Is the no-minimum claim true? I have argued that it is not. Andrew Cullison contends that my argument fails, since human sentience is variable; while Michael Schrynemakers has contended that the failure is my neglect of vagueness. Both, I argue, are wrong.
A great deal of scholarly attention has been paid to coercion. Less attention has been paid to what might be a more pervasive form of influence: manipulation. The essays in this volume address this relative imbalance by focusing on manipulation, examining its nature, moral status, and its significance in personal and social life.
The exhibition Off Beat: Jeff Nuttall and the International Underground showcases the archive of Jeff Nuttall, a painter, poet, editor, actor and novelist. As the exhibition illustrates, Nuttall was a central figure in the International Underground during the 1960s through to the early 1970s. During this time he collaborated with a vast network of avant-garde writers from across the globe, as well as editing the influential publication My Own Mag between 1963 and 1967.
Is it allowable for your government, or anyone else, to influence or coerce you 'for your own sake'? This is a question about paternalism, or interference with a person's liberty or autonomy with the intention of promoting their good or averting harm, which has created considerable controversy at least since John Stuart Mill's On Liberty. Mill famously decried paternalism of any kind, whether carried out by private individuals or the state. In this volume of new essays, leading moral, political and (...) legal philosophers address how to define paternalism, its justification, and the implications for public policy, professional ethics and criminal law. So-called 'libertarian' or non-coercive paternalism receives considerable attention. The discussion addresses the nature of freedom and autonomy and the relation of individuals to law, policy and the state. The volume will interest a wide range of readers in political philosophy, public policy and the philosophy of law. (shrink)
There are two main ways in which things with minds, like us, differ from things without minds, like tables and chairs. First, we are conscious--there is something that it is like to be us. We instantiate phenomenal properties. Second, we represent, in various ways, our world as being certain ways. We instantiate representational properties. Jeff Speaks attempts to make progress on three questions: What are phenomenal properties? What are representational properties? How are the phenomenal and the representational related?
We often evaluate belief-forming processes, agents, or entire belief states for reliability. This is normally done with the assumption that beliefs are all-or-nothing. How does such evaluation go when we’re considering beliefs that come in degrees? I consider a natural answer to this question that focuses on the degree of truth-possession had by a set of beliefs. I argue that this natural proposal is inadequate, but for an interesting reason. When we are dealing with all-or-nothing belief, high reliability leads to (...) high levels of truth-possession. However, when it comes to degrees of belief, reliability and truth-possession part ways. The natural answer thus fails to be a good way to evaluate degrees of belief for reliability. I propose and develop an alternative method based on the notion of calibration, suggested by Frank Ramsey, which does not have this problem and consider why we should care about such assessments of reliability even if they are not tied directly to truth-possession. (shrink)
REVIEW (1): "Jeff Kochan’s book offers both an original reading of Martin Heidegger’s early writings on science and a powerful defense of the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK) research program. Science as Social Existence weaves together a compelling argument for the thesis that SSK and Heidegger’s existential phenomenology should be thought of as mutually supporting research programs." (Julian Kiverstein, in Isis) ---- REVIEW (2): "I cannot in the space of this review do justice to the richness and range of (...) Kochan's discussion [...]. There is a great deal in this foundational portion of Kochan's discussion that I find tremendously interesting and engaging [...]." (David R. Cerbone, in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science) ---- REVIEW (3): "Science as Social Existence will be of interest not only to Heidegger scholars but to anyone engaged in science and technology studies. [...] This is an informative and original book. Kochan should be praised for his clear, pleasant-to-read prose." (Michael Butler, in CHOICE). (shrink)
This book provides an original and provocative combination of ethnomethodological analysis and the concepts of linguistic philosophy with a breadth and clarity unusual in this field of writing. It is designed to be read by sociologists, psychologists and philosophers and concerns itself with the contributions of Wittgenstein, defending the claim for his relevance to the human sciences. However, this book goes some way beyond the usual limitations of such interdisciplinary works by outlining some empirical applications of ideas derived from the (...) Wittgenstein tradition. (shrink)
According to Duns Scotus, the First Table of the Decalogue contains only those moral propositions whose truth value is known from their terms alone, or conclusions that necessarily follow from them. As such, God cannot make a dispensation from them. In contrast, God can make dispensations from the Second Table precepts, since these precepts are not logical deductions following necessarily from the First Table. Nevertheless, they are “highly consonant” with it. However, Scotus does not explain what he means by saying (...) the Second Table precepts are “highly consonant” with the First Table. Recently, Richard Cross and Oleg Bychkov have argued that consonance should be understood in terms of aesthetic considerations. This interpretation, however, falters in establishing that consonans ought to be construed aesthetically, and it contradicts explicit statements Scotus makes about divine freedom and what God can do: namely, it places constraints upon God’s will beyond mere logical possibility. (shrink)
