Although creativity, from Plato onwards, has been recognized as a topic in philosophy, it has been overshadowed by investigations of the meanings and values of works of art. In this new collection of essays a distinguished roster of philosophers of art redress this trend. The subjects discussed include the nature of creativity and the process of artistic creation; the role that creative making should play in our understanding and evaluation of art; relations between concepts of creation and creativity; (...) and ideas of tradition, metaphor, genius, imagination and genre. This is an important collection that will be eagerly sought by philosophers of art as well as theorists in art history, cinema studies and literary criticism. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that the hoary theological doctrine of divine concurrence poses no deep threat to Leibniz’s views on theodicy and creaturely activity even as those views have been traditionally understood. The first three sections examine respectively Leibniz’s views on creation, conservation and concurrence, with an eye towards showing their sys- tematic compatibility with Leibniz’s theodicy and metaphysics. The fourth section takes up remaining worries arising from the bridging principle that conservation is a continued or continuous (...) class='Hi'>creation, and argues that they can be allayed once two readings of the prin- ciple are distinguished. What emerges from the discussion as a whole is, I hope, a clearer picture of Leibniz’s views on the nature of monadic causation, his understanding of the relationship between divine and creaturely activity, and his position with respect to later medieval and early modern debates over secondary causation. (shrink)
Introduction : points of departure -- A genealogy of the Christian colonial mindset : ex nihilo from disputed beginnings to orthodox origins -- Ex nihilo and the origin of an empire -- Ex nihilo, erasure and discovery? -- The cogito, ex nihilo, and the legacy of John Locke -- The creation ex nihilo of terra nullius lands : omnipotent nations and the logic of global-colonization -- From epistemologies of domination to grounded thinking -- Opening words about God onto creatio (...) continua -- Creatio continua "all the way down": a post-colonial, planetary understanding of continuing creation -- Conclusion : a brief thought after. (shrink)
This essay explores philosophical questions about practical identity that emerge in David Cronenberg's films, "A History of Violence" and "Eastern Promises." I distinguish the metaphysical problems of personal identity from the practical problems and contend that the latter are of central importance to the topic of authenticity. Central scenes from both films are examined with an eye to their engagement with the issues of authenticity and self-creation.
The topic of this book is 'creation'. It breaks down into discussions of two distinct, but interrelated, questions: what does the universe look like, and what is its origin? The opinions about creation considered by Norbert Samuelson come from the Hebrew scriptures, Greek philosophy, Jewish philosophy, and contemporary physics. His perspective is Jewish, liberal, and philosophical. It is 'Jewish' because the foundation of the discussion is biblical texts interpreted in the light of traditional rabbinic texts. It is 'philosophical' (...) because the subject matter is important in both past and present philosophical texts, and to Jewish philosophy in particular. Finally, it is 'liberal' because the authorities consulted include heterodox as well as orthodox Jewish sources. The ensuing discussion leads to original conclusions about a diversity of topics, including the limits of human reason and religious faith, and the relevance of scientific models to religious doctrine. (shrink)
Originally published anonymously in 1844, Vestiges proved to be as controversial as its author expected. Integrating research in the burgeoning sciences of anthropology, geology, astronomy, biology, economics, and chemistry, it was the first attempt to connect the natural sciences to a history of creation. The author, whose identity was not revealed until 1884, was Robert Chambers, a leading Scottish writer and publisher. Vestiges reached a huge popular audience and was widely read by the social and intellectual elite. It sparked (...) debate about natural law, setting the stage for the controversy over Darwin's Origin. In response to the surrounding debate and criticism, Chambers published Explanations: A Sequel, in which he offered a reasoned defense of his ideas about natural law, castigating what he saw as the narrowness of specialist science. With a new introduction by James Secord, a bibliography of reviews, and a new index, this volume adds to Vestiges and Explanations Chambers's earliest works on cosmology, an essay on Darwin, and an autobiographical essay, raising important issues about the changing meanings of popular science and religion and the rise of secular ideologies in Western culture. (shrink)
La théorie nietzschéenne du génie, dans la mesure où elle réhabilite positivement la contrainte et la convention dans la création artistique, permet de dépasser la mystérieuse théorie romantique d'inspiration naturaliste. Sur quoi repose cette théorie esthétique nietzschéenne ? Sur l'assimilation de la langue de l'artiste à une convention efficiente, c'est-à-dire lui permettant de communiquer activement avec un public, et donc d'être compris. La véritable convention est celle qui naît du besoin, et qui, – intégrée dans un travail de soi sur (...) soi commandé par la contrainte, le sérieux et la discipline, – se transforme en une nouvelle habitude, et devient une seconde nature, sous l'effet de la répétition acharnée. Elle s'oppose au laisser-aller, et rend possible la constitution d'une véritable culture dépassant l'opposition de la convention et de la nature. Elle définit selon l'auteur le style de l'esprit libre, soit l'artiste capable « de danser dans les chaînes », c'est-à-dire de jouer avec la convention. La véritable liberté artistique ne consiste donc pas à s'affranchir de la tradition, mais à la maîtriser et à jouer avec elle. La théorie de la création artistique élaborée par Nietzsche fournit ainsi le paradigme d'une libération de l'esprit. (shrink)
1. To be is to be-in-relation -- 2. Cosmic being as relation -- 3. Human being as relation -- 4. Divine being as relation -- 5. Divine and cosmic being in relation -- 6. Creation as relation in an evolving cosmos -- 7. Incarnation as relation in an evolving cosmos -- 8. Grace as relation in an evolving cosmos -- 9. Living in trinitarian relation.
