Artificial Intelligence, in press. Abstract: For some time we have been developing, and have had significant practical success with, a time-sensitive, contradiction-tolerant logical reasoning engine called the active logic machine (ALMA). The current paper details a semantics for a general version of the underlying logical formalism, active logic. Central to active logic are special rules controlling the inheritance of beliefs in general (and of beliefs about the current time in particular), very tight controls on what can be derived from direct (...) contradictions (P &￢P), and mechanisms allowing an agent to represent and reason about its own beliefs and past reasoning. Furthermore, inspired by the notion that until an agent notices that a set of beliefs is contradictory, that set seems consistent (and the agent therefore reasons with it as if it were consistent), we introduce an “apperception function” that represents an agent’s limited awareness of its own beliefs, and serves to modify inconsistent belief sets so as to yield consistent sets. Using these ideas, we introduce a new definition of logical consequence in the context of active logic, as well as a new definition of soundness such that, when reasoning with consistent premises, all classically sound rules remain sound in our new sense. However, not everything that is classically sound remains sound in our sense, for by classical definitions, all rules with contradictory premises are vacuously sound, whereas in active logic not everything follows from a contradiction. (shrink)
The current paper details a restricted semantics for active logic, a time-sensitive, contradictiontolerant logical reasoning formalism. Central to active logic are special rules controlling the inheritance of beliefs in general, and beliefs about the current time in particular, very tight controls on what can be derived from direct contradictions (P &¬P ), and mechanisms allowing an agent to represent and reason about its own beliefs and past reasoning. Using these ideas, we introduce a new deﬁnition of model and of logical (...) consequence, as well as a new deﬁnition of soundness such that, when reasoning with consistent premises, all classically sound rules are sound for active logic. However, not everything that is classically sound remains sound in our sense, for by classical deﬁnitions, all rules with contradictory premises are vacuously sound, whereas in active logic not everything follows from a contradiction. (shrink)
The effects of the late civil strife have been to free the slave and make him a citizen. Yet he is not possessed of the civil rights which citizenship should carry with it. This is wrong, and should be corrected. To this correction I stand committed, so far as Executive influence can avail.
Recent considerations of mind and world react against philosophical naturalisation strategies by maintaining that the thought of the world is normatively driven to reject reductive or bald naturalism. This paper argues that we may reject bald or naturalism without sacrificing nature to normativity and so retreating from metaphysics to transcendental idealism. The resources for this move can be found in the Naturphilosophie outlined by the German Idealist philosopher F.W.J. Schelling. He argues that because thought occurs in the same universe as (...) thought thinks, it remains part of that universe whose elements in consequence now additionally include that thought. A philosophy of nature beginning from such a position neither shaves thought from a thoughtless nature nor transcendentally reduces nature to the content of thought, since a thought occurring in nature only has as its content when that thought is additive rather than summative. A natural history of mind drawn from Schellingian premises therefore entails that, while a thought may have as its content, this thought is itself the partial content of the nature augmented by it. (shrink)
The Critical Imagination is a study of metaphor, imaginativeness, and criticism of the arts. Since the eighteenth century, many philosophers have argued that appreciating art is rewarding because it involves responding imaginatively to a work. Literary works can be interpreted in many ways; architecture can be seen as stately, meditative, or forbidding; and sensitive descriptions of art are often colourful metaphors: music can 'shimmer', prose can be 'perfumed', and a painter's colouring can be 'effervescent'. Engaging with art, like creating it, (...) seems to offer great scope for imagination. Hume, Kant, Oscar Wilde, Roger Scruton, and others have defended variations on this attractive idea. In this book, James Grant critically examines it. The first half explains the role imaginativeness plays in criticism. To do this, Grant answers three questions that are of interest in their own right. First, what are the aims of criticism? Is the point of criticizing a work to evaluate it, to explain it, to modify our response to it, or something else? Second, what is it to appreciate art? Third, what is imaginativeness? He gives new answers to all three questions, and uses them to explain the role of imaginativeness in criticism. The book's second half focuses on metaphor. Why are some metaphors so effective? How do we understand metaphors? Are some thoughts expressible only in metaphor? Grant's answers to these questions go against much current thinking in the philosophy of language. He uses these answers to explain why imaginative metaphors are so common in art criticism. The result is a rigorous and original theory of metaphor, criticism, imaginativeness, and their interrelations. (shrink)
