In this paper we argue for a simple version of Divine Command Morality, namely that an act’s being morally right consists in its being in accord with God’s will, and an act’s being morally wrong consists in its being contrary to God’s will. In so arguing, we contend that this simple version of Divine Command Morality is not subject to the Euthyphro dilemma, either as Plato or as contemporary critics have ordinarily proposed it. Nor, we maintain, is our position incompatible (...) with the most adequate formulation of natural law ethics. Finally we explain why Euthyphro could not have made a better case for his own position. (shrink)
Anselm claimed that his Proslogion was a “single argument” sufficient to prove “that God truly exists,” that God is “the supreme good requiring nothing else,” as well as to prove “whatever we believe regarding the divine Being.” In this paper we show how Anselm’s argument in the Proslogion and in his Reply to Gaunilo can be reconstructed as a single argument. A logically elegant result is that the various stages of Anselm’s argument are validated by standard axioms from contemporary modal (...) logic. (shrink)
Zeno's paradoxes of motion and the semantic paradoxes of the Liar have long been thought to have metaphorical affinities. There are, in fact, isomorphisms between variations of Zeno's paradoxes and variations of the Liar paradox in infinite-valued logic. Representing these paradoxes in dynamical systems theory reveals fractal images and provides other geometric ways of visualizing and conceptualizing the paradoxes.
In Conway's Game of Life every cell is either fully alive (has the value of 1) or completey dead (has the value of 0). In Real Life this restriction to bivalence is lieft to countenance "real-valued" degrees of life and death. real Life contains Conway's Game of Life as a special case; however, Real Life, in contrast to Conway's Game of Life, exhbits sensitive dependence on initial conditions which is characteristics of chaotic systems.
The least element 0 of a finite meet semi-distributive lattice is a meet of meet-prime elements. We investigate conditions under which the least element of an algebraic, meet semi-distributive lattice is a (complete) meet of meet-prime elements. For example, this is true if the lattice has only countably many compact elements, or if |L| < 2ℵ0, or if L is in the variety generated by a finite meet semi-distributive lattice. We give an example of an algebraic, meet semi-distributive lattice that (...) has no meet-prime element or join-prime element. This lattice L has |L| = |LC| = 2ℵ0 where Lc is the set of compact elements of L. (shrink)
Upon the release of Brokeback Mountain, the conservative film critic, Michael Medved, in a television interview, predicted that a gay western – or maybe he called it a gay cowboy movie – would not attract an audience, presumably on grounds that the intersection of the audience for gay movies and the audience for westerns would yield, as the logicians say, the null set. Medved was proven wrong, as Brokeback, which cost $14 million to produce, went on to earn $83 million (...) on first release in the United States (plus $95 million abroad). But Medved was also wrong in his initial description. Although rodeos, horses, and cattle percolate through the film, Brokeback does not fit the classic American Western movie storyline. From the films of William S. Hart and Tom Mix down through Gary Cooper in The Virginian and High Noon, John Wayne in Stagecoach, Alan Ladd in Shane, and Clint Eastwood in The Unforgiven, the Western hero wears a cowboy hat, rides a horse, and carries a gun. His ultimate goal is to save the good folks from the bad guys, and he always succeeds. Brokeback, of course, is not like these films at all. Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar are not engaged in the Westerner’s project of vanquishing evil. In fact, Ang Lee’s film more closely resembles the stories of such star-crossed lovers as Abelard and Heloise, Tristan and Isolde, and Romeo and Juliet. More interestingly, it fits a narrative pattern common in the nineteenth-century operas of Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, and Wagner. In.. (shrink)
This article ana l yses the birth of some n e w female identities in Latin America, mar k e d b y strong cultural inn o v ation. The process of change has been w on b y political st r uggles that h a v e pe r mitted Latin American w omen to g ain some essential rights. More o v er the t e x t describes the compl e xity of syncretising all Lati n America, (...) but the common elements are more important than the di f ferences. H o w e v e r , accepting this d i v ersit y , the great inequality of basic essentials in the relationships be t w een w omen, is producing one v oice, one discourse and one common demand. F inal l y , it sh o ws the political contradictions in w hich contempora ry Latin America w omen l i v e, summoned to pa r ticipate, as mode r n w omen, in the institutions w hen these same institutions put them in positions of social, political and economic subordination. Despite these di f f iculties, it emphasises the political e xperiments that w omen are ca r r ying out to f ind a syncretism without eliminating cultural d i versit y. (shrink)
Technical hitches mar van Gelder's proposed map of the conceptual landscape, particularly with respect to descriptive levels and the trio of instantiation, realisation, and implementation. However, for all the formal quibbles, van Gelder is onto something important; the tension he notes between computationalism and a dynamical alternative threatens to transform the way we conduct cognitive science research.
