Discussions of political obligation and political authority have long focused on the idea that the commands of genuine authorities constitute content-independent reasons. Despite its centrality in these debates, the notion of content-independence is unclear and controversial, with some claiming that it is incoherent, useless, or increasingly irrelevant. I clarify content-independence by focusing on how reasons can depend on features of their source or container. I then solve the long-standing puzzle of whether the fact that laws can constitute content-independent reasons is (...) consistent with the fact that some laws must fail to bind due to their egregiously unjust content. Finally I defend my understanding of content-independence against challenges and show why it retains a place of special importance for questions about the law and political obligation. Content-independence highlights that it is some feature of the law or law-making process in general that is supposed to generate moral obligations for citizens, not the merits of particular laws. (shrink)
We submit this brief in support of the Nonhuman Rights Project’s efforts to secure habeas corpus relief for the elephant named Happy. The Supreme Court, Bronx County, declined to grant habeas corpus relief and order Happy’s transfer to an elephant sanctuary, relying, in part, on previous decisions that denied habeas relief for the NhRP’s chimpanzee clients, Kiko and Tommy. Those decisions use incompatible conceptions of ‘person’ which, when properly understood, are either philosophically inadequate or, in fact, compatible with Happy’s personhood.
Bayesians take “definite” or “single-case” probabilities to be basic. Definite probabilities attach to closed formulas or propositions. We write them here using small caps: PROB(P) and PROB(P/Q). Most objective probability theories begin instead with “indefinite” or “general” probabilities (sometimes called “statistical probabilities”). Indefinite probabilities attach to open formulas or propositions. We write indefinite probabilities using lower case “prob” and free variables: prob(Bx/Ax). The indefinite probability of an A being a B is not about any particular A, but rather about the (...) property of being an A. In this respect, its logical form is the same as that of relative frequencies. For instance, we might talk about the probability of a human baby being female. That probability is about human babies in general — not about individuals. If we examine a baby and determine conclusively that she is female, then the definite probability of her being female is 1, but that does not alter the indefinite probability of human babies in general being female. Most objective approaches to probability tie probabilities to relative frequencies in some way, and the resulting probabilities have the same logical form as the relative frequencies. That is, they are indefinite probabilities. The simplest theories identify indefinite probabilities with relative frequencies.3 It is often objected that such “finite frequency theories” are inadequate because our probability judgments often diverge from relative frequencies. For example, we can talk about a coin being fair (and so the indefinite probability of a flip landing heads is 0.5) even when it is flipped only once and then destroyed (in which case the relative frequency is either 1 or 0). For understanding such indefinite probabilities, it has been suggested that we need a notion of probability that talks about possible instances of properties as well as actual instances.. (shrink)
Current evolutionary and cognitive theories of religion posit that supernatural agent concepts emerge from cognitive systems such as theory of mind and social cognition. Some argue that these concepts evolved to maintain social order by minimizing antisocial behavior. If these theories are correct, then people should process information about supernatural agents’ socially strategic knowledge more quickly than non-strategic knowledge. Furthermore, agents’ knowledge of immoral and uncooperative social behaviors should be especially accessible to people. To examine these hypotheses, we measured response-times (...) to questions about the knowledge attributed to four different agents—God, Santa Claus, a fictional surveillance government, and omniscient but non-interfering aliens—that vary in their omniscience, moral concern, ability to punish, and how supernatural they are. As anticipated, participants respond more quickly to questions about agents’ socially strategic knowledge than non-strategic knowledge, but only when agents are able to punish. (shrink)
While valuable work has been done addressing clinical ethics within established healthcare systems, we anticipate that the projected growth in acquisitions of community hospitals and facilities by large tertiary hospitals will impact the field of clinical ethics and the day-to-day responsibilities of clinical ethicists in ways that have yet to be explored. Toward the goal of providing clinical ethicists guidance on a range of issues that they may encounter in the systematization process, we discuss key considerations and potential challenges in (...) implementing system-wide ethics consultation services. Specifically, we identify four models for organizing, developing, and enhancing ethics consultation activities within a system created through acquisitions: train-the-trainer, local capacity-building, circuit-riding, and consolidated accountability. We note each model’s benefits and challenges. To our knowledge, this is the first paper to consider the broader landscape of issues affected by consolidation. We anticipate that clinical ethicists, volunteer consultants, and hospital administrators will benefit from our recommendations. (shrink)
In this brief, we argue that there is a diversity of ways in which humans (Homo sapiens) are ‘persons’ and there are no non-arbitrary conceptions of ‘personhood’ that can include all humans and exclude all nonhuman animals. To do so we describe and assess the four most prominent conceptions of ‘personhood’ that can be found in the rulings concerning Kiko and Tommy, with particular focus on the most recent decision, Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc v Lavery.
