The scientific community has debated the importance of “return” activities after ethnobiological studies. This issue has provoked debate because it touches on the ethics of research and the relationships with the people involved in these studies. This case study aimed to investigate community perception of an ethnobotany research project that was carried out in the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil. Furthermore, we reported how the residents of this rural community felt about participating in the activities of “return” that arose from (...) the projects. Our findings demonstrate that “return” activities should be planned from the design phase of the research until its closure as a lifelong process that allows the communities involved to gradually take ownership of the information and actions that are being generated. Similarly, we argue that such activities must be negotiated with the people of the community so that they have decision-making power and autonomy to decide what is most relevant to their lives. (shrink)
Abstract Many apparently complex mechanisms in biology, especially in embryology and molecular biology, can be explained easily by reasoning at the level of the “efficient cause” of the observed phenomenology: the mechanism can then be explained by a simple geometrical argument or a variational principle, leading to the solution of an optimization problem, for example, via the co-existence of a minimization and a maximization problem (a min–max principle). Passing from a microscopic (or cellular) level (optimal min–max solution of the simple (...) mechanistic system) to the macroscopic level often involves an averaging effect (linked to the repetition of a large number of such microscopic systems with possible random choice of the parameters of each of them) that gives birth to a global functional feature (e.g. at the tissue level). We will illustrate these general principles by building in four different domains of application “a minima” models and showing the main properties of their solutions: (1) extraction of a minimal RNA structure functioning as the first “peptidic machine,” a kind of ancestral ribosome; (2) study of a genetic regulatory network of Drosophila centred on Engrailed gene and expressing successively two genes inside a limit cycle; (3) study of a genetic network regulating neural activity and proliferation in mammals; and (4) study of a simple geometric model of epiboly in zebrafish. Content Type Journal Article Category Regular Article Pages 1-17 DOI 10.1007/s10441-012-9146-4 Authors L. Almeida, AGIM, FRE CNRS 3405, Faculty of Medicine of Grenoble, University J. Fourier, 38 700 La Tronche, France J. Demongeot, AGIM, FRE CNRS 3405, Faculty of Medicine of Grenoble, University J. Fourier, 38 700 La Tronche, France Journal Acta Biotheoretica Online ISSN 1572-8358 Print ISSN 0001-5342. (shrink)
There is an intriguing recent effort to develop a valid cosmological argument on the basis of quite minimal assumptions.1 Indeed, the basis of the new cosmological argument is so slight that it is likely to make even a conscientious theist suspicious – to say nothing of our vigilant atheists. In Section 1 we present the background assumptions and central premises of the new cosmological argument. We are sympathetic to the conclusion that there necessarily exists an intelligent and powerful creator of (...) the actual universe, but we show in Section 2 that the new cosmological argument cannot establish this claim. Speciﬁcally, we show by reductio ad absurdum that the new argument is unsound, and that every plausibly modiﬁed version of the argument is also unsound.2 We close our discussion with a diagnosis of what went wrong in the new cosmological argument. Our conclusion is that this intriguing new argument promises considerably more than it can show. (shrink)
Perhaps the greatest impediment to a viable libertarianism is the provision of a satisfactory explanation of how actions that are undetermined by an agent''s character can still be under the control of, or up to, the agent. The luck problem has been most assiduously examined by Robert Kane who supplies a detailed account of how this problem can be resolved. Although Kane''s theory is innovative, insightful, and more resourceful than most of his critics believe, it ultimately cannot account for the (...) type of control that moral responsibility and (ultimate) agency legitimately require. (shrink)
Property-identical divine-command theory (PDCT) is the view that being obligatory is identical to being commanded by God in just the way that being water is identical to being H2O. If these identity statements are true, then they express necessary a posteriori truths. PDCT has been defended in Robert M. Adams (1987) and William Alston (1990). More recently Mark C. Murphy (2002) has argued that property-identical divine-command theory is inconsistent with two well-known and well-received theses: the free-command thesis and the supervenience (...) thesis. I show that Murphy's argument is vitiated by mistaken assumptions about the substitutivity of metaphysical identicals in contexts of supervenience. The free-command thesis and the supervenience thesis therefore pose no serious threat to PDCT. (Published Online August 11 2004). (shrink)
Sceptical theists--e.g., William Alston and Michael Bergmann--have claimed that considerations concerning human cognitive limitations are alone sufficient to undermine evidential arguments from evil. We argue that, if the considerations deployed by sceptical theists are sufficient to undermine evidential arguments from evil, then those considerations are also sufficient to undermine inferences that play a crucial role in ordinary moral reasoning. If cogent, our argument suffices to discredit sceptical theist responses to evidential arguments from evil.
