Aworkshop was held August 26–28, 2015, by the Earth- Life Science Institute (ELSI) Origins Network (EON, see Appendix I) at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. This meeting gathered a diverse group of around 40 scholars researching the origins of life (OoL) from various perspectives with the intent to find common ground, identify key questions and investigations for progress, and guide EON by suggesting a roadmap of activities. Specific challenges that the attendees were encouraged to address included the following: What key (...) questions, ideas, and investigations should the OoL research community address in the near and long term? How can this community better organize itself and prioritize its efforts? What roles can particular subfields play, and what can ELSI and EON do to facilitate research progress? (See also Appendix II.) The present document is a product of that workshop; a white paper that serves as a record of the discussion that took place and a guide and stimulus to the solution of the most urgent and important issues in the study of the OoL. This paper is not intended to be comprehensive or a balanced representation of the opinions of the entire OoL research community. It is intended to present a number of important position statements that contain many aspirational goals and suggestions as to how progress can be made in understanding the OoL. The key role played in the field by current societies and recurring meetings over the past many decades is fully acknowledged, including the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life (ISSOL) and its official journal Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres, as well as the International Society for Artificial Life (ISAL). (shrink)
Discussions of sexual ethics often focus on the wrong of treating another as a mere object instead of as a person worthy of respect. On this view, the task of sexual ethics becomes putting the other’s subjectivity above their status as erotic object so as to avoid the harms of objectification. Ward and Anderson argue that such a view disregards the crucial, moral role that erotic objecthood plays in sexual encounters. Important moral features of intimacy are disclosed through the experience (...) of being an erotic object for another, as well as in perceiving another as an erotic object. Drawing on phenomenology, especially the insights of Simone de Beauvoir, Ward and Anderson argue that erotic encounters are shaped by the human condition of ambiguity, where being an object for others is intertwined with bodily agency. Because sexual agency is complex in this way, theories of sexual ethics and responsibility must widen their focus beyond transparent communication and authoritative expressions of will. (shrink)
What should sociologists make of nature? Pragmatism provides one possible answer to this question by centering the practical relations between humans and nonhuman nature. Stefan Bargheer’s Moral Entanglements offers perhaps the most ambitious effort to develop a pragmatist sociology of nature. The book’s polemical aim is to depose a family of theories that, Bargheer argues, dominate our way of thinking about the relationship between nature and culture. This essay constructs an alternative, more accommodating critical encounter between competing theories. It begins (...) by simultaneously granting Bargheer’s positive theoretical contributions while entertaining several virtues of opposing theories of nature and culture that the book largely overlooks. The results include three challenges for a pragmatist sociology of nature: the problem of depth; the problem of breadth, and the problem of differentiation. I argue that this accommodating critical encounter may result in a smaller distance between pragmatism and other sociological theories of nature and culture, and opens to more opportunities for synthetic conversations, rather than pointing to unbridgeable chasms. (shrink)
Moral error theory is the doctrine that our first-order moral commitments are pervaded by systematic error. It has been objected that this makes the error theory itself a position in first-order moral theory that should be judged by the standards of competing first-order moral theories :87–139, 1996) and Kramer. Kramer: “the objectivity of ethics is itself an ethical matter that rests primarily on ethical considerations. It is not something that can adequately be contested or confirmed through non-ethical reasoning” [2009, 1]). (...) This paper shows that error theorists can resist this charge if they adopt a particular understanding of the presuppositions of moral discourse. (shrink)