The problem of infant suffering and death has remained one of the most intractable problems for theists. Andrew Chignell has attempted to develop a theodicy for this problem that is based on Marilyn Adam’s paradigm for theodicy. However, his discussion repeatedly avoids the argument that, traditionally, most have thought to be the basis of this problem of evil. Thus, his theodicy provides the traditional theist with no adequate response to the problem. I argue that since infant suffering is a serious (...) (and inadequately addressed) problem for any theodicy, animal torture and death is a serious problem as well. I note that few theodicies have addressed animal suffering in a manner that takes their pain seriously. (shrink)
In recent years a number of authors sympathetic to Referentialistaccounts of proper names have argued that utterances containingempty names express `gappy,' or incomplete, propositions. In this paper I want to take issue with this suggestion.In particular, I argue versions of this approach developedby David Braun, Nathan Salmon, Ken Taylor, and by Fred Adams,Gary Fuller, and Robert Stecker.
Reinhard Heckmann: Kants Kategoriendeduktion. Ein Beitrag zu einer Philosophie des Geistes, 484 Seiten, Freiburg/münchen 1997 [Verlag Karl Alber]. Immanuel Kant: Religion within the boundaries of mere reason and other writings, translated and edited by Allen Wood, George Di Giovanni; with an introduction by Robert Merrihew Adams. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998; XXXIX, 229 Seiten. Hermann Berger: Leeswijzer bij de Kritiek van de Oordeelskracht, Tilburg: Tilburg University Press 1997, 331 S. Martin Bondeli: Der Kantianismus des jungen Hegel. Die Kant-Aneignung und (...) Kant-Überwindung Hegels auf seinem Weg zum philosophischen System, Felix Meiner Verlag, Hamburg 1997, 353 S., ISBN 3-7873-1335-4 . Pierre Kerszberg: Critique and Totality. Albany 1997, 274 S. Nathan Rotenstreich: Synthesis and Intentional Objectivity. On Kant and Husserl. Dordrecht / Boston / London: Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998, viii + 135 pages. (shrink)
"Margaret L. King has put together a highly representative selection of readings from most of the more significant—but by no means the most obvious—texts by the authors who made up the movement we have come to call the 'Enlightenment.' They range across much of Europe and the Americas, and from the early seventeenth century until the end of the eighteenth. In the originality of the choice of texts, in its range and depth, this collection offers both wide coverage and striking (...) insights into the intellectual transformation which has done more than any other to shape the world in which we live today. It is _simply the best introduction to the subject now available_."_ —Anthony Pagden, UCLA, and author of _The Enlightenment and Why It Still Matters_ Contents:_ Chronology, Introduction _Chapter One - Casting Out Idols: 1620–1697_ _Idols, or false notions: _Francis Bacon, _The New Instrument_ _I think, therefore I am: _René Descartes, Discourse on Method _God, or Nature: _Baruch Spinoza, _Ethics_ _The system of the world: _Isaac Newton, _Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy_ _He searched for truth throughout his life: _Pierre Bayle, _Historical and Critical Dictionary_ _Chapter Two - _The Learned Maid: 1638–1740 _A face raised toward heaven:_ Anna Maria van Schurman, _Whether the Study of Letters Befits a Christian Woman_ _The worlds I have made:_ Margaret Cavendish, _The Blazing World_ _A finer sort of cattle:_ Bathsua Makin, _An Essay to Revive the Ancient Education of Gentlewomen_ _I warn you of the world:_ Madame de Maintenon, _Letter: On the Education of the Demoiselles of Saint-Cyr_, and _Instruction: On the World_ _The daybreak of your reason:_ Émilie Du Châtelet, _Fundamentals of Physics_ _Chapter Three - _A State of Perfect Freedom: 1689–1695 _The chief criterion of the True Church:_ John Locke, _Letter on Toleration_ _Freedom from any superior power on earth:_ John