What are angels? Where were they first encountered? Can we distinguish angels from gods, faeries, ghosts, and aliens? And why do they remain so popular? -/- In this introduction to the history of angels, David Albert Jones outlines some of the more prominent stories and speculations about angels in Judaism, Islam, Christianity and post-Christian spiritualities. He reflects on the way angels are portrayed in art, whether as young men in the Hebrew Scriptures, androgynous winged creatures of the pre-Raphaelites, (...) or the masculine statue of the Angel of the North. He also considers angels in films such as Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire, and Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, as well as angels in literature. -/- From the idea of the angel as a messenger, through to the image of angels sent to protect and help those in need, this is an examination of the implications of angels. It asks why people find the idea of them so attractive, helpful or consoling, and why they remain so powerful in modern culture. In this thought-provoking introduction, Jones considers the view that reflecting on angels can teach us something about human existence. Whether or not we believe that they exist in their own right, angels can still illuminate our thoughts. (shrink)
This paper examines the role which organizational context factors play in individual ethical decision making. Two general propositions are set forth, examining the linkage between ethical work climate and decision making. An agenda for research and the potential implications of the study and practice of managerial ethics are then discussed.
This penetrating book sheds light on the psychology of fundamentalism, with a particular focus on those who become extremists and fanatics. What accounts for the violence that emerges among some fundamentalist groups? The contributors to this book identify several factors: a radical dualism, in which all aspects of life are bluntly categorized as either good or evil; a destructive inclination to interpret authoritative texts, laws, and teachings in the most literal of terms; an extreme and totalized conversion experience; paranoid thinking; (...) and an apocalyptic world view. After examining each of these concepts in detail, and showing the ways in which they lead to violence among widely disparate groups, these engrossing essays explore such areas as fundamentalism in the American experience and among jihadists, and they illuminate aspects of the same psychology that contributed to such historical crises as the French Revolution, the Nazi movement, and post-Partition Hindu religious practice. (shrink)
Slippery slope arguments have been important in the euthanasia debate for at least half a century. In 1957 the Cambridge legal scholar Glanville Williams wrote a controversial book, The Sanctity of Life and the Criminal Law, in which he presented the decriminalizing of euthanasia as a modern liberal proposal taking its rightful place alongside proposals to decriminalize contraception, sterilization, abortion, and attempted suicide (all of which the book also advocated).1 Opposition to these reforms was in turn presented as exclusively religious (...) and particularly Roman Catholic. Thus Williams asserted that "euthanasia can be condemned only according to religious opinion" (1957, p. 312).The following year, in .. (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)
The role of corporate counsel in the corporate governance process has been long overlooked. This paper uses recent comments by Breeden as the springboard for a discussion of the issues surrounding significant roles for lawyers in corporations. It considers these both from a practical and a theoretical perspective and identifies why it is problematic merely to assume hiring lawyers will ensure good compliance both in terms of legal and ethical obligations.
I assessed change in students’ moral reasoning following five 75-min classes on business ethics and two assignments utilizing a novel pedagogical approach designed to foster ethical reasoning skills. To minimize threats to validity present in previous studies, an untreated control group design with pre- and post-training measures was used. Training (n = 114) and control (n = 76) groups comprised freshmen business majors who completed the Defining Issues Test before and after the training. Results showed that, controlling for pre-training levels (...) of moral reasoning, students in the training group demonstrated higher levels of post-training principled moral judgment than students in the control group. (shrink)
The possibility that two forms of asymmetry underlie handedness is considered. Corballis has proposed that right-handedness developed when gesture encountered lateralized vocalization but may have been superimposed on a preexisting two-thirds dominance. Evidence is reviewed here which suggests that the baseline asymmetry is even more substantial than this, with possible implications for brain anatomy and genetic theories of handedness.
What are angels? Where were they first encountered? Can we distinguish angels from gods, fairies, ghosts, and aliens? And why do they remain so popular? -/- This Very Short Introduction outlines some of the more prominent stories and speculations about angels in Judaism, Islam, Christianity and post-Christian spiritualities. It reflects on the way that angels have been portrayed in art, whether as young men in the Hebrew Scriptures, androgynous winged creatures of the pre-Raphaelites or the masculine statue of the Angel (...) of the North. It will also consider angels in films such as Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire, and Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, as well as angels in literature. -/- From the idea of the angel as a messenger, through to the image of angels sent to protect and help those in need, this is an examination of the implications of angels. It will ask why people find the idea of angels attractive, helpful or consoling, and why they remain so powerful in modern culture. -/- It advances the view that reflecting on angels can teach us something about human existence and whether or not we believe that they exist in their own right, the angels can still illuminate our thoughts. (shrink)
The predicate-argument approach, focused on perception, is compared with the ease-of-predication (or predicability) approach, focused on encyclopedic knowledge. The latter offers functional prediction and implementation in connectionist models. However, the two approaches characterise predicates in different ways. They thus resemble predicational cantilevers built out from opposite sides of cognition, with a gap that is yet to be bridged.
