This paper aims to contribute to the current debate about the status of the “Ought Implies Can” principle and the growing body of empirical evidence that undermines it. We report the results of an experimental study which show that people judge that agents ought to perform an action even when they also judge that those agents cannot do it and that such “ought” judgments exhibit an actor-observer effect. Because of this actor-observer effect on “ought” judgments and the Duhem-Quine thesis, talk (...) of an “empirical refutation” of OIC is empirically and methodologically unwarranted. What the empirical fact that people attribute moral obligations to unable agents shows is that OIC is not intuitive, not that OIC has been refuted. (shrink)
In this paper, we set out to test empirically an idea that many philosophers find intuitive, namely that non-moral ignorance can exculpate. Many philosophers find it intuitive that moral agents are responsible only if they know the particular facts surrounding their action. Our results show that whether moral agents are aware of the facts surrounding their action does have an effect on people’s attributions of blame, regardless of the consequences or side effects of the agent’s actions. In general, it was (...) more likely that a situationally aware agent will be blamed for failing to perform the obligatory action than a situationally unaware agent. We also tested attributions of forgiveness in addition to attributions of blame. In general, it was less likely that a situationally aware agent will be forgiven for failing to perform the obligatory action than a situationally unaware agent. When the agent is situationally unaware, it is more likely that the agent will be forgiven than blamed. We argue that these results provide some empirical support for the hypothesis that there is something intuitive about the idea that non-moral ignorance can exculpate. (shrink)
BackgroundThere is increasing need for peer reviewers as the scientific literature grows. Formal education in biostatistics and research methodology during residency training is lacking. In this pilot study, we addressed these issues by evaluating a novel method of teaching residents about biostatistics and research methodology using peer review of standardized manuscripts. We hypothesized that mentored peer review would improve resident knowledge and perception of these concepts more than non-mentored peer review, while improving review quality.MethodsA partially blinded, randomized, controlled multi-center study (...) was performed. Seventy-eight neurology residents from nine US neurology programs were randomized to receive mentoring from a local faculty member or not. Within a year, residents reviewed a baseline manuscript and four subsequent manuscripts, all with introduced errors designed to teach fundamental review concepts. In the mentored group, mentors discussed completed reviews with residents. Primary outcome measure was change in knowledge score between pre- and post-tests, measuring epidemiology and biostatistics knowledge. Secondary outcome measures included level of confidence in the use and interpretation of statistical concepts before and after intervention, and RQI score for baseline and final manuscripts.ResultsSixty-four residents completed initial review with gradual decline in completion on subsequent reviews. Change in primary outcome, the difference between pre- and post-test knowledge scores, did not differ between mentored and non-mentored residents. Significant differences in secondary outcomes included mentored residents reporting enhanced understanding of research methodology, understanding of manuscripts, and application of study results to clinical practice compared to non-mentored residents. There was no difference between groups in level of interest in peer review or the quality of manuscript review assessed by the Review Quality Instrument.ConclusionsWe used mentored peer review of standardized manuscripts to teach biostatistics and research methodology and introduce the peer review process to residents. Though knowledge level did not change, mentored residents had enhanced perception in their abilities to understand research methodology and manuscripts and apply study results to clinical practice. (shrink)
Fichte's reputation at the present time is in some respects a curious one. On the one hand, he is by common consent acknowledged to have exercised a dominant influence upon the development of German thought during the opening decades of the nineteenth century. Thus from a specifically philosophical point of view he is regarded as an innovator who played a decisive role in transforming Kant's transcendental idealism into the absolute idealism of his immediate successors, while at a more general level (...) he is customarily seen as having put into currency certain persuasive conceptions which contributed—less directly but no less surely—to the emergence and spread of romanticism in some of its varied and ramifying forms. On the other hand, however, it is noticeable that detailed consideration of his work has not figured prominently in the recent revival of concern with post-Kantian thought as a whole which has been manifested by philosophers of the English-speaking world. Although his name is frequently mentioned in that connection, one suspects that his books may not be so often read. In part this may be due to his particular mode of expounding his views, which at times attains a level of opacity that can make even Hegel's obscurest passages seem comparatively tractable. It is also true that Fichte's principal theoretical works—if not his semipopular writings—are largely devoid of the allusions to scientific, historical, psychological or cultural matters with which his German contemporaries were prone to illustrate their philosophical