Could God have created a better universe? Well, the fundamental scientific laws and parameters of the universe have to be within a certain miniscule range, for a life-sustaining universe to develop: the universe must be ‘Fine Tuned’. Therefore the ‘embryonic universe’ that came into existence with the ‘big bang’ had to be either exactly as it was or within a certain tiny range, for there to develop a life-sustaining universe. If it is better that there exist a life-sustaining universe than (...) not, then it was better that the embryonic universe was one of this small set of very similar embryonic universes than that it was not. Furthermore, there are no firm grounds for claiming that of this small set of very similar embryonic universes, there is one which would have developed into a universe better than ours. Therefore there are no firm grounds for claiming that God could have created a better universe than ours. (shrink)
The article reviews recent developments in England in the law of necessity as a defence to crime and calls for its further extension. It argues that the defence of necessity presents the criminal law with difficult questions of competing values and the ordering of harms. English law has taken a nuanced position on the respective roles of the courts and the legislature in the ordering of harms, although the development of the law has been pragmatic rather than coherently theorised. The (...) law has granted necessity some scope as an exculpatory principle in the law of general defences, but it has also respected the primacy of the legislature as the legitimate arbiter of many of the competitions of value that necessity throws up. The recognition of necessity has not been in the form of a single unified defence of that name. Rather it has taken the form of a number of defences, based on a principle of necessity, but with different nomenclature and different rationales. This approach to necessity is defended as right in terms of principle and policy. Any further development of necessity as a general defence should be restricted to two contexts, namely those of emergencies, and of conflicts of duty, where a danger of death or serious injury is present. (shrink)
Ethnomethodology is in trouble, its conceptual apparatus prone to indifference or misunderstanding both from "conventional" sociologists and from its own practitioners. This article describes some of these loci of confusion and suggests that they have a common root in the relationship between ethnomethodology and conventional sociology. Ethnomethodologists' desire to find a principled theoretical framework for dealing with this relationship is shown to be the common basis for subsequent confusion, and some of the corollaries of their putative solution(s) are elaborated with (...) regard to their philosophical and programmatic implications. Key Words: ethnomethodology social constructionism situated action social structures. (shrink)
This article combines the disciplines of textual/linguistic analysis, anthropology, and perceptual psychology to examine selected ancient Jewish mystical texts that claim to describe the praxis for ascents into heaven and encounters with angelic spirits in order to reconstruct the psychosocial context of these literary works. Specifically, the article examines Hekhalot or "Divine Palaces" texts that deal with hydromancy, giving attention to their mythic–symbolic assumptions, their described preparatory and triggering rituals, and their accounts of the ASC (altered states of consciousness) visions (...) resulting from these rituals that are experienced by the practitioners. The article suggests that these accounts correlate with ASC practices identified in the literature and additionally suggests that although the mystical texts are written to resemble biblical accounts of revelatory experiences, the texts under consideration are more than works of fabulous imagination; they are literary artifacts of an actual ecstatic ASC praxis among the Jews of Late Antiquity. (shrink)
The aim of the present research was to develop a difficulty model for logical reasoning problems involving complex ordered arrays used in the Graduate Record Examination. The approach used involved breaking down the problems into their basic cognitive elements such as the complexity of the rules used, the number of mental models required to represent the problem, and question type. Weightings for these different elements were derived from two experimental studies and from the reasoning literature. Based on these weights, difficulty (...) models were developed which were then tested against new data. The models had excellent predictive validity and showed the relative influence of rule based factors and factors relating to the number of underlying models. Different difficulty models were needed for different question types, suggesting that people used a variety of approaches and, at a wider level, that both mental models and mental rules may be used in reasoning. (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)
We propose a framework for analyzing the development, operation and failure to survive of all things, living, non-living or organized groupings. This framework is a sequence of developments that improve survival capability. Framework processes range from origination of any entity/system, to the development of increased survival capability and development of life-forms and organizations that use intelligence. This work deals with a series of developmental changes that arise from the uncovering of emergent properties. The framework is intended to be general, but (...) we see a potential to apply it to scientific topics such as the exploration of the origin of life or the search for life beyond Earth, and to understand some biological issues in evolution and symbiosis, and also to apply to social systems that do not seem to be operating well, to determine their problems and correct them. (shrink)
This study examines the relation between firms’ corporate philanthropic giving and their performance in three other social domains – employee relations, environmental issues, and product safety. Based on a sample of 384 U.S. companies and using data pooled from 1998 through 2000, we find that worse performers in the other social areas are both more likely to make charitable contributions and that the extent of their giving is larger than for better performers. Analyses of each separate area of social performance, (...) however, indicate that the relation between giving and negative social performance (cited concerns) only holds for the environmental issues and product safety areas. We find no significant association between corporate philanthropy and employee relations concerns. In general, these findings suggest that corporate philanthropy may be more a tool of legitimization than a measure of corporate social responsibility. (shrink)