Locke, _Second Treatise on Civil Government_ _A white paper, with nothing written on it:_ John Locke, _Essay Concerning Human Understanding_ _Let your rules be as few as possible:_ John Locke, _Some Thoughts Concerning Education_ _From death, Jesus Christ restores all to life:_ John Locke, _The Reasonableness of Christianity, as Delivered in the Scriptures_ _Chapter Four - All Things Made New: 1725–1784_ _In the wilderness, they are reborn:_ Giambattista Vico, _The New Science_ _Without these Names, nothing can be known,_ Carl Linnaeus, _System of Nature_ _All the clouds at last are lifted:_ Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, _The Successive Advancement of the Human Mind_ _A genealogical or encyclopedic tree of knowledge:_ Jean le Rond d’Alembert, _Preliminary Discourse_ _Dare to know! :_ Immanuel Kant, _What Is Enlightenment?_ _Chapter Five - Mind, Soul, and God: 1740–1779_ _The narrow limits of human understanding:_ David Hume, _Anof a Book Lately Published_ _The soul is but an empty word:_ Julien Offray de La Mettrie, _Man a Machine_ _All is reduced to sensation:_ Claude Adrien Helvétius, _On the Mind_ _An endless web of fantasies and falsehoods:_ Paul-Henri Thiry, baron d’Holbach, _Common Sense_ _Let each believe that his own ring is real:_ Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, _Nathan the Wise_ _Chapter Six - Crush That Infamous Thing: 1733–1764_ _This is the country of sects:_ Voltaire, _Philosophical Letters_ _Disfigured by myth, until enlightenment comes:_ Voltaire, _The Culture and Spirit of Nations_ _The best of all possible worlds:_ Voltaire, _Candide_ _Are we not all children of the same God?:_ Voltaire, _Treatise on Tolerance_ _If a book displeases you, refute it! :_ Voltaire, _Philosophical Dictionary_ _Chapter Seven - Toward the Greater Good: 1748–1776_ _Things must be so ordered that power checks power,_ Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu, _The Spirit of the Laws_ _Complete freedom of trade must be ensured:_ François Quesnay, _General Maxims for the Economic Management of an Agricultural Kingdom_ _The nation's war against the citizen: Cesare_ Beccaria, _On Crimes and Punishments_ _There is no peace in the absence of justice:_ Adam Ferguson, _An Essay on the History of Civil Society_ _Led by an invisible hand:_ Adam Smith, _An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations_ _Chapter Eight - Encountering Others: 1688–1785_ _Thus died this great man:_ Aphra Behn, _Oroonoko: or The Royal Slave_ _Not one sins the less for not being Christian: _Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, _Embassy Letters_ _Do you not restore to them their liberty?:_ Guillaume-Thomas Raynal, _Philosophical and Political History of European Colonies and Commerce in the Two Indies_ _Some things which are rather interesting:_ Captain James Cook, _Voyage towards the South Pole, and Round the World_ _The inner genius of my being:_ Johann Gottfried von Herder, _Ideas for a Philosophy of the History of Humankind_ _Chapter - Nine Citizen of Geneva: 1755–1782_ _The most cunning project ever to enter the human mind: _Jean-Jacques Rousseau, _Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Human Inequality_ _The supreme direction of the General Will:_ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract _Two lovers from a small town at the foot of the Alps,_ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, _Julie, or the New Heloise_ _Build a fence around your child’s soul:_ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, _Emile, or On Education_ _This man will be myself:_ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, _Confessions_ _Chapter Ten - Vindications of Women: 1685–1792_ _No higher design than to get her a husband:_ Mary Astell, _Reflections on Marriage_ _The days of my bondage begin:_ Anna Stanisławska, _Orphan Girl_ _A dying victim dragged to the altar:_ Denis Diderot, _The Nun_ _Created to be the toy of man:_ Mary Wollstonecraft, _Vindication of the Rights of Woman_ _Man, are