. A psychological theory of religious experiences, sensitivity theory, is proposed. Whereas other theories maintain that religious motivation is about a few overarching desires, sensitivity theory provides a multifaceted analysis consistent with the diversity, richness, and individuality of religious experiences. Sixteen basic desires show the psychological foundations of meaningful experience. Each basic desire is embraced by every person, but to different extents. How we prioritize the basic desires expresses our individuality and influences our attraction to various religious images and activities. (...) Each basic desire is associated with a basic goal and a unique joy, such as love, self-worth, relaxation, or strength. We do not seek to experience joys infinitely; we regulate joys, in accordance with our core values, to sixteen balance points (sensitivities) that vary based on individuality. Religions help persons of faith regulate the sixteen basic joys by providing some images that strengthen joyful experiences and others that weaken them. We can strengthen our experience of self- worth, for example, by contemplating God in the image of savior; we can weaken our experience of self-worth by contemplating original sin. The theory of sixteen basic desires is testable scientifically and suggests such philosophical concepts as value-based happiness. (shrink)
Thought experiments are ubiquitous in science and especially prominent in domains in which experimental and observational evidence is scarce. One such domain is the causal analysis of singular events in history. A long‐standing tradition that goes back to Max Weber addresses the issue by means of ‘what‐if’ counterfactuals. In this paper I give a descriptive account of this widely used method and argue that historians following it examine difference makers rather than causes in the philosopher’s sense. While difference making is (...) neither necessary nor sufficient for causation, to establish difference makers is more consistent with the historians’ more ultimate purposes. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Erasmus University, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
Footnotes to the Synthesis? Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9569-6 Authors John O. Reiss, Department of Biological Sciences, Humboldt State University, 1 Harpst St., Arcata, CA 95521, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Computer simulations are an exciting tool that plays important roles in many scientific disciplines. This has attracted the attention of a number of philosophers of science. The main tenor in this literature is that computer simulations not only constitute interesting and powerful new science , but that they also raise a host of new philosophical issues. The protagonists in this debate claim no less than that simulations call into question our philosophical understanding of scientific ontology, the epistemology and semantics of (...) models and theories, and the relation between experimentation and theorising, and submit that simulations demand a fundamentally new philosophy of science in many respects. The aim of this paper is to critically evaluate these claims. Our conclusion will be sober. We argue that these claims are overblown and that simulations, far from demanding a new metaphysics, epistemology, semantics and methodology, raise few if any new philosophical problems. The philosophical problems that do come up in connection with simulations are not specific to simulations and most of them are variants of problems that have been discussed in other contexts before. (shrink)
All univocal analyses of causation face counterexamples. An attractive response to this situation is to become a pluralist about causal relationships. "Causal pluralism" is itself, however, a pluralistic notion. In this article, I argue in favor of pluralism about concepts of cause in the social sciences. The article will show that evidence for, inference from, and the purpose of causal claims are very closely linked. Key Words: causation • pluralism • evidence • methodology.
A recent movement in the social sciences and philosophy of the social sciences focuses on mechanisms as a central analytical unit. Starting from a pluralist perspective on the aims of the social sciences, I argue that there are a number of important aims to which knowledge about mechanismswhatever their virtues relative to other aimscontributes very little at best and that investigating mechanisms is therefore a methodological strategy with fairly limited applicability. Key Words: social science mechanisms explanation critical (...) realism methodology. (shrink)
This paper examines mathematical models in economics and observes that three mutually inconsistent hypotheses concerning models and explanation are widely held: (1) economic models are false; (2) economic models are nevertheless explanatory; and (3) only true accounts explain. Commentators have typically resolved the paradox by rejecting either one of these hypotheses. I will argue that none of the proposed resolutions work and conclude that therefore the paradox is genuine and likely to stay.
