This article challenges the view of disability presented by Harris in his article, “Is gene therapy a form of eugenics?”1 It is argued that his definition of disability rests on an individual model of disability, where disability is regarded as a product of biological determinism or “personal tragedy” in the individual. Within disability theory this view is often called “the medical model” and it has been criticised for not being able to deal with the term “disability”, but only with impairment. (...) The individual model of disability presupposes a necessary causal link between a certain condition in the individual and disablement. The shortcomings of such a view of disability are stated and it is argued that in order to have an adequate ethical discourse on gene therapy perspectives from disability research need to be taken into consideration. (shrink)
The Bologna Framework for higher education has agreed on three “cycle descriptors”—knowledge, skill and general competence—which are to constitute the learning outcomes and credit ranges for the three cycles of higher education: The Bachelor, the Master and the PhD. In connection with the implementations of the national qualification framework these descriptors initiated a new debate on the possibility of Bildung within higher education in Norway. Pursuing this question of whether the triad knowledge, skill and general competences makes possible or prevents (...) Bildung within higher education I argue that regardless of how one conceptualizes Bildung, one must say something about the kind of thinking that initiates a process transforming knowledge to become internalised so as to influence one’s choices and actions. A vital aim for the initiative of the Bologna process as envisioned in the Bologna Declaration 1999 was to develop a “Europe of Knowledge”. Underpinning this and other educational documents it appears that lack of knowledge is seen as an important explanation to todays many challenges. A confidence in knowledge per se as having a transformative power in itself seems to be a belief supporting the knowledge policy that dominates official documents. Following Kierkegaard and his critique of becoming objective as nurturing disinterestedness, I am critical to an understanding of knowledge as transformative in itself if knowledge primarily is understood as objective knowledge. In this paper I argue that in order to take responsibility for the knowledge one holds, a thinking which Kierkegaard calls subjective is an important contribution to one kind of thinking involved if knowledge shall initiate a transformation of one’s life and thus foster responsibility. (shrink)
This article compares James M. Buchanan's and John Rawls's theories of democratic governance. In particular it compares their positions on the characteristics of a legitimate social contract. Where Buchanan argues that additional police force can be used to quell political demonstrations, Rawls argues for a social contract that meets the difference principle.
В монографии рассматриваются интерпретативные стратегии деконструкции, их историко-философские истоки, а также их значение для постметафизического мышления. Для научных работников, студентов и аспирантов.
As these opening quotes acknowledge, the Prisoner’s Dilemma (PD) represents a core puzzle within the formal mathematics of game theory.3 Its rise in conspicuity is evident figure 2.1 above demonstrating a relatively steady rise in incidences of the phrase’s usage between 1960 to 1995, with a stable presence persisting into the twenty first century. This famous two-person “game,” with a stock narrative cast in terms of two prisoners who each independently must choose whether to remain silent or speak, each advancing (...) self-interest at the expense of the other and thereby achieving a mutually suboptimal outcome, mires any social interaction it is applied to into perplexity. The logic of this game proves the inverse of Adam Smith’s invisible hand: individuals acting on self interest will achieve a mutually suboptimal outcome. However, as this chapter illuminates, the assumptions underlying game theory drive this conclusion. (shrink)
This paper critically engages Philip Mirowki's essay, "The scientific dimensions of social knowledge and their distant echoes in 20th-century American philosophy of science." It argues that although the cold war context of anti-democratic elitism best suited for making decisions about engaging in nuclear war may seem to be politically and ideologically motivated, in fact we need to carefully consider the arguments underlying the new rational choice based political philosophies of the post-WWII era typified by Arrow's impossibility theorem. A distrust of (...) democratic decision-making principles may be developed by social scientists whose leanings may be toward the left or right side of the spectrum of political practices. (shrink)
The author shows Maritain's view of the place of political philosophy in the hierarchy of the speculative and practical sciences. Some criticisms of Maritain are also suggested, particularly in connection with democratic theory. --S. M. W.