Lucretius' account of the origin of life, the origin of species, and human prehistory (first century BC) is the longest and most detailed account extant from the ancient world. It is a mechanistic theory that does away with the need for any divine design, and has been seen as a forerunner of Darwin's theory of evolution. This commentary seeks to locate Lucretius in both the ancient and modern contexts. The recent revival of creationism makes this study particularly relevant to contemporary (...) debate, and indeed, many of the central questions posed by creationists are those Lucretius attempts to answer. (shrink)
Although modern societies have come to recognize diversity in human sexuality as simply part of nature, many Christian communities and thinkers still have considerable difficulties with related developments in politics, legislation, and science. In fact, homosexuality is a recurrent topic in the transdisciplinary encounter between Christianity and the sciences, an encounter that is otherwise rather “asexual.” I propose that the recent emergence of “Christianity and Science” as an academic field in its own right is an important part of the larger (...) context of the difficulties related to attempts to reconcile Christianity and a recognition of diversity in human sexuality as a norm. Through a critical discussion of arguments which are upheld most disturbingly on a global scale by the Roman Catholic Church and supported with much sophistry by important stakeholders of an influential stream in analytic philosophy of religion, this paper aims to contextualize and defend the legitimacy of the question why God would create homosexuals as such if it is true that every homosexual act is prohibited by God. While recently advanced nonheterosexist scientific models of sexuality in nature inform the discussion, I reject the simplistic view that religions suppress and the sciences liberate in matters sexual. (shrink)
Malebranche presents two major arguments for occasionalism: the “no necessary connection” argument (NNC) and the “conservation is but continuous creation” argument (CCC). NNC appears prominently in his Search After Truth but virtually disappears and surrenders the spotlight to CCC in his later major work, Dialogues on Metaphysics and on Religion . This paper investigates the possible reasons and motivations behind this significant shift. I argue that the shift is no surprise if we consider the two ways in which the (...) CCC is preferable to NNC: it is not only more effective against opponents but also more consistent with his own views on freedom. (shrink)
In recent continental philosophy of religion there has been significant attention paid to the Abrahamic doctrines of creation ex nihilo and divine omnipotence, especially by deconstructive thinkers such as Derrida, Caputo, and Keller. For these thinkers, the doctrine represents a form of agency that does violence to various forms of alterity. While broadly supportive of their fundamental philosophical and ethico-political views, especially about the primordiality of alterity, I differ from them in that I argue that creation ex nihilo (...) articulates the very structure of the alterity they are concerned with. The essay proceeds through a reading of Derrida’s representation of the doctrine and a “deconstruction” of his view by means of a reading of Augustine and Anselm. (shrink)
What are we to make of works of art whose apparent point is to convince us of the meaninglessness and absurdity of human existence? I examine, in this paper, the attempt of Albert Camus to provide philosophical justification of art in the face of the supposed fact of absurdity and note its failure as such with specific reference to Sartre’s criticism. Despite other superficial similarities, I contrast Camus’s concept of the absurd with that of his ‘existentialist’ colleagues, including Sartre, and (...) suggest that the latter concept is more philosophically viable. I conclude that existential phenomenology consequently provides a more promising philosophical justification for artistic creation in the light of the more viable conception of absurdity. (shrink)
The paper discusses al-Kindi's response to doctrines held by contemporary theologians of the Mu‘tazilite school: divine attributes, creation, and freedom. In the first section it is argued that, despite his broadly negative theology, al-Kindi recognizes a special kind of “essential” positive attribute belonging to God. The second section argues that al-Kindi agreed with the Mu‘tazila in holding that something may not yet exist but still be an object of God's knowledge and power (as the Mu‘tazila put it, that “non-being” (...) is a “thing”). Also it presents a new parallel between al-Kindi and John Philoponus. The third section gives an interpretation of al-Kindi as a compatibilist, in other words as holding that humans may be free even though their actions are necessitated. In all three cases, it is argued, al-Kindi is close to the Mu‘tazilite point of view, though he departs from them in the arguments he gives for that point of view. (shrink)
According to many philosophical theologians, God is metaphysically simple: there is no real distinction among His attributes or even between attribute and existence itself. Here, I consider only one argument against the simplicity thesis. Its proponents claim that simplicity is incompatible with God's having created another world, since simplicity entails that God is unchanging across possible worlds. For, they argue, different acts of creation involve different willings, which are distinct intrinsic states. I show that this is mistaken, by (...) sketching an adequate account of reasons-guided activity that does not require distinct intrinsic states of willing corresponding to each possible act of creation. (shrink)
on ethics provides an opportunity to go beyond some of the controversies generated by his work of the 1970s. It was thought, for example, that Foucault had overstated the extent to which individuals could be subjected to the influence of power, leaving them little room to resist. This paper will consider the politics of self-creation. We shall attempt to establish to what extent Foucaults later notion of self-formation does in fact succeed in countering an over determination by power. In (...) the end, though, it would appear as if Foucaults turn to ethics amounts to a substitution of ethics, understood as an individualized task, for the political task of collective social transformation. What is at stake is whether or not Foucaults insistence on individual acts of resistance amounts to more than an empty claim that ethics still somehow has political implications whilst having in fact effectively given up on politics. It will be argued that the subject of the later Foucaults ethics, the individual, can only be understood as political subjectivity, i.e. that the political potential of individual action is not only added on as an adjunct, but that individual action is intrinsically invested with political purport. Key Words: care of the self ethics politics power power/knowledge. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to take a fresh look at the concept of wealth creation that is urgently needed, given the huge gap between the global importance of wealth creation and the attention paid to it. It is argued that its notion we encounter is often very simple (as in "making money") or extremely vague (as in "adding value"). In the first section "Need for a fresh look at the creation of wealth", the need for (...) a fresh look is highlighted by pointing to three concerns about globalization and the roles and responsibilities of corporations. In the second section "Conceptual clarifications: what is the creation of wealth?", a rich concept of wealth creation is developed that includes physical, financial, human, and social capital, encompasses private and public wealth, accounts for its production and distribution, recognizes its material and spiritual side, and places wealth in the time horizon of sustainability. Moreover, creating (wealth) as "making something new and better" is distinguished from possessing and acquiring, and different motivations required for wealth creation are explored. The third section "Challenges for business ethics" discusses several challenges of this rich concept for the understanding of business ethics. (shrink)
Proclus (c.412-485) once offered an argument that Christians took to stand against the Christian doctrine of creation ex nihilo based on the eternity of the world and God’s perfection. John Philoponus (c.490-570) objected to this on various grounds. Part of this discussion can shed light on contemporary issues in philosophical theology on divine perfection and creation. First I will examine Proclus’ dilemma and John Philoponus’ response. I will argue that Philoponus’ fails to rebut Proclus’ dilemma. The problem is (...) that presentism is incompatible with divine simplicity, timelessness, and a strong doctrine of immutability. From there I will look at how this discussion bears on contemporary understandings of divine perfection and creation, and argue that there are at least two possible ways contemporary philosophical theologians can try to get around the dilemma. One option is to adopt four-dimensional eternalism and maintain the traditional account of the divine perfections. I argue that this option suffers from difficulties that are not compatible with Christian belief. The other option is to keep presentism and modify the divine perfections. I argue that this option is possible and preferable since our understanding of the divine perfections must be modified in light of divine revelation and the incarnation. (shrink)
In this article, we examine the relationship of the multinational firm’s market environment, stakeholders, resources, and values to the development of strategic social planning and strategic social positioning. Using a sample of multinational enterprises in Mexico, we examine the relationship of these different ways of conducting social strategy to the creation of value by the firm. The market conditions of munificence and dynamism, and the resource for continuous innovation are found to be related to strategic social positioning. The social (...) responsibility orientation of the firm is related to strategic social planning. Positioning is related to value creation for the multinational firm, but planning is not. We discuss the implications of these findings for research and practice. (shrink)
The creation-evolution “controversy” has been with us for more than a century. Here I argue that merely teaching more science will probably not improve the situation; we need to understand the controversy as part of a broader problem with public acceptance of pseudoscience, and respond by teaching how science works as a method. Critical thinking is difficult to teach, but educators can rely on increasing evidence from neurobiology about how the brain learns, or fails to.
