This article contributes to the literature on national varieties of socially responsible investment (SRI) by demonstrating how Scandinavian SRI developed from the 60s and onwards. Combining findings on Scandinavian SRI with insights from previous research and institutional theory, the article accounts for the role of changes in societal values and norms, the mechanisms by which SRI practices spread, and how investors adopt and transform practices to suit their surrounding institutional contexts. Especially, the article draws attention to how different categories of (...) investors act as institutional entrepreneurs during specific historical periods, and how these roles come to shift as institutional rule systems of varying societal levels change. Thus, the insights gained are useful in the future research agenda concerned with advancing knowledge on idiosyncrasies and commonalities of national SRI manifestations, and to understand the reasons underlying such characteristics. (shrink)
It has been argued amply that alternative theoretical approaches to the corporate governance phenomenon can be a valuable complement to the mainstream economic approach. However, such approaches are largely embryonic and empirical studies based on more organisationally oriented theory are few and geographically limited. The purpose of the present article is to discuss the value of organisationally oriented approaches to corporate governance as a complement to more traditional economic approaches. This is accomplished by discussing the findings of an empirical study (...) on Swedish shareholder activism in the light of institutional sociology. The study demonstrates how the preferences and actions of investors are institutionally determined, and not only influenced by regulation and law, but also by moral obligations, societal expectations and relational ties. Thus, the study demonstrates the value of complementing economic explanations with more institutionally and organisationally oriented accounts, in order to better understand shareholder activism in particular, and corporate governance in general. (shrink)
Personalism is understood today as the name of an important current in twentieth-century thought which, inspired by the Christian and humanistic traditions of the West, has sought to deepen our understanding of the meaning and value of human personhood. Opposing both individualism and collectivism, personalism has stressed the uniqueness of each person, the meaning and value of interpersonal relations, and the unity that holds persons together and is, ultimately, also personal in itself: the person of God. Personalism's insights into the (...) nature of personhood have broad implications for our view of ethics, politics, education, and religion. The history of personalism has, however, been poorly understood. Jan Olof Bengtsson shows that personalism began as early as the eighteenth century and was a central, international current of thought throughout the nineteenth century - that it was, in fact, more characteristic of the nineteenth century than of the twentieth. (shrink)
College cheating represents a major ethical problem facing students and educators, especially in colleges of business. The current study surveys 666 business students in three universities to examine potential determinants of cheating perceptions. Anti-intellectualism refers to a student’s negative view of the value and importance of intellectual pursuits and critical thinking. Academic self-efficacy refers to a student’s belief in one’s ability to accomplish an academic task. As hypothesized, students high in anti-intellectualism attitudes and those with low academic self-efficacy were least (...) likely to perceive college cheating as unethical. Considering that college cheating has been found as a predictor of workplace cheating, the results urge business instructors to reduce anti-intellectualism among students and to encourage them to put forth their best efforts. The results also serve employers by focusing attention on these two psychological variables during the hiring and promotion processes. (shrink)
Recent scandals such as those involving Enron and WorldCom (USA), Nortel and Crocus (Canada), and Parmalat and Royal Ahold (EU) exposed failures in corporate governance that shook the capital markets in developed countries and put the spotlight on weak corporate governance in developing, emerging and transitional economies. Companies from developing economies with weak financial transparency and governance will find it difficult to raise capital and attract foreign investors. We investigate the challenges and evaluate the progress of corporate governance in Egypt. (...) Using historical, empirical and interview data, we review the development of stock markets and accounting and financial reporting standards. We analyse the structure of capital markets, major players in the economy, the privatisation policy, board structure and the cultural and legal environment of corporate governance. We review initiatives and impediments for improving corporate governance, including the establishment of the Egyptian Institute of Directors. The implications of this study are important for Egypt, developing countries and global investors seeking international diversification. (shrink)
Earnings management behavior is a concern of standard-setters, regulators and the accounting profession. This study examines the ethics of this practice using a national sample of 763 accounting practitioners, faculty and students. Possible determinants of the ethics of this practice such as perceived role of ethics and social responsibility, and personal moral philosophies (i.e. idealism and relativism) are explored. Results indicate a positive relationship between social responsibility, focus on long-term gains, idealism, and the ethical perception of earnings management and negative (...) relationship between focus on short-term gains, relativism and the ethical perception of this practice. Implications for the accounting profession as it deals with the issue of earnings management are discussed. (shrink)
Reflection seems today to be highest fashion ineducation, especially in discussions aboutteacher education and the teaching profession.This has created the paradoxical situation that reflection is often used in an unreflectedmanner. Furthermore, this discovery ofreflection is not supported by earlierresearch. In philosophy, however, reflectionhas always played a central role.
