Hartmann's way of conceiving what he terms "the actual ought-to-be [aktuales Seinsollen]" offers a fruitful approach to crucial issues in the phenomenology of action. The central issue to be dealt with concerns the description of the "constitution" of anticipated possibilities as projects for action. Such potentialities are termed "problematic possibilities" and are contrasted with "open possibilities" in most of the works published by Husserl as well as those published by Alfred Schutz. The description given by Alfred Schutz emphasized (...) that the projecting of possibilities is thoroughly conditioned by the agent's habitual beliefs and interests. Schutz, however left open the possibility that other factors might affect the projecting of courses of action and the choosing of one in preference to others. In particular, he left open the possibility that the agent come to take an interest in possibilities in which she had no prior interest. More recent interpretations of his position on this issue have left this possibility undiscussed or else excluded it altogether. The result has been that a sort of value nihilism (subjectivism, sociologism, lingualism, anthropologism, historicism, psychologism, etc.) came to prevail in the phenomenological description of actions. A quite parallel development occurred in interpretations of Heidegger's account of actions (of "explication [Auslegung]" in the vocabulary of Being and Time). Heidegger expressly and emphatically rejected most ways of conceiving values in discussing the forms of action (circumspection and assertion in the vocabulary of Sein und Zeit). it came quite generally to be assumed that he subscribed to some variation of nihilism regarding values despite his insistence in the "Letter on Humanism" that he meant no such thing. The literature on this subject has concentrated on Scheler's work to the complete exclusion of Hartmann's axiology — as happened in Parvis Ermad's Heidegger and the Phenomenology of Values, His Critique of Intentionality, foreword by Walter Biernel (Glen Ellyn, Illinois: Torey Press, 1981). Scheler's view entails the radical separation of ontic traits from axiotic traits, of what-is from what-ought-to-be. However, for Hartmann, the set of ontic traits that becomes actual when laws about what-ought-to-be are satisfied is identical with the set of traits that ought-to-be, Hartmann's way of conceiving the ought-to-be, the actual ought-to-be, and the three-fold structure of the finalistic nexus seems entirely compatible with Heidegger's way of thinking about actions. They are also an enlightening supplement to Schutz's description of "Choosing Among Projects of Action" (in Collected Papers 1, 67-96). That description requires that choice and action be thoroughly conditioned by psychological, social, and historical facts about the agent. However, nothing of this vital determination of actions is sacrificed when these concepts that are so central to Hartmann's "absolutism" with respect to values are introduced into the description. Their introduction provides an elaboration that Schutz himself neglected, perhaps due to pragmatic deference to biases which were prevalent then in the intellectual climate of philosophy and sociology in the U.S. Still, the transformation they bring is a significant improvement. It shows decisively that being conditioned linguistically, psychologically, socially, and historically does not enclose the choice among projects within a "Hermeneutical Circle" such as would exclude the possibility that agents be open to previously unfamiliar values. Hartmann's conception of the plurality as well as the absoluteness (or "objectivity") of primary goods allows, put in Kantian terms, that an agent may, however rarely, take an interest in possibilities such as she may never before have been interested in at all; or, put in Heideggerian terms, that she may come to care about possibilities such as have never concerned her before. (shrink)
Is it reasonable to believe in God even in the absence of strong evidence that God exists? Pragmatic arguments for theism are designed to support belief even if one lacks evidence that theism is more likely than not. Jeff Jordan proposes that there is a sound version of the most well-known argument of this kind, Pascal's Wager, and explores the issues involved - in epistemology, the ethics of belief, decision theory, and theology.
