Part I: WHAT IS ETHICS? Plato: Socratic Morality: Crito. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part II: ETHICAL RELATIVISM VERSUS ETHICAL OBJECTIVISM. Herodotus: Custom is King. Thomas Aquinas: Objectivism: Natural Law. Ruth Benedict: A Defense of Ethical Relativism. Louis Pojman: A Critique of Ethical Relativism. Gilbert Harman: Moral Relativism Defended. Alan Gewirth: The Objective Status of Human Rights. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part III: MORALITY, SELF-INTEREST AND FUTURE SELVES. Plato: Why Be Moral? Richard Taylor: On the Socratic Dilemma. David Gauthier: Morality (...) and Advantage. Gregory Kavka: A Reconciliation Project. Derek Parfit: Later Selves and Moral Principles. Bernard Williams: Persons, Character, and Morality. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part IV: VALUE. Jeremy Bentham: Classical Hedonism. Robert Nozick: The Experience Machine. Richard Taylor: Value and the Origin of Right and Wrong. Friedrich Nietzsche: The Transvaluation of Values. Derek Parfit: What Makes Someone’s Life Go Best? Thomas Nagel: Value: The View from Nowhere. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part V: UTILITARIANISM AND CONSEQUENTIALISM. John Stuart Mill: Utilitarianism. J.J.C. Smart: Extreme and Restricted Utilitarianism. Kai Nielsen: Against Moral Conservatism. Bernard Williams: Against Utilitarianism. John Hospers: Rule-Utilitarianism. Robert Nozick: Side Constraints. Peter Singer: Famine, Affluence and Morality. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part VI: KANTIAN AND DEONTOLOGICAL SYSTEMS. Immanuel Kant: Foundation for the Metaphysic of Morals. W. D. Ross: What Makes Right Acts Right? Onora O’Neill: Kantian Formula of the End in Itself and World Hunger. Thomas Nagel: Moral Luck. Philippa Foot: Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives. Judith Jarvis Thomson: Killing, Letting Die, and the Trolley Problem. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part VII: CONTRACTARIAN ETHICAL SYSTEMS. Thomas Hobbes: The Leviathan. David Gauthier: Why Contractarianism? John Rawls: Contractualism: Justice as Fairness. T.M. Scanlon: Contractualism and Utilitarianism. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part VIII: VIRTUE-BASED ETHICAL SYSTEMS. Aristotle: The Ethics of Virtue. Bernard Mayo: Virtue and the Moral Life. William Frankena: A Critique of Virtue-Based Ethics. Walter Schaller: Are Virtues No More than Dispositions to Obey Moral Rules? Alasdair MacIntyre: The Nature of the Virtues. Susan Wolf: Moral Saints. Louis P. Pojman: In Defense of Moral Saints. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part IX: THE FACT/VALUE PROBLEM: METAETHICS IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. David Hume: On Reason and the Emotions: The Fact/Value Distinction. G. E. Moore: Non-Naturalism. A. J. Ayer: Emotivism. R. M. Hare: Prescriptivism: The Structure of Ethics and Morals. Geoffrey Warnock: The Object of Morality. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part X: MORAL REALISM AND THE CHALLENGE OF SKEPTICISM. J.L. Mackie: The Subjectivity of Values. Jonathan Harrison: A Critique of Mackie’s Error Theory. Gilbert Harman: Moral Nihilism. Nicholas Sturgeon: Moral Explanations. Bernard Williams: Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy. Bruce Russell: Two Forms of Ethical Skepticism. Michael Smith: A Defense of Moral Realism. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part XI: RELIGION AND ETHICS. Plato: Morality and Religion. Immanuel Kant: God and Immortality as Necessary Postulates of Morality. George Mavrodes: Religious and the Queerness of Morality. Kai Nielson: Ethics Without God. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part XII: CONTEMPORARY CHALLENGES TO CLASSICAL ETHICAL THEORY. Part A. Sociobiology and the Question of Moral Responsibility. Charles Darwin: Ethics and the Descent of Man. E.O.Wilson: Sociobiology and Ethics. Michael Ruse: Evolution and Ethics: The Sociobiological Approach. Elliot Sober: Prospects for an Evolutionary Ethics. J.L. Mackie: The Law of the Jungle, Evolution and Morality. Suggestions for Further Readingon Sociobiology. Part B. The Challenge of Determinism to Moral Responsibility and Desert. Galen Strawson: The Impossibility of Moral Responsibility. Louis Pojman: Free Will, Determinism, and Moral Responsibility:A Response to Galen Strawson. Richard Taylor: A Libertarian Defense of Free Will and Responsibility. Suggestions for Further Reading on Moral Responsibility. Glossary of Ethical Terms. (shrink)
