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In the BBC show, The Repair Shop, members of the public bring their cherished but crumbling possessions into a workshop populated by expert craftspeople, who carry out restorations. These objects arrive as treasured possessions, which, despite their dilapidated state, still hold memories and meaning for their owners, albeit memories that may have faded as the object itself has aged. Something magical seems to take place after the objects are restored, however. The restored objects seem to reanimate and revive the memories that their owners have invested in them. How is it possible that this restoration can bring memories held by the objects back to life? What is special about The Repair Shop restoring objects to their former glory? We outline two ways in which objects can be evocative and embody emotion, memory, and meaning. We then outline the ways in which the restoration of these objects to something like their original form can improve scaffolded recall and bring memories back to life. For one class of evocative objects, the restoration enhances recall by reinstating details from the context in which the memories were encoded. For the second class of evocative objects, their restoration affords an imaginative connection to the past, which enables them to become powerful focal points of memory and shared narratives. In effect, The Repair Shop seems to work not only as a repair shop of objects but as a repair shop of memory too.
Governments and non-governmental organisations are increasingly adopting a ‘zero-suicide’ goal, but what such a goal precisely involves is unclear. Ostensibly it strongly prioritises the prevention and elimination of all suicide. We argue that, so understood, a societal goal of zero suicide risks contravening several ethical principles. In terms of beneficence and non-maleficence, a ‘zero-suicide’ goal risks being inefficient and may burden or harm many people. Autonomy-wise, a blanket ban on all suicide is excessive. As regards social justice, zero suicide risks focusing on the symptoms of social malaise instead of the structures causing it. With respect to transparency, a ‘zero’ goal that cannot be met makes these authorities look detached and risks frustration, distrust and, worse, stigmatisation of suicide and of mental health conditions. Instead, we propose a middle path for suicide prevention, founded on harm reduction, ‘soft group paternalism’ and efforts directed at increased quality of life for disadvantaged groups. Although soft group paternalism respects autonomy, this approach permits coercive interferences in certain circumstances. We hope that the justificatory framework tying together these largely familiar elements is novel and sensible.
‘Value pluralism’ is a strand of analytical philosophy that posits the plurality of morally significant values. By enabling systematic mapping of the diversity of moral registers within which social policy concerns might legitimately be considered, we contend that value pluralist-inspired analysis can aid constructive policy dialogue. Our argument is founded on four claims: first, as a matter of normative principle, value pluralism represents a defensible ethical standpoint; second, as a matter of fact, people are attracted to a plurality of moral values; third, as a matter of democratic legitimacy, pluralism offers a means of (partially) reconciling rival moral claims; fourth, as a matter of political strategy, pluralism offers a pragmatic approach that can engage protagonists on their own terms. To demonstrate its efficacy, we apply this pluralist approach to the vexed question of welfare conditionality, which we interrogate via six normative perspectives (rights, utilitarianism, contractualism, communitarianism, paternalism and social justice).
This chapter analyzes reciprocity in the social sciences, historical forms of law, and domestic contexts, including the law of contracts and in federal States, to shed light upon some of reciprocity’s fundamental characteristics. Reciprocity is not incompatible with the existence of a community, but necessarily requires a social relation, and one of its defining characteristics is its relationship with equality. Rather than being a negative concept, based on occasional and discontinued instances of interaction on the basis of reactions to conduct, reciprocity is a concept fundamental to the existence of social relations, and inherent to ideas of justice and fairness.
This article presents a cross-disciplinary approach to the study of constitutions: ‘constitutional institutionalism’. Conventional approaches in law, philosophy or political science tend to reduce constitutions either to their formal, factual or ideal aspects. The constitutional-institutionalist approach, by contrast, seeks to integrate these aspects into a more general perspective by focusing on the dynamic interplay between constitutional actors and constitutional norms. It understands constitutional norms as binding institutions that shape and constrain political action, but never fully determine it. Constitutional institutionalism furthermore asserts that constitutional norms, whatever form they take, only have meaning in relation to other constitutional norms as well as to constitutional actors, who impose meaning on these norms. Therefore, constitutional phenomena ultimately require interpretive explanations. This article concludes with a brief constitutional-institutionalist research agenda.
Cornel West describes his experience with Chekhov; emphasizes Chekhov’s philosophical and artistic significance as a tragicomic thinker whose understanding of the catastrophic bears affinities with the American Blues tradition while also being foreign (though necessary) to mainstream American culture.
Mikhal Oklot surveys the hazards of imposing philosophical readings on Chekhov while also probing his engagement with specific philosophical traditions – Stoicism, Cynicism, materialism – and the distinct resonance of his moral perspective with such figures as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and especially Schopenhauer as a key interlocutor and influence.