This paper describes a second generation Simulator for Engineering Ethics Education. Details describing the first generation activities of this overall effort are published in Chung and Alfred (Sci Eng Ethics 15:189–199, 2009). The second generation research effort represents a major development in the interactive simulator educational approach. As with the first generation effort, the simulator places students in first person perspective scenarios involving different types of ethical situations. Students must still gather data, assess the situation, and make decisions. The (...) approach still requires students to develop their own ability to identify and respond to ethical engineering situations. However, were as, the generation one effort involved the use of a dogmatic model based on National Society of Professional Engineers’ Code of Ethics, the new generation two model is based on a mathematical model of the actual experiences of engineers involved in ethical situations. This approach also allows the use of feedback in the form of decision effectiveness and professional career impact. Statistical comparisons indicate a 59 percent increase in overall knowledge and a 19 percent improvement in teaching effectiveness over an Internet Engineering Ethics resource based approach. (shrink)
Pascal is best known among philosophers for his wager in support of Christian belief. Since Ian Hacking’s classic article on the wager, three versions of the wager have been recognized within the concise paragraphs of the Pensées. In what follows I argue that there is a fourth to be found there, a version that in many respects anticipates the argument of William James in his 1896 essay “The Will to Believe.” This fourth wager argument, I contend, differs from the better-known (...) three in that it has as a premise the proposition that theistic belief is more rewarding than non-belief in this life, whether God exists or not. As we will see, this proposition provides a way of circumventing the many-gods objection. From the four wagers found in Pascal’s Pensées, I argue, one can salvage the resources for a version of the wager, Pascalian in nature, even if not in origin, immune to the many-gods objection. A brief comment on the apologetic role Pascal intended for the wagers played is our first task at hand. (shrink)
There is quite a bit of disagreement in cognitive science regarding the role that consciousness and control play in explanations of how people do what they do. The purpose of the present paper is to do the following: (1) examine the theoretical choice points that have lead theorists to conflicting positions, (2) examine the philosophical and empirical problems different theories encounter as they address the issue of conscious agency, and (3) provide an integrative framework (Wild Systems Theory) that addresses these (...) problems and potentially naturalizes conscious agency. It does so by grounding conscious and control in the notion of self-sustaining energy-transformation systems (i.e., living systems), versus computational or self- organizing systems, as is the case in information processing theory and dynamical systems theory, respectively. Given its assertion that content (and consciousness) emerges in self-sustaining systems, Wild Systems Theory may also provide a sound theoretical basis for a science of consciousness in general. (shrink)
The concept of contextual emergence has been introduced as a speci?c kind of emergence in which some, but not all of the conditions for a higher-level phenomenon exist at a lower level. Further conditions exist in contingent contexts that provide stability conditions at the lower level, which in turn accord the emergence of novelty at the higher level. The purpose of the present paper is to propose that (proto-) consciousness is a contextually emergent property of self-sustaining systems. The core assumption (...) is that living organisms constitute self-sustaining embodiments of the contingent contexts that accord their emergence. We propose that the emergence of such systems constitutes the emergence of content-bearing systems because the lower-level processes of such systems give rise to and sustain the macro-level whole (i.e., body) in which they are nested, while the emergent macro-level whole constitutes the context in which the lower- level processes can be for something (i.e., be functional). Such embodied functionality is necessarily and naturally about the contexts that it has embodied. It is this notion of self- sustaining embodied aboutness that we propose to represent a type of content capable of evolving into consciousness. (shrink)
The present paper analyzes the regularities referred to via the concept 'self.' This is important, for cognitive science traditionally models the self as a cognitive mediator between perceptual inputs and behavioral outputs. This leads to the assertion that the self causes action. Recent findings in social psychology indicate this is not the case and, as a consequence, certain cognitive scientists model the self as being epiphenomenal. In contrast, the present paper proposes an alternative approach (i.e., the event-control approach) that is (...) based on recently discovered regularities between perception and action. Specifically, these regularities indicate that perception and action planning utilize common neural resources. This leads to a coupling of perception, planning, and action in which the first two constitute aspects of a single system (i.e., the distal-event system) that is able to pre-specify and detect distal events. This distal-event system is then coupled with action (i.e., effector-control systems) in a constraining, as opposed to 'causal' manner. This model has implications for how we conceptualize the manner in which one infers the intentions of another, anticipates the intentions of another, and possibly even experiences another. In conclusion, it is argued that it may be possible to map the concept 'self' onto the regularities referred to in the event-control model, not in order to reify 'the self' as a causal mechanism, but to demonstrate its status as a useful concept that refers to regularities that are part of the natural order. (shrink)
