Why Agamben? -- Key ideas -- Language and the negativity of being -- Infancy and archaeological method -- Potentiality and the task of the coming philosophy -- Politics : bare life and sovereign power -- The homeland of gesture : art and cinema -- The laboratory of literature -- Bearing witness and messianic time -- After Agamben.
The paper distinguishes between two different senses of ‘genius’ found in Kant's Critique of Judgement, and criticizes an argument commonly attributed to Kant. The argument is in support of the conclusion that an agent must possess and employ genius in the ‘productive faculty’ sense in order to produce an artwork. It is shown that Kant did not in fact make this argument. He defended a different claim concerning the need to employ the concept of a productive faculty of genius in (...) order to make pure judgements of taste concerning artworks. I conclude with the suggestion that there are indications in Kant's theory of a significant departure from a tradition of thought according to which there is something essentially mysterious about the possibility of the production of fine art. (shrink)
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
This article argues that traditional, regulative principles of research ethics offer insufficient guidance for research in the narrative study of lives. These principles presuppose an implicit epistemology that conceives of research participants as data sources, a conception that is argued not tenable for narrative research. The case is made by drawing on recent discussions of research ethics in the qualitative and narrative research literature. This article shows that narrative ethics is inextricably entwined with epistemological issues--namely, issues of narrative ownership and (...) the multiplicity of narrative meaning. Finally, practical recommendations are made for the ethical treatment of research participants in narrative research. The article concludes by situating our approach with respect to the broad range of contemporary perspectives on research ethics. (shrink)
Problems of and explanations for evil -- Neo-cartesianism -- Animal suffering and the fall -- Nobility, flourishing, and immortality : animal pain and animal well-being -- Natural evil, nomic regularity, and animal suffering -- Chaos, order, and evolution -- Combining CDs.
The existence and extent of animal suffering provides grounds for a serious evidential challenge to theism. In the wake of the Darwinian revolution, this strain of natural atheology has taken on substantially greater significance. In this essay we argue that there are at least four neo-Cartesian views on the nature of animal minds which would serve to deflect this evidential challenge.
Over the last decade a handful of cognitive models of religious belief have begun to coalesce in the literature. Attempts to offer “scientific explanations of religious belief ” are nothing new, stretching back at least as far as David Hume, and perhaps as far back as Cicero. What is also not new is a belief that scientific explanations of religious belief serve in some way to undermine the justification for those beliefs.
Recent Christian reflection on the relation of religion and ethics has focused a great deal on establishing a conception of ethics in which God plays a central role. The numerous attempts to respond to Plato's "Euthyphro Dilemma" and the various defenses of the divine command theory provide two examples of this phenomenon. But much of this ethical reflection has gone on in a way that is largely “defensive.” That is, those engaged in such discussions typically describe an ethical theory which (...) provides God with a central role, and then seek to deflect potentially fatal objections. While there is surely a place for this sort of defensive reflection, these discussions fail to address a deeper and perhaps more pressing question, namely: what positive reasons are there for preferring a religiously grounded ethical theory to the non-religious competitors. Are there argument or considerations, we might wonder, that can explain just why grounding an ethical theory in theism is superior to grounding it non-theistically? And if there are, what would such arguments or considerations look like? (shrink)
The belief that God responds to prayer is widespread. According to a recent Newsweek survey 87% of Americans said that they believe that God answers prayers. In fact, they believe so heartily in the efficacy of prayer that nearly one third of those polled said that they prayed to God more than once a day. What is even more interesting about this belief among ordinary Americans is that it has been denied by so many theologians. One might think such denials (...) would be found only among contemporary liberal theologians who deny that miracles are possible or that God would deign to interfere in human affairs. But in fact, such denials can be found in the writings of the founding fathers of many religious traditions. Of course, these theologians do not thereby deny that prayer is important or meaningful. Instead, the argue that it is meaningful because it brings about certain internal, psychological benefits for the petitioner. (shrink)
Attributes of God : independence, goodness, and power -- Attributes of God : eternity, knowledge, and providence -- God triune and incarnate -- Faith and rationality -- Theistic arguments -- Anti-theistic arguments -- Religion and science -- Religion, morality, and politics -- Mind, body, and immortality.