There is a thesis that legal rules need to be made public because people cannot guide their conduct by rules they cannot know. This thesis has been a mainstay of anti-positivism and the controversy over it continues apace. However, positivism can accommodate the secret laws thesis. The deeper import of the debate over secret laws concerns our understanding of law's nature. In this regard secrecy merits attention as a candidate necessary connection between law and immorality. In addition the mediating role (...) of lawyers as experts in ascertaining the law should be highlighted. It has been widely overlooked despite the fact that lawyers are criterial in Hart's concept of law. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to explain why imaginativeness is valuable. Recent discussions of imaginativeness or creativity (which I regard as the same property) have paid relatively little attention to this important question. My discussion has three parts. First, I elucidate the concept of imaginativeness by providing three conditions a product or act must satisfy in order to be imaginative. This account enables us to explain, among other things, why imaginativeness is associated with inspiration, why it is associated with (...) the faculty of imagination, and why it is relative to persons and to contexts. Second, in the light of this account, I say what the imaginativeness of persons is. Philosophical discussions of the imaginativeness of persons usually treat it as a capacity. In fact, it is a tendency or disposition of a certain kind. Third, I give reasons why the imaginativeness of persons has the value it does. I begin by saying what the basic facts about its value are. When a person's imaginativeness is valuable, it is either (i) a good thing about a person, (ii) good for the person, or (iii) good for others. I provide explanations of each of these facts. I conclude by addressing the difficult question of whether a person's imaginativeness is non-instrumentally good for her. On Romantic and Romantic-inspired views, imaginativeness is non-instrumentally good for a person because of its connection with self-realization. I reject this claim. However, I argue that, often, imaginativeness is indeed non-instrumentally good for the imaginative person. (shrink)
A well-known objection to divine simplicity holds that the doctrine is incompatible with God’s contingent knowledge. I set out the objection and reject two problematic solutions. I then argue that the objection is best answered by adopting an “extrinsic model of divine knowing” according to which God’s contingent knowledge, which varies across worlds, does not involve any intrinsic variation in God. Solutions along these lines have been suggested by others. This paper advances the discussion by developing and offering partial defenses (...) of three such models. (shrink)
A judgement analysis of people's social inferences of attitudes and ability was conducted. University students were asked to infer the liberalness ( N = 60; Study 1) or intelligence ( N = 40; Study 2) of targets seen in pictures. Multiple regression analyses revealed that attractiveness was the most important cue for predicting inferences of liberalness, while an ethnic cue (i.e., being Asian) was the most important cue for judgements about intelligence. Results also showed that a single-cue model was less (...) susceptible to overfitting, but significantly less accurate than a multiple-cue model in predicting participant's intelligence judgements. Although the multiple regression models suffered a degree of overfitting, cross validation showed that they continued to have significant predictive value when applied to new data. Furthermore, a “random partner” method (comparing each participant's own regression equation with that of another, randomly selected, participant) provided evidence of significant idiosyncratic variation in the way intelligence judgements were made. (shrink)
The release of the Final Report of the Lyons Inquiry into Local Government in England, entitled Place-shaping: A shared ambition for the future of local government (Lyons Inquiry into Local Government) was a significant milestone in the debate on local government reform. Place-shaping is a sophisticated piece of rhetoric and policy making and can be seen to have relevance far beyond its own jurisdiction. This paper traces its theoretical antecedents alongside developments in the debate on local government in England. Despite (...) its broad appeal, we argue that problems familiar to local government such as rent-seeking and cost shifting will be heightened rather than resolved with any take-up of the place-shaping agenda. (shrink)
