This paper offers new arguments to reject the alleged dream of immortality. In order to do this, I firstly introduce an amendment to Michael Hauskeller’s approach of the “immortalist fallacy”. I argue that the conclusion “we do not want to live forever” does not follow from the premise “we do not want to die”. Next, I propose the philosophical turn from “normally” to “under these circumstances” to resolve this logical error. Then, I review strong philosophical critiques of this transhumanist purpose (...) of immortality in the literature. There are two key questions related to the possibility of fulfilling this goal: the hard problem of consciousness and the personal identity dilemma. Finally, I defend a specific type of indefinite life and justify that it is more desirable than our current limited life. (shrink)
Biomedical innovations are making possible the enhancement of human capabilities. There are two philosophical stances on the role that medicine should play in this respect. On the one hand, naturalism rejects every medical intervention that goes beyond preventing and treating disease. On the other hand, welfarism advocates enhancements that foster subjective well-being. We will show that both positions have considerable shortcomings. Consequently, we will introduce a third characterization in which therapies and enhancements can be reconciled with the legitimate objectives of (...) medicine inasmuch as they improve the capabilities that enable the freedom to pursue personal well-being. (shrink)
El Foro Global de Bioética en Investigación (GFBR por sus siglas en inglés) se reunió el 3 y 4 de noviembre en Buenos Aires, Argentina, con el objetivo de discutir la ética de la investigación con mujeres embarazadas. El GFBR es una plataforma mundial que congrega a actores clave con el objetivo de promover la investigación realizada de manera ética, fortalecer la ética de la investigación en salud, particularmente en países de ingresos bajos y medios, y promover colaboración entre países (...) del norte y del sur.a Los participantes en el GFBR provenientes de Latinoamérica incluyeron a eticistas, investigadores, miembros de comités de ética y representantes de autoridades sanitarias provenientes de Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panamá, Perú, Nicaragua y la República Dominicana. Una legítima preocupación por la protección de las mujeres embarazadas y sus embriones o fetos ha llevado a la mayoría de los países de la Región de las Américas a limitar la realización de estudios con mujeres embarazadas exclusivamente a aquellos estudios específicos sobre el embarazo, y a requerir la exclusión sistemática de las mujeres embarazadas o de las mujeres que quedan embarazadas en el curso del estudio. Ciertamente, a lo largo de la historia de la ética de la investigación, se ha creído erróneamente que proteger a una población es sinónimo de excluirla de los estudios. Se sabe ahora que proceder así implica exponer a riesgos mucho mayores a la población que se busca proteger. El embarazo implica cambios fisiológicos sustantivos e impacta profundamente la manera como el cuerpo metaboliza los medicamentos. Sin embargo, por evitar hacer investigación con mujeres embarazadas, no se ha producido la evidencia científica necesaria para tomar decisiones sobre tratamientos e intervenciones preventivas con dosis eficaces y seguras para ellas y sus embriones o fetos. A manera de ilustración, en el 2001 había en los Estados Unidos apenas más de una docena de medicamentos aprobados para uso en el embarazo (1) y en el 2011 la Food and Drug Administration (FDA) aprobó por primera vez en 15 años un medicamento para su uso en el embarazo (2). Como consecuencia de no haber producido la evidencia necesaria, se pone en riesgo la salud de las mujeres embarazadas cada vez que se les da atención médica. Las mujeres embarazadas se enferman y las mujeres enfermas se embarazan, y no se sabe si los medicamentos que se les da son eficaces o siquiera seguros para ellas y sus embriones o fetos. (shrink)