According to our traditional conception of agency, most human beings are agents and most, if not all, nonhuman animals are not. However, recent developments in philosophy and psychology have made it clear that we need more than one conception of agency, since human and nonhuman animals are capable of thinking and acting in more than one kind of way. In this paper, I make a distinction between perceptual and propositional agency, and I argue that many nonhuman animals are perceptual agents (...) and that many human beings are both kinds of agent. I then argue that, insofar as human and nonhuman animals exercise the same kind of agency, they have the same kind of moral status, and I explore some of the moral implications of this idea. (shrink)
I argue that Husserlian phenomenology is metaphysically neutral, in the sense of being compatible with multiple metaphysical frameworks. For example, though Husserl dismisses the concept of an unknowable thing in itself as “material nonsense”, I argue that the concept is coherent and that the existence of such things is compatible with Husserl’s phenomenology. I defend this metaphysical neutrality approach against a number of objections and consider some of its implications for Husserl interpretation.
In this paper I ask how we should treat other beings in cases of uncertainty about sentience. I evaluate three options: an incautionary principle that permits us to treat other beings as non-sentient, a precautionary principle that requires us to treat other beings as sentient, and an expected value principle that requires us to multiply our subjective probability that other beings are sentient by the amount of moral value they would have if they were. I then draw three conclusions. First, (...) the precautionary and expected value principles are more plausible than the incautionary principle. Second, if we accept a precautionary or expected value principle, then we morally ought to treat many beings as having at least partial moral status. Third, if we morally ought to treat many beings as having at least partial moral status, then morality involves more cluelessness and demandingness than we might have thought. (shrink)
Is it reasonable to believe in God even in the absence of strong evidence that God exists? Pragmatic arguments for theism are designed to support belief even if one lacks evidence that theism is more likely than not. Jeff Jordan proposes that there is a sound version of the most well-known argument of this kind, Pascal's Wager, and explores the issues involved - in epistemology, the ethics of belief, decision theory, and theology.
This groundbreaking inquiry into the centrality of place in Martin Heidegger's thinking offers not only an illuminating reading of Heidegger's thought but a detailed investigation into the way in which the concept of place relates to core philosophical issues. In Heidegger's Topology, Jeff Malpas argues that an engagement with place, explicit in Heidegger's later work, informs Heidegger's thought as a whole. What guides Heidegger's thinking, Malpas writes, is a conception of philosophy's starting point: our finding ourselves already "there," situated (...) in the world, in "place." Heidegger's concepts of being and place, he argues, are inextricably bound together.Malpas follows the development of Heidegger's topology through three stages: the early period of the 1910s and 1920s, through Being and Time, centered on the "meaning of being"; the middle period of the 1930s into the 1940s, centered on the "truth of being"; and the late period from the mid-1940s on, when the "place of being" comes to the fore. The significance of Heidegger as a thinker of place, Malpas claims, lies not only in Heidegger's own investigations but also in the way that spatial and topographic thinking has flowed from Heidegger's work into that of other key thinkers of the past 60 years. (shrink)
I first argue that there are many true claims of the form: x-ing would be morally required, if anything is. I then explain why the following conditional-type is true: If x-ing would be morally required, if anything is, then x-ing is actually morally required. These results allow us to construct valid proofs for the existence of some substantive moral facts—proofs that some particular acts really are morally required. Most importantly, none of my argumentation presupposes any substantive moral claim; I use (...) only plausible claims that most moral skeptics and error theorists can and do accept. The final section diagnoses why my arguments work. Here, I offer an explanation for the supervenience of the moral on the non-moral that may help those worried that the strategy is a sophisticated trick. I conclude by considering two objections. In replying to these objections, I explain why the strategy may allow us to demonstrate more than “obvious” moral truths, and why it may also address a stronger version of error theory, according to which, moral truths are not possible. (shrink)
Author's response to: Raphael Sassower, 'Heidegger and the Sociologists: A Forced Marriage?,' Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 7, no. 5 (2018): 30-32. -- Part of a book-review symposium on: Jeff Kochan (2017), Science as Social Existence: Heidegger and the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge (Cambridge UK: Open Book Publishers).
