• A Note on Professor Edel’s Paper

      Black, Max; Cornell University (1970-01-01)
      Professor Edel’s conclusions are excessively mild. We are often frighteningly ignorant of the consequences of scientific and technological innovations. This ignorance requires a much greater degree of caution in science than Professor Edel has admitted.
    • A Reckoning of Sorts on the Prospects of Moral Philosophy

      Margolis, Joseph (1994-01-01)
      Western philosophy has tended to distinguish between the use of our cognitive powers in theoretical and practical matters. Moreover, Western philosophy has persuaded itself that whatever is valid in human judgment depends upon and implicates necessary invariances. These assumptions are manifested and developed, most prominently, in Aristotle and Kant. This paper argues against both of these assumptions of the Western philosophical tradition.
    • A Scientist’s Comments on ‘The Scientific Enterprise and Social Conscience'

      Morison, Robert; Cornell University (1970-01-01)
      Professor Edel correctly emphasizes the ecological mode of thought. As we penetrate deeper into that ecological mode of thought, we will discover that almost every decision that we make in science will have consequences for many people. Thus, science has an obligation to consider and show, as clearly as possible, what the consequences of these decisions will be.
    • Are Women Morally Different from Men?

      Slote, Michael; University of Miami (2004-01-01)
      In recent years there has been a surge of interest in the differences between men and women. Some recent work appears to show that men and women differ in the ways in which they approach moral issues. This paper considers the implications of this research for moral philosophy. It is argued that this research does not undermine the idea of a single morality that applies equally to both men and women.
    • Aristotelian Happiness

      Gottlieb, Paula; University of Wisconsin (2011-04-01)
      Aristotle’s account of happiness aims to show that happiness is both objective and attainable. According to Aristotle, the pursuit of happiness benefits both the agent and other people too. This paper attempts to explain how Aristotle’s account supports these claims. Along the way, I argue that Aristotle’s much-maligned doctrine of the mean has some true and important implications concerning the nature and value of happiness.
    • Civil Disobedience in a Constitutional Democracy

      Cohen, Marshall; The Rockefeller University (1970-01-01)
      Civil disobedience is an action that is intended to appeal to the public, to show that they have violated principles that they otherwise generally accept. This is why acts of civil disobedience must be public acts. Acts of civil disobedience cannot involve violence to persons, for that might provoke fear, which undermines the public’s ability to listen to the appeal. The civil disobedient accepts his punishment in order to demonstrate his commitment to the rule of law, and also to demonstrate the seriousness of his commitment to the principles that have been violated by the public.
    • Computers, Ethics and Business

      De George, Richard T.; The University of Kansas (1998-01-01)
      When it comes to computers and computer-related activities, moral responsibility is in short supply. Our language often manifests the myth that computers are responsible and hence no one is to blame. This paper explores the idea that computer programmers are morally responsible for the consequences of their programming.
    • Coping with Cognitive Limitations: Problems of Rationality in a Complex World

      Rescher, Nicholas (1997-01-01)
      In cognitive and practical contexts alike, even the most rational of problem-solutions can misfire in situations of incomplete information. The prevailing state of our information will -- and should -- decisively affect the determination of what is the best thing to do or think. Accordingly, reason faces the predicament of acknowledging that it must call on us to do that which, for aught we know, may in the end prove totally inappropriate.
    • Cosmopolitanism, Universalism and Particularism in an Age of Nationalism and Multiculturalism

      Nielsen, Kai; University of Calgary and Concordia University (1999-01-01)
      The objectivity of morality is achieved by the coherentist method of appealing to considered convictions in wide reflective equilibrium. This method yields a conception of morality that is at once universalistic and particularistic. It follows that morality must be cosmopolitan, but also accept a liberal nationalism, at least under certain circumstances. This paper concludes by applying these ideas to the issues of Quebec nationalism and the status of African-Americans in the United States.
    • Ethical and Epistemic Dilemmas of Behaviorism and the Identity Thesis

      Stack, George J.; The College at Brockport (1971-01-01)
      Jerome Shaffer’s argument against behaviorism and the identity theory assume that the wrongness of causing pain is constituted entirely by that effect. However, the intrinsic wrongness of such actions lies in the intentions of the agent, not in the physical responses of the victim.
    • Foot-Notes

