The psychological and neurobiological processes underlying moral judgement have been the focus of many recent empirical studies1–11. Of central interest is whether emotions play a causal role in moral judgement, and, in parallel, how emotion-related areas of the brain contribute to moral judgement. Here we show that six patients with focal bilateral damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPC), a brain region necessary for the normal generation of emotions and, in particular, social emotions12–14, produce an abnor- mally ‘utilitarian’ pattern of (...) judgements on moral dilemmas that pit compelling considerations of aggregate welfare against highly emotionally aversive behaviours (for example, having to sacrifice one person’s life to save a number of other lives)7,8. In contrast, the VMPC patients’ judgements were normal in other classes of moral dilemmas. These findings indicate that, for a selective set of moral dilemmas, the VMPC is critical for normal judgements of right and wrong. The findings support a necessary role for emotion in the generation of those judgements. (shrink)
Moral rationalism is the view that morality originates in reason alone. It is often contrasted with moral sentimentalism, which is the view that the origin of morality lies at least partly in (non-rational) sentiment. The eighteenth century saw pitched philosophical battles between rationalists and sentimentalists, and the issue continues to fuel disputes among moral philosophers today.
Discussion is widely held to be the pedagogical approach most appropriate to the exploration of controversial issues in the classroom, but surprisingly little attention has been given to the questions of why it is the preferred approach and how best to facilitate it. Here we address ourselves to both questions. We begin by clarifying the concept of discussion and justifying it as an approach to the teaching of controversial issues. We then report on a recent empirical study of the Perspectives (...) on Science AS-level course, focusing on what it revealed about aids and impediments to discussion of controversial ethical issues. (shrink)
Moral rationalism is the view that morality originates in reason alone. It is often contrasted with moral sentimentalism, which is the view that the origin of morality lies at least partly in sentiment. The eighteenth century saw pitched philosophical battles between rationalists and sentimentalists, and the issue continues to fuel disputes among moral philosophers today.
Strangers to Nature brings together many of the leading scholars who are working to redefine and expand the discourse on animal ethics. This volume will engage both scholars and lay-people by revealing the breadth of theorizing about the human/non-human animal relationship that is currently taking place.
Die dritte Abteilung der Kritischen Gesamtausgabe bietet in vierzehn Bänden sämtliche erhaltenen Predigten Friedrich Schleiermachers. Band 10 enthält Texte zu 109 Predigtterminen aus den Jahren 1826 und 1827, darunter Nachschriften, die den bislang unveröffentlichten Abschluss der großen Homilienreihe zum Johannesevangelium dokumentieren.
Recovering Reason: Essays in Honor of Thomas L. Pangle is a collection of essays composed by students and friends of Thomas L. Pangle to honor his seminal work and outstanding guidance in the study of political philosophy. These essays examine both Socrates' and modern political philosophers' attempts to answer the question of the right life for human beings, as those attempts are introduced and elaborated in the work of thinkers from Homer and Thucydides to Nietzsche and Charles Taylor.
