In this paper, I analyse and interpret Thomas Aquinas's account of faith in order to show how Thomistic faith is a veridical cognitive state that directs the mind to God, and consequently constitutes a distinct form of knowledge of God. By assenting to the revealed propositions of faith (which express the truth about God), and thereby forming true beliefs about God under the authority and guidance of God's grace, the possessor of faith comes to know or apprehend truly something about (...) God, even if she fails to ‘see’ or know fully the truth that she believes. A further task of the paper is to show how Thomistic faith qualifies (at least potentially) as knowledge from a contemporary epistemological standpoint, insofar as it consists of true belief that is appropriately justified and warranted, by virtue of being supernaturally informed and generated. By expositing and defending this central claim – focusing specifically on faith as a form of knowledge – I show how Aquinas offers an epistemologically realist account of faith. (shrink)
: Care work straddles the divide between activities performed out of love and those performed for pay. The tensions created for workers by this divide raise questions concerning connections between recognition and redistribution. Through an analysis of mobilization among childcare workers, we argue that care workers can address redistribution and recognition simultaneously through vocabularies of both skill and virtue. We conclude with a discussion of strategies to overcome the false dichotomy between recognition and redistribution.
Legal frameworks are in place to protect those who lack the capacity to consent to research, such as the Mental Capacity Act in the UK. Assent is sought instead from a proxy, usually a relative. However, the same legislation may, perversely, affect the welfare of those who lack capacity and of others by hindering the process of recruitment into otherwise potentially beneficial research. In addition, the onus of responsibility is moved from those who know most about the study (ie, the (...) scientific community) to those who know less (the proxies). In this paper, we describe the characteristics of a sample at different stages of the recruitment process of an influenza vaccine-based randomised control trial in elderly care home residents (the FEVER study). 62% (602/968) of potential subjects lacked capacity but only 29% (80/277) of those actually randomised. Older age, being female and living in an Elderly Mentally Ill care home were the only variables associated with lacking capacity. Considering this was a study based in a care home setting where the prevalence of dementia approximates 80%, the trial, like many others, was thus significantly biased. We believe that difficulties seeking proxy assent contributed significantly to this problem. Further thought should be given to how assent to enter research for those who lack capacity should be provided, and we suggest avenues for further discussion such as independent risk/benefit expert panels. (shrink)
The extent to which a HEC becomes involved with policy formation depends in large measure on the credibility the committee has within the institution. Although on the basis of training, insight, or experience the HEC is in an ideal position to formulate policy, premature involvement in this area can jeopardize the effectiveness of the HEC in other areas which are equally if not more important. To the extent that the HEC does engage in policy formation it must do so with (...) considerable political as well as ethical acumen. (shrink)
Whereas representative democratic mechanisms have generally been built around preexisting institutional structures of sovereign states, the global political domain lacks any firmly constitutionalized or sovereign structures that could constitute an analogous institutional backbone within a democratic global order. Instead, global public power can best be characterized as "pluralist" in structure. Some recent commentators have argued that if global democratization is to succeed at all, it must proceed along a trajectory beginning with the construction of global sovereign institutions and culminating in (...) the establishment of representative institutions to control them. This paper challenges this view of the preconditions for global democratization, arguing that democratization can indeed proceed at a global level in the absence of sovereign structures of public power. In order to gain firmer traction on these questions, analysis focuses on the prospects for democratic control of corporate power, as constituted and exercised in one particular institutional context: sectoral supply chain systems of production and trade. It is argued that global democratization cannot be straightforwardly achieved simply by replicating familiar representative democratic institutions (based on constitutional separations of powers and electoral control) on a global scale. Rather, it is necessary to explore alternative institutional means for establishing representative democratic institutions at the global level within the present pluralist structure of global power. (shrink)
Introduction: Diagnosing the problem -- Pitfalls in modern epistemology -- Skepticism and subjectivism in modern thought -- Challenging modern skepticism and subjectivism -- The contribution of thomistic epistemology -- Direct realism and Aquinas's account of cognition -- Having God in view : direct realism and the beatific vision -- Realist epistemologies of reason and faith -- Applications in thomistic epistemology -- Rehabilitating objectivity in the knowledge of God -- In defense of a realist interpretation of theology.
