The suggestion of Logical Quanta (LQ) is a bidirectional synthesis of the theory of logos of Maximus the Confessor and the philosophical interpretation of quantum mechanics. The result of such a synthesis is enrichment to the ontology of classical mechanics that enable us to have a unified view and an explanatory frame of the whole cosmos. It also enables us to overcome the Cartesian duality both on biology and the interaction of body and mind. Finally, one can reconstruct a new (...) understanding of religion. (shrink)
Natural law theory is enjoying a revival of interest in a variety of scholarly disciplines including law, philosophy, political science, and theology and religious studies. This volume presents twelve original essays by leading natural law theorists and their critics. The contributors discuss natural law theories of morality, law and legal reasoning, politics, and the rule of law. Readers get a clear sense of the wide diversity of viewpoints represented among contemporary theorists, and an opportunity to evaluate the arguments and counterarguments (...) exchanged in the current debates between natural law theorists and their critics. Contributors include Hadley Arkes, Joseph M. Boyle, Jr., John Finnis, Robert P. George, Russell Hittinger, Neil MacCormick, Michael Moore, Jeffrey Stout, Joseph Raz, Jeremy Waldron, Lloyd Weinreb, and Ernest Weinrib. (shrink)
It is argued that the question of whether or not one is required to be or become a strict vegetarian depends, not upon a rule or ideal that endorses vegetarianism on moral grounds, but rather upon whether one's own physical, biological nature is adapted to maintaining health and well-being on a vegetarian diet. Even if we accept the view that animals have rights, we still have no duty to make ourselves substantially worse off for the sake of other rights-holders. Moreover, (...) duties to others, such as fetuses and infants, may require one to consume meat or animal products. Seven classes of individuals who are not required to be or become vegetarians are identified and their examption is related to nutritional facts; these classes comprise most of the earth's population. The rule of vegetarianism defines a special or provisional duty rather than any general or universal rule, since its observance it based upon the biological capacities of individual humans whose genetic constitution and environment makes them suitably herbivorous. It is also argued that generalizing the vegetarian ideal as a social goal for all would be wrongful because it fails to consider the individual nutritional needs of humans at various stages of life, according to biological differences between the sexes, and because it would have the eugenic effect of limiting the adaptability of the human species. The appeal to the natural interests of omnivores will not justify any claim that humans may eat amounts of meat or animal products in excess of a reasonable safety margin since animals have rights-claims against us. (shrink)
Those inquiring into the nature of mind have long been interested in the foundations of mathematics, and conversely this branch of knowledge is distinctive in that our access to it is purely through thought. A better understanding of mathematical thought should clarify the conceptual foundations of mathematics, and a deeper grasp of the latter should in turn illuminate the powers of mind through which mathematics is made available to us. The link between conceptions of mind and of mathematics has been (...) a central theme running through the great competing philosophies of mathematics of the twentieth century, though each has refashioned the connection and its import in distinctive ways. The present collection will be of interest to students of both mathematics and of mind. Contents include: "Introduction" by Alexander George; "What is Mathematics About?" by Michael Dummett; "The Advantages of Honest Toil over Theft" by George Boolos; "The Law of Excluded Middle and the Axiom of Choice" by W.W. Tait; "Mechanical Procedures and Mathematical Experience" by Wilfried Sieg; "Mathematical Intuition and Objectivity" by Daniel Isaacson; "Intuition and Number" by Charles Parsons; and "Hilbert's Axiomatic Method and the Laws of Thought" by Michael Hallett. (shrink)
The dream of a community of philosophers engaged in inquiry with shared standards of evidence and justification has long been with us. It has led some thinkers puzzled by our mathematical experience to look to mathematics for adjudication between competing views. I am skeptical of this approach and consider Skolem's philosophical uses of the Löwenheim-Skolem Theorem to exemplify it. I argue that these uses invariably beg the questions at issue. I say ?uses?, because I claim further that Skolem shifted his (...) position on the philosophical significance of the theorem as a result of a shift in his background beliefs. The nature of this shift and possible explanations for it are investigated. Ironically, Skolem's own case provides a historical example of the philosophical flexibility of his theorem. Our suspicion ought always to be aroused when a proof proves more than its means allow it. Something of this sort might be called ?a puffed-up proof?. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Remarks on the foundations of mathematics (revised edition), vol. 2, 21. (shrink)
Does the past rationally bear on the future? David Hume argued that we lack good reason to think that it does. He insisted in particular that we lack — and forever will lack — anything like a demonstrative proof of such a rational bearing. A surprising mathematical result can be read as an invitation to reconsider Hume's confidence.
