; the supposed dire consequences of the denial of moral responsibility are challenged; and the benefits of denying moral responsibility are described. Author note: Bruce N. Waller, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio, is the author of Critical Thinking: Consider the Verdict. (shrink)
Bruce Janz, Jessica Locke, and Cynthia Willett interact in this exchange with different aspects of Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad’s book Human Being, Bodily Being. Through “constructive inter-cultural thinking”, they seek to engage with Ram-Prasad’s “lower-case p” phenomenology, which exemplifies “how to think otherwise about the nature and role of bodiliness in human experience”. This exchange, which includes Ram-Prasad’s reply to their interventions, pushes the reader to reflect more about different aspects of bodiliness.
John Stuart Mill's connection with the Irish question spanned more than four decades and embraced a variety of elements. Of his writings on Ireland, the best known are his forty-three Morning Chronicle articles of 1846–47 composed in response to the Famine, the section of the Principles of Political Economy that treats the issue of cottier tenancy and the problem of Irish land, and, most conspicuous of all, his radical pamphlet England and Ireland, published in 1868. All of these writings take (...) the land question as their paramount concern. The fairly absorbing interest in the subject disclosed by Mill during the second half of the 1840s arose from the fortuitous conjuncture of the disaster unfolding in Ireland and his engagement with the principles of political economy. Between 1848 and 1871 Mill's Principles went through seven editions and the substantive revisions he made in the section on Ireland from one edition to the next illumine both the essence and the accidentals of his bearing towards that country. Mill's cogent and controversial advocacy of fixity of tenure in England and Ireland constituted the heart of his answer to the Fenian challenge. The land question aside, Mill was drawn into the battle over the Irish university system in the 1860s largely through his friendship with John Elliot Cairnes, professor of jurisprudence and political economy at the Queen's College Galway. On this subject, however, Mill wrote almost nothing for publication. The longest single piece he ever drafted on Ireland was his first, an essay that predated the Morning Chronicle articles by two decades. In his own bibliography this essay is referred to as ‘An article on the Catholic Question which appeared in the Parliamentary Review for 1825’. Although the essay of 1825 could justly have borne the same title as the pamphlet of 1868, the particulars of course differ markedly. Ireland never ceased to pose a question during the course of the nineteenth century, but the dynamics shaping that question changed much between the mid-1820s and the late 1860s. Even so, the 1825 essay prefigures something of Mill's later involvement with the Irish question, and also invites examination as a quite remarkable piece of political journalism from the pen of a young man not yet twenty, who would subsequently establish himself as the most influential thinker of his generation. (shrink)
Rob Lovering has developed an interesting new critique of views that regard embryos as equally valuable as other human beings: the moral argument for frozen human embryo adoption. The argument is aimed at those who believe that the death of a frozen embryo is a very bad thing, and Lovering concludes that some who hold this view ought to prevent one of these deaths by adopting and gestating a frozen embryo. Contra Lovering, we show that there are far more effective (...) strategies for preserving the lives of frozen embryos than adoption. Moreover, we point out that those who regard the deaths of frozen embryos as a very bad thing will generally regard the deaths of all embryos as a very bad thing, whether they are discarded embryos, aborted embryos or embryos that spontaneously abort. This entails these other embryos must be taken into account when considering moral obligations, as well as other human lives at risk from preventable causes. (shrink)
In a recent article in Religious Studies, Professor P. W. Gooch attempts to wean the orthodox Christian from anthropological materialism by consideration of the question of the nature of the post-mortem person in the resurrection. He argues that the view that the resurrected person is a psychophysical organism who is in some physical sense the same as the ante-mortem person is inconsistent with the Pauline view of the resurrected body; rather, according to him, Paul's view is most consistent with that (...) which affirms the disembodied survival of the person. ‘I want to argue’, he writes, ‘for the thesis that a Pauline resurrection body may well be ontologically the same as a disembodied person.’ I intend to show that Professor Gooch has failed to provide any support for this view and indeed that his own view falls prey to the criticisms which he has raised against other views. (shrink)
One of the more sustained efforts to think beyond current academic structures has been launched by CIRET, the International Centre for Transdisciplinary Research, in Paris. This centre was involved in the First World Congress of Transdisciplinarity, in Portugal, 1994, and another international congress in Locarno, Switzerland, in early May 1997. They have a project with UNESCO on transdisciplinarity, and are involved in the World Conference on Higher Education, to be held in Paris at the end of September 1998.