Qualitative inquiry is increasingly used to foster change in health policy and practice. Research ethics committees often misunderstand qualitative inquiry, assuming its design can be judged by criteria of quantitative science. Traditional health research uses scientific realist standards as a means-to-an-end, answering the question “So what?” to support the advancement of practice and policy. In contrast, qualitative inquiry often draws on constructivist paradigms, generating knowledge either as an end-in-itself or as a means to foster change. When reviewers (...) inappropriately judge qualitative inquiry, it restricts the ways health phenomena can be understood. Qualitative inquiry is necessary because it enables an understanding not possible within scientific explanation. When such research illuminates, it can also shed light onto the “So what?” In order to ensure an appraisal of qualitative inquiry congruent with its paradigmatic premises, we suggest the “Illumination Test,” met when findings foster rich understanding of phenomena, resulting in a reflective “aha!”. (shrink)
The Existentialist Reader is a comprehensive anthology of classic philosophical writings from eight key existentialist thinkers: Sartre, Camus, Heidegger, de Beauvoir, Jaspers, Marcel, Merleau-Ponty, and Ortega y Gasset. These substantial and carefully selected readings consider the distinctive concerns of existentialism: absurdity, anxiety, alienation, death. A comprehensive introduction by Paul S. MacDonald illuminates the existentialist quest for individual freedom and authentic human experience with insight into the historical and intellectual background of these major figures. The Existentialist Reader is a valuable (...) guide to the provocative theories that shook the philosophical world in the 1930s and continue to profoundly shape the way we think about ourselves. (shrink)
A large part of the ambitious project that Grisez sketches in his paper can reasonably be thought of as developing and extending in interesting ways ideas of Thomas Aquinas. But in Part IV of the paper Grisez dramatically parts company with Aquinas on what might seem a fundamental issue. Aquinas famously holds that human beings find their ultimate fulfillment in beatific vision of God. Grisez tells us that, as he understands that claim, it is false.
We agree with Caplan & Waters that there are problems with the single-resource theory of sentence comprehension. However, we challenge their dual-resource alternative on theoretical and empirical grounds and point to a more coherent solution that abandons the notion of working memory resources.
The Ceci et al. article is consistent with tenure being a necessary condition for controversial research. In the absence of tenure, as in the United Kingdom, professors have been fired and suspended for politically controversial issues. There are a variety of reasons why tenure does not ensure that professors will engage in controversial research, including career interests and the desire to be liked. (Published Online February 8 2007).
This paper is about the differences between probabilities and beliefs and why reasoning should not always conform to probability laws. Probability is defined in terms of urn models from which probability laws can be derived. This means that probabilities are expressed in rational numbers, they suppose the existence of veridical representations and, when viewed as parts of a probability model, they are determined by a restricted set of variables. Moreover, probabilities are subjective, in that they apply to classes of events (...) that have been deemed (by someone) to be equivalent, rather than to unique events. Beliefs on the other hand are multifaceted, interconnected with all other beliefs, and inexpressible in their entirety. It will be argued that there are not sufficient rational numbers to characterise beliefs by probabilities and that the idea of a veridical set of beliefs is questionable. The concept of a complete probability model based on Fisher's notion of identifiable subsets is outlined. It is argued that to be complete a model must be known to be true. This can never be the case because whatever a person supposes to be true must be potentially modifiable in the light of new information. Thus to infer that an individual's probability estimate is biased it is necessary not only to show that the estimate differs from that given by a probability model, but also to assume that this model is complete, and completeness is not empirically verifiable. It follows that probability models and Bayes theorem are not necessarily appropriate standards for people's probability judgements. The quality of a probability model depends on how reasonable it is to treat some existing uncertainty as if it were equivalent to that in a particular urn model and this cannot be determined empirically. Bias can be demonstrated in estimates of proportions of finite populations such as in the false consensus effect. However the modification of beliefs by ad hoc methods like Tversky and Kahneman's heuristics can be justified, even though this results in biased judgements. This is because of pragmatic factors such as the cost of obtaining and taking account of additional information which are not included even in a complete probability model. Finally, an analogy is drawn between probability models and geometric figures. Both idealisations are useful but qualitatively inadequate characterisations of nature. A difference between the two is that the size of any error can be limited in the case of the geometric figure in a way that is not possible in a probability model. (shrink)