Contemporary liberal thinkers commonly suppose that there is something in principle unjust about the legal prohibition of putatively victimless crimes. Here Robert P. George defends the traditional justification of morals legislation against criticisms advanced by leading liberal theorists. He argues that such legislation can play a legitimate role in maintaining a moral environment conducive to virtue and inhospitable to at least some forms of vice. Among the liberal critics of morals legislation whose views George considers are Ronald Dworkin, (...) Jeremy Waldron, David A.J. Richards, and Joseph Raz. He also considers the influential modern justification for morals legislation offered by Patrick Devlin as an alternative to the traditional approach. George closes with a sketch of a "pluralistic perfectionist" theory of civil liberties and public morality, showing that it is fully compatible with a defense of morals legislation. Making Men Moral will interest legal scholars and political theorists as well as theologians and philosophers focusing on questions of social justice and political morality. (shrink)
The authors describe the ethical considerations underlying the inclusion of mental health services into a prioritizedhealth care system. The Oregon Health Plan is a process for defining and delivering basic health services to an entire state. As the plan was developed, the mental health community needed to decide whether or not to participate in the process and, if so, how. Lengthy discussions among mental health consumers, family members, and providers led to a strategy that emphasized the integration of mental health (...) and chemical dependency services into a comprehensive and universal health care program. This approach appears to have achieved relative parity for mental health. (shrink)
In light of the continued erosion of business ethics in America, the ongoing question is what are the nation's business schools doing to prepare ethically responsible future leaders of industry and government? This paper reports the findings of a survey mailed to every program accredited by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business. The curriculum treatment of business ethics is identified at the undergraduate and the graduate levels in public as well as in private colleges and universities. In addition, (...) the paper presents the status (required versus elective), credits, and enrollment patterns associated with institutions offering a special course whose primary focus is the ethical or moral component of business decisions. Depending on one's perspective, the results range from encouraging to disappointing and suggest that more can and should be done within the curriculum of American post-secondary higher education. (shrink)
Previous studies with adult participants have investigated reasoning from one or two uncertain premises with simple deductive arguments. Three exploratory experiments were designed to extend these results by investigating the evaluation of the plausibility of the conclusion of "combined" arguments, i.e. arguments constituted by two or more "atomic" standard arguments which each involved the same conclusion and one uncertain premise out of two. One example is "If she meets Nicolas it is very improbable she will go to the swimming pool; (...) if she meets Sophie it is very probable she will go to the swimming pool; she meets Nicolas; she meets Sophie". With two conflicting arguments, one supporting and one unfavourable, participants chose a compromise stance (Exp. 1), unless the thematic content of the premises allows one to consider one argument as more important than the other (Exp. 3). With two favourable arguments and rather unfamiliar materials, two typical behaviours appeared. One consisted in choosing a degree of plausibility of the conclusion that is intermediate between the modals asserted in the premises, and the other in choosing a more favourable degree than the most favourable modal (Exp. 1). The plausibility of the conclusion increased when the number of supporting atomic arguments increased from one to three, and decreased when the number of unfavourable arguments increased (Exp. 2). Theoretical implications are discussed and a model is sketched. (shrink)
