Introduction: The man who drank the hemlock -- Socrates' philosophy -- Politics and society -- Plato and others : who created the death of Socrates? -- 'A Greek chatterbox' : the death of Socrates in the Roman Empire -- Pain and revelation : the death of Socrates and the death of Jesus -- The apotheosis of philosophy : from enlightenment to revolution -- Talk, truth, totalitarianism : the problem of Socrates in modern times.
Group selection is increasingly being viewed as an important force in human evolution. This paper examines the views of R.D. Alexander, one of the most influential thinkers about human behavior from an evolutionary perspective, on the subject of group selection. Alexander's general conception of evolution is based on the gene-centered approach of G.C. Williams, but he has also emphasized a potential role for group selection in the evolution of individual genomes and in human evolution. Alexander's views are internally inconsistent and (...) underestimate the importance of group selection. Specific themes that Alexander has developed in his account of human evolution are important but are best understood within the framework of multilevel selection theory. From this perspective, Alexander's views on moral systems are not the radical departure from conventional views that he claims, but remain radical in another way more compatible with conventional views. (shrink)
R. E. Ewin has argued that corporations are moral persons, but Ewin describes them as being unable to think or to act in virtuous and vicious ways. Ewin thinks that their impoverished emotional life would not allow them to act in these ways. In this brief essay I want to challenge the idea that corporations cannot act virtuously. I begin by examining deficiencies in Ewin''s notion of corporate personhood. I argue that he effectively reduces corporations to the status of incompetent (...) patients. I shall make use of a richer notion of corporate personhood as I explore the logical relationship between corporate action and the quality of the corporate emotional life. After discussing an alternate methodology for making moral assessments of action I consider briefly two corporate disasters: the crash on Mt. Erebus, the Imperial Foods plant fire. These cases are used to show the inadequacy of Ewin''s thesis that only corporate managers are capable of displaying vice. (shrink)
In a spontaneously wide-ranging conversation one winter evening in Japan, sociologist of religion Bryan Wilson and Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda recognized the importance of explaining and learning about their respective worldviews. Human Values in a Changing World is the record of their further exchanges on how they see the religious response to the human condition. Their contrasting approaches - one, as an academic, and the other, as a lay Buddhist - allow for a constructive critique of preconceptions otherwise unexamined (...) in their own cultural contexts. "There is an intimate connection between faith and the fruits of commitment," Wilson says at one point. To which Ikeda responds that while the benefits of faith to momentary happiness are perhaps not the core value of a religion, they can inspire and lead people to become aware of that core value or fundamental truth. The two men's observations on the origins of religious sensibilities move from the spiritual and the moral to the politics of private and public life. Although published some years ago, Human Values in a Changing World addresses topics and issues which are of perennial importance to human flourishing, including: sexual morality, the limits of tolerance and religious freedom, the future of the family, the belief in an afterlife, and the idea of sin. (shrink)
The complexity of the field theoretic methods used for analyzing relativistic bound state problems has forced researchers to look for simpler computational methods. Simpler methods such as the relativistic harmonic oscillator method employed in the description of extended hadrons have been investigated. They are considered phenomenological, however, because they lack a theoretical basis. A probabilistic basis for these methods is presented here in terms of the four-space formulation of relativistic quantum mechanics (FSF). The single-particle FSF is reviewed and its physical (...) meaning is examined. The many-body single-parameter formalism is then developed. Applications are presented to illustrate use of the many-body formalism and demonstrate the ease with which relativistic bound state problems can be handled. A multiple-parameter formalism is constructed in the Appendix. (shrink)
: Catholic teaching has no moral difficulties with research on stem cells derived from adult stem cells or fetal cord blood. The ethical problem comes with embryonic stem cells since their genesis involves the destruction of a human embryo. However, there seems to be significant promise of health benefits from such research. Although Catholic teaching does not permit any destruction of human embryos, the question remains whether researchers in a Catholic institution, or any researchers opposed to destruction of human embryos, (...) could participate in research on cultured embryonic stem cells, or whether a Catholic institution could use any therapy that ultimately results from such research. This position paper examines how such research could be conducted legitimately in a Catholic institution by using an ethical analysis involving a narrative context, the nature of the moral act, and the principle of material cooperation, along with references to significant ethical assessments. It also offers tentative guidelines that could be used by a Catholic institution in implementing such research. (shrink)
The paper offers contextual and integrating comments about sex, evolution and psychopathology as a point of departure toward a new and more scientific understanding of human neurosis. The evolved roots of neurotic behavior are firmly linked to theorems of evolution, which is emerging as the basic science of psychopathology. Evolutionary tenets serve to: 1) redefine key aspects of neuroses, 2) place neurotic behavior in a broad and integrated evolutionary context, and 3) pose basic questions for all psychopathology. Readers who wish (...) to expand, clarify or confirm elements of might well consult basic books in either field as a passing familiarity with psychiatry and biology is assumed. (shrink)
First kudos, followed by some friendly badinage, and then renewed appreciation and a look ahead. This commentary is meant to clarify main arguments, redress incorrect attributions, and strengthen an excellent contribution that draws further attention to the importance of evolutionary epidemiology. Keller & Miller (K&M), despite significant errors, have done well to further systematize the evolutionary epidemiology of psychopathology. (Published Online November 9 2006).