According to an important set of medieval arguments, it is impossible to make a distinction between creation and conservation on the assumption of a beginningless universe. The argument is that, on such an assumption, either God is never causally sufficient for the existence of the universe, or, if He is at one time causally sufficient for the existence of the universe, He is at all times causally sufficient for the universe, and occasionalism is true. I defend the claim that (...) these arguments are successful. Since Christian theology requires a distinction between creation and conservation, arguments in favour of the possible eternity of the world fail. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that classical theists should think of God as having created morality. In form, my position largely resembles that defended by Richard Swinburne. However, it differs from his position in content in that it evacuates the category of necessary moral truth of all substance and, having effected this tactical withdrawal, Swinburne's battle lines need to be redrawn. In the first section, I introduce the Euthyphro dilemma. In the second, I argue that if necessary moral truths are (...) seen as analytically/logically so, then, pace Swinburne, they cannot be regarded as substantive principles. Thus, seeing necessary moral truths as analytically/logically necessary and independent of God does not threaten God's power or sovereignty and leaves open the possibility that all value is contingent upon His will. In the third section, I turn to consider how the claim that all value is contingent upon God's will might best be understood, arguing that classical theists will want to commit themselves to a relatively strong form of objectivism about moral value (even though this is not needed in order to solve the Euthyphro dilemma). I then give and defend an account of God's creation of contingent moral truths which coheres with what I argue is the most plausible form of this commitment. In the following section, I argue that this account avoids the charge that God is arbitrary in His choice of values and, finally, I argue that it avoids the charge that God may not be said to be good without vacuity. Thus, I conclude that the Euthyphro dilemma does not threaten classical theism. (shrink)
My concern is to overturn the Leibnizean model of God's creation of the world which proposes that God selected a possible world out of a whole host of other alternative ones. This is the familiar possible worlds model of creation. I argue that this understanding of creation does not take seriously the idea of ex nihilo and that, rather than considering determinate possible worlds, we should understand possibility as indeterminate. I then develop this argument and explores how (...) it impacts on the idea of providence, and the problem of evil. I then explore the notion of creativity. Only a God who can make something utterly novel is a God who is making something different from Himself and which consequently has no divine precedent. A God who uses possible worlds makes nothing new. (shrink)
Summary Verbs of creation (create, make, paint) are not transparent. The object created does not exist during the event time but only thereafter. We may call this type of opacity temporal opacity. I is to be distinguished from modal opacity, which is found in verbs like owe or seek. (Dowty, 1979) offers two analyses of creation verbs. One analysis predicts that no object of the sort created exists before the time of the creation. The other analysis says (...) that the object exists throughout the act of creation. I investigate three theories: Theory I says that no object of the sort created and which is caused by the very act of creation exists before the creation. In this theory, verbs of creation must embed a property. Theory II can regard the indefinite object of a creation verb as a quantifier and gives it wide scope with respect to the verb. The theory has to make sure that the objects quantified over exist only after the event. While Theory I and II start from the assumption that the extension of all nouns depend on time, Theory III says that Individual Level predicates do not depend on time. This ontology will enable us to treat verbs of creation as first order relations. The theory will entail that a picture does not mean the same as there is a picture. The paper discusses various approaches to the problem: Krifka, Parsons, Landman, Kratzer and Zucchi. (shrink)
It is widely accepted that divine creation of human beings is compatible with evolutionary theory, except perhaps in regard of the human soul, and that neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory provides an explanation of speciation and of complex features of organisms that undercuts Paley-style teleological arguments, whether or not the evolutionary mechanisms are truly random or deterministic. I will argue that a plausible understanding of the doctrine of creation of human beings is either logically or rationally incompatible with full evolutionary (...) theory, even if one does not take souls into account. Consequently, a theist needs to move to a weaker version either of the creation doctrine or of evolutionary theory, or both. (shrink)
On traditional theism, God is not only a creator but also a conserver. The doctrine of conservation, however, appears to face a dilemma. Either conservation is continuous re-creation with consequences inimical to diachronic identity, or conservation is an operation upon a pre-existent entity, which, because it is pre-existent, is in no clear need of conservation. This article first makes a case for the dilemma, and then proposes a way between its horns. Safe passage is possible if we adopt presentist (...) four-dimensionalism, i.e. the conjunction of presentism, according to which temporally present items alone exist, and four-dimensionalism, the doctrine that individuals are not continuants but wholes of temporal parts. (shrink)
According to some cosmologists, the big bang cosmogony and even the (now largely defunct) steady-state theory pose a scientifically insoluble problem of matter-energy creation. But I argue that the genuine problem of the origin of matter-energy or of the universe has been fallaciously transmuted into the pseudo-problem of creation by an external cause. A fortiori, it emerges that the initial "true" and "false" vacuum states of quantum cosmology do not vindicate biblical divine creation ex nihilo at all.