Reichenbachian approaches to indexicality contend that indexicals are "token-reflexives": semantic rules associated with any given indexical-type determine the truth-conditional import of properly produced tokens of that type relative to certain relational properties of those tokens. Such a view may be understood as sharing the main tenets of Kaplan's well-known theory regarding content, or truth-conditions, but differs from it regarding the nature of the linguistic meaning of indexicals and also regarding the bearers of truth-conditional import and truth-conditions. Kaplan has criticized these (...) approaches on different counts, the most damaging of which is that they make impossible a "logic of demonstratives". The reason for this is that the token-reflexive approach entails that not two tokens of the same sentential type including indexicals are guaranteed to have the same truth-conditions. In this paper I rebut this and other criticisms of the Reichenbachian approach. Additionally, I point out that Kaplan's original theory of "true demonstratives" is empirically inadequate, and claim that any modification capable of accurately handling the linguistic data would have similar problems to those attributed to the Reichenbachian approach. This is intended to show that the difficulties, no matter how real, are not caused by idiosincracies of the "token-reflexive" view, but by deep facts about indexicality. (shrink)
The paper examines an alleged distinction claimed to exist by Van Gelder between two different, but equally acceptable ways of accounting for the systematicity of cognitive output (two “varieties of compositionality”): “concatenative compositionality” vs. “functional compositionality.” The second is supposed to provide an explanation alternative to the Language of Thought Hypothesis. I contend that, if the definition of “concatenative compositionality” is taken in a different way from the official one given by Van Gelder (but one suggested by some of his (...) formulations) then there is indeed a different sort of compositionality; however, the second variety is not an alternative to the language of thought in that case. On the other hand, if the concept of concatenative compositionality is taken in a different way, along the lines of Van Gelder's explicit definition, then there is no reason to think that there is an alternative way of explaining systematicity. (shrink)
Descriptive semantic theories purport to characterize the meanings of the expressions of languages in whatever complexity they might have. Foundational semantics purports to identify the kind of considerations relevant to establish that a given descriptive semantics accurately characterizes the language used by a given individual or community. Foundational Semantics I presents three contrasting approaches to the foundational matters, and the main considerations relevant to appraise their merits. These approaches contend that we should look at the contents of speakers’ intuitions; at (...) the deep psychology of users and its evolutionary history, as revealed by our best empirical theories; or at the personal-level rational psychology of those subjects. Foundational Semantics II examines a fourth view, according to which we should look instead at norms enforced among speakers. The two papers aim to determine in addition the extent to which the approaches are really rival, or rather complementary. (shrink)
Espino, Santamaria, and Garcia-Madruga (2000) report three results on the time taken to respond to a probe word occurring as end term in the premises of a syllogistic argument. They argue that these results can only be predicted by the theory of mental models. It is argued that two of these results, on differential reaction times to end-terms occurring in different premises and in different figures, are consistent with Chater and Oaksford's (1999) probability heuristics model (PHM). It is argued that (...) the third finding, on different reaction times between figures, does not address the issue of processing difficulty where PHM predicts no differences between figures. It is concluded that Espino et al.'s results do not discriminate between theories of syllogistic reasoning as effectively as they propose. (shrink)
The problems and issues arising from globalization are difficult to resolve, in part because our ways of conceptualizing the conflicts and responding to them are inadequate. This book fills this gap, conceiving of globalization as a consequence of economic, political, technological, scientific, and cultural changes. A. Pablo Iannone provides a taxonomy of globalization processes, investigates the consequences of each, and formulates a comprehensive approach for dealing with them. While his emphasis is philosophical, this is not a single-discipline book. Rather, (...) it belongs at the intersection of philosophy, economics, political science, and technology. Its discussions address issues concerning globalization and correlate the processes of fragmentation and dislocation in a realistic manner. Iannone focuses on concrete and current cases, from the global economic and financial issues posed by the multi-centered nature of contemporary business and technology, through the pressures of ever increasing information overload across the planet. He explores the environmental and social challenges associated with current Amazonian development and its significance to weather patterns on Earth. He considers the issues surrounding the use of robots in war from Pakistan through Mexico, and the militarization of space. In short, the approach, while based on theoretical concerns, is solidly grounded in highly practical applications, which are global in their implications. (shrink)
