This book is a timely new interpretation of the moral and political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes. Staying close to Hobbes's text and working from a careful examination of the actual substance of the account of natural law, R.E. Ewin argues that Hobbes well understood the importance of moral behavior to civilized society. This interpretation stands as a much-needed corrective to readings of Hobbes that emphasize the rationally calculated, self-interested nature of human behavior. It poses a significant challenge to currently fashionable (...) game theoretic reconstructions of Hobbesian logic. It is generally agreed that Hobbes applied what he took to be a geometrical method to political theory. But, as Ewin forcefully argues, modern readers have misconstrued Hobbes's geometric method, and this has led to a series of misunderstandings of Hobbes's view of the relationship between politics and morality. Important implications of Ewin's reading are that Hobbes never thought that "the war of each against all" was an empirical possibility for citizens; that his political theory actually presupposes moral agency; and that Hobbes's account of natural law forces us to the conclusion that Hobbes was a virtue theorist. This major contribution to Hobbes studies will be praised and criticized, welcomed and challenged, but it cannot be ignored. All philosophers, political theorists, and historians of ideas dealing with Hobbes will need to take account of it. (shrink)
I shall be dealing, throughout this book, with a set of related problems: the relationship between morality and reasoning in general, the way in which moral reasoning is properly to be carried on, and why morality is not arbitrary. The solutions to these problems come out of the same train of argument. Morality is not arbitrary, I shall argue, because the acceptance of certain qualities of character as virtues and the rejection of others as vices is forced on us by (...) the co-operative basis of human life. The co-operation in human life is unavoidable; the alternative is a literal Hobbesian state of nature, and that is impossible. It is not that co-operation between people is a good thing or even a very good thing; it is simply unavoidable in human life, and it is impossible unless the qualities of character counted as virtues are encouraged and are at least fairly common. The possibility of human life presupposes a theory of human nature, and working out that theory of human nature is the main job of moral philosophy. These virtues or qualities of character or attitudes lead us towards a theory of reasons. A person with a sense of justice is a person inclined to accept certain sorts of facts as reasons for acting, and if the virtues are presupposed by human life then the acceptance of those sorts of facts as reasons for acting is presupposed by human life. A condition of the life of reasoning beings (a more accurate term here than 'human beings') is that moral reasons are reasons for acting and are at the very basis of reasoning. And from this it follows that properly conducted moral reasoning is ultimately guided by the virtues rather than ultimately guided by a set of rules. (shrink)
Clinical ethical support services (CESS) represent a multifaceted field of aims, consultancy models, and methodologies. Nevertheless, the overall aim of CESS can be summed up as contributing to healthcare of high ethical standards by improving ethically competent decision-making in clinical healthcare. In order to support clinical care adequately, CESS must pay systematic attention to all real-life ethical issues, including those which do not fall within the ‘favourite’ ethical issues of the day. In this paper we attempt to capture a comprehensive (...) overview of categories of ethical tensions in clinical care. We present an analytical exposition of ethical structural features in judgement-based clinical care predicated on the assumption of the moral equality of human beings and the assessment of where healthcare contexts pose a challenge to achieving moral equality. The account and the emerging overview is worked out so that it can be easily contextualized with regards to national healthcare systems and specific branches of healthcare, as well as local healthcare institutions. By considering how the account and the overview can be applied to i) improve the ethical competence of healthcare personnel and consultants by broadening their sensitivity to ethical tensions, ii) identify neglected areas for ethical research, and iii) clarify the ethical responsibility of healthcare institutions' leadership, as well as specifying required institutionalized administration, we conclude that the proposed account should be considered useful for CESS. (shrink)
This paper is an experiment in Leibnizian analysis. The reader will recall that Leibniz considered all true sentences to be analytically so. The difference, on his account, between necessary and contingent truths is that sentences reporting the former are finitely analytic; those reporting the latter require infinite analysis of which God alone is capable. On such a view at least two competing conceptions of entailment emerge. According to one, a sentence entails another when the set of atomic requirements for the (...) first is included in the corresponding set for the other; according to the other conception, every atomic requirement of the entailed sentence is underwritten by an atomic constituent of the entailing one. The former conception is classical on the twentieth century understanding of the term; the latter is the one we explore here. Now if we restrict ourselves to the formal language of the propositional calculus, every sentence has a finite analysis into its conjunctive normal form. Semantically, then, every sentence of that language can be represented as a simple hypergraph, H, on the powerset of a universe of states. Entailment of the sort we wish to study can be represented as a known relation, subsumption between hypergraphs. Since the lattice of hypergraphs thus ordered is a DeMorgan lattice, the logic of entailment thus understood is the familiar system, FDE of first-degree entailment. We observe that, extensionalized, the relation of subsumption is itself a DeMorgan Lattice ordered by higher-order subsumption. Thus the semantic idiom that hypergraph-theory affords reveals a hierarchy of lattices capable of representing entailments of every finite degree. (shrink)
We construct a nonlow2 r.e. degree d such that every positive extension of embeddings property that holds below every low2 degree holds below d. Indeed, we can also guarantee the converse so that there is a low r.e. degree c such that that the extension of embeddings properties true below c are exactly the ones true belowd.Moreover, we can also guarantee that no b ≤ d is the base of a nonsplitting pair.
The thesis of this article is that there has never been any ground for the controversy between the doctrine of free will and determinism, that it is based upon a misapprehension, that the two assertions are entirely consistent, that one of them strictly implies the other, that they have been opposed only because of our natural want of the analytical imagination. In so saying I do not tamper with the meaning of either phrase. That would be unpardonable. I mean free (...) will in the natural and usual sense, in the fullest, the most absolute sense in which for the purposes of the personal and moral life the term is ever employed. I mean it as implying responsibility, merit and demerit, guilt and desert. I mean it as implying, after an act has been performed, that one " could have done otherwise " than one did. I mean it as conveying these things also, not in any subtly modified sense but in exactly the sense in which we conceive them in life and in law and in ethics. These two doctrines have been opposed because we have not realised that free will can be analysed without being destroyed, and that determinism is merely a feature of the analysis of it. And if we are tempted to take refuge in the thought of an "ultimate ", an "innermost" liberty that eludes the analysis, then we have implied a deterministic basis and constitution for this liberty as well. For such a basis and constitution lie in the idea of liberty. -/- The thesis is not, like that of Green or Bradley, that the contending opinions are reconciled if we adopt a certain metaphysic of the ego, as that it is timeless, and identifies itself with a desire by a " timeless act". This is to say that the two are irreconcilable, as they are popularly supposed to be, except by a theory that delivers us from the conflict by taking us out of time. Our view on the contrary is that from the natural and temporal point of view itself there never was any need of a reconciliation but only of a comprehension of the meaning of terms. (The metaphysical nature of the self and its identity through time is a problem for all who confront memory, anticipation, etc.; it has no peculiar difficulties arising from the present problem.) -/- I am not maintaining that determinism is true; only that it is true insofar as we have free will. That we are free in willing is, broadly speaking, a fact of experience. That broad fact is more assured than any philosophical analysis. It is therefore surer than the deterministic analysis of it, entirely adequate as that in the end appears to be. But it is not here affirmed that there are no small exceptions, no slight undetermined swervings, no ingredient of absolute chance. All that is here said is that such absence of determination, if and so far as it exists, is no gain to freedom, but sheer loss of it; no advantage to the moral life, but blank subtraction from it. -- When I speak below of "the indeterminist" I mean the libertarian indeterminist, that is, him who believes in free will and holds that it involves indetermination. (shrink)