Standard dyadic deontic logic (as well as standard deontic logic) has recently come under attack by moral philosophers who maintain that the axioms of standard dyadic deontic logic are biased against moral theories which generate moral conflicts. Since moral theories which generate conflicts are at least logically tenable, it is argued, standard dyadic deontic logic should be modified so that the set of logically possible moral theories includes those which generate such conflicts. I argue that (1) there are only certain (...) types of moral conflicts which are interesting, and which have worried moral theorists, (2) the modification of standard dyadic deontic logic along the lines suggested by those who defend the possibility of moral conflicts makes possible only uninteresting types of moral conflicts, and (3) the general strategy of piecemeal modification standard dyadic deontic logic is misguided: the possibility of interesting moral conflicts cannot be achieved in that way. (shrink)
Atheistic arguments from improvability -- Rational choice and no best world -- On evil's vague necessity -- The problem of no maximum evil -- On the logic of imperfection -- Supervenience, divine freedom, and absolute orderings -- Vague eschatology -- Theistic modal realism, multiverses, and hyperspace.
Recent work in moral theory includes an intriguing new argument that the vagueness of moral properties, together with two well-known and well-received metaethical principles, entails the incredible conclusion that it is impossible to be moral. I show that the argument equivocates between “it is true that A and B are morally indistinguishable” and “it is not false that A and B are morally indistinguishable.” As expected the argument is interesting but unsound. It is therefore not impossible to be moral.Les travaux (...) récents en théorie morale comprennent un nouvel argument intrigant voulant que le caractère vague des propriétés morales, joint à deux principes métaéthiques bien connus et généralement admis, entraîne une conclusion incroyable, soit qu’il est impossible d’être moral. Je montre que cet argument entretient l’équivoque entre «il est vrai que A et B sont moralement impossibles à distinguer» et «il n’est pas faux que A et B soient moralement impossibles à distinguer». Comme on s’y attendait, l’argument est intéressant mais mal fondé. Il n’est donc pas impossible d’être moral. (shrink)
Montaigne, no "De l'art de conferer", discute critérios que permitem distinguir os homens segundo suas capacidades (suffisances). A "maneira" de discursar ocupa o centro desta questão e entre suas qualidades se destaca a "ordem", que nos é apresentada, sobretudo, a partir dos desvios da "tolice" (sottise) e "obstinação" (opiniastreté), símbolos do dogmatismo e de uma errônea lide com os saberes que se apoiam na memória. Procura-se mostrar que a ordem se funda na assimilação e penetração do julgamento nas matérias que (...) garantem o nexo necessário para o desenvolvimento adequado da conversação (conference). Montaigne, in "De l'art de conferer", discusses the criteria to distinguish men according to their capabilities (suffisances). The "manner" of discussing is central to this issue and among its qualities "order" distinguishes itself. The "order" is presented to us by the exposition of its deviations: foolishness ("sottise") and obstinacy ("opiniastreté"). These inadequacies represent both dogmatism and an erroneous way of using knowledge based on memory. We intend to show how order is founded on a kind of judgment which assimilates and penetrates matters and subjects - being it the only way to assure the necessary connection to adequately develop the conversation ("conference"). (shrink)
The celebrated free-will defence was designed to show that the ideal-world thesis presents no challenge to theism. The ideal-world thesis states that, in any world in which God exists, He can actualize a world containing moral good and no moral evil. I consider an intriguing two-stage argument that Michael Bergmann advances for the free-will defence, and show that the argument provides atheologians with no reason to abandon the ideal-world thesis. I show next that the existence of worlds in which every (...) essence is transworld untrustworthy provides atheologians with no better reason to abandon the ideal-world thesis. I conclude that neither the free-will defence nor Bergmann's revised free-will defence is a convincing response to the atheological challenge. (Published Online February 17 2004). (shrink)
On the basis of arguments showing that none of the most influential analyses of Moore's paradox yields a successful resolution of the problem, a new analysis of it is offered. It is argued that, in attempting to render verdicts of either inconsistency or self-contradiction or self-refutation, those analyses have all failed to satisfactorily explain why a Moore-paradoxical proposition is such that it cannot be rationally believed. According to the proposed solution put forward here, a Moore-paradoxical proposition is one for which (...) the believer can have no non-overridden evidence. The arguments for this claim make use of some of Peter Klein's views on epistemic defeasibility. It is further suggested that this proposal may have important meta-epistemological implications. (shrink)
In his most recent version of the evidential argument from evil, William Rowe argues that the observation of no outweighing goods for certain evils constitutes significant evidence against theism. I show that the new evidential argument cannot challenge theism unless it is also reasonable to believe that no good we know of justifies God in permitting any evil at all. Since the new evidential argument provides no reason at all to believe that God is not justified in permitting any existing (...) evil, I conclude that Rowe's argument presents no evidential challenge to theism. (shrink)
Suppose it is a reasonable assumption that there is no possible world that is overall highest in value. Some theists have found in thatassumption a basis for actualizing a less-than-best world. Some atheists have found in that assumption a basis for actualizing no world at all. I present a dynamic choice model for the problem and describe the rationality assumptions necessary to generate a rational choice problem for an ideally rational agent. I show that at least one of the rationality (...) assumptions—the Rational Perfection Principle—is invalid in the relevant sorts of models. I conclude that the existence of no best world presents no rational choice problem for ideally rational agents. (shrink)
Forsyth’s (1980) Ethics Position Questionnaire and Hunt et al.’s (1989) Corporate Ethical Value Questionnaire are used to examine the ethical ideologies of senior managers from organizations listed in the Australian Stock Exchange. The results indicate how corporate ethical values, religion, gender, and age are related to the idealism and relativism of senior Australian managers. After discussing the results, limitations of the study are offered. Finally, managerial implications are provided and recommendations for future research are given.