Cohen states in the last sentence of his book that his analysis in no way presupposes the controversial labor theory of value. For him, the contradictions of capitalist production result from the fact that its function is to create exchange value. The statements themselves and the fact that they come very late in the book illustrate two distinctive characteristics of the work. First, Cohen espouses what he calls a technological interpretation of Marx. For him, the driving force of history is (...) the steady increase in the capacity of productive forces. Capitalism supersedes feudalism because of its ability to produce more. This technological interpretation of Marx is a theory of history because only certain production relations allow for the development and expansion of productive forces. For example, the levels of production attained by capitalism would be unthinkable within the context of lord and serf. Secondly, it is not really clear that Cohen is defending a theory of history until he formulates the primacy thesis in chapter 6 and elaborates upon it and the rise of capitalism in chapter 7. The primacy thesis states that the production relations of society are explained by the level of development of its productive forces. Cohen seems to dispense with what is often thought of as the philosophy of history in his discussion of the Hegelian roots of Marxism in the first chapter. He proceeds to analyze the distinction between productive forces and production relations and its consequences for the phenomenon of fetishism in chapters 2-5. These first chapters, and some later ones as well, seem to have the property of belaboring at great length elementary problems raised by the preface to the Critique of Political Economy, and Capital as well. For example, in his distinction between productive forces and production relations, Cohen says that the two must not be confused because relations hold between objects while forces are properties of objects. He says that a soldier who guards peasants tilling the soil is not part of the labor power because he fulfills a social rather than an economic need. Then he presents and elaborates upon a list of production relations. Cohen might have avoided the need for such involved analysis if he had clearly delineated the methodological import of his work in the introduction or the first chapter. I refer to his theory of functional explanation. It is, however, only after he has discussed the problem of base and superstructure in chapter 8 that he comes to examine functional analysis in chapters 9 and 10. Since functional explanation is the crux of his defence of Marxism as a theory of history, the reader deserves a more thorough preparation for it in an introduction. (shrink)
This review essay of Economics Rules situates Dani Rodrik’s contribution with respect to the 2007–2008 global economic crisis. This financial meltdown, which the eurozone did not fully recover from before the Covid-19 pandemic, led to soul- searching among economists as well as a call for heterodox economic approaches. Yet, over the past decade, instead the economics profession has maintained its orthodoxy. Rodrik’s Economics Rules offers a critique of the economics profession that is castigating but mild. It calls for economists to (...) use more and diverse models without becoming wedded to any single model or an overarching vision. Yet Rodrik ratifies many of the benchmark models standard to orthodox economics and provides little ground for a fundamental rethinking of the discipline. This essay analyses the conservatism underlying Rodrik’s approach, which upholds general equilibrium theory and rational expectations underlying the efficient market hypothesis. It argues that the economics discipline’s scope-creep to maintain its applicability to all human decision-making, and its acceptance of all-inclusive utility functions, crowds out moral sentiments and civic virtue. Thus. it argues that rather than urging economists simply to be more cautious in their application of models to address particular social concerns, instead economists must recognise their discipline’s inherent limitations. (shrink)
This paper analyses the National Populist Challenges to Europe’s Center Right. It assesses the cases of the UK, Germany and France. It poses three questions for Europe: How will political integration be achieved and maintained? What policies will foster economic inclusion in the Eurozone? And, third, what are the best means to achieve economic solvency and growth. The paper make a case that neoliberal economic policies over the past decades have undermined some nations' public sector and have also contributed to (...) tensions between the geographical east and west of Europe. (shrink)
This paper examines how the concepts of utility, impartiality, and universality worked together to form the foundation of Adam Smith's jurisprudence. It argues that the theory of utility consistent with contemporary rational choice theory is insufficient to account for Smith's use of utility. Smith's jurisprudence relies on the impartial spectator's sympathetic judgment over whether third parties are injured, and not individuals' expected utility associated with individuals' expected gains from rendering judgments over innocence or guilt.
This book discusses how rational choice theory grew out of RAND's work for the US Air Force. It concentrates on the work of William J. Riker, Kenneth J. Arrow, James M. Buchanan, Russel Hardin, and John Rawls. It argues that within the context of the US Cold War with its intensive anti-communist and anti-collectivist sentiment, the foundations of capitalist democracy were grounded in the hyper individualist theory of non-cooperative games.
