We suggest that consciousness (C) should be addressed as a multilevel concept. We can provisionally identify at least three, rather than two, levels: Gray's system should relate at least to the lowest of these three levels. Although it is unlikely to be possible to develop a behavioural test for C, it is possible to speculate as to the evolutionary advantages offered by C and how C evolved through succeeding levels. Disturbances in the relationships between the levels of C could underlie (...) mental illness, especially schizophrenia. (shrink)
Intent and mitigating circumstances play a central role in moral and legal assessments in large-scale industrialized societies. Al- though these features of moral assessment are widely assumed to be universal, to date, they have only been studied in a narrow range of societies. We show that there is substantial cross-cultural variation among eight traditional small-scale societies (ranging from hunter-gatherer to pastoralist to horticulturalist) and two Western societies (one urban, one rural) in the extent to which intent and mitigating circumstances influence (...) moral judgments. Although participants in all societies took such factors into account to some degree, they did so to very different extents, varying in both the types of considerations taken into account and the types of violations to which such considerations were applied. The particular patterns of assessment characteristic of large-scale industrialized societies may thus reflect relatively recently culturally evolved norms rather than inherent features of human moral judgment. (shrink)
Are there natural kinds of things around which our theories cut? The essays in this volume offer reflections by a distinguished group of philosophers on a series of intertwined issues in the metaphysics and epistemology of classification.
Decades of research conducted in Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, & Democratic (WEIRD) societies have led many scholars to conclude that the use of mental states in moral judgment is a human cognitive universal, perhaps an adaptive strategy for selecting optimal social partners from a large pool of candidates. However, recent work from a more diverse array of societies suggests there may be important variation in how much people rely on mental states, with people in some societies judging accidental harms just (...) as harshly as intentional ones. To explain this variation, we develop and test a novel cultural evolutionary theory proposing that the intensity of kin-based institutions will favor less attention to mental states when judging moral violations. First, to better illuminate the historical distribution of the use of intentions in moral judgment, we code and analyze anthropological observations from the Human Area Relations Files. This analysis shows that notions of strict liability—wherein the role for mental states is reduced—were common across diverse societies around the globe. Then, by expanding an existing vignette-based experimental dataset containing observations from 321 people in a diverse sample of 10 societies, we show that the intensity of a society's kin-based institutions can explain a substantial portion of the population-level variation in people's reliance on intentions in three different kinds of moral judgments. Together, these lines of evidence suggest that people's use of mental states has coevolved culturally to fit their local kin-based institutions. We suggest that although reliance on mental states has likely been a feature of moral judgment in human communities over historical and evolutionary time, the relational fluidity and weak kin ties of today's WEIRD societies position these populations' psychology at the extreme end of the global and historical spectrum. (shrink)
Many poor and oppressed people wish to leave their countries of origin in the third world to come to affluent Western societies. This essay argues that there is little justification for keeping them out. The essay draws on three contemporary approaches to political theory - the Rawlsian,the Nozickean, and the utilitarian - to construct arguments for open borders. The fact that all three theories converge upon the same results on this issue, despite their significant disagreements on others, strengthens the case (...) for open borders and reveals its roots in our deep commitment to respect all human beings as free and equal moral persons. The final part of the essay considers communitarian objections to this conclusion, especially those of Michael Walzer. (shrink)
Late in 1990, the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions at Illinois Institute of Technology (lIT) received a grant of more than $200,000 from the National Science Foundation to try a campus-wide approach to integrating professional ethics into its technical curriculum.! Enough has now been accomplished to draw some tentative conclusions. I am the grant's principal investigator. In this paper, I shall describe what we at lIT did, what we learned, and what others, especially philosophers, can learn (...) from us. We set out to develop an approach that others could profitably adopt. I believe that we succeeded. (shrink)
Transplantation continues to push the frontiers of medicine into domains that summon forth troublesome ethical questions. Looming on the frontier today is human facial transplantation. We develop criteria that, we maintain, must be satisfied in order to ethically undertake this as-yet-untried transplant procedure. We draw on the criteria advanced by Dr. Francis Moore in the late 1980s for introducing innovative procedures in transplant surgery. In addition to these we also insist that human face transplantation must meet all the ethical requirements (...) usually applied to health care research. We summarize the achievements of transplant surgery to date, focusing in particular on the safety and efficacy of immunosuppressive medications. We also emphasize the importance of risk/benefit assessments that take into account the physical, aesthetic, psychological, and social dimensions of facial disfiguration, reconstruction, and transplantation. Finally, we maintain that the time has come to move facial transplantation research into the clinical phase. (shrink)