Psychologists' emerging interest in spirituality and religion as well as the relevance of each phenomenon to issues of psychological importance requires an understanding of the fundamental characteristics of each construct. On the basis of both historical considerations and a limited but growing empirical literature, we caution against viewing spirituality and religiousness as incompatible and suggest that the common tendency to polarize the terms simply as individual vs. institutional or ′good′ vs. ′bad′ is not fruitful for future research. Also cautioning against (...) the use of restrictive, narrow definitions or overly broad definitions that can rob either construct of its distinctive characteristics, we propose a set of criteria that recognizes the constructs' conceptual similarities and dissimilarities. Rather than trying to force new and likely unsuccessful definitions, we offer these criteria as benchmarks for judging the value of existing definitions. (shrink)
Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief contains fourteen original essays by philosophers, theologians, and social scientists on challenges to moral and religious belief from disagreement and evolution. Three main questions are addressed: Can one reasonably maintain one's moral and religious beliefs in the face of interpersonal disagreement with intellectual peers? Does disagreement about morality between a religious belief source, such as a sacred text, and a non-religious belief source, such as a society's moral intuitions, make it irrational to continue trusting (...) one or both of those belief sources? Should evolutionary accounts of the origins of our moral beliefs and our religious beliefs undermine our confidence in their veracity? This volume places challenges to moral belief side-by-side with challenges to religious belief, sets evolution-based challenges alongside disagreement-based challenges, and includes philosophical perspectives together with theological and social science perspectives, with the aim of cultivating insights and lines of inquiry that are easily missed within a single discipline or when these topics are treated in isolation. The result is a collection of essays--representing both skeptical and non-skeptical positions about morality and religion--that move these discussions forward in new and illuminating directions. -/- Contributors: Robert Audi, University of Notre Dame; Michael Bergmann, Purdue University; Sarah Brosnan, Georgia State University; William FitzPatrick, University of Rochester; John Hare, Yale University; Timothy P. Jackson, Emory University; Patrick Kain, Purdue University; Jordan Kiper, University of Connecticut; Dustin Locke, Claremont McKenna College; Charles Mathewes, University of Virginia; Mark C. Murphy, Georgetown University; John Pittard, Yale Divinity School; Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Duke University; Richard Sosis, University of Connecticut; Sharon Street, New York University; Joshua Thurow, University of Texas at San Antonio; Ralph Wedgwood, University of Southern California. (shrink)
This book is a collection of secondary essays on America's most important philosophic thinkers—statesmen, judges, writers, educators, and activists—from the colonial period to the present. Each essay is a comprehensive introduction to the thought of a noted American on the fundamental meaning of the American regime.
Responding to volatile criticisms frequently leveled at Leo Strauss and those he influenced, the prominent contributors to this volume demonstrate the profound influence that Strauss and his students have exerted on American liberal democracy and contemporary political thought. By stressing the enduring vitality of classic books and by articulating the theoretical and practical flaws of relativism and historicism, the contributors argue that Strauss and the Straussians have identified fundamental crises of modernity and liberal democracy.
This book is about the nature of sensory perception. Contributions focus on five questions, i.e.: (1) What distinguishes sensory perception from other cognitive states? Is it true, for instance, that perceptual content, in contrast to the phenomenal content of sensations like pain, always depends on the perceivers conceptual resources? (2) How do we have to explain the intentionality of perceptual states? (3) What is the nature of perceptual content? (4) In which sense do the objects of sensory perception depend on (...) the constitution of the perceiver? How, for instance, do secondary qualities like colours, sounds and smells depend on the perception of human subjects? (5) How can we account for the intentionality of misperceptions? These questions are addressed through the interpretation of classical historical texts as well as in the context of systematical reflections. With contributions by Margaret Atherton, Michael Ayers, Peter Baumann, Martha Brandt Bolton, Thomas Grundmann, Gary Hatfield, Rolf-Peter Horstmann, Andreas Kemmerling, Bertram Kienzle, Martine Nida-Rümelin, Dominik Perler, Jay F. Rosenberg, Katia Saporiti, Ralph Schumacher, Gerald Vision, and Russell Wahl. (shrink)