When I write about ‘American philosophy’ in this paper, I refer not to the practice of philosophizing in a certain geographic area during a certain time. Rather I mean a scholarly field defined by certain conventions, standard arguments, and major works. I hope primarily to show that that area of inquiry is befuddled. I also want to suggest, however, that it may be unhelpful to try to write about the practice of philosophizing in a certain geographic area—the continental United States—in (...) anything like the way scholars now write about it. (shrink)
Here at last is an American counterpart to Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy. The eminent historian Bruce Kuklick tells the fascinating story of the growth of philosophical thinking in the USA, in the context of the intellectual and social changes of the times. Kuklick sketches the genesis of these intellectual practices in New England Calvinism and the writing of Jonathan Edwards. He discusses theology in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the origins of collegiate philosophy in the early (...) part of the nineteenth century. We see the development of secular preconceptions and the emergence, after Darwin's writings of the mid-late nineteenth century, of forms of thought hostile to religion. Philosophy is situated in a variety of cultural contexts - the ministry, the growing system of higher learning, the conflict between philosophers and theologians and between amateur and professional thinkers, the suspicion of European ideas, and worries about the relevance of philosophy to public and political life. Kuklick's narrative portrays such great thinkers as Charles Peirce, William James, John Dewey, C. I. Lewis, Wilfrid Sellars, W. V. Quine, and Richard Rorty, and assesses their contributions to philosophy. He brings us right up to date with the first historical treatment of the period after pragmatism, and the fragmentation of philosophy in the second half of the twentieth century. Kuklick steers a controversial course between the divergent views that historians and philosophers take of the significance of philosophy in recent years. Anyone interested in American intellectual history, or in how philosophy got where it is today, will enjoy this book. (shrink)
In an attempt to make the idea of surviving one's own death in a disembodied state intelligible, H. H. Price has presented a possible description of what the afterlife might be like for a disembodied self or consciousness. Price suggests that the world of the disembodied self might be a kind of dream or image world. In it he would replace his present sense-perception by activating his image-producing powers, which are now inhibited by their continuous bombardment by sensory stimuli, to (...) produce mental images. Though he would be cut off from any new supply of sensory material, he might be able to draw upon his memory of his previous physical existence to create an entire environment of images. A nexus of perspectively inter-related images would constitute an object; this would serve as a substitute for the material objects which he perceived in his past life. The entire environment of the disembodied individual would be composed of such families of mental images and would serve to constitute his world. It need not, however, be a solipsistic world, for by means of telepathy the discarnate individual could communicate with other disembodied selves and in this way acquire new information. Price notes that since this world would be as real to the discarnate self as our present world is to our embodied self, in the afterlife the disembodied self in effect would create for itself a real world, though of course if it took it to be anything other than an image world it would be deceiving itself. (shrink)
The most successful theory in all of science--and the basis of one third of our economy--says the strangest things about the world and about us. Can you believe that physical reality is created by our observation of it? Physicists were forced to this conclusion, the quantum enigma, by what they observed in their laboratories. Trying to understand the atom, physicists built quantum mechanics and found, to their embarrassment, that their theory intimately connects consciousness with the physical world. Quantum Enigma explores (...) what that implies and why some founders of the theory became the foremost objectors to it. Schrodinger showed that it "absurdly" allowed a cat to be in a "superposition" simultaneously dead and alive. Einstein derided the theory's "spooky interactions." With Bell's Theorem, we now know Schrodinger's superpositions and Einstein's spooky interactions indeed exist. Authors Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner explain all of this in non-technical terms with help from some fanciful stories and bits about the theory's developers. They present the quantum mystery honestly, with an emphasis on what is and what is not speculation. Physics' encounter with consciousness is its skeleton in the closet. Because the authors open the closet and examine the skeleton, theirs is a controversial book. Quantum Enigma's description of the experimental quantum facts, and the quantum theory explaining them, is undisputed. Interpreting what it all means, however, is controversial. Every interpretation of quantum physics encounters consciousness. Rosenblum and Kuttner therefore turn to exploring consciousness itself--and encounter quantum physics. Free will and anthropic principles become crucial issues, and the connection of consciousness with the cosmos suggested by some leading quantum cosmologists is mind-blowing. Readers are brought to a boundary where the particular expertise of physicists is no longer a sure guide. They will find, instead, the facts and hints provided by quantum mechanics and the ability to speculate for themselves. (shrink)
Written for the general reader and the student of moral philosophy, this book provides a clear and unified treatment of Kant's theory of morals. Bruce Aune takes into account all of Kant's principal writings on morality and presents them in a contemporary idiom. Originally published in 1980. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important (...) books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905. (shrink)
