Stichter’s The Skillfulness of Virtue provides an original and contemporary discussion of virtue-acquisition from an interdisciplinary standpoint. By equating virtues to skills, he offers an empirically informed progression towards virtue expertise. With the focus on gaining proficiency, there is little room to analyse the status of the virtue-novice, who is equated to a novice in any other skill: an agent consciously following simple rules, gaining experience in order to respond to normatively-laden situations with more automaticity in the following stages of (...) skill-acquisition. This paper argues for a disanalogy between the virtue novice and novices in other skills, resulting from the understanding that follows from learning virtue words such as ‘kindness’ and ‘honesty’. Our brains are structured to find and subsequently use patterns to skilfully move around in our environment. These patterns can be represented in what Stichter calls ‘schemas’ or mental models of categorisations. Virtue words refer to patterns that would be difficult to categorise without linguistic labels, as instances of these categories are highly divergent. Virtue words are thus learned through examples of virtuous behaviour. Moreover, as virtue words are thick ethical concepts, they contain a normative load. I argue that due to these characteristics, novices who use virtue vocabulary are in a more advanced position than novices in other skills. So, a kindness novice who understands the word ‘kind’ has a better idea of how to act kindly than the chess novice has an idea of how to play chess by understanding the word ‘chess’. (shrink)
"Science is rooted in conversations," wrote Werner Heisenberg, one of the twentieth century's great physicists. In Quantum Dialogue, Mara Beller shows that science is rooted not just in conversation but in disagreement, doubt, and uncertainty. She argues that it is precisely this culture of dialogue and controversy within the scientific community that fuels creativity. Beller draws her argument from her radical new reading of the history of the quantum revolution, especially the development of the Copenhagen interpretation. One of several (...) competing approaches, this version succeeded largely due to the rhetorical skills of Niels Bohr and his colleagues. Using extensive archival research, Beller shows how Bohr and others marketed their views, misrepresenting and dismissing their opponents as "unreasonable" and championing their own not always coherent or well-supported position as "inevitable." Quantum Dialogue, winner of the 1999 Morris D. Forkosch Prize of the Journal of the History of Ideas, will fascinate everyone interested in how stories of "scientific revolutions" are constructed and "scientific consensus" achieved. "[A]n intellectually stimulating piece of work, energised by a distinct point of view."—Dipankar Home, Times Higher Education Supplement "[R]emarkable and original. . . . [Beller's] arguments are thoroughly supported and her conclusions are meticulously argued. . . . This is an important book that all who are interested in the emergence of quantum mechanics will want to read."—William Evenson, History of Physics Newsletter. (shrink)
Social context shapes negotiators’ actions, including their willingness to act unethically. We use a simulated negotiation to test how three dimensions of social context—dyadic gender composition, negotiation strategy, and trust—interact to influence one micro-ethical decision, the use of deception. Deception in all-male dyads was relatively unaffected by trust or the other negotiator’s strategy. In mixed-sex dyads, negotiators consistently increased their use of deception when three forms of trust were low and opponents used an accommodating strategy. However, in all-female dyads, negotiators (...) appeared to use multiple and shifting reference points in deciding when to deceive the other party. In these dyads, the use of deception increased when a competitive strategy combined with low benevolence-based trust or an accommodating strategy combined with high identity-based trust. Deception in all-female dyads decreased when a competitive strategy was used in the context of low deterrence-based trust. (shrink)
Using a simulated two-party negotiation, we examined how trustworthiness and power balance affected deception. In order to trigger deception, we used an issue that had no value for one of the two parties. We found that high cognitive trust increased deception whereas high affective trust decreased deception. Negotiators who expressed anxiety also used more deception whereas those who expressed optimism also used less deception. The nature of the negotiating relationship (mutuality and level of dependence) interacted with trust and negotiators’ affect (...) to influence levels of deception. Deception was most likely to occur when negotiators reported low trust or expressed negative emotions in the context of nonmutual or low dependence relationships. In these relationships, emotions that signaled certainty were associated with misrepresentation whereas emotions that signaled uncertainty were associated with concealment of information. Negotiators who expressed positive emotions in the context of a nonmutual or high dependence relationship also used less deception. Our results are consistent with a fair trade model in which negotiator increases deception when contextual and interpersonal cues heighten concerns about exploitation and decrease deception when these cues attenuate concerns about exploitation. (shrink)
In this paper, I defend a novel skeptical view about moral disgust. I argue that much recent discussion of moral disgust neglects an important ontological question: is there a distinctive psychological state of moral disgust that is differentiable from generic disgust, and from other psychological states? I investigate the ontological question and propose two conditions that any aspiring account of moral disgust must satisfy: (1) it must be a genuine form of disgust, and (2) it must be genuinely moral. Next, (...) I examine two prominent accounts of moral disgust by John Kekes and Victor Kumar and argue that neither successfully establishes the existence of genuinely moral disgust: Kekes’ account does not satisfy condition (2), and Kumar’s view does not meet condition (1). I claim that an important general lesson can be drawn from my critiques of Kekes’ and Kumar’s accounts: to establish the existence of moral disgust, one must provide unequivocal evidence that genuinely moral disgust, not generic disgust or anger, is being elicited in response to relevant moral violations. I conclude by considering why we ought to be skeptical about the general prospect of giving a positive answer to the ontological question, given the available evidence. (shrink)
This book examines how ideas of war and peace have organized frames of reference within the history of political theory. It argues for a political philosophy that takes both conditions seriously and for a style of political theory committed to questioning rather than closure.