We present the results of research carried out as a part of the project Current Controversies about Human Origins: Between Anthropology and the Bible, which focused on the supposed conflict between natural sciences and some branches of the humanities, notably philosophy and theology, with regard to human origins. One way to tackle the issue was to distribute a questionnaire among students and teachers of the relevant disciplines. Teachers of religion and the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, and physics) and students of (...) theology, philosophy, and the natural sciences (specializing in biology and/or anthropology) were asked to answer eleven questions concerning the perception of the conflict between evolutionism and creationism, the definitions of creation and evolution, the existence of a human spiritual element, and the ways of interpreting the Bible, especially the first chapters of the book of Genesis. We present selected results of this questionnaire. (shrink)
The emerging discipline of Machine Ethics is concerned with creating autonomous artificial moral agents that perform ethically significant actions out in the world. Recently, Wallach and Allen (Moral machines: teaching robots right from wrong, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2009) and others have argued that a virtue-based moral framework is a promising tool for meeting this end. However, even if we could program autonomous machines to follow a virtue-based moral framework, there are certain pressing ethical issues that need to be taken (...) into account, prior to the implementation and development stages. Here I examine whether the creation of virtuous autonomous machines is morally permitted by the central tenets of virtue ethics. It is argued that the creation of such machines violates certain tenets of virtue ethics, and hence that the creation and use of those machines is impermissible. One upshot of this is that, although virtue ethics may have a role to play in certain near-term Machine Ethics projects (e.g. designing systems that are sensitive to ethical considerations), machine ethicists need to look elsewhere for a moral framework to implement into their autonomous artificial moral agents, Wallach and Allen’s claims notwithstanding. (shrink)
God is conceived in the Western theistic tradition to be both the Creator and Conservor of the universe. These two roles were typically classed as different aspects of creation, originating creation and continuing creation. On pain of incoherence, however, conservation needs to be distinguished from creation. Contrary to current analyses (such as Philip Quinn's), creation should be explicated in terms of God's bringing something into being, while conservation should be understood in terms of God's preservation (...) of something over an interval of time. The crucial difference is that while conservation presupposes an object of the divine action, creation does not. Such a construal has significant implications for a tensed theory of time. (shrink)
Debates about evolution and creation inevitably raise philosophical issues about the nature of scientific knowledge. What is a theory? What is an explanation? How is science different from non- science? How should theories be evaluated? Does science achieve truth? The aim of this chapter is to give a concise and accessible introduction to the philosophy of science, focusing on questions relevant to understanding evolution by natural selection, creation, and intelligent design. For the questions just listed, I state what (...) I think is the best available answer and show how it applies to debates about evolution and creationism. I also indicate alternative answers that are preferred by other philosophers. I hope that the result will be useful for science educators and anyone else involved in controversies about evolution and creation. (shrink)
The controversy over the creation of admixed human- nonhuman embryos, and specifically of what have been termed “cybrids,” involves a range of ethical and political issues. It is not reducible to a single question. This paper focuses on one question raised by that controversy, whether creating admixed human-nonhuman entities is “an offense against human dignity.” In the last decade there has been sustained criticism of the use of the concept of human dignity within bioethics. The concept has been criticized (...) as “vague” and “useless.” Nevertheless, the concept continues to be invoked in bioethical discussion and in international instruments. This paper defends a concept of human dignity that is coherent but that is wider than contemporary post- Kantian approaches. “Human dignity” is best regarded as having a set of analogically related meanings, more than one of which is relevant to the field of bioethics. A more subtle understanding of the concept of human dignity can hel identify what is ethically problematic in human-nonhuman combinations and so shed light on one aspect of the admixed embryo debate. (shrink)
This article develops an “ordonomic” approach to business ethics in the age of globalization. Through the use of a three-tiered conceptual framework that distinguishes between the basic game of antagonistic social cooperation, the meta game of rule-setting, and the meta-meta game of rule-finding discourse, we address three questions, the answers to which we believe are crucial to fostering effective business leadership and corporate social responsibility. First, the purpose of business in society is value creation . Companies have a social (...) mandate to organize mutually advantageous cooperation. Second, business ethics should teach the management competencies necessary to fulfill business’s societal mandate. These competencies are optimization competence in the basic game of value creation, governance competence in the meta game of (political) rule setting, and the three discourse-related skills of orientation competence, reception competence, and communication competence necessary for engaging in the meta-meta game. Third, companies can help solve global problems through global corporate citizenship if they participate as political and moral actors in rule-setting processes and rule-finding discourse aimed at laying the foundation for value creation on a global scale. (shrink)
In this paper a simple model in particle dynamics of a well-known supertask is constructed (the supertask was introduced by Max Black some years ago). As a consequence, a new and simple result about creation ex nihilo of particles can be proved compatible with classical dynamics. This result cannot be avoided by imposing boundary conditions at spatial infinity, and therefore is really new in the literature. It follows that there is no reason why even a world of rigid spheres (...) should be eternal, as has been erroneously assumed, especially since the time of Newton. (shrink)
Although trustworthiness has been described as a source of competitive advantage, its value extends to organizational governance and wealth creation. We identify the importance of the commitment–compliance continuum in the decision to trust and note that trustworthiness is a subjective perception viewed through each person’s mediating lens. That lens and each person’s interpretation of the social contract impact one’s commitment to cooperate. We suggest five propositions that integrate trustworthiness, governance, and wealth creation.
: C.S. Peirce defines mathematics in two ways: first as "the science which draws necessary conclusions," and second as "the study of what is true of hypothetical states of things" (CP 4.227–244). Given the dual definition, Peirce notes, a question arises: Should we exclude the work of poietic hypothesis-making from the domain of pure mathematical reasoning? (CP 4.238). This paper examines Peirce's answer to the question. Some commentators hold that for Peirce the framing of mathematical hypotheses requires poietic genius but (...) is not scientific work. I propose, to the contrary, that although Peirce occasionally seems to exclude the poietic creation of hypotheses altogether from pure mathematical reasoning, Peirce's position is rather that the creation of mathematical hypotheses is poietic, but it is not merely poietic, and accordingly, that hypothesis-framing is part of mathematical reasoning that involves an element of poiesis but is not merely poietic either. Scientific considerations also inhere in the process of hypothesis-making, without excluding the poietic element. In the end, I propose that hypothesis-making in mathematics stands between artistic and scientific poietic creativity with respect to imaginative freedom from logical and actual constraints upon reasoning. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to provide an account of the epistemology and metaphysics of universe creation on a computer. The paper begins with F.J.Tipler's argument that our experience is indistinguishable from the experience of someone embedded in a perfect computer simulation of our own universe, hence we cannot know whether or not we are part of such a computer program ourselves. Tipler's argument is treated as a special case of epistemological scepticism, in a similar vein to `brain-in-a-vat' (...) arguments. It is argued that the hypothesis that our universe is a program running on a digital computer in another universe generates empirical predictions, and is therefore a falsifiable hypothesis. The computer program hypothesis is also treated as a hypothesis about what exists beyond the physical world, and is compared with Kant's metaphysics of noumena. It is proposed that a theory about what exists beyond the physical world should be formulated with the precise concepts of mathematics, and should generate physical predictions. It is argued that if our universe is a program running on a digital computer, then our universe must have compact spatial topology, and the possibilities of observationally testing this prediction are considered. The possibility of testing the computer program hypothesis with the value of the density parameter Omega_0 is also analysed. The informational requirements for a computer to represent a universeexactly and completely are considered. Consequent doubt is thrown upon Tipler's claim that if a hierarchy of computer universes exists, we would not be able to know which `level of implementation' our universe exists at. It is then argued that a digital computer simulation of a universe cannot exist as a universe. However, the paper concludes with the acknowledgement that an analog computer simulation can be objectively related to the thing it represents, hence an analog computer simulation of a universe could, in principle, exist as a universe. (shrink)
