The trajectory from Rousseau through romanticism to twentieth-century efforts to preserve natural settings for their aesthetic values is a familiar one. What may be less familiar and more fruitful to explore at the present time is Rousseau’s stoic recognition of the need for limitation and balance in the ways that human beings interact with their surroundings. Rousseau’s discussion of the dynamics of natural need, artificial desires, and human powers or faculties appears in its most elaborated form in Emile, within the (...) context of the pedagogue’s role in fostering authentic happiness. Given our present preoccupation with competition, consumerism, and growth, Rousseau’s ethic of self-limitation and retrenchment is unlikely to be embraced by policy makers any time soon, but his alternative vision nevertheless merits contemporary recognition. (shrink)
Temporal binding via 40-Hz synchronization of neuronal discharges in sensory cortices has been hypothesized to be a necessary condition for the rapid selection of perceptually relevant information for further processing in working memory. Binocular rivalry experiments have shown that late stage visual processing associated with the recognition of a stimulus object is highly correlated with discharge rates in inferotemporal cortex. The hippocampus is the primary recipient of inferotemporal outputs and is known to be the substrate for the consolidation of working (...) memories to long-term, episodic memories. The prefrontal cortex, on the other hand, is widely thought to mediate working memory processes, per se. This article reviews accumulated evidence for the role of a subcortical matrix in linking frontal and hippocampal systems to select and ''stream'' conscious episodes across time (hundreds of milliseconds to several seconds). ''Streaming'' is hypothesized to be mediated by the selective gating of reentrant flows of information between these cortical systems and the subcortical matrix. The physiological mechanism proposed for this temporally extended form of binding is synchronous oscillations in the slower EEG spectrum (< 8 Hz). (shrink)
In the metaphor of behavioral momentum, the rate of a free operant in the presence of a discriminative stimulus is analogous to the velocity of a moving body, and resistance to change measures an aspect of behavior that is analogous to its inertial mass. An extension of the metaphor suggests that preference measures an analog to the gravitational mass of that body. The independent functions relating resistance to change and preference to the conditions of reinforcement may be construed as convergent (...) measures of a single construct, analogous to physical mass, that represents the effects of a history of exposure to the signaled conditions of reinforcement and that unifies the traditionally separate notions of the strength of learning and the value of incentives. Research guided by the momentum metaphor encompasses the effects of reinforcement on response rate, resistance to change, and preference and has implications for clinical interventions, drug addiction, and self-control. In addition, its principles can be seen as a modern, quantitative version of Thorndike's (1911) Law of Effect, providing a new perspective on some of the challenges to his postulation of strengthening by reinforcement. Key Words: behavioral momentum; clinical interventions; drug addiction; preference; reinforcement; resistance to change; response strength; self-control. (shrink)
In reply to the comments on our target article, we address a variety of issues concerning the generality of our major findings, their relation to other theoretical formulations, and the metaphor of behavioral momentum that inspired much of our work. Most of these issues can be resolved by empirical studies, and we hope that the ideas advanced here will promote the analysis of resistance to change and preference in new areas of research and application.
Recently, religious organisations, governments and public institutions have begun to offer apologies for historical wrongs. Can they legitimately do so? Departing from the tendency, Professor Hubert Markl, President of the Max Planck Society, has offered strong reasons for not apologising for the crimes of medical scientists who experimented on human subjects during the Nazi era. He argues that only the perpetrators can meaningfully apologise. Markl’'s position is considered and rejected in favour of the view that apologies by proxy for historical (...) wrongs are justifiable and should be made by institutions that have the authority to do so. (shrink)
The constructs of behavioral mass in research on the momentum of operant behavior and associative strength in Pavlovian conditioning have some interesting parallels, as suggested by Savastano & Miller. Some recent findings challenge the strict separation of operant and Pavlovian determiners of response rate and resistance to change in behavioral momentum, renewing the need for research on the interaction of processes that have traditionally been studied separately. Relatedly, Furedy notes that some autonomic responses may be refractory to conditioning, but a (...) combination of operant contingencies and enriched Pavlovian stimulus-reinforcer relations may prove effective. (shrink)
Altruism can be understood in terms of traditional principles of reinforcement if an outcome that is beneficial to another person reinforces the behavior of the actor who produces it. This account depends on a generalization of reinforcement across persons and might be more amenable to experimental investigation than the one proposed by Rachlin.