This chapter introduces the book’s approach and its main theses, ending with an overview of the Phaedo. I argue that the dialogue has an unfolding structure, in which claims made early are often explained only at later stages. I briefly lay out the distinct stages of Socrates’ accounts of the forms, of the soul, and of ethics. These are not three independent topics; instead, his ethical account is grounded in his account of the soul, which is in turn grounded in his account of the forms. Another important thread running through the dialogue is how Socrates responds to Simmias’ and Cebes’ fears by trying to help them acquire the right sort of rational confidence in their views. I also discuss how Socrates appropriates and transforms ideas from his religious, scientific, and literary context in articulating and defending his philosophical theories.
Through his first four decades, Giovanni Amendola strode energetically down the Italian road to liberalism. From his origins in an uncelebrated part of Campania, from a family clinging to the lowest rungs of the middle class, he moved determinedly up and up. En route, there were numerous staging posts: moderate socialism, religion of great variety (but never Catholicism), marriage to a ‘new woman’ from the Romanov empire, pure philosophy, political philosophy, academic life, political journalism, war service with promotion in his country’s officer corps, and then, in November 1919, election to the Chamber of Deputies for one of the seats in the College of Salerno. That first direct step towards political power was followed speedily by appointment to what was the outer cabinet, but with the crucial post-war task of helping to manage Italy’s finances. Within the framework of Italian liberalism, as set in place by the Risorgimento, other young men also emerged into political prominence. But few ranged quite was widely as young Giovanni Amendola.
The nature of culpability and agency in patients with a variety of psychiatric diagnoses is complex. In this article, a psychiatry resident (specialty trainee in psychiatry) reflects on a clinical encounter in medical school to demonstrate some of the benefits (including the removal of stigma) and dangers (including the threat to patients’ agency) of using the medical model to conceptualise psychiatric illness.
One of the main objectives of astrobiology is to understand the distribution of life in the universe, for microbial life, as well as for the search of extra-terrestrial intelligence, both of which would force upon us new problems in philosophy, including ethics and theology. The question of astrobiology and the humanities being such a broad topic, in the present paper we have limited our discussion of the Frontiers of Astrobiology and the Humanities to the single topic: ‘Independence of science (astrobiology) from philosophy and theology’. We have argued along the lines of this narrower thesis, but restricting our theological discussion strictly to a Judeo-Christian perspective.
In this paper, I will examine the Supreme Court of the United States’ (SCOTUS) arguments in the majority decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, and I will show how some of those arguments are flawed. Primarily, I will show that the right to bodily autonomy is a well-established right, both in the courts and in societal practices, and that the right to an abortion should be understood as an example of the right to bodily autonomy or bodily integrity. Second, I will examine the justices’ arguments that viability is not a reasonable place to restrict abortion access, in contrast to both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and will offer arguments that defend viability as a valid point to limit abortion access. Third, I will highlight some politicians’ goals to enact a federal ban on abortion, and show how the attempt to pass Personhood Amendments is a pathway for doing so. The upshot of this essay to is show how the SCOTUS decision is flawed, and how granting personhood to “potential life” has consequences that extend beyond abortion access.
The role of Greek thought in the final days of the Roman republic is a topic that has garnered much attention in recent years. This volume of essays, commissioned specially from a distinguished international group of scholars, explores the role and influence of Greek philosophy, specifically Epicureanism, in the late republic. It focuses primarily (although not exclusively) on the works and views of Cicero, premier politician and Roman philosopher of the day, and Lucretius, foremost among the representatives and supporters of Epicureanism at the time. Throughout the volume, the impact of such disparate reception on the part of these leading authors is explored in a way that illuminates the popularity as well as the controversy attached to the followers of Epicurus in Italy, ranging from ethical and political concerns to the understanding of scientific and celestial phenomena. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
To be able to assess animal welfare the researcher must presuppose a number of background assumptions that cannot be tested by means of ordinary empirical data collection. In order to substantiate these assumptions two sorts of inferences have to be relied upon, which the authors designate by the terms ‘analogies’ and ‘homologies’. Analogies are evaluative, philosophical reflections by means of which it is made clear what provisions or states constitute the welfare of humans and other animals. By means of analogies it may, for example be argued that animal welfare consists of subjective experiences such as pain, boredom, pleasure and expectation. Also by means of analogies the relative ‘weight’ of these states can be decided. Homologies are part of theoretical science. They serve to clarify how the relevant experiences are linked to measurable anatomical, physiological and behavioural parameters.
An account is given of the steps which have to be taken to give a full answer to a question concerning the welfare of animals. In the account only farm animals are mentioned, but the same steps, of course, also have to be taken to answer questions concerning the welfare of other kinds of animals be they companion, laboratory, zoo or wild. Eight steps are described, and it is argued that both analogies and homologies are needed at very fundamental levels. Therefore, if animal welfare science is to provide relevant, rational and reliable answers to questions concerning animal welfare, it must be an interdisciplinary inquiry involving philosophical reflections and theoretical biology.
