This book is a collection of secondary essays on America's most important philosophic thinkers—statesmen, judges, writers, educators, and activists—from the colonial period to the present. Each essay is a comprehensive introduction to the thought of a noted American on the fundamental meaning of the American regime.
For forty years, Harvey Mansfield has been worth reading. Whether plumbing the depths of MachiavelliOs Discourses or explaining what was at stake in Bill ClintonOs impeachment, MansfieldOs work in political philosophy and political science has set the standard. In Educating the Prince, twenty-one of his students, themselves distinguished scholars, try to live up to that standard. Their essays offer penetrating analyses of Machiavellianism, liberalism, and America., all of them informed by MansfieldOs own work. The volume also includes a bibliography of (...) MansfieldOs writings. (shrink)
Adam Smith raised a series of obstacles to effective large-scale social planning. In this paper, I draw these Smithian obstacles together to construct what I call the “Great Mind Fallacy,” or the belief that there exists some person or persons who can overcome the obstacles Smith raises. The putative scope of the Great Mind Fallacy is larger than one might initially suppose, which I demonstrate by reviewing several contemporary thinkers who would seem to commit it. I then address two ways (...) the fallacy might be overcome, finding both wanting. I close the paper by suggesting that Smith's Great Mind Fallacy sheds interesting light on his “impartial spectator” standard of morality, including with respect to the specific issues of property and ownership. (shrink)
Mystics have always claimed that a very significant kind of self-perception is possible, at the end of certain spiritual disciplines. The self that is then supposed to be known is a unity, identical from one experience to the next, and not to be identified with any particular experiences, such as impressions or ideas, which the self has. In short, mystical testimony supports something like a theory of the essential self as simple and unchanging.
Since the late nineteenth century, studies of mysticism have presented us with two contrasting conclusions. The first is that mystics all over the world report basically the same experience, and the second is that there are great differences among the reports, and possibly among the experiences. On the positive side there are such works as Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy , with its claim that all mystics say that all beings are manifestations of a Divine Ground, that men learn of this (...) by direct intuition, that men have two natures, one phenomenal and one eternal, and that identification with his eternal nature is the purpose of man. Walter Stace supports this view, in a modified way, with his observation that, while each mystic seems to advance a peculiar explanation of his experience, their statements collectively exhibit strong similarities. Mystics commonly report a consciousness of unity, carrying with it feelings of objectivity, blessedness, and holiness. They describe their experience in paradoxical language, and say that ultimately it is ineffable. These twentieth-century observations are repetitions of those of William James, so that this basic point has become a cliché, and, as R. C. Zaehner says, ‘We have been told ad nauseum that mysticism is the highest expression of religion and that it appears in all ages and in all places in a more or less identical form, often in a religious milieu that would seem to be the reverse of propitious.’. (shrink)
In _Anarchist Prophets_ James R. Martel juxtaposes anarchism with what he calls archism in order to theorize the potential for a radical democratic politics. He shows how archism—a centralized and hierarchical political form that is a secularization of ancient Greek and Hebrew prophetic traditions—dominates contemporary politics through a prophet’s promises of peace and prosperity or the threat of violence. Archism is met by anarchism, in which a community shares a collective form of judgment and vision. Martel focuses on the (...) figure of the anarchist prophet, who leads efforts to regain the authority for the community that archism has stolen. The goal of anarchist prophets is to render themselves obsolete and to cede power back to the collective so as to not become archist themselves. Martel locates anarchist prophets in a range of philosophical, literary, and historical examples, from Hobbes and Nietzsche to Mary Shelley and Octavia Butler to Kurdish resistance in Syria and the Spanish Revolution. In so doing, Martel highlights how anarchist forms of collective vision and action can provide the means to overthrow archist authority. (shrink)