Historically, those who are committed to libertarianism are usually so committed for at least one of two reasons. First, some are convinced that the very idea of an agent acting freely and responsibly is incoherent when sufficient conditions for the choice obtain, whether internal or external to the agent. If, it is claimed, the choice of the agent can be traced back to states of affairs which are sufficient for the choice, the choice is simply a consequence of those conditions, (...) and this not an act of the agent himself. As a result, such choices are neither free nor something for which the agent is morally responsible. (shrink)
Over the last two decades, scientific accounts of religion have received a great deal of scholarly and popular attention both because of their intrinsic interest and because they are widely as constituting a threat to the religion they analyse. The Believing Primate aims to describe and discuss these scientific accounts as well as to assess their implications. The volume begins with essays by leading scientists in the field, describing these accounts and discussing evidence in their favour. Philosophical and theological reflections (...) on these accounts follow, offered by leading philosophers, theologians, and scientists. This diverse group of scholars address some fascinating underlying questions: Do scientific accounts of religion undermine the justification of religious belief? Do such accounts show religion to be an accidental by-product of our evolutionary development? And, whilst we seem naturally disposed toward religion, would we fare better or worse without it? Bringing together dissenting perspectives, this provocative collection will serve to freshly illuminate ongoing debate on these perennial questions. (shrink)
Recent non-representationalists and metaphysical anti-realists (such as Goodman, Putnam, Rorty, etc.) have argued that the “Enlightenment notion” of a “God’s eye” point of view of the world is unsustainable. Deployment of conceptual schemes and/or intersubjective assent both constitute the world and fix the truth value of our statements about it. Many theists, on the contrary, hold an equally extreme realist position according to which God has a view of the world as it is “in itself" which provides (...) an exhaustive description of the world. Furthermore, on this view, God has access to this exhaustive picture because the world exists and is what it is in virtue of its being the object of divine creative intentions. For these theistic realists, truths about the world must ultimately be able to be cashed out in terms of an ontology consisting only of simple and composite substances—substances which exist in virtue of the ontological structure set out in the world via God's creative activity. As a result, on this view, the world is constituted in a way that is independent of the activity of created cognizers and their conceptualizing activity. The truth of our assertions must ultimately find its grounding in this independently constituted world. (shrink)
The ‘Precautionary Principle’ provides a somewhat ill-defined guide, often of uncertain normative status, for those exercising administrative decision-making power in circumstances where that may create potential risks to human health or the environment. This paper seeks to explore to what extent the precautionary principle should have been and was in fact utilised by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in its decision to approve the marketing of sunscreens containing titanium dioxide (TiO2) and zinc oxide (ZnO) in nanoparticulate form. In particular, (...) this article assesses to what extent better application of that principle might have altered the TGA’s decision that TiO2 and ZnO ENPs in sunscreens do not require new safety testing, because they are considered to be functionally equivalent to their bulk counterparts. (shrink)
It is no surprise to discover that few (if any) have found the existence of God to be an obvious fact about the world. At least this is so in the sense in which we normally use the word "obvious," as when we say that it is obvious that the World Trade Center weighs more than a deck of cards or that it is obvious that VanGogh is a better painter than I. Despite St. Paul's claim that God's (...) eternal power and divine nature "have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made" (Romans 1:20), few (if any) think that such is as "clearly seen" as the book you now hold in your hand. (shrink)
When deciding what disorders to screen newborns for, we should be guided by evidence of real effectiveness, take opportunity cost into account, distribute costs and benefits fairly, and respect human rights. Current newborn screening policy does not meet these requirements.
This paper is based on notes taken during a three day lecture given by Humberto Maturana in St Kilda, Victoria, August 7th - 9th, 1993. It was obvious from the participants that many non biologists have found Maturana's work to be influential in their thinking. The audience included immunologists, family therapists, academics, architects, agriculturalists and information technologists.