"Amid ongoing debate about health care reform, the need for informed analyses of U.S. health policy is greater than ever. The twelve original essays in this volume show that common public debates routinely bypass complex ethical, sociocultural, historical, and political questions about how we should address ideals of justice and equality in health care. Integrating perspectives from the humanities, social sciences, medicine, and public health, the contributors illuminate the relationships between justice and health inequalities to complicate and enrich debates often (...) dominated by simplistic narratives"--. (shrink)
_The Continental Philosophy Reader_ is the first complete anthology of classic writings from the major figures in European thought and provides a powerful introduction to one of the 20th century's most influential intellectual movements.
A collection of critical essays by English and American scholars, including such controversial academic political theorists as Gutmann, Barry and Nussbaum, that raises questions about the current theoretical reassessment of political liberalism.
“It's almost like putting salt in a wound, for this person who's already made a very difficult decision,” suggested Meghan Patterson, a licensed obstetrician-gynecologist whom we interviewed in our qualitative study of the experiences of North Carolina abortion providers practicing under the state's Woman's Right to Know Act. The act requires that women receive counseling with state-mandated information at least twenty-four hours prior to obtaining an abortion. After the law was passed, Patterson worked with clinic administrators, in consultation with a (...) lawyer, to write a script to be used in the state-mandated counseling procedure. She and her colleagues took particular steps to mitigate the effects of what she described as HB 854's “forced language”—such as referring to the “father of the child.” While HB 854 stipulated that patients must be informed of the medical risks associated with the particular abortion procedure as well as those of carrying the child to term, Patterson's script made explicit the magnitude of comparative risks, emphasizing that the risks of carrying a pregnancy to term are substantially greater than the risks of an early-term abortion. She felt that these contextualization strategies helped to facilitate trust and rapport in a clinical care situation that proved relationally and morally challenging. In this article, we take up and expand on this point by elucidating an empirically grounded approach to ethically justified care when health care providers face legal or institutional policy mandates that raise possible moral conflicts. Our approach builds on recent bioethics discourse addressing conscience in the practice of medicine. While the concept of conscience has broad philosophical underpinnings relating to moral judgment, agency, and discernments of right and wrong, debates in bioethics have tended to engage the concept primarily vis-à-vis rights of conscientious objection or refusal. Here, we suggest a broader frame for thinking about claims of conscience in health care. Our approach draws on the feminist bioethics and the ethics of care literatures to highlight how providers may be motivated by matters of conscience, including relational concerns, in the active provision of certain forms of care. What emerges are two possibilities: not only conscientious refusal to comply with a policy mandate but also conscientious compliance—working conscientiously within a mandate's confines. (shrink)
Argument-mapping software abounds, and one of the reasons is that using the software has been shown to teach/promote/improve critical thinking skills. These positive results are very encouraging, but they also raise the question of whether the computer tutorial environment is producing these results, or whether learning argument mapping, even with just paper and pencil, is sufficient. Based on the results of two empirical studies, I argue that the basic skill of being able to represent an argument diagrammatically plays an important (...) role in the improvement of critical-thinking skills. While these studies do not offer a direct comparison between the two methods, it is important for anyone wishing to employ argument mapping in the classroom to know that significant results can be obtained even with the most rudimentary of tools. (shrink)
Context shapes negotiators’ actions, including their willingness to act unethically. Focusing on negotiators use of deception, we used a simulated two-party negotiation to test how three contextual variables—regulatory focus, power, and trustworthiness—interacted to shift negotiators’ ethical thresholds. We demonstrated that these three variables interact to either inhibit or activate deception, providing support for an interactionist model of ethical decision-making. Three patterns emerged from our analyses. First, low power inhibited and high power activated deception. Second, promotion-focused negotiators favored sins of omission, (...) whereas prevention-focused negotiators favored sins of commission. Third, low cognition-based trust influenced deception when negotiators experience fit between power and regulatory focus, whereas affect-based trust influenced deception when negotiators experience misfit between these structural context variables. We conclude that regulatory focus primes different moral templates: promotion-focused negotiators’ decision to deceive is determined by moral pragmatism, whereas prevention-focused negotiators’ decision to deceive is determined by opportunism. Because each combination of power and regulatory focus was tied to a specific subcomponent of trust, we further conclude that negotiators engage in motivated information search to determine whether they should deceive their opponents. (shrink)