Every year in this country, some 10,000 college and university courses are taught in applied ethics. And many professional organizations now have their own codes of ethics. Yet social science has had little impact upon applied ethics. This book promises to change that trend by illustrating how social science can make a contribution to applied ethics. The text reports psychological studies relevant to applied ethics for many professionals, including accountants, college students and teachers, counselors, dentists, doctors, journalists, nurses, school teachers, (...) athletes, and veterinarians. Each chapter begins with the research base of the cognitive-developmental approach--especially linked to Kohlberg and Rest's Defining Issues Test. Finally, the book summarizes recent research on the following issues: * moral judgment scores within and between professions, * pre- and post-test evaluations of ethics education programs, * moral judgment and moral behavior, * models of professional ethicseducation, and * models for developing new assessment tools. Researchers in different professional fields investigate different questions, develop different research strategies, and report different findings. Typically researchers of one professional field are not aware of research in other fields. An important aim of the present book is to bring this diverse research together so that cross-fertilization can occur and ideas from one field can transfer to another. (shrink)
Knobe (2003a, 2003b, 2004b) and others have demonstrated the surprising fact that the valence of a side-effect action can affect intuitions about whether that action was performed intentionally. Here we report the results of an experiment that extends these findings by testing for an analogous effect regarding knowledge attributions. Our results suggest that subjects are less likely to find that an agent knows an action will bring about a side-effect when the effect is good than when it is bad. It (...) is further argued that these findings, while preliminary, have important implications for recent debates within epistemology about the relationship between knowledge and action. (shrink)
We report the results of a study that investigated the views of researchers working in seven scientific disciplines and in history and philosophy of science in regard to four hypothesized dimensions of scientific realism. Among other things, we found that natural scientists tended to express more strongly realist views than social scientists, that history and philosophy of science scholars tended to express more antirealist views than natural scientists, that van Fraassen’s characterization of scientific realism failed to cluster with more standard (...) characterizations, and that those who endorsed the pessimistic induction were no more or less likely to endorse antirealism. (shrink)
We report the results of two studies that examine folk metaethical judgments about the objectivity of morality. We found that participants attributed almost as much objectivity to ethical statements as they did to statements of physical fact and significantly more objectivity to ethical statements than to statements about preferences or tastes. In both studies, younger participants attributed less objectivity to ethical statements than older participants. Females were observed to attribute slightly less objectivity to ethical statements than males, and we found (...) important interactions between attributions of objectivity and other factors, such as how strong participants’ moral opinions were and how much disagreement about the issue they perceived to exist within society. We believe our results have significant implications for debates about the nature of folk morality and about the nature of morality in general. (shrink)
While the dominant approaches to the current study of political philosophy are various, with some friendlier to religious belief than others, almost all place constraints on the philosophic and political role of revelation. Mainstream secular political theorists do not entirely disregard religion. But to the extent that they pay attention, their treatment of religious belief is seen more as a political or philosophic problem to be addressed rather than as a positive body of thought from which we might derive important (...) insights about the nature of politics and the truth of the human condition. In a one-of-a-kind collection, DeHart and Holloway bring together leading scholars from various fields, including political science, philosophy, and theology, to challenge the prevailing orthodoxy and to demonstrate the role that religion can and does play in political life. Contributing authors include such important thinkers as Peter Augustine Lawler, Robert C. Koons, J. Budziszewski, Francis J. Beckwith, and JamesStoner. (shrink)
Abductivists claim that explanatory considerations (e.g., simplicity, parsimony, explanatory breadth, etc.) favor belief in the external world over skeptical hypotheses involving evil demons and brains in vats. After showing how most versions of abductivism succumb fairly easily to obvious and fatal objections, I explain how rationalist versions of abductivism can avoid these difficulties. I then discuss the most pressing challenges facing abductivist appeals to the a priori and offer suggestions on how to overcome them.
