Action, Ethics, and Responsibility (Topics in Contemporary Philosophy)
Nevertheless, White argued that some minority traditions within Christianity e. Around the same time, the Stanford ecologists Paul and Anne Ehrlich warned in The Population Bomb Ehrlich that the growth of human population threatened the viability of planetary life-support systems. Here, plain to see, was a living, shining planet voyaging through space and shared by all of humanity, a precious vessel vulnerable to pollution and to the overuse of its limited capacities. In a team of researchers at MIT led by Dennis Meadows published the Limits to Growth study, a work that summed up in many ways the emerging concerns of the previous decade and the sense of vulnerability triggered by the view of the earth from space.
In the commentary to the study, the researchers wrote:. The new field emerged almost simultaneously in three countries—the United States, Australia, and Norway. In the first two of these countries, direction and inspiration largely came from the earlier twentieth century American literature of the environment. A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.
Leopold —5. However, Leopold himself provided no systematic ethical theory or framework to support these ethical ideas concerning the environment. His views therefore presented a challenge and opportunity for moral theorists: could some ethical theory be devised to justify the injunction to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biosphere?
The land ethic sketched by Leopold, attempting to extend our moral concern to cover the natural environment and its non-human contents, was drawn on explicitly by the Australian philosopher Richard Routley later Sylvan. According to Routley cf. From the human-chauvinistic or absolutely anthropocentric perspective, the last person would do nothing morally wrong, since his or her destructive act in question would not cause any damage to the interest and well-being of humans, who would by then have disappeared. Nevertheless, Routley points out that there is a moral intuition that the imagined last acts would be morally wrong.
An explanation for this judgment, he argued, is that those non-human objects in the environment, whose destruction is ensured by the last person or last people, have intrinsic value, a kind of value independent of their usefulness for humans. From his critique, Routley concluded that the main approaches in traditional western moral thinking were unable to allow the recognition that natural things have intrinsic value, and that the tradition required overhaul of a significant kind.
The U. It would be wrong, he maintained, to eliminate a rare butterfly species simply to increase the monetary value of specimens already held by collectors. Species, Rolston went on to argue, are intrinsically valuable and are usually more valuable than individual specimens, since the loss of a species is a loss of genetic possibilities and the deliberate destruction of a species would show disrespect for the very biological processes which make possible the emergence of individual living things also see Rolston , Ch Meanwhile, the work of Christopher Stone a professor of law at the University of Southern California had become widely discussed.
Stone proposed that trees and other natural objects should have at least the same standing in law as corporations. This suggestion was inspired by a particular case in which the Sierra Club had mounted a challenge against the permit granted by the U. Forest Service to Walt Disney Enterprises for surveys preparatory to the development of the Mineral King Valley, which was at the time a relatively remote game refuge, but not designated as a national park or protected wilderness area. The Disney proposal was to develop a major resort complex serving visitors daily to be accessed by a purpose-built highway through Sequoia National Park.
The Sierra Club, as a body with a general concern for wilderness conservation, challenged the development on the grounds that the valley should be kept in its original state for its own sake. Stone reasoned that if trees, forests and mountains could be given standing in law then they could be represented in their own right in the courts by groups such as the Sierra Club.
Moreover, like any other legal person , these natural things could become beneficiaries of compensation if it could be shown that they had suffered compensatable injury through human activity. When the case went to the U. Supreme Court, it was determined by a narrow majority that the Sierra Club did not meet the condition for bringing a case to court, for the Club was unable and unwilling to prove the likelihood of injury to the interest of the Club or its members. Only items that have interests, Feinberg argued, can be regarded as having legal standing and, likewise, moral standing.
For it is interests which are capable of being represented in legal proceedings and moral debates. This same point would also seem to apply to political debates. Granted that some animals have interests that can be represented in this way, would it also make sense to speak of trees, forests, rivers, barnacles, or termites as having interests of a morally relevant kind? This issue was hotly contested in the years that followed. Skeptical of the prospects for any radically new ethic, Passmore cautioned that traditions of thought could not be abruptly overhauled.