      Gilbert, Joseph; The College at Brockport (1971-01-01)
      The major disagreement here is that Foot, contra Kant, denies that moral ends are ends that the agent has a duty to adopt. Though I, in part, agree with Foot, it is difficult to see what is paradoxical about the view that she denies. Foot’s position is the one that appears paradoxical. Her position is that I may have duties within morality, but I cannot have a duty to adopt the ends of morality. On the contrary, morality is inescapable.
    • In Defense of the Hypothetical Imperative

      Foot, Philippa; Oxford University (1971-01-01)
      Kant insisted that moral precepts must be categorical imperatives, telling the agent what he should do, no matter what his desires or interests. Kant contrasted these categorical imperatives with hypothetical imperatives, which operate only on the condition of certain desires or interests. I believe it is a mistake to think that Kant has disposed of the hypothetical imperative in morals. In this paper, I will consider the arguments that he has brought against it, and respond to them.
    • Justice and Utility: Who Cares?

      Held, Virginia (1996-01-01)
      In recent decades, the dominant moral theories have been deontological and consequentialist. Also in the last few decades, feminist moral theory has developed. Is feminist moral theory distinctive, or is it just a version of one of these other types of theory? This paper discusses this issue.
    • Lear and Nature

      Cohen, Marshall; The Rockefeller University (1970-01-01)
      Morris Weitz is mistaken in his interpretation of King Lear. The distinction between good and evil is maintained clearly and sharply throughout the play, and nature actually provides the key to the difference between the two.
    • Love and Duty

      Driver, Julia; Washington University, St. Louis (2014-01-01)
      The thesis of this paper is that there is an important asymmetry between a duty to love and a duty to not love: there is no duty to love as a fitting response to someone’s very good qualities, but there is a duty to not love as a fitting response to someone’s very bad qualities. The source of the asymmetry that I discuss is the two-part understanding of love: the emotional part and the evaluative commitment part. One cannot directly, or “at will,” control an emotional response, but one can undermine any commitment one would normally have under the circumstances. Thus, the feeling of love is not a duty, though being disposed to act a certain way with respect to the person one has the feelings for is controllable.
    • Luck and the Enigmas of Fate

      Rescher, Nicholas (1994-01-01)
      Luck is a formidable and ubiquitous factor in human life as we know it. It is a rogue force that prevents human life from being fully domesticated to rational management. This paper explores the nature of luck and its role in human life.
    • Mrs. Foot on the Sufficiency of Hypothetical Imperatives

      Beck, Lewis White; University of Rochester (1971-01-01)
      The issue between Mrs. Foot and Immanuel Kant is this: does the reason why one ought to do something always lie in expected, desired consequences, so that the command to do it is hypothetical? Mrs. Foot argues that the answer is “yes,” and that any alternative use of “ought” is unintelligible. I think that her argument for this claim is stronger when it is directed at the intuitionists than when it is directed at Kant. An analogy with logic, which is full of categorical imperatives, supports Kant’s position against Mrs. Foot.
    • On Being in the Mind

      Firth, Roderick; Harvard University (1971-01-01)
      There is exactly one good reason to prefer dualism to the identity theory, and it is is this: whereas brain events occur in a particular spatial location inside the head, it is nonsensical to say that mental events occur in any particular location. Professor Shaffer’s other objections to the identity theory are either parasitic on this one, or else unsuccessful.
    • Preemption, Prevention and Predation: Why the Bush Strategy is Dangerous

      Shue, Henry; Oxford University (2005-12-01)
      In September of 2002, the administration of President George W. Bush announced its policy of preemption. This policy is actually equivalent to a policy of preventive war. The principal difficulty with this policy is that it will incite fear in governments who would not otherwise attack us, and thereby incite them to hostile action. Thus the policy actually makes the world a more dangerous place.
    • Remarks on Violence and Paying the Penalty

      Nielsen, Kai; University of Alberta, Calgary (1970-01-01)
      The civil disobedient need not accept his punishment in order to demonstrate his commitment to the rule of law, and in some circumstances it would be inappropriate to do so. The use of violence is justified when and only when the pain, suffering, and injustice that we overcome thereby outweighs the pain, suffering and injustice that results from our actions. There have been circumstances in recent history in which, it is plausible to believe, these conditions were met.