Until recently, little attention has been paid in the school classroom to creationism and almost none to intelligent design. However, creationism and possibly intelligent design appear to be on the increase and there are indications that there are more countries in which schools are becoming battle-grounds over them. I begin by examining whether creationism and intelligent design are controversial issues, drawing on Robert Dearden's epistemic criterion of the controversial and more recent responses to and defences of this. I then examine (...) whether the notion of ‘worldviews’ in the context of creationism is a useful one by considering the film March of the Penguins. I conclude that the ‘worldviews’ perspective on creationism is useful for two reasons: first it indicates the difficulty of using the criterion of reason to decide whether an issue is controversial or not; secondly, it suggests that standard ways of addressing the diversity of student views in a science classroom may be inadequate. I close by examining the implications of this view for teaching in science lessons and elsewhere, for example in religious education lessons and citizenship lessons and at primary level where subject divisions cannot be made in so clear-cut a manner. (shrink)
In recent years, Europe has become a home to a thriving philosophy of biology research community. As part of the ongoing endeavor to raise the profile of the field on the Old Continent, five research institutions from across Europe § EGenIS, IHPST, KLI, MPIWG, and SEMM - gathered together in the small italian village of Gorino Sullam (Po Delta) in september 2008 to hold the first European Graduate Meeting in the Philosophy of the Life Sciences (EGMPLS-1).
Abstract This paper surveys the range of philosophical positions currently found in school sex education materials. Five main positions are identified: school sex education should not occur; school sex education should promote physical health; school sex education should promote personal autonomy; school sex education should promote responsible sexual behaviour; school sex education should take place within a religious framework. The strengths and weaknesses of each of these positions are examined. It is argued that valid sex education in schools promotes rational (...) sexual autonomy, requires pupils to consider the needs and wishes of others, and takes place within a moral framework. The identification of the moral framework within which sex education is taught is a matter of controversy. Once this is acknowledged, possible approaches towards the balanced teaching of school sex education become easier to identify. It is suggested that teachers should adopt a position which combines elements of affirmative and procedural neutrality. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper was to determine whether the individual attributes of locus of control, gender, major in college and years of job experience affect the acceptability of certain workplace behaviors. A total of 198 college students of a mid-sized southeastern university formed the sample for this study. Locus of control, gender and years of job experience were found to have some affect on whether an individual considered a certain behavior acceptable or unacceptable.
Abstract Should schools teach about homosexuality and heterosexuality, and if so how? This paper outlines arguments both in favour of, and against, such teaching and concludes that, on balance, schools of 11?16/18?years?olds should teach about sexual orientation provided certain specified conditions are met. The author then defends the notion that to teach about sexual orientation is to teach about a controversial issue, but notes that few, if any, of the published approaches to teaching in this area treat it as such. (...) He goes on to examine both the specific aims and possible approaches to teaching about homosexuality and heterosexuality. Good teaching in this area should enable 14?16?year?old students to become better informed about people's sexual orientations; it should help them better to understand each other's positions; and it should allow them to clarify their own values and attitudes. (shrink)
In September 2008, 10 years after the untimely death of Pere Alberch (1954–1998), the 20th Altenberg Workshop in Theoretical Biology gathered a group of Pere’s students, col- laborators, and colleagues (Figure 1) to celebrate his contribu- tions to the origins of EvoDevo. Hosted by the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research (KLI) outside Vienna, the group met for two days of discussion. The meeting was organized in tandem with a congress held in May 2008 at the Cavanilles Institute (...) for Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology (ICBiBE) in Valencia, Spain. The talks at the KLI were equal parts: nostalgic remembrance, excitement over new ways of thinking about old problems, and an unrepressed vitriol against the resurgence of reductionist thinking in EvoDevo. Here we highlight some of the key aspects of Pere’s life and work that informed and infused the talks. (shrink)
Después de un breve excursus histórico, absolutamente no exhaustivo, pero dirigido a entender el significado del término hipocresía dentro de algunos autores, me concentro en su defensa paradójica. Paradójica porque, a pesar de ser moralmente reprochable, la actitud hipócrita preserva la integridad del valor ético, que se respeta aparentemente y que, sin embargo, se viola en secreto. After a short historical excursus, that doesn't pretend to be complete, but is only directed to understand the meaning of the term hypocrisy in (...) some authors. I concentrate on its paradoxical defense. Paradoxical because, though morally censurable, the hypocritical attitude preserves the integrity of the ethical value, that it apparently respects, but secretly violates. (shrink)
Through extensive readings in philosophical, legal, medical, and imaginative writing, this book explores notions and experiences of being a person from European antiquity to Descartes. It offers quite new interpretations of what it was to be a person—to experience who-ness—in other times and places, involving new understandings of knowing, willing, and acting, as well as of political and material life, the play of public and private, passions and emotions. The trajectory the author reveals reaches from the ancient sense of personhood (...) as set in a totality of surroundings inseparable from the person, to an increasing sense of impermeability to the world, in which anger has replaced love in affirming a sense of self. The author develops his analysis through an impressive range of authors, languages, and texts: from Cicero, Seneca, and Galen; through Avicenna, Hildegard of Bingen, and Heloise and Abelard; to Petrarch, Montaigne, and Descartes. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to clarify the ethical issuessurrounding GM crops by examining the various stages or levels intheir development, production, and consumption. Previous workabout the acceptability or non-acceptability of GM crops hastended to conflate these various levels, partly as a result ofwhich GM crops are all-too-often simply said to be ``good'''' or``bad.'''' There are, though, various problems with such a binarycategorization. I look in particular at the duties of scientists,companies, regulatory systems, farmers, retailers, and consumers.