A natural experiment was conducted studying the relations among student cheating, motivation, religiosity, and attitudes toward cheating. Students enrolled in a dual religious/college curriculum were surveyed regarding their cheating behavior, attitudes toward cheating, religiosity, and learning/grade motivations toward classes. Business and liberal arts college students were represented. Results strongly support the following conclusions. First, grade orientation is associated with increases in self-reported cheating. Second, among these religious students, more religiosity correlates with reduced reports of cheating in all courses. This result (...) appears to be due to the unique effect of religion on self-reported cheating rates and, depending on course content, on a reduction of grade orientation in religious students. Third, business students report more cheating than their liberal arts counterparts, even when taking the same courses. They have less critical attitudes toward cheating and greater grade orientation, both of which statistically contribute to this difference, but other factors are involved as well. Keywords: academic integrity, motivation, religiosity, cheating. (shrink)
A recurrent theme in ethnomethodological research is that of instructed actions. Contrary to the classic traditions in the social and cognitive sciences, which attribute logical priority or causal primacy to instructions, rules, and structures of action, ethnomethodologists investigate the situated production of actions which enable such formulations to stand as adequate accounts. Consequently, a recitation of formal structures can not count as an adequate sociological description, when no account is given of the local production ofwhat those structures describe. The natural (...) sciences can be described as a domain of practical action in whichthe use of methods enables the intersubjective reproduction of naturalistic observations and experiments. As numerous sociological studies of laboratory practices have shown, the achievement of intersubjective order cannot be reduced to formal methods; instead, it arises from the work of custom-fitting relevant methods to the local circumstances of the research. In this paper we discuss a possible extension of this idea to cover two intertwined aspects of molecular biology: (1) the work of following instructions on how to perform routine laboratory procedures, and (2) the relationship between cellular orders and the encoded instructions contained in the DNA molecule. We suggest that a classic conception of scientific action is implied by the way formal instructions are treated as a primary basis, both for molecular biologists' actions and the cellular functions they study, and we envision an ethnomethodological alternative to those conceptions of social and biological order. (shrink)
We analyzed a sample of 356 forms containing information that Colorado law legally requires both licensed and unlicensed therapists to disclose to clients. The majority of forms contained the legally mandated information; fewer forms contained ethically desirable information. The average readability grade level was 15.74, corresponding to upper-level college, and 63.9% of the forms reached the highest (most difficult) readability grade of 17 +. Therapists are obeying the law, but do not appear to be taking advantage of the opportunity to (...) provide their clients useful information in an accessible way. (shrink)
This article reviews the recent contributions of Amartya Sen and John McMurtry to theory of international development and social justice. The author argues that both fail to give an adequate account of the current transformation of collective life and the provision of collective goods. Without such an analysis, theories of justice are incomplete.
Continuing Franz Boas' work to establish anthropology as an academic discipline in the US at the turn of the twentieth century, Alfred L. Kroeber re-defined culture as a phenomenon sui generis. To achieve this he asked geneticists to enter into a coalition against hereditarian thoughts prevalent at that time in the US. The goal was to create space for anthropology as a separate discipline within academia, distinct from other disciplines. To this end he crossed the boundary separating anthropology from (...) biology in order to secure the boundary. His notion of culture, closely bound to the concept of heredity, saw it as independent of biological heredity (culture as superorganic) but at the same time as a heredity of another sort. The paper intends to summarise the shifting boundaries of anthropology at the beginning of the twentieth century, and to present Kroeber?s ideas on culture, with a focus on how the changing landscape of concepts of heredity influenced his views. The historical case serves to illustrate two general conclusions: that the concept of culture played and plays different roles in explaining human existence; that genetics and the concept of Weismannian hard inheritance did not have an unambiguous unidirectional historical effect on the vogue for hereditarianism at that time; on the contrary, it helped to establish culture in Kroeber's sense, culture as independent of heredity. (shrink)
In Heidegger’s Being and Time certain concepts are discussed which are central to the ontological constitution of Dasein. This paper demonstrates the interesting manner in which some of these concepts can be used in a reading of T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. A comparative analysis is performed, explicating the relevant Heideggerian terms and then relating them to Eliot’s poem. In this way strong parallels are revealed between the two men’s respective thoughts and distinct modernist sensibilities. (...) Prufrock, the protagonist of the poem, and the world he inhabits illustrate poetically concepts such as authenticity, inauthenticity, the ‘they’, idle talk and angst, which Heidegger develops in Being and Time. (shrink)