This paper presents a substantivist construal of discourse ethics, which claims that we should see our engagement in public deliberation as expressing and elaborating a substantive commitment to basic moral ideas of solidarity, equality, and freedom. This view is different from Habermas's standard formalist defence of discourse ethics, which attempts to derive the principle of discursive moral justification from primarily non-moral presuppositions of rational argumentation as such. After explicating the difference between the substantivist and the formalist construal, I defend the (...) former by showing that it is not only intuitively compelling, but also particularly well equipped for addressing four important objections recently levelled against discourse ethics and its political applications. I conclude by pointing out some consequences of the previous discussion for the future of Critical Theory. (shrink)
Michel Janssen and Harvey Brown have driven a prominent recent debate concerning the direction of an alleged arrow of explanation between Minkowski spacetime and Lorentz invariance of dynamical laws in special relativity. In this article, I critically assess this controversy with the aim of clarifying the explanatory foundations of the theory. First, I show that two assumptions shared by the parties—that the dispute is independent of issues concerning spacetime ontology, and that there is an urgent need for a constructive interpretation (...) of special relativity—are problematic and negatively affect the debate. Second, I argue that the whole discussion relies on a misleading conception of the link between Minkowski spacetime structure and Lorentz invari-ance, a misconception that in turn sheds more shadows than light on our understand-ing of the explanatory nature and power of Einstein’s theory. I state that the arrow connecting Lorentz invariance and Minkowski spacetime is not explanatory and uni-directional, but analytic and bidirectional, and that this analytic arrow grounds the chronogeometric explanations of physical phenomena that special relativity offers. (shrink)
This paper is divided into two parts. In the first one I distinguish between weak and strong Anti-Archimedeanisms, the latter being the view that metaethics, just as any other discipline attempting to work out a second-order conceptual, metaphysical non-committed discourse about the first-order discourse composing normative practices, is conceptually impossible or otherwise incoherent. I deal in particular with Ronald Dworkin’s famous exposition of the view. I argue that strong Anti-Archimedeanism constitutes an untenable philosophical stance, therefore making logical space for the (...) practice of a discipline such as metaethics—conceived as ethically neutral. This makes space, concurrently, for neutral conceptual jurisprudence. In the second part of the article, I attempt to show two things. On the one hand, that Dworkin’s widely discussed ‘challenge of disagreements’ to legal positivism is founded upon strong Anti-Archimedeanism. On the other hand, that having rejected strong Anti-Archimedeanism we should consequently reject the challenge as a serious challenge to positivism. This move, of course, does not thereby imply that accounting for legal disagreements is not an important jurisprudential task. But it marks—contra Dworkin—that there is no principled or a priori impossibility of doing so within a positivist framework. (shrink)
This study develops the novel conception of philosophy as diplomacy, with two main objectives in view. The first is to help integrate the languages, concepts, and methods of ethics and sociopolitical philosophy with those of political science, sociology and social psychology, technology, institutions, business studies, and the policy-making community in a manner that is reasonably accessible to the general public. The second is to outline an approach for dealing with a wide range of current policy-making problems in a politically sound (...) and morally sensitive manner. (shrink)
Imagination in Inquiry investigates the nature, kinds, component elements, functions, scope, and uses of the imagination that are at work in inquiry. It develops a homeostatic model and discusses its applications in various branches of philosophy, from the philosophy of science and the philosophy of technology to ethics and aesthetics.
