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21. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Marilyn Fischer Intentions, Rights and Wrongs: A Critique of Fried
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In this paper I argue against Fried’s thesis that a wrong must be intended by the violator in order for a person’s negative rights to be violated. With Fried’s requirement these rights become in a sense derivative from wrongs. This makes the relation between one’s negative rights and one’s moral integrity, upon which Fried wants to base rights, indirect and inappropriately weak. If rights are based on one’s status as a freely choosing, rational, moral personality, then whether one’s rights are violated should be determined by inspecting one’s own loss of integrity or function, not by examining the assailant’s intentions.
22. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
David B. Annis Informed Consent, Autonomy, and the Law
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Informed consent to therapy is the legal doctrine which imposes on a physician the duty to explain the nature and risks of a proposed treatment so the patient can make an informed decision whether to undergo the treatment. The doctrine has spawned tremendous controversy in the legal and medical professions.In this paper I examine the doctrine of informed consent as developed by the courts. The thrust of my criticism is that as the doctrine has been developed, it significantly undercuts individual autonomy. Several modifications are suggested which would provide more support for autonomy interests.
23. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Lawrence Alexander Reiman’s Libertarian Interpretation of Rawls’ Difference Principle
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John Rawls’ Difference Principle, which requires that primary goods--income, wealth, and opportunities--be distributed so as to maximize the primary goods of the least advantaged class, has both a libertarian and a welfarist interpretation. The welfarist interpretation, which fits somewhat more easily with Rawls’ method for deriving principles of justice--rational contractors choosing principles behind the veil of ignorance--and with Rawls’ contention that there is a natural affirmative duty to aid others and to help establish and maintain just institutions, is the orthodox interpretation. But there is scattered, fragmentary evidence for the libertarian interpretation as well. In this article I examine a recent version of the libertarian interpretation put forward by Jeffrey Reiman and discuss its implications as a standard for justice in cooperative arrangements.
24. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Richard Parker Bradley’s Paradox and Russell’s Theory of Relations
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A coherent theory of relations was a critical part of Russell’s metaphysics. In Appearance and Reality Bradley posed a problem that sits squarely in the way of any doctrine of “external” relations. Russell, determined to advance such a doctrine, tried several times to find a way around the paradox and apparently believed he had succeeded by making use of one of his inventions, the theory of logical types.Gilbert Ryle and Alan Donagan have advanced an argument that I read, over the objections of its authors, as a special case of Bradley’s. In this paper I argue that the ad hoc solution suggested by Donagan to the special problem is one that Russell had already indicated a willingness to accept but that the general problem of the paradox remains.What finally prevents Russell from solving the paradox is a combination of his refusal to abandon the claim that relations are constituents of facts and the necessity of distinguishing a relational fact from its converse. Following some hints that Russell left, I do some reconstruction, showing how the theory of types would (and should) have been applied had Russell followed through on his own insights. The result, I suggest, is a truly Russellian theory that escapes Bradley’s paradox.
25. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Fred Wilson Is Hume a Sceptic with Regard to Reason?
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This paper argues that, contrary to most interpretations, e.g., those of Reid, Popkin and Passmore, Hume is not a sceptic with regard to reason. The argument of Treatise I, IV. i, of course, has a sceptical conclusion with regard to reason, and a somewhat similar point is made by Cleanthes in the Dialogues. This paper argues that the argument of Treatise I, IV. i is parallel to similar arguments in Bentham and Laplace. The latter are, as far as they go, sound, and so is Hume’s. But the limitations of all mean that they cannot sustain a general argument against reason. Hume the historian is quite aware of these limitations. So is Hume the philosopher. A careful examination of the other references in the Treatise to the argument of I, IV. i reveals that Hume not only rejects but constructs a sound case against accepting the sceptical conclusion, arguing that reason can indeed show the sceptic’s argument to be unreasonable. A close reading of the Dialogues shows that Hume there also draws the same conclusion. The thrust of the paper is to go some way towards showing that it is a myth that Hume is a pyrrhonian sceptic.
26. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Gregory Mellema The Nature of Aims and Ends in Education
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In this paper it is argued that educational aims be approached as states of affairs susceptible of analysis in terms of means and ends. An educator’s various aims, in this way, can be classified according to the means-end relationship they bear to one another. This approach, which stands squarely in the tradition of Aristotle and enjoys little support among contemporary educational theorists, is defended from objections by R.S. Peters, a popular and influential proponent of an alternative approach.
27. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Michael V. Wedin Nozick on Explaining Nothing
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This paper raises some difficulties with the strategy suggested in Robert Nozick’s Philosophical Explanations for explaining why there is something rather than nothing. I am concerned less with his adoption of an egalitarian, as opposed to inegalitarian, explanatory stance (the net effect of which is to detach for independent consideration the question, “Why is there something?”) than with his use of a crucial assumption in reasoning from the egalitarian point of view. I argue that this assumption, that all possibilities exist, is fatally ambiguous, that the persuasiveness of Nozick’s reasoning depends on at once assuming and blurring the difference between the predicates “does not exist” and “nonexists” and that the attempt to wed a priori reasoning and a posteriori (mystical) practice fails.
28. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
David Basinger Griffin and Pike on Divine Power: Some Clarifications
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David Griffin and Nelson Pike recently had a spirited discussion on divine power. The essence of the discussion centered around what was labelled Premise X: “It is possible for one actual being's condition to be completely determined by a being or beings other than itself.” Pike maintains that ‘traditional’ theists have affirmed Premise X but denies that this entails that God has all the power there is and thus denies that Premise X can be considered incoherent for this reason. Griffin maintains that traditional theists have as a matter of fact affirmed that God has all the power there is and then argues that, given standard Process metaphysical assumptions, to say that God has all the power there is is incoherent. Griffin succeeds in demonstrating that, given Process assumptions, God cannot determine all of the activities of any human--i.e., all of an individual’s desires, choices and actions. But Pike is primarily interested in whether God could determine all of the bodily behaviors of any given human. And to this question, Griffin gives no response.
29. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
David V. Ward Identity: Criteria Versus Necessary and Sufficient Conditions
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This paper argues that there are no necessary and sufficient conditions for the identity through time of material objects where those conditions have a kind of empirical content necessary for them to function as criteria for identity through time. Taking Eli Hirsch’s program in The Concept of Identity as representative of attempts to formulate conditions which are logically necessary and sufficient and which also function as criteria guiding our tracing of objects’ careers through time, I argue (a) that, when such programs are constructed in a way sensitive to the criteria we actually use, they fall prey to conceivable counterexamples and (b) that, when such programs are tightened to avoid logically possible counterexamples, they fail to capture the identity criteria implicit in our ordinary experience. The paper argues that our identity criteria are incomplete and informal and that our individuative practice is partially determined by the kind of interest we have in the object(s) being traced. The relationship between this view and two versions of relative identity is also discussed.
30. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Lee C. Rice Spinoza’s Account of Sexuality
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I argue that Spinoza’s account of appetition, and its application to human sexuality, is more original than many commentators suggest; and that it offers resolutions to several puzzles in the philosophy of sex. The paper first situates these puzzles in contemporary debates, offers a detailed analysis of Spinoza’s remarks on love in general and sexual love in particular, and concludes with some of the normative consequences which Spinoza attempts to derive from these.
31. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Douglas P. Lackey Divine Omniscience and Human Privacy
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This paper argues that there is a conflict between divine omniscience and the human right to privacy. The right to privacy derives from the right to moral autonomy, which human persons possess even against a divine being. It follows that if God exists and persists in knowing all things, his knowledge is a non-justifiable violation of a human right. On the other hand, if God exists and restricts his knowing in deference to human privacy, it follows that he cannot fulfill the traditional function of being the perfect and final judge of all things.
32. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Gary J. Percesepe Telos in Hegel’s Differenz des Ficthe’schen und Schelling’schen Systems der Philosophie
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The Differenzschrift is Hegel’s first distinctively philosophical work. Traditionally, the chief significance of the work has been said to be its announcement of the breach between Fichte and Schelling. The purpose of the present paper is to move from this proximate perspective to a systematic-teleological perspective. From the latter perspective we can see that it is in the Differenzschrift that Hegel not only criticizes and comprehends the work of his immediate predecessors but also constructs the conceptual-hermeneutic frame which makes his critique possible.Essentially Hegel argues that philosophy-as-science advances by means of text and commentary, but its advance is not continuous. Its history is characterized by violent, epoch-making leaps, which must be viewed as necessary organic constituents of telic progress. The impulse or force behind this telic advance is the concrete historical situation, in Hegel’s words, “the need of the times.”
33. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Claudia M. Murphy Anti-Reductionism and the Mind-Body Problem
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I argue that there are good reasons to deny both type-type and token-token mind-brain identity theories. Yet on the other hand there are compelling reasons for thinking that there is a causal basis for the mind. I argue that a path out of this impasse involves not only showing that criteria of individuation do not determine identity, but also that there are sound methodological reasons for thinking that the cause of intelligent behavior is a real natural kind. Finally, a commitment to this methodology suggests both that these familiar anti-reductionist arguments fail to establish that identity is impossible and at the same time suggest that the preferred alternative will be some version of neutral monism.
34. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Michael W. Howard Worker Control, Self-Respect, and Self-Esteem
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In this paper it is argued that the predominant mode of organization of work in capitalist society undermines the conditions for self-respect and self-esteem. Although no society can guarantee that everyone have self-respect and self-esteem, it is a requirement of justice that a society provide conditions favorable to their development. Worker control is a form of society which can satisfy this requirement, in a manner that is compatible with political democracy and basic liberties, and thus, from the standpoint of justice, is to be preferred to capitalism.
35. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Sander H. Lee Sartre’s Acceptance of the Princple of Universality
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It is claimed, in a recently published introductory text book on ethics, that Jean-Paul Sartre did not accept a principle of universalizability. In this paper, I will briefly demonstrate that Sartre did indeed accept such a principle, and I will support my claim by reference to Sartre’s own words.
36. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Lawrence L. Heintz The Occasional Rightness of Not Following the Requirements of Morality
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Laymen and philosophers alike find it counterintuitive to consent to the assertion that “it is sometimes right not to follow the requirements of morality”. This may be because the conventions of ordinary language do much to encourage the view that “morally ought to do” functions as an equivalent for “what one ought to do all things considered”. In this paper I will argue against such an equivalence and attempt to shake the holders of the prevailing view, that moral reasons are always overriding, from their dogmatism. The primary theses of this paper are (1) there is no acceptable ordering of reasons for acting--not between types of reasons nor within the category of moral reasons, and (2) moral reasons are not unconditional or unexceptionable.The body of this paper will include a discussion of various versions of the prevailing view (that reasons do have an order with moral reasons as overriding all reasons). I will make some brief remarks about several forms of simplification or reductionism which provide fertile ground for the prevailing view, specifically (a) efforts to transform ‘the all things considered ought’ into a ‘moral ought’ and (b) three efforts to offer a single principle as the basis of moral reasoning. Then I will attempt to reveal flaws in two contemporary expressions of the prevailing view; those of D.Z. Phillips and Kurt Baier. The bulk of my efforts will be directed at demonstrating the conditionality and overrideability of moral reasons. In the process I will also attempt to illuminate the attractiveness of the, if I am correct, mistaken but prevailing view. And finally a moral will be drawn.
37. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Michael W. Howard A Contradiction in the Egalitarian Theory of Justice
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This paper sets out to account for conflicting interpretations of Rawls’ theory of justice by Marxian critics, by uncovering an unresolved contradiction in the theory between individualist and communitarian values. The contradiction comes to light particularly in the more egalitarian interpretation of Rawls, and can only be overcome by incorporating a fuller theory of the good than that with which Rawls has provided us. It may not be possible to do this without giving up the claim that the theory of justice articulates the considered judgments of all thoughtful persons in our society, irrespective of class or ideology.
38. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Frank Lucash What Spinoza’s View of Freedom Should Have Been
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I argue that Spinoza’s view of freedom in Part 5 of the Ethics is not incompatible with his view of determinism in Part 1, as Kolakowski claims, nor is it compatible for the reasons Parkinson, Hampshire, and Naess offer. Spinoza did not work out a clear view of how freedom differs from determinism. Using various resources in Spinoza, I present a view of freedom which is different from both internal or atemporal determinism and external or temporal determinism. Freedom, in the sense of the temporal process by which passive ideas become active, is compatible with both temporal and atemporal determinism.
39. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Saul Traiger The Hans Reichenbach Correspondence—An Overview
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The Hans Reichenbach Collection, part of the Archives of Twentieth Century Philosophy of Science, is located at the University of Pittsburgh. In the past few years work on the recently acquired Hans Reichenbach Collection has resulted in a useful research source. A great deal of organizational work on the collection has now been completed, and the correspondence is open to study by interested scholars. What follows is an overview of the correspondence catalogued in the collection. All of the information recorded here has been found in the many thousand letters to and from Reichenbach which make up only a portion of the collection. The purpose of this essay is both to acquaint the philosophical public with the wealth of material in this research source and to argue for the importance of this material for the history of recent philosophy.
40. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Joseph Wayne Smith What is Wrong with Verisimilitude
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Karl Popper introduced the idea of verisimilitude to explicate the intuitive idea that a theory T2, even though it is strictly speaking false, may be closer to the truth than a competitor T1. However, as is now well known, the results of Pavel Tichý, John Harris and David Miller establish that on Popper’s qualitative theory of verisimilitude, a theory T2 could be closer to the truth than another theory T1 only if T2 contains no false sentences. This result has been taken universally to show the inadequacy of Popper’s original account of verisimilitude, since the Miller-Tichý-Harris Theorem conflicts with the very basic intuition which first led Popper to formulate his theory.In this paper I shall first review the Miller-Tichý-Harris Theorem and examine a number of attempts to salvage the concept of verisimilitude. It will be argued that none of these attempts is successful. Finally an alternative, simple and intuitively satisfactory account of verisimilitude will be offered. This account will be along the lines first suggested by Popper, but it is not subject to any known limitation theorem. Further, the account is capable of giving verisimilitude orderings between not only scientific theories, but philosophical theories as well. This will be achieved without the use of the excessive formalism which dominates the contemporary verisimilitude research programs.