The punishment of social misconduct is a powerful mechanism for stabilizing high levels of cooperation among unrelated individuals. It is regularly assumed that humans have a universal disposition to punish social norm violators, which is sometimes labelled “universal structure of human morality” or “pure aversion to social betrayal”. Here we present evidence that, contrary to this hypothesis, the propensity to punish a moral norm violator varies among participants with different career trajectories. In anonymous real-life conditions, future teachers punished a talented (...) but immoral young violinist: they voted against her in an important music competition when they had been informed of her previous blatant misconduct toward fellow violin students. In contrast, future police officers and high school students did not punish. This variation among socio-professional categories indicates that the punishment of norm violators is not entirely explained by an aversion to social betrayal. We suggest that context specificity plays an important role in normative behaviour; people seem inclined to enforce social norms only in situations that are familiar, relevant for their social category, and possibly strategically advantageous. (shrink)
ABSTRACTWhat follows is an interview with William Damon and Anne Colby, pioneers in the fields of moral psychology and education. Throughout their careers, they have studied, moral identity, moral ideals, positive youth development, purpose, good work, vocation, character development in higher education, and professional responsibility. In their words, they are interested in the ‘best of humankind’—not only the competencies, but also the character necessary for living a good life—not only for the sake of the individual, but also for society. (...) They have received numerous academic and civic awards and honors. Their publications include Some Do Care, Greater Expectations, Educating Citizens, The Path to Purpose, and most recently, The Power of Ideals—in addition to editing, for example, New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development and The Handbook of Child Psychology. As a married couple, their vocational journeys have mostly been separate, but have always complemented each other and sometimes converged. This interview asks about reflections on their careers, their own sense of purpose, their greatest contributions, current needs in our field, and advice to emerging scholars. (shrink)
This long-awaited two-volume set constitutes the definitive presentation of the system of classifying moral judgment built up by Lawrence Kohlberg and his associates over a period of twenty years. Researchers in child development and education around the world, many of whom have worked with interim versions of the system, indeed, all those seriously interested in understanding the problem of moral judgment, will find it an indispensable resource. Volume I reviews Kohlberg's stage theory, and the by-now large body of research on (...) the significance and utility of his moral stages. Issues of reliability and validity are addressed. The volume ends with detailed instructions for using the forms in Volume 2. Volume 2, in a specially-designed, user-friendly format, includes three alternative functionally-equivalent forms of the scoring system. (shrink)
The Tanner Lectures on Human Values is the annual publication of lectures given at Clare Hall, Cambridge University; Brasenose College, Oxford University; Harvard University; Yale University; the University of California; Stanford University; the University of Michigan; and the University of Utah as well as other locations. Established to reflect upon the scholarly and scientific learning relating to human values, the lectureships are international and intercultural, and transcend ethnic, national, religious, and ideological distinctions. This Volume X, first published in 1989, (...) includes: ALBERT O. HIRSCHMAN 'Two Hundred Years of Reactionary Rhetoric: The Case of the Perverse Effect'; ROBERT A. DAHL 'The Pseudodemocratization of the American Presidency'; JAVIER MUGUERZA 'The Alternative of Dissent'; WILLIAM THEODORE DE BARY 'The Trouble with Confucianism'; ANTHONY QUINTON 'The Varieties of Value'; BARRY STROUD 'The Study of Human Nature and the Subjectivity of Value'. (shrink)
If we are going to treat other species so very differently from our own — killing, eating and experimenting on pigs and sheep, for example, but never human beings — then it seems we need to come up with some morally relevant difference between us and them that justifies this difference in treatment. Otherwise it appears we are guilty of bigotry (in just the same way that someone who discriminates on the basis of race or sex is guilty of bigotry). (...) But what is this morally relevant difference? Julia Tanner's article examines, and rejects, some of the most popular answers to this question. -/- . (shrink)
In the early 20th century, Marxist theory was enriched and rejuvenated by adopting the concept of reification, introduced by the Hungarian theorist Georg Lukács to identify and denounce the transformation of historical processes into ahistorical entities, human actions into things that seemed part of an immutable "second nature." For a variety of reasons, both theoretical and practical, the hopes placed in de-reification as a tool of revolutionary emancipation proved vain. In these original and imaginative essays, delivered as the Tanner (...) Lectures at the University of California, Berkeley in 2005, the distinguished third-generation Frankfurt School philosopher Axel Honneth attempts to rescue the concept of reification by recasting it in terms of the philosophy of recognition he has been developing over the past two decades. Three distinguished political and social theorists: Judith Butler, Raymond Geuss, and Jonathan Lear, respond with hard questions about the central anthropological premise of his argument, the assumption that prior to cognition there is a fundamental experience of intersubjective recognition that can provide a normative standard by which current social relations can be judged wanted. Honneth listens carefully to their criticism and provides a powerful defense of his position. (shrink)
In this paper I will examine two responses to the argument from marginal cases; the argument from kinds and the similarity argument. I will argue that these arguments are insufficient to show that all humans have moral status but no animals do. This does not prove that animals have moral status but it does shift the burden of proof onto those who want to maintain that all humans are morally considerable, but no animals are.