The accounting profession has emphasized the need for ethics education in the accounting curriculum. The current study examines professional commitment and anticipatory socialization, operationalized by perception of financial reporting, as possible determinants of Accounting students' ethical perceptions and intentions. Accounting students with higher levels of professional commitment and higher perception of the importance of financial reporting were more likely to perceive questionable actions as unethical and less likely to engage in such actions compared to those students with lower commitment and (...) lower perception of financial reporting. The results have implications for accounting instructors and accounting employers as they socialize students in the accounting profession at this early stage. (shrink)
Significant research has found that corporations have a social responsibility beyond maximizing shareholders' value. This study examines the effect of high-profile corporate bankruptcies on perception of corporate social responsibility. Undergraduate and graduate business students rated the importance of corporate social responsibility on profitability, long-term success and short-term success, before and after high-profile bankruptcies. The results indicated that students in general perceived corporate social responsibility to be more important to profitability and long-term success of the firm and less important to short-term (...) success after media publicity of corporate scandals. Several demographic factors such as gender, age and college major played a role in this perception. These findings have important implications for business education, especially as it relates to corporate social responsibility. (shrink)
As a philosopher rather than a historian, Phillip Ferreira tends naturally, in his article in this issue of The Pluralist, "On the Imperviousness of Persons," as in his first one on The Worldview of Personalism, to place the emphasis quite as much on the general philosophical issues as on the specific historical interpretation of Pringle-Pattison. But this emphasis was from the beginning invited by my own assessment of Pringle-Pattison. I will continue here to answer Ferreira to a considerable extent in (...) its terms, but, as a historian rather than a philosopher, I will try to use arguments which, based on my historical knowledge of them, I think would have been those of Pringle-Pattison and the other personal .. (shrink)
High-spin states in the odd-odd N = Z nucleus Co-54 have been investigated by the fusion-evaporation reaction Si-28(S-32,1 alpha 1p1n)Co-54. Gamma-ray information gathered with the Ge detector array Gammasphere was correlated with evaporated particles detected in the charged particle detector system Microball and a 1 pi neutron detector array. A significantly extended excitation scheme of Co-54 is presented, which includes a candidate for the isospin T = 1, 6(+) state of the 1f(7/2)(-2) multiplet. The results are compared to large-scale shell-model (...) calculations in the fp shell. Effective interactions with and without isospin-breaking terms have been used to probe isospin symmetry and isospin mixing. A quest for deformed high-spin rotational cascades proved negative. This feature is discussed by means of cranking calculations. (shrink)
The intention of this article is to make an educational analysis of Merleau-Ponty’s theory of experience in order to see what it implicates for educational practice as well as educational research. In this way, we can attain an understanding what embodied experience might mean both in schools and other educational settings and in researching educational activities. The analysis will take its point of departure in Merleau-Ponty’s analysis and criticism of empiricist and neokantian theories of experience. This will be followed up (...) by an introduction of some central concepts in Merleau-Ponty’s own understanding of experience with emphasis on their relevance for educational analysis. This way of presenting the theory of embodied experience has the advantage of being able to indicate the difference it makes in the field of theories of experience. (shrink)
This paper was originally a discussion proposal but data has been collected since June and we would like to share some results in this proceedings article. Our goal is to link the CSR literature with the social entrepreneurship literature by studying the growth of an international organization and discuss our methodologies and findings to date.