In the past twenty years, issues about the relationship between perception and thought have largely been framed in terms of the question of whether the contents of perception are nonconceptual. I argue that this debate has rested on an ambiguity in `nonconceptual content' and some false presuppositions about what is required for concept possession. Once these are cleared away, I argue that none of the arguments which have been advanced about nonconceptual content do much to threaten the natural view that (...) perception and thought are relations to the same kind of content. (shrink)
A random sample of 207 national business consultants is employed to test the effects of individual values and professional ethics on consulting behavior. The results suggest that the individual values held by consultants are positively correlated with professional ethics, but are negatively correlated with consulting behavior. Moreover, there appears to be no significant relationship between the professional ethics of consultants and business consulting behavior. Findings and issues regarding the effectiveness of codes of ethics and implications for both the provider and (...) recipient of professional consulting services are discussed. (shrink)
Do individuals have a positive right of self-defence? And if so, what are the limits of this right? Under what conditions does this use of force extend to the defence of others? These are some of the issues explored by Dr Uniacke in this comprehensive 1994 philosophical discussion of the principles relevant to self-defence as a moral and legal justification of homicide. She establishes a unitary right of self-defence and the defence of others, one which grounds the permissibility of the (...) use of necessary and proportionate defensive force against culpable and non-culpable, active and passive, unjust threats. Particular topics discussed include: the nature of moral and legal justification and excuse; natural law justifications of homicide in self-defence; the Principle of Double Effect and the claim that homicide in self-defence is justified as unintended killing; and the question of self-preferential killing. This is a lucid and sophisticated account of the complex notion of justification, revolving around a critical discussion of trends in the law of self-defence. (shrink)
We argue that the notion of trust, as it figures in an ethical context, can be illuminated by examining research in artificial intelligence on multi-agent systems in which commitment and trust are modeled. We begin with an analysis of a philosophical model of trust based on Richard Holton’s interpretation of P. F. Strawson’s writings on freedom and resentment, and we show why this account of trust is difficult to extend to artificial agents (AAs) as well as to other non-human entities. (...) We then examine Margaret Urban Walker’s notions of “default trust” and “default, diffuse trust” to see how these concepts can inform our analysis of trust in the context of AAs. In the final section, we show how ethicists can improve their understanding of important features in the trust relationship by examining data resulting from a classic experiment involving AAs. (shrink)
While the 'sense of place' is a familiar theme in poetry and art, philosophers have generally given little or no attention to place and the human relation to place. In Place and Experience, Jeff Malpas seeks to remedy this by advancing an account of the nature and significance of place as a complex but unitary structure that encompasses self and other, space and time, subjectivity and objectivity. Drawing on a range of sources from Proust and Wordsworth to Davidson, Strawson (...) and Heidegger, he argues that the significance of place is not to be found in our experience of place so much as in the grounding of experience in place, and that this binding to place is not a contingent feature of human existence, but derives from the very nature of human thought, experience and identity as established in and through place. (shrink)
This article provides empirical results indicating that acting in a socially respon- sible and lawful manner is a necessary, though not sufficient, condition for increasing shareholder wealth. It meta-analyzes 27 event studies that have mea- sured the stock market's reaction to incidences of socially irresponsible and illicit behavior. It finds that for firms engaging in socially irresponsible and illicit behavior, the effect on shareholder wealth is negative (wealth decreases), statisti- cally significant (p < .001), and so substantial in size (D (...) = -.932) that the distribution of abnormal returns is shifted nearly a full standard deviation to the left (i.e., negatively) from their expected standard normal distribution. This result gives rationally self-interested firms a self-interested reason to act in a socially responsible and law-abiding manner. It also provides support for a moral position called enlightened self-interest, which prescribes that firms should act in a socially responsible manner to promote the shareholders' interests. (shrink)