Twentieth century philosophers introduced the distinction between “objective rightness” and “subjective rightness” to achieve two primary goals. The first goal is to reduce the paradoxical tension between our judgments of what is best for an agent to do in light of the actual circumstances in which she acts and what is wisest for her to do in light of her mistaken or uncertain beliefs about her circumstances. The second goal is to provide moral guidance to an agent who may be (...) uncertain about the circumstances in which she acts, and hence is unable to use her standard moral principle directly in deciding what to do. This paper distinguishes two important senses of “moral guidance”; proposes criteria of adequacy for accounts of subjective rightness; canvasses existing definitions for “subjective rightness”; finds them all deficient; and proposes a new and more successful account. It argues that each comprehensive moral theory must include multiple principles of subjective rightness to address the epistemic situations of the full range of moral decision-makers, and shows that accounts of subjective rightness formulated in terms of what it would reasonable for the agent to believe cannot provide that guidance. (shrink)
Is it permissible to use a human embryo in stem cell research, or in general as a means for benefit of others? Acknowledging each embryo as an object of moral concern, Louis M.Guenin argues that it is morally permissible to decline intrauterine transfer of an embryo formed outside the body, and that from this permission and the duty of beneficence, there follows a consensus justification for using donated embryos in service of humanitarian ends. He then proceeds to show how (...) this justification commands assent even within moral and religious views commonly thought to oppose embryo use. Beneath his moral reasoning lies a carefully constructed metaphysical foundation incorporating accounts of the ontology of development, embryos, and species. He also incisively discusses nonreprocloning, reprocloning, ectogenesis, and related scientific frontiers. This compelling philosophical study will interest all concerned to understand virtue and obligation in the relief of suffering. (shrink)
Recently two distinct forms of rule-utilitarianism have been introduced that differ on how to measure the consequences of rules. Brad Hooker advocates fixed-rate rule-utilitarianism, while Michael Ridge advocates variable-rate rule-utilitarianism. I argue that both of these are inferior to a new proposal, optimum-rate rule-utilitarianism. According to optimum-rate rule-utilitarianism, an ideal code is the code whose optimum acceptance level is no lower than that of any alternative code. I then argue that all three forms of rule-utilitarianism fall prey to two fatal (...) problems that leave us without any viable form of rule-utilitarianism. (shrink)
Engaging a listener’s trust imposes moral demands upon a presenter in respect of truthtelling and completeness. An agent lies by an utterance that satisfies what are herein defined as signal and mendacity conditions; an agent deceives when, in satisfaction of those conditions, the agent’s utterances contribute to a false belief or thwart a true one. I advert to how we may fool ourselves in observation and in the perception of our originality. Communication with others depends upon a convention or practice (...) of presumed nonuniversal truthfulness. In support of an asserted duty of nondeceptiveness, I offer a reconciliation of pertinent Kantian passages, a sketch of arguments within utilitarianism, contractarianism, and other views, and an account arguing for application of that duty to assertions, implicatures, omissions, equivocation, prevarication, and sophistry insofar as they affect listeners’ doxastic states. For scholarship, this duty is exceptionless. I describe the kernel of intellectual honesty as a virtuous disposition such that when presented with an incentive to deceive, the agent will not deceive. Intellectual honesty delivers candor when it counts. I contrast this with complementary virtues and the surpassing virtue of ingenuousness. An account is given of the connection between intellectual honesty and an influential physical model of integrity. (shrink)
The fact that many modal operators are part of an adjunction is probably folklore since the discovery of adjunctions. On the other hand, the natural idea of a minimal propositional calculus extended with a pair of adjoint operators seems to have been formulated only very recently. This recent research, mainly motivated by applications in computer science, concentrates on technical issues related to the calculi and not on the significance of adjunctions in modal logic. It then seems a worthy enterprise (both (...) for these contemporary topical pursuits and also for historical interest) to trace the concept of adjunction back to the origins of the algebraic semantics of modal logic and to make explicit its ubiquity in this branch of mathematics. (shrink)
We dispute Penn et al.'s claim of the sharp functional discontinuity between humans and nonhumans with evidence in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) of higher-order generalizations: spontaneous integration of previously learned rules and concepts in response to novel stimuli. We propose that species-general explanations that are in approach are more plausible than Penn et al.'s innatist approach of a genetically prespecified supermodule.