According to a widely held view of the matter, whenever we assess beliefs as ‘rational’ or ‘justified’, we are making normative judgements about those beliefs. In this discussion, I shall simply assume, for the sake of argument, that this view is correct. My goal here is to explore a particular approach to understanding the basic principles that explain which of these normative judgements are true. Specifically, this approach is based on the assumption that all such normative principles are grounded in (...) facts about values, and the normative principles that apply to beliefs in particular are grounded in facts about alethic value––a kind of value that is exemplified by believing what is true and not believing what is false. In this chapter, I shall explain what I regard as the best way of interpreting this approach. In doing so, I shall also show how this interpretation can solve some problems that have recently been raised for approaches of this kind by Selim Berker, Jennifer Carr, Michael Caie, and Hilary Greaves. (shrink)
We describe a novel affect-inspired mechanism to improve the performance of computational systems operating in dynamic environments. In particular, we designed a mechanism that is based on aspects of the fear response in humans to dynamically reallocate operating system-level central processing unit (CPU) resources to processes as they are needed to deal with time-critical events. We evaluated this system in the MINIX® and Linux® operating systems and in three different testing environments (two simulated, one live). We found the affect-based system (...) was not only able to react more rapidly to time-critical events as intended, but since the dynamic processes for handling these events did not need to use significant CPU when they were not in time-critical situations, our simulated unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was able to perform even non-emergency tasks at a higher level of efficiency and reactivity than was possible in the standard implementation. (shrink)
Many moral philosophers in the Western tradition have used phenomenological claims as starting points for philosophical inquiry; aspects of moral phenomenology have often been taken to be anchors to which any adequate account of morality must remain attached. This paper raises doubts about whether moral phenomena are universal and robust enough to serve the purposes to which moral philosophers have traditionally tried to put them. Persons’ experiences of morality may vary in a way that greatly limits the extent to which (...) moral phenomenology can constitute a reason to favor one moral theory over another. Phenomenology may not be able to serve as a pre-theoretic starting point or anchor in the consideration of rival moral theories because moral phenomenology may itself be theory-laden. These doubts are illustrated through an examination of how moral phenomenology is used in the thought of Ralph Cudworth, Samuel Clarke, Joseph Butler, Francis Hutcheson, and Søren Kierkegaard. (shrink)
Die fünf Bände enthalten die überarbeiteten Fassungen aller Haupt- und Sektionsvorträge des IX. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses, der im März 2000 an der Berliner Humboldt-Universität stattfand. Die Beiträge gliedern sich in die folgenden Sektionen: Der vorkritische Kant, Kants Theoretische Philosophie, Kants Praktische Philosophie, Kants Ästhetik, Kants Religionsphilosophie, Kants Geschichtsphilosophie, Kants Rechts-, Staats- und Politische Philosophie, Kants Anthropologie, Kants Naturphilosophie und das Opus postumum, Kants Logik, Kant und die Aufklärung, Kant, Deutscher Idealismus und Neukantianismus, Kant und die Folgen. Zu den Autoren zählen u.a. (...) Manfred Baum, Mario Caimi, Konrad Cramer, Jean Ferrari, Eckhardt Förster, Michael Friedman, Simone Goyard-Fabre, Paul Guyer, Gary Hatfield, Agnes Heller, Dieter Henrich, Otfried Höffe, Wolfgang Kersting, Béatrice Longuenesse, Onora O'Neill, Robert Pippin, Gerold Prauss und Michael Wolff. (shrink)
One of the most significant disputes in early modern philosophy was between the moral rationalists and the moral sentimentalists. The moral rationalists — such as Ralph Cudworth, Samuel Clarke and John Balguy — held that morality originated in reason alone. The moral sentimentalists — such as Anthony Ashley Cooper, the third Earl of Shaftesbury, Francis Hutcheson and David Hume — held that morality originated at least partly in sentiment. In addition to arguments, the rationalists and sentimentalists developed rich analogies. (...) The most significant analogy the rationalists developed was between morality and mathematics. The most significant analogy the sentimentalists developed was between morality and beauty. These two analogies illustrate well the main ideas, underlying insights, and accounts of moral phenomenology the two positions have to offer. An examination of the two analogies will thus serve as a useful introduction to the debate between moral rationalism and moral sentimentalism as a whole. (shrink)
The paper presents a historical overview of some characteristic differences between rhetoric and dialectic in the pre-modern tradition. In the light of this historical analysis, some current approaches to dialectic are characterized, with special attention to Ralph Johnson's concept of dialectical tier.