The Tanner Lectures on Human Values is the annual publication of the Tanner lectures given at Clare Hall, Cambridge University; Brasenose College, Oxford University; Harvard University; Yale University, the University of California; Stanford University, the University of Michigan; and the University of Utah and other locations. Established to reflect upon the scholarly and scientific learning relating to human values, the lectureships are international and intercultural, and transcend ethnic, national, religious, and ideological distinctions. Appointment as a Tanner lecturer (...) is a recognition of uncommon capabilities and outstanding scholarly or leadership achievement in the field of human values. This first volume of lectures, originally published in 1980, explores valuation on many levels of our physical and intellectual environments. (shrink)
The ‘messianic’ is one of philosophy’s most appropriated religious terms, yet one apparently now bereft of its historical religious particularity. This essay thus explores a genealogical approach to the ‘messianic’ which might prove helpful in uncovering the reasons for this transformation from the theological to the philosophical, and what role, if any, theology still has in determining the meaning and usage of this term. Accordingly, this essay traces the term through the work of Walter Benjamin, Jacques Derrida and Giorgio Agamben. (...) This development is made against the backdrop of another religious term which indirectly pervades the work of all three authors: the canon. The canonical is a term which lingers on the margins of these messianic discourses and needs to be explored further in the context of this work in order to provide a fitting foil to these otherwise ‘purely philosophical’ developments of the messianic. The necessity for invoking the canonical form will become clear as this analysis is extended to the work of Agamben in order to determine how canons remain an unstated factor in his attempt to eradicate all representation from a just ethical paradigm. In this attempt to articulate a model of understanding that goes beyond the universal/particular divide, he will in fact advance a movement from particularity to particularity which can be profoundly read as a genuine paradigm for articulating a theological principle of creation. Thus, this essay intends to point toward two related conclusions: first, that the triad of canon-creation-representation might be understood as a necessity for cultural intelligibility, yet one that must also be seen in relation to its messianic-redemptive-unrepresented elements; and, second, that even this epistemological framework can be undone through a bid to end all representations which nonetheless allows us to return to a more profound realization of creation. (shrink)
The topic of cruelty features regularly in discussions concerning animals’ moral status. Further, condemnation of cruelty to animals is virtually unanimous. As Regan points out, ‘[i]t would be difficult to find anyone who is in favour of cruelty.’ What is to count as cruelty is therefore important. My aim here is to gain a clearer understanding of one aspect of our moral landscape: cruelty to animals. I will start by analyzing the concept of cruelty in section II. In section III (...) I will examine some implications of this analysis. I will present two arguments for why we should reassess whether modern farming practices are cruel. First, farming practices have changed and our understanding of the concept of cruelty needs to change with them. Second, our application of the concept of cruelty is inconsistent: we would consider many routine practices involving farm animals to be cruel if they involved pets. This inconsistency presents a dilemma: either extending farming practices to pets would not be cruel, or continuing our current farming practices is cruel. In section IV I consider some objections. (shrink)