In his new book on Pascal's Wager, Jeff Jordan argues that only the ‘Jamesian’ version of the wager argument, as he sees it presented in William James' essay The Will to Believe , constitutes a sound pragmatic argument in favour of theism, whereas Pascal's original wager argument is doomed to fail on various grounds. This article argues that Jordan's theory is untenable. The many-gods objection is used as an example: it is demonstrated that the Jamesian Wager argument too (...) is powerless to rebut this objection. (shrink)
In Process and Reality and other works, Alfred North Whitehead struggled to come to terms with the impact the new science of quantum mechanics would have on metaphysics.This ambitious book is the first extended analysis of the intricate relationships between relativity theory, quantum mechanics, and Whitehead's cosmology. Michael Epperson illuminates the intersection of science and philosophy in Whitehead's work-and details Whitehead's attempts to fashion an ontology coherent with quantum anomalies.Including a nonspecialist introduction to quantum mechanics, Epperson adds an essential (...) new dimension to our understanding of Whitehead-and of the constantly enriching encounter between science and philosophy in our century. (shrink)
In his writings Alfred Schutz identifies an artificiality in the concept of life-world produced by Edmund Husserl's method of reduction. As an alternative, he proposes to assume intersubjectivity as a given of everyday life. This eradicates Husserl's distinction between life-world and natural attitude. The subsequent phenomenological project appears to center upon sociological descriptions of the structures of the life-world rather than on a search for apodictic truth. Schutz, however, actually retains Husserl's emphasis on the subject. A tension then arises (...) between the assumption of intersubjectivity and individual experience. Rather than clarifying the concept of intersubjectivity, this further problematizes it. Drawing upon Max Weber's work, Schutz responds by developing a rigorous methodology for studying the social world. But having rejected Husserl's reduction and conflated life-world and natural attitude, Schutz's analysis moves at the level of daily life itself. Consequently, the explanatory categories he proposes appear as abstractions rather than as a way of describing lived experience. Schutz, it is concluded, initiates a scientistic sociology in which the commonsense structures of the natural attitude of everyday life are subverted and replaced by the more rigorous knowledge of the scientific attitude. Schutz's version of phenomenology is ultimately untrue to the spirit of Husserl's original project; and deploying his work as a clear-cut alternative to scientistic tendencies within sociology is not as straightforward as it might at first seem. (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)
Can a phenomenology of culture be at the same time a philosophy of culture? In other words, can a descriptive exploration of acts and objects of culture serve at the same time as a critical reflection on those acts and objects? Or does cultural critique imply a separate and additional task, that of a normative examination of the explored cultural phenomena? What would be the founding values of such an examination? How would it be established? Furthermore, what would be the (...) importance of recognizing the distinct nature of this task compared to the exploratory-descriptive one? How would the two tasks relate to one another? Finally, is a full-fledged philosophy of culture, i.e. a critical exploration of cultural phenomena, needed? And if yes, why? These are the questions addressed by this paper. Answers are sought in a close examination of the work of Ernst Cassirer which involved both a phenomenology of cultural forms as well as an attempt at their normative-critical evaluation. And yet his work was criticized by many for its lack of an ethical dimension, a critique endorsed by another phenomenologist of culture, Alfred Schutz, whose work itself was accused for being non-critical. Beginning with a presentation of these two phenomenologies of culture this paper examines closely the charges directed against Cassirer's comprehensive philosophy of culture, namely, its idealism and its a-moralism. Through this examination the paper aims to shed light on a number of issues pertaining to the questions formulated above. (shrink)
Alfred Schutz was the outstanding representative of the phenomenological approach to the philosophy and methodology of the social sciences. An attempt is made here to explore one fundamental feature of Schutz's work: his theory of typification. That theory is found to be a development of Husserl's doctrine of the intentionality of consciousness and is shown to be concerned with the structure of pre-predicative experience as well as the process of abstraction and ideation as constitutive of the 'natural standpoint' of (...) daily life. (shrink)
Michael Jordan is widely acclaimed as the greatest athlete who ever lived. The announcement of his retirement in January 1999 unleashed an unparalleled hyperbole of adjectives describing his superlative athletic accomplishments. Yet his continuing media presence and adulation after his retirement confirmed that Jordan is one of the most popular and widely known sports icons throughout the world. In China, the Beijing Morning Post ran a front paged article titled "Flying Man Jordan is Coming (...) Back to Earth" and in Bosnia Jordan's statement declaring his retirement was the lead story on the evening television news, pushing aside the war in Kosovo. An icon of the global popular, Jordan is "a kind of new world prince," in the words of Pulitzer Prizewinning author David Halberstam, who recently published a biography of the basketball legend (1999): "You hear time and again about people being in Borneo or somewhere and coming across a kid in a tattered Michael Jordan T-shirt. He's the most famous American in the world.". (shrink)
In this paper we raise three questions of clarification about Alfred Mele's fine recent book, Free Will and Luck. Our questions concern the following topics: (i) Mele's combination of 'luck' and 'Frankfurt-style' objections to libertarianism, (ii) Mele's stipulations about 'compatibilism' and the relation between questions about free action and questions about moral responsibility, and (iii) Mele's treatment of the Consequence Argument.