you capable of being just?:_ Olympe de Gouges, _Declaration of the Rights of Woman as Citizen_ _Chapter Eleven - American Reverberations: 1771–1792_ _I took upon me to assert my freedom:_ Benjamin Franklin, _Autobiography_ _Freedom has been hunted round the globe:_ Thomas Paine, _Common Sense_ _Endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights:_ Thomas Jefferson and Others, _Declaration of Independence_ _A safeguard against faction and insurrection:_ James Madison, _Federalist No. 10_ _An end to government by force and fraud:_ Thomas Paine, _The Rights of Man_ _Chapter Twelve - Enlightenment's End: 1790–1794_ _A partnership of the living, the dead, and those unborn:_ Edmund Burke, _Reflections on the Revolution in France_ _The future destiny of the human species:_ Nicolas de Condorcet, _A Sketch of a Historical Portrait of the Progress of the Human Mind_ Texts and Studies, Index. 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Albert Einstein.--Bertrand Russell.--John Dewey.--R.A. Millikan.--Theodore Dreiser.--H.G. Wells.--Fridtjof Nansen.--Sir James Jeans.--Irving Babbitt.--Sir Arthur Keith.--J.T. Adams.--H.L. Mencken.--Julia Peterkin.--Lewis Mumford.--G.J. Nathan.--Hu Shih.--J.W. Krutch.--Irwin Edman.--Hilaire Belloc.--Beatrice Webb.--W.R. Inge.--J.B.S. Haldane.--Biographical notes. Note: This book was re-published by AMS Press, 1979.
In his well-known 1952 dialogue Max Black describes a counterexample to the Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles (PII). The counterexample is a world containing nothing but two purportedly indiscernible iron spheres. Reflecting on Black's example, Robert Adams uses the possibility of a world containing two almost indiscernible spheres to argue for the possibility of the indiscernible spheres world. One of Adams's almost indiscernible spheres has a small impurity, and, Adams writes, "Surely... the absence of the impurity (...) would not make such a universe impossible." The appeal to "surely" constitutes a gap in Adams's argument. This paper bridges the gap with a premise that exploits the counterfactual conditional and the related notion of causal independence. The paper then argues that causal independence bears in a similar way on an issue Nathan Salmon raises concerning Kripke's argument for the Essentiality of Origins. (shrink)
Duncan Foley’s Unholy Trinity: Labor, capital, and land in the new economy is the sixth in the series of Graz Schumpeter Lectures published by Routledge, all relatively slim volumes elucidating themes arguably related to Schumpeter, if just peripherally, and that usually summarize major arguments of the authors (previous authors were Stanley Metcalfe, Brian Loasby, Nathan Rosenberg, Ian Steedman, and Erich Streissler). In this one, which deals with questions of induced technological change in several sections, Foley attempts to provide an (...) integration of ideas that have evolved through his varied career, from high general equilibrium theorist (Foley, 1967), through deep student of Marxian economics (Foley, 1986), to complexity theorist (Foley, 1994; for more detailed discussion of his personal and intellectual path see Colander et al, 2004, Chapter 7). A central argument is that the classical political economists, not just Marx but also Adam Smith and Malthus with Ricardo (largely lumped together in his analysis), developed ideas that are well suited to representation and understanding using the methods of modern complexity economics, themes of dynamic out-of-equilibrium selforganization in systems with boundedly rational agents, in contrast to the requirements for full Walrasian general equilibrium that he studied early in his career. (shrink)
This is a reply to de Sousa's 'Emotional Truth', in which he argues that emotions can be objective, as propositional truths are. I say that it is better to distinguish between truth and accuracy, and agree with de Sousa to the extent of arguing that emotions can be more or less accurate, that is, based on the facts as they are.