The ability to reason independently from one's own goals or beliefs has long been recognised as a key characteristic of the development of formal operational thought. In this article we present the results of a study that examined the correlates of this ability in a group of 10-year-old children ( N = 61). Participants were presented with conditional and relational reasoning items, where the content was manipulated such that the conclusion to the arguments were either congruent, neutral, or incongruent with (...) beliefs, and either logically valid or logically invalid. Participants also received a measure of working memory capacity (the counting span task) and a measure of inhibitory control (the stop signal task). Indices of belief bias and logical reasoning on belief-based problems were predicted independently by both measures. In contrast logical reasoning on belief neutral problems was predicted by working memory alone. The findings suggest that executive functions play a key role in the development of children's ability to decontextualise their thinking. (shrink)
Mathematical economic theory is lacking in logical rigour. Even if the mathematics used in constructing formal economic theory is rigorous as pure mathematics, economic theory possesses both mathematical and non-mathematical components. But mathematical reductionism fails to formalize the non-mathematical components of economic theory, and the method of numerics (outlined in this paper) shows how, in simple cases, the two components of economic theory can be formally identified, distinguished, and integrated. However, the real challenge to formalizing economic theory points not to (...) mathematics but to problems of constructing a logic coping with propositional attitudes (belief, preference, intention) that lie at the very heart of economic rationality and can be treated only by means of intensional logic. (shrink)
Different aspects of people's interactions with money are best conceptualized using the drug and tool theories. The key question is when these models of money are most likely to guide behavior. We suggest that the Drug Theory characterizes motivationally active uses of money and that the Tool Theory characterizes behavior in motivationally cool situations. (Published Online April 5 2006).
This article reports three experiments that investigated the relationship between working memory capacity and syllogistic and five-term series spatial inference. A series of complex and simple verbal and spatial working memory measures were employed. Correlational analyses showed that verbal and spatial working memory span tasks consistently predicted syllogistic and spatial reasoning performance. A confirmatory factor analysis showed that three factors best accounted for the data--a verbal, a spatial, and a general factor. Syllogistic reasoning performance loaded all three factors, whilst spatial (...) reasoning loaded only the general factor. The implications of these findings are discussed in the context of reasoning theories and contemporary accounts of the structure of working memory. (shrink)
The focus of this paper is two-fold. First, similarities generated from six semantic models were compared to human ratings of paragraph similarity on two datasets—23 World Entertainment News Network paragraphs and 50 ABC newswire paragraphs. Contrary to findings on smaller textual units such as word associations (Griffiths, Tenenbaum, & Steyvers, 2007), our results suggest that when single paragraphs are compared, simple nonreductive models (word overlap and vector space) can provide better similarity estimates than more complex models (LSA, Topic Model, SpNMF, (...) and CSM). Second, various methods of corpus creation were explored to facilitate the semantic models’ similarity estimates. Removing numeric and single characters, and also truncating document length improved performance. Automated construction of smaller Wikipedia-based corpora proved to be very effective, even improving upon the performance of corpora that had been chosen for the domain. Model performance was further improved by augmenting corpora with dataset paragraphs. (shrink)
Visions of an interconnected future are on the rise that foresee technologies moving toward ubiquitous "everywhere" computing and the rise of the "Internet of Things." This article examines emerging trends in informational connectivity that indicates shifts toward upcoming scenarios of re-imagined geographies and spatial landscapes that are sensored and networked. I examine how the relationships, processes, and flows between people, physical objects, and the environment will make implicit information explicit and engagement between the physical and the digital more commonplace. These (...) are the scenarios presented by emerging applications of location-specific, informationally augmented objects: a real-time sensored future. (shrink)
Over the last two decades, institutional investing has rocked the world of corporate governance in a transformation that has begunto be reflected in the finance, legal, and management literatures. Traditional players have seen their roles change and bases of powershift, and new actors have entered the governance equation. These transitions have entailed an ethical upheaval that is only beginningto be addressed in the business ethics literature.This paper attempts to facilitate research in this area by integrating various literatures into an examination (...) of a series of businessethics issues related to pension fund activism and portfolio management, fund staffing, and employee compensation. The primary intent of this project is to encourage increased business ethics research in the area of institutional investing in general and pension fund management in particular. (shrink)
Tests of economic theory often focus on choice outcomes and find significant individual differences in these outcomes. This variability may mask universal psychological processes that lead to different choices because of differences across cultures in the information people have available when making decisions. On this view, decision making research within and across cultures must focus on the processes underlying choice.