doctrines and enliven their more abstract discussions: there is a daunting aridity about much of what he wrote which can raise nagging doubts in the modern reader's mind about the actual issues that are in question. Yet the fact remains that by the close of the eighteenth century his ideas had already made a profound impact, capturing the imagination of a host of German thinkers and intellectuals. The problem therefore arises as to what preoccupations, current at the time, they owed their indubitable appeal and to what puzzles they were welcomed as proffering a solution. If these can be identified, it may become at least partially intelligible that Fichte should have been widely regarded as having provided a framework within which certain hitherto intractable difficulties could be satisfactorily reformulated and resolved. Let me accordingly begin by saying something about them. (shrink)
When considering a suitable topic for inclusion in this collection, it occurred to me that it might be worth discussing a writer whose interests were largely centred on themes directly related to those cited in the collection's title, and who throughout most of his philosophical career remained particularly insistent upon the need to define the boundaries separating humanistic modes of understanding from ones associated with the physical sciences. The writer in question was R. G. Collingwood. Although Collingwood has justly been (...) credited with perceptive insights into the metaphysical origins and presuppositions of natural science, as well as with raising pointed questions concerning the nature of conceptual change in scientific thought, he had in fact little first-hand knowledge of the subject and it is not in this sphere that his chief claims to importance and originality lie. Rather, they are to be found in an area with which he was certainly intimately acquainted and in which as a practitioner he helped to make significant discoveries on the ground. That was history, a discipline requiring in his view a type of thinking that had either been ignored by his philosophical contemporaries or else misconceived and distorted by those who had troubled to consider it. Thus, as a result of making a serious effort on his own account to come to terms with what it involved, he became—in his own words at the time—‘more and more conscious of being an outlaw’. (shrink)
One of the striking features of the last few years has been a re-awakening of interest in spirituality. Many new books on prayer have appeared, old classics of the spiritual life have been re-published, prayer groups have sprung up and the Charismatic Movement has become an important factor in many Christian communities. If the 1960s was the decade of secularism and ‘God is dead’, the 1970s may well go down in history as the decade of renascent spirituality. But this interest (...) in spirituality has not, in general, gone hand in hand with a renewed interest in theology: indeed, in many cases I detect a positive hostility towards professional theologians . Still less has there been any link between this concern with spirituality and philosophy. And yet there are many important philosophical problems here: given that in a spiritual way of life men have certain experiences and are changed in various ways, what does this show? (shrink)
The Naked Self is a great book. It is good Kierkegaard scholarship and an excellent model of bringing history of philosophy to bear on contemporary metaphysics. After a stage-setting introduction, the book has eight main chapters and a conclusion including questions and answers from an imagined interlocutor. Stokes takes the reader from how “Kierkegaard’s phenomenology of self-experience may… be a useful resource for neo-Lockean metaphysics” to a sustained defense that “Kierkegaard himself is playing a different, and altogether more interesting, game”.Stokes’s (...) boldness is evident in his title, which remains mysterious until late in the book. Stokes draws on two key passages... (shrink)
In this interview, Jordan B. Kinder discusses The Beast: Making a Living on a Dying Planet with Patrick McCurdy. The Beast is a 2018 graphic novel published by independent Canadian publisher Ad Astra Comix. It is the result of a collaboration between communications scholar Patrick McCurdy, writer Hugh Goldring, and artist Nicole Marie Burton. Emerging from McCurdy’s work on the MediaToil database project—a database that gathers together competing visual representations of the Athabasca Oil Sands from several stakeholders—the graphic (...) novel addresses themes that arise from these representations while creatively exploring and navigating the tensions at the core of trying to live well in our current petroculture, a culture underwritten by neoliberalism and economic precarity. (shrink)
As J. Baird Callicott has argued, Adam Smith’s moral theory is a philosophical ancestor of recent work in environmental ethics. However, Smith’s “all important emotion of sympathy” (Callicott 2001: 209) seems incapable of extension to entities that lack emotions with which one can sympathize. Drawing on the distinctive account of sympathy developed in Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments , as well as his account of anthropomorphizing nature in “History of Astronomy and Physics,” I show that sympathy with non-sentient nature is (...) possible within a Smithian ethics. This provides the possibility of extending sympathy, and thereby benevolence and justice, to nature. (shrink)
A review of Peter Steele’s Plenty, a book in which each poem is faced by a colour plate of the painting or object which sparked it off. Hollander’s ecphrasis and Krieger’s ekphrasis are held in – possibly unresolvable – dialectic by Steele’s poems. The only resolution which one can find is one of wit rather than of philosophy.