Petrovic (1999) argues that teachers need to portray homosexuality positively and must not express their beliefs against it. This rejoinder argues against this position, maintaining instead that teachers need to teach about heterosexuality and homosexuality in a balanced manner. I argue against Petrovic's position both on the grounds that it has internal weaknesses and on the grounds that its consequences would be undesirable.
This paper aims (a) to provide characterizations of realism and instrumentalism that are philosophically interesting and applicable to economics; and (b) to defend instrumentalism against realism as a methodological stance in economics. Starting point is the observation that , which, or so I argue, is difficult to square with the realist's aim of truth, even if the latter is understood as or . The three cheers in favour of instrumentalism are: (1) Once we have usefulness, truth is redundant. (2) There (...) is something disturbing about causal structure. (3) It's better to do what one can than to chase rainbows. (shrink)
To date, insufficient work has been carried out on how children view living organisms in the environment. In this study a large number of conversations were audio-taped and transcribed while primary age pupils observed meal worms or brine shrimps (both of which are invertebrates) during science activities. Analysis revealed the ways in which the pupils interpreted what they saw in terms of their prior experience. We discuss the implications of these and others of our findings for school education and the (...) development of children's ethical constructions of their environments. (shrink)
This paper discusses and develops an important distinction drawn by Jevons, viz . that between natural and fictitious quantities. This distinction provides a basis for a theory of economic concept formation that aims at picking out families of models that are phenomenally adequate, explanatory and exact simultaneously. Essentially, the theory demands of an economic quantity to be natural that (1) it is explained by a causal model, (2) it is measurable and (3) the measurement procedure is justified. The proposed theory (...) is tested against two case studies, one historical and one contemporary. (shrink)
The paper has three aims. First, to show that Julian Reiss' critique of what he calls the New Mechanist Perspective in the social sciences is built on a number of misconceptions; second, to provide some arguments for the need of reflections and discussions about common and "ultimate" goals for the social sciences; and third, to suggest a focus on mechanisms as one such viable goal. Key Words: social science goals explanations mechanisms.
As modern cultures become more secular, celebrities seem to fill the roles once occupied by the gods of old. Sometimes the differences between the two start to blur. Some people insist Elvis never died. Or was that Jim Morrison? The recent tributes to Princess Diana ten years after her death show that she is starting to ascend into the celebrity pantheon. Has Diana become a new kind of saint? If so, what does that tell us about some people’s (...) need to have someone to revere—preferably someone who did not live out a normal life-span? (shrink)
Ten years after her death, Princess Diana still has star power. The media are filled with tributes and retrospectives, and all over the world, the public seems to be avidly soaking it up. Has Diana become a new kind of saint, and if so, what does that tell us?