Recent empirical work on folk moral objectivism has attempted to examine the extent to which folk morality presumes that moral judgments are objectively true or false. Some researchers report findings that they take to indicate folk commitment to objectivism (Goodwin & Darley, 2008, 2010, 2012; Nichols & Folds-Bennett, 2003; Wainryb et al., 2004), while others report findings that may reveal a more variable commitment to objectivism (Beebe, 2014; Beebe et al., 2015; Beebe & Sackris, 2016; Sarkissian, et al., 2011; Wright, (...) 2018; Wright, Grandjean, & McWhite, 2013; Wright, McWhite, & Grandjean, 2014). However, the various probes that have been used to examine folk moral objectivism almost always fail to be good direct measures of objectivism. Some critics (Beebe, 2015; Pölzler, 2017, 2018) have suggested that the problems with existing probes are serious enough that they should be viewed as largely incapable of shedding any light on folk metaethical commitments. Building upon the work of Justin Khoo and Joshua Knobe (2018), I argue that many of the existing probes can be seen as good measures of the extent to which people think that the truth of one moral judgment excludes the possibility that a judgment made by a disagreeing party is also true and that the best explanation of the findings obtained using these measures is significant folk support for indexical moral relativism—the view that the content of moral judgments is context-sensitive. If my thesis is correct, many contemporary moral philosophers are deeply mistaken about the metaethical contours of folk morality in one very important respect. (shrink)
Th e present article reports a series of experiments designed to extend the empirical investigation of folk metaethical intuitions by examining how different kinds of ethical disagreement can impact attributions of objectivity to ethical claims.
Charles Griswold has written a comprehensive philosophical study of Smith's moral and political thought. Griswold sets Smith's work in the context of the Enlightenment and relates it to current discussions in moral and political philosophy. Smith's appropriation as well as criticism of ancient philosophy, and his carefully balanced defence of a liberal and humane moral and political outlook, are also explored. This 1999 book is a major philosophical and historical reassessment of a key figure in the Enlightenment that will be (...) of particular interest to philosophers and political and legal theorists, as well as historians of ideas, rhetoric, and political economy. (shrink)
A number of researchers have begun to demonstrate that the widely discussed ?Knobe effect? (wherein participants are more likely to think that actions with bad side-effects are brought about intentionally than actions with good or neutral side-effects) can be found in theory of mind judgments that do not involve the concept of intentional action. In this article we report experimental results that show that attributions of knowledge can be influenced by the kinds of (non-epistemic) concerns that drive the Knobe effect. (...) Our findings suggest there is good reason to think that the epistemic version of the Knobe effect is a theoretically significant and robust effect, and that the goodness or badness of side-effects can often have greater influence on participant knowledge attributions than explicit information about objective probabilities. Thus, our work sheds light on important ways in which participant assessments of actions can affect the epistemic assessments participants make of agents? beliefs. (shrink)
Knobe (Analysis 63:190-193, 2003a, Philosophical Psychology 16:309-324, 2003b, Analysis 64:181-187, 2004b) found that people are more likely to attribute intentionality to agents whose actions resulted in negative side-effects that to agents whose actions resulted in positive ones. Subsequent investigation has extended this result to a variety of other folk psychological attributions. The present article reports experimental findings that demonstrate an analogous effect for belief ascriptions. Participants were found to be more likely to ascribe belief, higher degrees of belief, higher degrees (...) of rational belief, and dispositional belief to agents in central Knobe effect cases who bring about negative side-effects than to agents who bring about positive ones. These findings present a significant challenge to widely held views about the Knobe effect, since many explanations of it assume that agents in contrasting pairs of Knobe effect cases do not differ with respect to their beliefs. Participants were also found to be more confident that knowledge should be attributed than they were that belief or dispositional belief should be attributed. This finding strengthens the challenge that Myers-Schulz and Schwitzgebel (2013) have launched against the traditional view that knowledge entails belief. (shrink)
Adam Smith wrote two books, one about economics and the other about morality. How do these books go together? How do markets and morality mix? James Otteson provides a comprehensive examination and interpretation of Smith's moral theory and demonstrates how his conception of morality applies to his understanding of markets, language and other social institutions. Considering Smith's notions of natural sympathy, the impartial spectator, human nature and human conscience, the author addresses whether Smith thinks that moral judgments enjoy a (...) transcendent sanction. (shrink)