In their respective analyses of Western civilizations, both Norbert Elias and Michel Foucault were concerned to overcome metaphysical notions of power and freedom, seeing them as relations rather than as properties possessed by some groups and individuals but not others. This essay explores the similarities between their understanding of power and freedom as relations. However, there are many differences between these two theorists, most important of which is the Nietzschean philosophy that is the foundation of Foucault's analysis. Central to (...) the Foucauldian and Nietzschean understanding of power and freedom is the concept of "agonism," the eternal contest between humans. The author argues that this concept reintroduces metaphysics to the analysis of power and freedom in the form of a metaphysics of conflict. Elias's work offers a better way out of metaphysics because it is based on a sociological ontology from which truly relational concepts of power and freedom can be devised. (shrink)
"Fame," observes Elias Canetti, "wants to hang from the stars because they are so far removed . . ."1 What the seeker after fame finds attractive in the prospect of hanging from the stars are the conditions of distance and elevation, which promise security in the form of detachment and abstraction from the world below. We find in Canetti's image of the fame-seeking sensibility not two conflicting desires (for the renown conferred upon successful risk-takers and the safety secured through (...) abstention from risk) co-existing within the confines of an outsized temperament, but a single-minded need for safety from the threats of dissolution and oblivion. So imperative is this need that the fame seeker does not .. (shrink)
Globalization presages an important new stage in the centuries-old 'civilizing process,' which Norbert Elias analyzed with such clarity and in such depth. At the root of the fundamental transformations of our world of nation-states are combined integrating and disintegrating tendencies, or centralization and individualization, which manifest themselves in a steady monopolization of the means of violence and taxation, an interventionist human rights discourse, and war as a means of democratizing and pacifying the planet. Elias' 'historical social psychological' approach (...) offers new categories of analysis with which to both explain the effects of globalization and indicate how international interdependence fosters both control and resistance, both democratization and radicalization, and both integration and disintegration. (shrink)
Elias G. Carayannis and David F. J. Campbell, Mode 3 Knowledge Production in Quadruple Helix Innovation Systems: 21st-Century Democracy, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship for Development Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 139-142 DOI 10.1007/s11024-012-9194-6 Authors Barbara Prainsack, Department of Sociology and Communications, Brunel University, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH, UK Journal Minerva Online ISSN 1573-1871 Print ISSN 0026-4695 Journal Volume Volume 50 Journal Issue Volume 50, Number 1.
As regular readers of The Pluralist are aware, there appeared in 2008 an issue devoted to Jan Olof Bengtsson's The Worldview of Personalism.1 The issue included five articles, each concerned with a different aspect of the book; and after each article, there was a "Reply" by Bengtsson. In what follows, I shall say something about Bengtsson's reply to my own contribution, "Absolute and Personal Idealism." However, first let me briefly describe that article's argument.In "Absolute and Personal Idealism," (...) I examined the personalist attack on absolutism as formulated by Andrew Seth Pringle-Pattison in two works: Hegelianism and Personality and The Idea of God in the Light of Recent Philosophy. In the first section of .. (shrink)
Norbert Elias (1897-1990) is now widely regarded as one of the greatest sociologists of the 20th century. The challenge and profundity of his work are still being assimilated. Some have suggested that in time, he will be regarded as the Copernicus or Darwin of sociology, the man who set the subject on its scientific course. These four volumes provide a comprehensive and penetrating survey of Elias's life and work. They pinpoint the main fields of research which Elias (...) and his followers have explored: the civilizing process; state-formation; knowledge, religion and science; informalization; power; established-outsider figurations in fields such as class, gender and race; the sociology of the body; the sociology of the emotions; the sociology of leisure, sport and the arts; the sociology of the professions; medicine and psychoanalysis; crime and punishment; drug use and abuse. The collection also explores the various critiques of Elias's `figurational' or `process' sociology and counter-critiques by Elias's followers. The volumes successfully locate the work of Elias and his followers in the context of modern sociology, especially in relation to writers such as Mannheim, Adorno, Parsons, Goffman, Foucault and Bourdieu. In the penetrating, original and informative Introduction, Eric Dunning and Stephen Mennell elucidate Elias's sociological contributions and the bearing his life experiences had on his work. The collection is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the sociological contribution of Norbert Elias. The collection is organized in the following 4 volumes: Volume 1 Focuses on Elias's work in the context of his life and career, and reviews his place in the contemporary social sciences, especially in relation to such figures as Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu. Also discussed in this volume are Elias's pathbreaking contributions to such issues as: the 'agency-structure' dilemma; habitus; power; involvement and detachment; knowledge and the sciences; time; and the relations between history and sociology. Volume 2 Addresses Elias's major empiricallybased contributions to sociological theory, especially the theories of the civilizing process, state formation and established-outsider figurations. Also discussed are informalization and de-civilizing processes, and the applications of the established-outsider theory to such fields as race, gender and sexuality. Volume 3 Examines figurational contributions to special areas of sociology such as: the sociology of the body; the sociology of the emotions; the sociology of everyday life, sport, leisure, lifestyles, taste, music and the arts; deviance and crime; the sociology of health and illness; psychiatry, psychoanalysis, and psychology; death and dying; and drugs and tobacco use. Volume 4 Focuses on criticisms of Elias's work and the responses of Elias and his sociological followers. Key themes are: civilization and the Holocaust; sports violence, especially soccer hooliganism; the meanings and value of concepts like 'development', 'evolution' and 'change'; and the relative merits of long-term and short-term approaches. The end of the volume returns to the issue of Elias's place in contemporary sociology and the growing worldwide recognition of the significance of his contribution. Eric Dunning is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Leicester; Stephen Mennell is Professor of Sociology, University College Dublin. (shrink)
Understanding Elias -- Origins of Elias's synthesis -- Norbert Elias and Karl Mannheim -- The civilizing process : the structure of a classic -- Involved detachment : knowledge and self-knowledge in Elias -- The symbol theory : secular humanism as a research programme -- Concluding remarks : the fourth blow to man's narcissism.