Alfred Schutz''s influence on American sociologists and sociology in the 1960s and 1970s is traced through the examination of the work of two of his students, Helmut Wagner and Peter Berger, and of Harold Garfinkel with whom he met and corresponded over a number of years. The circumstances of Schutz''s own academic situation, particularly the short period of his academic career in the United States and his location at the New School, are examined to consider how and in what (...) ways he was constrained from exerting an even wider influence. The two major areas of influence in American sociology that are examined are the sociology of knowledge and the early development of ethnomethodology. (shrink)
Phenomenological sociology was founded at the beginning of 1930s by Alfred Schutz. His mundane phenomenology sought to combine impulses drawn from Husserl's transcendental phenomenology and Weber's action theory. It was made famous at the turn of 1960s and 1970s by Garfinkel's ethnomethodology and Berger & Luckmann's social constructionism. This paper deals with the notable accomplishments of Schutz and his followers and then proceeds to a shared shortcoming, which is that the phenomenological approach is unable to understand meaning in any (...) other way but as actors's knowledge. Therefore, phenomenological sociologists are forced to describe the actor's interpretations of meaning as transparent to the actor him/herself, even if they sometimes make heroic attempts to escape the limitations of the phenomenological conception. The limitation is apparent in Husserl's and Schutz's definition of meaning as a “reflective intentional act”, Garfinkel's use of the term “accounting” to refer to a signifying effect, and the way Berger and Luckmann describe their social theory as “sociology of knowledge”. Today, similar confusions are present in Michael Polanyi's “tacit knowledge”and in Giddens' structuration theory. (shrink)
The objective of this article is to show that Whitehead had a very important philosophy of education both on the formal level. The consistency found is well worth noting. I researched many of Whitehead's major works for his formal views and Lucian Price's Dialogues of Alfred North Whitehead. In my opinion Price's book is the best available for the purpose of getting Whitehead's candid informal view of education. The paper is divided into sections according to the particular subject matter. (...) Since Whitehead describes education as the study of life and all of its manifestations . It is appropriate to cover some of these areas: the purpose of education, the role of science and speculation, education and civilization, and both the process of education and process education are reviewed. Whitehead's philosophy of education is sweeping in scope. In his philosophy we find the importance of experience, imagination, speculation, generalization, factual knowledge, specialization, relevance, intuition, novelty, curiosity, theory, practice, pleasure, harmony, freedom, discipline, technical and liberal education and unification. He, in fact, unifies all these seemingly different areas into a coherent philosophy of education. (shrink)
Encyclopedia entry for the British mathematician and American Philosopher Alfred North Whitehead. Usefully summarizes his life and work for non-specialists and, more especially, interested persons outside of the philosophical disciplines per se.
Alfred North Whitehead published no book or article strictly on aesthetics. Nonetheless, in his philosophical writings he mentions several times that aesthetic experience is the key to his metaphysics. In fundamental places of his philosophical system, moreover, he uses expressions like ‘aesthetic experience’, ‘aesthetic fact’, ‘aesthetic unity’, and ‘aesthetic order’. These expressions do not, however, refer to human conscious experience alone, but to all entities of the universe. That has led some scholars to the conviction that these terms are (...) used in a purely technical sense and therefore do not refer to the sphere of aesthetics. The author of the current article seeks to demonstrate that these terms do refer to the sphere of aesthetics. The argument set out here consists in three steps. In the first, the author presents Whitehead’s philosophical method of imaginative generalization. In the second step, the author presents the fundamental ontological unit (the actual occasion) of Whitehead’s philosophy, and points out that Whitehead describes it using aesthetic terms that are employed in a broad sense. In the third step the author presents Whitehead’s view of aesthetic understanding. At the end of the article, it is demonstrated that although Whitehead did not develop his analysis of aesthetic understanding into a consistent theory, it forms the background to all his metaphysical books. (shrink)
Alfred Schutz's (Vienna 1899 — New York 1959) research into the philosophy of music certainly cannot be regarded as the most notable aspect of this writer, born and educated in Vienna, later a naturalized American citizen. Nor can it legitimately be maintained that Schutz's writings on the subject form a systematic corpus in his work. Schutz was above all a social scientist, strongly attracted, as were many writers of the first half of this century, to the project of aphilosophical (...) foundation within his field of expertise. In this project, where phenomenology is encountered, the question ofintersubjectivity together with that ofcommunication among individuals, plays a crucial role. It is, therefore, undoubtedly correct to consider Schutz's theoretical interests in music within this framework; thus music tends to assume a paradigmatic value, in the sense that the musical piece in its concrete temporal development, in the presence of performers and listeners, demonstrates in a truly exemplary manner, how the process of social relationship actually functions.Although mindful of this frame of reference, nontheless we feel it can be asserted that the works of Schutz which we are about to examine are in themselves interesting stimuli, independently of any organic connection with the author's general project. These stimuli have furthermore proveked a theoretical debate that is still going on in the USA. (shrink)
It's an obituary of Jordan Howard Sobel, a prominent American-Canadian moral philosopher and a decision theorist who died in 2010. The obituary focuses on Sobels' close contacts with the Swedish philosophical community and on his contributions to Theoria.