Aristotle saw ethics as a habit that is modeled and developed though practice. Shelly's Victor Frankenstein, though well intentioned in his goals, failed to model ethical behavior for his creation, abandoning it to its own recourse. Today we live in an era of unfettered mergers and acquisitions where once separate and independent media increasingly are concentrated under the control and leadership of the fictitious but legal personhood of a few conglomerated corporations. This paper will explore the impact of mega-media (...) mergers on ethical modeling in journalism. It will diagram the behavioral context underlying the development of ethical habits, discuss leadership theory as it applies to management, and address the question of whether the creation of mega-media conglomerates will result in responsible corporate citizens or monsters who turn on their creators. (shrink)
Part 1 examines the roles of (a) intelligent cause, (b) empirical materials (fire, earth etc.), and (c) the resulting cosmos, in the account of world-making in the Timaeus. It is argued that the presence of (b) is essential for the distinctness of (a) and (c); and an explanation is proposed for why the biblical idea of creation faces no such problem. Part II shows how different suggestions implicit in Plato's doctrine of the intelligible model give rise to radically different (...) kinds of Platonic metaphysics. (shrink)
I expose facets of Nancy's notion of being singular plural. Nancy's political ontology overcomes the metaphysical dualism of theory and practice by thinking the space of the between as primary. Nancy's treatment of the event of creation and the presence of the divine rethink meta-physical notions of origin and God in a way that emphasizes the parting of unity and the plurality of the world. Nancy thinks the everyday and the existential together by affirming the importance of curiosity and (...) wonder in the face of what is. Nancy offers an ontology of space (being-with) that uncovers what it means to be in touch as a way of being. (shrink)
Insurance fraud and abuse—international concerns—are inherent in the proposition of insurance and prevalent in insurer–insured interactions. While the subject of considerable industry and regulatory attention, this little-researched area of consumer behavior and consumer ethics represents persistent social policy questions and problems at multiple levels. This article addresses the issue by first defining insurance fraud and its origins in contract, as well as consumer- and insurer-management. The authors conclude by re-envisioning the problem as one of co-creation by the consumer-insured and (...) insurer personnel, proposing a framework for its study and resolution. (shrink)
Through a critique of Richard Rorty, I develop a program of self-creation. While Rorty rightly encourages ironic and poetic redescriptions, his feel for this work is disembodied and context-blind. In contrast, I propose an institutionally situated and full-bodied creative exercise which contextually reworks central tropes. Rorty's position is also overly privatized. This hinders 'public' discourse and imprisons marginalized persons within institutionalized identities. Self-creation should not be a solely 'private' affair. Rorty's public/ private distinction has some merit, however. We (...) should, on the whole, primarily treat self-creation as a 'private' endeavor. The end of self-creation should not be legislation. Instead, we should dethrone disempowering identities and reconstruct new ones beyond the reach of policy debates. If we do so, we will proceed with greater sophistication, stability and radicality than would otherwise be the case. This in turn will produce richer selves and offer novel resources to works of 'public' reconstruction. Key Words: community Dewey identity Rorty self-creation. (shrink)
The paper is inspired by the arguments raised recently by Grunbaum criticizing the current approaches of many cosmologists to the problem of spacetime singularity, matter creation and the origin of the universe. While agreeing with him that the currently favored cosmological ideas do not indicate the biblical notion of divine creation ex nihilo, I present my viewpoint on the same issues, which differs considerably from Grunbaum's. First I show that the symmetry principle which leads to the conservation law (...) of energy is violated when the time axis is terminated at t = 0. Next I discuss why this epoch (t = 0) is more a mathematical artifact whose supposed significance may disappear when one goes beyond the classical relativistic cosmology. This is illustrated by the example of quantum cosmology. (shrink)
William Lane Craig claims that the doctrine of creation ex nihilo is strongly supported by the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe. In the present paper, I critically examine Craig’s arguments for this claim. I conclude that they are unsuccessful, and that the Big Bang theory provides no support for the doctrine of creation ex nihilo. Even if it is granted that the universe had a “first cause,” there is no reason to think that this (...) cause created the universe out of nothing. As far as the Big Bang theory is concerned, the cause of the universe might have been what Adolf Grünbaum has called a “transformative cause”---a cause that shaped something that was “already there.”. (shrink)
In this paper, I expose a conundrum regarding divine creation as Leibniz conceives of such creation. What energizes the conundrum is that the concept of omnibenevolence—“consequential omnibenevolence”—that the Leibnizian argument for the view that the actual world is the best of all possible worlds presupposes, appears to sanction the conclusion that God has no practical reasons to create the actual world.
One of the most contentious of Castoriadis' ideas is his concept of creatio ex nihilo (creation from nothing). This article elucidates and evaluates this concept of creation, contrasting Castoriadis' approach with its classical antithesis in the philosophy of Parmenides, who famously concluded that the universe muct be unchanging since nothing can come to be or cease to be.
I first examine John Duns Scotus’ view of contingency, pure possibility, and created possibilities, and his version of the celebrated distinction between ordained and absolute power. Scotus’ views on ethical natural law and his account of induction are characterised, and their dependence on the preceding doctrines detailed. I argue that there is an inconsistency in his treatments of the problem of induction and ethical natural law. Both proceed with God’s contingently willed creation of a given order of laws, which (...) can be revoked and replaced with a new order of laws. In the case of ethical natural law God promulgated the Decalogue, for example; in the case of nature, there are physical laws that can be known by induction. Scotus exalts the freedom of God and the mutability of ethical natural law in order to explain exceptions to it disclosed by revelation (for example, the Old Testament command to Abraham to kill Isaac). Yet he treats ethical natural laws as (mostly) not universal and immutable. In contrast, he holds that we can arrive at knowledge of the universal and immutable laws of nature, except for those regularities that result from free will. Finally, I present several ways of characterising this tension between Scotus’ doctrines. (shrink)
In the last 30 years, China has experienced an astounding economic development that calls for a differentiated understanding of this complex process of wealth creation. In the first section of this article, I present a new concept of wealth creation that goes beyond making money, maximizing profit and adding value and serves as a framework to address the article’s main topic. In the second section, I investigate in what ways and to what extent this new concept might apply (...) to China’s economic reform and development, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s. In the third section, I attempt to draw a couple of lessons for development ethics in general. (shrink)