The predictive validity of the ultimatum game (UG) for cross-cultural differences in real-world behavior has not yet been established. We discuss results of a recent meta-analysis (Oosterbeek et al 2004), which examined UG behavior across large-scale societies and found that the mean percent offers rejected was positively correlated with social expenditure.
Jean Baudrillard is a pivotal figure in contemporary cultural theory. Without doubt one of the foremost European thinkers of the last fifty years, his work has provoked debate and controversy across a number of disciplines, yet his significance has so far been largely ignored by feminist theorists.
How should business deal with society's increasing demands for ethical and social responsibility? In plain language this book considers these and other ethical questions of direct relevance to business in the 1990s. It discusses the nature of ethics, ethical reasoning, the use of stakeholder analysis, and other central concepts used in business ethics. Using mainly, but not exclusively, Australian cases and specific examples, the book covers issues such as fairness in business dealings, advertising ethics, discrimination, and codes of ethics.
This book sets out in plain language ethical questions of direct relevance to business today. This new edition expands the range of issues covered and includes a chapter on international business ethics, drawing extensively from Asian examples.
Written by prominent scholars of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's philosophy, this collection celebrates the 300th anniversary of Rousseau's birth and the 250th anniversary of the publication of Emile. The depth and systematic character of Rousseau's thought was recognized almost immediately by thinkers such as Kant and Hegel, yet debate continues over the degree to which Rousseau's legacy is the result of poetic, literary or rhetorical genius, rather than of philosophic rigor or profundity. The authors focus on Rousseau's genuine yet undervalued stature as (...) a philosopher. This collection includes essays that develop some of the complex problems Rousseau treated so radically and profoundly, as well as essays on the vigorous debates he engaged in with thoughtful contemporaries and predecessors. (shrink)
We make two major comments. First, negative reinforcement contingencies may generate some apparent “drug-like” aspects of money motivation, and the operant account, properly construed, is both a tool and drug theory. Second, according to Lea & Webley (L&W), one might expect that “near-money,” such as frequent-flyer miles, should have a stronger drug and a weaker tool aspect than regular money. Available evidence agrees with this prediction. (Published Online April 5 2006).
Challenges of interpersonal harm for a theology of freedom and grace -- Karl Rahner's theological anthropology -- The role of freedom and grace in the construction of the human self -- The vulnerable self and loss of agency -- Trauma theory and the challenge to a Rahnerian theology of freedom and grace -- The fragmented self and constrained agency -- Feminist theories as correctives to a Rahnerian anthropology -- Response to the challenge -- Rahner's theology revisited -- (...) Ethical directions -- Implications of a revised theology of freedom and grace. (shrink)
In The Grace and the Severity of the Ideal, Victor Kestenbaum swims against the current of Dewey scholarship. He declares for and gives close articulation to the importance of transcendence in the philosophy of John Dewey. The guiding thread of the book is "the proposal that Dewey never outgrew his idealistic period. His philosophical achievement is not to be located in his naturalism but in the frontiers along which the natural and the transcendental touch" (137). Kestenbaum does not argue (...) that Dewey defends a supernatural sense of transcendence; instead, he documents the modes of transcendence that, for Dewey, reveal themselves within the flow of experience. This is a learned and carefully developed book, one that will provoke pragmatists to think carefully about how growth, self-revision, and... (shrink)
1. To be is to be-in-relation -- 2. Cosmic being as relation -- 3. Human being as relation -- 4. Divine being as relation -- 5. Divine and cosmic being in relation -- 6. Creation as relation in an evolving cosmos -- 7. Incarnation as relation in an evolving cosmos -- 8. Grace as relation in an evolving cosmos -- 9. Living in trinitarian relation.