Any change in attitudes to our natural surroundings which stood the chance of widespread acceptance, he argued, would have to resonate and have some continuities with the very tradition which had legitimized our destructive practices. The confluence of ethical, political and legal debates about the environment, the emergence of philosophies to underpin animal rights activism and the puzzles over whether an environmental ethic would be something new rather than a modification or extension of existing ethical theories were reflected in wider social and political movements.
It is not clear, however, that collectivist or communist countries do any better in terms of their environmental record see Dominick All three shared a passion for the great mountains. The deep ecologist respects this intrinsic value, taking care, for example, when walking on the mountainside not to cause unnecessary damage to the plants. To make such a separation not only leads to selfishness towards other people, but also induces human selfishness towards nature. The identity of a living thing is essentially constituted by its relations to other things in the world, especially its ecological relations to other living things.
If people conceptualise themselves and the world in relational terms, the deep ecologists argue, then people will take better care of nature and the world in general. The idea is, briefly, that by identifying with nature I can enlarge the boundaries of the self beyond my skin. To respect and to care for my Self is also to respect and to care for the natural environment, which is actually part of me and with which I should identify.
One clear historical antecedent to this kind of nature spiritualism is the romanticism of Jean-Jacques Rousseau as expressed in his last work, the Reveries of the Solitary Walker. Grey , Taylor and Zimmerman It also remains unclear in what sense rivers, mountains and forests can be regarded as possessors of any kind of interests. Biospheric egalitarianism was modified in the s to the weaker claim that the flourishing of both human and non-human life have value in themselves.
The platform was conceived as establishing a middle ground, between underlying philosophical orientations, whether Christian, Buddhist, Daoist, process philosophy, or whatever, and the practical principles for action in specific situations, principles generated from the underlying philosophies. Thus the deep ecological movement became explicitly pluralist see Brennan ; c. Light Callicott These "relationalist" developments of deep ecology are, however, criticized by some feminist theorists. The idea of nature as part of oneself, one might argue, could justify the continued exploitation of nature instead.
For one is presumably more entitled to treat oneself in whatever ways one likes than to treat another independent agent in whatever ways one likes. Meanwhile, some third-world critics accused deep ecology of being elitist in its attempts to preserve wilderness experiences for only a select group of economically and socio-politically well-off people.
The Indian writer Ramachandra Guha , for instance, depicts the activities of many western-based conservation groups as a new form of cultural imperialism, aimed at securing converts to conservationism cf. Bookchin and Brennan a. Finally, in other critiques, deep ecology is portrayed as having an inconsistent utopian vision see Anker and Witoszek Broadly speaking, a feminist issue is any that contributes in some way to understanding the oppression of women. By the mid s, feminist writers had raised the issue of whether patriarchal modes of thinking encouraged not only widespread inferiorizing and colonizing of women, but also of people of colour, animals and nature.
Sheila Collins , for instance, argued that male-dominated culture or patriarchy is supported by four interlocking pillars: sexism, racism, class exploitation, and ecological destruction. Emphasizing the importance of feminism to the environmental movement and various other liberation movements, some writers, such as Ynestra King a and b , argue that the domination of women by men is historically the original form of domination in human society, from which all other hierarchies—of rank, class, and political power—flow. For instance, human exploitation of nature may be seen as a manifestation and extension of the oppression of women, in that it is the result of associating nature with the female, which had been already inferiorized and oppressed by the male-dominating culture.
But within the plurality of feminist positions, other writers, such as Val Plumwood , understand the oppression of women as only one of the many parallel forms of oppression sharing and supported by a common ideological structure, in which one party the colonizer, whether male, white or human uses a number of conceptual and rhetorical devices to privilege its interests over that of the other party the colonized: whether female, people of colour, or animals. Facilitated by a common structure, seemingly diverse forms of oppression can mutually reinforce each other Warren , , , Cheney , and Plumwood These patterns of thinking and conceptualizing the world, many feminist theorists argue, also nourish and sustain other forms of chauvinism, including, human-chauvinism i.