Adam Świeżyński | : The experience of loneliness is usually seen as a negative aspect of human existence and something to overcome. However, it is worth trying to break free, if only on a trial basis, from the established traditional perception of loneliness, and strive to reduce it immediately from being one of the main sources of human affliction and to rethink its importance in human life. In order to do this, we must first consider the question of the essence (...) of loneliness, and then examine the question of its axiological status, i.e. its value. The ontological dimension and the axiological dimension of the issue should include the opportunity to construct the concept of human loneliness, by taking into account its internal and external aspect. The purpose of this paper is to propose an outline concept of loneliness, which, on the basis of findings on its essence, seeks to determine its axiological nature. The designated point of departure is the biblical image of human loneliness presented in Genesis. | : L’expérience de la solitude est souvent perçue comme un aspect négatif de l’existence humaine, nécessitant d’être surmonté. Il convient cependant d’essayer de se libérer de cette perception figée de la solitude, selon laquelle celle-ci est réduite immédiatement à l’une des sources fondamentales du malheur humain, et d’essayer de revisiter le sens qu’elle a l’égard de la vie humaine. Pour ceci, il est nécessaire dans un premier lieu de considérer l’être de la solitude pour ensuite analyser son statut axiologique. La dimension axiologique et ontologique de la question évoquée devraient ensemble permettre de construire une conception de la solitude considérant sont aspect extérieur et intérieur. L’objet de cet écrit est de proposer une esquisse de la conception de la solitude qui en partant des précisions sur son être a pour objectif de définir son caractère axiologique. L’image de la solitude humaine telle que présentée dans la Genèse sera prise comme point de départ. (shrink)
"Adam Smith is widely regarded as the founder of political economy and one of the great thinkers of the Enlightenment period. Best-known for his founding work of economics, The Wealth of Nations, Smith's thought engaged equally with the nature of morality, above all in his Theory of Moral Sentiments. Smith's brilliance leaves us with an important question, however: Was he first and foremost a moral philosopher, who happened to turn to economics for part of his career? In this outstanding philosophical (...) introduction Samuel Fleischacker argues that Smith is a superb example of the broadly curious thinkers who flourished in the Enlightenment; one for whom morality, politics and economics were just a few of the many fascinating subjects that could be illuminated by naturalistic modes of investigation. After a helpful overview of his life and work, Fleischacker examines the full range of Smith's thought, including: epistemology, philosophy of science and aesthetics, moral sentimentalism, moral approval, sympathy, and judgement, the character of virtue advantages and disadvantages of Smith's moral philosophy, Smith's views on religion, justice and jurisprudence, governmental policy, economic principles, Smith's philosophical legacy and his place in the history of liberalism. Including chapter summaries, suggestions for further reading and a glossary, Adam Smith is essential reading for those studying ethics, political philosophy, the history of philosophy, and the Enlightenment, as well as those reading Smith in related disciplines such as economics, law and religion"--. (shrink)
It is a pleasure to be able to pay tribute to Adam Potkay’s interesting and impressive book on two of the most important figures in the eighteenth century. It brings together the philosophical and the literary, the “anatomist” and the “painter” of the passions and the moral life, integrating worlds that, however isolated they may have become in the twentieth century, were not seen as all that distinct in the eighteenth. Having said this, the most remarkable feature of Potkay’s book (...) is that it unites two figures usually thought to be opposed—the irascible, domineering, and deeply Christian Johnson and the dispassionate, moderate, and pagan Hume. (shrink)
This edition of John M. Lothian’s transcription of an almost complete set of a student’s notes on Smith’s lectures given at the University of Glasgow in 1762–63 brings back into print not only an important discovery but a valuable contribution to eighteenth-century rhetorical theory.