The concepts of time and identity seem at once unproblematic and frustratingly difficult. Time is an intricate part of our experience -- it would seem that the passage of time is a prerequisite for having any experience at all -- and yet recalcitrant questions about time remain. Is time real? Does time flow? Do past and future moments exist? Philosophers face similarly stubborn questions about identity, particularly about the persistence of identical entities through change. Indeed, questions about the metaphysics of (...) persistence take on many of the complexities inherent in philosophical considerations of time. This volume of original essays brings together these two essentially related concepts in a way not reflected in the available literature, making it required reading for philosophers working in metaphysics and students interested in these topics. The contributors, distinguished authors and rising scholars, first consider the nature of time and then turn to the relation of identity, focusing on the metaphysical connections between the two, with a special emphasis on personal identity. The volume concludes with essays on the metaphysics of death, issues in which time and identity play a significant role. This groundbreaking collection offers both cutting-edge epistemological analysis and historical perspectives on contemporary topics. Contributors:_ _Harriet Baber, Lynne Rudder Baker, Ben Bradley, John W. Carroll, Reinaldo Elugardo, Geoffrey Gorham, Mark Hinchliff, Jenann Ismael, Barbara Levenbook, Andrew Light, Lawrence B. Lombard, Ned Markosian, Harold Noonan, John Perry, Harry S. Silverstein, Matthew H. Slater, Robert J. Stainton, Neil A. Tognazzini The hardcover edition does not include a dust jacket. (shrink)
This is the first book to offer the best essays, articles, and speeches on ethics and intelligence that demonstrate the complex moral dilemmas in intelligence collection, analysis, and operations. Some are recently declassified and never before published, and all are written by authors whose backgrounds are as varied as their insights, including Robert M. Gates, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; John P. Langan, the Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Professor of Catholic Social Thought at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, (...) Georgetown University; and Loch K. Johnson, Regents Professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia and recipient of the Owens Award for contributions to the understanding of U.S. intelligence activities. Creating the foundation for the study of ethics and intelligence by filling in the gap between warfare and philosophy, this is a valuable collection of literature for building an ethical code that is not dependent on any specific agency, department, or country. (shrink)
Neurosurgery for psychiatric disorders, also sometimes referred to as psychosurgery, is rapidly evolving, with new techniques and indications being investigated actively. Many within the field have suggested that some form of guidelines or regulations are needed to help ensure that a promising field develops safely. Multiple countries have enacted specific laws regulating NPD. This article reviews NPD-specific laws drawn from North and South America, Asia and Europe, in order to identify the typical form and contents of these laws and to (...) set the groundwork for the design of an optimal regulation for the field. Key challenges for this design that are revealed by the review are how to define the scope of the law, what types of regulations are required, and how to approach international harmonization given the potential migration of researchers and patients. (shrink)
Muchas personas pobres y oprimidas dejan sus paísesen el tercer mundo para veniralas ricas sociedades occidentales. Este artículo sostiene que hay pocas justificaciones para mantenerlos fuera. Su inspiración abreva de tres aproximaciones contemporáneas a la teoría política-la de Rawls, la de Nozick y el utilitarismo para construir argumentos a favor de la apertura de fronteras. El hecho de que, a pesar de sus significativos desacuerdos en otros temas, en esta materia las tres teorías converjan en las mismas conclusiones, fortalece el (...) argumento a favor de la apertura de fronteras y revela su fundamentación en nuestro compromiso en respetar a todos los seres humanos como personas morales libres e iguales. La parte final del ensayo considera los argumentos comunitaristas que objetan la anterior conclusión, en especial los formulados por Michael Walzer. (shrink)
This is a collection of essays on themes of legal philosophy which have all been generated or affected by Hart's work. The topics covered include legal theory, responsibility, and enforcement of morals, with contributions from Ronald Dworkin, Rolf Sartorius, Neil MacCormach, David Lyons, Kent Greenawalt, Michael Moore, Joseph Raz, and C.L. Ten, among others.
Anatomy of an Argument Michael H. Mitias. FOUR LOVE AS THE BASIS OF THE FAMILY Let us grant, for the sake of argument, my critic would object, that Hegel has made a distinction between a universal or natural law and a human law, ...
This book presents a sympathetic yet critical treatment of the major philosophical attempts to define a viable project for philosophy in the face of historical changes. McCarthy, then, proposes a comprehensive, critical, and methodological strategy of epistemic integration that fully respects the progressive and pluralistic character of contemporary science and common sense. The programs of Frege, Husserl, Wittgenstein, Carnap, Sellers, Dewey, Quine, and Rorty are carefully presented and an assessment is made of their merits and limitations. This assessment results in (...) a defense of Lonergan’s integrative strategy — a nuanced philosophical strategy around which a gathering center could be built. McCarthy presents Lonergan’s work as containing the firm outline and partial execution of a philosophical project continuous with philosophy’s historic purposes and equal to the exigences of the present. The book examines a broad range of seminal topics and, after extended dialectical treatment of them, develops a coherent account of their interdependence. These topics include psychologism, intentionality, the limits of naturalism, semantical and epistemic realism, historical belonging, epistemic invariance, foundational analysis, the limitation of logic and of the linguistic turn, generalized empirical method, the interdependence of mind and language, the interplay of nature and history, and the critical appropriation of tradition. (shrink)
This critical study of Arendt explores the sources and dangers of political alienation in the West from the citizen republics of classical antiquity to the consumer societies of modern liberal democracies. It is a sympathetic appraisal of the high promise and great perils of the political life.