Although Nietzsche's greatness is recognized more universally now than ever before, the nature of that greatness is still widely misunderstood, and that unfortunately means that before I discuss any of Beyond Good and Evil in any detail, I must make some general remarks about his work, his development and the kind of way in which I think that it is best to read him. Unlike any of the other philosophers that this series includes, except Marx and Engels, Nietzsche is very (...) much concerned to address his contemporaries, because he was aware of a specific historical predicament, one which he would only see as having worsened in ways which he predicted with astonishing precision in the century since he wrote his great series of works. For he was above all a philosopher of culture, which is to say that his primary concern was always with the forces that determine the nature of a particular civilization, and with the possibilities of achievement which that civilization consequently had open to it. One of the reasons that The Birth of Tragedy, his first book, published when he was twenty-eight, created such a surge of hostility in the world of classical scholarship was that in it, whilst undertaking an investigation of what made possible the achievements of fifth century BC Greece in tragic drama, he felt it necessary to elicit the whole set of fundamental beliefs which the Greeks shared, and also to draw metaphysical conclusions from the fact that they were able to experience life in such a way that they needed great tragedies in order to endure it. (shrink)
Though the work of René Girard has highlighted the interrelations between sacrifice and sacrality in the contemporary world, it has yet to engage the work of Walter Benjamin and his heir, Giorgio Agamben, whose project concerning the Homo Sacer has aroused interest in contemporary political thought. By focusing on Benjamin's early description of mimesis and its relation to language, a position can be elaborated that steers mimesis clear of its indebtedness to language and towards a ‘purer’ realm of gesture. Benjamin's (...) formulation of a more proper ‘divine’ language of gestures could then be said to coalesce with certain historical-religious proclamations, something that Agamben's work challenges us to consider as a viable, albeit ‘profane’, political and ethical option for humanity. (shrink)
This article aims to present Judith Butler’s theory of diaspora as a theological paradigm for post-secular social existence. Her accounts of dispossession, statelessness, and exilic identity all afford us a normative challenge for how to think politics and the theological together. We begin by framing Judith Butler’s diasporic theory of politics within Adriennes Rich’s poetic perspective on ecstatic identity. We proceed to argue that by emphasizing both the precariousness and interdependency of social life, Rich and Butler’s shared commitments to universalizing (...) queer forms of collective belonging and affective relations offer an alternative post-secular paradigm to that offered so far by theorists such as Charles Taylor or Jürgen Habermas. Achieving a post-secular “state” may ultimately be a matter of embracing the failure of our own representations, particularly the failures of contemporary religion to represent either the divine or the human, or to constitute a society with its own political theology. It is paradoxically this kind of failure that can open us up to look at ourselves, and to focus on the precariousness and vulnerability of human existence that we see with our very eyes and reproduced by our very own hands. (shrink)
This article seeks to lay out an analysis of Giorgio Agamben’s central claims with regard to the formation of a theory of citationality. By juxtaposing Walter Benjamin’s theory of citations alongside his more recent, critical engagements with the Western theological tradition, Agamben sets himself the goal of redefining ethics along Levinasian lines in order to arrive at a respect for the face of ‘whatever’ being before us, the true source towards which all citations point.
The legacy of an antinomian messianism within a Jewish historical context -- Jacques Derrida and Giorgio Agamben on the processes of messianicity and canonicity -- Conclusions formulated on the basis of part I: recognizing the challenges of a "political theology of immanence" -- The radical hermeneutics of theology -- The "violence" of the canon: a contemporary context for the canonical form -- The necessity of hermeneutics.