Professional ethics, a contemporary topic of conversation among business professionals, is discussed using the perceptions of college business students as the focal point. This research relates to the issues of college instruction in professional ethics, differences in perceptions of ethical behavior attributed to gender, and whether or not students' perceptions of ethical behavior can be modified. After presenting a review of the more important historical developments and research related to professional ethics, this paper focuses on the results of a study (...) that compared a set of ethical responses of various groups of college students with each other. The results of hypotheses testing show an ethics maturation process from students' initial exposure to business courses through the graduate level. These tests also show that formal ethics training, i.e., a separate professional ethics course or unit is an existing course, is not a significant factor in this process. However, one may conclude that the students' perceptions of proper ethical behavior matures toward society's expectations during college life. (shrink)
In 2004 Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols and Stephen Stich published what has become one of the most widely discussed papers in experimental philosophy, in which they reported that East Asian and Western participants had different intuitions about the semantic reference of proper names. A flurry of criticisms of their work has emerged, and although various replications have been performed, many critics remain unconvinced. We review the current debate over Machery et al.’s (2004) results and take note of which (...) objections to their work have been satisfactorily answered and which ones still need to be addressed. We then report the results of studies that reveal significant cross-cultural and intra-cultural differences in semantic intuitions when we control for variables that critics allege have had a potentially distorting effect on Machery et al.’s findings. These variables include the epistemic perspective from which participants are supposed to understand the research materials, unintended anchoring effects of those materials, and pragmatic factors involved in the interpretation of speech acts within them. Our results confirm the robustness of the cross-cultural differences observed by Machery et al. and thereby strengthen the philosophical challenge they pose. (shrink)
We develop an account of laboratory models, which have been central to the group selection controversy. We compare arguments for group selection in nature with Darwin's arguments for natural selection to argue that laboratory models provide important grounds for causal claims about selection. Biologists get information about causes and cause-effect relationships in the laboratory because of the special role their own causal agency plays there. They can also get information about patterns of effects and antecedent conditions in nature. But to (...) argue that some cause is actually responsible in nature, they require an inference from knowledge of causes in the laboratory context and of effects in the natural context. This process, cause detection, forms the core of an analogical argument for group selection. We discuss the differing roles of mathematical and laboratory models in constructing selective explanations at the group level and apply our discussion to the units of selection controversy to distinguish between the related problems of cause determination and evaluation of evidence. Because laboratory models are at the intersection of the two problems, their study is crucial for framing a coherent theory of explanation for evolutionary biology. (shrink)
Kohlberg's work in moral judgement has been criticised by many philosophers and psychologists. Building on Kohlberg's core assumptions, we propose a model of moral judgement (hereafter the neo-Kohlbergian approach) that addresses these concerns. Using 25 years of data gathered with the Defining Issues Test (DIT), we present an overview of Minnesota's neo-Kohlbergian approach, using Kohlberg's basic starting points, ideas from Cognitive Science (especially schema theory), and developments in moral philosophy.
Infamous cases like Enron and Bernie Madoff question whether business is an inherently dubious activity. Honorable Business argues that there is, in fact, such a thing as honorable business, which seeks to generate value not only for itself but for all parties to its transactions-and to society generally.
Drawing upon work in evolutionary game theory and experimental philosophy, I argue that one of the roles the concept of knowledge plays in our social cognitive ecology is that of enabling us to make adaptively important distinctions between different kinds of blameworthy and blameless behaviors. In particular, I argue that knowledge enables us to distinguish which agents are most worthy of blame for inflicting harms, violating social norms, or cheating in situations of social exchange.
In this paper I critically examine the Generality Problem and argue that it does not succeed as an objection to reliabilism. Although those who urge the Generality Problem are correct in claiming that any process token can be given indefinitely many descriptions that pick out indefinitely many process types, they are mistaken in thinking that reliabilists have no principled way to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant process types.