It is common in political theory and practice to challenge normatively ambitious proposals by saying that their fulfillment is not feasible. But there has been insufficient conceptual exploration of what feasibility is, and very little substantive inquiry into why and how it matters for thinking about social justice. This paper provides one of the first systematic treatments of these issues, and proposes a dynamic approach to the relation between justice and feasibility that illuminates the importance of political imagination and dynamic (...) duties to expand agents’ power to fulfill ambitious principles of justice. (shrink)
Uno de los temas de más profundo debate en la filosofía del derecho de los últimos años ha sido el de las maneras en que dar cuenta del fenómeno del desacuerdo entre operadores jurídicos y entre juristas a la hora de desentrañar el contenido del derecho y, por ende, de dar con la respuesta jurídica para controversias particulares. A partir del trabajo de Ronald Dworkin, el tema se ha convertido en un instrumento de intenso análisis crítico del positivismo jurídico y (...) consecuentemente ha generado diversos enfoques que intentan dar cuenta del fenómeno de manera armónica con las tesis positivistas centrales. Uno de estos enfoques, en particular, intenta afrontar este desafío ligando al positivismo con un análisis expresivista del discurso jurídico de primer orden; análisis análogo al que importantes autores abocados a la metaética contemporánea han propuesto para el discurso moral. En el presente trabajo presento los lineamientos centrales de este enfoque iusfilosófico, indagando tanto en algunas de sus virtudes como en algunas de sus mayores dificultades. (shrink)
Based on the author's experiences of traveling between two unique cultures, and of living under both democratic and totalitarian regimes, this is a fascinating volume of short stories. These tales, all tied together by common threads, travel the literary landscape from grim political reality to joyous flights of fantasy and humor. Join Ignacio Jos‚ Conti, his family, and friends for a deeper understanding of live, love, and human nature.
The primary objective of this study is to propose a hypothesis regarding the origin of trade that will help to solve the enigma of why human groups, normally each other's enemies, stopped exchanging blows in order to exchange things. The complexity of this crucial step forward in the relationships between hostile primitive groups can be summarized as follows. In order for an exchange to take place, both parties must take part in it voluntarily because they see a mutual benefit in (...) doing so. In turn, both parties should be aware that in order to obtain what interests them, which is closely guarded by the other party, in return, they must hand over what the other party is interested in. The perception of the interest... (shrink)
Do we have positive duties to help others in need or are our moral duties only negative, focused on not harming them? Are any of the former positive duties, duties of justice that respond to enforceable rights? Is their scope global? Should we aim for global equality besides the eradication of severe global poverty? Is a humanist approach to egalitarian distribution based on rights that all human beings as such have defensible, or must egalitarian distribution be seen in an associativist (...) way, as tracking existing frameworks such as statehood and economic interdependence? Are the eradication of global poverty and the achievement of global equality practically feasible or are they hopelessly utopian wishes? -/- This book argues that there are basic positive duties of justice to help eradicate severe global poverty; that global egalitarian principles are also reasonable even if they cannot be fully realized in the short term; and that there are dynamic duties to enhance the feasibility of the transition from global poverty to global equality in the face of nonideal circumstances such as the absence of robust international institutions and the lack of a strong ethos of cosmopolitan solidarity. The very notion of feasibility is crucial for normative reasoning, but has received little explicit philosophical discussion. This book offers a systematic exploration of that concept as well as of its application to global justice. It also arbitrates the current debate between humanist and associativist accounts of the scope of distributive justice. Drawing on moral contractualism (the view that we ought to follow the principles that no one could reasonably reject), this book provides a novel defense of humanism, challenges several versions of associativism (which remains the most popular view among political philosophers), and seeks to integrate the insights underlying both views. (shrink)
This essay reviews the documents of the pontifical magisterium of the Church from the encyclical Mater et magistra (1961) to the exhortation Evangelii gaudium (2013), in order to show the Church’s historical commitment to the defense of the environment. It then argues that Laudato si’ elevates the theological status of the environmental crisis to that of a new social issue, much as Leo XIII did for the industrial crisis with his encyclical letter Rerum novarum (1891).