Epidemiology is a science of disease which specifies rates (illness prevalences, incidences, distributions, etc.). Evolution is a science of life which specifies changes (gene frequencies, generations, forms, function, etc.). Evolutionary Epidemiology is a synthesis of these two sciences which combines the empirical power of classical methods in genetical epidemiology with the interpretive capacities of neo-darwinian evolutionary genetics. In particular, prevalence rates of genetical diseases are important data points when reformulated for the purpose of analysis in terms of their evolutionary frequencies. (...) Traits which exceedprevalences beyond the rates of mutation (in Hardy-Weinberg calculations) or evidence unusualrange of phenotypic reaction are of special interest. This is because traits which did not confer advantages in the environment of evolutionary adaptation cannot accede, through natural selection, to anything but low rates of genomic prevalence.Evolutionary epidemiology is, in all of medicine, of particular promise in ongoing efforts to better understand psychopathology. Many complexities of phenotypic adjustment arise when new developmental demands are placed on an old genome. The new and complex biosocial ecology of human mass society now evokes different phenotypes than those in the prehistorical ecology to which the genome is structurally and functionally better adapted. Some of these new phenotypes are darwinian failures. In this paper, the theoretical implications of evolutionary epidemiology are extended and some tentative points of clinical application (particularly to psychiatry) are offered. (shrink)
This paper discusses using the Chernobyl Incident as a case study in engineering ethics instruction. Groups of students are asked to take on the role of a faction involved in the Chernobyl disaster and to defend their decisions in a mock debate. The results of student surveys and the Engineering and Science Issues Test indicate that the approach is very popular with students and has a positive impact on moral reasoning. The approach incorporates technical, communication and teamwork skills and has (...) many of the features suggested by recent literature. (shrink)
Socrates is anything but open-minded in his ideas about how life should be examined. In order to discover the truth, Socrates and his interlocutors need no information or fresh insight from outside themselves; they only need to find out which of their own ideas contradict one another. Socrates tests his prejudices against one another, but never thinks of throwing them all out, or trying a different methodology.
Conditions are stated under which the "argument by analogy" is consistent with the principle of inverse probability. It is contended that the argument by analogy, in conjunction with a crucial test, has a legitimate place in scientific logic. As an example the astrophysical problem of solar granulation is discussed in detail and other examples are mentioned more briefly.
This paper is a critical discussion of John Dupré's recent defence of promiscuous realism in Part 1 of his The Disorder of Things: Metaphysical Foundations of the Disunity of Science. It also discusses some more general issues in the philosophy of biology and science. Dupré's chief strategy of argumentation appeals to debates within the philosophy of biology, all of which concern the nature of species. While the strategy is well motivated, I argue that Dupré's challenge to essentialist and unificationist views (...) about natural kinds is not successful. One conclusion is that an integrative conception of species is a real alternative to Dupré's pluralism. (shrink)
In this article the basic principles of responsible authorship and peer review are surveyed, with special emphasis on (a) guidelines for refereeing archival journal articles and proposals; and (b) how these guidelines should be taken into account at all stages of writing.
More companies are understanding the benefits of designing work to enhance, rather than minimise, the contributions of their employees within human-centred systems. To do this, they require their supportive subsystems (such as training, job, and team design, performance measurement and information) to provide people with the ability, motivation and opportunity to become increasingly involved. Opportunity for involvement will require different communication interfaces, providing data and background information both personally and at the work site or process. In the past few years, (...) the media available for visualisation and communication have become much more numerous and have much greater capabilities. This paper examines the information requirements of certain features of modern manufacturing enterprisesâlocal control, skills, knowledge and training, function allocation and team communications. It then assesses the utility of three broad types of information displayâPersonal Digital Assistants (PDAs), Multimedia/Closed-circuit Television (CCTV) and Virtual Environments (VEs)âfor shopfloor systems. (shrink)