Kant's Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason is one of the great modern examinations of religion's meaning, function and impact on human affairs. In this volume, the first complete English-language commentary on the work, James J. DiCenso explains the historical context in which the book appeared, including the importance of Kant's conflict with state censorship. He shows how the Religion addresses crucial Kantian themes such as the relationship between freedom and morality, the human propensity to evil, the status (...) of historical traditions in relation to ethical principles, and the interface between individual ethics and social institutions. The major arguments are clearly and precisely explained, and the themes are highlighted and located within Kant's mature critical philosophy, especially his ethics. The commentary will be valuable for all who are interested in the continuing relevance of religion for contemporary inquiries into ethics, public institutions and religious traditions. (shrink)
This is a book about how we see: the environment around us (its surfaces, their layout, and their colors and textures); where we are in the environment; whether or not we are moving and, if we are, where we are going; what things are good for; how to do things (to thread a needle or drive an automobile); or why things look as they do.The basic assumption is that vision depends on the eye which is connected to the brain. The (...) author suggests that natural vision depends on the eyes in the head on a body supported by the ground, the brain being only the central organ of a complete visual system. When no constraints are put on the visual system, people look around, walk up to something interesting and move around it so as to see it from all sides, and go from one vista to another. That is natural vision—and what this book is about. (shrink)
There are ethical guidelines that form the foundation of the traditional doctor–patient relationship in medicine. Health care providers are under special obligations to their patients. These include obligations to disclose information, to propose alternative treatments that allow patients to make decisions based on their own values, and to have special concern for patients’ best interests. Furthermore, patients know that these obligations exist and so come to their physicians with a significant level of trust. In this sense, therapeutic medicine significantly differs (...) from straightforward business practices such as the buying and selling of houses, cars, cell phones, etc. However, we argue that this relationship differs when medicine is used for enhancement rather than therapy. When patients seek enhancements they are not as vulnerable as when they are ill. And in an enhancement setting, physicians have little role outside of medical risks to discuss motivation and alternatives. Therefore, we conclude that a more reasonable alternative may be for doctors and patients to use ethical norms associated more with straightforward business practices, specifically sales. We believe that full disclosure of this different set of norms will benefit both physicians and patients. (shrink)
To the age-old debate over what it means to be human, the relatively new fields of sociobiology and artificial intelligence bring new, if not necessarily compatible, insights. What have these two fields in common? Have they affected the way we define humanity? These and other timely questions are addressed with colorful individuality by the authors of _The Boundaries of Humanity_. Leading researchers in both sociobiology and artificial intelligence combine their reflections with those of philosophers, historians, and social scientists, while the (...) editors explore the historical and contemporary contexts of the debate in their introductions. The implications of their individual arguments, and the often heated controversies generated by biological determinism or by mechanical models of mind, go to the heart of contemporary scientific, philosophical, and humanistic studies. (shrink)
Gathering information from both published and unpublished material and interviews with Gibson's family, colleagues, and friends, Reed (philosophy, Drexel U.) chronicles Gibson's life and intellectual development and his attempts to synthesize several contrasting intellectual traditions into what he ultimately called an "ecological approach" to psychology. Annotation(c) 2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com).
Gathers medical and legal documents, opinions from various perspectives, and a timeline of events in the Terri Shiavo case to provide a resource for examining the moral and ethical issues surrounding end-of-life decisions.
Both the psychology of perception and the philosophy of perception seem to show a new face when the process is considered at its own level, distinct from that of sensation. Unfamiliar conceptions in physics, anatomy, physiology, psychology, and phenomenology are required to clarify the separation and make it plausible. But there have been so many dead ends in the effort to solve the theoretical problems of perception that radical proposals may now be acceptable. Scientists are often more conservative than philosophers (...) of science. I end, therefore, as I began, with a plea for help. (shrink)
There remains a need to properly analyze the metaphysical assumptions underlying two organ procurement policies: presumed consent and organ sales. Our contention is that if one correctly understands the metaphysics of both the human body and material property, then it will turn out that while organ sales are illiberal, presumed consent is not. What we mean by illiberal includes violating rights of bodily integrity, property, or autonomy, as well as arguing for or against a policy in a manner that runs (...) afoul of Rawlsian public reason. (shrink)
Thomas Jefferson and Philosophy: Essays on the Philosophical Cast of Jefferson’s Writings is a collection of essays on topics that relate to philosophical aspects of Jefferson’s thinking over the years. Much historical insight is given to ground the various philosophical strands in Jefferson’s thought and writing on topics such as political philosophy, moral philosophy, slavery, republicanism, wall of separation, liberty, educational philosophy, and architecture.
