Recent scholarship has drawn attention to John Rawls’s concern with stability—a concern that, as Rawls himself notes, motivated Part III of A Theory of Justice and some of the more important changes of his political turn. For Rawls, the possibility of achieving ‘stability for the right reasons’ depends on citizens possessing sufficient moral motivation. I argue, however, that the moral psychology Rawls develops to show how such motivation would be cultivated and sustained does not cohere with his specific descriptions of (...) ‘pluralist ’ doctrines. Considering Rawls’s claims that ‘most’ citizens—both in contemporary liberal democracies and in the well-ordered society—possess such doctrines, this incompatibility threatens to undermine his stability arguments. Despite the enormous importance of pluralist doctrines and the potential difficulties they pose for Rawls’s project, remarkably little attention has been paid to them. By critically examining these difficulties, the article begins to address this oversight. (shrink)
Is authoritarian power ever legitimate? The contemporary political theory literature—which largely conceptualizes legitimacy in terms of democracy or basic rights—would seem to suggest not. I argue, however, that there exists another, overlooked aspect of legitimacy concerning a government’s ability to ensure safety and security. While, under normal conditions, maintaining democracy and rights is typically compatible with guaranteeing safety, in emergency situations, conflicts between these two aspects of legitimacy can and often do arise. A salient example of this is the COVID-19 (...) pandemic, during which severe limitations on free movement and association have become legitimate techniques of government. Climate change poses an even graver threat to public safety. Consequently, I argue, legitimacy may require a similarly authoritarian approach. While unsettling, this suggests the political importance of climate action. For if we wish to avoid legitimating authoritarian power, we must act to prevent crises from arising that can only be resolved by such means. (shrink)
Central to W.E.B. Du Bois’s political theory is a conception of “world” remarkably similar to that put forward, years later, by Martin Heidegger. This point is more methodological than historical: I claim that approaching Du Bois’s work as a source, rather than as a product, of concepts that resonated with subsequent thinkers allows us to better appreciate the novelty and vision of his political theory. Exploring this resonance, I argue, helps to refine the notions of world and founding present in (...) each theorist’s work. Yet, it is only by remaining attentive to their differences that we can understand how Du Bois and Heidegger could endorse such dramatically opposed political programs despite similar theoretical starting points. (shrink)
Action must be taken to combat climate change. Yet, how the costs of climate action should be allocated among states remains a question. One popular answer—the polluter-pays principle (PPP)—stipulates that those responsible for causing the problem should pay to address it. While intuitively plausible, the PPP has been subjected to withering criticism in recent years. It is timely, following the Paris Agreement, to develop a new version: one that does not focus on historical production-based emissions but rather allocates climate burdens (...) in proportion to each state’s annual consumption-based emissions. This change in carbon accounting results in a fairer and more environmentally effective principle for distributing climate duties. (shrink)
Many feel a sense of aversion and tragedy about proposals for engineering the climate. Precautionary concerns only partly explain these feelings. For a fuller understanding, we need a thicker conception of the values and ends of political society than “neutralitarian” political theories offer. To this end, I examine how Buddhist and Greek notions of temperance, justice, and freedom bear on the question of geo-engineering. My intention is not to pronounce on whether geo-engineering is morally “right” or “wrong,” but to highlight (...) reasons for thinking it unattractive in a broader sense, thereby strengthening the case for exhausting conventional emissions-reductions options. (shrink)
We defend a scalar theory of the relationship between material scarcity and justice. As scarcity increases beyond a specified threshold, we argue that deontological egalitarian constraints should be gradually relaxed and consequentialist considerations should increasingly determine distributions. We construct this theory by taking a bottom-up approach that is guided by principles of medical triage. Armed with this theory, we consider the range of conditions under which justice applies. We argue that there are compelling reasons for thinking that justice applies under (...) a far broader range of conditions than is standardly supposed, including those that could sensibly be labelled as conditions of extreme rather than moderate scarcity. (shrink)
Abstract Most discussions of risk are developed in broadly consequentialist terms, focusing on the outcomes of risks as such. This paper will provide an alternative account of risk from a virtue ethical perspective, shifting the focus to the decision to take the risk. Making ethical decisions about risk is, we will argue, not fundamentally about the actual chain of events that the decision sets in process, but about the reasonableness of the decision to take the risk in the first place. (...) A virtue ethical account of risk is needed because the notion of the ‘reasonableness’ of the decision to take the risk is affected by the complexity of the moral status of particular instances of risk-taking and the risk-taker’s responsiveness to these contextual features. The very idea of ‘reasonable risk’ welcomes judgments about the nature of the risk itself, raises questions about complicity, culpability and responsibility, while at its heart, involves a judgement about the justification of risk which unavoidably focuses our attention on the character of the individuals involved in risk making decisions. Keywords: Risk; ethics; morality; responsibility; virtue; choice; reasons . (shrink)
Systems theory holds that emotional responses derive from the continuous, mutual interaction between multiple neurobiological and behavioral systems associated with emotion as they are contextually embedded. Developmental systems theory portrays these systems as becoming progressively integrated as they mature. From this perspective, regulatory processes are incorporated into emotion throughout the course of emotional development. This article examines the implications of developmental systems theory in understanding the association between emotion and emotion regulation, enlisting the functionalist orientation of contemporary emotions theory, a (...) broad portrayal of emotion regulatory influences, and attention to the role of context in the management of emotion. (shrink)
Carroll Izard’s theoretical and research contributions to the study of early socioemotional development are profiled. His studies of early emotional expression and the formulations of differential emotions theory have stimulated contemporary inquiry into the organization of early emotional life, the developmental processes by which distinct feelings and facial expressions become progressively concordant, and how the emotional expressions of others become imbued with emotion meaning. His work on emotion, attachment, and emotion–cognition relations has contributed to contemporary study of the emotional bases (...) of attachment organization and the development of the internal working models associated with attachment security. Because of Izard’s contributions, developmental emotions research is theoretically richer, and emotion has a more central place in our understanding of development and motivation. (shrink)
The Mount Sinai School of Medicine is an imposing monument to the wealth and power of scientific medicine. Set on its own block in upper Manhattan, its rhetorical centre is the Stern Auditorium. Here, just over a year after 9/11, a group of gurus and self-seekers assembled to confer on the nature of the self. I was there too, looking for help in constructing a grand unified theory of soul and brain.