In 1870 Jordan proved that the composition factors of two composition series of a group are the same. Almost 20 years later Hölder (1889) was able to extend this result by showing that the factor groups, which are quotient groups corresponding to the composition factors, are isomorphic. This result, nowadays called the Jordan-Hölder Theorem, is one of the fundamental theorems in the theory of groups. The fact that Jordan, who was working in the framework of substitution groups, (...) was able to prove only a part of this theorem is often used to emphasize the importance and even the necessity of the abstract conception of groups, which was employed by Hölder. However, as a little-known paper from 1873 reveals, Jordan had all the necessary ingredients to prove the Jordan-Hölder Theorem at his disposal (namely, composition series, quotient groups, and isomorphisms), and he also noted a connection between composition factors and corresponding quotient groups. Thus, I argue that the answer to the question posed in the title is “Yes.” It was not the lack of the abstract notion of groups which prevented Jordan from proving the Jordan-Hölder Theorem, but the fact that he did not ask the right research question that would have led him to this result. In addition, I suggest some reasons why this has been overlooked in the historiography of algebra, and I argue that, by hiding computational and cognitive complexities, abstraction has important pragmatic advantages. (shrink)
Over the years, a number of interpreters with an interest in economics have given some attention the work of Alfred Schutz. As intimated in this literature, the orientation of his delimited thought on economics stemmed from contacts with the Austrian school during his Vienna years. Probably because of this connection, there exists among these interpreters an inclination uncritically to align Schutz with the Austrians' thought. What will be argued in this paper is that in adopting such an uncritical position, (...) each of these readings fails adequately to situate Schutz's critique of economic analyses within the framework of his own social theory. It will become apparent that his treatment of economics turned out to be a mixture of defence and critique, and that his interpretation of the subject and the intellectual status he ascribed to it were considerably more ambivalent and ambiguous than has been noticed. In particular, Schutz expressed significant reservations about the highly circumscribed and artificial depictions of the world of human action that some economists espoused, especially within the confines of marginalist theory. When arraigned against the phenomenology of the life-world that he had developed, and against the "postulates" around which he had constructed his social theory, much of extant economics did not meet the requirements of a properly grounded social science. (shrink)
Mark Jordan’s recent book, Rewritten Theology, challenges the way in which the achievement of Thomas Aquinas has been both received and reformulated,often in order to serve particular theological and philosophical ends. It helps to unmask the often hidden presuppositions behind efforts to “police” Thomism, efforts which frequently require a revision and a rewriting of the texts of Aquinas themselves. At a time when it appears that there is a repristinization of the Thomistic “synthesis” reminiscent of Garrigou-Lagrange, this book is (...) an auspicious reminder that such “synthesis” often comes at the cost of fidelity to theMaster in whose name it is fashioned. (shrink)
This article uses the writings of Alfred Schutz as catalysts to analyze three distinctive modes of transcendences operative in human experience. Particular attention is given to the role symbolic awareness plays in the formation and embodiment of moral value. I argue that Schutz''s theory of symbols is helpful in illuminating the way shared horizons of value meaning and collective moral purpose can occur in relation to cultural and geographical anonymity. I then draw upon the moral theory of H. Richard (...) Niebuhr to highlight the positive role that symbolic value horizons play in preventing ethnocentric world-views and in promoting common centers of discourse and visions of wholeness. (shrink)
The auteur theory of film-making (usually attributed in film to the French director Francais Truffaut) is explored with specific reference to the films of Alfred Hitchcock. It is argued that Hitchcocks’s films, in particular his later films, present a common theme which is in fact quite consistent with the outlook of Phenomenological Existentialism, especially as it was espoused by the philosophers Jean-Paul Sartre and Martin Heidegger.To support this position, textual analyses of various films directed and produced by Hitchcock are (...) presented, including Rear Window, The Trouble with Harry, The Wrong Man, and Vertigo. The effects of this approach and its philosophical implications far the film-going audience are also examined. (shrink)
Much of the early history of developmental and physiological genetics in Germany remains to be written. Together with Carl Correns and Richard Goldschmidt, Alfred Kühn occupies a special place in this history. Trained as a zoologist in Freiburg im Breisgau, he set out to integrate physiology, development and genetics in a particular experimental system based on the flour moth Ephestia kühniella Zeller. This paper is meant to reconstruct the crucial steps in the experimental pathway that led Kühn and (...) his collaborators at the University of Göttingen, and later at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institutes of Biology and Biochemistry in Berlin, to formulate, in their specific way, what later became known as the "one gene-one enzyme hypothesis." Special attention will be given to the interaction of the different parts of Kühn's Ephestia-based project, which were rooted in different research traditions. The paper retraces how, roughly between 1925 and 1945, these elements came to form a mixed experimental setup composed of genetic, embryological, physiological and, finally, biochemical constituents. Accordingly, emphasis is laid on the development of the terminology in which the results were cast, and how it reflected the hybrid state of an experimental system successively acquiring new epistemic layers. (shrink)
