HLA Hart and Joseph Raz are usually interpreted as being fundamentally opposed to Lon Fuller’s argument in The Morality of Law that the principles of the rule of law are of moral value. Hart and Raz are thought to make the ‘instrumental objection’, which says that these principles are of no moral value because they are actually principles derived from reflection on how to best allow the law to guide behaviour. Recently, many theorists have come to Fuller’s defence against Hart (...) and Raz, refuting the ‘instrumental objection’ and affirming the non-instrumental moral value of conformity to the principles of legality. This article argues that although this moral value should be affirmed, the orthodox view is incorrect, because Hart and Raz never understood their arguments about the instrumental or ‘purposive’ value of the principles of legality as denials of their moral value, as a close reading of their work shows. (shrink)
Cognitive ethology cannot be done well unless its proximate philosophical underpinnings are got straight; this paper tries to help with that. Cognitive attributions are essentially explanatory—if they did not explain behavior, there would be no justification for them—but it doesn’t follow that they explain by providing causes for events that don’t have physical causes. To understand how mentalistic attributions do work, we need to focus on the quartet: sensory input, belief, desire, and behavioral output. We also need to be able (...) to study classes of sensory inputs—one-shot deals are uninterpretable. The crucial guiding rule is, roughly: The animal’s behavior shouldn’t be explained by attributing to it the belief that P unless the behavior occurs in sensory circumstances belonging to a class whose members are marked off in some way that involves the concept of P and not in any way that is lower than that. The higher/lower distinction can be understood so that the guiding rule is helpful not only in deciding what thoughts to attribute to an animal but also in deciding whether to attribute any thoughts at all. (shrink)
Ferdinand Canning Scott Schiller was the foremost first generation British pragmatist; he is also the most overlooked pragmatist. F. C. S. Schiller and the Dawn of Pragmatism: The Rhetoric of a Philosophical Rebel, by Mark J. Porrovecchio, provides the first comprehensive examination of his philosophical career, examining the rhetorical practices that gave rise to his pragmatic humanism and the ways those strategies led to his erasure from the intellectual history of pragmatism.
Argues that Plato's dialogues contain a surprisingly neglected account of Socrates' education about the love of noble virtue and that recovering this education could help broaden and deepen liberalism's moral and political horizon.
This collection of essays in moral philosophy has as its intended mark of distinction the fact that moral problems of the moment are the themes of the essays. The chapter headings indicate this contemporary concern: Abortion, Sex, Human Rights and Civil Disobedience, Criminal Punishment, Violence and Pacifism, War and Suicide and Death. There are essays by: Paul Ramsey, Philippa Foot, Jonathan Bennett, Thomas Nagel, Sara Ruddick, Richard Wassenstrom, [[sic]] John Rawls, R. M. Dworkin, William Kneale, H. L. A. (...) Hart, J. R. Lucas, Newton Carver, Jan Narveson, G. E. M. Anscombe, R. M. Hare, R. F. Holland, Mary Mothersill. One might well be inclined to agree with the editor's opposition to such philosophizing about morality which abstracts from the moral problems of one's own life. A purely theoretical approach to the study of morality would almost appear contradictory. However, it is necessary to express grave reservations about such a collection of essays as this. While the arguments of the essays are thoughtful and somewhat uncommon, the conclusions of the essays, as a rule, do not differ from "advanced" liberal opinions. In other words, the essays do not challenge students' opinions. The reading of these essays will but confirm the young in their prejudices. The problems the essays are concerned with are real problems; and it is a defect of the book that with the single exception of the chapter on Abortion no real opposing arguments are presented.--J. W. S. (shrink)
Introduction -- The Minos and the Socratic examination of law -- The rational interpretation of divine law -- The examination of laws of Sparta -- Divine law and moral education -- The problem of erotic love and practical reason under divine law -- Perfect justice and divine providence -- The savior of the law.
The scope of this book is to revisit the ancient Aristotelian and Plotinian philosophical and metaphysical problem of dualism and monism with respect to the first principle. Essentially, it defends Aristotle’s position of the primacy of an intelligible first principle over the Plotinian philosophical move to affirm a principle above Intellect.