Having asked, “What, then, is time?” Augustine admitted, “I know well enough what it is, provided that nobody asks me; but if I am asked what it is and try to explain, I am baffled.” We all have a sense of time, but the description and explanation of it remain remarkably elusive. Through a series of detailed descriptions, Husserl attempted to clarify this sense of time. In my book, I trace the development of his account of our temporal self-awareness, starting (...) with his early 1905-1909 lectures on time consciousness and proceeding through the 1917-18 Bernau Manuscripts, the Analyses of Passive Syntheses of the 1920’s and ending with the C, B and E manuscripts on time and instincts of the 1930s. Although my book covers all the stages of Husserl’s account of temporality, it is nonetheless systematic in its approach. It is organized about a number of basic topics in the theory of time and presents and critically appraises Husserl’s positions on the issues pertaining to each. • THE ONTOLOGICAL STATUS OF TIME: Is time objective or subjective? Is it “out there,” a part of external reality or does it have a merely subjective existence, residing only in our memories and anticipations? Does Husserl’s “subjective” account presuppose ob-jective time? • THE “PRESENCE” OF THE PAST AS PAST: Memory, if it is to be distinguished from a direct, sensuous perception, must grasp the past as past. It must somehow “see” what no longer exists as no longer existing. The issue is: how do we do this? The same question arises with regard to our grasp through anticipation of the future as future. • THE TEMPORALITY OF OBJECTS: For Husserl, the apprehension of any sort of extended event, such as a melody, involves the synthesis of the “retentions” (the short term memories) of its notes and the anticipations these retentions awake in us. The question, here, is: what exactly is involved in this synthesis of retentions and anticipa-tions? How can these elements come together to present a single, individual object rather than presenting us with merely a collection of disparate presentations? In other words: How does temporal synthesis accomplish this presentation? • THE TEMPORALITY OF CONSCIOUSNESS: Husserl asserts that consciousness, in placing its object in time also places itself in time. How does it do this? What is the relation between the consciousness that places itself in time and the consciousness that is placed in time? How do we unify them? • THE ONTOLOGICAL STATUS OF TIME-CONSTITUTING PHENOMENA: Husserl claims that “time-constituting phenomena are evidently objectivities fundamentally different than those constituted in time. They are neither individual objects nor individual processes, and the predicates of such objects or processes cannot be meaningfully ascribed to them.” This assertion raises a number of questions about the ontological status of these time-constituting phenomena. If we cannot apply the predicates of individual objects to them, what is the nature of their being? Given that such phenomena com-pose the field of consciousness, what is the ontological status of consciousness? Furthermore, if our apprehension directs itself towards individual objects, how can our consciousness grasp the pre-individual, time-constituting phenomena that make it up? At issue here is the status of Husserl’s own descriptions of consciousness and the temporal process. Does his theory undermine the possibility of the evidence he presents for it? • THE RELATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS TO THE EGO: Our sense of self involves more than our consciousness, more than the memories, perceptions, and anticipations that give it its content. It involves our sense as the subjective referent of every act, as the person to whom the world appears, as the one who is affected by the world and who acts with regard to it. What is the relation of this sense of self to our time consciousness? How does the simultaneous constitution of consciousness and its object result in the presence of the I that is the subject of consciousness? (shrink)
We report the results of an exploratory study that examines the judgments of climate scientists, climate policy experts, astrophysicists, and non-experts (N = 3367) about the factors that contribute to the creation and persistence of disagreement within climate science and astrophysics and about how one should respond to expert disagreement. We found that, as compared to non-experts, climate experts believe that within climate science (i) there is less disagreement about climate change, (ii) methodological factors play less of a role in (...) generating disagreements, (iii) fewer personal or institutional biases influence climate research, and (iv) there is more agreement about which methods should be used to examine relevant phenomena we also observed that the uniquely American political context predicted experts’ judgments about some of these factors. We also found that, in regard to disagreements concerning cosmic ray physics, and commensurate with the greater inherent uncertainty and data lacunae in their field, astrophysicists working on cosmic rays were generally more willing to acknowledge expert disagreement, more open to the idea that a set of data can have multiple valid interpretations, and generally less quick to dismiss someone articulating a non-standard view as non-expert, than climate scientists were in regard to climate science. (shrink)
Consider the following facts about the average, philosophically untrained moral relativist: (1.1) The average moral relativist denies the existence of “absolute moral truths.” (1.2) The average moral relativist often expresses her commitment to moral relativism with slogans like ‘What’s true (or right) for you may not be what’s true (or right) for me’ or ‘What’s true (or right) for your culture may not be what’s true (or right) for my culture.’ (1.3) The average moral relativist endorses relativistic views of morality (...) without endorsing relativistic views about science or mathematics. (1.4) The average moral relativist takes moral relativism to be non-relatively true and does not think there is anything contradictory about doing so. (1.5) The average moral relativist adopts an egalitarian attitude toward a wide range of moral values, practices and beliefs, claiming they are all equally legitimate or correct. (1.6) The average moral relativist often admonishes others to be more tolerant of those who engage in alternative ethical practices and to refrain from making negative moral judgments about them. (1.7) The average moral relativist sometimes makes negative moral judgments about the behavior of others—e.g., by harshly judging moral absolutists to be intolerant—but is less inclined to do so when the relativist’s metaethical views are salient in a context of judgment. (1.8) The average moral relativist takes anthropological evidence concerning the worldwide diversity of ethical views and practices to support moral relativism. (shrink)
This paper reports the results of a four year study to measure the effect of a Business and Society course on the ethical judgment of students. The research involves a matched pre/post survey with control design, with the Business and Society course functioning as the treatment variable. The subjects were undergraduate and graduate (M.B.A.) business students (n=460). The answer to the question posed by the title of this paper is yes, in a more ethical direction.