This article discusses two central methodological postulates (adequacy and subjective meaning) pertaining to the social sciences brought forward by Alfred Schütz, and as presented by Lester Embree’s ‘Economics in the Context of Alfred Schütz’s Theory of Science’. The relationship between the postulates and the actual practice of economics is discussed. The author shows how Schütz’s writings describe a spectrum of methods that ranges from low abstraction and an attempt to understand individual plans and purposes on the one hand (...) to highly abstract and aggregate modeling on the other. It is argued that the distribution of economic contributions is heavily skewed toward the latter. The second part of the article presents recent work by economists who have resisted this trend, and who have begun to expand our understanding of economic processes by taking seriously the notion of economics as a social science. (shrink)
This paper combines Alfred Shultz and Herbert Simon's theories of action in order to understand the grey area between dynamic and completely unstructured decision making better. As a result I have put together a specific scheme of how choice elements are represented from an agent's personal experience, so as to create a bridge between the phenomenological and cognitive-procedural approaches of decision making. I first look at the key points of their original models relating Alfred Schutz's “provinces of meaning” (...) and Herbert Simon's “satisficing” mechanism. I then consider the particular concept of intentionality and reasoning by analogy for different choice settings. Finally I have suggested a perspective based on creative behaviour and sense-making for ill-structured conditions. (shrink)
Barbara Jordan (1936?1996), a formidable politician, won election to the Texas Senate (1966) and to the US Congress (1972). She became one of the most celebrated African?American politicians of the twentieth century, acclaimed both by white and black. Jordan was a voluntarist, viewing individuals as able to change the world through their own actions. She was committed to the American dream of inclusion, and also to the importance of positive ties to elites; to coping with the ?world as (...) it is?, to the futility of confrontation, and also to changing and influencing the attitudes of men at the top. Jordan opposed civil disobedience, nonviolent or not. Yet she admired symbols of defiance like Malcolm X and Mohammed Ali. A highly public figure, she was also exceptionally self?repressed. Critics likened her to the conservative Booker Washington, yet she was a staunch defender of voting rights and a radical integrationist. (shrink)
This article uses the NetCorps Jordan project as a case study of the ways in which Information Technology transforms social and economic life at the grass roots. Particular attention is paid to the role of gender in shaping such processes. In the end, this essay explores the motivations, the hopes and the results of one Arab country’s IT4 D experiment using the narratives of the participants as a guide. It is clear from the analysis below that culture, context and (...) gender play a significant role in who gets to do what with IT. (shrink)
This paper defends a Bayesian approach to confirming a miracle against Jordan Howard Sobel’s recent novel interpretation of Hume’s criticisms. In his book, ’Logic and Theism’, Sobel offers an intriguing and original way to apply Hume’s criticisms against the possibility of having sufficient evidence to confirm a miracle. The key idea behind Sobel’s approach is to employ infinitesimal probabilities to neutralize the cumulative effects of positive evidence for any miracle. This paper aims to undermine Sobel’s use of infinitesimal probabilities (...) to block a Bayesian approach to confirming a miracle. (shrink)
Alfred Loisy (1857-1940), the excommunicated French modernist priest and historian of religions, and Franz Cumont (1868-1947), the Belgian historian of religions and expert in pagan mystery cults, conducted a lively correspondence in which they intensively exchanged ideas. One of their favorite subjects for discussion was the dependence of St Paul on the pagan mysteries. Loisy dealt with this early 20 th century moot point for Protestant, Catholic and non-religious scholars in his publications, while Cumont always remained silent. This study (...) of their unpublished letters sheds new light on the strategies lying behind their publications. It reveals what they chose not to say, and what they meant by what they did say. (shrink)
The mathematical background and content of Greek philosophy, by F. S. C. Northrop.--The one and the many in Plato, by R. Demos.--An introduction to the De modis significandi of Thomas of Erfurt, by S. Buchanan.--Truth by convention, by W. V. Quine.--Logical positivism and speculative philosophy, by H. S. Leonard.--The nature and status of time and passage, by P. Weiss.--Causality, by S. Kerby--iller.--The compound individual, by C. Hartshorne.--The good, by O. H. Lee.