Medicalization was the theme of the 29th European Conference on Philosophy of Medicine and Health Care that included a panel session on the DSM and mental health. Philosophical critiques of the medical model in psychiatry suffer from endemic assumptions that fail to acknowledge the real world challenges of psychiatric nosology. The descriptive model of classification of the DSM 3-5 serves a valid purpose in the absence of known etiologies for the majority of psychiatric conditions. However, a consequence of the “atheoretical” (...) approach of the DSM is rampant epistemological confusion, a shortcoming that can be ameliorated by importing perspectives from the work of Jaspers and McHugh. Finally, contemporary psychiatry’s over-reliance on neuroscience and pharmacotherapy has led to a reductionist agenda that is antagonistic to the inherently pluralistic nature of psychiatry. As a result, the field has suffered a loss of knowledge that may be difficult to recover. (shrink)
The effects in a quantum-mechanical system form a partial algebra and a partially ordered set which is the prototypical example of the effect algebras discussed in this paper. The relationships among effect algebras and such structures as orthoalgebras and orthomodular posets are investigated, as are morphisms and group- valued measures (or charges) on effect algebras. It is proved that there is a universal group for every effect algebra, as well as a universal vector space over an arbitrary field.
This paper defends an in principle understanding of the authority of persons over themselves and, in consequence, argues for significant limits on morally permissible state authority. It also defends an account of the limits of permissible state action that distinguishes between the ability of persons to convey authority to common projects and what may be judged virtuous, good, safe, or proper to do. In terms of organ transplantation policy, it concludes that it is morally acceptable, and should be legally permissible, (...) for individuals to sell one of their kidneys while living, pocketing the cash to use as that person sees fit to advance their own understanding of their own best interests. Morally objectionable policy proposals, I argue, are not those that encourage individuals to sell a redundant kidney while living or families to sell the organs of a recently deceased loved one, but those that seek coercively to confiscate the organs of the recently deceased. Recognizing the authority of persons over themselves, and their ability to convey moral authority to common projects, including the sale of human organs for transplantation, would shed light on the medical marketplace and clarify public policy, while increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of procuring human organs for transplantation. (shrink)
Several axiom systems for preference among acts lead to a unique probability and a state-independent utility such that acts are ranked according to their expected utilities. These axioms have been used as a foundation for Bayesian decision theory and subjective probability calculus. In this article we note that the uniqueness of the probability is relative to the choice of whatcounts as a constant outcome. Although it is sometimes clear what should be considered constant, in many cases there are several possible (...) choices. Each choice can lead to a different "unique" probability and utility. By focusing attention on statedependent utilities, we determine conditions under which a truly unique probability and utility can be determined from an agent's expressed preferences among acts. Suppose that an agent's preference can be represented in terms of a probability P and a utility U.That is, the agent prefers one act to another iff the expected utility of that act is higher than that of the other. There are many other equivalent representations in terms of probabilities Q, which are mutually absolutely continuous with P, and state-dependent utilities V, which differ from U by possibly different positive affine transformations in each state of nature. We describe an example in which there are two different but equivalent state-independent utility representations for the same preference structure. They differ in which acts count as constants. The acts involve receiving different amounts of one or the other of two currencies, and the states are different exchange rates between the currencies. It is easy to see how it would not be possible for constant amounts of both currencies to have simultaneously constant values across the differentstates. Savage (1954, sec. 5.5) discovered a situation in which two seemingly equivalent preference structures are represented by different pairs of probability and utility. He attributed the phenomenon to the construction of a "small world." We show that the small world problem is just another example of two different, but equivalent, representations treating different actsas constants. Finally, we prove a theorem (similar to one of Karni 1985) that shows how to elicit a unique state-dependent utility and does not assume that there are prizes with constant value. To do this, we define a new hypothetical kind of act in which both the prize to be awarded and the state of nature are determined by an auxiliary experiment. (shrink)
The legal basis of informed consent in Texas may on first examination suggest an unqualified affirmation of persons as the source of authority over themselves. This view of individuals in the practice of informed consent tends to present persons outside of any social context in general and outside of their families in particular. The actual functioning of law and medical practice in Texas, however, is far more complex. This study begins with a brief overview of the roots of Texas law (...) and public policy regarding informed consent. This surface account is then contrasted with examples drawn from the actual functioning of Texas law: Texas legislation regarding out-of-hospital do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders. As a default approach to medical decision-making when patients lose decisional capacity and have failed to appoint a formal proxy or establish their wishes, this law establishes a defeasible presumption in favor of what the law characterizes as “qualified relatives” who can function as decision-makers for those terminal family members who lose decisional capacity. The study shows how, in the face of a general affirmation of the autonomy of individuals as if they were morally and socially isolated agents, space is nevertheless made for families to choose on behalf of their own members. The result is a multi-tier public morality, one affirming individuals as morally authoritative and the other recognizing the decisional standing of families. (shrink)