We find Stoffregen & Bardy's argument that the senses are united and that specificity exists within the global array compelling. However, this view is not entirely new and research on the development and the origins of perception in infancy, inspired by Gibson's ecological perspective, also supports their claims. The inclusion of this developmental research will strengthen and challenge some of Stoffregen & Bardy's views.
Tomasello's moral psychology of obligation would be developmentally deepened by greater attention to early experiences of cooperation and shared social agency between parents and infants, evolved to promote infant survival. They provide a foundation for developing understanding of the mutual obligations of close relationships that contribute to growing collaborative skills, fairness expectations, and fidelity to social norms.
Relational experiences shape emergent social understanding, and two influences deserve particular attention. First, parent-child conversation about shared experiences incorporates both implicit and explicit information about mental states that catalyzes the social construction of understanding, especially in juxtaposition with the child's direct experience. Second, emotion infuses the contexts and cognitions about social experiences that provoke the child's constructivist efforts.
The spread of free-market doctrine across the globe is a discouraging sign for the col lective well-being of humanity. Central to the problems posed by modern economy is its inability to rise above the simplistic assumptions of the Enlightenment and its idealistic purification of rationality. The following paper discusses the limitations of modem economy and its unfortunate tendency to ignore and destroy the immaterial values that cannot be contained within its own nar row measures of human well-being. Any adequate reduction (...) in its potential for ulti mate harm will require nothing less than a radical reconsideration of the dispirited and limited western worldview from which it emanated. (shrink)
Redesigning humans -- Engaging with transhumanism -- Living "forever" : transhumanism and mortality -- "Unlimited" intelligence and well-being -- The role of the philosopher in transhumanism -- Transhumanism and Buddhist philosophy : two approaches to suffering -- Conclusion : Contesting and considering.
Ted Honderich, Philosopher: A Kind of Life, London: Routledge, 2001, 472 pp., ?30, ISBN 0415236975 .Colin McGinn, The Making of a Philosopher: My Journey Through Twentieth-Century Philosophy, New York: HarperCollins, 2002, 256 pp., $25.95, ISBN 0060197927.
BackgroundSchool based running programmes, such as The Daily Mile™, positively impact pupils’ physical health, however, there is limited evidence on psychological health. Additionally, current evidence is mostly limited to examining the acute impact. The present study examined the longer term impact of running programmes on pupil cognition, wellbeing, and fitness.MethodData from 6,908 school pupils, who were participating in a citizen science project, was examined. Class teachers provided information about participation in school based running programmes. Participants completed computer-based tasks of inhibition, (...) verbal and visual-spatial working memory, as well as the Children’s Feeling scale and Felt arousal scale to determine subjective wellbeing. A multistage 20-m shuttle run test was used to estimate fitness.ResultsFrom our total sample of 6,908 school pupils, 474 participants had been taking part in a running programme for 3 months); and 5,430 did not take part in a running programme. The Longer Term participation group had higher fitness levels than both other groups and this remained significant when adjusted for age, sex and SES. Moderated regression analysis found that for the Shorter Term participation group, higher shuttle distance was associated with better visual-spatial working memory. Effect sizes were small though.ConclusionWe identified small and selective positive impact of participation in school based running programmes on fitness and cognition. While no long term benefit was identified for cognition or wellbeing, the impact on fitness and short term benefit suggest schools should consider participation. (shrink)
Criminal juries make decisions of great importance. A key criticism of juries is that they are unreliable in a multitude of ways, from exhibiting racial or gendered biases, to misunderstanding their role, to engaging in impropriety such as internet research. Recently, some have even claimed that the use of juries creates injustice on a large-scale, as a cause of low conviction rates for sexual criminality. Unfortunately, empirical research into jury deliberation is undermined by the fact that researchers are unable to (...) study live juries. The indirect sources of evidence used by researchers suffer from various problems, the most important of which is dubious levels of ecological validity. Real jury research—studying live jury deliberation—is controversial. However, as I argue, the objections to it are unconvincing. There is in fact a moral imperative to facilitate real jury research. (shrink)