In the criminal law of many jurisdictions complicity, though not itself a substantive crime but a way of committing a crime, is a doctrine that determines when one person is legally liable for a criminal offense that was committed by another person, typically by being an accomplice. That doctrine has a number of troubling moral implications with respect to responsibility, particularly when complicity is employed as a devise to capture one agent as morally accountable for the actions of another agent (...) and/or the consequences of those actions. I focus on the issue of responsibility for consequences and actus reus and mens rea difficulties with complicity as a moral concept in the light of two cases in which complicity is the basis for ascriptions of moral and criminal responsibility to someone who was not the primary wrongdoer. The book on the topic by Chiara Lepora and Robert E. Goodin provokes my discussion. (shrink)
The tragic crash of Air New Zealand's flight TE-901 into Mt. Erebus in Antarctica provides a fascinating case for the exploration of the notion of corporate moral responsibility. A principle of accountability that has Aristotelian roots and is significantly different from the usual strict intentional action principles is examined and defined. That principle maintains that a person can be held morally accountable for previous non-intentional behavior that has harmful effects if the person does not take corrective measures to adjust his (...) ways of behavior so as not to produce repetitions. This principle is then applied to the Mt. Erebus disaster. (shrink)
Ethics and College Sports is a careful analysis of the root problems in intercollegiate athletics in American universities. It examines the prevalent myths that are regularly used to justify the inclusion of intercollegiate athletics, and all of the abuses and scandals it has brought to university campuses, from a moral perspective.
_The Scope of Morality _ was first published in 1980. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions. The scope of morality, Peter A. French contends, is much narrower than many traditional and contemporary works in ethical theory suggest. We trivialize morality if we think it has something to say about everything we do; it touches us all, but not at all times. This (...) essay in philosophical ethics focuses upon the origin, purpose, and function of the various concepts to be found in a more or less mature morality. The author draws a distinction between moral concepts that arise from an individual's wish to live a worthwhile life and those directed towards the development of virtue in the moral community. Moral concepts, in his view, are subjective creations of human beings rather than laws with an objective basis in nature. The ethics of sociobiology, of the lifeboat and spaceship models, and of game theory all come under his critical eye in this useful and progressive work. _The Scope of Morality_, says Hector-Neri Castaneda, "represents a serious effort at discussing the nature of morality, taking into account the most important contributions of recent writers.". (shrink)
In the following essay, the theoretical apparatus for distinguishing various types of collectivities (aggregates and conglomerates) is described. This is followed by a consideration of how responsibility ascriptions to different types of collectivities are to be understood vis à vis those to individual group members. It is suggested that the "medical profession" (distinctly different from the "medical team" and the "hospital corporation") is an aggregate collectivity. That is, the "medical profession" consists of the "sum" of the identities of its membership, (...) which can be shown to entail that if the "profession" is held responsible for something, each of its members is responsible, in some way, for it. This is to suggest that the "medical profession" is not a shield that hides individual medical practitioners from responsibility for the general state of health care. Quite the contrary. The use of the name of the aggregate in such a responsibility ascription puts each and every one of them "on call." CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Richard Rorty has drawn a distinction between three ways philosophers in the 20th Century have conceived of the enterprise of philosophy. There are those who see it as the guardian of the sciences, those who treat it as a kina of poetry, and those who view philosophy as a political exercise. In this paper, I try to show that Wittgenstein, despite certain popular conceptions of his project, belongs more in the third group than in the other two. The paper focuses (...) on Wittgenstein's notes On Certainty in order to reveal the structure of Wittgenstein's notion of epistemological privilege and how it depends on communal agreement and behaviour. The system of conventions and commitments on which our vanouis practices are grounded is not justifiable. It is a matter of forms of life. (shrink)
I. On the morning of 28 November 1979 flight TE-901, a DC-10 operated by Air New Zealand Limited, took off from Auckland, New Zealand, on a sightseeing passenger flight over a portion of Antarctica. The pilot in command was Captain Collins. The following are paragraphs from the official Report of the Royal Commission that inquired into the events surrounding that flight.