The prevalence of colourful metaphors and figurative language in critics’ descriptions of artworks has long attracted attention. Talk of ‘liquid melodies’, ‘purple prose’, ‘soaring arches’, and the use of still more elaborate figurative descriptions, is not uncommon. My aim in this paper is to explain why metaphor is so prevalent in critical description. Many have taken the prevalence of art-critical metaphors to reveal something important about aesthetic experience and aesthetic properties. My focus is different. I attempt to determine what metaphor (...) enables critics to achieve and why it is so well suited to helping them achieve it. I begin by outlining my account of what metaphors communicate and defend it against objections to the effect that it does not apply to art-critical metaphors. I then distinguish between two kinds of art-critical metaphor. This distinction is not normally drawn, but drawing it is essential to understanding why critics use metaphor. I then explain why each kind of metaphor is so common in criticism. (shrink)
Unless we think, we aren't -- God told me to deny -- "The law is an ass" -- Thoroughly uncomplementary -- Puffing the product -- Paying with their lives -- The Antivaxers -- The AIDS "controversy" -- Selfish help -- Dissent about descent -- We're (badly) designed -- No safe classroom? -- Evilution -- Eugenically speaking -- Social Darwinism -- It's the ecology, stupid -- So, what was the weather like in 2010? -- Global weirding -- Marketing climate denialism -- (...) Climate denialism : dramatis personae. (shrink)
In this essay I set out to problematize the concepts of intersubjectivity and interaction in the theories of Germany's two foremost social philosophers: Jiirgen Habermas and Niklas Luhmann. To do so, I shall briefly reconstruct Husserl's phenomenological concept of intersubjectivity and its relationship with rational horizons and lifeworlds. I shall then demonstrate the importance of Husserl's thought in the theory of (rational) communicative action in Habermas. The third section deals with the radical rethinking of the subject (and hence intersubjectivity) in (...) the theory of Niklas Luhmann. My principal question will then be: is it possible to reconcile critical theory with systems theory? Or, alternatively: is intersubjectivity a reality or a useful fiction? (shrink)
When did modern science begin? -- Science and the medieval university -- The condemnation of 1277, God's absolute power, and physical thought in the late Middle Ages -- God, science, and natural philosophy in the late Middle Ages -- Medieval departures from Aristotelian natural philosophy -- God and the medieval cosmos -- Scientific imagination in the Middle Ages -- Medieval natural philosophy : empiricism without observation -- Science and theology in the Middle Ages -- The fate of ancient Greek natural (...) philosophy in the Middle Ages : Islam and western Christianity -- What was natural philosophy in the Middle Ages? -- Aristotelianism and the longevity of the medieval worldview. (shrink)
Many philosophers claim that metaphor is indispensable for various purposes. What I shall call the ‘Indispensability Thesis’ is the view that we use at least some metaphors to think, to express, to communicate, or to discover what cannot be thought, expressed, communicated, or discovered without metaphor. I argue in this paper that support for the Indispensability Thesis is based on several confusions. I criticize arguments presented by Stephen Yablo, Berys Gaut, Richard Boyd, and Elisabeth Camp for the Indispensability Thesis, and (...) distinguish it from several plausible claims with which it is easily confused. Although I do not show that the thesis is false, I provide seven grounds for suspicion of our sense (if we have it) that some metaphors are indispensable for the purposes claimed by advocates of the Indispensability Thesis. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
According to prevailing opinion, if a creaturely act is caused by God, then it cannot be free in the libertarian sense. I argue to the contrary. I distinguish intrinsic and extrinsic models of divine causal agency. I then show that, given the extrinsic model, there is no reason one holding that our free acts are caused by God could not also hold a libertarian account of human freedom. It follows that a libertarian account of human freedom is consistent with God’s (...) being the source and cause of all being apart from himself, including the being of free human actions. (shrink)
Probing the work of key political thinkers from Hobbes to Rawls, this book examines the state as a real, mythological entity. This groundbreaking work explores the contradictions of our views towards, and interactions with the state and will be of interest to scholars of sociology, politics, philosophy and law.
