This book provides a radical alternative to naturalistic theories of content, and offers a new conception of the place of mind in the world. Confronting the scientific conception of the nature of reality that has dominated the Anglo-American philosophical tradition, Morris presents a detailed analysis of content and propositional attitudes based on the idea that truth is a value. He rejects the causal theory of the explanation of behavior and replaces it with an alternative that depends upon a rich conception (...) of the behavior we explain with references to state of mind. His lucid and detailed exposition of this controversial arguments poses an emphatic challenge to the naturalistic orthodoxy in areas as diverse as metaphysics, ethics, and cognitive science. (shrink)
Real Likenesses presents a radical new approach to artistic representation. At its heart is a serious reconsideration of the relationship between medium and content in representational art, which counters current dominant theories that make attention to the former inevitably a distraction from attending to the latter. Through close analysis of paintings, photographs, and novels, Michael Morris proposes a new understanding of the real likenesses we encounter in representational art; what they are, how they are made present to us, and how (...) they are created. The result is an intuitive way of thinking about how these art forms work. (shrink)
In this textbook, Michael Morris offers a critical introduction to the central issues of the philosophy of language. Each chapter focusses on one or two texts which have had a seminal influence on work in the subject, and uses these as a way of approaching both the central topics and the various traditions of dealing with them. Texts include classic writings by Frege, Russell, Kripke, Quine, Davidson, Austin, Grice and Wittgenstein. Theoretical jargon is kept to a minimum and is fully (...) explained whenever it is introduced. The range of topics covered includes sense and reference, definite descriptions, proper names, natural-kind terms, de re and de dicto necessity, propositional attitudes, truth-theoretical approaches to meaning, radical interpretation, indeterminacy of translation, speech acts, intentional theories of meaning, and scepticism about meaning. The book will be invaluable to students and to all readers who are interested in the nature of linguistic meaning. (shrink)
Written by a leading expert, this is the ideal guide to the only book Wittgenstein published during his lifetime, the _Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus_. Michael Morris makes sense of Wittgenstein’s brief but often cryptic text, highlighting its key themes. He introduces and analyzes: Wittgenstein’s life and the background to the _Tractatus_ the ideas and text of the _Tractatus_ the continuing importance of Wittgenstein's work to philosophy today, Wittgenstein is the most important twentieth-century philosopher in the English speaking world. This book will be (...) essential reading for all students of philosophy of language and metaphysics. (shrink)
The aim of this study is to increase our understanding of the ethical climate of entrepreneurial firms as they grow and develop. A developmental framework is introduced to describe the formal and informal ethical structures that emerge in entrepreneurial firms over time. Factors influencing where firms are within the developmental framework are posited, including the entrepreneur's psychological profile, lifecycle stage of the business, and descriptive characteristics of the venture. It is also proposed that the implementation of ethical structures will impact (...) perceptions of the clarity and adequacy of the ethical standards of the firm and the firm's preparedness to deal with ethical challenges as they arise. Results are reported of a cross-sectional survey of small firms at different stages of development. The findings indicate the existence of four distinct clusters of firms based on their formal and informal ethical structures: Superlatives, Core Proponents, Pain and Gain, and Deficients. Evidence is also provided of statistically significant relationships between the proposed antecedent and outcome variables. Implications are drawn from the results, and priorities are established for future research. (shrink)
We present an annotated bibliography of peer reviewed scientific research highlighting the human health, animal welfare, and environmental risks associated with genetic modification. Risks associated with the expression of the transgenic material include concerns over resistance and non-target effects of crops expressing Bt toxins, consequences of herbicide use associated with genetically modified herbicide-tolerant plants, and transfer of gene expression from genetically modified crops through vertical and horizontal gene transfer. These risks are not connected to the technique of genetic modification as (...) such, but would be present for any conventionally produced crops with the same heritable traits. In contrast, other risks are a direct consequence of the method used in gene manipulation. These come about because of the unstable nature of the transgene and vectors used to insert it, and because of unpredictable interactions between the transgene and the host genome. The debate over the release of genetically modified organisms is not merely a scientific one; it encompasses economics, law, ethics, and policy. Any discussion on these levels does, however, need to be informed by sound science. We hope that the scientific references provided here will provide a useful starting point for further debate. (shrink)
This study explores the impact of environmental turbulence on relationships between personal and organizational characteristics, personal values, ethical perceptions, and behavioral intentions. A causal model is tested using data obtained from a national sample of marketing research professionals in South Africa. The findings suggest turbulent conditions lead professionals to report stronger values and ethical norms, but less ethical behavioral intentions. Implications are drawn for organizations confronting growing turbulence in their external environments. A number of suggestions are made for ongoing research.