Can we legitimately speak of ethicsexperts? Recent literature in philosophy and medical ethics addresses this important question but does not offer a satisfactory answer. Part of the problem is the absence of an examination of what it means to be an expert in general. I therefore begin by reviewing my analysis of expertise which appeared earlier in this journal. We speak of two kinds of experts: persons whose expertise is in virtue of what theyknow (epistemic expertise), or what theydo (performative (...) expertise). Applying this analysis to the domain of ethics, I argue that we may speak of ethical expertise in three epistemic senses: a) expertise indescriptive ethics, b) expertise inmetaethics, c) expertise innormative ethics, and in a performative sense: d) expertise inliving a good life. I conclude with a brief description of some social roles of ethics experts. (shrink)
The Great Psychotherapy Debate: Models, Methods, and Findings comprehensively reviews the research on psychotherapy to dispute the commonly held view that the benefits of psychotherapy are derived from the specific ingredients contained in a given treatment (medical model). The author reviews the literature related to the absolute efficacy of psychotherapy, the relative efficacy of various treatments, the specificity of ingredients contained in established therapies, effects due to common factors, such as the working alliance, adherence and allegiance to the therapeutic protocol, (...) and effects that are produced by different therapists. In each case, the evidence convincingly corroborates the contextual model and disconfirms the prevailing medical model. (shrink)
In Inhabiting the Earth Foltz undertakes the first sustained analysis of how Heidegger's thought can contribute to environmental ethics and to the more broadly conceived field of environmental philosophy. Through a comprehensive study of the status of "nature" and related concepts such as "earth" in the thought of Martin Heidegger, Foltz attempts to show how Heidegger's understanding of the natural environment and our relation to it offer a more promising basis for environmental philosophy than others that have so far been (...) put forward. Indeed, Dr. Foltz finds that to ecofeminism and social ecology, whose prescriptions are based on historically oriented etiologies of domination and oppression, Heidegger's work offers what is arguably the first comprehensive and nonreductive philosophy of history since Hegel that can embrace both nature and humanity in one narrative, and the first since Augustine that can do this while granting to nature a messure of selfstanding. But it is probably for the environmental philosophies of deep ecology, bioregionalism, and ecological holism that Heidegger's work has the most immediate, as well as the most extensive implications, because it is to them that it has the most affinity. Finally, as a corrective and a major challenge to deep ecology, which has tended to valorize the scientific approach to nature, Heidegger's work provides a sophisticated basis for showing the primacy of the poetic in the task of learning to inhabit the earth rightly. (shrink)
This book is an important contribution to the philosophy of music. Whereas most books in this field focus on the creation and reproduction of music, Bruce Benson's concern is the phenomenology of music making as an activity. He offers the radical thesis that it is improvisation that is primary in the moment of music making. Succinct and lucid, the book brings together a wide range of musical examples from classical music, jazz, early music and other genres. It offers a (...) rich tapestry incorporating both analytic and continental philosophy, musicology and performance-practice issues. It will be a provocative read for philosophers of art and musicologists and, because it eschews technicality, should appeal to general readers, especially those who perform. (shrink)
Since its publication in 1982, _Beyond Positivism _has become established as one of the definitive statements on economic methodology. The book’s rejection of positivism and its advocacy of pluralism were to have a profound influence in the flowering of work methodology that has taken place in economics in the decade since its publication. This edition contains a new preface outlining the major developments in the area since the book’s first appearance. The book provides the first comprehensive treatment of twentieth century (...) philosophy of science which emphasizes the issues relevant to economics. It proceeds to demonstrate this relevance by reviewing some of the key debates in the area. Having concluded that positivism has to be rejected, the author examines possible alternative bases for economic methodology. Arguing that there is no best method, he advocates methodological pluralism. (shrink)
William Simkulet has recently criticised Colgrove et al’s defence against what they have called inconsistency arguments—arguments that claim opponents of abortion (OAs) act in ways inconsistent with their underlying beliefs about human fetuses (eg, that human fetuses are persons at conception). Colgrove et al presented three objections to inconsistency arguments, which Simkulet argues are unconvincing. Further, he maintains that OAs who hold that the fetus is a person at conception fail to act on important issues such as the plight of (...) frozen embryos, poverty and spontaneous abortion. Thus, they are morally negligent. In response, we argue that Simkulet has targeted a very narrow group of OAs, and so his criticisms are inapplicable to most OAs. We then explain why his responses to each of Colgrove et al’s objections do not succeed, even for this restricted group. Finally, we note that Simkulet fails to provide evidence for his claims regarding OAs’ supposed failures to act, and we show that OAs veritably do invest resources into these important issues. We conclude that Colgrove et al’s reasons for rejecting inconsistency arguments (en masse) remain intact. (shrink)
Philosophy in an African Place shifts the central question of African philosophy from "Is there an African philosophy?" to "What is it to do philosophy in this place?" This book both opens up new questions within the field and also establishes "philosophy-in-place", a mode of philosophy which begins from the places in which concepts have currency and shows how a truly creative philosophy can emerge from focusing on questioning, listening, and attention to difference.