Does quantum mechanics clash with the equivalence principle—and does it matter? Content Type Journal Article Pages 133-145 DOI 10.1007/s13194-010-0009-z Authors Elias Okon, Philosophy Department, UC San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla CA, 92093, USA Craig Callender, Philosophy Department, UC San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla CA, 92093, USA Journal European Journal for Philosophy of Science Online ISSN 1879-4920 Print ISSN 1879-4912 Journal Volume Volume 1 Journal Issue Volume 1, Number 1.
In this article Elias Hemelsoet questions the way irregular migrants are approached in educational policymaking. In most cases, estimations of the number of irregular migrants serve—despite large methodological problems—as a starting point for policymaking. Given the very diverse composition of this group of people, the question is whether residence status is an appropriate benchmark for dealing with the social problems related to these people. There seems to be a homogenizing tendency at work that reduces the complexity of irregular migration. (...) Preferable distinctions are overlooked or even denied. Inclusive education seems to provide an alternative that does not reduce individuals to a group they belong to, claiming that differences only matter at the individual level. The question is whether such an approach entails a new form of homogenization. Using the case of Roma people, Hemelsoet argues here that group differences do matter for educational practice, theory, and policy. Qualitative data on the social practices of groups can help provide insight into the particularity of situations. This “insight” or “understanding,” in its turn, is a requirement in order for policymakers to make well-considered choices. (shrink)
Although he was born in Gaza, Palestine, Elias Rashmawi was issued a permanent deportation order by the Israeli High Court because of his involvement in Palestinian organizing while a student in the United States. In November 2000, as the Second Intifada raged on, Rashmawi’s father passed away, and he was granted a limited permit to his homeland to attend the funeral. “How many fathers must die before we are all allowed to return,” he asks in this essay that reifies (...) the brevity and pain of his truncated visit. (shrink)
Farhad Dalal argues that people differentiate between races in order to make a distinction between the "haves" and "must-not-haves", and that this process is cognitive, emotional and political rather than biological. Examining the subject over the past thousand years, Race, Colour and the Process of Racialisation covers theories of racism and a general theory of difference based on the works of Fanon, Elias, Matte-Blanco and Foulkes, as well as application of this theory to race and racism. Farhad Dalal concludes (...) that the structures of society are reflected in the structures of the psyche, and both of these are colour coded. This book will be invaluable to students, academics and practitioners in the areas of psychoanalysis, group analysis, psychotherapy and counseling. (shrink)
Rachlin basically marshals three reasons behind his unconventional claim that altruism is a subcategory of self-control and that, hence, the prisoner's dilemma is the appropriate metaphor of altruism. I do not find any of the three reasons convincing. Therefore, the prisoner's dilemma metaphor is unsuitable for explaining altruism.
We develop a category theoretical scheme for the comprehension of the information structure associated with a complex system, in terms of families of partial or local information carriers. The scheme is based on the existence of a categorical adjunction, that provides a theoretical platform for the descriptive analysis of the complex system as a process of functorial information communication.
Preston & de Waal conflate familiarity with similarity in their attempt to account for empathy. If distinguished, we may have at hand two different kinds of empathy: egocentric empathy and empathy proper.