Alston's perceptual account of mystical experience fails to show how it is that the sort of predicates that are used to describe God in these experiences could be derived from perception, even though the ascription of matched predicates in the natural order are not derived in the manner Alston has in mind. In contrast, if one looks to research on shared attention between individuals as mediated by mirror neurons, then one can give a perceptual account of mystical experience which draws (...) a tighter connection between what is reported in mystical reports and the most similar reports in the natural order. (shrink)
Some people have supposed that utility is good in itself, non-in-strumentally good, as distinct from good because conducive to other good things. And in modern versions of this view, utility often means want-satisfaction, as distinct from pleasure or happiness. For your want that p to be satisfied, is it necessary that you know or believe that p, or sufficient merely that p is true? However that question is answered, there are problems with the view that want-satisfaction is a non-instrumental good. (...) What if you want something only because you have a false belief? What if the time at which you want that p is fifty or five hundred years before the time to which p itself refers? To meet these difficulties, qualifications have to be introduced, and much has been written about how exactly these qualifications are to be framed.1 There is however what may be a rather more serious objection to the view that want-satisfaction is a non-instrumental good, or rather to the combination of that view with the principle that it is sufficient for your want that p to be satisfied simply that p is true. The objection is that this combination forces you to give undue weight to the mere acquisition of desires when you come to make judgements about changes in the value of things. It forces you to say that for any true proposition p, which initially you do not want to be true, your mere acquisition of a desire that p will, other things being equal, make the world better. Non-instrumental value can be increased merely by multiplying desires, even though everything else remains the same. Surely, however, improving the world is not as easy as that. (shrink)
Changing our minds isn't easy. Even when we recognize our views are disputed by intelligent and informed people, we rarely doubt our rightness. Why is this so? How can we become more open-minded, putting ourselves in a better position to tolerate conflict, advance collective inquiry, and learn from differing perspectives in a complex world? -/- Nathan Ballantyne defends the indispensable role of epistemology in tackling these issues. For early modern philosophers, the point of reflecting on inquiry was to understand (...) how our beliefs are often distorted by prejudice and self-interest, and to improve the foundations of human knowledge. Ballantyne seeks to recover and modernize this classical tradition by vigorously defending an interdisciplinary approach to epistemology, blending philosophical theorizing with insights from the social and cognitive sciences. -/- Many of us need tools to help us think more circumspectly about our controversial views. Ballantyne develops a method for distinguishing between our reasonable and unreasonable opinions, in light of evidence about bias, information overload, and rival experts. This method guides us to greater intellectual openness--in the spirit of skeptics from Socrates to Montaigne to Bertrand Russell--making us more inclined to admit that sometimes we don't have the right answers. With vibrant prose and fascinating examples from science and history, Ballantyne shows how epistemology can help us know our limits. (shrink)
‘The Principles of the Pure Type Theory’ is a translation of Leon Chwistek's 1922 paper ‘Zasady czystej teorii typów’. It summarizes Chwistek's results from a series of studies of the logic of Whitehead and Russell's Principia Mathematica which were published between 1912 and 1924. Chwistek's main argument involves a criticism of the axiom of reducibility. Moreover, ‘The Principles of the Pure Type Theory’ is a source for Chwistek's views on an issue in Whitehead and Russell's ‘no-class theory of classes’ involving (...) the notion of ‘scope’. (shrink)