The “Idea of Intrinsic Equality” is central to democracy, but in what respects are persons intrinsically equal, and what requirements, if any, does their equality impose on a process for making collective decisions? This paper seeks to answer that question with respect to our own representative democracy. It examines three theories of collective decision-making that arguably characterize the democratic process under the United States Constitution. It concludes that, while all preserve the Idea of Intrinsic Equality in the election of representatives (...) and legislative voting, only the third theory, Democratic Egalitarianism, which treats all like interests alike in promulgating laws and preserves the fundamental liberties of all, both preserves the Idea of Intrinsic Equality throughout the legislative process and fulfills the fiduciary mandate that legislators legislate in the interests of the people. (shrink)
Brain Mystique Light and Dark bridges the gap between neuroscience, brain evolution and consciousness by examining scientific models of how the brain becomes conscious. The book argues that the spiritual dimension of life is compatible with scientific naturalism. Not bound by conventional stereotypes, Charles Don Keyes safeguards the unity of brain/mind, synthesized from a wide range of sources, reinterprets the triune brain concept and self-reference models of consciousness.
"Dishonesty inspires more euphemisms than copulation or defecation. This helps desensitize us to its implications. In the post-truth era we don't just have truth and lies but a third category of ambiguous statements that are not exactly the truth but fall just short of a lie. Enhanced truth it might be called. Neo-truth . Soft truth . Faux truth . Truth lite ." Deception has become the modern way of life. Where once the boundary line between truth and lies was (...) clear and distinct, it is no longer so. In the post-truth era, deceiving others has become a challenge, a game, a habit. High-profile dissemblers compete for news coverage, from journalists like Jayson Blair and professors like Joseph Ellis to politicians (of all stripes), executives, and "creative" accountants. Research suggests that the average American tells multiple lies on a daily basis, often for no good reason. Not a finger-wagging scolding, The Post-Truth Era is a combination of Ralph Keyes's investigative journalism and solid science. The result is a spirited exploration of why we lie about practically everything and the consequences such casual dishonesty has on society. American society has become permeated from top to bottom by deception. Its consequences for the nature of public discourse, media, business, literature, academia, and politics are profound. With dry humor, passionate fervor, and deep understanding, Ralph Keyes takes us on a tour of a world where truth and honesty are no longer absolutes but mutable, fluid concepts. (shrink)
Positive psychology aims to help people live and flourish, rather than merely to exist. The term “positive psychology” may seem to imply that all other psychology is in some way negative, but that implication is unintended and untrue. However the term “positive psychology” contains a softer indictment, namely, that psychology has become unbalanced. In the years since World War II psychology, guided by its funding agencies and the rising social conscience of its practitioners, has focused on helping people and society (...) solve serious problems. Clinical psychology has focused on mental illness, social psychology has focused on prejudice, racism, and aggression, and cognitive psychology has focused on diagnosing the errors and biases that lead to bad decisions. There are good reasons to spend more time and money on illness and problems than on health and strengths. Utilitarianism, compassion, and a concern for equality suggest that people in great pain should be helped before those who are not suffering. But there are at least two costs to focusing on illness, problems, and weaknesses. The first cost is an inappropriately negative view of human nature and the human condition. We teach students about the many ways the mind can go wrong, and about the frightening prevalence rates of depression, child abuse, and eating disorders. We teach students that people are fundamentally selfish creatures whose occasional good deeds are accidental products of self-esteem management. Is such cynicism and pessimism really justified? Positive psychology is realistic. It does not claim that human nature is all sweetness and light, but it does offer a more balanced view. Most people are doing reasonably well in life, and have the capacity to thrive and flourish, even when -- or especially when -- confronted with challenges, setbacks, and suffering (see Ryff & Singer, this volume; Wethington, this volume). Most people have experienced powerful feelings of moral elevation and inspiration that are unconnected to any need for self-esteem (see Haidt, this volume).. (shrink)
This paper compares and contrasts three groups that conducted biological research at Yale University during overlapping periods between 1910 and 1970. Yale University proved important as a site for this research. The leaders of these groups were Ross Granville Harrison, Grace E. Pickford, and G. Evelyn Hutchinson, and their members included both graduate students and more experienced scientists. All produced innovative research, including the opening of new subfields in embryology, endocrinology and ecology respectively, over a long period of time. (...) Harrison's is shown to have been a classic research school; Pickford's and Hutchinson's were not. Pickford's group was successful in spite of her lack of departmental or institutional position or power. Hutchinson and his graduate and post-graduate students were extremely productive but in diverse areas of ecology. His group did not have one focused area of research or use one set of research tools. The paper concludes that new models for research groups are needed, especially for those, like Hutchinson's, that included much field research. (shrink)
If mysticism, as Coventry Patmore defines it, is 'the science of ultimates,' in what way would mysticism explain the possibility of a profound relationship between ultimate reality as infinite and proximate reality as finite (Patmore 1895 , p. 39)? This paper attempts to address that question through the lens of Evelyn Underhillâ€™s philosophy of mysticism. The paper fundamentally works at framing two of Hegelâ€™s triadic patterns of dialectic against the being-becoming binary as engaged by Underhill. This application helps unveil (...) the relation of transcendence with immanence, a relation that is crucial for a structuring of the infinite-finite mystical intimacy. (shrink)
In this paper, I undertake an exploration of the similarities I find between the epistemological projects of John Dewey and Evelyn Fox Keller. These similarities, I suggest, warrant considering Dewey and Keller to share membership in an epistemological tradition, a tradition I label the "Coresponsible Option." In my examination, I focus on Dewey's and Keller's ontological assertion that we live in a world that is an inextricable mixture of certainty and chance, and on their resultant conception of inquiry as (...) a communal relationship. (shrink)
One of the seminal constructs in 20th-century biosemiotics is G. Evelyn Hutchinson's 'niche'. This notion opened up and unpacked cartesian space and time to recognize self-organizing roles in open, dynamical systems - in n-dimensional hyperspace. Perhaps equally valuable to biosemiotics is Hutchinson's inclusive approach to inquiry and his willingness to venture into abductive territory, which have reaped rewards for a range of disciplines beyond biology, from art to anthropology. Hutchinson assumed the fertility of inquiry flowing from open, far-from-equilibrium systems (...) to be characterized by 'fabricational noise', followingSeilacher, or 'order out of chaos', following Prigogine. Serendipitous 'noise' can self-organize into information at other levels, as does the 'noise' of Hutchinson's contributions themselves. (shrink)
This essay is a case study of the self-destruction that occurs in the work of a social-constructionist historian of science who embraces a radical philosophy of science. It focuses on Thomas Laqueur's Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud in arguing that a history of science committed to the social construction of science and to the central theses of Kuhnian, Duhemian, and Quinean philosophy of science is incoherent through self-reference. Laqueur's text is examined in detail in order (...) to make the main point; a similar phenomenon in the work of the feminist historian of science Evelyn Fox Keller is then briefly discussed. (shrink)
Feminist science critics, in particular Sandra Harding, Carolyn Merchant, and Evelyn Fox Keller, claim that misogynous sexual metaphors played an important role in the rise of modern science. The writings of Francis Bacon have been singled out as an especially egregious instance of the use of misogynous metaphors in scientific philosophy. This paper offers a defense of Bacon.