The rationale of patents on transgenic organisms leads to the startling notion of the human qua infringement. The moral reasons by which we may tenably reject such notion are not conclusive as to human life forms outside the body. A close look at recombinant DNA experimentation reveals ingenious processes, but not entities that the body lacks. Except for artificial genes, the genes of biotechnology are found on chromosomes, albeit nonconsecutively, and their uninterrupted transcripts appear in messenger RNA. An enhanced form (...) of protection for ingenious processes, the human methods patent, is proposed and defended as a replacement for product patents. The proposed patent would pertain to biotechnology manufacturing and genetic intervention in somatic and germ cells. A counterpart could govern nonhuman life forms. It is argued that compulsory licensing protections should be a condition of such patent. Contrary to the conservative assumption that statutory sobriquets suffice, the reckoning of what qualifies as a patentable ingenious process will continue to require systematic scientific guidance. (shrink)
Cognitive categories in the geographic realm appear to manifest certain special features as contrasted with categories for objects at surveyable scales. We have argued that these features reflect specific ontological characteristics of geographic objects. This paper presents hypotheses as to the nature of the features mentioned, reviews previous empirical work on geographic categories, and presents the results of pilot experiments that used English-speaking subjects to test our hypotheses. Our experiments show geographic categories to be similar to their non-geographic counterparts in (...) the ways in which they generate instances of different relative frequencies at different levels. Other tests, however, provide preliminary evidence for the existence of important differences in subjects’ categorizations of geographic and non-geographic objects, and suggest further experimental work especially with regard to the role in cognitive categorization of different types of object-boundaries at different scales. (shrink)
Recent public hearings on misconduct charges belie the conjecture that due process will perforce defeat informed scientific reasoning. One notable case that reviewed an obtuse description of experimental methods displays some of the subtleties of differentiating carelessness from intent to deceive. There the decision of a studious nonscientist panel managed to reach sensible conclusions despite conflicting expert testimony. The significance of such a result may be to suggest that to curtail due process would be both objectionable and unproductive.
Two utilitarian defenses, traceable to Bentham and Mill, are commonly offered for patents. It is contended that patents induce innovation, and that patents induce disclosure of innovation. Patents on some or all of the human genome pose particular challenges for these defenses. In the first instance, patents on nucleotide sequences entail the perverse notion of human reproduction qua infringement. In the second place, when such patents are available, the two defenses involve a counterfactual claim, viz., that if there were no (...) such patents, biotechnological progress would wane. Even if these challenges are met, concerns about respect for humanity generate opposition to property interests in compounds manipulated outside the human body but significantly homologous to compounds found in humans. This stance about things human might appear to commit the fallacy of division. In a dialogue between a Kantian and a utilitarian, arguments for and against property interests in the human genome are presented. (shrink)
Three-dimensionalists , sometimes referred to as endurantists, think that objects persist through time by being “wholly present” at every time they exist. But what is it for something to be wholly present at a time? It is surprisingly difficult to say. The threedimensionalist is free, of course, to take ‘is wholly present at’ as one of her theory’s primitives, but this is problematic for at least one reason: some philosophers claim not to understand her primitive. Clearly the three-dimensionalist would be (...) better off if she could state her theory in terms accessible to all. We think she can. What is needed is a definition of ‘is wholly present at’ that all can understand. in this paper, we offer one. (shrink)
In keeping with recent views of consciousness of self as represented in the body in action, empirical studies are reviewed that demonstrate a bottlenose dolphin’s conscious awareness of its own body and body parts, implying a representational “body image” system. Additional work reviewed demonstrates an advanced capability of dolphins for motor imitation of self-produced behaviors and of behaviors of others, including imitation of human actions, supporting hypotheses that dolphins have a sense of agency and ownership of their actions and may (...) implicitly attribute those levels of self-awareness to others. Possibly, a mirror-neuron system, or its functional equivalent to that described in monkeys and humans, may mediate both self-awareness and awareness of others. (shrink)
Hintergrund: Biomedizinische Ontologien existieren unter anderem zur Integration von klinischen und experimentellen Daten. Um dies zu erreichen ist es erforderlich, dass die fraglichen Ontologien von einer großen Zahl von Benutzern zur Annotation von Daten verwendet werden. Wie können Ontologien das erforderliche Maß an Benutzerfreundlichkeit, Zuverlässigkeit, Kosteneffektivität und Domänenabdeckung erreichen, um weitreichende Akzeptanz herbeizuführen? -/- Material und Methoden: Wir konzentrieren uns auf zwei unterschiedliche Strategien, die zurzeit hierbei verfolgt werden. Eine davon wird von SNOMED CT im Bereich der Medizin vertreten, die (...) andere im Bereich der Biologie und Biomedizin von der OBO Foundry. Es soll aufgezeigt werden, wie die Verpflichtung zu speziellen Kriterien der Ontologieentwicklung die Nützlichkeit und Effektivität der Ontologien positiv beeinflusst, indem die Pflege der terminologischen Systeme und ihre Interoperabilität vereinfacht werden. -/- Ergebnisse: SNOMED CT und die OBO Foundry unterscheiden sich grundlegend in ihren Ansätzen und Zielen. Unabhängig davon kann jedoch ein allgemeiner Trend zur strengeren Formalisierung und Fokussierung auf Interoperabilität zwischen unterschiedlichen Domänen und ihren Repräsentationen beobachtet werden. (shrink)