In recent years, the trend to present the notion of imperfection as a plus rather than a problem has resonated across a range of social and creative disciplines and a wealth of world localities. As digital tools allow media users to share ever more suave selfies and success stories, psychologists promote 'the gifts of imperfections' and point to perfectionism as a catalyst for rising depression and burnout complaints and suicide rates among millennials. As sound technologies increasingly permit musicians to 'smoothen' (...) their work, composers increasingly praise glitches, noise, and cracks. As genetic engineering upgrades with swift speed, philosophers, marketeers, and physicians plea 'against perfection' and supermarkets successfully advertize 'perfectly imperfect' vegetables. Meanwhile, cultural analysts point at skewed perspectives, blurry images, and other 'deliberate imperfections' in new and historical cinema, painting, photography, music, and literature. In less positive terms, scholars in fields ranging from disability studies to tourism critically interrogate a trend to fetishize imperfection and poverty. They rightfully warn against projecting privileged (and, often, emphatically western-biased) feel-good stories onto the less privileged, the distorted, or the frail. Imperfections synthesizes the swiftly growing but fragmented critical scholarship on mistakes, glitches, and other aesthetics and logics of imperfection into the first transdisciplinary, transnational framework of imperfection studies. With this framework, the editors offer scholars and students across various disciplines tools to craft more historically grounded and critically informed conceptualizations of the imperfect. (shrink)
Recent research has suggested that the Pirahã, an Amazonian tribe with a number-less language, are able to match quantities > 3 if the matching task does not require recall or spatial transposition. This finding contravenes previous work among the Pirahã. In this study, we re-tested the Pirahãs’ performance in the crucial one-to-one matching task utilized in the two previous studies on their numerical cognition, as well as in control tasks requiring recall and mental transposition. We also conducted a novel quantity (...) recognition task. Speakers were unable to consistently match quantities > 3, even when no recall or transposition was involved. We provide a plausible motivation for the disparate results previously obtained among the Pirahã. Our findings are consistent with the suggestion that the exact recognition of quantities > 3 requires number terminology. (shrink)
This paper proposes an interpretation of the rainfall example in which Aristotle does not himself think that crop growth is the final cause of rain. The grounds for this interpretation will be an ‘elemental teleology’ which affirms that the only final cause of the movements of the elements is the goal of reaching their proper places of rest. Textual evidence for the presence of this doctrine in Aristotle’s thought is examined in the first two thirds of the paper. My interpretation (...) is then offered along with an argument for why it is both possible and preferable to the alternative reading which claims that Aristotle believed that rain falls for the sake of the crops. (shrink)
Endangered species are objects of intense scientific scrutiny and political conflict. This article focuses on the interplay among human-nonhuman relations, knowledge production, and the politics of endangerment. Advancing a historical ontology of endangerment, it highlights the role of transforming the nonhuman world in the coming to be of new objects of environmental knowledge. Such knowledge can provide the basis for credible claims of endangerment, facilitating mobilizations against the very human-nonhuman relations that produced it. An in-depth case study of the delta (...) smelt, an endangered species of fish caught in the center of California’s “water wars,” shows how changes in the instrumentalization of the nonhuman environment can produce new knowledge of nature that allows actors to make claims and form coalitions that would be otherwise inconceivable. Because its sole habitat is the hub of California’s water delivery system, efforts to save the species from extinction have reduced flows to farms and cities, fomenting conflict between environmentalists and water users. This article demonstrates that the taxonomic classification of the delta smelt as a species and evidence of its decline arose directly from the reengineering of California’s rivers for extractive ends. Ironically, the knowledge on which environmental advocates relied was a product of the instrumental relation to nature that they sought to transform. (shrink)
I take it that liberal justice recognises special protections against the restriction of speech and expression; this is what I call the Free Speech Principle. I ask if this Principle includes speech acts which might broadly be termed ‘hate speech’, where ‘includes’ is sensitive to the distinction between coverage and protection , and between speech that is regulable and speech that should be regulated . I suggest that ‘hate speech’ is too broad a designation to be usefully analysed as a (...) single category, since it includes many different kinds of speech acts, each of which involves very different kinds of free speech interests, and may cause very different kinds of harm. I therefore propose to disaggregate hate speech into various categories which are analysed in turn. I distinguish four main categories of hate speech, namely (1) targeted vilification, (2) diffuse vilification, (3) organised political advocacy for exclusionary and/or eliminationist policies, and (4) other assertions of fact or value which constitute an adverse judgment on an identifiable racial or religious group. Reviewing these categories in the light of the justifications for the Free Speech Principle, I will argue that category (1) is uncovered by the Principle, categories (2) and (3) are covered but unprotected , and that category (4) is protected speech. (shrink)