P.F. Strawson’s (1962) “Freedom and Resentment” has provoked a wide range of responses, both positive and negative, and an equally wide range of interpretations. In particular, beginning with Gary Watson, some have seen Strawson as suggesting a point about the “order of explanation” concerning moral responsibility: it is not that it is appropriate to hold agents responsible because they are morally responsible, rather, it is ... well, something else. Such claims are often developed in different ways, but one thing remains (...) constant: they meant to be incompatible with libertarian theories of moral responsibility. The overarching theme of this paper is that extant developments of “the reversal” face a dilemma: in order to make the proposals plausibly anti-libertarian, they must be made to be implausible on other grounds. I canvas different attempts to articulate a “Strawsonian reversal”, and argue that none is fit for the purposes for which it is intended. I conclude by suggesting a way of clarifying the intended thesis: an analogy with the concept of funniness. The result: proponents of the “reversal” need to accept the difficult result that if we blamed small children, they would be blameworthy, or instead explain how their view escapes this result, while still being a view on which our blaming practices “fix the facts” of moral responsibility. (shrink)
This volume reveals the wisdom we can learn from sailing, a sport that pits human skills against the elements, tests the mettle and is a rich source of valuable lessons in life. Unravels the philosophical mysteries behind one of the oldest organized human activities Features contributions from philosophers and academics as well as from sailors themselves Enriches appreciation of the sport by probing its meaning and value Brings to life the many applications of philosophy to sailing and the profound lessons (...) it can teach us A thought-provoking read for sailors and philosophers alike. (shrink)
Hugh Connelly, An authentic Celtic voice : the Irish penitential and contemporary discourse on reconciliation -- Padraig Corkery, Bio-ethics and contemporary Irish moral discourse -- Amelia Fleming, The silent voice of creation and moral discourse. -- Raphael Gallagher, CSsR., A church silence in sexual moral discourse? -- Donal Harrington, Moral discourse and journalism. -- Linda Hogan, Contemporary humanitarianism: neutral or impartial? -- Vincent MacNamara, On having a religious morality. -- Enda McDonagh, A discourse on the centrality of justice in moral (...) theology. -- Suzanne Mulligan, Moral discourse in a time of AIDS. (shrink)
The title of A. P. Martinich's article is a misnomer. What he is defending is not the doctrine of infallibility as defined by the First Vatican Council and as understood by Roman Catholic theologians, but his own highly personal and, to my mind, entirely mistaken interpretation of the doctrine. This interpretation derives from the fact that some purportedly infallible utterances contain the expression ‘we declare that…’. This leads Martinich to believe that such utterances are declarations rather than statements and since (...) declarations, as he appears to understand the term, create facts rather than express them, he concludes that it is logically impossible for an ‘infallible utterance’ to be false. The papal claim to infallibility is thus no longer open to question since ‘the fact-making quality of infallible utterances guarantees their correctness’. (shrink)
In his article ‘Infallibility’ A. P. Martinich has argued that the logical character of infallible utterances has been generally misunderstood. Opponents and supporters of the doctrine of papal infallibility have both assumed, he claims, that infallible utterances are statements; but this is incorrect, for such utterances are not statements, but declarations. Consideration of this point, he believes, would enable us to see that the doctrine of papal infallibility is both coherent and correct.