The project of naturalising phenomenology is examined within the larger context of the philosophy of science. Transcendental phenomenology, as defended by Husserl, in opposition to the naturalistic enterprise, reflects a particular way of thinking about philosophy and its relationship to the empirical sciences that stands as an obstacle to the project of naturalisation. This paper develops a critique of a basic assumption made in this conception of philosophy, namely that it is possible to ask and answer questions concerning knowledge in (...) the abstract, prior to and independently of the various investigative contexts which are the immediate concern of practicing scientists. To successfully naturalise phenomenology, we need to abandon this conception of philosophy. (shrink)
During the spring of 1983 I began my third semester in college giving serious consideration to the thought of becoming a philosophy major. I had taken a few courses and found the subject intriguing. More influential in my own considerations was the fact that I had recently converted to Christianity and had been encouraged by some early mentors in the faith to read the works of various Christian philosophers both contemporary and classical. One evening that semester I was studying for (...) an upcoming exam when a friend, “John,” came to the door. From the look on his face I knew he was after something, what I wasn’t sure. I had known John since arriving at college, having met him at the Christian Fellowship meetings on campus. John had grown up in a devoutly Christian home and had cultivated a deep love for and devotion to his faith. However, he had struggled academically and was especially troubled by the fact that his faith seemed to have little amicable contact with the view of the world set forth by his admittedly unsympathetic professors. John began telling me about his professor for his introductory philosophy class who was, in his estimation, “leaning on” the theists in the class. He felt that every move in the course was calculated to reinforce the confidence of the atheist at the theist’s expense. At the end of the most recent lecture the professor punctuated the class as he had each semester, by offering a challenge to his students: “If you can find anyone who is willing to come to offer a philosophical defense of theism,” he mocked, “I will give them an entire class to do so.” Upon hearing the quote, I feared John was going to ask just what he proceeded to ask: “Would you try it.” Not surprisingly, I thought it unwise for someone with the full experience of one semester of philosophy under his belt to challenge a professor of nearly twenty years. Not to mention the fact that the one I would have to confront would likely be determining my future academic fate as one of my major professors.. (shrink)
We propose a model mechanism for the initiation and spatial positioning of teeth primordia in the alligator, Alligator mississippiensis. Detailed embryological studies by Westergaard and Ferguson (1986, 1987, 1990) have shown that jaw growth plays a crucial role in the developmental patterning of the tooth initiation process. Based on biological data we develop a dynamic patterning mechanism, which crucially includes domain growth. The mechanism can reproduce the spatial pattern development of the first seven teeth primordia in each half jaw (...) of A. mississippiensis. The results for the precise spatio-temporal sequence compare well with experiment. Simulation of the model also predicts that certain transplantations can alter the spatial sequence of teeth primordia initiation. (shrink)
Endothelial cells, when cultured on gelled basement membrane matrix exert forces of tension through which they deform the matrix and at the same time they aggregate into clusters. The cells eventually form a network of cord-like structures connecting cell aggregates. In this network, almost all of the matrix has been pulled underneath the cell cords and cell clusters. This phenomenon has been proposed as a possible model for the growth and development of planar vascular systems in vitro. Our hypothesis is (...) that the matrix is reorganized and the cellular networks form as a result of traction forces exerted by the cells on the matrix and the latter's elasticity. We construct and analyze a mathematical model based on this hypothesis and examine conditions necessary for the formation of the pattern. We show cell migration is not necessary for pattern formation and that isotropic, strain-stimulated traction is sufficient to form the observed patterns. (shrink)
Bauer, Taub, and Parsi's review of an international sample of standards on informed consent, confidentiality, commercialization, and quality of research in tissue banking reveals that no clear national or international consensus exists for these issues. The authors' response to the lack of uniformity in the meaning, scope, and ethical significance of the policies they examined is to call for the creation of uniform ethical guidelines. This raises questions about whether harmonization should consist of voluntary international standards or international regulations that (...) include an official oversight mechanism and sanctions for noncompliance, and about who should participate in the harmonization process. Moreover, the normative assumptions and political dynamics that shape global policymaking need to be addressed. This commentary explores the policy implications and normative questions raised by the idea of international ethical guidelines for the use of biotechnologies and biotechnological resources such as stored samples of human tissue. (shrink)
To show that morality is in one's interest, the challenge put forward by Hobbes's Foole, we must first be clear what is meant by something's being in one's interest. Defining self-interest in an external or objective sense (so that claiming morality really satisfies her self-interest, albeit in ways she will never appreciate) will not placate the Foole. Self-interest, for the Foole, must be understood in terms that she will endorse. Are such terms possible? Subjective interpretations of self-interest have been accused (...) of incoherence for two separate reasons. First, calling 'good' that which we desire gets the order backward, since the desirability feature is what causes us to desire it. Second, subjective accounts cannot properly explain the phenomenon of mistaken desires, or accommodate reflection on our desires with the intent on warding off such mistakes. My goal here is to show how a subjective account of self-interest is not self-defeating in these ways. (shrink)
E-Z Reader fits key parameters from one corpus of eye movement data, but has not really been tested with new data sets. More critically, it is argued that the key mechanism driving eye movements – a serial process involving a proportion of word recognition time – is implausible on the basis of a broad range of experimental findings.
Grodzinsky has argued that the traces deleted in Broca's aphasia are “phonetically silent but syntactically active” (sect. 2.). If we assume such traces to be visuospatial in nature, and adopt the term “overwriting” from the author's partial matching theory (1998), we can account for the errors made by Broca's aphasics in comprehending Grodzinsky's Examples (5a), (5b), and (6).
