In this essay, James Scott Johnston claims that a dispute over moral teleology lies at the basis of the debate between John Dewey and Robert M. Hutchins. This debate has very often been cast in terms of perennialism, classicism, or realism versus progressivism, experimentalism, or pragmatism. Unfortunately, casting the debate in these terms threatens to leave the reader with the impression that Dewey and Hutchins were simply talking past each other, that one was wrongheaded while the other correct, or (...) that they held incommensurable ideological standpoints. Such an understanding obscures a deeper conflict that divided these two men and overlooks the depth of the differences in their moral outlooks. Johnston argues that both thinkers knew very well what morally significant principles and practices were at stake in the debate and, further, that this awareness, rather than the question of which foundation for education was better for students, informed their responses to one another. (shrink)
This book offers an historical and critical guide to the concepts of the post-modern and the post-industrial. It brings admirable clarity and thoroughness to a discussion of the many different uses made of the term post-modern across a number of different disciplines (including literature, architecture, art history, philosophy, anthropology and geography). It also analyses the concept of the post-industrial society to which the concept of the post-modern has often been related. Dr Rose discusses the work of many theorists in (...) the area, including Hassan, Lyotard, Jameson and the architectural historian Charles Jencks, and also looks at analyses and uses of the concepts of the post-modern and post-industrial by Frampton, Portoghesi, Peter Fuller and others. (shrink)
The idea of the inner is central to our conception of a person and is at the heart of all interaction. But how should we understand this concept, and what do we mean when we wonder what is going on inside our heads? This accessible and non-technical guide to Wittgenstein provides insight into his work in this area and on the problem of the inner. Using Wittgenstein's recently published writings on the philosophy of psychology, together with unpublished material, Paul (...) class='Hi'>Johnston presents a thorough account of a subject that was central to Wittgenstein's later work. He shows that Wittgenstein's arguments involve a radical re-thinking of our understanding of the inner and present a challenge to contemporary views which has yet to be fully appreciated or understood. Wittgenstein demonstrates how a Wittgensteinian approach can dissolve age-old problems about the nature of consciousness and the relationship between the mind, the body, and the soul. The resulting picture of the inner, with its stress on the crucial role of language, sheds light on the direction of Wittgenstein's work and presents a stimulating and controversial alternative to more fashionable positions on the subject. (shrink)
The Contradictions of Modern Moral Philosophy is a highly original and radical critique of contemporary moral theory. Johnston skillfully demonstrates how much of recent moral philosophy runs aground on the issue of whether we can make correct moral judgements. His analysis begins with an insightful discussion of the divisions within moral philosophy. On one hand many philosophers deny that it is possible to make correct judgements on other peoples actions; on the other, they remain preoccupied with distinguishing between what (...) is "right" and "wrong". Paul Johnston shows how much recent moral philosophy consists of unsuccessful attempts to eliminate this contradiction. (shrink)
In Mourning Becomes the Law, Gillian Rose takes us beyond the impasse of post-modernism or 'despairing rationalism withour reason'. Arguing that the post-modern search for a 'new ethics' and ironic philosophy are incoherent, she breathes new life into the debates concerning power and domination, transcendence and eternity. Mourning Becomes the Law is the philosophical counterpart to Gillian Rose's highly acclaimed memoir Love's Work. She extends similar clarity and insight to discussions of architecture, cinema, painting and poetry, through which (...) relations between the formation of the individual and the theory of justice are connected. At the heart of this reconnection lies a reflection on the significance of the Holocaust and Judaism. Mourning Becomes the Law reinvents the classical analogy of the soul, the city and the sacred. It returns philosophy, Nietzsche's 'bestowing virtue', to the pulse of our intellectual and political culture. (shrink)