Promotion is the relation between an act and a desire that obtains when the act advances or serves the desire. Under what conditions does an act promote a desire? Probabilistic accounts of promotion, the most prominent accounts, analyze promotion in terms of an increase in the probability of the desire’s satisfaction. In this paper, we clarify the promotion relation and explain why probabilistic accounts are attractive. Then we identify two questions probabilistic accounts must answer: the Baseline Question and the Interpretation (...) Question. We discuss and reject the three answers to the Baseline Question found in the literature, and explain the challenge future attempts at answering this question will face. Proponents of probabilistic accounts have not adequately addressed the Interpretation Question. We survey three answers to this question, finding each unsatisfactory. We conclude that no satisfactory probabilistic account has yet been offered, and that there are significant hurdles to providing one in the future. (shrink)
The traditional theory of the just war comprises two sets of principles, one governing the resort to war ( jus ad bellum) and the other governing the conduct of war ( jus in bello). The two sets of principles are regarded, in Michael Walzer’s words, as “logically independent. It is perfectly possible for a just war to be fought unjustly and for an unjust war to be fought in strict accordance with the rules.”1 Let us say that those who ﬁght (...) in a just war are “just combatants,” while those who ﬁght in a war that is unjust because it lacks a just cause are “unjust combatants.” (A just cause is an aim that can contribute to the justiﬁcation for war and that may permissibly be pursued by means of war.)2 The most important implication of the idea that jus in bello is independent of jus ad bellum is that.. (shrink)
Aron Gurwitsch’s theory of the structure and dynamics of consciousness has much to offer contemporary theorizing about consciousness and its basis in the embodied brain. On Gurwitsch’s account, as we develop it, the field of consciousness has a variable sized focus or "theme" of attention surrounded by a structured periphery of inattentional contents. As the field evolves, its contents change their status, sometimes smoothly, sometimes abruptly. Inner thoughts, a sense of one’s body, and the physical environment are dominant field contents. (...) These ideas can be linked with (and help unify) contemporary theories about the neural correlates of consciousness, inattention, the small world structure of the brain, meta-stable dynamics, embodied cognition, and predictive coding in the brain. (shrink)
The fifteen new essays collected in this volume address questions concerning the ethics of self-defense, most centrally when and to what extent the use of defensive force, especially lethal force, can be justified. Scholarly interest in this topic reflects public concern stemming from controversial cases of the use of force by police, and military force exercised in the name of defending against transnational terrorism. The contributors pay special attention to determining when a threat is liable to defensive harm, though doubts (...) about this emphasis are also raised. The legitimacy of so-called "stand your ground" policies and laws is also addressed. This volume will be of great interest to readers in moral, political, and legal philosophy. (shrink)
I argue that the transparency of experience provides the basis of arguments both for intentionalism -- understood as the view that there is a necessary connection between perceptual content and perceptual phenomenology -- and for the view that the contents of perceptual experiences are Russellian propositions. While each of these views is popular, there are apparent tensions between them, and some have thought that their combination is unstable. In the second half of the paper, I respond to these worries by (...) arguing that Russellianism is consistent with intentionalism, that their conjunction is consistent with both internalism about phenomenology and externalism about perceptual content, and that the resulting view receives independent support from the relationship between hallucination and thought. (shrink)
Jeff Noonan traces the development of humanist values from the ancient philosophies of India, China, and Greece, to contemporary struggles against oppression. Embodied Humanism argues that humanism is a critical social philosophy in which need-satisfaction and life-enjoyment have always been paramount.