Using a simulated, two-party negotiation, we examined how characteristics of the actor, target, and situation affected deception. To trigger deception, we used an issue that had no value for one of the two parties (indifference issue). We found support for an opportunistic betrayal model of deception: deception increased when the other party was perceived as benevolent, trustworthy, and as having integrity. Negotiators’ goals also affected the use of deception. Individualistic, cooperative, and mixed dyads responded differently to information about the other (...) party’s trustworthiness, benevolence, and integrity when deciding to either misrepresent or leverage their indifference issue. Mixed dyads displayed opportunistic betrayal. Negotiators in all-cooperative and all-individualistic dyads used different information in deciding whether to leverage their indifference issues and used the same information (benevolence) differently in deciding whether to misrepresent the value of their indifference issue. (shrink)
Today, in both theory and practice, the concepts of corporate social responsibility and ethics are not necessarily related. Organizations can demonstrate high levels of social proactivity in their CSR policies with or without having laudable levels of ethical quality or virtuousness. This article introduces the concepts of organizational ethical quality to evaluate the moral excellence of CSR actions and policies, identifying and categorizing varying levels ranging from the absence of ethical virtuousness, termed immoral CSR, to high levels of moral CSR, (...) or ethical virtuousness. High MCSR is the product of both high levels of OEQ in conjunction with more proactive CSR policies based on social action. (shrink)
On 19 July 2016, three medical organisations filed a federal lawsuit against representatives from several Vermont agencies over the Patient Choice and Control at End of Life Act. The law is similar to aid-in-dying laws in four other US states, but the lawsuit hinges on a distinctive aspect of Vermont's law pertaining to patients' rights to information. The lawsuit raises questions about whether, and under what circumstances, there is an ethical obligation to inform terminally ill patients about AID as an (...) end-of-life option. Much of the literature on clinical communication about AID addresses how physicians should respond to patient requests for assisted dying, but neglects the question of how physicians should approach patients who may not know enough about AID to request it. In this article, I examine the possibility of an affirmative duty to inform terminally ill patients about AID in light of ethical concerns about professional responsibilities to patients and the maintenance of the patient–provider relationship. I suggest that we should not take for granted that communication about AID ought to be patient-initiated, and that there may be circumstances in which physicians have good reasons to introduce the topic themselves. By identifying ethical considerations that ought to inform such discussions, I aim to set an agenda for future bioethical research that adopts a broader perspective on clinical communication about AID. (shrink)
Nowadays, managing change in complex services requires that middle management re-designs its objects and professional practices, in order to cope with new needs. It seems therefore crucial to activate training settings that allow managers to: develop research and analytical skills on their own work practices and professional objects; face and manage conflict, related to every change, that represents an opportunity to reflect and review one's own practices; and build new and shared repertories of managerial practices, able to support a better (...) form of living and working together within the management community. Moving from these hypotheses, inside the setting of a training intervention conducted in an educational service, the article discusses a specific tool used to generate opportunity of exchange, and reflection, within a challenging framework of change. (shrink)