We find prejudices in favor of theory, as far back as there is institutionalized science. Plato and Aristotle frequented the Academy at Athens. That building is located on one side of the Agora, or market place. It is almost as far as possible from the Herculaneum, the temple to the goddess of fire, the patron of the metallurgists. It is ?on the other side of the tracks?. True to this class distinction, we all know a little about Greek geometry and (...) the teachings of the philosophers. Who knows anything about Greek metallurgy? Yet perhaps the gods speak to us in their own way. Of all the buildings that once graced the Athenian Agora, only one stands as it always was, untouched by time or reconstruction. That is the temple of the metallurgists. The academy fell down long ago. It has been rebuilt?partly by money earned in the steel mills of Pittsburgh. (Hacking 1983). (shrink)
Philosophers of music (and also music theorists) have recognized for a long time that research in the sciences, especially psychology, might have import for their own work. (Langer 1941 and Meyer 1956 are good examples.) However, while scientists had been interested in music as a subject of research (e.g., Helmholtz 1912, Seashore 1938), the discipline known as psychology of music, or more broadly cognitive science of music, came into its own only around 1980 with the publication of several landmark works. (...) Among the most important of these were The Psychol- ogy of Music (1980), a collection of papers edited by the psychologist Diana Deutsch, and A Generative Theory of Tonal Music (1983) by music theorist and composer Fred Lerdahl and linguist Ray Jackendoff. These works and others made possible the first attempts to apply scientific research to philosophical issues concerning music (e.g., Raffman 1993, DeBellis 1995). Since the 1980’s, of course, a great deal of research has been done in cognitive science, philosophy, and music. For philosophers, there are perhaps three topics with respect to which findings in the cognitive sciences are most likely to be germane—the nature of musical understanding, the role of emotions or feelings in music, and the evaluation of musical works. This brief overview will describe some of the scientific research that has been done on these topics, and then indicate how it might be philosophically significant. (shrink)
Although frequently invoked by philosophers and political theorists, the theory of negativity has received remarkably little sustained attention. Negativity and Politics is the first full-length study of this crucial topic within philosophy and political theory. Diana Coole explores the meaning of negativity in modern and postmodern thinking, and examines its significance for politics and our understanding of what constitutes the political. Beginning with an insightful reading of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and a consideration of the work of Hegel, (...) Coole goes on to discuss the importance of negativity in the thought of a number of key theorists including Nietzsche, Adorno, Kristeva, Freud, Foucault, Habermas, Deleuze, Derrida and Butler. Throughout, Coole clearly and skillfully shows how the problem of negativity lies at the heart of philosophical and political debate. (shrink)
Abstract In this paper, we explore how the application of technological tools has reshaped food production systems in ways that foster large-scale outbreaks of foodborne illness. Outbreaks of foodborne illness have received increasing attention in recent years, resulting in a growing awareness of the negative impacts associated with industrial food production. These trends indicate a need to examine systemic causes of outbreaks and how they are being addressed. In this paper, we analyze outbreaks linked to ground beef and salad greens. (...) These case studies are informed by personal interviews, site visits, and an extensive review of government documents and peer-reviewed literature. To explore these cases, we draw from actor-network theory and political economy to analyze the relationships between technological tools, the design of industrial production systems, and the emergence and spread of pathogenic bacteria. We also examine if current responses to outbreaks represent reflexive change. Lastly, we use the myth of Prometheus to discuss ethical issues regarding the use of technology in food production. Our findings indicate that current tools and systems were designed with a narrow focus on economic efficiency, while overlooking relationships with pathogenic bacteria and negative social impacts. In addition, we find that current responses to outbreaks do not represent reflexive change and a continued reliance on technological fixes to systemic problems may result in greater problems in the future. We argue that much can be learned from the myth of Prometheus. In particular, justice and reverence need to play a more significant role in guiding production decisions. Content Type Journal Article Category Articles Pages 1-26 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9357-8 Authors Diana Stuart, Kellogg Biological Station and Department of Sociology, Michigan State University, 3700 East Gull Lake Drive, Hickory Corners, MI 49060, USA Michelle R. Woroosz, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Auburn University, 306A Comer Hall, Auburn, AL 36849, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863. (shrink)
Subjection and Subjectivity offers an account of moral subjectivity and moral reflection designed to meet the needs of feminism, as well as other emancipatory movements. Diana Tietjens Meyers argues that impartial reason--the appraoch to moral reflection which has dominated 20th century Anglo-American philosophy and judicial reasoning--is inadequate for addressing real world injustices. Dealing with the problems of group-based social exclusion requires empathy with others. But empathy often becomes distorted by prejudicial attitudes which may be publicly condemned but continue to (...) be transmitted through cultural figurations. Meyers uses Julia Kristeva's work on xenophobia and aesthetic practices as a starting point for developing a feminist politics of dissident speech, one that aims to dislodge prejudice. With the goal of offering an empathy-friendly account of moral reflection and judgment, she shows how moral reflection embodies the value of mutual recognition--a value enunciated in the work of Nancy Chodorow and Jessica Benjamin. Meyers argues that it is a mistake to view the moral subject as independent, transparent and rational. Instead, she presents a picture of a heterogeneous and pluralistic subject, one that is defined by ties to other people, liable to misunderstand its own motives and aims, and in need of a repertory of strategies for purposes of moral reflection. (shrink)
A response to Susan Hekman's article "Reconstituting the Subject: Feminism, Modernism, and Postmodernism" and to her review of Diana T. Meyers' book Self, Society, and Personal Choice both of which appeared in Hypatia 6(2).