Organ procurement policy from the recently deceased recasts families into gatekeepers of a scarce medical resource. To the frustration of organ procurement teams, families do not always authorize organ donation. As a result, efforts to increase the number of organs available for transplantation often seek to limit the authority of families to refuse organ retrieval. For example, in some locales if a deceased family member has satisfied the legal conditions for first-person prior assent, a much looser and easier standard to (...) satisfy than informed consent, organ retrieval may proceed despite the family’s objections. Some countries have replaced voluntary consent to organ donation with forms of organ conscription. Often referred to under the misnomer “presumed consent,” such policies legalize the harvesting of organs at death, unless individuals exercise official options to opt out. As this article explores, however, there are good grounds for affirming the authority of the family to consent to or to deny organ donation on behalf of recently deceased family members, as well as to reject first-person assent and “presumed consent” policies of organ procurement. Insofar as individuals have failed clearly and competently to provide informed consent to organ donation, moral authorization for the use of the person and his body ought to be grounded on the foundational authority of the family, rather than the state’s supposed interests in obtaining organs for transplantation. (shrink)
Debates over health care have focused for so long on economics that the proper goals for medicine seem to be taken for granted; yet problems in health care stem as much from a lack of agreement about the goals and priorities of medicine as from the way systems function. This book asks basic questions about the purposes and ends of medicine and shows that the answers have practical implications for future health care delivery, medical research, and the education of medical (...) students. The Hastings Center coordinated teams of physicians, nurses, public health experts, philosophers, theologians, politicians, health care administrators, social workers, and lawyers in fourteen countries to explore these issues. In this volume, they articulate four basic goals of medicine — prevention of disease, relief of suffering, care of the ill, and avoidance of premature death — and examine them in light of the cultural, political, and economic pressures under which medicine functions. In reporting these findings, the contributors touch on a wide range of diverse issues such as genetic technology, Chinese medicine, care of the elderly, and prevention and public health. The Goals of Medicine clearly demonstrates the importance of clarifying the purposes of medicine before attempting to change the economic and organizational systems. It warns that without such examination, any reform efforts may be fruitless. (shrink)
This paper challenges the foundational claim that the human family is no more than a social construction. It advances the position that the family is a central category of experience, being, and knowledge. Throughout, the analysis argues for the centrality of the family for human flourishing and, consequently, for the importance of sustaining family-oriented practices within social policy, such as more family-oriented approaches to consent to medical treatment. Where individually oriented approaches to medical decision-making accent an ethos of isolated personal (...) autonomy family-oriented approaches acknowledge the central social and moral reality of the family. I argue that the family ought to be appreciated as more than a mere network of personal relations and individual undertakings; the family possesses a being that is social and moral such that it realizes a particular structure of human good and sustains the necessary conditions for core areas of human flourishing. Moreover, since the family exists as a nexus of face-to-face relationships, the consent of persons, including adults, to be members of a particular family, subject to its own respective account of family sovereignty, is significantly more amply demonstrated than the consent of citizens to be under the authority of a particular state. As a result, in the face of a general Western bioethical affirmation of the autonomy of individuals, as if adults and children were morally and socially isolated agents, this paper argues that social space must nevertheless be made for families to choose on behalf of their own members. (shrink)
This study explores the ways in which adolescents, even so-called “mature minors”, lack adequate development of the intellectual, affective, and emotional capacities necessary morally to consent to medical research on their own behalf. The psychological and neurophysiological data regarding brain maturation supports the conclusion that adolescents are qualitatively different types of agents than mature adults. They lack full adult maturity and personal agency. As a result, in addition to the usual requirements for IRB approval, one or both parents, or a (...) legal guardian, should provide informed consent for minor children to participate in medical research. (shrink)
The essays in this issue of The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy explore an innovative voucher program for encouraging kidney donation. Discussions cluster around a number of central moral and political/theoretical themes: What are the direct and indirect health care costs and benefits of such a voucher system in human organs? Do vouchers lead to more effective and efficient organ procurement and allocation or contribute to greater inequalities and inefficiencies in the transplantation system? Do vouchers contribute to the inappropriate commodification (...) of human body parts? Is there a significant moral difference between such a voucher system and a market in human organs for transplantation? This paper argues that while kidney vouchers constitute a step in the right direction, fuller utilization of market-based incentives, including, but not limited to, barter exchanges, would save more lives and further reduce human suffering. (shrink)