Excepting the first half of Athēnaiōn Politeia, whose authorship remains controversial, there are no works of historical inquiry in the Aristotelian corpus. This contributes to the impression that Aristotle’s political theory abstracts from history. This judgment is reinforced by statements in the Poetics diminishing history and historians in favor of poetry and the poets. I offer a more nuanced interpretation, relying principally on an intertextual reading of the Athēnaiōn Politeia and Book Five of the Politics. Both texts direct the reader’s (...) attention to history, though in dramatically different ways. I argue that Aristotle’s uses of history are essential to his conversational engagements with the narratives that human beings construct in order to make sense of their experiences and to clarify options for choice. Read in a dialogic spirit, these texts underscore the possibilities and hazards of civic agency and preserve the importance of history, as well as poetry, for Aristotle’s political theory. (shrink)
A pattern of research findings indicates that excessive devotion to a favorite celebrity is linked to attitudes and behaviors that are psychologically unhealthy and may predict low life satisfaction. This study examines whether four common measures of life satisfaction predict admiration for celebrities in two university samples and one community sample of young adults. Our results showed significant correlations between celebrity admiration and two measures of life satisfaction. We also found that the predictors of life satisfaction correlate with each other (...) in ways that are consistent with previous research in positive psychology. Our research suggests an inverse relationship between celebrity admiration and life satisfaction. In addition, the results contribute to establishing the validity of four contemporary life satisfaction measures. (shrink)
In his own day, the name of Pierre Bayle was as famous as that of any philosopher in Europe. Yet despite his vast influence on the eighteenth century and the Enlightenment, Bayle's name was eclipsed by those of other, more methodical thinkers of his age, eliciting the following remark from one modern scholar, J.C. Laursen: 'Why do professional philosophers spend so much time on Descartes and so little time on Pierre Bayle, when Bayle was clearly the better philosopher?'In the past (...) decades a surge of new interest in Bayle has led to the rediscovery of the depth of his philosophical thought as well as the extent of his influence-yet the scholarly debate is shadowed by deep uncertainty as to how to tackle his eclectic writings, especially the expansive historical-philosophical publication that became one of the Enlightenment's best-sellers: the Dictionnaire Historique et Critique, first published in 1696 and counting more than six million words.This volume provides an important new study of both Bayle and the Dictionnaire. (shrink)
An intellectual history of the philosophers who grappled with the problem of evil, and the case for why pessimism still holds moral value for us today In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, philosophers engaged in heated debates on the question of how God could have allowed evil and suffering in a creation that is supposedly good. Dark Matters traces how the competing philosophical traditions of optimism and pessimism arose from early modern debates about the problem of evil, and makes a (...) compelling case for the rediscovery of pessimism as a source for compassion, consolation, and perhaps even hope. Bringing to life one of the most vibrant eras in the history of philosophy, Mara van der Lugt discusses legendary figures such as Leibniz, Hume, Voltaire, Rousseau, Kant, and Schopenhauer. She also introduces readers to less familiar names, such as Bayle, King, La Mettrie, and Maupertuis. Van der Lugt describes not only how the earliest optimists and pessimists were deeply concerned with finding an answer to the question of the value of existence that does justice to the reality of human suffering, but also how they were fundamentally divided over what such an answer should look like. A breathtaking work of intellectual history by one of today's leading scholars, Dark Matters reveals how the crucial moral aim of pessimism is to find a way of speaking about suffering that offers consolation and does justice to the fragility of life. (shrink)
Rather than focus on effects, the isolatable and measureable outcomes of events and interventions, the papers assembled here offer different perspectives on the affective dimension of the meaning and politics of human/non-human relations. The authors begin by drawing attention to the constructed discontinuity between humans and non-humans, and to the kinds of knowledge and socialities that this discontinuity sustains, including those underpinned by nature-culture, subject-object, body-mind, individual-society polarities. The articles presented track human/non-human relations through different domains, including: humans/non-humans in history (...) and animal welfare science ; the relationship between the way we live, the effects on our natural environment and contested knowledges about ‘nature’ ; choreographies of everyday life and everyday science practices with non-human animals such as horses, meerkats, mice, and wolves. Each paper also goes on to offer different perspectives on the human/non-human not just as division, or even as an asymmetrical relation, but as relations that are mutually affective, however invisible and inexpressible in the domain of science. Thus the collection contributes to new epistemologies/ontologies that undercut the usual ordering of relations and their dichotomies, particularly in that dominant domain of contemporary culture that we call science. Indeed, in their impetus to capture ‘affect’, the collection goes beyond the usual turn towards a more inclusive ontology, and contributes to the radical shift in the epistemology and philosophy of science’s terms of engagement. (shrink)