In Making Men Moral, his 1995 book, George questioned the central doctrines of liberal jurisprudence and political theory. In his new work he extends his critique of liberalism, and also goes beyond it to show how contemporary natural law theory provides a superior way of thinking about basic problems of justice and political morality. It is written with the same combination of stylistic elegance and analytical rigour that distinguished his critical work. Not content merely to defend natural law from (...) its cultural despisers; he deftly turns the tables and deploys the idea to mount a stunning attack on regnant liberal beliefs about such issues as abortion, sexuality, and the place of religion in public life. Students as well as scholars in law, political science, and philosophy will find George's arguments stimulating, challenging, and compelling. (shrink)
After a discourse about the literature on visual acuity before Hume, I discuss how the “size” of visual objects is defi ned and determined. I shall thenpresent circumstantial, but commanding, evidence for the infl uence of James Jurin’s Essay upon Distinct and Indistinct Vision on Hume’s thought. This workcontains well-supported findings incompatible with claims made in T 1.2, “Of the ideas of space and time,” and elsewhere. Specifically, the prominentprinciple of the Treatise, “[w]hat consists of parts is distinguishable into them, (...) and what is distinguishable is separable” (T 188.8.131.52; SBN 27) is shown to befalse. A powerful principle, it is a premise to the most important arguments of the Treatise, but is shunned in the Enquiry and later writings because, I believe,Hume had read Jurin. (shrink)
This volume is a direct result of a conference held at Princeton University to honor George A. Miller, an extraordinary psychologist. A distinguished panel of speakers from various disciplines -- psychology, philosophy, neuroscience and artificial intelligence -- were challenged to respond to Dr. Miller's query: "What has happened to cognition? In other words, what has the past 30 years contributed to our understanding of the mind? Do we really know anything that wasn't already clear to William James?" Each participant (...) tried to stand back a little from his or her most recent work, but to address the general question from his or her particular standpoint. The chapters in the present volume derive from that occasion. (shrink)
George W. Bush is not only Americaâ€™s president, but also its most prominent moralist. No other president in living memory has spoken so often about good and evil, right and wrong. His inaugural address was a call to build â€œa single nation of justice and opportunity.â€ A year later, he famously proclaimed North Korea, Iran and Iraq to be an â€œaxis of evil,â€ and in contrast, he called the United States â€œa moral nation.â€ He defends his tax policy (...) in moral terms, saying that it is fair, and gives back to taxpayers what is rightfully theirs. The case he makes for free trade is â€œnot just monetary, but moral.â€ Open trade is a â€œmoral imperative.â€ Another â€œmoral imperative,â€ he says, is alleviating hunger and poverty throughout the world. He has said that â€œAmericaâ€™s greatest economic need is higher ethical standards.â€ In setting out the â€œBush doctrine,â€ which defends preemptive strikes against those who might threaten America with weapons of mass destruction, he asserted: â€œMoral truth is the same in every culture, in every time, and in every place.â€ But in what moral truths does the president believe? Considering how much the president says about ethics, it is surprising how little serious discussion there has been of the moral philosophy of George W. Bush. (shrink)
George A. Olah, Alain Goeppert and G. K. Surya Prakash (eds): Beyond oil and gas: the methanol economy, 2nd updated and enlarged edition Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s10698-011-9141-x Authors George B. Kauffman, Department of Chemistry, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA 93740-8034, USA Journal Foundations of Chemistry Online ISSN 1572-8463 Print ISSN 1386-4238.