In Life Beyond the Gene, Steven Rose offers a theory of life which insists that we as humans -- and indeed all living creatures -- create our own futures, though in circumstances not of our own choosing. Placing the organism at the center of life, Rose confronts the ideology of reductionism and ultra-Darwinism, with its insistence that all aspects of human life from sexual preference to infanticide, political orientation to violence, male domination to alcoholism, are in our genes (...) and are the inevitable consequences of natural selection. These claims, Rose asserts, are not only socially naive, but fundamentally misunderstand the active and irreducible nature of living processes. Rose argues that life depends on the elaborate web of interactions that occur within cells, organisms, and ecosystems, in which DNA has one part to play. From early in their development, living organisms have to be capable of quasi-independent existence while growing to maturity. If we are to understand life, we must recapture an understanding of the entire living organism and its trajectory through time and space. Rose calls these trajectories lifelines. Provocative and incisive, Life Beyond the Gene provides a compelling response to those enthusiasts of the gene who would deny the complexity of life. (shrink)
Revisiting the history of relativity Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9466-4 Authors Lewis Pyenson, Department of History, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5242, USA Sean F. Johnston, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Glasgow, Rutherford-McCowan Building, Dumfries, Glasgow, Scotland G2 0RB, UK Alberto A. Martínez, Department of History, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station B7000, Austin, TX 78712-0220, USA Richard Staley, Department of the History of Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 226 Bradley Memorial Building, 1225 Linden Drive, Madison, (...) WI 53706-1528, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796 Journal Volume Volume 20 Journal Issue Volume 20, Number 1. (shrink)
Reply to Dan Robins’s Review Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11712-012-9275-0 Authors Ian Johnston, GPO Box 811, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia 7001 Journal Dao Online ISSN 1569-7274 Print ISSN 1540-3009.
The historical techniques of theodor gomperz, Friedrich jodl, Wilhelm jerusalem, And rudolf eisler are described. All four excelled at expositing and comparing widely divergent doctrines. Gomperz and jerusalem discussed how social practices influenced doctrines. Eisler was perhaps the most encyclopedic historian of philosophy ever. Johnston's book "the austrian mind" (berkeley, 1971) relates the four philosophers to seventy other austrian thinkers.
Blackmore and Rose (1997) reported an experiment designed to examine the operation of psi when reality and imagination were confused. The original experiment used a situation in which participants were encouraged to generate false memories of common household objects. The topic of false memory is highly relevant to parapsychologists and psychical researchers in two ways. First, it may be the case that psi lurks in this borderline between reality and imagination. There are abundant examples of phenomena that appear (...) to utilise such a confusion: spontaneous cases, which often involve “realistic dreams,” lucid dreams, false awakenings, hypnagogic images, waking imagery, and sleep paralysis; and states in which reality and imagination are often confused. The occult traditions, for example, shamanistic traditions that entail the use of drugs and sensory deprivation to induce altered states of consciousness in which imagery is enhanced, and experienced journeys are interpreted as real excursions. Finally, laboratory psi techniques, for example, the use of hypnosis or encouraging imagery to arise unbidden, can also be thought of as utilising this kind of confusion. Alternatively, confusions between reality and imagination can represent a serious problem for parapsychologists and psychical researchers who often have to rely on eyewitness reports of spontaneous, ostensibly psychic, or paranormal events. The fact that the investigation of.. (shrink)
Reductionism--understanding complex processes by breaking them into simpler elements--dominates scientific thinking around the world and has certainly proved a powerful tool, leading to major discoveries in every field of science. But reductionism can be taken too far, especially in the life sciences, where sociobiological thinking has bordered on biological determinism. Thus popular science writers such as Richard Dawkins, author of the highly influential The Selfish Gene, can write that human beings are just "robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish (...) molecules known as genes." Indeed, for many in science, genes have become the fundamental unit for understanding human existence: genes determine every aspect of our lives, from personal success to existential despair: genes for health and illness, genes for criminality, violence, and sexual orientation. Others would say that this is reductionism with a vengeance. In Lifelines, biologist Steven Rose offers a powerful alternative to the ultradarwinist claims of Dawkins, E.O. Wilson, Daniel Dennett and others. Rose argues against an extreme reductionist approach that would make the gene the key to understanding human nature, in favor of a more complex and richer