I argue that the atheological claim that the existence of pain and suffering either contradicts or makes improbable God's existence or his possession of certain critical properties cannot be sustained. The construction of a theodicy for both moral and natural evils is the focus of the central part of the book. In the final chapters I analyze the concept of the best possible world and the properties of goodness and omnipotence insofar as they are predicated of God.
It is tempting to regard the perpetrators of the September 11th terrorist attacks as evil incarnate. But their motives, as Bruce Lincoln’s acclaimed Holy Terrors makes clear, were profoundly and intensely religious. Thus what we need after the events of 9/11, Lincoln argues, is greater clarity about what we take religion to be. Holy Terrors begins with a gripping dissection of the instruction manual given to each of the 9/11 hijackers. In their evocation of passages from the Quran, we (...) learn how the terrorists justified acts of destruction and mass murder “in the name of God, the most merciful, the most compassionate.” Lincoln then offers a provocative comparison of President Bush’s October 7, 2001 speech announcing U.S. military action in Afghanistan alongside the videotaped speech released by Osama bin Laden just a few hours later. As Lincoln authoritatively demonstrates, a close analysis of the rhetoric used by leaders as different as George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden—as well as Mohamed Atta and even Jerry Falwell—betrays startling similarities. These commonalities have considerable implications for our understanding of religion and its interrelationships with politics and culture in a postcolonial world, implications that Lincoln draws out with skill and sensitivity. With a chapter new to this edition, “Theses on Religion and Violence,” Holy Terrors remains one of the essential books on September 11 and a classic study on the character of religion. “Modernity has ended twice: in its Marxist form in 1989 Berlin, and in its liberal form on September 11, 2001. In order to understand such major historical changes we need both large-scale and focused analyses—a combination seldom to be found in one volume. But here Bruce Lincoln . . . has given us just such a mix of discrete and large-picture analysis.”—Stephen Healey, Christian Century “From time to time there appears a work . . . that serves to focus the wide-ranging, often contentious discussion of religion’s significance within broader cultural dynamics. Bruce Lincoln’s Holy Terrors is one such text. . . . Anyone still struggling toward a more nuanced comprehension of 9/11 would do well to spend time with this book.”—Theodore Pulcini, Middle East Journal. (shrink)
This book analyzes the hermeneutics of place, raising questions about central issues such as textuality, dialogue, and play. It discusses the central figures in the development of hermeneutics and place, and surveys disciplines and areas in which a hermeneutic approach to place has been fruitful. It covers the range of philosophical hermeneutic theory, both within philosophy itself as well as from other disciplines. In doing so, the volume reflects the state of theorization on these issues, and also looks forward to (...) the implications and opportunities that exist. Philosophical hermeneutics has fundamentally altered philosophy’s approach to place. Issues such as how we dwell in place, how place is imagined, created, preserved, and lost, and how philosophy itself exists in place have become central. While there is much research applying hermeneutics to place, there is little which both reflects on that heritage and critically analyzes a hermeneutic approach to place. This book fills that void by offering a sustained analysis of the central elements, major figures, and disciplinary applications of hermeneutics and place. (shrink)
Since the introduction of mathematical population genetics, its machinery has shaped our fundamental understanding of natural selection. Selection is taken to occur when differential fitnesses produce differential rates of reproductive success, where fitnesses are understood as parameters in a population genetics model. To understand selection is to understand what these parameter values measure and how differences in them lead to frequency changes. I argue that this traditional view is mistaken. The descriptions of natural selection rendered by population genetics models are (...) in general neither predictive nor explanatory and introduce avoidable conceptual confusions. I conclude that a correct understanding of natural selection requires explicitly causal models of reproductive success. *Received May 2006; revised December 2006. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Kansas State University, 201 Dickens Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506; e‐mail: [email protected] . (shrink)