There has recently been a reappraisal of value in UK construction and calls from a wide range of influential individuals, professional institutions and government bodies for the industry to exceed stakeholders’ expectations and develop integrated teams that can deliver world class products and services. As such value is certainly topical, but the importance of values as a separate but related concept is less well understood. Most construction firms have well-defined and well-articulated values, expressed in annual reports and on websites; however, (...) the lack of rigorous and structured approaches published within construction management research and the practical, unsupported advice on construction institution websites may indicate a shortfall in the approaches used. This article reviews and compares the content and␣structure of some of the most widely used values approaches, and discusses their application within the construction sector. One of the most advanced and empirically tested theories of human values is appraised, and subsequently adopted as a suitable approach to eliciting and defining shared organisational values. Three studies within six construction organisations demonstrate the potential application of this individually grounded approach to reveal and align the relative values priorities of individuals and organisations to understand the strength of their similarity and difference. The results of these case studies show that this new universal values structure can be used along with more qualitative elicitation techniques to understand organisational cultures. (shrink)
Natural philosophy encompassed all natural phenomena of the physical world. It sought to discover the physical causes of all natural effects and was little concerned with mathematics. By contrast, the exact mathematical sciences were narrowly confined to various computations that did not involve physical causes, functioning totally independently of natural philosophy. Although this began slowly to change in the late Middle Ages, a much more thoroughgoing union of natural philosophy and mathematics occurred in the seventeenth century and thereby made the (...) Scientific Revolution possible. The title of Isaac Newton's great work, The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, perfectly reflects the new relationship. Natural philosophy became the 'Great Mother of the Sciences,' which by the nineteenth century had nourished the manifold chemical, physical, and biological sciences to maturity, thus enabling them to leave the 'Great Mother' and emerge as the multiplicity of independent sciences we know today. (shrink)
According to a classical teaching, God is not really related to creatures even by virtue of creating them. Some have objected that this teaching makes unintelligible the claim that God causally accounts for the universe, since God would be the same whether the universe existed or not. I defend the classical teaching, showing how the doctrine is implied by a popular cosmological argument, showing that the objection to it would also rule out libertarian agent causality, and showing that the objection (...) rests on an account of causality and sufficient reason that we have good reason to reject. (Published Online January 15 2007). (shrink)
Preface to paperback edition -- Why Schelling? why naturephilosophy? -- The powers due to becoming: the reemergence of platonic physics in the genetic philosophy -- Antiphysics and neo-Fichteanism -- The natural history of the unthinged -- "What thinks in me is what is outside me". phenomenality, physics and the idea -- Dynamic philosophy, transcendental physics -- Conclusion: transcendental geology.
Although statistically significant correlations have been found among political, economic, and social indices, on the one hand, and measures of sociosexuality, on the other, it is likely that these correlations are second-order effects. Underpinning the reproductive freedom associated with higher sociosexuality are factors more closely related to biology, namely, easy access to safe, effective contraception and reproductive medical care.
The classical theory of preference among monetary bets represents people as expected utility maximizers with concave utility functions. Critics of this account often rely on assumptions about preferences over wide ranges of total wealth. We derive a prediction of the theory that bears on bets at any fixed level of wealth, and test the prediction behaviorally. Our results are discrepant with the classical account. Competing theories are also examined in light of our data.
The claim of neutrality made on behalf of “The Prisoner’s Dilemma” has been re-enforced by Kay Mathiesen’s creation of “TheAltruist’s Dilemma.” That this represents a neutral variation on “The Prisoner’s Dilemma” is compromised, however, by the failure of “The Altruist’s Dilemma” to deal with altruism in a full sense. The difference illustrates how, in contrast to its professed neutrality, “ThePrisoner’s Dilemma” involves very definite views of humanity and the nature of life itself. This is confirmed by Mathiesen’s misreading of O. (...) Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi.”. (shrink)
: Following Aristotle, medieval natural philosophers believed that knowledge was ultimately based on perception and observation; and like Aristotle, they also believed that observation could not explain the "why" of any perception. To arrive at the "why," natural philosophers offered theoretical explanations that required the use of the imagination. This was, however, only the starting point. Not only did they apply their imaginations to real phenomena, but expended even more intellectual energy on counterfactual phenomena, both extracosmic and intracosmic, extensively discussing, (...) among other themes, the possible existence of other worlds and the possibility of an infinite extracosmic space. The application of the imagination to scientific problems during the Middle Ages was not an empty exercise, but, as I shall show, played a significant role in the development of early modern science. (shrink)