The core of George Orwell’s novel 1984 is a debate—if the verbal and intellectual component of an extended episode of brainwashing can properly be said to constitute a debate—, the debate between Winston Smith and O’Brien in the cells of the Ministry of Love. It is natural to read this debate as a debate between a realist (as regards the nature of truth) and an anti-realist. I offer a few representative passages from the book that demonstrate, I believe, that (...) if this is not the only possible way to understand the debate, it is one very natural way. I begin with some thoughts that passed through Winston’s mind as he was writing in his diary long before his arrest. (shrink)
George H. Mead and Alfred Schutz proposed foundations for an interpretative sociology from opposite standpoints. Mead accepted the objective meaning structure a priori. His problem became therefore the explanation of the individuality and creativity of human actors in his social behavioristic approach. In contrast, Schutz started from the subjective consciousness of an isolated actor as a result of a phenomenological reduction. He was concerned with the problem of explaining the possibility of this isolated actor’s perceiving other actors in their (...) existence, their concreteness, and the motives for their behavior. I treat these two approaches and their associated problems as equally relevant. My evaluation is based on their success in solving their specific problems. The aim is to decide which of the two approaches provides the more adequate foundation for an interpretative sociology. (shrink)
George Engel designed his biopsychosocial model to be a broad framework for medicine and psychiatry. Although the model met with great initial success, it now needs conceptual attention to make it relevant for future generations. Engel articulated the model as a version of biological systems theory, but his work is better interpreted as the beginnings of a richly nuanced philosophy of medicine. We can make this reinterpretation by connecting Engel’s work with the tradition of American pragmatism. Engel initiates inquiry (...) like a pragmatist, he understands theory and philosophy like a pragmatist, he justifies beliefs like a pragmatist, and he understands the world like a pragmatist. By drawing out these similarities, medical and psychiatric scholars can revitalize the biopsychosocial model, and they can open medicine and psychiatry to a rich philosophic heritage and a flourishing interdisciplinary tradition. (shrink)
George Berkeley notoriously claimed that his immaterialist metaphysics was not only consistent with common sense but that it was also integral to its defense. Roberts argues that understanding the basic connection between Berkeley's philosophy and common sense requires that we develop a better understanding of the four principle components of Berkeley's positive metaphysics: The nature of being, the divine language thesis, the active/passive distinction, and the nature of spirits. Roberts begins by focusing on Berkeley's view of the nature of (...) being. He elucidates Berkeley's view on Locke and the Cartesians and by examining Berkeley's views about related concepts such as unity and simplicity. From there he moves on to Berkeley's philosophy of language arguing that scrutiny of the famous "Introduction" to the Principles of Human Knowledge reveals that Berkeley identified the ideational theory of meaning and understanding as the root cause of some of the worst of man's intellectual errors, not "abstract ideas." Abstract ideas are, rather, the most debilitating symptom of this underlying ailment. In place of the ideational theory, Berkeley defends a rudimentary "use theory" of meaning. This understanding of Berkeley's approach to semantics is then applied to the divine language thesis and is shown to have important consequences for Berkeley's pragmatic approach to the ontology of natural objects and for his approach to our knowledge of, and relation to other minds, including God's. Turning next to Berkeley's much aligned account of spirits, the author defends the coherence of Berkeley's view of spirits by way of providing an interpretation of the active/passive distinction as marking a normative distinction and by focusing on the role that divine language plays in letting Berkeley identify the soul with the will. With these four principles of Berkeley's philosophy in hand, he then returns to the topic of common sense and offers a defense of Berkeley's philosophy as built upon and expressive of the deepest metaphysical commitments of mainstream Christianity. Roberts' reappraisal of this important figure should appeal to all historians of philosophy as well as scholars in metaphysics and philosophy of language. (shrink)