A theory of justice for the basic structure of society may constrain though not directly govern colleges. The principle of "equal opportunity" commonly applied to jobs either does or does not apply to varsity opportunities. If it applies, it interdicts sex discrimination but, one fallacious argument notwithstanding, it states no obligation to expend resources on new teams. If it does not apply, an analogue of Rawls's difference principle may appropriately constrain inequalities between the sexes. In either case the preferences of (...) a majority of the sex affected by any inequality are pivotal in fashioning any tenable distributive policy. Those preferences are neglected by a government policy that assimilates equal opportunity to equality of (i) the ratio of male:female varsity athletes and (ii) the ratio of male:female students. It is argued that such policy rests on affirming the consequent. Its effects include misallocations of resources and overvaluation of athletics. It is argued that what should approximately be equal is competitive access, the ratio of available positions to aspirants, for each sex. Two versions of a principle of equal competitive access are proposed, the recommended one of which pertains to teams whose net consumption of resources is positive. (shrink)
Set theoretic formulation of Arrow's theorem, viewed in light of a taxonomy of transitive relations, serves to unmask the theorem's understated generality. Under the impress of the independence of irrelevant alternatives, the antipode of ceteris paribus reasoning, a purported compiler function either breaches some other rationality premise or produces the "effet Condorcet". Types of cycles, each the seeming handiwork of a virtual voter disdaining transitivity, are rigorously defined. Arrow's theorem erects a dilemma between cyclic indecision and dictatorship. Maneuvers responsive thereto (...) are explicable in set theoretic terms. None of these gambits rival in simplicity the unassisted escape of strict linear orderings, which, by virtue of the Arrow-Sen reflexivity premise, are not captured by the theorem. Yet these are the relations among whose n-tuples the "effet Condorcet" is most frequent. A generalization and stronger theorem encompasses these and all other linear orderings and total tierings. Revisions to the Arrow-Sen definitions of 'choice set' and 'rationalization' similarly enable one to generalize Sen's demonstration that some rational choice function always exists. Similarly may one generalize Debreu's theorems establishing conditions under which a binary relation may be represented by a continuous real-valued order homomorphism. (shrink)
The mechanisms for cultural transmission remain disputable and difficult to validate through observational field studies alone. If controlled experimental laboratory investigation reveals that a putative mechanism is demonstrable in the species under study, then inferences that the same mechanism is operating in the field observation are strengthened.
Richard M Weaver, a thinker and writer celebrated for his unsparing diagnoses and realistic remedies for the ills of our age, is known largely through a few of his works that remain in print. This new collection of Weaver's shorter writings, assembled by Ted J Smith III, Weaver's leading biographer, presents many long-out-of-print and never-before-published works that give new range and depth to Weaver's sweeping thought. Included are eleven previously unpublished essays and speeches that were left in near-final form (...) at the time of Weaver's death in 1963. In all, there are some one hundred and twenty-six essays, speeches, book reviews, and editorials. (shrink)
“Any bad settlement,” the wise patent litigator Elmer S. Albritton once observed, “is better than a good lawsuit.” Given the notorious strain of court proceedings and the recognition that settlement does not always prove attainable, a popular movement has recently arisen in favor of “alternative dispute resolution” . Indeed it has seemed to many who have participated as committee members, witnesses, or respondents in scientific misconduct cases that there ought to be some method of resolving such matters that is less (...) vexing than traditional adjudication. (shrink)
Forest resources are important economic assets to Mississippi. Therefore, the forestry community needs to maintain viable relationships with key constituency groups such as teachers. The study’s objectives were to use focus groups and mail questionnaires to determine values, attitudes, and educational needs of Mississippi’s public school teachers toward forestry and forest industry. Most teachers had positive or somewhat positive attitudes toward forest industry. No significant differences were found between prekindergarten through 3rd- and 4th- through 8th-grade teachers, prekindergarten through 3rd- and (...) 9th- through 12th-grade teachers, or 4th- through 8th- and 9th-through 12th-grade teachers. Preferred communication methods for teachers in general were school visits, educational materials, and partnerships. Preferred topics of interest were the environment, wildlife habitat, and wildlife. This study stresses the importance of tailoring communication and educational activities to address state-specific social and cultural needs of teachers. (shrink)