Constitutional democracies unilaterally enact the laws that regulate immigration to their territories. When are would-be migrants to a constitutional democracy morally justified in breaching such laws? Receiving states also typically enact laws that require their existing citizens to participate in the implementation of immigration restrictions. When are the individual citizens of a constitutional democracy morally justified in breaching such laws? In this article, I take up these questions concerning the justifiability of noncompliance with immigration law, focusing on the case of (...) nonviolent – or mere – noncompliance. Dissenting from Javier Hidalgo’s view, I argue that the injustice of an immigration law is insufficient to make mere noncompliance justified. Instead, I contend that only if an immigration law lacks legitimate authority are individuals justified in breaching it, since the subjects of an institution with legitimate authority are under a content-independent moral duty to comply with its rules. I further argue that a constitutional democracy’s regimes of law regulating immigration and requiring its citizens’ participation in implementing these regulations have legitimate authority. Nevertheless, when a particular immigration law is egregiously unjust, its legitimacy is defeated. (shrink)
Children conceived in order to donate biological material to save the life of an already existing child are known as 'saviour siblings'. The primary reasons that have been offered against the practice are: (i) creating a saviour sibling has negative impacts on the created child and (ii) creating a saviour child represents a wrongful procreative motivation of the parents. In this paper we examine to what extent the creation of saviour siblings actually presents a special case in procreative ethics. Although (...) we do not deny that there is a unique feature present in the saviour sibling case—namely, that the child was created to save their sibling’s life, we argue that the distinctive feature of being a saviour sibling does not make the procreative act wrong. Our claim is that the features that would make the creation of a particular saviour sibling (im)permissible are the same features that would make the creation of any child (im)permissible. Our conclusion is that saviour siblings—in relation to the reasons for the (im)permissibility of their creation—are not a special case for procreative ethics. (shrink)
This paper argues that two orthodox views of meaningful work—the subjective view and the autonomy view—are deficient. In their place is proposed the contributive view of meaningful work, which is constituted by work that is both complex and involves persons in its contributive aspect. These conditions are necessary due to the way work is inherently tied up with the idea of social contribution and the interdependencies between persons. This gives such features of the contributive view a distinct basis from those (...) found in existent accounts of meaningful work. (shrink)
Throughout her work, Audre Lorde maintains that her self-preservation in the face of oppression depends on acting from the recognition and valorization of her feelings as a deep source of knowledge. This claim, taken as a portrayal of agency, poses challenges to standard positions in ethics, epistemology, and moral psychology. This article examines the oppositional agency articulated by Lorde’s thought, locating feeling, poetry, and the power she calls “the erotic” within her avowed project of self-preservation. It then explores the implications (...) of taking seriously Lorde’s account, particularly for theorists examining ethics and epistemology under nonideal social conditions. For situations of sexual intimacy, for example, Lorde’s account unsettles prevailing assumptions about the role of consent in responsibility between sexual partners. I argue that obligations to solicit consent and respect refusal are not sufficient to acknowledge the value of agency in intimate encounters when agency is oppositional in the way Lorde describes. (shrink)
I provide an alternative to the two prevailing accounts of justice in immigration policy, the free migration view and the state discretion view. Against the background of an internationalist conception of domestic and global justice that grounds special duties of justice between co-citizens in their shared participation in a distinctive scheme of social cooperation, I defend three principles of justice to guide labor immigration policy: the Difference Principle, the Duty of Beneficence, and the Duty of Assistance. I suggest how these (...) principles are to be applied in both ideal and nonideal circumstances. Finally, I argue that the potential conflict between these principles has often been overstated, and propose priority rules for genuine cases of conflict. (shrink)
This paper defends views like rule consequentialism by distinguishing between two sorts of ideal world objections. It aims to show that one of those sorts of objections is question-begging. Its success would open up a path forward for such views.