Furthermore, under dualism all the first items in these contrasting pairs are assimilated with each other, and all the second items are likewise linked with each other. For example, the male is seen to be associated with the rational, active, creative, Cartesian human mind, and civilized, orderly, transcendent culture; whereas the female is regarded as tied to the emotional, passive, determined animal body, and primitive, disorderly, immanent nature.
These interlocking dualisms are not just descriptive dichotomies, according to the feminists, but involve a prescriptive privileging of one side of the opposed items over the other. Dualism confers superiority to everything on the male side, but inferiority to everything on the female side.
The problem with dualistic and hierarchical modes of thinking, however, is not just that that they are epistemically unreliable.
Philosophy of Action - Bibliography - PhilPapers
It is not just that the dominating party often falsely sees the dominated party as lacking or possessing the allegedly superior or inferior qualities, or that the dominated party often internalizes false stereotypes of itself given by its oppressors, or that stereotypical thinking often overlooks salient and important differences among individuals. More important, according to feminist analyses, the very premise of prescriptive dualism—the valuing of attributes of one polarized side and the devaluing of those of the other, the idea that domination and oppression can be justified by appealing to attributes like masculinity, rationality, being civilized or developed, etc.
Feminism represents a radical challenge for environmental thinking, politics, and traditional social ethical perspectives. It promises to link environmental questions with wider social problems concerning various kinds of discrimination and exploitation, and fundamental investigations of human psychology. However, whether there are conceptual, causal or merely contingent connections among the different forms of oppression and liberation remains a contested issue see Green However, because of the varieties of, and disagreements among, feminist theories, the label may be too wide to be informative and has generally fallen from use.
An often overlooked source of ecological ideas is the work of the neo-Marxist Frankfurt School of critical theory founded by Max Horkheimer and Theodore Adorno Horkheimer and Adorno At the root of this alienation, they argue, is a narrow positivist conception of rationality—which sees rationality as an instrument for pursuing progress, power and technological control, and takes observation, measurement and the application of purely quantitative methods to be capable of solving all problems. Such a positivistic view of science combines determinism with optimism.
Natural processes as well as human activities are seen to be predictable and manipulable. Nature and, likewise, human nature is no longer mysterious, uncontrollable, or fearsome. Instead, it is reduced to an object strictly governed by natural laws, which therefore can be studied, known, and employed to our benefit. By promising limitless knowledge and power, the positivism of science and technology not only removes our fear of nature, the critical theorists argue, but also destroys our sense of awe and wonder towards it. The progress in knowledge and material well-being may not be a bad thing in itself, where the consumption and control of nature is a necessary part of human life.
However, the critical theorists argue that the positivistic disenchantment of natural things and, likewise, of human beings—because they too can be studied and manipulated by science disrupts our relationship with them, encouraging the undesirable attitude that they are nothing more than things to be probed, consumed and dominated. To remedy such an alienation, the project of Horkheimer and Adorno is to replace the narrow positivistic and instrumentalist model of rationality with a more humanistic one, in which the values of the aesthetic, moral, sensuous and expressive aspects of human life play a central part.
Thus, their aim is not to give up our rational faculties or powers of analysis and logic. Rather, the ambition is to arrive at a dialectical synthesis between Romanticism and Enlightenment, to return to anti-deterministic values of freedom, spontaneity and creativity. Not only do we stop seeing nature as primarily, or simply, an object of consumption, we are also able to be directly and spontaneously acquainted with nature without interventions from our rational faculties.
The re-enchantment of the world through aesthetic experience, he argues, is also at the same time a re-enchantment of human lives and purposes. It remains to be seen, however, whether the radical attempt to purge the concept of nature from eco-critical work meets with success. On the other hand, the new animists have been much inspired by the serious way in which some indigenous peoples placate and interact with animals, plants and inanimate things through ritual, ceremony and other practices. According to the new animists, the replacement of traditional animism the view that personalized souls are found in animals, plants, and other material objects by a form of disenchanting positivism directly leads to an anthropocentric perspective, which is accountable for much human destructiveness towards nature.