I introduce the implantation argument, a new argument for the existence of God. Spatiotemporal extensions believed to exist outside of the mind, composing an external physical reality, cannot be composed of either atomlessness, or of Democritean atoms, and therefore the inner experience of an external reality containing spatiotemporal extensions believed to exist outside of the mind does not represent the external reality, the mind is a mere cinematic-like mindscreen, implanted into the mind by a creator-God. It will be shown that (...) only a creator-God can be the implanting creator of the mindscreen simulation, and other simulation theories, such as Bostrom’s famous account, that do not involve a creator-God as the mindscreen simulation creator, involve a reification fallacy. (shrink)
Consider the multi-user virtual worlds of online games such as EVE and World of Warcraft, or the multi-user virtual world of Second Life. Suppose a player performs an action in one of these worlds, via his or her virtual character, which would be wrong, if the virtual world were real. What is the moral status of this virtual action? In this paper I consider arguments for and against the Asymmetry Thesis: the thesis that such virtual actions are never wrong. I (...) also explain how the truth of the Asymmetry Thesis is closely aligned with the possibility of what Edward Castronova has called closed synthetic worlds. With some qualifications, the ultimate conclusion is that the Asymmetry Thesis is false and that these closed worlds are impossible. (shrink)
In this article, I articulate and respond to an epistemological challenge to meta-normative realism. The challenge has it that, if realism about the normative is correct, and if evolutionary forces have significantly influenced our normative judgments, then it would be a remarkable coincidence if the content of the normative facts and our normative judgments were aligned. I criticize David Enoch's recent attempt to meet this challenge, but provide an alternative response that is structurally similar. I argue that if realism is (...) correct, then it would be remarkable if the content of our normative judgments and the normative facts were not significantly aligned. (shrink)
This paper extends the discussion of business ethics by examining the issue of corruption, its definition, the solutions being proposed for dealing with it, and the ethical perspectives underpinning these proposals. The paper’s findings are based on a review of association, think-tank, and academic reports, books, and papers dealing with the topic of corruption, as well as the pronouncements, websites, and position papers of a number of important global organizations active in the fight. These organizations include the World Bank, the (...) International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Transparency International, USAID, the United Nations, the International Chamber of Commerce, the Organization of American States, and the Council of Europe. Our discussion departs from prior analyses by adopting a Foucaultian theoretical framing and by incorporating insights found in the virtue ethics literature. Implications are provided for international business organizations. (shrink)
This paper argues that certain central tenets of the traditional theory of the just war cannot be correct. It then advances an alternative account grounded in the same considerations of justice that govern self-defense at the individual level. The implications of this account are unorthodox. It implies that, with few exceptions, combatants who fight for an unjust cause act impermissibly when they attack enemy combatants, and that combatants who fight in a just war may, in certain circumstances, legitimately target noncombatants (...) who bear a significant degree of moral responsibility for a wrong, when the prevention or rectification of that wrong constitutes a just cause for war. (shrink)
Official apologies and truth commissions are increasingly utilized as mechanisms to address human rights abuses. Both are intended to transform inter-group relations by marking an end point to a history of wrongdoing and providing the means for political and social relations to move beyond that history. However, state-dominated reconciliation mechanisms are inherently problematic for indigenous communities. In this paper, we examine the use of apologies, and truth and reconciliation commissions in four countries with significant indigenous populations: Canada, Australia, Peru, and (...) Guatemala. In each case, the reconciliation mechanism differentiated the goal of reconciliation from an indigenous self-determination agenda. The resulting state-centered strategies ultimately failed to hold states fully accountable for past wrongs and, because of this, failed to transform inter-group relations. (shrink)
The question whether cognition is subserved by internal processes in the brain (internalism) or extends in to the world (active externalism) has been vigorously debated in recent years. I show how internalist and externalist ideas can be pursued in a common framework, using (1) open dynamical systems, which allow for separate analysis of an agent's intrinsic and embodied dynamics, and (2) supervenience functions, which can be used to study how low-level dynamical systems give rise to higher-level dynamical structures.
Most people are skeptical of the claim that the expectation that a person would have a life that would be well worth living provides a reason to cause that person to exist. In this essay I argue that to cause such a person to exist would be to confer a benefit of a noncomparative kind and that there is a moral reason to bestow benefits of this kind. But this conclusion raises many problems, among which is that it must be (...) determined how the benefits conferred on people by causing them to exist weigh against comparable benefits conferred on existing people. In particular, might the reason to cause people to exist ever outweigh the reason to save the lives of existing people? (shrink)