Although it is a commonplace that the "Protagoras" and the "Republic" present diffent views of akrasia, the nature of the difference is not well understood. I argue that the logic of the famous argument in the "Protagoras" turns just on two crucial assumptions: that desiring is having evaluative beliefs (or that valuing is desiring), and that no one can have contradictory preferences at the same time; hedonism is not essential to the logic of the argument. And the logic of the (...) argument for the division of the soul in the "Republic" requires the rejection of just the second of these assumptions, but not the evaluative conception of desire. I also maintain that Plato was aware, at the time of composition, of these features of the argumentation of his dialogues. Finally, I argue that there is reason to think that, even at the time of the "Protagoras," Plato held the conception of the soul expressed in the "Republic," and not anything like that expressed in the famous argument of the "Protagoras." The Protagoras view, even without hedonism, is a poor expression of the thesis that virtue is knowledge. (shrink)
We propose that culture affects people through their perceptions of what is consensually believed. Whereas past research has examined whether cultural differences in social judgment are mediated by differences in individuals’ personal values and beliefs, we investigate whether they are mediated by differences in individuals’ perceptions of the views of people around them. We propose that individuals who perceive that traditional views are culturally consensual (e.g., Chinese participants who believe that most of their fellows hold collectivistic values) will themselves behave (...) and think in culturally typical ways. Four studies of previously well-established cultural differences found that cultural differences were mediated by participants’ perceived consensus as much as by participants’ personal views. This held true for cultural differences in the bases of compliance (Study 1), attributional foci (Study 2), and counterfactual thinking styles (Study 3). To tease apart the effect of consensus perception from other possibly associated individual differences, Study 4 experimentally manipulated which of two cultures was salient to bicultural participants and found that judgments were guided by their perception of the consensual view of the salient culture. (shrink)
Some philosophers have recently complained that moral theories almost always portray the distresses of ordinary people in moral predicaments as irrational. In the name of having a minimally realistic picture of ethical thought, these philosophers argue that accounts of morality must allow for strong moral dilemmas, choices involving mutually exclusive all-things-considered requirements or jointly exhaustive all-things-considered prohibitions. In this dissertation I clarify and reject several versions of this argument, which I call the argument from experience. ;In chapters one and two (...) I define strong moral dilemmas as essentially involving conflicts of moral reasons, and reject as premature attempts to reduce questions about strong dilemmas to questions about deontic logic. I accept the goal of representing ordinary experience faithfully, and ask whether a theory will necessarily distort that experience if it employs interpretations of 'ought' and 'prohibited' in ways guaranteeing a priori that there are no strong dilemmas. ;The argument from experience claims that people can have a justifiably high degree of confidence that they are in strong moral dilemmas, and in chapter three I question whether people ever have the needed sorts of confidence about the limits of their abilities, the precise location of their wrongdoing, or the futility of continued moral deliberation. ;In chapter four I reject specific arguments based on regret and guilt. The tendency to feel unavoidable agent-regret or guilt allegedly shows that the agent sees the choice as a strong dilemma, and the appropriateness of such distresses allegedly shows that the agent's way of seeing things is rational. I reply that someone can feel agent-regret without endorsing any moral judgment involving 'ought' or 'prohibited', and that guilt is never unavoidably appropriate. ;In chapter five I trace the failure of the argument from experience to the presence in ordinary thought of a notion of blame which is both conceptually guaranteed always to be avoidable and regarded as an infallible indicator of moral requirement and prohibition. I am led to wonder, finally, why this notion of blame should play a privileged role in philosophical pictures of morality. (shrink)