In a disenchanted world, there is no meaningful order of things or events outside the human domain, and there is no source of sacredness or dread of the sort felt by those who regard the natural world as peopled by divinities or demons Stone When a forest is no longer sacred, there are no spirits to be placated and no mysterious risks associated with clear-felling it. A disenchanted nature is no longer alive.
It commands no respect, reverence or love.
It is nothing but a giant machine, to be mastered to serve human purposes. The new animists argue for reconceptualizing the boundary between persons and non-persons. Whether the notion that a mountain or a tree is to be regarded as a person is taken literally or not, the attempt to engage with the surrounding world as if it consists of other persons might possibly provide the basis for a respectful attitude to nature see Harvey for a popular account of the new animism.
If disenchantment is a source of environmental problems and destruction, then the new animism can be regarded as attempting to re-enchant, and help to save, nature. In her work, Freya Mathews has tried to articulate a version of animism or panpsychism that captures ways in which the world not just nature contains many kinds of consciousness and sentience. Instead of bulldozing away old suburbs and derelict factories, the synergistic panpsychist sees these artefacts as themselves part of the living cosmos, hence part of what is to be respected.
Likewise, instead of trying to eliminate feral or exotic plants and animals, and restore environments to some imagined pristine state, ways should be found—wherever possible—to promote synergies between the newcomers and the older native populations in ways that maintain ecological flows and promote the further unfolding and developing of ecological processes Mathews Environmentalism, on his view, is a social movement, and the problems it confronts are social problems. While Bookchin is prepared, like Horkheimer and Adorno, to regard first nature as an aesthetic and sensuous marvel, he regards our intervention in it as necessary.
He suggests that we can choose to put ourselves at the service of natural evolution, to help maintain complexity and diversity, diminish suffering and reduce pollution. While Bookchin is more of a technological optimist than Mumford, both writers have inspired a regional turn in environmental thinking. Bioregionalism gives regionalism an environmental twist. This is the view that natural features should provide the defining conditions for places of community, and that secure and satisfying local lives are led by those who know a place, have learned its lore and who adapt their lifestyle to its affordances by developing its potential within ecological limits.
Such a life, the bioregionalists argue, will enable people to enjoy the fruits of self-liberation and self-development see the essays in List , and the book-length treatment in Thayer , for an introduction to bioregional thought. However, critics have asked why natural features should significant in defining the places in which communities are to be built, and have puzzled over exactly which natural features these should be—geological, ecological, climatic, hydrological, and so on see Brennan b.
If relatively small, bioregional communities are to be home to flourishing human societies, then a question also arises over the nature of the laws and punishments that will prevail in them, and also of their integration into larger regional and global political and economic groupings. For anarchists and other critics of the predominant social order, a return to self-governing and self-sufficient regional communities is often depicted as liberating and refreshing.
But for the skeptics, the worry remains that the bioregional vision is politically over-optimistic and is open to the establishment of illiberal, stifling and undemocratic communities. Further, given its emphasis on local self-sufficiency and the virtue of life in small communities, a question arises over whether bioregionalism is workable in an overcrowded planet.
Deep ecology, feminism, and social ecology have had a considerable impact on the development of political positions in regard to the environment. Feminist analyses have often been welcomed for the psychological insight they bring to several social, moral and political problems. There is, however, considerable unease about the implications of critical theory, social ecology and some varieties of deep ecology and animism. A further suggestion is that there is a need to reassess traditional theories such as virtue ethics, which has its origins in ancient Greek philosophy see the following section within the context of a form of stewardship similar to that earlier endorsed by Passmore see Barry If this last claim is correct, then the radical activist need not, after all, look for philosophical support in radical, or countercultural, theories of the sort deep ecology, feminism, bioregionalism and social ecology claim to be but see Zimmerman Although environmental ethicists often try to distance themselves from the anthropocentrism embedded in traditional ethical views Passmore , Norton are exceptions , they also quite often draw their theoretical resources from traditional ethical systems and theories.