Those of us who have followed Fred Dretske's lead with regard to epistemic closure and its impact on skepticism have been half-wrong for the last four decades. But those who have opposed our Dretskean stance, contextualists in particular, have been just wrong. We have been half-right. Dretske rightly claimed that epistemic status is not closed under logical implication. Unlike the Dretskean cases, the new counterexamples to closure offered here render every form of contextualist pro-closure maneuvering useless. But there is a (...) way of going wrong under Dretske's lead. As the paper argues, Cartesian skepticism thrives on closure failure in a way that is yet to be acknowledged in the literature. The skeptic can make do with principles which are weaker than the familiar closure principles. But I will further claim that this is only a momentary reprieve for the skeptic. As it turns out, one of the weaker principles on which a skeptical modus tollens must rest can be shown false. (shrink)
It is argued, on the basis of new counterexamples, that neither knowledge nor epistemic justification (or epistemic rationality ) can reasonably be thought to be closed under logical implication. The argument includes an attempt to reconcile the fundamental intuitions of the opposing parties in the debate.
This work is part of a wider investigation into lattice-structured algebras and associated dual representations obtained via the methodology of canonical extensions. To this end, here we study lattices, not necessarily distributive, with negation operations. We consider equational classes of lattices equipped with a negation operation ¬ which is dually self-adjoint (the pair (¬,¬) is a Galois connection) and other axioms are added so as to give classes of lattices in which the negation is De Morgan, orthonegation, antilogism, pseudocomplementation or (...) weak pseudocomplementation. These classes are shown to be canonical and dual relational structures are given in a generalized Kripke-style. The fact that the negation is dually self-adjoint plays an important role here, as it implies that it sends arbitrary joins to meets and that will allow us to define the dual structures in a uniform way. (shrink)
William Rowe has argued that if there is an infinite sequence of improving worlds then an essentially perfectly good being must actualize some world in the sequence and must not actualize any world in the sequence. Since that is impossible, there exist no perfectly good beings. I show that Rowe's argument assumes that the concept of a maximally great being is incoherent. Since we are given no reason to believe that the concept of a maximally great being is incoherent we (...) have no reason to believe Rowe's Argument from Improvability is sound. (shrink)
In a recent article in Philo I critique William Rowe’s new evidential argument from evil. Richard Carrier claims I advance an argument for theism in that article and proposes a counterexample to that argument. I show that Carrier’s counterexample fails for reasons that are fairly obvious. I then offer help. The best chance for a counterexample to the argument I offer comes from the possibility of cryptid creatures. But it is not difficult to show that counterexamples from cryptic creatures also (...) fail. I conclude that these critical observations present no interesting problem for the defeat of Rowe’s new argument. (shrink)
Michael Martin introduces a non-Humean conception of miracles according to which miracles are events that need not violate a law of nature and are brought about by the exercise of a possibly non-theistic, supernatural power. Call those m-miracles. I consider Martin’s argument that the occurrence of an m-miracle would not confirm the existence of God. Martin presents an interesting argument, but it does not establish that m-miracles would not confirm the existence God. I argue that, on the contrary, it is (...) quite reasonable to conclude that Martin’s m-miracles provide at least some confirmation for the hypothesis that God exists. (shrink)
Ted Sider’s Proportionality of Justice condition requires that any two moral agents instantiating nearly the same moral state be treated in nearly the same way. I provide a countermodel in supervaluation semantics to the proportionality of justice condition. It is possible that moral agents S and S' are in nearly the same moral state, S' is beyond all redemption and S is not. It is consistent with perfect justice then that moral agents that are not beyond redemption go determinately to (...) heaven and moral agents that are beyond all redemption go determinately to hell. I conclude that moral agents that are in nearly the same moral state may be treated in very unequal ways. (shrink)
This article presents a conceptual discussion on the phenomenon of incorporation of tools and other objects in the light of Maine de Biran’s philosophy of the relation between the body and the motor will. Drawing on Maine de Biran’s view of the body as that portion of the material world which directly obeys one’s motor will, as well as on his view (supported by studies in contemporary cognitive science) of active touch as the perceptual modality that is sensitive to objects (...) as fields of forces resisting the perceiver’s movements, we discuss the phenomena of motor incorporation and haptic incorporation, as well as the relation between them. Motor incorporation occurs when something is integrated into the motor system, i.e. when practice enables one to animate an object as directly, effortlessly and fluently as one is able to animate one’s own body. The subject then has the experience of acting there, where the object is located, not at the body–object interface. In order to better understand the phenomenon of motor incorporation, we highlight the phenomenological difference between directly and indirectly moving something. Haptic incorporation occurs when something is integrated into the haptic system, i.e. when an object is used as an instrument for the haptic perception of other objects. Finally, we seek to shed light on the phenomenon of transparency, understanding the transparency acquired by the incorporated object as both a relational property and a matter of degrees. (shrink)
This article presents the general outlines of a new reading of the concept of contingent possibilities discussed in chapter 9 of the treatise On interpretation. In this article, I try to show how that text represents the moment of logical and ontological grounding of the ethic concept of freedom within Aristotle’s work.