Abstract: In this paper I consider the significant but generally overlooked role that the French Revolution played in the development of German Idealism. Specifically, I argue that Reinhold and Fichte's engagement in revolutionary political debates directly shaped their interpretation of Kant's philosophy, leading them (a) to overlook his reliance upon common sense, (b) to misconstrue his conception of the relationship between philosophical theory and received cognitive practice, (c) to fail to appreciate the fundamentally regressive nature of his transcendental argumentative strategy, (...) and, ultimately, (d) to seek to deduce his philosophy from a single first-principle, one grounded in the immediate awareness of the subject's mental life. (shrink)
In common with much of theEnglish-speaking world, New Zealandersgenerally oppose the use of animalexperimentation where there is no demonstrableand immediate benefit for human, animal, orenvironmental health. Intrusive experiments onsheep internal and external parasites publishedbetween 1996 and 2000 are reviewed, anddiscussed in relation to these publicsensibilities. A total of 16 publishedexperiments on sheep parasites involvedsurgical manipulations or other intrusiveprocedures. Some of these experiments had noshort-term application, or the only applicationwas in increasing animal production. Otherscould have been modified at some extra expenseso (...) that they were less intrusive. Still otherswere duplications of previous work. All thesemanipulations would be unacceptable accordingto the orthodox morality of the general public.Breeding programs, rotation of grazing,``low-tech'' vaccination, and in vitromodels of sheep can provide insights intopreventing parasite infestation withoutintrusive experiments. Such research protocolsshould take priority over existing programs.The results also confirm earlier reports thatanimal ethics committees are not fulfillingtheir mandated objective of acting as watchdogsfor the public. Possible changes in New Zealandanimal welfare legislation and itsinterpretation by Animal Ethics Committees arediscussed. (shrink)
Interested in art, we tend to be interested in works of art. We seem to encounter works of art all the time, and—setting aside certain relatively abstruse problems in ontology—we seem to have little difficulty in recognizing them for what they are. That there are works of art seems obvious and unproblematic. Quite so, I think. But reflection on what has to be the case if there are to be works of art shows that some quite demanding conditions have to (...) be met. Some will find those conditions too demanding: if I am right, that means that they should not admit that there are any works of art, and they will have to give some other account of what might be involved when we think we are dealing with a work of art. For myself, I think the conditions are not too demanding: their interest comes in what they show us about the nature of artistic ‘media’, and about what is involved in being a great artist. (shrink)
Changes in attitudes toward animal welfare, with a greater emphasis on the importance of allowing animals to express normal patterns of behavior has led to an examination of the practice of keeping hens in battery cages. There is widespread scientific consensus that the conditions of confinement and the barren nature of battery cages severely restrict hens’ behavioral repertoire, and are thus detrimental to their welfare. The New Zealand Animal Welfare Act 1999, stipulates that animals must have “the opportunity to display (...) normal patterns of behaviour.” In spite of this provision, the New Zealand government has not acted in phasing out battery cages, arguing instead that there is insufficient evidence that welfare will be improved by a phase-out. There is evidence of strong industry pressure on the government, and the use of tactics common in policy considerations where changes are resisted by powerful interests. It is important that policy processes are better managed so that welfare changes are based on both public preferences and scientific knowledge, and ways of doing this are discussed. (shrink)
Artists often think of themselves as engaged in a project of understanding things. Many of those who look at, listen to, or read works of art think that they emerge from the experience with their understanding enriched. The aim of this paper is to explain what kind of understanding representational art can provide.