_"One of the most important political books of 2018."—Rod Dreher, ___American Conservative__ Of the three dominant ideologies of the twentieth century—fascism, communism, and liberalism—only the last remains. This has created a peculiar situation in which liberalism’s proponents tend to forget that it _is _an ideology and not the natural end-state of human political evolution. As Patrick Deneen argues in this provocative book, liberalism is built on a foundation of contradictions: it trumpets equal rights while fostering incomparable material inequality; its (...) legitimacy rests on consent, yet it discourages civic commitments in favor of privatism; and in its pursuit of individual autonomy, it has given rise to the most far-reaching, comprehensive state system in human history. Here, Deneen offers an astringent warning that the centripetal forces now at work on our political culture are not superficial flaws but inherent features of a system whose success is generating its own failure. (shrink)
Over the last two decades, corporate sustainability has been established as a legitimate research topic among management and organization scholars. This introductory article explores potential avenues for advances in research on corporate sustainability by readdressing some of the fundamental aspects of the sustainability debate and approaching some novel perspectives and insights from outside the corporate sustainability field. This essay also sketches out how each of the six articles of this special issue contribute to the literature by going back to some (...) of the conceptual roots of sustainability and/or by offering novel perspectives for research on corporate sustainability. As these six articles and the outlook on future research opportunities show, broadening the inquiry of corporate sustainability in terms of topics, theories, and methodologies holds considerable potential to improve our understanding of how decision makers and organizations respond to sustainability. (shrink)
This is an essay in the Bayesian theory of how opinions should be revised over time. It begins with a discussion of the principle that van Fraassen has dubbed "Reflection". This principle is not a requirement of rationality; a diachronic Dutch argument, that purports to show the contrary, is fallacious. But under suitable conditions, it is irrational to actually implement shifts in probability that violate Reflection. Conditionalization and probability kinematics are special cases of the principle not to implement shifts that (...) violate Reflection; hence these principles are also requirements of rationality under suitable conditions, though not universal requirements of rationality. (shrink)
Throughout his life, Kant was concerned with questions about empirical psychology. He aimed to develop an empirical account of human beings, and his lectures and writings on the topic are recognizable today as properly 'psychological' treatments of human thought and behavior. In this book Patrick R. Frierson uses close analysis of relevant texts, including unpublished lectures and notes, to study Kant's account. He shows in detail how Kant explains human action, choice, and thought in empirical terms, and how a (...) better understanding of Kant's psychology can shed light on major concepts in his philosophy, including the moral law, moral responsibility, weakness of will, and cognitive error. Frierson also applies Kant's accounts of mental illness to contemporary philosophical issues. His book will interest students and scholars of Kant, the history of psychology, philosophy of psychology, and philosophy of action. (shrink)
The concept of responsible ownership was originally developed with reference to large, publicly held firms. However, the relevance of small- and medium-sized closely held firms, such as family firms, in all economies and the specific governance and organisational characteristics of these firms require further examination of the responsible ownership concept and its operationalisation. Based on the existing literature, we define the construct of responsible family ownership to fill this gap in responsible ownership theory. We propose a scale that can be (...) used to assess the responsible family ownership construct in small- and medium-sized family enterprises. The data used in this exploratory study were collected in an ad hoc survey answered by a representative sample of 84 small- and medium-sized family enterprises. The study contributes to the responsible ownership literature by presenting the responsible family ownership construct, a key driver of balance in family and firm systems that is therefore critical to the health of small- and medium-sized family enterprises. In addition, a scale is proposed as a means to operationalise the construct and to derive practical implications for the governance of this kind of firms. (shrink)
Patrick Shade makes a strong argument for the necessity of hope in a cynical world that too often rejects it as foolish. While most accounts of hope situate it in a theological context, Shade presents a theory rooted in the pragmatic thought of such American philosophers as C. S. Peirce, William James, and John Dewey.
Happiness can be expressed through smiles. Happiness can also be expressed through physical displays that without context, would appear to be sadness and anger. These seemingly incongruent displays of happiness, termed dimorphous expressions, we propose, represent and communicate expressers’ motivational orientations. When participants reported their own aggressive expressions in positive or negative contexts, their expressions represented positive or negative emotional experiences respectively, imbued with appetitive orientations. In contrast, reported sad expressions, in positive or negative contexts, represented positive and negative emotional (...) experiences respectively, imbued with consummatory orientations. In six additional experiments, participant observers interpreted that aggression displayed in positive contexts signalled happy-appetitive states, and sadness displayed in positive contexts signalled happy-consummatory states. Implications for the production and interpretation of emotion expressions are discussed. (shrink)
In this ground-breaking new text, Patrick Baert analyses the central perspectives in the philosophy of social science, critically investigating the work of Durkheim, Weber, Popper, critical realism, critical theory, and Rorty's neo pragmatism. Places key writers in their social and political contexts, helping to make their ideas meaningful to students. Shows how these authors’ views have practical uses in empirical research. Lively approach that makes complex ideas understandable to upper-level students, as well as having scholarly appeal.