William Rowe argues that an essentially perfectly good being could not actualize a world unless there is no better world it could actualize instead. According to Rowe’s Argument from Improvability, if there is an infinite series of ever-improving and actualizable worlds then a perfect being could actualize exactly none of them. I argue that there is no reason to believe Rowe’s argument is sound. It therefore presents no important objection to theism.
O sublime vem sendo analisado desde a antiguidade com uma marcante relaçáo com a tragédia, seja como gênero literário, seja por meio da Poética , de Aristóteles que nos traduz pela catarse o sentimento do sublime. Na modernidade, novos nomes foram chegando para colaborar com esta teoria: o próprio Hume, em seu ensaio Da tragédia , mostrou-se impressionado com a capacidade que esta forma de arte tem de produzir efeitos táo intensos no espectador. Porém, quem mais fortaleceu a análise do (...) sublime na modernidade, servindo de base para o próprio Kant foi Edmund Burke, com sua obra Uma investigaçáo filosófica sobre as idéias do sublime e do belo . A terceira crítica de Kant dedicou um momento especial à analise do sublime, a qual já havia servido como base também para Schopenhauer que, no entanto, a partir dela, construíra sua própria estética que viria a ser de suma importância para o jovem Nieztsche, sobretudo devido à consideraçáo da música como arte sublime. Nietzsche, entáo, construiu sua sabedoria trágica,com base na experiência sublime da tragédia. A questáo que este artigo quer tratar é exatamente: é possível pensar numa metafísica do sublime ,com base em Nietzsche ? Palavras-chaves : Kant, Metafísica, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Sublime. (shrink)
http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/1808-1711.2012v16n1p1 A teoria darwinista tem contribuído para a discussão de problemas nos mais diversos campos filosóficos, entre os quais se inclui a ética e a teoria moral. A sociobiologia e a psicologia evolucionista elucidaram muitos aspectos do comportamento social de diversas espécies animais, a partir de mecanismos como a seleção de parentesco e o altruísmo recíproco que, contudo, são insuficientes para explicar a cooperação no caso humano. Como alternativa, a teoria da dupla herança busca explicar o comportamento humano considerando tanto (...) a biologia quanto as ciências sociais. Segundo esta abordagem, a psicologia social humana é caracterizada por instintos sociais tribais e marcadores simbólicos, que resultam em uma mente que pressupõe princípios morais inatos e universais, selecionados para a vida em grupos orientados por normas sociais, mas que são plasticamente moldados à realidade cultural de cada sociedade. (shrink)
Resumo : Os escritos de John Locke e Pierre Bayle sobre a tolerância contribuíram decisivamente para a formaçáo do discurso filosófico sobre aquele conceito, que será amplamente divulgado no século XVIII. A doutrina de Locke afirma que o indivíduo tem certos direitos, que estáo intrinsecamente relacionados com a sua liberdade e devem ser respeitados pelo Estado. Bayle também foi um defensor da tolerância, exaltando a liberdade de consciência do indivíduo. No entanto há divergências entre estes dois pensadores: Locke propõe limites (...) à tolerância, enquanto Bayle é tido como um tolerante exagerado. A proposta é investigar os principais argumentos utilizados nas suas respectivas defesas da tolerância, e a partir daí analisar algumas divergências entre os dois autores, especialmente as diferentes medidas da tolerância adotadas por cada um deles. Palavras-chave : Igualdade; Liberdade; Poder político; Tolerância. (shrink)