Fly strike is a painful conditioncaused by live maggots eating at the flesh of sheep.Remedies for this disorder are traumatic, with sheepundergoing painful mulesing and tail dockingoperations to protect against flystrike. In an attemptto find control solutions and to understand thedisorder, Australasian researchers increase sheepsuffering by conducting experiments that artificiallyinduce fly strike. Some of these experiments have noapplication in prevention and control of fly strike.Many others could be modified or replaced with lesspainful techniques.Anecdotal evidence through communication withorganic farmers suggests that (...) fly strike is largelypreventable if farmers keep sheep healthy and inspectthem regularly. Some organic farmers have largelyeliminated fly strike from their farm. Investigationson fly strike control using non-intrusive techniquesare also progressing in Australasia and the UnitedKingdom. (shrink)
In this chapter, the author offers a selective critical history in which he traces the difference between the tendency which Michael Dummett represents and the philosophers among whom Timothy Williamson is naturally placed to a difference in metaphysics which has much longer roots. He suggests that the ultimate source of the kind of role Dummett gives to thought is Hume's skeptical view of necessity, with its famous consequences for metaphysics. The philosophy of language is the key to the most fundamental (...) philosophy. The author argues that the ordinary language tradition had its origins, at least, in anti‐realism about modality, and continued throughout its history to take an attitude to philosophy in general, and metaphysics in particular, which is hard to justify without that anti‐realism ‐ even if it is characteristic of the philosophers in this tradition that they did not generally attempt to justify it. (shrink)
In Morris I presented in outline a new interpretation of the famous ‘substance argument’ in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. The account I presented there gave a distinctive view of Wittgenstein’s main concerns in the argument, but did not explain in detail how the argument works: how its steps are to be found in the text, and how it concludes. I remain convinced that the interpretation I proposed correctly identifies the main concerns which lie behind the argument. I return to the argument here (...) in order to elaborate in fuller detail the relation between those concerns and the actual course of the text. (shrink)
This paper attempts to raise a question for the everyday view that language is a means of communication, a system of marks or sounds which we use to convey thoughts and describe the world. It first isolates the assumptions behind this everyday view before raising questions about them.
If we ask ourselves whether ultimate moral conflicts exist, and if we take seriously the goal of capturing ordinary emotional experience in our views about morality, we find the evidence mixed. We might have some reason for concluding that some situations are ultimate moral conflicts, but we also have good reasons of the same kind for concluding that these situations are not ultimate moral conflicts. So this kind of argument does not provide secure enough footing for any sort of powerful (...) criticism of moral theories which deny the existence of ultimate moral conflicts. Those who want to argue for the reality of ultimate moral conflicts can still argue from something other than ordinary emotional experience. Any such alternative strategy, though, will involve a retreat from the idea that ordinary emotional experience provides unambiguous support for the existence of ultimate moral conflicts and a secure point from which to criticize moral theories.I conclude, then, that accepting the reality of ultimate moral conflicts does not allow a truer picture of ordinary emotional experience. I am not sure, though, that this should be good news for those who believe in a moral realm without ultimate moral conflicts. What is most striking about ordinary emotional experience is not its tendency to support one or another picture of the moral realm, with or without ultimate moral conflicts, but its failure to endorse any very determinate picture of a moral realm. This suggests a rather shocking gap in our understanding of the concepts of moral obligation, prohibition, and permission, concepts which, after all, are alleged to play a familiar and vital role in our lives. Perhaps this gap can be filled by arguments beginning somewhere other than ordinary emotional experience. (Although skeptics will point to the failure of deontic logicians to find any decisive reason to choose between accounts that do and do not permit ultimate moral conflicts.) Alternatively, though, the ambiguity of ordinary emotional experience on the question of ultimate moral conflict might provide one kind of support for the suspicion, famously entertained by Elizabeth Anscombe, that the word “ought,” used to refer to a specifically moral realm, is a word “containing no intelligible thought: a word retaining the suggestion of force, and apt to have a strong psychological effect, but which no longer signifies a real concept at all - No content could be found in the notion ‘morally ought’; if it were not that - philosophers try to find an alternative (very fishy) content and to retain the psychological force of the term.” G.E.M. Anscombe, “Modem Moral Philosophy,” Philosophy 33 (1958): 8. (shrink)