Philosophers differ widely in the extent to which they condone the exploration of the realms of possibilia. Some are very enamoured of thought experiments in which human intuition is trained upon the products of human imagination. Others are much more sceptical of the fruits of such purely cognitive explorations. That said, it is clear that human beings cannot dispense with modal speculation altogether. Rationality rests upon the ability to make decisions and that in turn rests upon the ability to learn (...) about what is possible and what is probable. Thus, on pain of irrationality, we must have some means of exploring other possible worlds. Thankfully, intuition is not the only aid we have at our disposal. Science also is in the business of finding regularities, which hold counterfactually. Scientific theory tells us about the likelihood of particular outcomes flowing from particular processes given particular background conditions. Thus, it also tells us about the contents of 1 of 21 other possible worlds. One consequence of the possibility of such inferences has been a theoretical interest, not just in the contents, but also in the geography of the domain of all possibly worlds. Metaphysicians, epistemologists and philosophers of language are very familiar with locutions such as “nearby possible worlds” (meaning possible worlds very similar to the actual world). Similarly, evolutionary theory tells us that there is little chance of us discovering an organism that is mammal-like in most respects except in having six limbs. It’s not that we know such an organism to be impossible, but rather that we think it would be the product of an evolutionary history very different to the actual history of life on earth. Put another way, such organisms would be denizens of distant possible worlds. Clearly then, both biology and philosophy have ample motivation to be interested in the reasoning and evidence that supports such claims. Seemingly, in both disciplines there is a certain lure to this modal cartography, but ought we in fact to be convinced of its merits? Is it science or philosophy or not a good example of either? What sort of problems can it solve? What sort of problems will it create? How might we test its accuracy? In his excellent book Theoretical Morphology: The Concept and Its Applications (1999), George McGhee provides an admirable introduction to the complex theoretical landscape surrounding the exploration of possible biological form.. (shrink)
George Herbert Mead was a dedicated progressive and internationalist who strove to realize his political convictions through participation in numerous civic organizations in Chicago. These convictions informed and were informed by his approach to philosophy. This article addresses the bonds between Mead's philosophy, social psychology, and his support of women's rights through an analysis of a letter he wrote to his daughter-in-law regarding her plans for a career.
Context: Non-dualistic thinking is an alternative to realism and constructivism. Problem: In the absence of a distinct definition of the term “description,” the question comes up of what exactly can be included in non-dualistic descriptions, and in how far the definition of this term affects the relation between theory and empirical practice. Furthermore, this paper is concerned with the question of whether non-dualism and dualism differ in their implications. Method: I provide a wider semantic framework for the term “description” by (...) means of George Spencer Brown’s terminology in his calculus of indications as laid out in Laws of Form. The connection of descriptions and distinctions enables descriptions to comprise reflections and language as well as empirical observations. Results: Non-dualism can be thought of in different ways but still has essential elements in common with dualism. Implications: Non-dualism, as well as dualism, is an argumentation technique suitable for specific situations, but without significant differences in implications. (shrink)
Existe já uma grande quantidade de literatura dedicada à presença na filosofia inicial de Berkeley de alguns assuntos tipicamente platônicos (arquétipos, o problema da mente de Deus, a relaçáo entre ideias e coisas, etc.). Baseados em alguns desses escritos, nas próprias palavras de Berkeley, assim como no exame de alguns elementos da tradiçáo platônica num amplo sentido, sugiro que, longe de serem apenas tópicos isolados, livremente espalhados nos primeiros escritos de Berkeley, eles formam uma perfeita rede de aspectos, atitudes e (...) modos de pensar platônicos, e que, por mais alusivos ou ambíguos que esses elementos platônicos possam parecer, eles constituem um todo coerente e complexo, desempenhando um papel importante na formaçáo da própria essência do pensamento de Berkeley. Em outras palavras, sugiro que, dadas algumas das ideias apresentadas em suas primeiras obras, foi de certo modo inevitável para George Berkeley, em virtude da lógica interna do desenvolvimento de seu pensamento, chegar a uma obra táo abertamente platônica e especulativa como Siris (1744). (shrink)
The study that George Lakoff and Rafael Núñez call "idea analysis" and begin in their recent book Where mathematics comes from is intended to dissect mathematical concepts into their metaphorical parts, where metaphor is used in the cognitive-science sense promoted by Lakoff and Mark Johnson in Metaphors we live by and subsequent works by each of them and together. Lakoff and Núñez's analysis of the (modern) algebraic concept of group is based on the attribution to contemporary mathematics of what (...) will be widely recognizable by their name for it, the folk theory of essences. I argue that this philosophical basis for their analysis is spurious and supply an alternative analysis of the same concept within their "metaphorical" paradigm but without essences. This analysis, which I hope is more viable than theirs, is intended to support the general applicability of the paradigm by freeing it from outmoded philosophical baggage. (shrink)