Constitutional democracies unilaterally enact the laws that regulate immigration to their territories. When are would-be migrants to a constitutional democracy morally justified in breaching such laws? Receiving states also typically enact laws that require their existing citizens to participate in the implementation of immigration restrictions. When are the individual citizens of a constitutional democracy morally justified in breaching such laws? In this article, I take up these questions concerning the justifiability of noncompliance with immigration law, focusing on the case of (...) nonviolent—or mere—noncompliance. Dissenting from Javier Hidalgo’s view, I argue that the injustice of an immigration law is insufficient to make mere noncompliance justified. Instead, I contend that only if an immigration law lacks legitimate authority are individuals justified in breaching it, since the subjects of an institution with legitimate authority are under a content-independent moral duty to comply with its rules. I further argue that a constitutional democracy’s regimes of law regulating immigration and requiring its citizens’ participation in implementing these regulations have legitimate authority. Nevertheless, when a particular immigration law is egregiously unjust, its legitimacy is defeated. (shrink)
Despite intensive research on late Roman and Byzantine diplomatic and military history since the last decades of the 19th century, scholars had to wait until the year 2001 for the first monograph which deals exclusively with the foederati. The author, Ralf Scharf , questions commonly held views and offers an original interpretation of the evolution of the foederati stretching from the Roman West of the early 5th century ce to Asia Minor in the 11th century. The book includes an (...) introduction, nine chapters, a conclusion, a bibliography, an index locorum and a general index. (shrink)
Audre Lorde’s account of the erotic is one of her most widely celebrated contributions to political theory and feminist activism, but her explanation of the term in her brief essay “Uses of the Erotic” is famously oblique and ambiguous. This article develops a detailed, textually grounded interpretation of Lorde’s erotic, based on an analysis of how Lorde’s essay brings together commitments expressed across her work. I describe four integral elements of Lorde’s erotic: feeling, knowledge, power, and concerted action. The erotic (...) is a way of feeling in the work a person does, which makes possible new knowledge about the self and the social environment— particularly to counteract epistemic oppression imposed by an unjust society. The erotic is a source of power by providing vision and energy for actions integrating a person’s multiple commitments and political interests. It facilitates concerted action and coalition by enhancing a person’s appreciation of their interests and values, while fostering embodied, personal connections that build trust on the basis of shared vulnerability. Thus, the erotic helps build coalitions where genuine differences of perspective and experience can be examined, in resistance against an oppressive society’s epistemic distortions. (shrink)
Caleb Williams is a psychological thriller and suspenseful tale of detection and pursuit. It is also a powerful political novel, inspired by the events following the French Revolution. This new edition reprints the original novel of 1794, the grittier, topical text that reflects Godwin's political philosophy.