This essay represents a novel contribution to Nietzschean studies by combining an assessment of Friedrich Nietzsche’s challenging uses of “truth” and the “eternal return” with his insights drawn from Indian philosophies. Specifically, drawing on Martin Heidegger’s Nietzsche, I argue that Nietzsche’s critique of a static philosophy of being underpinning conceptual truth is best understood in line with the Theravada Buddhist critique of “self ” and “ego” as transitory. In conclusion, I find that Nietzsche’s “eternal return” can be understood as a (...) direct inversion of “nirvana”: Nietzsche celebrates profound attachment to each and every moment, independent from its pleasurable or distasteful registry. (shrink)
Is capitalism inherently predatory? Must there be winners and losers? Is public interest outdated and free-riding rational? Is consumer choice the same as self-determination? Must bargainers abandon the no-harm principle? Prisoners of Reason recalls that classical liberal capitalism exalted the no-harm principle. Although imperfect and exclusionary, modern liberalism recognized individual human dignity alongside individuals' responsibility to respect others. Neoliberalism, by contrast, views life as ceaseless struggle. Agents vie for scarce resources in antagonistic competition in which every individual seeks dominance. This (...) political theory is codified in non-cooperative game theory; the neoliberal citizen and consumer is the strategic rational actor. Rational choice justifies ends irrespective of means. Money becomes the medium of all value. Solidarity and good will are invalidated. Relationships are conducted on a quid pro quo basis. However, agents can freely opt out of this cynical race to the bottom by embracing a more expansive range of coherent action. (shrink)
This paper explores how the Leviathan that projects power through nuclear arms exercises a unique nuclearized sovereignty. In the case of nuclear superpowers, this sovereignty extends to wielding the power to destroy human civilization as we know it across the globe. Nuclearized sovereignty depends on a hybrid form of power encompassing human decision-makers in a hierarchical chain of command, and all of the technical and computerized functions necessary to maintain command and control at every moment of the sovereign's existence: this (...) sovereign power cannot sleep. This article analyzes how the form of rationality that informs this hybrid exercise of power historically developed to be computable. By definition, computable rationality must be able to function without any intelligible grasp of the context or the comprehensive significance of decision-making outcomes. Thus, maintaining nuclearized sovereignty necessarily must be able to execute momentous life and death decisions without the type of sentience we usually associate with ethical individual and collective decisions. (shrink)
Limited to a review of Kant's classification of imperatives, Morritz focuses on the hypothetical forms. He offers an emotivist interpretation of such characteristics of imperatives as "being commanded by reason." --S. M. W.
In _Opposition to Philosophy in Safavid Iran_ Ata Anzali and S.M. Hadi Gerami offer a critical edition of what is arguably the most erudite and extensive critique of philosophy from the Safavid period. The editors’ extensive introduction offers an in-depth analysis that places the work within the broader framework of Safavid intellectual and social history.
[full article, abstract in English; abstract in Lithuanian] Armstrong’s theory of laws and causation may be articulated as something like the following, which we may refer to as the received view: “Laws are intrinsic higher-order relations of ensuring between properties. The instantiation of laws is identical with singular causation. This identity is a posteriori.” Opponents and advocates of this view, believe that it may fairly and correctly be attributed to Armstrong. I do not deny it; instead I seek to reconsider (...) the received view, specifically by treating it as a part of Armstrong’s metaphysics. The main features that should concern us are truthmaker theory and the formal account of the constitutive parts of states of affairs. I also discuss Bird’s ultimate argument against Armstrong and show how its impact is weakened by this proper reading. (shrink)
The first volume of a yearbook to be published regularly by the Center of Humanistic Studies at the University of Nuevo Leon in Mexico. Devoted primarily to the publication of articles by members of the Center, the contents are arranged under five headings: Philosophy, Literature, History, Social Sciences, and Editorial Matter.--S. M. W.
The present work is volume II of the author's Gifford Lectures. MacMurray sustains and enriches the point of view that he presented in The Self as Agent, developing at length the implications of his insistence that the self must be understood primarily as an agent. The apprehension of the Other, the modes of morality, the nature of society and community, and the role of religion are examined. --S. M. W.