The APA has recently posted on its website the comments of four of its past Executive Directors , which were delivered in a session held at the 2005 Eastern APA. The session, titled "What Keeps Going Wrong With The APA?" was organized by John Lach, and included David A. Hoekema, Eric Hoffman, Elizabeth S. Radcliffe, Michael Kelly, and Richard Bett (who declined to post his comments on the APA website). William Mann, the current Acting Director, has posted his response to his four predecessors. Also of relevance to this session is John Lach's posted letter from May 17, 2005, on The Future of Philosophy.
Here's the link to what looks like a very good conference on moral contextualism at the University of Aberdeen on July 4-5, 2006 (among the confirmed speakers are Berit Brogaard, John Greco, John Hawthorne, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Alan Thomas, and Ralph Wedgwood).
Let’s say a theory in normative ethics is subjectivist just in case, according to it, what one ought to do is determined ultimately by the attitudes of some subject or group of subjects, such as the agent himself, the agent’s society, some ideal observer, or God.So ordinary subjectivism, cultural relativism, ideal observer theory, and divine command theory are all forms of subjectivism.Here’s a dilemma for such views.
(Sorry, this post is on the longer side.But it is (I hope) easy reading – no fine points, nothing technical.)
What kinds of rights are invoked when women demand ‘reproductive rights’? Feminist groups began using the term ‘reproductive rights’ instead of ‘abortion rights’ in the 1990s in response to the criticism that the women’s movement had been reduced to single-issue politics, had lost its radical edge, and was becoming irrelevant to the most marginalized women in our society. By giving priority to the abortion controversy, mainstream women’s groups reflected the interests of mostly bourgeois, white, heterosexual, able-bodied, and married or marriageable women. These women wanted to resist social pressures to be child bearers and caretakers so that they could take advantage of the career opportunities that were opening to women. Women of color, lesbians, disabled or poor women were not typically subject to pressures to reproduce, and were instead, at times, subject to coercive sterilization campaigns and misguided eugenicist policies . Moreover, the latter groups of women did not typically find themselves presented with attractive career opportunities that might suffer from interruptions for childbearing. As the U.S. women’s movement became less provincial and more international in focus, the issues of women in the global south began to be heard. Leaders of women’s groups in the third world pointed out how the concept of “reproductive rights” had been deployed both to sell population control policies dictated by wealthy countries and to market often unsafe birth control products to create profits for multinational drug companies.
In Mike Almeida's recent post, this topic came up: what is it for a
person to harm someone? I'm interested in a more general question:
what is it for an event or state of affairs to harm someone? Here's
the view I like best:
(H) X harms S iff X makes S worse off than S would have been had X not occurred or obtained.
Below the fold I defend the following disjunction: either (H) is the
correct account of harm, or harm is irrelevant (or maybe both).
his seminal paper, “Death”, Nagel writes the following:
Someone who holds that all goods and
evils must be temporally assignable states of the person may of course try to
bring more complicated cases into line by pointing to the pleasure or pain that
the more complicated goods and evils cause. Loss, betrayal, and deception, and ridicule are on this view bad because
people suffer when they learn of them. But it should be asked how our ideas of human value would have to be
constituted to accommodate these cases directly instead. One advantage of such an account might be
that it would enable us to explain why the discovery of these
misfortunes causes suffering—in a way that makes it reasonable. For the natural view is that the discovery of
betrayal makes us unhappy because it is bad to be betrayed—not that betrayal is
bad because its discovery makes us unhappy.
been thinking that there may be a good argument against hedonism to be found in
this quotation, one which I will elaborate below the fold.
Laurie Shrage has kindly accepted our invitation to become a contributor to PEA Soup. Laurie is a Professor at California State Polytechnic University. As noted previously on this site, she has also started up the APA Governance blog, and we look forward to her contributions here, as well.
First, a sort of apology: this post is a bit lengthy, and it may be a bit more “metaphysicsy” than the usual on PEA Soup, but it’s on a topic that has an important bearing on the ongoing debates over the role metaphysics, and in particular personal identity theory, has on our practical concerns, in particular our future-directed self-concern.It has to do with an exchange between Derek Parfit and Mark Johnston, stemming from Johnston’s argument (in, among other places, “Human Concerns Without Superlative Selves,” from the Dancy collection Reading Parfit) that personal identity can still have non-derivative importance, even on Parfit’s reductionist view, according to which the facts about personal identity just consist in more particular facts about brains, bodies, and mental/physical continuity, and even where those more particular facts themselves don’t have non-derivative importance.In “The Unimportance of Personal Identity,” Parfit replies to Johnston’s objection.Here I simply want to try and track the dialectic between Johnston and Parfit, and I’ll explain why I think that Parfit’s response doesn’t adequately meet Johnston’s concern.(Because I want to keep the post as short as possible, though, what I say here will be quite compressed and will assume knowledge of Parfitian reductionism, so readers not familiar with the basics of the debate may not want to read any further.)