One major problem that confronts each nation in Africa is bad leadership. Unfortunately, a leadership position seems to be what every person, especially in Africa, desires to have even when one may be ignorant or has given only very little thought to what real leadership entails. This paper examines the qualities and principles of Moses’ leadership in relation to leadership in Africa. The purpose is to highlight the leadership qualities of Moses for Africans to emulate. The paper argues that despite (...) having no leadership ambitions, Moses was a good leader who demonstrated love and meekness to his people. The author believes that Moses’ qualities and principles remain as a valuable yardstick for all religious and political leaders in Africa to follow if the continent will make the desired progress. (shrink)
Following a hypnotic amnesia suggestion, highly hypnotically suggestible subjects may experience amnesia for events. Is there a failure to retrieve the material concerned from autobiographical memory, or is it retrieved but blocked from consciousness? Highly hypnotically suggestible subjects produced free-associates to a list of concrete nouns. They were then given an amnesia suggestion for that episode followed by another free association list, which included 15 critical words that had been previously presented. If episodic retrieval for the first trial had been (...) blocked, the responses on the second trial should still have been at least as fast as for the first trial. With semantic priming, they should be faster. In fact, they were on average half a second slower. This suggests that the material had been retrieved but blocked from consciousness. A goal-oriented information processing framework is outlined to interpret these and related data. (shrink)
Despite a recent surge of interest in philosophy as a way of life, it is not clear what it might mean for philosophy to guide one's life, or how a “philosophical” way of life might differ from a life guided by religion, tradition, or some other source. We argue against John Cooper that spiritual exercises figure crucially in the idea of philosophy as a way of life—not just in the ancient world but also today, at least if the idea is (...) to be viable. In order to make the case we attempt to clarify the nature of spiritual exercises, and to explore a number of fundamental questions, such as “What role does reason have in helping us to live well?” Here we distinguish between the discerning and motivational powers of reason, and argue that both elements have limitations as guides to living well. (shrink)
Hybrid metaethical theories have significant promise; they would have important upshots if they were true. But they also face severe problems. The problems are severe enough to make many philosophers doubt that they could be true. My ambition is to show that the problems are just instances of a highly general problem: a problem about what are sometimes called ‘intensional anaphora'. I'll also show that any adequate explanation of intensional anaphora immediately solves all the problems for the hybrid theorist. We (...) should regard hybrid tools as among the most legitimate tools in our toolkit—at least when we use them properly. (shrink)
I introduce a new formulation of rule consequentialism, defended as an improvement on traditional formulations. My new formulation cleanly avoids what Parfit calls “ideal world” objections. I suggest that those objections arise because traditional formulations incorporate counterfactual comparisons about how things could go differently. My new formulation eliminates those counterfactual comparisons. Part of the interest of the new formulation is as a model of how to reformulate structurally similar views, including various kinds of contractualism.
Any liberal argument for incorporating meaningful work within a theory of justice inherits a burden of proof to show why it does not fall to the objection that privileging the work process valorizes particular ideas about the good and thereby unfairly privileges some persons over others. Existing liberal defences of meaningful work, which rely on the formative effects of work in contemporary economies, have a limited scope of appeal and do not provide a convincing reply to the objection. The paper (...) offers an alternative reply by arguing that meaningful work, understood as a person-engaging social contribution, is intimately connected through reciprocity to the fundamental political idea of society as a system of cooperation between free and equal participating members. This makes the opportunity to engage in meaningful work a social basis of self-respect. (shrink)
The Expanse will develop “Beltalowda” into one of the most meaningful and complex linguistic inventions fiction has seen. George Orwell draws a distinction between the concepts of patriotism and nationalism, two terms synonymous with love of nation, and two terms that, up until that point, had been used almost interchangeably. The Expanse is a sprawling space opera about saving the universe from an alien lifeform; at its core, though, it is a study in what it means to love one's nation (...) the right way. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism is inseparable from the desire for power. According to Orwell, the foremost difference between patriotism and nationalism is the distinction between defensive and offensive attitudes, which is demonstrated in the different approaches of Camina Drummer and Marco Inaros. Evidence of Marco's obsession and Drummer's lack thereof is also on display in their differing treatment of Naomi Nagata. (shrink)