This article examines the relationship between action research and policy and the kind of confidence teachers, policy makers and other potential users may have in such research. Many published teacher action research accounts are criticised on the grounds that they do not fully meet the conventional standards for reporting social scientific research, and by implication are held to be less trustworthy. Action research is nevertheless often seen by some academics and policy makers as a potential method for developing theory, disseminating (...) good practice, or raising standards. Through a discussion of three major approaches to action research—seen variously as professional learning, practical philosophy and critical social science—it is argued that judgements about confidence depend upon understanding the various kinds of knowledge claim that can be made by action researchers, and appropriate judgements concerning the strength of evidence or reasons. (shrink)
The theoretical framework proposed by Dienes & Perner sets the wrong standards for knowledge to be considered explicit. Animals other than humans possess knowledge, too, some of which is probably explicit. We argue that a comparative approach to investigating knowledge is likely to be more fruitful than one based on linguistic constructs and unobservable phenomena.
A philosophical approach to interracial dialogue in North America is based on moral and epistemological principles defended by James M. Jones, Lawrence Thomas, and Cornel West. The different perspectives of the racial majority and racial minorities give rise to different moral obligations.
Many defenders of libertarianism have, in recent years, come to endorse the idea that free agents are rarely able to choose otherwise than they do.1 These libertarians argue that it is often true that the beliefs and desires, or the character of a free agent are sufficient to render numerous possible choice-alternatives ineligible for the agent having them. In fact, they claim, it is frequently the case that beliefs, desires, character, etc. are sufficient to narrow the eligible alternatives to a (...) single one (I will henceforth refer to such choices as “single-option choices”). In these cases, such agents, even though they are unable to choose otherwise, are still morally responsible as long as certain conditions are met. In particular, it must be the case that the factors that narrow the available alternatives result from prior free choices of the agent (I will henceforth refer to such factors as “limiting factors”). In other words, limiting factors must be traceable to prior free choices. (shrink)
Gliomas are diffuse and invasive brain tumors with the nefarious ability to evade even seemingly draconian treatment measures. Here we introduce a simple mathematical model for drug delivery of chemotherapeutic agents to treat such a tumor. The model predicts that heterogeneity in drug delivery related to variability in vascular density throughout the brain results in an apparent tumor reduction based on imaging studies despite continual spread beyond the resolution of the imaging modality. We discuss a clinical example for which the (...) model-predicted scenario is relevant. The analysis and results suggest an explanation for the clinical problem of the long-standing confounding observation of shrinkage of the lesion in certain areas of the brain with continued growth in other areas. (shrink)
According to a “presence/absence hypothesis,” the hippocampus is not necessary for the formation of learned associations between currently present stimuli and responses (as in classical conditioning), but is necessary whenever a stimulus, if it is to activate a particular response, must first activate a memory-representation of something not present in the here-and-now. The distinction between responses made to present stimuli as opposed to (memories of) absent stimuli was first stressed by Romanes (1889), but we find evidence in the target article (...) that supports the relevance of this distinction to our understanding of hippocampal functioning. (shrink)
In this brief note, we respond to Gottlieb and Lasser's (2001/this issue) critical commentary on our work on narrative research ethics. We argue that their concern for privileging voices needs to be balanced against the risk of exploiting some research participants, that conflicts of interest are best resolved through appropriately prioritizing ethical principles and in consultation with others, and that the researcher's ability to protect participants from harm can be enhanced through appropriate clinical training and access to clinical expertise. We (...) welcome Gottlieb and Lasser's specific recommendations for ethical practice in narrative research and encourage further ethical reflection by other researchers in this area. (shrink)
Approaches to model evaluation in terms of Occam's razor or principles of parsimony cannot avoid judgements about the relative importance of aspects of the models. Assumptions about “core processing” are usually considered more important than those related to decision components, but when the decision is related to a central feature of the processing, it becomes extremely difficult to tease apart the influences of core and decision components and to draw sensible conclusions about underlying architecture. It is preferable, where possible, to (...) use experimental procedures that avoid the necessity for subject decisions related to critical aspects of the underlying process. (shrink)
O. Murray (1993). Polis' and 'Politeia' in Aristotle. In Mogens Herman Hansen (ed.), The Ancient Greek City-State: Symposium on the Occasion of the 250th Anniversary of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, July, 1-4 1992. Commissioner, Munksgaard.score: 30.0