Emotion regulation has the odd distinction of being a wildly popular construct whose scientific existence is in considerable doubt. In this article, we discuss the confusion about whether emotion generation and emotion regulation can and should be distinguished from one another. We describe a continuum of perspectives on emotion, and highlight how different (often mutually incompatible) perspectives on emotion lead to different views about whether emotion generation and emotion regulation can be usefully distinguished. We argue that making differences in perspective (...) explicit serves the function of allowing researchers with different theoretical commitments to collaborate productively despite seemingly insurmountable differences in terminology and methods. (shrink)
Individuals and businesses make numerous payments every day. They sometimes have choices about what forms of payment to make or accept, and at other times are effectively forced to use a particular form. Often there is an asymmetric power relationship between payer and payee that raises the issue of whether one side unfairly exploits the other. Is it unethical exploitation for an employer to pay employees with a fee-laden payroll card over other more convenient forms of payment? Does the fee (...) structure of payment networks such as Visa and MasterCard unfairly exploit merchants? The bitcoin payment system is an ethical as well as technological evolution as it was designed to be an electronic payment system that does not rely upon trust. Can an entire payment system like bitcoin be “evil,” as charged by Krugman? Payment tools as such are ethically neutral, but can be used in an ethical or unethical manner. (shrink)
A provocative work by medical ethicist James Hughes, Citizen Cyborg argues that technologies pushing the boundaries of humanness can radically improve our quality of life if they are controlled democratically. Hughes challenges both the technophobia of Leon Kass and Francis Fukuyama and the unchecked enthusiasm of others for limitless human enhancement. He argues instead for a third way, "democratic transhumanism," by asking the question destined to become a fundamental issue of the twenty-first century: How can we use new cybernetic (...) and biomedical technologies to make life better for everyone? These technologies hold great promise, but they also pose profound challenges to our health, our culture, and our liberal democratic political system. By allowing humans to become more than human - "posthuman" or "transhuman" - the new technologies will require new answers for the enduring issues of liberty and the common good. What limits should we place on the freedom of people to control their own bodies? Who should own genes and other living things? Which technologies should be mandatory, which voluntary, and which forbidden? For answers to these challenges, Citizen Cyborg proposes a radical return to a faith in the resilience of our democratic institutions. (shrink)
Recent concern over “high frequency trading” (HFT) has called into question the fairness of the practice. What does it mean for a financial market to be “fair”? We first examine how high frequency trading is actually used. High frequency traders often implement traditional beneficial strategies such as market making and arbitrage, although computers can also be used for manipulative strategies as well. We then examine different notions of fairness. Procedural fairness can be viewed from the perspective of equal opportunity, in (...) which all market participants are treated alike. The same rules apply to HFT as to other traders. Another approach to fairness is in the equality of outcomes. Many HFT strategies are beneficial to other market participants, so one cannot categorically denounce the practice as unfair. Other strategies, for both high and low frequency trading, are not. It is thus important to distinguish between the technology and the use of the technology to make judgments on fairness. (shrink)
Speakers often do not state requests directly but employ innuendos such as Would you like to see my etchings? Though such indirectness seems puzzlingly inefficient, it can be explained by a theory of the strategic speaker, who seeks plausible deniability when he or she is uncertain of whether the hearer is cooperative or antagonistic. A paradigm case is bribing a policeman who may be corrupt or honest: A veiled bribe may be accepted by the former and ignored by the latter. (...) Everyday social interactions can have a similar payoff structure (with emotional rather than legal penalties) whenever a request is implicitly forbidden by the relational model holding between speaker and hearer (e.g., bribing an honest maitre d’, where the reciprocity of the bribe clashes with his authority). Even when a hearer’s willingness is known, indirect speech offers higher-order plausible deniability by preempting certainty, gossip, and common knowledge of the request. In supporting experiments, participants judged the intentions and reactions of characters in scenarios that involved fraught requests varying in politeness and directness. (shrink)
For centuries psychologists have been trying to explain how a man or an animal could perceive space. They have thought of space as having three dimensions and the difficulty was how an observer could see the third dimension. For depth, as Bishop Berkeley asserted at the outset of the New Theory of Vision (1709), “is a line endwise to the eye which projects only one point in the fund of the eye.” Space was its dimensions. It was empty save for (...) a collection of objects or bodies. For an observer, the objects were in different directions at various distances and the question was how these distances could be detected. For two hundred and fifty years we have tried to answer this question and failed. The explanations have been controversial, contradictory, and confused. (shrink)