The design argument was rebutted by David Hume. He argued that the world and its contents were not analogous to human artifacts. Hume further suggested that there were equally plausible alternatives to design to explain the organized complexity of the cosmos, such as random processes in multiple universes, or that matter could have inherent properties to self-organize, absent any external crafting. William Paley, writing after Hume, argued that the functional complexity of living beings, however, defied naturalistic explanations. In effect he (...) dared anyone to come up with an alternative to his inference to design, and hence a designer, outside of nature. Charles Darwin explained the apparent design of functional complexity by his theory of natural selection. Asa Gray, however, in essays as well as in correspondence with Darwin argued that natural selection allowed for a type of ‘evolutionary teleology’ in which design at most could be considered the result of universal principles. F.E. Hicks updated Hume by specifically objecting to the use of design arguments by Paley. Hicks argued that the apparent design seen in nature reflected order at a deep level in nature. The design argument was briefly revived by Lawrence Henderson early in the twentieth century but he ultimately concluded that design and teleology were not necessarily mutually entailing and he retracted his design argument in favor of one that he termed ‘natural teleology’. The current claims of ‘intelligent design’ have the same logical problems that have beset previous design arguments. If design is divorced from teleology and its discontents put behind us, then there is a possibility that the latter can have a place in the development of theories to explain the phenomena of emergent complexity. (shrink)
Restorative Free Will examines free will as an adaptive capacity that evolved in humans and many other species, and restores free will to species excluded by claims of human uniqueness. Restorative Free Will recognizes the basic biological value of both libertarian and compatibilist elements of free will, and explains how these traditionally opposed accounts of free will capture an essential element of foraging animals' free will.
A Mathematical Introduction to Logic, Second Edition, offers increased flexibility with topic coverage, allowing for choice in how to utilize the textbook in a course. The author has made this edition more accessible to better meet the needs of today's undergraduate mathematics and philosophy students. It is intended for the reader who has not studied logic previously, but who has some experience in mathematical reasoning. Material is presented on computer science issues such as computational complexity and database queries, with additional (...) coverage of introductory material such as sets. Increased flexibility of the text, allowing instructors more choice in how they use the textbook in courses. Reduced mathematical rigour to fit the needs of undergraduate students. (shrink)
Ranging from Joseph Bellamy to Hilary Putnam, and from early New England Divinity Schools to contemporary university philosophy departments, historian Bruce Kuklick recounts the story of the growth of philosophical thinking in the United States. Readers will explore the thought of early American philosphers such as Jonathan Edwards and John Witherspoon and will see how the political ideas of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson influenced philosophy in colonial America. Kuklick discusses The Transcendental Club (members Henry David Thoreau, (...) Ralph Waldo Emerson) and describes the rise of pragmatism centered on Metaphysical Club of Cambridge (and members William James, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Charles Peirce). He examines the profound impact Darwinism had on American philosophy and looks at Idealists such as the Kantian Josiah Royce and the Hegelian John Dewey. The book shows how, in the twentieth century, the Nazi conquest of Europe unleashed a flood of European intellectuals onto these shores, including such major thinkers as Theodore Adorno, Erich Fromm, Rudolph Carnap, and Alfred Tarski. Finally, Kuklick examines the contributions of such contemporary philosophers as Sidney Hook and Willard Quine and such books as John Rawl's A Theory of Justice and Herbert Marcuse's One Dimensional Man. Kuklick pulls no punches in portraying the state of American philosophy today and its contested role in the intellectual life of the nation and the world. The range of philosophical thought in our nation's history has been great, from Edwards's Religious Affections to Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and Bruce Kuklick has captured it all in a book that blends intricate details with sweeping vision. (shrink)
More than sixty reporters discuss ethical dilemmas facing the journalist and how they have personally coped with such problems as conflicts of interest, gifts, bribes, news leaks, and confidentiality of sources.
While many books focus on the broader socially ethical topics of widening participation and promoting equal opportunities, this unique book concentrates specifically on the lecturer's professional responsibilities. Bruce Macfarlane analyzes the pros and cons of prescriptive professional codes of practice employed by many universities and proposes the active development of professional virtues over bureaucratic recommendations. The material is presented in a scholarly yet accessible style and case examples are used throughout to encourage a practical, reflective approach.