In Kelsen's formalist and reductionist theory of law, the concepts of `authority' and `competence' may be explained exclusively in terms of those norms on which the validity of other legal norms or of legal acts is dependent. Kelsen describes the nature of these norms in different ways; at least three different conceptions can be distinguished. A rational reconstruction of the most plausible of these conceptions will understand sentences expressing such `norms of competence' either to state truth conditions for normative sentences (...) of a lower level or to state criteria for an act to be a legal act. In both functions, norms of competence regulate the creation of normative facts. (shrink)
A sermon on the wonders of creation? "But I don't know if I believe in creation any more, since I've been studying evolution in school," "Well, you do still think that Earth is a wonderland, don't you? Is there anything you have learned in your biology class that has talked you out of that?" The college student home for Easter puzzles a moment. "Not really. You know, I was wondering during the last lecture before I left. Wow! How (...) is it that DNA has generated such a wealth of biodiversity on Earth?" Nature on Earth has spun quite a story, going from zero through several billion species, evolving microbes into persons. M. J. Benton concludes: "Analysis of the fossil record of microbes, algae, fungi, protists, plants, and animals shows that the diversity of both marine and continental life-increased exponentially since the end of the Precambrian."1 Andrew H. Knoll celebrates "Earth's immense evolutionary epic": "The scientific account of life's long history abounds in both narrative verve and mystery."2.. (shrink)
The difference between Hermann Cohen's systematic philosophy and his philosophy of religion can be determined via the logical “Judgment of Contradiction,” viewed as an “Authority of Annihilation.” In Cohen's Logic of Pure Knowledge the “Judgment of Contradiction” acts as a “means of protection” against “falsifications” that may have arisen on the pathway through the previous judgments of “origin” and “identity.” Cohen thematizes these operations in his Religion of Reason Out of the Sources of Judaism , too. However, there they do (...) not form the grounding for natural science but rather for the knowledge of nature as creation in a strict correlation to God's uniqueness. Any admixture between God and nature is the falseness that must be excluded via the “Authority of Annihilation.” The Being of God places the world over against the possibility of its own radical Non-Being. Yet at the same time, a second mode of Negation, a relative Nothing providing continuity for the world's being-there ( Dasein ), grounded in the “Logic of Origin,” retains its validity. In Cohen's view a Creation “in the beginning” stands side by side with a continuous “renewal of the world” ( hiddush ha-`olam ). (shrink)
Pairing Thus Spoke Zarathustra with On the Genealogy of Morality foregrounds tensions between artistic creation and critical interpretation in Nietzsche's work. From The Birth of Tragedy to his genesis of the concept, Will to Power, Nietzsche describes the real, or ?what is,? in terms of a creative, form-giving force. We might therefore read Zarathustra?a linguistically experimental, richly allegorical, self-reflexive, modernist prose poem?as the pre-eminent, artistic mode of philosophical expression, at least for Nietzsche. But Zarathustra is followed by a sober (...) Abhandlung (treatise), which professes a scientific goal of ?getting to the bottom of things? by uncovering the contingency, origin, and fabricated nature of supposedly eternal, ?given? values. These instantiations of Nietzsche-the-artist and Nietzsche-the-critic suggest art's ?double? or contradictory nature?a nature that accents its kinship with philosophy. Zarathustra and the Genealogy, read together, hint that the destruction of idols?or de-constructive, critical interpretation more generally?is not just supplemental to, but a necessary moment within the aesthetic itself. (shrink)
One strand of the church's conversation about homosexuality compares present-day acceptance of homosexuals to the church's acceptance of Gentiles in Acts 15. In a previous article, “Gentiles and Homosexuals,” I presented the history of that strand. In a reply to my article, Olson proposes to reimagine the analogy via the “radical new perspective on Paul” and argues that doing so exposes problems with my original analysis. I defend myself against these criticisms, while also entering into the spirit of Olson's reimagined (...) analogy. Expanding the scope beyond Acts to Paul opens up important facets that might otherwise be obscured. In particular, it includes voices that are sometimes silenced, and presses both sides for an account of sexuality grounded in vocation and God's purposes in creation. (shrink)
staggering fact; life renewed after death would be continuing miracle, but, just that: continuing miracle. My friends puzzle over my claim. "Well, I hadn't thought of it like that. You could be right. I agree that creation, or (they may prefer to say) nature is surprising. Still, science leads us to think that nature is all there is. Resurrection is supernatural, and..
This article will probe into Kant’s viewpoints about parent-child relationship so as to demonstrate that they are inspiring on the one hand—for example on dealing with the relationship as that pertinent to the thing in itself, but on the other hand, there are many flaws. His strategy on avoiding the difficulty of creating by man a being endowed with freedom depends merely on an one-sided comprehension of time, because according to Kant himself, there is a difference as to the time (...) between sensual forms of intuition and expressive form of transcendental imagination. In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant gives a profound enunciation with respect to the two and the latter is related to free causality and categorical imperative in his moral philosophy. Once it refers to the rights of a being endowed with freedom and the time it requires to maintain them, it is problematic to assert that the creation of such beings is not concerned with, in any sense whatsoever, time and the sensual, mortal body. What is more, Kant failed to take into full consideration that parents are also beings endowed with freedom whose rights to the child are not totally dependent on the latter’s inherent rights but on their own inherent basis. Granting parents too few natural rights, Kant on the other hand allocates them too much obligations in that the parent-child relation is unbalanced in his field of view. Thirdly, he gives no consideration as to whether or not the empirical process of rearing children itself can also create some rights, which nevertheless, should be taken into account when temporal elements can be found from the very original parent-child relationship. (shrink)
The logical relationships between the ideas of evolution and of special creation are explored here in the context of a recent paper by Alvin Plantinga claiming that from the perspective of biblical religion it is more likely than not that God acted in a “special” way at certain crucial moments in the long process whereby life developed on earth. I argue against this thesis, asking first under what circumstances the Bible might be thought relevant to an issue of broadly (...) scientific concern. I go on to outline some of the arguments supporting the thesis of common ancestry, and argue finally that from the theistic perspective, special creation ought to be regarded as, if anything, less rather than more likely than its evolutionary alternative. (shrink)
This paper examines Leibniz’s views on the theistic doctrine of continual creation and considers their implications for his theory of finite substance. Three main theses are defended: (1) that Leibniz takes the traditional account of continual creation to involve the literal re-creation of all things in a successive series of instantaneous states, (2) that a straightforward commitment to the traditional account would give rise to serious problems within Leibniz’s theory of finite substance and his metaphysics more generally, (...) and (3) that Leibniz does not straightforwardly affirm the continual creation doctrine, despite certain texts that initially seem to suggest otherwise. I also present a more speculative interpretive hypothesis about what Leibniz’s considered view of creation might have been, namely that in a single act, God creates and conserves substances that are non-spatial and atemporal at the deepest level of reality. (shrink)
Vladimir Solov’ëv, Sergej Bulgakov, Nikolaj Berdjaev, and Semën Frank shared the conviction that Creation is incomplete: humanity must arrive at organizing social life on an “eighth day.” Thus they prophesied the Universal Church, “social Christianity,” “personalist socialism,” and “spiritual democracy.” Their attempt to avoid any illegitimate confusion between independent rational thought and Christian faith prompted Bulgakov to become an ordained theologian, Berdjaev a “philosophical poet,” and Frank a “Christian realist.” Solov’ëv’s theosophical attempt to philosophically substantiate faith and consequently eschatological (...) prophecy finds itself in the same tragic predicament as Christian faith in general when amalgamated on a one to one basis with the world. I am to show that this is not the case for any of the three other authors discussed, however, much they did adhere to some of Solov’ëv’s major lines of thought. (shrink)
