Several authors have recently suggested that moral factors and norms `encroach' on the epistemic, and because of salient parallels to pragmatic encroachment views in epistemology, these suggestions have been dubbed `moral encroachment views'. This paper distinguishes between variants of the moral encroachment thesis, pointing out how they address different problems, are motivated by different considerations, and are not all subject to the same objections. It also explores how the family of moral encroachment views compare to classical pragmatic encroachment accounts.
The thesis developed and defended in this paper is that is it false that all knowledge is founded on experience. Much of our knowledge (or alleged knowledge), it is argued, is based on testimony. Still, many philosophers have either not dealt with testimony at all, or treated it very unkindly. One of the reasons for this is that those philosophers (such as Descartes and Locke) work with a concept of knowledge according to which knowledge is certain, indubitable, and/or self-evident. And (...) if knowledge is what these philosophers say it is, then there is no such thing as knowledge based on testimony indeed. Thomas Reid is introduced as holding that we do have testimonial knowledge and that therefore Descartes’ and Locke’s concept of knowledge is untenable. Reid furthermore holds that human beings are endowed with a disposition to accept or believe what otherstell us („the principle of credulity”). The working of this principle is refined through all kinds of experience. What Reid says or shows is how this disposition in fact operates. Many epistemologists, however, have higher aspirations and look for reasons or arguments that can justify our factual acceptance of testimony. The inductive argument Hume offers, it is argued, is unconvincing. There is even reason to think that the principle of credulity can never be justified by adducing reasons. This does not imply, however, that acceptance of testimony is unjustified. Whether or not it is depends, among other things, on the concept of justification one uses. On an internalist concept of justification (as Locke’s or Hume’s) this disposition may never be justified. But on an externalist conception it may. This may be disappointing, given some widely held philosophical aspirations, but at the same time it is, as Alston has said, a lesson in intellectual humility. (shrink)
I argue that inferences from highly probabilifying racial generalizations are not solely objectionable because acting on such inferences would be problematic, or they violate a moral norm, but because they violate a distinctively epistemic norm. They involve accepting a proposition when, given the costs of a mistake, one is not adequately justified in doing so. First I sketch an account of the nature of adequate justification—practical adequacy with respect to eliminating the ~p possibilities from one’s epistemic statespace. Second, I argue (...) that inferences based on demographic generalizations tend to disproportionately expose group members to the risks associated with mistakenly assuming stereotypical propositions, and so magnify the wrong involved in relying on such inferences without adequate justification. (shrink)
I argue that the offense generation pattern of slurring terms parallels that of impoliteness behaviors, and is best explained by appeal to similar purely pragmatic mechanisms. In choosing to use a slurring term rather than its neutral counterpart, the speaker signals that she endorses the term. Such an endorsement warrants offense, and consequently slurs generate offense whenever a speaker's use demonstrates a contrastive preference for the slurring term. Since this explanation comes at low theoretical cost and imposes few constraints on (...) an account of the semantics of slurs, this suggests that we should not require semantic accounts to provide an independent explanation of the offense profile. (shrink)
In addition to protecting agents’ autonomy, consent plays a crucial social role: it enables agents to secure partners in valuable interactions that would be prohibitively morally risk otherwise. To do this, consent must be observable: agents must be able to track the facts about whether they have received a consent-based permission. I argue that this morally justifies a consent-practice on which communicating that one consents is sufficient for consent, but also generates robust constraints on what sorts of behaviors can be (...) taken as consent- communicating. (shrink)
The problem of moral disagreement has been presented as an objection to contextualist semantics for ‘ought’, since it is not clear that contextualism can accommodate or give a convincing gloss of such disagreement. I argue that independently of our semantics, disagreements over ‘ought’ in non-cooperative contexts are best understood as indirect metalinguistic disputes, which is easily accommodated by contextualism. If this is correct, then rather than posing a problem for contextualism, the data from moral disagreements provides some reason to adopt (...) a semantics that allows contextual variance in the meanings of ‘ought’. (shrink)
Some, but not all, of the mistakes a person makes when acting in apparently necessary self-defense are reasonable: we take them not to violate the rights of the apparent aggressor. I argue that this is explained by duties grounded in agents' entitlements to a fair distribution of the risk of suffering unjust harm. I suggest that the content of these duties is filled in by a social signaling norm, and offer some moral constraints on the form such a norm can (...) take. (shrink)
