Introduction: the question of reason -- The Frankfurt School critique of reason -- Habermas's communicative rationality -- Macintyre's tradition-constituted reason -- A substantive reason -- Beyond relativism: reasonable progress and learning from -- Conclusion: toward a Thomistic-Aristotelian critical theory of society.
Three big philosophical problems about consciousness are: Why does it exist? How do we explain and understand it? How can we explain brain-consciousness correlations? If functionalism were true, all three problems would be solved. But it is false, and that means all three problems remain unsolved (in that there is no other obvious candidate for a solution). Here, it is argued that the first problem cannot have a solution; this is inherent in the nature of explanation. The second problem is (...) solved by recognizing that (a) there is an explanation as to why science cannot explain consciousness, and (b) consciousness can be explained by a different kind of explanation, empathic or “personalistic” explanation, compatible with, but not reducible to, scientific explanation. The third problem is solved by exploiting David Chalmers“principle of structural coherence”, and involves postulating that sensations experienced by us–visual, auditory, tactile, and so on–amount to minute scattered regions in a vast, multi dimensional “space” of all possible sensations, which vary smoothly, and in a linear way, throughout the space. There is also the space of all possible sentient brain processes. There is just one, unique one-one mapping between these two spaces that preserves continuity and linearity. It is this which provides the explanation as to why brain processes and sensations are correlated as they are. I consider objections to this unique-matching theory, and consider how the theory might be empirically confirmed. (shrink)
This study examined three main issues among 364 primary school children: (1) self?reported levels of perceived safety in classroom and playground, and relationship with teacher, (2) associations between perceived safety in the two contexts and peer reported levels of being bullied, and (3) if relationship with teacher moderated the associations between peer reported levels of being bullied and perceived safety in classroom and playground. Data were collected in individual and small group interviews. Overall, while most participants reported positive relationships with (...) their class teacher, and felt safe in their classroom and in the playground, a substantial minority did not. The correlations between level of being bullied and perceived safety in classroom and playground were significant but of modest size. Relationship with teacher did moderate the correlation for perceived safety in the classroom, but did not do so for perceived safety in the playground. No significant age or sex differences were obtained. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings were discussed. (shrink)
This paper examines two practices – the Roman Catholic Practice of Eucharist and the game Dungeons and Dragons – to show how social critique can be mounted from within a practice. It begins by relating Alasdair MacIntyre’s notion of tradition to his earlier analysis of ideology and to the notion of ideology ingeneral. The paper then tackles two dominant forms of ideology – Commodity Fetishism and Scientism – and shows how both Eucharist and Dungeons and Dragons promote critical thinking to (...) resist those ideologies. In the process, it denies the Althusserian-Foucauldian analysis of ideology as mere materialityand defends a conception of ideology as material and ideal. (shrink)
: This project draws on scholarship of feminist and womanist scholars, and on results of interviews with scientists currently involved in molecular genetics. With reference to Margaret Urban Walker's "practices of moral responsibility," the social practices of molecular geneticists are explored, and strategies identified through which scientists negotiate their moral responsibilities. The implications of this work for scientists and for feminists are discussed.
This paper argues that ethics education needs to become more reflective about its social and political ethic as it participates in the construction and transmission of medical ethics. It argues for a critical approach to medical ethics and explores the political context in medical schools and some of the peculiar problems in medical ethics education.
Senior molecular geneticists were interviewed about their perceptions of the ethical and social implications of genetic knowledge. Inductive analysis of these interviews identified a number of strategies through which the scientists negotiated their moral responsibilities as they participated in generating knowledge that presents difficult ethical questions. These strategies included: further analysis and application of scientific method; clarification of multiple roles; negotiation with the public through public debate, institutional processes of funding, ethics committees and legislation; and personal responsibility.
Many senior doctors have had little in the way of formal ethics training, but express considerable interest in extending their education in this area. This paper is the report of an initiative in continuing medical education in which doctors were introduced to narrative ethics. We review the theoretical basis of narrative ethics, and the structure of and response to the two-day workshop.