Accessibilism is a version of epistemic internalism on which justification is determined by what is accessible to the subject. I argue that misunderstandings of accessibilism have hinged on a failure to appreciate an ambiguity in the phrase ‘what is accessible to the subject’. I first show that this phrase may either refer to the very things accessible to the subject, or instead to the facts about which things are accessible to her. I then discuss Ralph Wedgwood’s (2002: 350-352) argument (...) that accessibilism absurdly implies that an infinite regress of facts, each more complex than the last, must be accessible to the subject. I show that this regress objection only threatens the ‘very things’ disambiguation of accessibilism, not the ‘facts about’ disambiguation. After this, I discuss the relationships between the motivations for accessibilism and these two disambiguations. We will see that these motivations appear to support each disambiguation. But I will argue this appearance depends on a mistake. Just as only the ‘facts about’ disambiguation escapes the regress objection, it is also the only disambiguation which enjoys genuine support from the motivations for accessibilism. For these reasons, I recommend that future discussions of accessibilism focus on the ‘facts about’ disambiguation. (shrink)
The Cambridge Platonists were a group of religious thinkers who attended and taught at Cambridge from the 1640s until the 1660s. The four most important of them were Benjamin Whichcote, John Smith, Ralph Cudworth, and Henry More. The most prominent sentimentalist moral philosophers of the Scottish Enlightenment – Hutcheson, Hume, and Adam Smith – knew of the works of the Cambridge Platonists. But the Scottish sentimentalists typically referred to the Cambridge Platonists only briefly and in passing. The surface of (...) Hutcheson, Hume, and Smith's texts can give the impression that the Cambridge Platonists were fairly distant intellectual relatives of the Scottish sentimentalists – great great-uncles, perhaps, and uncles of a decidedly foreign ilk. But this surface appearance is deceiving. There were deeply significant philosophical connections between the Cambridge Platonists and the Scottish sentimentalists, even if the Scottish sentimentalists themselves did not always make it perfectly explicit. (shrink)
The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant: Vol. I, Theoretical Philosophy, 1755?1770. Ed. and tr. by D. Walford in collaboration with R. Meerbote, Cambridge University Press, 1992. lxxxi + 543 pp. £50.00 The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant: Vol. DC, Lectures on Logic. Ed. and tr. by J. Michael Young, Cambridge University Press, 1992. xxxii + 695 pp. £50.00 The Genesis of Kant's Critique of Judgment by John H. Zammito, University of Chicago Press, 1992.490 (...) pp. £51.95 hb; £15.25 pb. (shrink)
∗Thanks to J. C. Beall, Alex Byrne, Jason Decker, Tyler Doggett, Paul Elbourne, Adam Elga, Warren Goldfarb, Delia Graﬀ, Richard Heck, Charles Parsons, Mark Richard, Susanna Siegel, Jason Stanley, Judith Thomson, Carol Voeller, Brian Weatherson, Ralph Wedgwood, Steve Yablo, Cheryl Zoll, and an anonymous referee for valuable comments and discussions. Versions of this material were presented in my seminar at MIT in the Fall of 2000, and at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Parts of this paper also derive (...) from my comments on a paper of Scott Soames at the ‘Liars and Heaps’ conference at the University of Connecticut in the Fall of 2002. I am grateful for the help of these audiences, and especially to Prof. Soames. (shrink)
The Great New Wilderness Debate is an expansive, wide-ranging collection that addresses the pivotal environmental issues of the modern era. This eclectic volume on the varied constructions of “wilderness” reveals the recent controversies that surround those conceptions, and the gulf between those who argue for wilderness "preservation" and those who argue for "wise use." J. Baird Callicott and Michael P. Nelson have selected thirty-nine essays that provide historical context, range broadly across the issues, and set forth the positions of (...) the debate. Beginning with such well-known authors as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and Aldo Leopold, the collection moves forward to the contemporary debate and presents seminal works by a number of the most distinguished scholars in environmental history and environmental philosophy. The Great New Wilderness Debate also includes essays by conservation biologists, cultural geographers, environmental activists, and contemporary writers on the environment. (shrink)