: Dennis Des Chene's Physiologia: Natural Philosophy in Late Aristotelian and Cartesian Thought reconstructs the discourse of late scholastic natural philosophy, and assesses Descartes' agreements and disagreements. In a critical discussion, I offer a different interpretation of late scholastic theories of final causality and of God's concursus with created efficient causes. Fonseca's and Suárez' conceptions of final causality in nature depend on their claim that a single action can be the action of two agents at once--in particular, of God (...) and of a creature. I discuss both their theory of action and its implications for natural teleology. I then compare Descartes, emphasizing his demolition of the Aristotelian hierarchy of causes, with unmoved movers (culminating in God) regulating the action of inferior moved movers. Aristotle argues that unmoved causes are needed to produce a stable world-order; he takes arts (tÁxnai) as his models of unmoved causes, and uses this model to support natural teleology. Descartes radically simplifies this system by denying all unmoved movers other than God, and denying anything analogous to an art in non-human nature. I explore the implications for Descartes' notion of concursus and his criticism of natural teleology, and discuss his resulting difficulties in explaining natural stability. (shrink)
The early twentieth century was a lively time for the foundations of mathematics. This ensuing debates were, in large part, a reaction to the settheoretic and nonconstructive methods that had begun making their way into mathematical practice around the turn of the twentieth century. The controversy was exacerbated by the discovery that overly na¨ıve formulations of the fundamental principles governing the use of sets could result in contradictions. Many of the leading mathematicians of the day, including Hilbert, Henri Poincar´e, ´.
Since their Puritan origins in the 17th century, American politicians have tended to speak in the language of divinely given morality. George W. Bush is not unique in his frequent references to the language of good and evil, just as he is not the first US politician to mangle the language.
One important point that has emerged from recent work on the history and philosophy of experiment is that technology plays an integral role in experiment, and therefore in science. Technology determines what experimenters can measure and how well it can be measured. The importance of technology, along with several new questions that its use raises, has been made quite clear in the papers presented in this session.
This key collection of essays sheds new light on long-debated controversies surrounding Kant’s doctrine of idealism and is the first book in the English language that is exclusively dedicated to the subject. Well-known Kantians Karl Ameriks and Manfred Baum present their considered views on this most topical aspect of Kant's thought. Several essays by acclaimed Kant scholars broach a vastly neglected problem in discussions of Kant's idealism, namely the relation between his conception of logic and idealism: The standard view that (...) Kant's logic and idealism are wholly separable comes under scrutiny in these essays. A further set of articles addresses multiple facets of the notorious notion of the thing in itself, which continues to hold the attention of Kant scholars. The volume also contains an extensive discussion of the often overlooked chapter in the Critique of Pure Reason on the Transcendental Ideal. Together, the essays provide a whole new outlook on Kantian idealism. No one with a serious interest in Kant's idealism can afford to ignore this important book. Papers by Karl Ameriks, Manfred Baum, Ido Geiger, Lucy Allais, Gary Banham, Steven M. Bayne, Marcel Quarfood, Dennis Schulting, Dietmar Heidemann, Christian Onof and Jacco Verburgt. (shrink)
Dennis Thompson argues for a more robust conception of responsibility in public life than prevails in contemporary democracies. Thompson suggests that we stop thinking about public ethics in terms of individual vices (such as selfishness or sexual misconduct) and start thinking about it in terms of institutional vices (such as abuse of power and lack of accountability).
Against politicization of science Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10202-010-0085-3 Authors Hans von Storch, Institute for Coastal Research, GKSS Research Center, Geesthacht, Germany Dennis Bray, Institute for Coastal Research, GKSS Research Center, Geesthacht, Germany Journal Poiesis & Praxis: International Journal of Technology Assessment and Ethics of Science Online ISSN 1615-6617 Print ISSN 1615-6609 Journal Volume Volume 7 Journal Issue Volume 7, Number 3.
Erratum to: The lutheran influence on Kant’s depraved will Content Type Journal Article Category Erratum Pages 1-1 DOI 10.1007/s11153-012-9344-7 Authors Dennis Vanden Auweele, Hoger Instituut voor Wijsbegeerte, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Lesagestraat 43, 1820 Steenokkerzeel, Belgium Journal International Journal for Philosophy of Religion Online ISSN 1572-8684 Print ISSN 0020-7047.
Leaving Safe Harbors offers radical readings of conventional literature, and makes creative use of philosophy, literature, film and popular culture as it maps out a future for progressive education. Award winning author Dennis Carlson re-scripts the myths embedded in the works of Plato, Hegel, Nietzsche and Heidegger and analyzes them alongside such popular phenomena as Ridley Scott's Bladerunner and the British Punk group, The Sex Pistols. In his fluid writing style, he lucidly illustrates how these modern "myths" may serve (...) as models for a new way to think about education, and breathes new life into canonical texts on learning. (shrink)
Michael Morris: Factory Farming and Animal Liberation in New Zealand Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9327-1 Authors Dennis Keeney, Emeritus Professor, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.