Consider the following two basic moral questions: 1 What kinds of thing are intrinsically valuable, good or bad? From this perspective, answers to question 2 are informed by answers to question 1. As the utilitarian focus is the balance of pleasure and pain as such, the question of to whom a pleasure or pain belongs is irrelevant to the calculation and assessment of the rightness or wrongness of actions. Hence, the eighteenth century utilitarian Jeremy Bentham , and now Peter Singer , have argued that the interests of all the sentient beings i.
Singer regards the animal liberation movement as comparable to the liberation movements of women and people of colour. Unlike the environmental philosophers who attribute intrinsic value to the natural environment and its inhabitants, Singer and utilitarians in general attribute intrinsic value to the experience of pleasure or interest satisfaction as such, not to the beings who have the experience.
Similarly, for the utilitarian, non-sentient objects in the environment such as plant species, rivers, mountains, and landscapes, all of which are the objects of moral concern for environmentalists, are of no intrinsic but at most instrumental value to the satisfaction of sentient beings see Singer , Ch. Furthermore, because right actions, for the utilitarian, are those that maximize the overall balance of interest satisfaction over frustration, practices such as whale-hunting and the killing of an elephant for ivory, which cause suffering to non-human animals, might turn out to be right after all: such practices might produce considerable amounts of interest-satisfaction for human beings, which, on the utilitarian calculation, outweigh the non-human interest-frustration involved.
As the result of all the above considerations, it is unclear to what extent a utilitarian ethic can also be an environmental ethic. This point may not so readily apply to a wider consequentialist approach, which attributes intrinsic value not only to pleasure or satisfaction, but also to various objects and processes in the natural environment. Deontological ethical theories, in contrast, maintain that whether an action is right or wrong is for the most part independent of whether its consequences are good or bad. From the deontologist perspective, there are several distinct moral rules or duties e.
When asked to justify an alleged moral rule, duty or its corresponding right, deontologists may appeal to the intrinsic value of those beings to whom it applies. We have, in particular, a prima facie moral duty not to harm them. Regan maintains that certain practices such as sport or commercial hunting, and experimentation on animals violate the moral right of intrinsically valuable animals to respectful treatment. Such practices, he argues, are intrinsically wrong regardless of whether or not some better consequences ever flow from them.
Exactly which animals have intrinsic value and therefore the moral right to respectful treatment? To be such a subject is a sufficient though not necessary condition for having intrinsic value, and to be a subject-of-a-life involves, among other things, having sense-perceptions, beliefs, desires, motives, memory, a sense of the future, and a psychological identity over time. Some authors have extended concern for individual well-being further, arguing for the intrinsic value of organisms achieving their own good, whether those organisms are capable of consciousness or not.
Furthermore, Taylor maintains that the intrinsic value of wild living things generates a prima facie moral duty on our part to preserve or promote their goods as ends in themselves, and that any practices which treat those beings as mere means and thus display a lack of respect for them are intrinsically wrong. A more recent and biologically detailed defence of the idea that living things have representations and goals and hence have moral worth is found in Agar Attfield also endorses a form of consequentialism which takes into consideration, and attempts to balance, the many and possibly conflicting goods of different living things also see Varner for a defense of biocentric individualism with affinities to both consequentialist and deontological approaches.
For instance, even if HIV has a good of its own this does not mean that we ought to assign any positive moral weight to the realization of that good. More recently, the distinction between these two traditional approaches has taken its own specific form of development in environmental philosophy. Instead of pitting conceptions of value against conceptions of rights, it has been suggested that there may be two different conceptions of intrinsic value in play in discussion about environmental good and evil.
One the one side, there is the intrinsic value of states of affairs that are to be promoted - and this is the focus of the consequentialist thinkers. On the other deontological hand there is the intrinsic values of entities to be respected see Bradley , McShane These two different foci for the notion of intrinsic value still provide room for fundamental argument between deontologists and consequentialist to continue, albeit in a somewhat modified form. Note that the ethics of animal liberation or animal rights and biocentrism are both individualistic in that their various moral concerns are directed towards individuals only—not ecological wholes such as species, populations, biotic communities, and ecosystems.