We examine significant parallels between Surrealist art theory and Vico’s understanding of primitive metaphor, centering on a 1933 article on Vico by the Czech Surrealist Zdenko Reich, who recognized that Vico’s understanding of primitive thought shared notable similarities with the Surrealists’ intent to effect an epistemological revolution by re-establishing poetic thought as the central mode of human understanding. The Surrealists sought to undermine the rationalist assumptions of Western philosophy and revive the “poetic ideas of the first men” through the use (...) of disjunctive juxtaposition, a technique Reich identified with Vichian primitive metaphor. Also like Vico, Reich and the Surrealists stressed the concrete and sensory foundations of thought as revealed in language, and saw the human body as the primary mediating vehicle of poetic thought. In this regard the Surrealists can be seen as effecting a complete embrace of Vico’s concept of metaphor in their attempt to re-organize reality on poetic terms. (shrink)
There is considerable confusion regarding the ethical appropriateness of using incentives in research with human subjects. Previous work on determining whether incentives are unethical considers them as a form of undue influence or coercive offer. We understand the ethical issue of undue influence as an issue, not of coercion, but of corruption of judgment. By doing so we find that, for the most part, the use of incentives to recruit and retain research subjects is innocuous. But there are some instances (...) where it is not. Specifically, incentives become problematic when conjoined with the following factors, singly or in combination with one another: where the subject is in a dependency relationship with the researcher, where the risks are particularly high, where the research is degrading, where the participant will only consent if the incentive is relatively large because the participant's aversion to the study is strong, and where the aversion is a principled one. The factors we have identified and the kinds of judgments they require differ substantially from those considered crucial in most previous discussions of the ethics of employing incentives in research with human subjects. (shrink)
"Sustainability" is a popular term right now, but it needs considerable clarification, particularly as to whether growth itself is sustainable. Moreover, it is a meaningless abstraction unless ways are found of bringing it into political decisions. "Foresight" is the name of the process needed to bring lateral and long-term perspectives into those decisions and thus offer some hope of achieving sustainability. It has a long history but few successes. This article explores the obstacles to taking that step and ways in (...) which it might be accomplished. (shrink)
Throughout its ten related essays, Imagining the Real contrasts our abstract imaginings about the human world with the imaginative insights provided by art and experience. It questions, variously, the relevance of game theory and sociobiology to politics the supposed intrinsic values of liberal freedom, cultural change, and democratic action and the claims of Marxism, deconstruction and "Theory" generally to be non-ideological. More positively, it reinterprets fiction as a specific invitation to imagine, and celebrates Shakespeare, L.H. Myers and Beckett as truly (...) critical, because truly imaginative, exponents of ideas. (shrink)
Aquinas maintains that, although God created the universe, he could have created another or simply refrained from creating altogether. That Aquinas believesin divine free choice is uncontroversial. Yet doubts have been raised as to whether Thomas is entitled to this belief, given his claims concerning divine simplicity.According to simplicity, there is no potentiality in God, nor is there a distinction in God between God’s willing, His essence, and His necessary being. On the surface, it appears that these claims leave no (...) room for divine free choice. I argue that attempts by Aquinas and a pair of his contemporary defenders to reconcile God’s freedom with God’s simplicity fail to resolve the problem. Nevertheless, I maintain that Aquinas provides the key to a resolution in his claim that while creatures are really related to God, God is not really related to creatures. (shrink)
Neither the corporate view of whistle blowers as tattle-tales and traitors, nor the more sympathethic understanding of them as tragic heroes battling corrupt or abused systems captures what is at stake in whistle blowing at its most distinctive. The courage, determination and sacrifice of the most ardent whistle blowers suggests that they only begin to be appreciated when they are seen as the saints of secular culture. Although some whistle blowers may be attempting to deflect attention from their own deficiencies (...) and others may be disgruntled employees, the most serious instances involve a level of moral sensitivity that approaches religious proportions that are baffling for a culture that has dispensed with sainthood. (shrink)
Increasingly in the modern world, incentives are becoming the tool we reach for when we wish to bring about change. In government, in education, in health care, between and within institutions of all sorts, incentives are offered to steer people's choices in certain directions. But despite the increasing interest in ethics and economics, the ethics of the use of incentives has raised very little concern. From a certain point of view, this is not surprising. When incentives are viewed from the (...) perspective of market economics, they appear to be entirely unproblematic. An incentive is an offer of something of value, sometimes with a cash equivalent and sometimes not, meant to influence the payoff structure of a utility calculation so as to alter a person's course of action. In other words, the person offering the incentive means to make one choice more attractive to the person responding to the incentive than any other alternative. Both parties stand to gain from the resulting choice. In effect, it is a form of trade, and as such, it meets certain ethical requirements by definition. A trade involves voluntary action by all parties concerned to bring about a result that is beneficial to all parties concerned. If these conditions were not met, the trade would simply not occur. And as inducements in a voluntary transaction, incentives certainly have the moral high ground over coercion as an alternative. (shrink)
I defend, in this paper, a version of a philosophy of common sense. I have use of some things from Reid's account of these matters, others from Wittgenstein's. Scepticism looms large—as do the questions of arguments for and examples of common sense. At least two different notions of common sense emerge, one of which has often been overlooked by philosophers.
