Aristotle considered moral beauty to be the telos of the human virtues. Displays of moral beauty have been shown to elicit the moral emotion of elevation and cause a desire to become a better person and to engage in prosocial behavior. Study 1 (N = 5380) shows engagement with moral beauty is related to several psychological constructs relevant to moral education, and structural models reveal that the story of engagement with moral beauty may be considered a story of love and (...) connectedness; it is uniquely predictive of caring for, being empathic of, loving, and valuing benevolence toward others. Study 2 (N = 542) demonstrates that the personality trait of engaging with moral beauty moderates susceptibility to elevation. These studies suggest that encouraging students to engage with moral beauty might increase their desire to become better persons and to do good. Convergent with other research showing that moral emotions motivate moral behavior, we suggest that moral education programs increase their focus on developing engagement with moral beauty. (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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
A moral code consists of principles that assign moral status to individual actions – principles that evaluate acts as right or wrong, prohibited or obligatory, permissible or supererogatory. Many theorists have held that such principles must serve two distinct functions. On the one hand, they serve a theoretical function, insofar as they specify the characteristics in virtue of which acts possess their moral status. On the other hand, they serve a practical function, insofar as they provide an action-guide: a standard (...) by reference to which a person can choose which acts to perform and which not. Although the theoretical and practical functions of moral principles are closely linked, it is not at all obvious that what enables a principle to fill one of these roles automatically equips it to fill the other. In this paper I shall briefly examine some of the reasons why a moral principle might fail to fill its practical role, i.e., be incapable of guiding decisions. I shall then sketch three common responses to this kind of failure, and examine in some detail the adequacy of one of the most popular of these responses. (shrink)
John L. Austin believed that in the illocution he had discovered a fundamental element of our speech, the understanding of which would disclose the significance of all kinds of linguistic action: not only proposing marriage and finding guilt, but also stating, reporting, conjecturing, and all the rest of the things men can do linguistically. 2 We claim that the illocution, the full-fledged speech-act, is central to religious utterances as well, and that it provides a perspicuity in understanding them not elsewhere (...) provided in the work of recent philosophy of religion. In particular we hold that understanding religious talk through the illocution shows the way in which the representative and affective elements are connected to one another and to the utterance as a whole. There may, further, be features in such an analysis which can be extended to other forms of discourse than religious. (shrink)
What makes a leader ethical? This paper critically examines the answer given by developmental theory, which argues that individuals can develop through cumulative stages of ethical orientation and behavior (e.g. Hobbesian, Kantian, Rawlsian), such that leaders at later developmental stages (of whom there are empirically very few today) are more ethical. By contrast to a simple progressive model of ethical development, this paper shows that each developmental stage has both positive (light) and negative (shadow) aspects, which affect the ethical behaviors (...) of leaders at that stage. It also explores an unexpected result: later stage leaders can have more significantly negative effects than earlier stage leadership. (shrink)
What makes a leader ethical? This paper critically examines the answer given by developmental theory, which argues that individuals can develop through cumulative stages of ethical orientation and behavior , such that leaders at later developmental stages are more ethical. By contrast to a simple progressive model of ethical development, this paper shows that each developmental stage has both positive and negative aspects, which affect the ethical behaviors of leaders at that stage. It also explores an unexpected result: later stage (...) leaders can have more significantly negative effects than earlier stage leadership. (shrink)
Independently of whether an object of experience becomes a candidate for being a part of the self or a part of the external world, it is always given to us as just an object of experience. The observer-observed relation can be seen as a type of relation with many instances, both between the self and different objects of experience and between any given object of experience and different selves. The self is situated in a spatial grid, where the latter can (...) be characterised as an array of relations, of which the relata include both observers and observed. The world, understood as independent existence, including the self, is empty. However, Paolo Bozzi’s method for identifying the self and delimiting its independent existence from the external world has taught us just the opposite lesson. Bozzi’s project is to teach us how to use them, and to recognise that they allow a self to be situated in a world of objects. (shrink)