There is an apparent gap between public policy on embryo research in the United Kingdom and its ostensible justification. The rationale is respect for the “special status” of the embryo, but the policy actively promotes research in which embryos are destroyed. Richard Harries argues that this is consistent because, the “special status” of the human embryo is less than the absolute status of persons. However, this intermediate moral status does no evident work in decisions relating to the human embryo. Rather, (...) public policy seems to be based on a different account of “special status”: that developed by Mary Warnock. According to this, the embryo has no inherent status and the language of “special status” serves rather to accommodate the feelings of those who object to embryo research. This “emotivist” account is highly problematic, not so much for its attitude to the embryo as for its subversion of public moral reasoning. (shrink)
Can we understand brain lateralization in humans by analysis in terms of an evolutionarily stable strategy? The attempt to demonstrate a link between lateralization in humans and that in, for example, fish appears to hinge critically on whether the isomorphism is viewed as a matter of homology or homoplasy. Consideration of human handedness presents a number of challenges to the proposed framework.
The theme of the third annual Spring workshop of the HUPO-PSI was proteomics and beyond and its underlying goal was to reach beyond the boundaries of the proteomics community to interact with groups working on the similar issues of developing interchange standards and minimal reporting requirements. Significant developments in many of the HUPO-PSI XML interchange formats, minimal reporting requirements and accompanying controlled vocabularies were reported, with many of these now feeding into the broader efforts of the Functional Genomics Experiment (FuGE) (...) data model and Functional Genomics Ontology (FuGO) ontologies. (shrink)
Introduction: thinking about globalization -- Systemic thinking: Immanuel Wallerstein -- Conceptual thinking: Anthony Giddens -- Sociological thinking: Manuel Castells -- Transformational thinking: David Held and Anthony McGrew -- Sceptical thinking: Paul Hirst and Grahame Thompson -- Spatial thinking: Peter Dicken and Saskia Sassen -- Positive thinking: Thomas Friedman and Martin Wolf -- Reformist thinking: Joseph Stiglitz -- Radical thinking: Naomi Klein, George Monbiot and Subcommandante Marcos -- Revolutinary thinking: Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri -- Cultural thinking: Arjun Appadurai -- (...) Conclusion: rethinking globalization again. (shrink)
Some time ago, in an article for the Journal of Consciousness Studies, David Chalmers challenged his peers to identify the ingredient missing from our current theories of consciousness, the absence of which prevents us from solving the 'hard' problem and forces us to make do with nonreductive theories. Here I respond to this challenge. I suggest that consciousness is a metaphysical problem and as such can be solved only within a global metaphysical theory. Such a theory would look very (...) like the information theory proposed by Chalmers, but with the addition of an extra phenomenon that would allow it to become fundamental. (shrink)
I reply to each of the contributions in this issue. I agree with much that Hillel Steiner argues, especially his insistence that the associated ideas of impartiality and discontinuity are crucial to dealing satisfactorily with a diversity of competing claims. I am, however, less willing to conceive provision for that diversity as the role, rather than a role, that we should ascribe to rights. I question the success of David Miller?s endeavour to provide a unified justification of human rights (...) grounded in the concept of need. It is the notion of a minimally decent human life, rather than need itself, that does most of the justificatory work in Miller?s argument and, arguably, that notion does not deliver a genuinely unitary account of human rights. I concede the case for state funding of opera and the arts more generally to John Horton?s argument, but defend neutralism, and its associated distinction between the right and the good, as a strategy for dealing with diversity, including cultural diversity. I resist Richard Bellamy?s attempt to ground all basic rights in democracy and suggest that his argument relies upon idealized assumptions about the functioning of democracy. I share much of his objection to substituting judicial for political decision-making but argue that a strong moral commitment to rights need not imply a shift in power from democratic processes to courts. I endorse Albert Weale?s argument for favouring a beneficial design approach over a rights approach to healthcare and to many other social goods. Rights should not monopolize our moral and political thinking. (shrink)
Brown famously held that in the field of public education, segregation has no place. But segregation was undefined. Was segregation constituted by mere racial classification, by the fact that the state had divided children into racial groups? Or did Brown condemn a caste system whose effect was to stigmatize black children. In Parents Involved v. Seattle Justice Roberts says segregation is about children not black children. This colorblind approach represents both a rewriting and appropriation of Brown in the service of (...) formalism. The Roberts court writes not only a new version of Brown but a new historical narrative about the meaning of segregation. The theme of this new story is formal equality - equality of opportunity only - as a universal ideal. This new story is woven entirely out of the language of Brown detached from all historical context. Conservatives have long canonized Brown. It has been a kind of second constitution for the second reconstruction. But how does this new story compare to the original understanding ?: Was this the evil that Brown denounced? By framing the issue in this way the paper seeks to make an end run around an impasse in our social and legal debate. Many progressive scholars have challenged the conservative conception of formal equality by suggesting alternative ways of thinking about it: anti-subordination models, a heightened call that equality should take issues of racial caste into account. But this external critique has stalled, perhaps in part because of the slippery indeterminacy of normative ideals. Segregation is far more determinate; it is something that has been concretized not only by the lived experience of black people, but by an earlier realist tradition on the part of the Warren court which saw it as it was. Retelling the two parts of this forgotten history we expose the disconnect between the Supreme Court's universalism and the actual meaning of segregation in context. Also, by focusing on the original understanding we seek a kind of internal critique showing how the politics of historical revision does not withstand the conservatives own interpretive approach. (shrink)