vision of life. He urges instead that we focus on the organism and in particular on the organism's lifeline: the trajectory it takes through time and space. Our personal lifeline, Rose points out, is unique--even identical twins, with identical genes at birth, will differ over time. These differences are obviously not embedded in our genes, but come about through our developmental trajectory in which genes, as part of the biochemical orchestra of trillions of cells in each human body, have an important part--but only a part--to play. To illustrate this idea, Rose examines recent research in modern biology, and especially two disciplines--genetics (which looks at the impact of genes on form) and developmental biology (which examines the interaction between the organism and the environment)--and he explores new ideas on biological complexity proposed by scientists such as Stuart Kauffman. He shows how our lifelines are constructed through the interplay of physical forces--such as the intrinsic chemistry of lipids and proteins, and the self-organizing and stabilizing properties of complex metabolic webs--and he reaches a startling conclusion: that organisms are active players in their own fate, not simply the playthings of the gods, nature, or the inevitable workings out of gene-driven natural selection. The organism is both the weaver and the pattern it weaves. Lifelines will be a rallying point for all who seek an alternative to the currently fashionable, deeply determinist accounts which dominate popular science writing and, in fact, crowd the pages of some of the major scientific journals. Based on solid, state-of-the-art research, it not only makes important contributions to our understanding of Darwin and natural selection, but will swing the pendulum back to a richer, more complex view of human nature and of life. (shrink)
Like dreaming, hallucination has been a formative trope for modern philosophy. The vivid, often tragic, breakdown in the mind’s apparent capacity to disclose reality has long served to support a paradoxical philosophical picture of sensory experience. This picture, which of late has shaped the paradigmatic empirical understanding the senses, displays sensory acts as already complete without the external world; complete in that the direct objects even of veridical sensory acts do not transcend what we could anyway hallucinate. Hallucination is thus (...) the mother of Representationalism, which insists that it is mental intermediaries that make other.. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with the status of a symbol in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. It is claimed in the first section that a Tractarian symbol, whilst essentially a syntactic entity to be distinguished from the mark or sound that is its sign, bears its semantic significance only inessentially. In the second and third sections I pursue this point of exegesis through the Tractarian discussions of nonsense and the context principle respectively. The final section of the paper places the forgoing work in (...) a secondary context, addressing in particular a debate regarding the realism of the Tractatus. (shrink)
As more and more firms operate globally, an understanding of the effects of cultural differences on ethical decision making becomes increasingly important for avoiding potential business pitfalls and for designing effective international marketing management programs. Although several articles have addressed this area in general, differences along specific, cultural dimensions have not been directly examined. Hence, the purpose of this study was to examine differences in ethical decision making within Hofstede's cultural framework. The results confirm the utility of Hofstede's cultural dimensions (...) and place ethical decision making within an overall theoretical framework. Sales agents from a high power distance, uncertainty avoidant, Confucian, collectivist culture (i.e., Taiwan) placed more value on company and fellow employee interests (vis-à-vis self interests) than did managers from a masculine, individualistic culture (i.e., the United States). American and Taiwanese managers did not differ in their deontological norms or on the importance that they placed on customer interests. The theoretical and managerial importance of these findings are also discussed. (shrink)
It is not immediately clear from Wittgenstein’s Tractatus how to connect his idea there of an object with the logical ontologies of Frege and Russell. Toward clarification on this matter, this paper compares Russell’s and Wittgenstein’s versions of the thesis of an atomic fact that it is a complex composition. The claim arrived at is that whilst Russell (at times at least) has one particular of the elements of a fact – the relation – responsible for the unity of the (...) whole, for Wittgenstein the unity of a fact is the product of copulative powers inherent in all its elements. All kinds of constituents of Tractarian facts – all kinds (forms) of object – are, to use Fregean terminology, unsaturated. (shrink)