A popular informal argument suggests that statistics about the preponderance of criminal involvement among particular demographic groups partially justify others in making defensive mistakes against members of the group. One could worry that evidence-relative accounts of moral rights vindicate this argument. After constructing the strongest form of this objection, I offer several replies: most demographic statistics face an unmet challenge from reference class problems, even those that meet it fail to ground non-negligible conditional probabilities, even if they did, they introduce (...) new costs likely to cancel out any justificatory contribution of the statistic, but even if they didn’t, demographic facts are the wrong sort to make a moral difference to agents’ negative rights. I conclude that the popular argument should be rejected, and evidence-relative theories do not have the worrisome implication. (shrink)
Sometimes speakers within a linguistic community use a term that they do not conceptualize as a slur, but which other members of that community do. Sometimes these speakers are ignorant or naïve, but not always. This article explores a puzzle raised when some speakers stubbornly maintain that a contested term t is not derogatory. Because the semantic content of a term depends on the language, to say that their use of t is semantically derogatory despite their claims and intentions, we (...) must individuate languages in a way that counts them as speaking our language L, assigns t a determinately derogatory content in L, and still accommodates the other features of slurs’ linguistic profile. Given the difficulty of doing this, there is some reason to give a non-semantic analysis of the derogatory aspect of slurs. The author suggests that rather than dismissing the stubborn as semantically incompetent, we would do better to appeal to expected uptake as moral reasons for the stubborn to adjust their linguistic practices. (shrink)
A type of argument occasionally made in metaethics, epistemology and philosophy of science notes that most ordinary uses of some expression fail to satisfy the strictest interpretation of the expression, and concludes that the ordinary assertions are false. This requires there to be a presumption in favour of a strict interpretation of expressions that admit of interpretations at different levels of strictness. We argue that this presumption is unmotivated, and thus the arguments fail.
A regulative norm for permissible defense distinguishes the conditions under which we will hold defenders to be innocent of any wrongdoing from those in which we hold them responsible for assault or manslaughter. The norm must strike a fair balance between defenders' security, on the one hand, and other agents’ legitimate claim to live without fear of suffering mistaken defensive harm, on the other. Since agents must make defensive decisions under high pressure and on only partial information, they will sometimes (...) make mistakes. We have reason to want a norm that considers a mistake permissible when it was highly likely on the evidence that defense was proportionate and necessary to avert a threat. However, adopting an evidentialist norm under non-ideal conditions is treacherous business. I briefly survey empirical data suggesting that the type and extent of bias prevalent in the US renders a straightforward evidentialist norm unjust, and thus since the legal practice in the US relies on such a norm, we must explore avenues for reform. Preferably this will take the form of adopting a modified evidential norm, and I explore some promising options. If this proves impossible, however, then we have to accept a strict regulative norm (which does not consider any mistakes permissible), as the sole just alternative. (shrink)
Rights to do wrong are not necessary even within the framework of interest-based rights aimed at preserving autonomy. Agents can make morally significant choices and develop their moral character without a right to do wrong, so long as we allow that there can be moral variation within the set of actions that an agent is permitted to perform. Agents can also engage in non-trivial self-constitution in choosing between morally indifferent options, so long as there is adequate non-moral variation among the (...) alternatives. The stubborn intuition that individuals have a right to do wrong in some cases can be explained as stemming from a cautionary principle motivated by the asymmetry between the risk of wrongly interfering and that of refraining from interfering. (shrink)