I argue that agent-causal libertarianism has a strong initial rejoinder to Mele's luck argument against it, but that his claim that it has yet to be explained how agent-causation yields responsibility-conferring control has significant force. I suggest an avenue of response. Subsequently, I raise objections to Mele's criticisms of my four-case manipulation argument against compatibilism.
Think of the last thing someone did to you to seriously harm or offend you. And now imagine, so far as you can, becoming fully aware of the fact that his or her action was the causally inevitable result of a plan set into motion before he or she was ever even born, a plan that had no chance of failing. Should you continue to regard him or her as being morally responsible—blameworthy, in this case—for what he or she did? (...) Many have thought that, intuitively, you should not. Recently, Alfred Mele has employed this line of thought to mount what many have taken to be a powerful argument for incompatibilism: the “Zygote Argument”. However, in interesting new papers, John Martin Fischer and Stephen Kearns have each independently argued that the Zygote Argument fails. As I see it, the criticisms of Fischer and Kearns reveal some important questions about how the argument is meant to be—or how it would best be—understood. Once we make a slight (but important) modification to the argument, however, I think we will be able to see that the criticisms of Fischer and Kearns do not detract from its substantial force. (shrink)
Time’s arrow is necessary for progress from a past that has already happened to a future that is only potential until creatively determined in the present. But time’s arrow is unnecessary in Einstein’s so-called block universe, so there is no creative unfolding in an actual present. How can there be an actual present when there is no universal moment of simultaneity? Events in various places will have different presents according to the position, velocity, and nature of the perceiver. Standing against (...) this view is traditional common sense since we normally experience time’s arrow as reality and the present as our place in the stream of consciousness, but we err to imagine we are living in the actual present. The present of our daily experience is actually a specious present, according to E. Robert Kelly (later popularized by William James), or duration, according to Henri Bergson, an habitus, as elucidated by Kerby (1991), or, simply, the psychological present (Adams, 2010) – all terms indicating that our experienced present so consists of the past overlapping into the future that any potential for acting from the creative moment is crowded out. Yet, for philosophers of process from Herakleitos onward, it is the philosophies of change or process that treat time’s arrow and the creative fire of the actual present as realities. In this essay, I examine the most well known but possibly least understood process cosmology of Alfred North Whitehead to seek out this elusive but actual present. In doing so, I will also ask if process philosophy is itself an example of the creative imagination and if this relates to doing science. I conclude Whitehead's process philosophy falls short of allowing for the actual creative spontaneity of a dynamic (eternal) present. (shrink)
In this paper, I try to show that externalist compatibilism in the debate on personal autonomy and manipulated freedom is as yet untenable. I will argue that Alfred R. Mele’s paradigmatic, history-sensitive externalism about psychological autonomy in general and autonomous deliberation in particular faces an insurmountable problem: it cannot satisfy the crucial condition of adequacy “H” for externalist theories that I formulate in the text. Specifically, I will argue that, contrary to first appearances, externalist compatibilism does not resolve the (...) CNC manipulation problem. After briefly reflecting on the present status of responses to the manipulation problem in the debate between compatibilists and incompatibilists of various stripes, I will draw the over-all pessimistic conclusion that no party deals with this problem satisfactorily. (shrink)
Aron Gurwitsch's critique of Schutz's essay The Stranger is the starting point for this consideration of Schutz's relationship with phenomenology. This relationship is based on Schutz's emphasis on the value of the average as a phenomenological structure. In opposing sociology to philosophy, Gurwitsch takes this value as inferior in comparison with what he sees as cardinal issues of transcendental phenomenology. What Gurwitsch finds incompatible with phenomenological inquiry – the idea and practice of the natural attitude within the social sphere – (...) Schutz turns into the core of his philosophy. The phenomenology of the natural attitude is as essentially philosophical as any reflectively practiced human science. The problem of how everydayness is constituted requires a phenomenological insight that leads the explorer – through reconstructing the meaning in terms of the mundane – straight to the origin. (shrink)
I seek to reply to the thoughtful and penetrating comments by William Rowe, Alfred Mele, Carl Ginet, and Ishtiyaque Haji. In the process, I hope that my overall approach to free will and moral responsibility is thrown into clearer relief. I make some suggestions as to future directions of research in these areas.