The cognitive gain in the use of metaphor and simile is nicely elucidated by Tversky's theory of similarity. The features of the theory which are of special importance are the directionality and context-dependency of similarity judgments. These indicate the extent to which such judgments are classificatory and that similarity is not only the cause of an object's classification but is also a derivative of groupings. Metaphor and simile exploit certain cognitive features involved in the relation between classification, context and similarity (...) judgments so as to make possible the creation of similarity, which, from a conceptual standpoint, is the prime motivation for metaphor. (shrink)
Denying Evolution aims at taking a fresh look at the evolution–creation controversy. It presents a truly “balanced” treatment, not in the sense of treating creationism as a legitimate scientific theory (it demonstrably is not), but in the sense of dividing the blame for the controversy equally between creationists and scientists—the former for subscribing to various forms of anti-intellectualism, the latter for discounting science education and presenting science as scientism to the public and the media. The central part of the (...) book focuses on a series of creationist fallacies (aimed at showing errors of thought, not at deriding) and of mistakes by scientists and science educators. The last part of the book discusses long-term solutions to the problem, from better science teaching at all levels to the necessity of widespread understanding of how the brain works and why people have difficulties with critical thinking. (shrink)
The old medieval problem of the temporal relationship between an eternal God and an eternal or timed world remains an issue that animates debates about the nature of God in contemporary philosophy of religion. The Islamic debate pitted the philosophers, in particular Ibn Sīnā [Avicenna], who held that an eternal God produced an eternal world that was merely logically posterior to him, against some theologians, such as al-Ghazālī (Alghazel) who insisted on the scriptural doctrine of creatio ex nihilo and refuted (...) the possibility of an eternal world. The conflict continued with each side ceding some aspects and rejecting others until the Safavid period in which one finds the divisions between philosophy and theology irrevocably breaking down. I shall discuss the positions of three key philosophers of early modern Iran who all defended the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo from a philosophical perspective and came up with some novel approaches to the old problem of the temporal relationship between God and creation. /// O presente artigo parte da constatação de que o velho problema dos pensadores medievais acerca do relacionamento temporal entre um Deus que é eterno e um mundo que ora se entende como eterno ora como localizado no tempo permanece ainda hoje um dos assuntos que animam os debates relativos à natureza de Deus na fdosofia da religião contemporânea. Constata-se, antes de mais, que o debate que se verificou no seio do Islão começou por levantar os filósofos, particularmente Ibn Sīnā [Avicenna], o qual defendia que um Deus eterno produziu um mundo eterno que apenas do ponto de vista lógico lhe era posterior, contra os teólogos, tais como al-Ghazātī [Alghazel], o qual insistia na doutrina baseada na Escritura da creatio ex nihilo e refutava a possibilidade de um mundo eterno. O conflito continuou com cada uma das partes cedendo alguns aspectos e rejeitando outros até à emergência do período dos Safavidas durante o qual se verifica o rompimento das divisões entre Filosofia e Teologia. Assim, o autor do artigo propõe-se analisar as posições de três filósofos fundamentais do início da era moderna no Irão, pensadores esses que defendiam a doutrína da creatio ex nihilo numa perspectiva filosófica e, ao mesmo tempo, foram capazes de avançar com algumas abordagens novas ao velho problema da relação temporal entre Deus e a criação. (shrink)
The relationship between social and financial performance (CSP – FP) has been a main objective in the literature on business management, as it would provide an economic justification for the social investment insofar as it contributes to the creation of value. This relationship has been empirically tested by several authors though without using a theoretical model that sustains this relationship. The aim of this article is to propose a theoretical model of the process of the creation of value (...) from the reputation generated by companies, integrating the factors that have been shown to be more relevant in this process from previous research, in such a way that hypotheses are put forward regarding the existence of this relationship and the factors that determine it. Finally, an empirical test is performed using the 100 most prestigious companies operating in Spain during 2004. (shrink)
There are two ways in which Ghazali contributes to the discussion of whether God exists: by arguing for the existence of God, and by arguing against certain views which, in his opinion, stand in the way of truly believing that God exists. In this paper I examine Ghazali’s argument from creation and his refutation or the philosophers’ second proof for the eternity or the world. My purpose will be to argue that: firstly, Ghazali’s argument and his refutation are based (...) on incompatible views of time, and cannot, therefore, both be maintained. Secondly, Ghazali fails to establish the one interesting premiss which he employs in his argument from creation. (shrink)
How should belief in creation affect our theoretical understanding of knowledge? In this essay I argue that traditional views of knowledge, illustrated by Plato and Descartes, cannot do justice to the integral meaning of reality as God’s creation. Making use of two metaphors, the visual metaphor for theoretical knowledge and the biblical one of hearing the divine promise-command to be, I sketch the outlines of a theoretical framework that takes belief in creation as its starting point. My (...) approach is based upon insights of Reformational philosophy and leads to a view in which beliefs and propositions concerning isolated states of affairs are replaced by an emphasis on the concrete situations in which knowing occurs. Important notions like rationality and objectivity lose their central place to responsibility and acknowledgement. I claim that in this way the biblical understanding of reality as God’s creation can be better appreciated than in approaches that take their starting point in Greek and modern philosophical conceptions. (shrink)
In Grunbaum (1989, 374, 390), I objected to Narlikar's (1977, 136-137) designation "event of 'creation'" for a supposed first cosmic instant t = 0, which he imports into the big bang cosmology of the general theory of relativity (GTR). Narlikar (1992, 361-362) does reject a theological construal of the "creation". But, endeavoring to justify his secular creationism, he now points out that, in the GTR, the usual derivation of matter-energy conservation from Hilbert's stationary action principle cannot be extended (...) to include the putative first instant t = 0. Narlikar reasons that this "breakdown" in the derivation of energy conservation at t = 0 qualifies the putative initial event as the "creation event". I argue that this inference is multiply fallacious. (shrink)
Value creation has long been hailed as the major objective of business firms by many management researchers. Some authors state that a firm must create value for its shareholders; some insist that value must be created not just for shareholders but also for all stakeholders. However, most discussions of value creation do not address an important question: "For whom the value is created?" The purpose of this paper is to take a first step to fill this void and (...) propose a model of value creation along three dimensions: financial, nonfinancial, and time. It is hoped that the model will contribute to a better understanding of how strategic and operational decisions of managers may create value for some stakeholders while destroying it for others. (shrink)
We differentiate morally between actual and potential beings: the latter do not exist now and will never exist unless we bring them into existence. The interests of existing persons should guide the creation of new beings. We ought not to create new beings that are expected to harm the interests of existing persons. If a potential being becomes actual, it becomes a member of the moral community and its interests should be taken into account. A being can be actual (...) even if it does not currently exist: there is a moral reason not to set up a mechanism today that will harm a being that comes into existence tomorrow. (shrink)
This essay explores the ways in which specific attention (or lack thereof) to creation can affect the manner in which we execute metaphysics or ethics. It argues that failing to attend to an adequate expression of “the distinction” of creator from creatures can unwittingly lead to a misrepresentation of divinity in philosophical argument. It also offers a suggestion for understanding “post-modern” from the more ample perspective of Creek and medieval forms of thought.