In this article I investigate a neglected form of radical skepticism that questions whether any of our logical, mathematical and other seemingly self-evident beliefs count as knowledge. ‘A priori skepticism,’ as I will call it, challenges our ability to know any of the following sorts of propositions: (1.1) The sum of two and three is five. (1.2) Whatever is square is rectangular. (1.3) Whatever is red is colored. (1.4) No surface can be uniformly red and uniformly blue at the same (...) time. (1.5) If ‘if p then q’ is true and ‘p’ is true, then ‘q’ is true. (1.6) No statement can be both true and false at the same time and in the same respect. (1.7) If A is taller than B, and B is taller than C, then A is taller than C. (1.8) Everything is identical to itself. (1.9) If the conclusion of an inductive argument is contingent, it is possible for the premises of that argument to be true and its conclusion to be false. (1.10) George W. Bush could have been a plumber. (1.11) George W. Bush could not have been a prime number. (1.12) ‘2 + 3 = 5’ is necessarily true. (shrink)
The results of four experiments provide evidence for controlled processing in the absence of awareness. Participants identified the colour of a neutral distracter word. Each of four words was presented in one of the four colours 75% of the time or 50% of the time . Colour identification was faster when the words appeared in the colour they were most often presented in relative to when they appeared in another colour, even for participants who were subjectively unaware of any contingencies (...) between the words and the colours. An analysis of sequence effects showed that participants who were unaware of the relation between distracter words and colours nonetheless controlled the impact of the word on performance depending on the nature of the previous trial. A block analysis of contingency-unaware participants revealed that contingencies were learned rapidly in the first block of trials. Experiment 3 showed that the contingency effect does not depend on the level of awareness, thus ruling out explicit strategy accounts. Finally, Experiment 4 showed that the contingency effect results from behavioural control and not from semantic association or stimulus familiarity. These results thus provide evidence for implicit control. (shrink)
This paper compares the ethical decisions and attitudes of business students and practitioners. Recent unpublished data from a national study of over 1600 students are contrasted with information reported previously. Students are found consistently to make less ethical choices than practitioners, and there is some indication that students are making less ethical choices in the 1980s than in the 1960s. In addition, both students and practitioners agree that buyers should beware, view the role of business more narrowly, and find fewer (...) incentives to behave ethically over time. Codes of ethics appear to be less influential than the individual's strong personal value system and one's superiors behaving ethically; support for codes is declining. The paper concludes with observations about the limitations and possibilities for survey research in this area drawing on other studies that used the same instrument utilized for this paper. Some implications for future research are suggested. (shrink)
We report experimental results showing that participants are more likely to attribute knowledge in familiar Gettier cases when the would-be knowers are performing actions that are negative in some way (e.g. harmful, blameworthy, norm-violating) than when they are performing positive or neutral actions. Our experiments bring together important elements from the Gettier case literature in epistemology and the Knobe effect literature in experimental philosophy and reveal new insights into folk patterns of knowledge attribution.