The cause of poor welfare in broilers is multifactorial, but genotype is a major contributor. Modern broilers have been bred for rapid growth, and this leads to increases in lameness and ascites as the legs and hearts of the heavier birds find it difficult to cope with the extra demands placed on them. Visible lameness indicative of pain is more common in New Zealand than in Europe. The government, however, insists that New Zealand welfare standards are higher than Europe. The (...) government also appears to have a strong antipathy to those demanding better welfare for broilers. Reasons for this antipathy and disparities between government statements and research results are discussed. Government publications reveal that animal welfare is seen as a question of image for market access and that there is little concern with animal welfare as an ethical imperative for its own sake. The Animal Welfare Act in theory makes it an offence to ill treat an animal, but in practice allows exemptions for industrial agriculture. The interests of animals may be better protected by an independent animal welfare advisory service. (shrink)
John McDowell has attempted to defend himself against the charge that the view presented in his influential book Mind and World is idealist. This paper argues that in spite of that defence, there is a clear way in which the view does depend on a form of idealism. McDowell is committed to the thought that the world is ‘conceptually organized’. I consider what this means, and argue that, although it does not formally imply idealism, it is only defensible from a (...) broadly idealist view—one which is in fact in tension with important claims made by McDowell in other works. (shrink)
Some artistic representations—the painting of a hat in a famous picture by Rembrandt is an example—are able to present vividly the character of what they represent precisely by calling attention to their medium of representation. There is a puzzle about this whose structure, I argue, is analogous to that of a familiar Kantian problem for traditional realism. I offer a precise characterization of the puzzle, before arguing that an analogue for the case of representation to the Kantian solution to the (...) problem for traditional realism is implausible. I offer an alternative solution to the puzzle about representation which also explains why we should be interested in artistic representation in the first place. I close with the outline of a possible realist response to the traditional Kantian problem. (shrink)
Ideology critique generally seeks to undermine selected theories and beliefs by demonstrating their partisan origins and their insidious social functions. This approach rightly reveals the socially implicated nature of much purported knowledge, but also brackets or bypasses its cognitive properties. In contrast, Michael Morris argues that it is possible to integrate the social and epistemic dimensions of belief in a way that preserves the cognitive and adjudicatory capacities of reason, while acknowledging that reason itself is inevitably social, historical, and interested. (...) Drawing upon insights from Hegel, Lukács, Mannheim, and Habermas, he interprets and reconstructs Marx's critique of ideology as a positive theory of knowledge, one that reconciles the inherently interested and inextricably situated nature of thought with more traditional conceptions of rational adjudication, normativity, and truth. His wide-ranging examination of the social and epistemic dimensions of ideology will interest readers in political philosophy and political theory. (shrink)
Conservation policy in New Zealand is centred around an objective to totally eradicate three invasive species; the ship rat, the brushtail possum and the stoat, by 2050. The preferred control method to achieve this is large scale poisoning operations with 1080 and similar toxins. This project is backed up by governmental and non-governmental agencies and surrounded with discourse of ‘war’ and ‘invasion’. The ‘Big Three’ predators are endowed with sinister motives as a means of mobilising support. This self-described ‘war’ is (...) evaluated in terms of ‘just war’ theory and found wanting. In particular there are issues with the recruitment of children for killing, humiliation of combatants, questionable economic motives for the ‘war’, deception by government agencies, lack of consultation, a lack of consideration of alternatives, the use of excessive suffering, and unrealistic expectations. An alternative paradigm of ‘compassionate conservation’ is proposed for New Zealand. Instead of trying to get back to a stable pre-colonial state of nature, I propose a holistic approach that respects both ecosystems and their members and takes into account new understandings of ecosystems as dynamic processes. (shrink)
In his response to my Why There Are No Mental Representations, Robert Cummins accused me of having misinterpreted his views, and attempted to undermine a crucial premise of my argument, which claimed that one could only define a semantic type non-semantically by stipulating which tokens should receive a uniform interpretation. I respond to the charge and defend the premise.