McKinley, Diana; Webber, Ruth This paper is an ecclesial study of the baptismal response of twenty-three Catholics between the ages of twenty-one and forty-one, from six Catholic dioceses across Australia. The study was undertaken between 2008 and 2010. The purpose of the study was to investigate how committed Catholics from Generation X (born 1961-1975) and Generation Y (born 1976-1990) came to faith, and why they continued to practise their Catholic faith, despite falling Mass attendance generally. An unexpected result of (...) the study was the strong link made by the participants between their identity as a person and their baptismal call as a Catholic. It became evident that there were four distinct but interacting aspects of how they saw their identity as Catholics. (shrink)
The cultural imagery of women is deeply ingrained in our consciousness. So deeply, in fact, that feminists see this as a fundamental threat to female autonomy because it enshrines procreative heterosexuality as well as the relations of domination and subordination between men and women. Diana Meyers' book is about this cultural imagery - and how, once it is internalized, it shapes perception, reflection, judgement, and desire. These intergral images have a deep impact not only on the individual psyche, but (...) also on the social, political, and cultural syntax of society as a whole. Meyer's argues for the necessity of crafting a dissident, empowering, and 'emancipatory counter-imagery' for women. Rigorous, well written, and accessible, the reach of Gender in the mirror is arguably catholic, and addresses the interests or readers across an impressive range of intellectual disciplines. (shrink)
The question of what it means to be human has never before been more difficult and more contested. The human, with a complicated social history that his rarely been examined, remains entrenched in traditional Enlightenment thinking. Human, All Too Human considers how we might radicalize our notion of the human. Can the human be thought outside humanism? Any rethinking of the human places us immediately inside an ever-widening field of contrasting labels: animate and inanimate, natural and artificial, living and dead, (...) organic and mechanistic. These and other boundary confusions at the frontier of the human are the subject of this volume, as each essay takes up one of three disputed border identities: animals, things or children. Human, All Too Human examines how we explain our interest in anthropomorphism and our fascination with species categorizations. Essays explore what we mean by "things" and how the integrity of the human may already be compromised by them. The nine essays in this volume all attempt to rethink the category of the human, challenging some of our most cherished cultural classifications. By inviting us to place the traditions subject of knowledge in the unsettling position of object, these writers interrogate the boundary distinctions that, until now, have exempted the human from the vigilant analysis it so urgently requires. Contributors: Nancy Armstrong, Rey Chow, Drucilla Cornell, Diana Fuss, Marjorie Garber, Barbara Johnson, Cora Kaplan, James Kincaid, Harriet Ritvo, David Willis. (shrink)
A history of the Atomic Bomb from Marie Curie to Hiroshima. “I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds” — Oppenheimer quoting the Bhagavad Gita after witnessing the successful demonstration of the atom bomb. The bomb, which killed an estimated 140,000 civilians in Hiroshima and destroyed the countryside for miles around, was one of the defining moments in world history. That mushroom cloud cast a terrifying shadow over the contemporary world and continues to do so today. But how could this (...) have happened? What led to the creation of such a weapon of mass destruction? From the moment scientists contemplated the destructive potential of splitting the atom, the role of science changed. Ethical and moral dilemmas faced all those who realized the implications of their research. Before the Fall-Out charts the chain of events from Marie Curie’s scientific breakthrough through the many colourful characters such as Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer and Lord Rutherford, whose discoveries contributed to the bomb. The story of the atomic bomb spans 50 years of prolific scientific innovation, turbulent politics, foreign affairs and world-changing history. Through personal stories of exile, indecision and soul-searching, to charges of collaboration, spying and deceit, Diana Preston presents the human side of an unstoppable programme with a lethal outcome. (shrink)