For Derrida, the ‘‘as if’’, as a regulative principle directly appropriated and modified from its Kantian context, becomes the central lynchpin for understanding, not only Derrida's philosophical system as a whole, but also his numerous seemingly enigmatic references to his ‘‘jewishness’’. Through an analysis of the function of the ‘‘as if’’ within the history of thought, from Greek tragedy to the poetry of Wallace Stevens, I hope to show how Derrida can only appropriate his Judaic roots as an act of (...) mourning that seeks to render the lost object as present, ‘‘as if’’ it were incorporated by the subject for whom this act nevertheless remains an impossibility. As Derrida discerns within the poetry of Paul Celan, bringing a sense of presence/presentness to our experiences, and as a confirmation of the subject which the human being struggles to assert, is the poetic task par excellence. It is seemingly also, if Derrida is to be understood on this point, the only option left to a humanity wherein poetry comes to express what religious formulations can no longer justify. (shrink)
The principles of biomedical ethics – autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence, and justice – are of paradigmatic importance for framing ethical problems in medicine and for teaching ethics to medical students and professionals. In order to underline this significance, Tom L. Beauchamp and James F. Childress base the principles in the common morality, i.e. they claim that the principles represent basic moral values shared by all persons committed to morality and are thus grounded in human moral psychology. We empirically investigated the relationship (...) of the principles to other moral and non-moral values that provide orientations in medicine. By way of comparison, we performed a similar analysis for the business & finance domain. (shrink)
Words Fail offers a numbers of formulations concerning representation which are never developed into a sustained argument. The book also fails to account reliably for the thought of the three thinkers the author proposes to address. In particular, despite claiming to draw on the work of Jacques Derrida, Dickinson speaks quite remarkably of “true presence” and “pure presentation.”.
Most people take it for granted that it's morally permissible to have children. They may raise questions about the number of children it's responsible to have or whether it's permissible to reproduce when there's a strong risk of serious disability. But in general, having children is considered a good thing to do, something that's morally permissible in most cases (perhaps even obligatory).
Sadly, discussions of the pricklier issues of law, terrorism, and security rarely follow a cool, pragmatic approach. Richard Posner provides just such a perspective on the relationship of the Constitution to the terrorist threat. Undaunted by controversy, he forthrightly addresses detention, harsh interrogation methods, limits of free speech, ethnic profiling, and the boundaries of privacy rights, among other hot-button topics.
Abstract An experiment is reported on the effect of a moral discussion programme taught in the schools by regular classroom teachers. Number of discussions and type of teacher preparation were varied. Students? moral judgment stage was assessed before and after the programme and teachers were observed throughout the course of the year. A substantial degree of moral judgment stage change was shown in some but not all of the classrooms. Three variables associated with likelihood of student moral judgment change were (...) number of discussions, range of pre?test moral judgment stage within the classroom, and teachers? skills in eliciting moral reasoning from students during the discussions. (shrink)
This article makes the following three programmatic points. First, an understanding of divine transcendence, prominent in Christian theology's apophatic strain, developed in tandem, both historically and logically, with ideas about creation that eventuated in a creation ex nihilo viewpoint. Such an account of divine transcendence, second, fosters an account of creation that typically mixes both natural and personalistic images and categories. The loss of such an account of transcendence since the early modern period, I suggest thirdly and in conclusion, is (...) therefore responsible in great part for the dualistic, mutually exclusive alternation between a deistic, interventionist God and pantheism so common in modern Christian thought. (shrink)
This essay seeks to articulate the many implications which Giorgio Agamben's work holds for theology. It aims, therefore, to examine his conceptualizations of language in light of particular historical glosses on the “name of God” and the nature of the “mystical,” as well as to highlight the political task of profanation, one of his most central concepts, in relation to the logos said to embody humanity's “religious” quest to find its Voice. As such, we see how he challenges those standard (...) notions of transcendence which have been consistently aligned with various historical forms of sovereignty. In addition, I intend to present his redefinition of revelation as solely the unveiling of the “name of God” as the fact of our linguistic being, a movement from the transcendent divine realm to the merely human world before us. By proceeding in this manner, this essay tries to close in on one of the largest theological implications contained within Agamben's work: the establishment of an ontology that could only be described as a form of “absolute” immanence, an espousal of some form of pantheism yet to be more fully pronounced within his writings. (shrink)