The object of this paper is to show how one is able to construct a paraconsistent theory of models that reflects much of the classical one. In other words the aim is to demonstrate that there is a very smooth and natural transition from the model theory of classical logic to that of certain categories of paraconsistent logic. To this end we take an extension of da Costa''sC 1 = (obtained by adding the axiom A A) and prove for it (...) results which correspond to many major classical model theories, taken from Shoenfield . In particular we prove counterparts of the theorems of o-Tarski and Chang-o-Suszko, Craig-Robinson and the Beth definability theorem. (shrink)
Using the concept of adjunction, for the comprehension of the structure of a complex system, developed in Part I, we introduce the notion of covering systems consisting of partially or locally defined adequately understood objects. This notion incorporates the necessary and sufficient conditions for a sheaf theoretical representation of the informational content included in the structure of a complex system in terms of localization systems. Furthermore, it accommodates a formulation of an invariance property of information communication concerning the analysis of (...) a complex system. (shrink)
Emotion has long been recognized in sociology as crucially important, but most references to it are generalized and vague. In this essay, I nominate shame, specifically, as the premier social emotion. First I review the individualized treatment of shame in psychoanalysis and psychology, and the absence of social context. Then I consider the contributions to the social dimensions of shame by six sociologists (Georg Simmel, Charles Cooley, Norbert Elias, Richard Sennett, Helen Lynd, Erving Goffman) and a psychologist/psychoanalyst (Helen Lewis). (...) I show that Cooley and Lynd, particularly, made contributions to a theory of shame and the social bond. Lewis's idea that shame arises from threats to the bond integrates the contributions of all six sociologists, and points toward future research on emotion, conflict, and alienation/integration. (shrink)
Supervenience is one of the 'hot discoveries' of recent analytic philosophy, and this collection of new essays on the topic represents a 'state of the art' examination of it and its application to major areas of philosophy. The interest in supervenience has much to do with the flexibility of the concept. To say that x supervenes on y indicates a degree of dependence without committing one to the view that x can be reduced to y. Thus supervenience is a relationship (...) that has the potential of replacing the traditional notion of dependence, while performing at least part of the function reductive relationships were supposed to fulfil. Moreover, since it is a topic-neutral concept, supervenience has a wide range of applicability. (shrink)
As soon as 'modernity' was defined as a particular way of con ceiving of time (the so-called 'time of modernity'), the questions of tempo rality came to be situated at the heart of the ongoing debate regarding the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the 'modern age'. This has, in turn, readily led to a no less passionate search for the assessment of modernity's foundations which are thought to rest in its typical sense of experiencing temporality. This polemic instance, however, (...) involves polarized perspectives (from both sides) and the consequent risk, always present in dichotomous approaches, of oversimplifying the concepts at stake and smoothing over the intricacies of their history and meaning. Does there really exist something like a 'time of modernity'? This is the central question that the present article examines. 1 Key Words: evolution modemity philosophy of history time irreversibility. (shrink)
This paper addresses the relation between the intelligible and the material world in the works of the Neoplatonic philosopher Damascius (ca. 460-ca. 538 AD), who uses the theory of the Platonic Ideas in order to discuss the evolution from the One to the Manifold. This relation arises through specific laws that lead to the development of a harmonious cosmic system. The vertical and the horizontal segmentation of metaphysical causes is implemented in the process of the generation of the empirical world, (...) which is nevertheless imperfect in the sense that it is an image of the metaphysical world and is subject to generation and decay. The metaphysical world constitutes a normative basis for the beings of the world of experience to the same extent in the ontological as in the aesthetic and ethical area. The vertical segmentation cannot be understood without the horizontal because in that case the generation of tangible beings, which are complex realities, would be implausible. At the same time, the horizontal segmentation without the vertical would result in inactive metaphysical causes. The simple fact that the empirical world exists excludes such alternatives. (shrink)
Neo-Darwinism is based on the same principles as the Walrasian analysis of equilibrium. This may be surprising for evolutionary economists who resort to neo-Darwinism as a result of their dissatisfaction with Walrasian economics. As it is well-known, the principle of rationality does not play a role in neo-Darwinism. In fact, the whole (neo-)Darwinian agenda became popular exactly because it expunged the idea of rationality from nature, and hence, from equilibrium. It is less known, however, that the rationality principle is also (...) not central in Walrasian equilibrium analysis. Therefore, if we find that the rationality principle must be central to the analysis of decision making of human and nonhuman organisms, we must advance organomics . Organomics is bioeconomics understood as the use of rational choice to the study of the behavior of human and nonhuman organisms. Organomics offers a different starting point than the one offered by neo-Darwinism. (shrink)