An understanding of human nature has been central to the work of some of the greatest philosophical thinkers including Plato, Descartes, Hume, Hobbes, Rousseau, Freud and Marx. Questions such as 'what is human nature?', 'is there such a thing as an exclusively human nature?', 'through what methods might we best discover more about our nature?', and 'to what extent are our actions and beliefs constrained by it?' are of central importance not only to philosophy, but to our general understanding of (...) ourselves as part of the human species. This volume addresses such questions through the inclusion of special commissioned essays by specialists including John Cottingham, Hans-Johann Glock, P. M. S. Hacker, Wolfram Hinzen, Rosalind Hursthouse, Peter Kail, Sarah Patterson and Richard Samuels. (shrink)
Jerry Fodor is one of the most important philosophers of mind in recent decades. He has done much to set the agenda in this field and has had a significant influence on the development of cognitive science. Fodor's project is that of constructing a physicalist vindication of folk psychology and so paving the way for the development of a scientifically respectable intentional psychology. The centrepiece of his engagement in this project is a theory of the cognitive mind, namely, the computational (...) theory of mind, which postulates the existence of a language of thought. Fodor: Language, Mind and Philosophy is a comprehensive study of Fodor's writings. Individual chapters are devoted to each of the major issues raised by his work and contain extensive discussion of his relationships to key developments in cognitive science and to the views of such philosophical luminaries as Dennett, Davidson and Searle. (shrink)
This paper critically explores key aspects of the gulf between traditional Christian bioethics and the secular moral reflections that dominate contemporary bioethics. For example, in contrast to traditional Christian morality, the established secular bioethics judges extramarital sex acts among consenting persons, whether of the same or different sexes, as at least morally permissible, affirms sexual freedom for children to develop their own sexual identity, and holds the easy availability of abortion and infanticide as central to the liberty interests of women. (...) Secular bioethics seeks to separate children from the authority of their parents, placing children themselves as in authority to make their own judgments about appropriate lifestyle choices, including sexual behaviors. As I argue, however, absent God, there exists no standpoint outside of our own cultural sociohistorically conditioned understanding from which to communicate any deeper perspective of reality or the bioethics that such a perspective would secure. Consequently, rather than discerning moral truth, secular bioethics merely affirms its own particular cultural sociohistorically conditioned ideological perspective. It is a social and political worldview bereft of definitive moral foundation, independent moral authority, or unambiguous content. (shrink)
Smith outlines the distinctive features of ecological thought and examines two contentious areas of environmental ethics, the obligations for present generations and the relationship of humans to non-human animals.
The degree of incoherence, when previsions are not made in accordance with a probability measure, is measured by either of two rates at which an incoherent bookie can be made a sure loser. Each bet is considered as an investment from the points of view of both the bookie and a gambler who takes the bet. From each viewpoint, we define an amount invested (or escrowed) for each bet, and the sure loss of incoherent previsions is divided by the escrow (...) to determine the rate of incoherence. Potential applications include the treatment of arbitrage opportunities in financial markets and the degree of incoherence of classical statistical procedures. We illustrate the latter with the example of hypothesis testing at a fixed size. (shrink)
The day-to-day work of clinical ethics consultants and healthcare ethics committees can easily become overly routine. Too much routine, however, comes with a risk that morally important practices will be reduced to mere bureaucratic formalities, while practitioners become desensitized to ethically significant distinctions between cases. Clinical ethics consultation and organizational ethics must be set within the broader social and cultural context of the healthcare environment. This practice requires looking beyond mere legal compliance and the routinely false assumption that there are (...) unambiguous ethical norms that easily govern clinical ethics and hospital policy formation. Together the essays in this issue of HEC Forum challenge readers to rethink taken-for-granted assumptions regarding patient care, physician obligation, clinical ethics consultation, and organizational ethics. (shrink)
Creation of for-profit markets in organs for transplantation ignites in many deep moral repugnance. Proposals to broker organs have been denounced by the US Congress and professional groups alike. Financial incentives are believed to undermine consent, coercing the poor into selling their organs, violating human dignity, and improperly commodifying the human body; such concerns are held to trump the possibility of increasing life-sustaining transplants. While such views summarize the apparent global consensus which marks worldwide prohibition of the sale of human (...) organs, I argue that closer examination reveals significant grounds for concluding that markets would be more successful in preventing exploitation, preserving human dignity, and protecting against improper commodification than governmental bureaucratic procedures for procuring and allocating organs. (shrink)