None of these is sentient, a subject-of-a-life, or a teleological-center-of-life, but the preservation of these collective entities is a major concern for many environmentalists. Moreover, the goals of animal liberationists, such as the reduction of animal suffering and death, may conflict with the goals of environmentalists. For example, the preservation of the integrity of an ecosystem may require the culling of feral animals or of some indigenous animal populations that threaten to destroy fragile habitats.
So there are disputes about whether the ethics of animal liberation is a proper branch of environmental ethics see Callicott , , Sagoff , Jamieson , Crisp and Varner Criticizing the individualistic approach in general for failing to accommodate conservation concerns for ecological wholes, J. A straightforward implication of this version of the land ethic is that an individual member of the biotic community ought to be sacrificed whenever that is needed for the protection of the holistic good of the community.
For instance, Callicott maintains that if culling a white-tailed deer is necessary for the protection of the holistic biotic good, then it is a land-ethical requirement to do so. But, to be consistent, the same point also applies to human individuals because they are also members of the biotic community.
Action and responsibility
Tom Regan , p. Under pressure from the charge of ecofascism and misanthropy, Callicott Ch. To further distance himself from the charge of ecofascism, Callicott introduced explicit principles which prioritize obligations to human communities over those to natural ones. As he put it:. It remains to be seen if this position escapes the charges of misanthropy and totalitarianism laid against earlier holistic and relational theories of value. This, he proposes, is a reason for thinking that individual natural entities should not be treated as mere instruments, and thus a reason for assigning them intrinsic value.
Furthermore, he argues that the same moral point applies to the case of natural ecosystems, to the extent that they lack intrinsic function. Carrying the project of attributing intrinsic value to nature to its ultimate form, Robert Elliot argues that naturalness itself is a property in virtue of possessing which all natural things, events, and states of affairs, attain intrinsic value. Furthermore, Elliot argues that even a consequentialist, who in principle allows the possibility of trading off intrinsic value from naturalness for intrinsic value from other sources, could no longer justify such kind of trade-off in reality.
This is because the reduction of intrinsic value due to the depletion of naturalness on earth, according to him, has reached such a level that any further reduction of it could not be compensated by any amount of intrinsic value generated in other ways, no matter how great it is. Katz, on the other hand, argues that a restored nature is really just an artifact designed and created for the satisfaction of human ends, and that the value of restored environments is merely instrumental.
However, some critics have pointed out that advocates of moral dualism between the natural and the artifactual run the risk of diminishing the value of human life and culture, and fail to recognize that the natural environments interfered with by humans may still have morally relevant qualities other than pure naturalness see Lo Yet, as Bernard Williams points out Williams , we may, paradoxically, need to use our technological powers to retain a sense of something not being in our power.
An important message underlying the debate, perhaps, is that even if ecological restoration is achievable, it might have been better to have left nature intact in the first place. Given the significance of the concept of naturalness in these debates, it is perhaps surprising that there has been relatively little analysis of that concept itself in environmental thought. In his pioneering work on the ethics of the environment, Holmes Rolston has worked with a number of different conceptions of the natural see Brennan and Lo , pp. Indeed, the richness of the language of virtues, and the emphasis on moral character, is sometimes cited as a reason for exploring a virtues-based approach to the complex and always-changing questions of sustainability and environmental care Hill , Wensveen , Sandler Reflecting on similarities and differences in these accounts, we develop a framework that integrates their insights—integration as a generic combination process the details of which are determined by the specific contexts in which particular integrations occur.
One such context is cross-disciplinary research, which yields cross-disciplinary integration. We close by reflecting on the potential applicability of this framework to research efforts aimed at meeting grand challenges. Philosophy of Psychology. Reference and Referring edited book with William P. Kabasenche and Matthew H. These fifteen original essays address the core semantic concepts of reference and referring from both philosophical and linguistic perspectives. After an introductory essay that casts current trends in reference and referring in terms of an ongoing dialogue between Fregean and Russellian approaches, the book addresses specific topics, balancing breadth of coverage with thematic unity.