Aldo Leopold in “The Land Ethic” made the case for an environmental ethic as both a moral imperative and an unfolding historical process. In The Civilising Process, Norbert Elias shows how, in all societies, the molding of personality and the internalization of affective constraints on behavior are linked to long-term processes of social development. In terms of a common root in Darwinian/Humean naturalism, an understanding of the land ethic as an “ecological civilizing process” can shed light on the sociogenetic (...) mechanisms which are transforming, albeit slowly, the “foundations of conduct” toward the environment. In this transformation, expanded notions of kinship and proximity provide the basis for the deontological identification of community with the biosphere. (shrink)
Abstract In this paper I propose a mereological account of ordinary macro-events of experience that is based on two central features of these entities, namely their spatio-temporal character, and their status as things that belong to event-kinds. I argue that, from the perspective of descriptive metaphysics, these features must be incorporated in the analysis of the part-whole relations of events, and I show the steps involved in achieving this task. Furthermore, I argue that the program initiated here is quite promising: (...) the analysis of event-part that I propose stands up quite well against the more serious objections, and the apparatus I provide for the mereological conditions of events can be easily modified to yield similar conditions for material objects. (shrink)
Professor Jack Goody builds on his own previous work to extend further his highly influential critique of what he sees as the pervasive eurocentric or occidentalist biases of so much western historical writing. Goody also examines the consequent 'theft' by the West of the achievements of other cultures in the invention of (notably) democracy, capitalism, individualism, and love. The Theft of History discusses a number of theorists in detail, including Marx, Weber and Norbert Elias, and engages with critical admiration (...) western historians like Fernand Braudel, Moses Finlay and Perry Anderson. Major questions of method are raised, and Goody proposes a new comparative methodology for cross-cultural analysis, one that gives a much more sophisticated basis for assessing divergent historical outcomes, and replaces outmoded simple differences between East and West. The Theft of History will be read by an unusually wide audience of historians, anthropologists and social theorists. (shrink)
The importance of history has been powerfully reaffirmed in recent years by the appearance of major new authors, pathbreaking works, and fresh interpretations of historical events, trends, and methods. Responding to these developments, Roger Chartier engages several of the most influential writers of cultural history whose works have spread far beyond academic audiences to become part of contemporary cultural argument. Challenging the assertion that history is no more than a "fiction-making operation" Chartier examines the relationships between history and fiction and (...) proposes new foundations for establishing history as a specific kind of knowledge. Michel de Certeau's description of Michel Foucault's writings as "on the edge of the cliff," provides Chartier with an image he finds appropriate not only for Foucault but for many other recent historians--including de Certeau. Exploring the relationships between discursive practices and nondiscursive practices, Chartier examines the "heterology" of de Certeau pursues the "chimera of origin" and the causes of the French Revolution in Foucault's work and raises four pertinent questions for the metahistory of Hayden White. He follows the work of Louis Marin into the distinctions between interpreting a painting and interpreting a text. And a trio of essays treats the historical sociology of Norbert Elias and his work on power and civility. Throughout, Chartier keeps his focus on historians who have stressed the relations between the products of discourse and social practices. (shrink)
I argue that curiosity about the world deserves attention as a moral virtue, even apart from the role it may play in (the more generally praised) love of wisdom. First, close relationships and caring are reasonably considered part of a well-lived life, and curiosity is important for caring both about people and about things in the world. Second, curiosity helps us to define an appropriate way for persons to be affected by certain situations. Perhaps most important, curiosity can help one (...) to live well because it addresses the most fundamental existential task humans face, the need to see their lives as meaningful. I argue that curiosity is a distinctive virtue but suggest that related virtues (e.g., receptivity, reverence) may contribute to different kinds of worthy engagement with the world. (shrink)
In existential thought the thinking subject includes itself in its own thinking; this subject is not conceived as a substance that may be objectively determined, for its being lies in a making or constituting itself. Choice is thus the crucial concept of existential thought. Since choice involves awareness of the uncertainty of itspossible outcomes, anguish is inherent in it. Hence anguish in the face of our own freedom is essential to the human reality, and authenticity lies in facing anguish rather (...) than fleeing it. The term metaexistential refers, (1) to those systems that acknowledge absolute authenticity and truth to consist in going beyond existence in all its manifestations—those which are more unauthentic and less conflictive and distressful, as well as those which are less unauthentic and more conflictive and distressful—and (2) to those Paths of Awakening possessing the means for effectively going beyond existence and thus achieving absolute authenticity and truth. In fact, (1) only the Contemplation state of higher bodhisattvas and the state of Buddhahood, which are free from the subject-objectduality and thus beyond the bounds of existence and of the human reality, constitute a genuine surpassing of alienation and delusion, and hence only these conditions are true to our innermost nature; and (2) only a really effective practice of metaexistential methods such as Buddhist Paths can be conducive to these realizations. (shrink)