Body ownership concerns what it is like to feel a body part or a full body as mine, and has become a prominent area of study. We propose that there is a closely related type of bodily self-consciousness largely neglected by researchers—experiential ownership. It refers to the sense that I am the one who is having a conscious experience. Are body ownership and experiential ownership actually the same phenomenon or are they genuinely different? In our experiments, the participant watched a (...) rubber hand or someone else’s body from the first-person perspective and was touched either synchronously or asynchronously. The main findings: (1) The sense of body ownership was hindered in the asynchronous conditions of both the body-part and the full-body experiments. However, a strong sense of experiential ownership was observed in those conditions. (2) We found the opposite when the participants’ responses were measured after tactile stimulations had ceased for 5 s. In the synchronous conditions of another set of body-part and full-body experiments, only experiential ownership was blocked but not body ownership. These results demonstrate for the first time the double dissociation between body ownership and experiential ownership. Experiential ownership is indeed a distinct type of bodily self-consciousness. (shrink)
Tolstoy’s writings were clearly important to Wittgenstein. He carried Tolstoy’s The Gospel in Brief with him during the war, and he said that it ‘virtually kept [him] alive’. But commentators have hesitated to extend Tolstoy’s influence to Wittgenstein’s philosophy. This essay argues that there are important parallels in structure and content between Tolstoy’s A Confession and Wittgenstein’s Tractatus which suggest Tolstoy’s influence and which help us to see how we should understand the Tractatus. By comparing these two works we can (...) see more clearly in the Tractatus the idea that the solution to philosophical problems lies in their disappearance and that the structure and content of the Tractatus are expressions of that conception. (shrink)
Tolstoy writes in a letter to his friend A. A. Fet that what he has written in War and Peace, “especially in the epilogue,” is also said by Schopenhauer in The World as Will and Representation. Tolstoy adds, however, that Schopenhauer approaches “it from the other side.” Schopenhauer does indeed say much the same thing as Tolstoy says in his epilogue and elsewhere about history and the will. Each of these authors argues that history is not progressing and that it (...) is not governed by the actions of individual political or military leaders alone, but by the infinitely many actions of the multitude of people. What underlies this critique of history in each case is a quietist outlook on life, a perspective from which one must abandon the assertion of the will and accept life as it is given. Tolstoy's quietism, however, is a happy quietism; he wants his reader to joyfully embrace life for all that it has to offer. Schopenhauer's is an unhappy quietism; he wants his reader to accept life in the face of all that it is not. Thus, Tolstoy and Schopenhauer approach quietism, and consequently their critiques of history and the will, from different “sides.” These sides—to borrow Wittgenstein's way of speaking—are the sides of the happy and the unhappy. To approach quietism from one side rather than another is no small matter. In Tolstoy's case in particular, it made all the difference in the world. (shrink)
This paper develops an argument that, if rule consequentialism is true, it’s not possible to defend it as the outcome of reflective equilibrium. Ordinary agents like you and me are ignorant of too many empirical facts. Our ignorance is a defeater for our moral intuitions. Even worse, there aren’t enough undefeated intuitions left to defend rule consequentialism. The problem I’ll describe won’t be specific to rule consequentialists, but it will be especially sharp for them.
ABSTRACT:Alasdair MacIntyre’sAfter Virtuehas made a significant impact within business ethics. This impact has centered upon applications of the virtues-goods-practices-institutions schema. In this article, I develop an extension of the practices-institutions schema, drawing upon MacIntyre’s later text,Dependent Rational Animals. Two key concepts drawn from this text are “networks of giving and receiving” and “the virtues of acknowledged dependence.” Networks of giving and receiving are non-calculative relationships that enable participants to cope with vulnerability. These relationships are sustained by the virtues of acknowledged (...) dependence, including just generosity,misericordia,and beneficence, virtues that direct participants to treat the needs of others as reasons for action. Drawing upon research in social network theory, I develop an example illustrating the application of these concepts within an organizational and interorganizational context. I then suggest a number of applications and research questions related to this extension of the practices-institutions schema. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that ‘art’, though an open concept, is not undefinable. I propose a particular kind of definition, a disjunctive definition, which comprises extant theories of art. I co-opt arguments from the philosophy of science, likening the concept ‘art’ to the concept ‘species’, to argue that we ought to be theoretical pluralists about art. That is, there are a number of legitimate, perhaps incompatible, criteria for a theory of art. In this paper, I consider three: functionalist definitions, (...) procedural definitions, and an intentional-historical definition. The motivation for this pluralism comes from an analysis of practice, because the term is of apparent value to practitioners. However, a closer analysis of the concept reveals that, while disjunctive definitions help us to understand how we use certain terms, they lack ontological import. In sum, I attempt to glean lessons from the philosophy of science about the philosophy of art. If my analysis is correct, we ought to be eliminative pluralists about art as a concept. (shrink)