The contributors, all leading or emerging scholars, address trenchant neo-Fregean challenges to the direct refer… Read more These fifteen original essays address the core semantic concepts of reference and referring from both philosophical and linguistic perspectives. The contributors, all leading or emerging scholars, address trenchant neo-Fregean challenges to the direct reference position; consider what positive claims can be made about the mechanism of reference; address the role of a theory of reference within broader theoretical context; and investigate other kinds of linguistic expressions used in referring activities that may themselves be referring expressions.
Most philosophical explorations of responsibility discuss the topic solely in terms of metaphysics and the "free will" problem. By contrast, these essays by leading philosophers view responsibility from a variety of perspectives -- metaphysics, ethics, action theory, and the philosophy of law. After a broad, framing introduction by the volume's editors, the contributors consider such subjects as responsibility as it relates to the "free will" problem; the relation between responsibility and know… Read more Most philosophical explorations of responsibility discuss the topic solely in terms of metaphysics and the "free will" problem.
The contributors include such distinguished authors as Alfred R. Schopp, George Sher, Harry S. Wolfe The hardcover edition does not include a dust jacket. Moral Responsibility. Abstract In this essay, I critically discuss a theory of utterance content and de re communication that Anne Bezuidenhout has recently developed in a series of articles. This theory regards the significance of utterances as more pragmatic in nature than allowed by traditional accounts; further, it downplays logical considerations in explaining de re communication, choosing instead to emphasize its psychological character.
Included among the implications of this approach is the rejection of what … Read more Abstract In this essay, I critically discuss a theory of utterance content and de re communication that Anne Bezuidenhout has recently developed in a series of articles. Included among the implications of this approach is the rejection of what can be called? After describing this theory, I argue that Bezuidenhout does not supply a compelling reason to prefer her account of utterance content over more traditional alternatives that make room for elements of content held in common between speaker and listener.
Further, I argue that her account of de re communication supplies even more reason to reject the view of content to which she subscribes. In the end, it will be clear that she has no principled reason for rejecting common content. Other Areas of Linguistics Semantics. These essays by leading scholars illustrate the complexity and range of philosophical issues raised by consideration of law and social justice.
The contributors to Law and Social Justice examine such broad foundational issues as instrumentalist versus Kantian conceptions of rights as well as such specific problems as the admissibility or inadmissibility of evidence of causation in toxic tort cases.
They consider a variety of subjects, including the implications of deliberative democracy for priv… Read more These essays by leading scholars illustrate the complexity and range of philosophical issues raised by consideration of law and social justice. They consider a variety of subjects, including the implications of deliberative democracy for privacy rights, equality as a principle of distributive justice, the paradox of "moral luck," the treatment of intellectual property in China and its roots in Chinese tradition, and the extent to which initial acquisition of goods yields full property rights.
Two special sections at the end of the volume discuss the treatment of law and social justice issues in the work of two philosophers: "Wittgenstein and Legal Theory," on the influence of Wittgenstein's thought on legal philosophy, and a discussion of Jules L. Justice Philosophy of Law. Out of the fog: Catalyzing integrative capacity in interdisciplinary research with Zachary Piso and Kathleen C.
Social studies of interdisciplinary science investigate how scientific collaborations approach complex challenges that require multiple disciplinary perspectives. In order for collaborators to meet these complex challenges, interdisciplinary collaborations must develop and maintain integrative capacity, understood as the ability to anticipate and weigh tradeoffs in the employment of different disciplinary approaches. Here we provide an account of how one group of interdisciplinary fog scientists… Read more Social studies of interdisciplinary science investigate how scientific collaborations approach complex challenges that require multiple disciplinary perspectives.
Here we provide an account of how one group of interdisciplinary fog scientists intentionally catalyzed integrative capacity. Through conversation, collaborators negotiated their commitments regarding the ontology of fog systems and the methodologies appropriate to studying fog systems, thereby enhancing capabilities which we take to constitute integrative capacity.
