||For quite some time now there has been a debate between those who insist that conceptual analysis is a matter of determining the conditions necessary and sufficient for falling under a concept, or belonging to a kind, and those who believe that if th...
|Anger and Chess
||In this essay I take what I think of as a Wittgensteinian look at emotions. I do not mean by this that I am going to explain Wittgenstein's view of emotions. His primary claims are negative; emotions are neither states nor processes. Nevertheless, ke...
|Avoiding Surprises: A Model for Informing Patients
||The standard models for what doctors must tell their patients are based on the idea of informed consent: physicians must provide the information that patients need to make treatment decisions. In fact, though, they usually provide considerably more i...
|The Death Penalty and Victims’ Rights: Legal Advance Directives
||Insofar as we support the victims’ rights movement, we have reason to support the use of legal advance directives allowing individuals opposed to the death penalty an effective means of expressing their wish that their murderers not be executed. This...
|Dialogue: The Characteristics of Information and Avoiding Surprises
||The principle of avoiding surprises, on the other hand, provides some recourse. This is because most of the time there is general agreement about which possible outcomes would be surprising. Moreover, if the patient is surprised, that is some - albei...
|Family Resemblances and Criteria
||In §66 of Philosophical Investigations Wittgenstein looks for something common to various games and finds only an interconnecting network of resemblances. These are "family resemblances". Sympathetic as well as unsympathetic readers have interpreted ...
|Hampton on the Expressive Power of Punishment
||Hampton‘s expressive theory of retributive punishment is intended to provide a telos for retribution, a justifying aim that will both shed light on the retributive impulse and dispel the moral uneasiness critics feel about the intentional infliction ...
|How are Emergencies Different
||Three criteria are necessary for an event to be an emergency: (a) there must be an expectation of serious harm; (b) there must be an expectation that someone can do something to prevent or reduce that harm; and (c) there must be time pressure. Becaus...
|Rights and Rights Violators: A New Approach to the Nature of Rights
||Some philosophers have sought to clarify the notion of a right by considering the question: In virtue of what characteristics does a being have a right? This article asserts that if this is an important question, then it is equally important to ask: ...
|The Standard Meter by Any Name is Still a Meter Long
||In §50 of Philosophical Investigations Wittgenstein wrote the sentence, "There is one thing of which one can say neither that it is one metre long, nor that it is not one metre long, and that is the standard metre in Paris." Although some interpreter...
|Two Ways to Teach Pre-Medical Students the Ethical Value of Information Gathering
||There are many things that medical and premedical students can and should get out of a course on medical ethics. Many topics relevant to the practice of medicine require genuine philosophical contemplation. For instance: What is voluntary informed co...
||In seeking a compromise on abortion, many have suggested that the woman's rights supersede the fetus's until the fetus becomes viable, at which point the fetus's right to life becomes paramount. Others have objected that this is arbitrary. Neverthele...
|Wittgenstein on Description
||It is a commonplace in discussions of Wittgenstein's later writings to note that he insisted that philosophy involved descriptions, not explanations. Despite this little has been written about the descriptions he had in mind. A close reading of the t...