A commitment to ‘making’—creating or producing things—can shape scientific and technological fields in important ways. This article demonstrates this by exploring synthetic biology, a field committed to making use of advanced techniques from molecular biology in order to make with living matter. I describe and analyse how this field’s ‘drive to make’ shapes its organisational, methodological, epistemological, and ontological character. Synthetic biologists’ ambition to make helps determine how their field demarcates itself, sets appropriate methods and practices, construes the purpose and (...) character of knowledge, and views the things of the living world. Using empirical data from extensive ethnographic and interview-based research, I discuss the importance of seemingly simple and unimportant commitments—in this case, a focus on the making of things rather than the production of knowledge claims. I conclude by examining the ramifications of this line of research for studies of science and technology. (shrink)
Samuel Scheffler has recently argued that some relationships are non-instrumentally valuable; that such relationships give rise to “underived” special responsibilities; that there is a genuine tension between cosmopolitan egalitarianism and special responsibilities; and that we must consequently strike a balance between the two. We argue that there is no such tension and propose an alternative approach to the relation between cosmopolitan egalitarianism and special responsibilities. First, while some relationships are non-instrumentally valuable, no relationship is unconditionally valuable. Second, whether such relationships (...) give rise to special responsibilities is conditional on those relationships not violating certain moral constraints. Third, these moral constraints arise from within cosmopolitan egalitarianism itself. Thus the value of relationships and the special responsibilities to which they give rise arise within the parameters of cosmopolitan egalitarianism itself. The real tension is not between cosmopolitan equality and special responsibilities, but between special responsibilities and the various general duties that arise from the recognition, demanded by cosmopolitan egalitarianism, of a multiplicity of other basic goods. Indeed, even the recognition of special relationships itself gives rise to general duties that may condition and/or weigh against putative special responsibilities. (shrink)
This paper examines employees’ reactions to Corporate Social Responsibility programs at the attitudinal level. The results presented are drawn from an in-depth study of two Chilean construction firms that have well-established CSR programs. Grounded theory was applied to the data prior to the construction of the conceptual framework. The analysis shows that the implementation of CSR programs generates two types of attitudes in employees: attitudes toward the organization and attitudes toward society. These two broad types of attitudes can then be (...) broken down into four different categories : acceptance of the new role of the organization, identification with the organization, importance attached to the work performed and a sense of social justice. In turn, each of these categories is a grouping of many different concepts, some of which have at first sight little to do with CSR. Finally, the analysis reveals an attitudinal employee typology: the committed worker, the indifferent worker, and the dissident worker. (shrink)
Paraconsistent approaches have received little attention in the literature on vagueness (at least compared to other proposals). The reason seems to be that many philosophers have found the idea that a contradiction might be true (or that a sentence and its negation might both be true) hard to swallow. Even advocates of paraconsistency on vagueness do not look very convinced when they consider this fact; since they seem to have spent more time arguing that paraconsistent theories are at least as (...) good as their paracomplete counterparts, than giving positive reasons to believe on a particular paraconsistent proposal. But it sometimes happens that the weakness of a theory turns out to be its mayor ally, and this is what (I claim) happens in a particular paraconsistent proposal known as subvaluationism. In order to make room for truth-value gluts subvaluationism needs to endorse a notion of logical consequence that is, in some sense, weaker than standard notions of consequence. But this weakness allows the subvaluationist theory to accommodate higher-order vagueness in a way that it is not available to other theories of vagueness (such as, for example, its paracomplete counterpart, supervaluationism). (shrink)
In 2006, this journal addressed the problem of technological artefacts, and through a series of articles aimed at tackling the ‘dual nature of technical artefacts’, posited an understanding of these as constituted by both a structural and a functional component. This attempt to conceptualise artefacts established a series of important questions, concerning such aspects of material technologies as mechanisms, functions, human intentionality, and normativity. However, I believe that in establishing the ‘dual nature’ thesis, the authors within this issue focused too (...) strongly on technological function. By positing function as the analytic axis of the ‘dual nature’ framework, the theorists did not sufficiently problematise what is ultimately a social phenomenon. Here I posit a complementary analytic approach to this problem; namely, I argue that by using the Strong Programme’s performative theory of social institutions, we can better understand the nature of material technologies. Drawing particularly from Martin Kusch’s work, I here argue that by conceptualising artefacts as artificial kinds, we can better examine technological ontology, functions, and normativity. Ultimately, a Strong Programme approach, constructivist and collectivist in nature, offers a useful elaboration upon the important question raised by the ‘dual nature’ theorists.Keywords: Technological artefacts; Dual nature; Technological functions; Normativity of artefacts; Performative theory of social institutions. (shrink)