Abstract In an important text, A Thousand Teachings, sometimes overlooked by scholars, Sankara expounds non?dualist religion. This article analyses Sankara's thought for its theoretical and practical perspectives. First, the discussion views non?duality from the viewpoint of ignorance. This pluralistic/dualistic perspective obscures the unenlightened seeker's vision of the Ultimate Truth. Secondly, the study examines Sankara's introduction of a transitional idea, Unevolved Name?and?Form (avy?krte n?mar?pe). Such an idea assists the seeker's intellectual progress from the state of ignorance to a rational understanding leading (...) toward nonduality (Advaita Ved?nta). Finally, the exposition clarifies Sankara's expression of the ?knowledge of Brahman?. This fulfilling wisdom affects a transformation of the life experience of the unenlightened. Subsequently disciplined in meditation (parisamkhy?na), the persistent seeker develops into an experiencer of the non?duality (advaitav?da). (shrink)
Science has always strived for objectivity, for a ‘‘view from nowhere’’ that is not marred by ideology or personal preferences. That is a lofty ideal toward which perhaps it makes sense to strive, but it is hardly the reality. This collection of thirteen essays assembled by Denis R. Alexander and Ronald L. Numbers ought to give much pause to scientists and the public at large, though historians, sociologists and philosophers of science will hardly be surprised by the material covered here.
The discussion of Kant's Practical Philosophy has been marred by viewing it as purely formalist and centered only on the categorical imperative. This important new study sets out a much more vivid account of the nature and range of Kant's concerns demonstrating his commitment to the notion of rational religion and including extensive discussion of his treatment of evil. Culminating with accounts of property, the nature of right and virtue, this work presents Kant as a vital revolutionary thinker.
It has become almost a truism to describe the interaction between research ethics committees and researchers as being marred by distrust and conflict. The ethical conduct of researchers is increasingly a matter of institutional concern because of the degree to which non-compliance with national standards can expose the entire institution to risk. This has transformed research ethics into what some have described as a research ethics industry. In an operational sense, there is considerable focus on modifying research behaviour through a (...) combination of education and sanctions. The assessment of whether a researcher is ethical is too often based on whether they submit their work for review by an ethics committee. However, is such an approach making a useful contribution to the actual ethical conduct of research and the protection of the interests of participants? Does a focus on ethical review minimise institutional risk? Instead it has been suggested that ethics committees may be distorting or frustrating useful research and are promoting a culture of either mindless rule following or frustrated resistance. An alternative governance approach is required. There is a need for a strong institutional focus on promoting and supporting the reflective practice of researchers through every stage of their work. By situating research ethics within the broader framework of institutional governance, this paper suggests it is possible to establish arrangements that actually facilitate excellent and ethical research. (shrink)
I (however fractured that may be) desire to continue the dialogue about politics and STS. In particular, I want to extend some of the ideas articulated by Haraway and Latour about STS and politics in our time. First, I lay out what some of the issues are : the contradictions of postmodernity; second, I describe the political and economic context in which some STS work gets done. Third, through the use of science fiction in the work of Kim Stanley Robinson's (...) Red Mars , try to lay out what the politics of today are about and what role STS can play in this discussion. Contrary to other theorists, I believe that Utopian thinking is still important and should not be discarded by STS practitioners. (shrink)
In this article I revisit the relationship between Immanuel Kant and the Marquis De Sade, following not Jacques Lacan but Pierre Klossowski. In the process I suggest that Sade's work is marred by a series of antinomies that prevent him from stating a pure practical libertine reason and leave his view purely theoretical.
Heng Xian is a previously unknown text reconstructed by Chinese scholars out of a group of more than 1,200 inscribed bamboo strips purchased by the Shanghai Museum on the Hong Kong antiquities market in 1994. The strips have all been assigned an approximate date of 300 B.C.E., and Heng Xian allegedly consists of thirteen of them, but each proposed arrangement of the strips is marred by unlikely textual transitions. The most plausible hypothesis is one that Chinese scholars do not appear (...) to take seriously: that we are missing one or more strips. The paper concludes with a discussion of the hazards of studying unprovenanced artifacts that have appeared during China’s recent looting spree. I believe the time has come for scholars to ask themselves whether their work indirectly abets this destruction of knowledge. (shrink)
Given a d.c.e. degree d, consider the d.c.e. sets in d and the corresponding degrees of their Lachlan sets. Ishmukhametov provided a systematic investigation of such degrees, and proved that for a given d.c.e. degree d > 0, the class of its c.e. predecessors in which d is c.e., denoted as R[d], can consist of either just one element, or an interval of c.e. degrees. After this, Ishmukhametov asked whether there exists a d.c.e. degree d for which the class R[d] (...) has no minimal element. We give a positive answer to this question. (shrink)