" ‘I can be understood only after my death,’ Kierkegaard noted prophetically: the fulfillment of this expectation for the English-speaking world a century and a quarter later is signified by the English translation in authoritative editions of all his works by the indefatigable Howard and Edna Hong.... The importance of [the Papirer] was emphasized by Kierkegaard himself.... The essentially religious interpretation he gave to his mission in life and his personal relationships is now documented clearly and exhaustively.... Obviously, these editions (...) are essential for academic and large general collections." —Library Journal "From this point on, anyone interested in tracking down a Kierkegaardian theme will have to consult the Hong presentation as well as the books of Kierkegaard." —Annual Review of Philosophy "The translations are entirely excellent. One envies the Hongs their capacity in language, the breadth of their reading in Kierkegaard and his sources, and the dedication they brought to this Herculean task. The assistance of Gregor Malantschuk has contributed materially to the notes which serve as trenchant summaries of Kierkegaard’s thought on the topics.... This is indeed a monumental work." —Review of Metaphysics "... [an] astonishing labor of editing and translating... " —International Studies in Philosophy "Howard and Edna Hong have brought to the task solid scholarship, linguistic competence, an imaginative and useful arrangement of the material, and a scrupulous self-effacement before the work. No one could ask for more." —Citation of the Judges at the National Book Awards "We must be grateful to the Hongs for their enormous labor.... Kierkegaard’s Journals and Papers are worth having for angry days, or ‘inward’ days; especially when they have been translated in as lively and sensitive a manner as are the texts in this first volume." —Nation The incidental writings of Søren Kierkegaard, published in the twenty-volume Danish edition of the Papirer, provide direct access to the thought of the many-faceted nineteenth-century philosopher who exerted so profound an influence on Protestant theology and modern existentialism. This important material, which Danish scholars regard as the "key to the scriptures" of Kierkegaard’s other work, spans his entire productive life, the last entry of the Papirer being dated only a few days before his death. These writings have been previously inaccessible in English except for a few fragmentary selections; the most significant writings are now being made available in this definitive seven-volume edition under the editorship of two expert scholars and translators. Kierkegaard’s scattered writings fall into three main subject groupings: journal entries of varied content, notes and early versions of his published material, and personal reactions to his reading and study. In length and degree of polish they range from brief and cryptic notes to extensive lecture material, finished travel sketches, and extended philosophical speculation. The translators provide annotations, copious notes, and a collation of entries with the Danish Papirer. The editors group the selections in Volumes I through IV by theme, with all entries on a given subject under the same heading. Within subject headings, entries are arranged chronologically, making it feasible to trace the evolution of Kierkegaard’s thought on a specific topic. Volumes V and VI are devoted to autobiographical material. Volume VII contains an extensive index with topical crossreferences. (shrink)
This article attempts to answer a question that many dancers and non-dancers may have. What is dance according to the media? Furthermore, how does the written word portray dance in the media? To answer these ques-tions, this research focuses on the role that the discourse of dance in media plays in the public sphere’s knowledge construction of dance. This is impor-tant to study because the public sphere’s meaning of dance will determine whether dance education is promoted or banned in schools (...) and in society. The aim of this paper is to contribute to the existing literature of dance in the media. One limitation of this contribution is that the research uses only newspaper articles as a source of analysis. Future research should include an analysis of visual and audio clips of dance as portrayed in the media. (shrink)
Public universities in Poland receive fairly limited financial support for creating e-textbooks (interactive online textbooks) and lack the appropriate ICT competences among teaching staff, especially in the case of non-technical universities. The authors propose a pedagogical and technological paradigm for e-textbooks in medical education using open source software with minimal IT skills required. Technologies used to develop e-textbooks are connected with: publication and distribution of e-textbooks, e-book readers, and editing tools. The paper also discusses a survey that targeted students of (...) medical sciences, which focused on their understanding of their educational needs that can be met through new online resources as well as their expectations of how such e-textbooks should be like. (shrink)
This article offers an analytic exploration of self-disclosed accounts by consumers of self-help media with regard to how their engagement with these texts influences their self-identifying efforts. Relying on a thematic discourse analysis of data from in-depth interviews with 10 black avid self-help consumers, this article outlines in what ways, according to these individuals, their notions of self-identity are impacted by the self-help texts they consume. A relationship between self-help media consumption and self-identity, I argue, exists based on the grounds (...) that the educational nature of the self-help text renders it a key tool of ‘guidance’ to these self-help consumers. It is a guidance that is intricately linked to the media’s endorsement of mediated experiences – through various communication technologies – from which consumers of these distant experiences vicariously ‘learn’ to ultimately attribute these lessons to their own social relations. This, in turn, allows for the carving of their own identities based on the ‘ideas’ they have at their disposal. (shrink)