Separated from its anchorage in religion, ethics has followed the social sciences in seeing human beings as fundamentally characterized by self-interest, so that altruism is either naively idealistic or arrogantly self-sufficient. Colin Grant contends that, as a modern secular concept, altruism is a parody on the self-giving love of Christianity, so that its dismissal represents a social levelling that loses the depths that theology makes intelligible and religion makes possible. The Christian affirmation is that God is characterized by (...) self-giving love (agape), then expected of Christians. Lacking this theological background, the focus on self-interest in sociobiology and economics, and on human realism in the political focus of John Rawls or the feminist sociability of Carol Gilligan, finds altruism naive or a dangerous distraction from real possibilities of mutual support. This book argues that to dispense with altruism is to dispense with God and with the divine transformation of human possibilities. (shrink)
Between 1100 and 1600, the emphasis on reason in the learning and intellectual life of Western Europe became more pervasive and widespread than ever before in the history of human civilization. Of crucial significance was the invention of the university around 1200, within which reason was institutionalized and where it became a deeply embedded, permanent feature of Western thought and culture. It is therefore appropriate to speak of an Age of Reason in the Middle Ages, and to view it as (...) a forerunner and herald of the Age of Reason that was to come in the seventeenth century. The object of this study is twofold: to describe how reason was manifested in the curriculum of medieval universities, especially in the subjects of logic, natural philosophy and theology; and to explain how the Middle Ages acquired an undeserved reputation as an age of superstition, barbarism, and unreason. (shrink)
Serial music was one of the most important aesthetic movements to emerge in post-war Europe, but its uncompromising music and modernist aesthetic has often been misunderstood. This book focuses on the controversial journal die Reihe, whose major contributors included Stockhausen, Eimert, Pousseur, Dieter Schnebel and G. M. Koenig, and discusses it in connection with many lesser-known sources in German musicology. It traces serialism's debt to the theories of Klee and Mondrian, and its relationship to developments in concrete art, modern poetry (...) and the information aesthetics and semiotics of Max Bense and Umberto Eco. M. J. Grant sketches an aesthetic theory of serialism as experimental music, arguing that serial theory's embrace of both rigorous intellectualism and aleatoric processes is not, as many have suggested, a paradox, but the key to serial thought and to its relevance for contemporary theory. (shrink)
A Gricean preamble concludes that though utterances have unintended meanings, those cannot be considered apart from their intended meanings. Intention distinguishes artworks from natural phenomena. To allocate an artwork to a genre, to accept its normal authorial boundaries and that its content is not random but chosen, is to concede intention's centrality. Wimsatt and Beardsley were right that meaning is public. But they think 'intention' is 'private' or 'unavailable'. However, it too is public, in the work. Fictions are utterances of (...) a curious kind. They may mimic, but are not meant to be taken for, veridical reports. Neither are they 'pseudo-statements' (Richards) nor 'pretended illocutionary acts' (Searle). Their logical form is actually this: 'I [author] invite you [reader] to imagine that S [content].' This prescribes no response, nor claims to describe the 'real' world, even though it may elicit a response appropriate to real-life events. One reason for imagining fictional situations may be to strengthen the perceptions necessary for (civilized) real life. (shrink)
Aquinas teaches that human acts are caused by God. Assuming that such causation entails theological determinism, philosophers with libertarian intuitions tend either to read around Aquinas’s teaching on the relation of divine causality and human action, or to reject that teaching altogether. Unfortunately, the arguments most often used by Aquinas and his contemporary defenders to show that his teaching is compatible with human freedom fail to address thelibertarian’s main concerns. In part one of this essay, I consider these arguments and (...) show why they fail. In part two, I attempt to address the libertarian’s concerns more directly by arguing that Aquinas should not be thought of as a theological determinist. I will show that theological determinism presupposes acertain logic or explanatory scheme, which Aquinas’s understanding of God, and in particular of divine simplicity, will not accommodate. Hence, the kinds ofinferences needed to make theological determinism intelligible do not apply in Aquinas’s case. (shrink)
The study of paraconsistent logic as a branch of mathematics and logic has been pioneered by Newton da Costa. With the growing advent of distributed and often inconsistent databases over the last ten years, there has been growing interest in paraconsistency amongst researchers in databases and knowledge bases. In this paper, we provide a brief survey of work in paraconsistent databases and knowledge bases affected by Newton da Costa's important and lasting contributions to the field.