On the ontological front, collaborators negotiated their commitments by setting boundaries to and within the system, layering different subsystems, focusing on key intersections of these subsystems, and agreeing on goals that would direct further investigation. On the methodological front, collaborators sequenced various methods, anchored methods at different scales, validated one method with another, standardized the outputs of related methods, and coordinated methods to fit a common model.
By observing the process and form of collaborator conversations, this case study demonstrates that social studies of science can bring into critical focus how interdisciplinary collaborators work toward an integrated conceptualization of study systems. The Nature of Models Sociology of Science. Review of Eric T. Olson, What Are We? Theories of Personal Identity. Philosophical reflections on the environment began with early philosophers' invocation of a cosmology that mixed natural and supernatural phenomena.
Today, the central philosophical problem posed by the environment involves not what it can teach us about ourselves and our place in the cosmic order but rather how we can understand its workings in order to make better decisions about our own conduct regarding it. The resulting inquiry spans different areas of contemporary philosophy, many of which… Read more Philosophical reflections on the environment began with early philosophers' invocation of a cosmology that mixed natural and supernatural phenomena.
The resulting inquiry spans different areas of contemporary philosophy, many of which are represented by the fifteen original essays in this volume. The contributors first consider conceptual problems generated by rapid advances in biology and ecology, examining such topics as ecological communities, adaptation, and scientific consensus. The contributors then turn to epistemic and axiological issues, first considering philosophical aspects of environmental decision making and then assessing particular environmental policies, including reparations, remediation, and nuclear power, from a normative perspective.
This collection of original essays on the topics of causation and explanation offers readers a state-of-the-art view of current work in these areas. The book is notable for its interdisciplinary character, and the essays, by distinguished authors and important rising scholars, will be of interest to a wide readership, including philosophers, computer scientists, and economists. Students and scholars alike will find the book valuable for its wide-ranging treatment of two difficult philosophical t… Read more This collection of original essays on the topics of causation and explanation offers readers a state-of-the-art view of current work in these areas.
Students and scholars alike will find the book valuable for its wide-ranging treatment of two difficult philosophical topics. The volume focuses first on the development of theories of causation and explanation, and then on the application of those theories. Theoretical discussions include Patrick Suppes's investigation of the causal issues surrounding intentional activities such as computation and decision making, and Clark Glymour and Frank Wimberly's analysis of technical issues encountered in formulating an account of actual causation.
The essays exploring applications include Nancy Cartwright's examination of the application of counterfactuals to economics and Alfred Mele's criticism of the work of Benjamin Libet on the applicability of experimental results in psychology to philosophical analyses of free will and self-control. Causation and Explanation offers a remarkably wide-ranging set of essays on two topics that present difficult philosophical issues.
Topics in Modern Philosophy. Is anything gained, or lost, by thinking holistically about the world as a whole?
- In this Book.
- How to Survive in a World of Unbelievers (Bible for Life).
- March Majestic.
- Faith is the realization of what is hoped for And the evidence of things not seen.
- Department of Philosophy.
- United States Senate Catalogue of Fine Art.
- Course Schedules.
Is a life dedicated to thinking about the world and living accordingly a way of avoiding an authentic human life? What does it mean to live authentically? Does nihilism provide the answer or is it a form of avoidance? Contemporary Philosophy. Such theories include Kantian deontology, utilitarianism, Aristotelian virtue ethics, and divine command theory. Topics in Ethics. Social and Political Philosophy.
Philosophy of Law. Classroom discussions of readings from the works of classical and modern authors focus on issues of contemporary concern involving questions of legal principle, personal liberty, human rights, responsibility, justice, and punishment. Freedom, Action, and Responsibility.
Global Justice. Topics include citizenship, national sovereignty, war, human rights, humanitarian concerns, distribution of resources and burdens, and international law. Philosophical Theories in Bioethics. Each approach is examined critically and students explore how each approach informs analysis of contemporary issues in bioethics. Concepts of Health and Disease.
This course examines and critically evaluates competing conceptions of health and disease. The implications of adopting different understandings of health and disease for bioethics and health policy are explored.