Sentences containing relative clauses are well known to be difficult to comprehend, and they have long been an arena in which to investigate the role of working memory in language comprehension. However, recent work has suggested that relative clause processing is better described by ambiguity resolution processes than by limits on extrinsic working memory. We investigated these alternative views with a Simple Recurrent Network (SRN) model of relative clause processing in Mandarin Chinese, which has a unique pattern of word order (...) across main and relative clauses and which has yielded mixed results in human comprehension studies. To assess the model’s ability to generalize from similar sentence structures, and to observe effects of ambiguity through the sentence, we trained the model on several different sentence types, based on a detailed corpus analysis of Mandarin relative clauses and simple sentences, coded to include patterns of noun animacy in the various structures. The model was evaluated on16 different relative clause subtypes. Its performance corresponded well to human reading times, including effects previously attributed to working memory overflow. The model’s performance across a wide variety of sentence types suggested that the seemingly inconsistent results in some prior empirical studies stemmed from failures to consider the full range of sentence types in empirical studies. Crucially, sentence difficulty for the model was not simply a reflection of sentence frequency in the training set; the model generalized from similar sentences and showed high error rates at points of ambiguity. The results suggest that SRNs are a powerful tool to examine the complicated constraint-satisfaction process of sentence comprehension, and that understanding comprehension of specific structures must include consideration of experiences with other similar structures in the language. (shrink)
In this essay, I show how Thomas Aquinas circumscribes epistemological questions concerning both the possibility and character of our knowledge of God within a larger eschatological framework that acknowledges the beatific vision as the ultimate good that we desire as well as the ultimate end for which we were created. Thus, knowledge of God is possible and actual on Aquinas's view because it is eternally rather than merely temporally indexedâ€”that is, properly attributable to the blessed in heaven and only derivatively (...) attributable to persons of faith. I further argue that interpreting Aquinas's account of faith in the light of his account of the beatific vision allows us to carve out polemical space for the theologically realist claim that there can be and in fact is objectivity in our knowledge of God, whether that knowledge comes through faith (in this life) or the beatific vision (in the next life). [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Modern Theology is the property of Blackwell Publishing Limited and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to alls). (shrink)
It is argued that “human-centredness” will be an important characteristic of systems that learn tasks from human users, as the difficulties in inductive inference rule out learning without human assistance. The aim of “programming by example” is to create systems that learn how to perform tasks from their human users by being shown examples of what is to be done. Just as the user creates a learning environment for the system, so the system provides a teaching opportunity for the user, (...) and emphasis is placed as much on facilitating successful teaching as on incorporating techniques of machine learning. If systems can “learn” repetitive tasks, their users will have the power to decide for themselves which parts of their jobs should be automated, and teach the system how to do them — reducing their dependence on intermediaries such as system designers and programmers.This paper presents principles for programming by example derived from experience in creating four prototype learners: for technical drawing, text editing, office tasks, and robot assembly. A teaching metaphor (a) enables the user to demonstrate a task by performing it manually, (b) helps to explain the learner's limited capabilities in terms of a persona, and (c) allows users to attribute intentionality. Tasks are represented procedurally, and augmented with constraints. Suitable mechanisms for attention focusing are necessary in order to control inductive search. Hidden features of a task should be made explicit so that the learner need not embark on the huge search entailed by hypothesizing missing steps. (shrink)
Aim To ascertain the quantity and nature of gifts and items provided by the pharmaceutical industry in Australia to medical specialists and to consider whether these are appropriate in terms of justifiable ethical standards, empirical research and views expressed in the literature.