There are possible artificially intelligent beings who do not differ in any morally relevant respect from human beings. Such possible beings would deserve moral consideration similar to that of human beings. Our duties to them would not be appreciably reduced by the fact that they are non-human, nor by the fact that they owe their existence to us. Indeed, if they owe their existence to us, we would likely have additional moral obligations to them that we don’t ordinarily owe to (...) human strangers – obligations similar to those of parent to child or god to creature. Given our moral obligations to such AIs, two principles for ethical AI design recommend themselves: (1) design AIs that tend to provoke reactions from users that accurately reflect the AIs’ real moral status, and (2) avoid designing AIs whose moral status is unclear. Since human moral intuition and moral theory evolved and developed in contexts without AI, those intuitions and theories might break down or become destabilized when confronted with the wide range of weird minds that AI design might make possible. (shrink)
This paper argues against the possibility of presenting a consistent version of the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Physics, characterizing its founders' philosophical pronouncements including those on the realism-antirealism issue, as a contingent collection of local, often contradictory, moves in changing theoretical and sociopolitical circumstances. The paper analyzes the fundamental differences of opinion between Bohr and the mathematical physicists, Heisenberg and Born, concerning the foundational doctrine of the "indispensability of classical concepts", and their related disagreements on "quantum reality." The paper concludes (...) with an explanation of how the appearance of consensus was achieved despite fundamental disagreements among the proponents. The paper undermines the adequacy of the notion of a general conceptual framework to describe the philosophical endeavors of working scientists. (shrink)
Previous findings indicate that negative arousal enhances bottom-up attention biases favouring perceptual salient stimuli over less salient stimuli. The current study tests whether those effects were driven by emotional arousal or by negative valence by comparing how well participants could identify visually presented letters after hearing either a negative arousing, positive arousing or neutral sound. On each trial, some letters were presented in a high contrast font and some in a low contrast font, creating a set of targets that differed (...) in perceptual salience. Sounds rated as more emotionally arousing led to more identification of highly salient letters but not of less salient letters, whereas sounds’ valence ratings did not impact salience biases. Thus, arousal, rather than valence, is a key factor enhancing visual processing of perceptually salient targets. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to combine the intellectual and the psychosocial aspects. blurring the distinction between the conceptual and the anecdotal history of quantum mechanics. The full realization of the importance of such “anecdotal” factors leads to the revision of our understanding of the conceptual development itself. The paper concludes with the suggestion that a major part of numerous inconsistencies in the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics are of a psychosocial origin.
Razzismo e schiavitů sono fenomeni appartenenti ai processi socioculturali occidentali ed esprimono una logica identitaria esclusiva. Nella societÀ contemporanea sono in fase di graduale riaffermazione ed č da tale constatazione che prende le mosse questo saggio, il cui obiettivo consiste nello sviluppare alcune considerazioni sull'evoluzione storico-filosofica del concetto di razzismo - a partire dalle riflessioni di Joseph Arthur de Gobineau e Julius Evola - al fine di mostrare come esso sia alla base di un nuovo tentativo di divisione della societÀ (...) e degli individui, tramite la quale la progressiva emersione di nuove forme di schiavismo tende a essere facilitata. (shrink)
L'evoluzione del concetto di educazione ha risentito e risente dei cambiamenti che si sono succeduti all'interno della societÀ civile. Nell'etÀ contemporanea il mutamento piů significativo riguarda la presenza di una pluralitÀ di culture all'interno dei moderni Stati-nazione. In particolare in ambito educativo, il multiculturalismo pone sfide importanti alla stessa concezione di paideia nella sua connotazione classica di "educazione del cittadino": occorre quindi riconsiderarne le fondamenta. L'articolo riflette su tale problematica con riferimento alle principali posizioni della pedagogia interculturale, fino a prendere (...) in considerazione l'effettiva esistenza di una nuova "paideia" interculturale e la sua potenzialitÀ nel contesto scolastico italiano. (shrink)