This collection of essays, inspired by the author's experience teaching ethics to Marine and Navy chaplains during the Iraq War, examines the moral and psychological dilemmas posed by war. The first section deals directly with Dr Peter A. French's teaching experience and the specific challenges posed by teaching applied and theoretical ethics to men and women wrestling with the immediate and personal moral conflicts occasioned by the dissonance of their duties as military officers with their religious convictions. The following chapters (...) grew out of philosophical discussions with these chaplains regarding specific ethical issues surrounding the Iraq War, including the nature of moral evil, forgiveness, mercy, retributive punishment, honour, torture, responsibility and just war theory. This book represents a unique viewpoint on the philosophical problems of war, illuminating the devastating toll combat experiences take on both an individual's sense of identity and a society's professed moral code. (shrink)
I suggest that part of the reason the on-going debate in the West between the liberal democrats and the communitarians about the future and/or the ills of democracy is futile because both sides are committed to conceptually different accounts of democracy. The roots of communitarianism in the Athenian polis and that of liberalism in the atomistic individualism of the Enlightenment are contrasted in order to discern the motivating visions and overarching structures of both. Whereas communitarian democracy is willdominated, liberal democracy (...) is choice-dominated. My purpose here is not to argue for the supremacy of one over the other, but to call attention to the distinctions between the two that are often blurred in contemporary discussion about democracy. (shrink)
Self-blaming expressions are common. For example, “I blame myself for missing the deadline;” “I’m the only one to blame for my alcoholism;” “I can’t stop blaming myself for what he did to me;” “Bless me Father, for I have sinned;” “My bad, I’ll pay for it;” “I’m so ashamed of having done that;” and, “Damn me, I’ve done it again!”Self-blame occupies a sizable chunk of what is published in academic psychology, but there is not that much on the topic in (...) philosophy. My intent is to offer some thoughts and explorations about self-blaming in the context of a wider view of negative responsibility ascriptions that are not uttered at the time of the untoward action, and to use a distinction drawn in a piece from the psychological literature to suggest a link between a certain kind of self-blame, repentance, and acts of atonement.PreliminariesSelf-blaming is a form of holding oneself responsible, a way of expressing a negative self-reactive attitude subsequent to the performance of an action. .. (shrink)
This book is concerned with how we should think and act in our work, leisure activities, and time utilization in order to achieve flourishing lives. The scope papers range from general theoretical considerations of the value, e.g. 'What is a balanced life?', to specific types of considerations, e.g. 'How should we cope with the effects of work on moral decision-making?'.
__Early Modern Philosophy Reconsidered: Essays in Honor of Paul Hoffman __is an international collection of essays from both well-established and younger scholars. In keeping with the example of Hoffman’s own work, the essays are written in the spirit of promoting serious philosophical engagement with the historical figures they discuss. Among the philosophers whose views are explored in the collection are Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Berkeley, and Kant.
Analytic philosophy was born from philosophic reflection on logic and mathematics. It has been at its strongest in these and related domains of reflection, domains that are friendly to definition and analytic clarity. From time to time, analytic philosophers, some very distinguished, have produced fine work on literature and the arts. But these areas remain underexplored in the analytic tradition. This volume is focused upon language that does not fit within the usual analytic paradigms. It's highlights include two pieces of (...) original poetry on philosophic subjects, and philosophic reflection on poetry, literature more generally, metaphor, and related subjects. (shrink)
This Volume illuminates the notion of meaning in the arts-in literature, painting, music, and dance. Specific topics include theory in the arts; interpretations of meaning; objectivity in meaning; and the consumer as a participant in art. Brings together articles from prominent philosophers and practitioners of the arts, which illuminate the notion of meaning in the arts. Addresses meaning in literature, painting, music, and dance. Explores the relationship between authorial intentions and the viewer's interpretation of meaning; the possibility (or impossibility) of (...) objective meaning; and the role of the consumer as a participant in the work of art. (shrink)
The essays in this volume explore various issues pertaining to human agency, such as the relationship between free will and causal determinism, and the nature and conditions of moral responsibility. Builds on and extends some of the very best recent work in the field. Features lively and vigorous debate. Forges connections between abstract philosophical theorizing and applied work in neuroscience and even criminal law.
_Philosophy and Poetry_ is the 33rd volume in the _Midwest Studies in Philosophy_ series. It begins with contributions in verse from two world class poets, JohnAshbery and Stephen Dunn, and an article by Dunn on the creative processthat issued in his poem. The volume features new work from an internationalcollection of philosophers exploring central philosophical issues pertinent topoetry as well as the connections between the two domains.
Truth and Its Deformities is the 32nd volume in the Midwest Studies in Philosophy series. It contains major new contributions on a range of topics related to the general theme of the volume by some of the most important philosophers writing on truth in recent years.
Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Volume XXIV, Life and Death: Metaphysics and Ethics is an important contribution to the literature on the intersection of issues of metaphysics and issues of ethics. In the Midwest Studies tradition, twenty of the more important philosophers writing in this area have contributed original papers that extend the boundaries of philosophical discussion of issues that are of both theoretical and practical concern to a wide-ranging audience. Topics considered include the concept of human life, the relationship between (...) the concept of personal identity and the understanding of death, normative appraisals of death, capital punishment, euthanasia, the postponement of death and the impact of a theory of death and afterlife on one's ethical perspective. (shrink)
In this volume leading contemporary philosophical historians of the Renaissance and Early Modern periods examine the works of important figures of the fifteenth through the eighteenth century. While Midwest Studies in Philosophy has produced other volumes devoted to historical periods in philosophy, this is the first to offer such extensive and focused original materials on specific crucial figures as this volume. Original papers by twenty contemporary philosophers writing about the works of the major philosophers of the Fifteenth through the Eighteenth (...) centuries This historically and philosophically broad collection extends from such fifteenth century figures as Ficino, Machiavelli, and Pompanazzi to the work of Montesquieu in the eighteenth century. (shrink)