There has been much consideration of well-being in philosophy, especially of human well-being, which contributes to our understanding of animal welfare. Three common approaches to well-being are presented here, which map approximately onto three possible ideas about animal welfare. Perfectionism and other forms of ‘objective list’ theories suggest that there are various values that should be realised or various things that an individual ought to have for his life to be a good life. In the case of humans, this is based on the concept of human nature. This approach is reflected in two ideas about animal welfare: first, that animals should live natural lives (which includes consideration of an animal's nature or ‘telos’), and second, that welfare is concerned with functioning or fitness of animals. The two other approaches are subjective: in other words, they relate solely to the mental processes of the subject. The first, desire fulfilment, suggests that well-being is defined by the satisfaction of desires or preferences. The other, hedonism, states that well-being is the presence of pleasant mental states and the absence of unpleasant ones. These two approaches are both relevant to the idea that the welfare of animals relates solely to their feelings. That idea corresponds most closely to hedonism, so it may be that preferences are most relevant in helping to reveal feelings. However, it is sometimes implied that satisfaction of preferences is itself part of feelings. It would also be possible to maintain, as in the desire fulfilment approach to human well-being, that animal welfare consists of preference satisfaction itself. These possibilities need to be more clearly distinguished. Arguments for and against each approach to well-being are presented, so that scientists may be more aware of the strengths and weaknesses of their own ideas about animal welfare.
Clinical research suggests that empathy is associated with better clinical outcomes in various areas of medical care, raising the question of whether a similar effect occurs in psychiatry. The aim of this review is to explore philosophical, neuroscientific and psychological perspectives on the concept of empathy in the context of the day-to-day work of clinical psychiatrists. The definition of empathy is outlined and sociodemographic factors, working conditions and psychiatrists’ beliefs that can potentially affect empathy in clinical encounters are explored; educational and training aspects are also reviewed. The review concludes suggesting that research on empathy is needed to understand contextual, training and relational factors that could benefit mental healthcare as well as the working conditions of clinical psychiatrists, both inextricably linked.
This chapter makes the case for the importance of philosophy as a discipline in its own right, as a subject area vital to the better understanding of education and as a set of self-reflective practices that can make us better teachers. Philosophy is largely concerned with those areas of study and speculation beyond the reach of empirical analysis, addressing problems about how we construct knowledge, how we produce a just society and how we determine ‘right’ from ‘wrong’. Its central research methodology is simply to think with clarity. The significance of this discipline has not been limited to answering abstract questions about the human condition; philosophy has been instrumental in both making us into rational and reflective citizens and framing the ideas behind our entire system of mass schooling.
This chapter addresses one of the most important areas of philosophy ߝ ethics ߝ and uses it to examine aspects of the role of the law within education. Of all the areas of philosophy, more has probably been written about ethics, and over a longer period, than any other. In addition, all cultures are structured around a fundamental ethical system: the law. However, irrespective of their importance, both subjects are currently notable for their lowly status within the teacher education curriculum.
This overview chapter introduces philosophical tools that can be used to aid managers in making decisions in situations which go beyond simple cost/benefit analyses. Value terms such as right, wrong, fair, justice, beneficence, responsibility, eco-consciousness, and discrimination are discussed and illustrated using real-world examples. Starting with the world’s worst industrial disaster in Bhopal, India and the contemporary aftermath, it examines the complexities such situations present and assesses the usefulness of creating a theoretical framework that can lead to principled and defensible policies and actions. The challenges of exclusive self-interest and ethical relativism are examined, where morality simply echoes personal preference. Immediate profit maximization is compared to a more subtle long-term and more encompassing stakeholder approach. Reliance on the law is shown to be an insufficient ethical guide, while principle-based approaches that can be applied across a wide range of cases are more successful in working out what we should do in novel and difficult situations.
This chapter examines Cicero’s Pro Marcello of 46 bce, a speech of thanksgiving to Julius Caesar for pardoning his civil-war for M. Claudius Marcellus. I argue that Cicero cleverly uses philosophical arguments to, as it were, entrap Caesar into working towards the restoration of the Republic. Philosophical wisdom is a leitmotif of the speech, and Caesar in particular is called sapiens or associated with sapientia nine times. The basic argument that underlies Pro Marcello, without ever being made explicit, is the following syllogism: The wise man will act virtuously. Caesar is a wise man. Therefore, Caesar will act virtuously. In defining what acting virtuously would mean for his addressee, Cicero argues vigorously against Caesar’s own statement that he had already ‘lived enough for either nature or glory’ (satis diu uel naturae uixi uel gloriae, 25), painting the dictator as an Epicurean whose wrong ideas about both virtue and glory the orator seeks to combat.