We provide necessary and sufficient conditions for a dynamically consistent agent always to prefer more informative signals (in single-agent problems). These conditions do not imply recursivity, reduction or independence. We provide a simple definition of dynamically consistent behavior, and we discuss whether an intrinsic information lover (say, an anxious person) is likely to be dynamically consistent.
Theodore Levitt criticizes John Kenneth Galbraith's view of advertising as artificial want creation, contending that its selling focus on the product fails to appreciate the marketing focus on the consumer. But Levitt himself not only ends up endorsing selling; he fails to confront the fact that the marketing to our most pervasive needs that he advocates really represents a sophisticated form of selling. He avoids facing this by the fiction that marketing is concerned only with the material level of existence, (...) and absolves marketing of serious involvement in the level of meaning through the relativization of all meanings as personal preferences. The irony is that this itself reflects a particular view of meaning, a modern commercial one, so that it is this vision of life that LevittÕs marketing is really SELLING. (shrink)
If rapid growth (rap) mutants of Escherichia coli could be obtained, these might prove a valuable contribution to fields as diverse as growth rate control, biotechnology and the regulation of the bacterial cell cycle. To obtain rap mutants, a dnaQ mutator strain was grown for four and a half days continuously in batch culture. At the end of the selection period, there was no significant change in growth rate. This result means that selecting rap mutants may require an alternative strategy (...) and a number of such alternatives are discussed. (shrink)
Seen in its historical context, Mazur & Booth's (M&B's) target article may come to be viewed as a turning point in the study of the biological basis of human behavior in general, and dominance in particular. To facilitate further research, suggestions are offered for making the definition of dominance more precise. From an evolutionary point of view, the testosterone-dominance link may be as important in women as it is in men.
Religionists and leftists have aligned themselves with several green causes, but have yet to engage each other in a real discussion of environmental issues. In this paper, I try to establish the basis for a dialogue between those segments of the religionist and leftist traditions that appear to have the most promise for forging a united green front. I label these two subgroups constructive postmodern religionistsand constructive postmodern leftists. I summarize the key ideas shared by each group, discuss how each (...) can rectify some of the weaknesses of the other, and consider some potential philosophical barriers to their union. I conclude by issuing a call for dialogue on the issues presented here. (shrink)
Questioning the usual judgements of political ethics, Ruth W. Grant argues that hypocrisy can actually be constructive while strictly principled behavior can be destructive. Hypocrisy and Integrity offers a new conceptual framework that clarifies the differences between idealism and fanaticism while it uncovers the moral limits of compromise. "Exciting and provocative. . . . Grant's work is to be highly recommended, offering a fresh reading of Rousseau and Machiavelli as well as presenting a penetrating analysis of hypocrisy and integrity."--Ronald J. (...) Terchek, American Political Science Review "A great refreshment. . . . With liberalism's best interests at heart, Grant seeks to make available a better understanding of the limits of reason in politics."--Peter Berkowitz, New Republic. (shrink)
Although Anders Nygren deserves a lot of the credit for launching the debate about the Christian understanding of love, his insistence on the distinctiveness of agape has been severely challenged by advocates for the sensuousness of eros and the mutuality of philia. The most serious challenge, however, may come from defenses of agape where the altruistic distinctiveness of the theological thrust is qualified by the claims of an ethical horizon. In spite of his disservice to eros and his neglect (...) of philia, Nygren deserves to be heard in his insistence that agape is a unique concept, and that this uniqueness is due particularly to its theological source and reference. (shrink)