The theories or programs of research described in the chapters of this book move beyond the traditional evaluation model of prejudice, drawing on a broad range of theoretical ancestry to develop models of why, when, and how differentiated reactions to groups arise, and what their consequences might be. The chapters have in common a re-focusing of interest on emotion as a theoretical base for understanding differentiated reactions to, and differentiated behaviors toward, social groups. The contributions also share a focus on (...) specific interactional and structural relations among groups as a source of these differentiated emotional reactions. The chapters in the volume thus reflect a theoretical shift from an earlier emphasis on knowledge about ingroups and outgroups to a new perspective on prejudice in which socially-grounded emotional differentiation becomes a basis for social regulation. (shrink)
Information may be defined as the conceptual or communicable part of the content of mental acts. The content of mental acts includes sensory data as well as concepts, particular as well as general information. An information system is an external (non-mental) system designed to store such content. Information systems afford indirect transmission of content between people, some of whom may put information into the system and others who are among those who use the system. In order for communication to happen, (...) the conceptual systems of the originators and users of the information must be sufficiently similar. A formal conceptual framework that can provide the basis for exchange of information is termed an ontology. In its most fundamental form, ontology studies the most basic constituents of reality. Traditionally, ontology seeks to reflects structures that are independent of thought and cognition. The term ontology is used more broadly in artificial intelligence and software engineering, to refer to the conceptual basis for an information system. (shrink)
Wesley Hohfeld is known the world over as the legal theorist who famously developed a taxonomy of legal concepts. His contributions to legal thinking have stood the test of time, remaining relevant nearly a century after they were first published. Yet, little systematic attention has been devoted to exploring the full significance of his work. Beginning with a lucid, annotated version of Hohfeld's most important article, this volume is the first to offer a comprehensive look at the scope, significance, reach, (...) intricacies, and shortcomings of Hohfeld's work. Featuring insights from leading legal thinkers, the book also contains many of Hohfeld's previously unseen personal papers, shedding new light on the complex motivations behind Hohfeld's projects. Together, these selected papers and original essays reveal a portrait of a multifaceted and ambitious intellectual who did not live long enough to see the impact of his ideas on the study of law. (shrink)
Twenty-five papers presented at University of Nairobi in 2000 cover themes of: African Philosophy, Approaches and Methodologies; Problems of Missionary and Colonialist Thinking; Gender and Culture in Africa; Sage Philosophy; and Philosophy, Ethics, and Politics.
Platonists beginning in the Old Academy itself and up to and including Plotinus struggled to understand and articulate the relation between Plato’s Demiurge and the Living Animal which served as the model for creation. The central question is whether “contents” of the Living Animal, the Forms, are internal to the mind of the Demiurge or external and independent. For Plotinus, the solution depends heavily on how the Intellect that is the Demiurge and the Forms or intelligibles are to be understood (...) in relation to the first principle of all, the One or the Good. The treatise V.5  sets out the case for the internality of Forms and argues for the necessary existence of an absolutely simple and transcendent first principle of all, the One or the Good. Not only Intellect and the Forms, but everything else depends on this principle for their being. (shrink)
The feuding factions of the memory wars, that is, those concerned with the validity of recovered memories versus those concerned with false memories, are unified by Erdelyi's theory of repression. Evidence shows suppression, inhibition, and retrieval blocking can have profound yet reversible effects on a memory's accessibility, and deserve as prominent a role in the recovered memory debate as evidence of false memories. Erdelyi's theory shows that both inhibitory and elaborative processes cooperate to keep unwanted memories out of consciousness.
Médecins Sans Frontières is not morally required to continue providing the same therapeutic and preventative interventions for lead poisoning in Nigeria in the face of conditions that negatively impact on the achievement of their objectives. Nevertheless, Médecins Sans Frontières may have reasons to revise their objectives and adopt different interventions or methods.