The expression ‘a university without research is a dignified high school’ is becoming a both local and global concern in the academia. The purpose of this paper is to assess the extent to which collaborative research methodologies can enhance integration of faculties of arts and humanities in the universities in Malawi for knowledge development and transfer. It has been argued over and over that universities are spotlighted by their outstanding work in research, developing and sharing ideas, new inventions and creativity (...) within the spectrum of partnership development. While striving for partnership through collaborative research approaches, research activities still remain an area of concern in institutions that offer diverse tertiary education in Malawi. The question of how can these institutions or faculties engage each other in collaborative research methodologies in the quest of knowledge development and transfer remains crucial and relevant The study analyzed strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities of the existing research methods in Arts and Humanities and how the two disciplines can create a space for amalgamation so that research findings can benefit both disciplines. The study reveals that collaboration in various disciplines is a challenge owing to variations of conceptual analyses and the deficiency of technical no-how of both teaching staff and students as well as tools for data collection and analysis as may be emphasized in each of the areas of study; Arts and Humanities. Furthermore, while other institutions of higher learning have research ethics committees for checks and balances as a collaborative tool, some institutions do not know that this committee plays a crucial role in the field of research. Within this backdrop, there is need to develop research collaborations within an institution or with other institutions of higher learning that have a well-defined research profile for mutual benefits as far as collaborative research methodologies are concerned. (shrink)
The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, founded July 1, 1978, at Clare Hall, Cambridge University, was established by the American scholar, industrialist, and philanthropist Obert Clark Tanner. Lectureships are awarded to outstanding scholars or leaders in broadly defined fields of human values and transcend ethnic, national, religious, or ideological distinctions. Volume 30 features lectures given in 2010 at Princeton University; Yale University; the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Utah; Stanford University; Clare Hall, Cambridge University; Harvard University; (...) and Brasenose College, Oxford University. CONTRIBUTORS: Bruce Ackerman, “The Decline and Fall of the American Republic” Bruce Ackerman is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale and the author of fifteen books that have had a broad influence in political philosophy, constitutional law, and public policy. John Adams, “Doctor Atomic and His Gadgets” John Adams is a musician, composer, writer, and conductor whose work stands out for its depth of expression, its sonic brilliance, and the profoundly humanist nature of its themes. Isabel Allende, “In the Hearts of Women” Isabel Allende is a social activist and feminist whose novels and memoirs have established her as one of the most res-pected writers of our time. Abdullahi An-Nacim, “Transcending Imperialism: Human Values and Global Citizenship” Abdullahi Ahmed An-Nacim is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory Law School and an internationally recognized scholar of Islam and human rights in cross-cultural perspectives. Mark Danner, “Torture and the Forever War” Mark Danner is a writer, journalist, and professor who has written for more than two decades on foreign affairs and international conflict. Sir Christopher Frayling, “Art and Religion in the Modern West: Some Perspectives” Sir Christopher Frayling is a historian, critic, and an award-winning broadcaster on British network radio and television. He has written seventeen books on the arts and popular culture. Jonathan Lear, “Becoming Human Does Not Come That Easily” Jonathan Lear is the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor at the Committee on Social Thought and the Depart-ment of Philosophy at the University of Chicago. His research and writings focus on philosophical conceptions of the human psyche. Ahmed Rashid, “Afghanistan” and “Pakistan” Ahmed Rashid is a reporter from Pakistan whose unique knowledge of this complex region allows him a panoramic vision and nuanced perspective that no Western writer can emulate. (shrink)
The Tanner Lectures on Human Values were founded July 1, 1978, at Clare Hall, Cambridge University, by American scholar, industrialist, and philanthropist Obert Clark Tanner, to advance and reflect upon scholarly and scientific learning related to human values. The purpose embraces the entire range of physical, moral, artistic, intellectual, and religious values pertinent to the human condition, interest, behavior, and aspirations. Appointment as a Tanner Lecturer is a recognition of uncommon abilities and outstanding scholarly or leadership achievement. (...) Volume 29 also includes an extensive and diverse series of lectures and panel discussions held at Brasenose College, Oxford, in honor of the five hundreth year since the founding of King's Hall and Brasenose College. (shrink)
Diffusion in social networks is a result of agents’ natural desires to conform to the behavioral patterns of their peers. In this article we show that the recently proposed “propositional opinion diffusion model” could be used to model an agent’s conformity to different social groups that the same agent might belong to, rather than conformity to the society as whole. The main technical contribution of this article is a sound and complete logical system describing the properties of the influence relation (...) in this model. The logical system is an extension of Armstrong’s axioms from database theory by one new axiom that captures the topological structure of the network. (shrink)