This book reinvigorates the philosophical treatment of the nature, purpose, and meaning of thought in today’s universities. The wider discussion about higher education has moved from a philosophical discourse to a discourse on social welfare and service, economics, and political agendas. This book reconnects philosophy with the central academic concepts of thought, reason, and critique and their associated academic practices of thinking and reasoning. Thought in this context should not be considered as a merely mental or cognitive construction, still less (...) a cloistered college, but a fully developed individual and social engagement of critical reflection and discussion with the current pressing disciplinary, political, and philosophical issues. The editors hold that the element of thought, and the ability to think in a deep and groundbreaking way is, still, the essence of the university. But what does it mean to think in the university today? And in what ways is thought related not only to the epistemological and ontological issues of philosophical debate, but also to the social and political dimensions of our globalised age? In many countries, the state is imposing limitations on universities, dismissing or threatening academics who speak out critically. With this volume, the editors ask questions such as: What is the value of thought? What is the university’s proper relationship to thought? To give the notion of thought a thorough philosophical treatment, the book is divided into in three parts. The focus moves from an epistemological perspective in Part I, to a focus on existence and values in higher education in Part II, and then to a societal-oriented focus on the university in Part III. All three parts, in their own ways, debate the notion of thought in higher education and the university as a thinking form of being. (shrink)
This paper gives a presentation and critical assessment of the phenomenological philosophy and ethics of the Danish theologian and philosopher K. E. Løgstrup (1905–1981). It is argued that although the ethics of Løgstrup contain valuable insights, an uncritical appropriation as the main source for a health care ethics or a philosophy of caring, is problematic. Løgstrup's philosophy contains a number of internal problems, and does not adequately deal with some problems raised by work in the modern health care setting.
In a controlled laboratory experiment, we found evidence for our predictions that participants who received fair distributive treatment were more likely to lie to give a supervisor a good performance evaluation than those treated unfairly, and those who received unfair distributive treatment were more likely to steal money from a supervisor than those treated fairly. We further proposed that the presence of an ethical code of conduct would moderate these relationships such that when the code was present these relationships would (...) be weaker than when the code was absent, but we failed to find support for these moderating effects. Our findings suggest that the relationship between distributive justice and unethical behavior is likely more complex than previously considered. Both researchers and managers may benefit from a broader understanding of the factors that motivate and inhibit unethical behaviors intended to benefit and harm supervisors and/or organizations. (shrink)
Sommario: Il mio obiettivo in questo testo è discutere la nozione di lavoro produttivo nell’ambito della opera di Kierkegaard, con speciale atenzione alla teoria degli stadi esistenziali. Partendo dal concetto di uomo come un essere relazionale cioè che si rapporta a sé stesso ed alle altre persone, cerco di esaminare come il teologo danese descrive il lavoro in ogni stadio. Mentre si può dire che nell’etico il lavoro sia il dovere di ogni uomo, dovere che lo porta all’universale, e nell’estetico (...) che il lavoro sia una noiosa attività almeno quando non si riesce ad svilupparsi qualche talento speciale, nel religioso tutto cambia. Nello stadio religioso l’altro è il prossimo cioè un somigliante e quindi l’esistenza umana prende come scopo un attuarsi del sé verso ad una possibilità che si trova oltre sé stesso, una possibilità che Kierkegaard designa come coscienza eterna. Dunque il lavoro diventa sfera anche per la manifestazione dello umano come coscienza e libertà e non soltanto uno sforzo per soddisfare le necessità materiale dell’uomo come individuo di una spezie animale.: My purpose here was to discuss the notion of productive work in the philosophy of Kierkegaard. I put special attention upon the so-called theory of the life’stages. Firstly I take the concept of man as a relational being, that is a being that related himself to himself and to the other people. Then I examine Kierkegaardian discussion of the concept of work in each stage: the esthetic, the ethical and the religious. It is possible to affirm that while in the ethical the work is an universal duty, and for the esthetic it is a boring activity or at the best, is one occasion for exercising a special talent, in the religious everything changes. In the religious the Other person with whom the Self relates himself must be taken as the biblical-neighbour and so the human life takes a diferente purpose: become conscious of his own eternal calling. In the same sense working becomes a way of developing the most important atributes of human beings – his self-conscience and his liberty – more than a way of caring about the material necessities of life as an individual of an animal specie. Key words: Life’stages; Work; Subjectivity. (shrink)