Of the many philosophical perplexities facing medieval Jewish thinkers, perhaps none has been as challenging or as divisive as determining whether the universe is created or eternal. Not unlike contemporary cosmologists who worry about the first instant of creation of the universe, or Christian scholastics who attempted to define the nature of an instant, so too medieval Jewish thinkers were aware of the philosophical complexities surrounding the issues of creation and time. Jews were immensely affected by Scripture and (...) in particular by the creation account found in Genesis I-II. In the context of this tension, perhaps the most important word of Scripture is b’reishit, “in the beginning.” The very term b’reishit designates the fact that there was a beginning, i.e., temporality has been introduced if only in the weakest sense that this creative act occupies a period of time. In this paper I shall focus my study upon Jewish philosophical attempts to clarify what is entailed by postulating a first instant of creation. I shall begin with early Rabbinical commentaries upon Genesis, and then turn to three paradigmatic medieval Jewish thinkers who, influenced by these Rabbinical texts, represent the range of positions taken with respect to this issue. (shrink)
This article presumes to achieve a relatively definitive philosophical treatment of the creation-science issue (concerning teaching evolution in the schools) identified as a complex and troublesome piece of public rhetoric requiring careful attention to a number of distinct points to gain an adequate response to it. Questions of fact, theory, logic, professional responsibility, human being, metaphysics, education, law, religion, and ethics are all critically examined with a sampling of pertinent sources. As an unexpected movement in our time creation-science (...) rhetoric represents many conflicting interests, most significantly a confused but legitimate call for philosophical thinking which should not go unheeded. (shrink)
Schyns, Goldstone & Thibaut oppose the notion of fixed feature analysis, suggesting the possibility of flexible feature creation in object recognition and categorisation. Such proposals cannot be assessed until clear definitions of the objects in question and their decompositions are formulated. Flexibility may come from the decompositions of objects rather than from feature creation.
The title of T. J. Mawson's article was incorrectly given as “God's creation of mortality” on the Contents page and cover. The publishers would like to apologise to the author and their readers for this error.
The focus of this paper is employee ownership, specifically the role of employee ownership in value creation. Based on a sample of 163 French companies, we have measured the impact of employee share ownership on value creation for both shareholders and stakeholders. Only companies with a sustained employee ownership policy over a 5-year period (from 2001 to 2005), as defined by the French Federation of Employee and Former Employee Shareholders (FAS), have been considered. The results indicate that employee (...) share ownership plans have no effect on shareholders’ or stakeholders’ value creation. (shrink)
The artificial creation of life arises both strong fascination by scientists and strong concerns, if not abhorrence, by critics of science. What appears to be the crowning achievement of synthetic biology is at the same time considered a major evil. That conflict, which perhaps epitomizes many of the cultural conflicts about science in Western societies, calls for a deeper analysis. Standard ethical analyses, which would try to relate such conflicts to a difference in fundamental values, are difficult to apply (...) here, because it is unclear what the underlying values of such emotions as fascination and abhorrence are. These emotions or affects, rather than just referring to what is morally right or wrong, seem to be rooted in our cultural heritage of desires and taboos of transgression. My analysis in this paper is primarily of historical nature. By investigating ideas about the creation of life from the earliest times to the present, I aim to clarify the cultural origins of those emotions. I argue that both the fascination and the abhorrence regarding the creation of life have a common religious basis. Moreover, unlike many commentators of 19th-century mad-scientist classics, from Mary Shelley to H.G. Wells, I argue that this basis has no ancient model in religious or mythological traditions but emerged only in the 19th century from an exchange between science and religion. As long as these emotions dominate public debates, ethical deliberations about synthetic biology are likely to be neglected. (shrink)
Le présent essai se propose d'appréhender la doctrine cartésienne selon laquelle ce qui existe ne saurait subsister sans que Dieu le soutienne dans l'être par une activité créatrice continuée. Comment Dieu soutient-il l'existence et pourquoi lui est-il nécessaire de le faire ? L'auteur analyse l'apparente contradiction, qui fait problème, entre la doctrine de la création continuée et l'affirmation par Descartes que le mouvement se poursuit à moins que n'intervienne quelque force extérieure. Il examine ensuite, pour la récuser, la thèse (défendue (...) par Gilson et par Gueroult) selon laquelle la doctrine de la création continuée impliquerait la discontinuité du temps. This essay seeks to understand Descartes's doctrine that what exists cannot continue to exist unless God sustains it by continuous creative activity. How does God sustain existence and why is it necessary for Him to do this ? The essay explores a puzzling apparent contrast between the doctrine of continuous creation and Descartes's claim that motion continues unless an external force interferes. Further, it considers and rejects the thesis (maintained by Gilson and Gueroult) that the doctrine of continuous creation entails that time is discontinuous. (shrink)
There is a long-standing discussion on the positive interactions between enterprise value creation and business competitiveness. The corporate value can be seen as being created from three major sources within the cycle - from employees, from processes, and from customers or investors through reinvestment. To achieve competitive advantages, a firm must create more value than its competitors in the industry. Emphasizing that, firms should explore the positive drivers of customer value creation, allowing for a true value creation (...) that will lead to increments in competitiveness. In reality, however, there are also barriers that hinder customer value creation. Targeting the above issues that have not yet been explored or analyzed, we have collected related literature at the first stage. Based on these presumable assumptions, this paper then conducts an empirical study by surveying and analyzing the relevance given by the investigated leading machinery measuring equipment firms in Taiwan, regarding the concerns as drivers and barriers in relation to customer value creation. This paper expecially aims to answer several key questions: What drivers revolving around employees and processes can facilitate the organization to create more value for its customers? Conversely, what barriers block the organization from creating value for customers in examining the same dimensions? Does value creation direct an organization's profitability and competitiveness? Our questionnaire survey results show that the most recognized and agreed drivers of customer value creation in consideration of employees are "distinctive skills", "personal experience", "learning and training", and "team work"; and, in regard to the firm's processes, the key drivers are "innovation and evolution", "R&D capability", and "capability for differentiation". Conversely, the most recognized and agreed barriers to customer value creation in relation to employees are a "distrustful environment" and "inadequate knowledge"; and, in terms of processes, they are "short of core technology", "poor resource support", and "bad services and attitudes". Furthermore, our in-depth interview outcomes reveal that "capital sufficiency" and "mergers and acquisitions" are in practice considered to be other important customer value creation drivers; in contrast, "cultural and structural barriers" and "short of mechanisms to measure customer value creation effectively" are viewed as additional critical barriers to customer value creation. (shrink)