For the first time in book format, the sociology or grace (or enchantment) is explained and explored in some detail. Grace is a central concept of theology, while the term also has a wide range of meanings in many fields. The results of this study are fascinating. The author's writings on this topic take the reader on an intriguing journey which traverses subjects ranging from theology, through the history of art, archaeology and mythology to anthropology. As such, this (...) volume will interest academics across a wide range of disciplines apart from sociology. (shrink)
Heidegger's reflections on grace culminate in the years 1949-54 where grace names a figure for the ineluctable exposure of existence. Heidegger rethinks the relationship between what exists and the world in which it is found as one that is always open to grace. For Heidegger, this world is what he terms the “dimension” between earth and sky. The relationship is only possible where existence is no longer construed as a self-contained presence but instead is thought as something (...) between presence and absence. In this essay, Heidegger's references to grace in five contexts are considered: the 1949 Bremen lectures, the 1951 essay “... Poetically Dwells Man...,” the 1953 “Dialogue on Language,” the 1951 lecture on “Language,” and the 1954 speech at his nephew's ordination. (shrink)
Against those who dismiss Kant's project in the "Religion" because it provides a Pelagian understanding of salvation, this paper offers an analysis of the deep structure of Kant's views on divine justice and grace showing them not to conflict with an authentically Christian understanding of these concepts. The first part of the paper argues that Kant's analysis of these concepts helps us to understand the necessary conditions of the Christian understanding of grace: unfolding them uncovers intrinsic relations holding (...) between God's justice and grace. Parts two and three provide an analysis of two concepts of grace used by Kant. Getting clear on their differences is the key to understanding why Kant's account is not Pelagian. (shrink)
R. M. Adams’s essay, “Must God Create the Best?” can be interpreted as offering a theodicy for God’s creating morally less perfect beings than he could have created. By creating these morally less perfect beings, God is bestowing grace upon them, which is an unmerited or undeserved benefit. He does so, however, in advance of the free moral misdeeds that render them undeserving. This requires that God have middle knowledge, pace Adams’s version of the Free Will Theodicy, of what (...) would result from his actualization of possible free persons. It is argued that God’s possession of such middle knowledge negates the freedom of created beings, since God completely determines every action of every created person. And since they are not free, they cannot qualify as morally unmeritorious or undeserving. And, with that, Adams’s theodicy of grace-in-advance collapses. (shrink)
Gravity and Grace was the first ever publication by the remarkable thinker and activist, Simone Weil. In it Gustave Thibon, the priest to whom she had entrusted her notebooks before her untimely death, compiled in one remarkable volume a compendium of her writings that have become a source of spiritual guidance and wisdom for countless individuals.
The nihilists are right, admits philosopher Loyal Rue. The universe is blind and aimless, indifferent to us and void of meaning. There are no absolute truths and no objective values. There is no right or wrong way to live, only alternative ways. There is no correct reading of a text or a picture or a dance. God is dead, nihilism reigns. But, Rue adds, nihilism is a truth inconsistent with personal happiness and social coherence. What we need instead is a (...) new myth, a noble lie. Only a noble lie can save us from the psychological and social chaos now threatened by the spread of skepticism about the meaning of life and the universe. In By the Grace of Guile, Loyal Rue offers a wide ranging look at the importance of deception in nature and in human society, concluding with an argument for a noble lie to replace the religious beliefs rejected by modern thought. Most of the book is a provocative apology for deception, illuminating its role in the shaping of history, evolution, personality, and society. Ranging from the Bible and Greek philosophy, to Saint Augustine and Montaigne, to Galileo, Kirkegaard, and Freud, Rue shows that it may be more accurate to describe the history of our culture as a flight from deception than as a quest for truth. He turns then to the natural world to reveal how deception works at every level of life, ranging from plants that mimic dung, carrion, or prey to lure insects that then spread pollen, to a remarkable African insect (Acanthaspis petax) that bedecks itself with dead ants and enters the ant colony undetected to binge at will. Moreover, he points out that psychological research has shown that strategies of deception and self-deception are essential to our personal well-being, that we sometimes shore up our self-esteem by deceptive means, by leaving others in a state of ignorance, by manipulating others into a state of false belief, by suppressing information from consciousness, and by fabricating or distorting our own sense of reality. And he argues that social coherence is achievable only within certain optimal limits of deception--the social fabric would be threatened by an overabundance of lies and false promises, of course, but it would also collapse if everyone were perfectly honest all the time. Finally, he argues that society is caught up in a Kulturkampf with nihilists promoting intellectual and moral relativism and realists defending objective and universal truths. The noble lie, says Rue, would introduce a third voice, one which first agrees with the nihilists that universal myths are pretentious lies, but then insists, against the nihilists, that without such lies humanity cannot survive. The challenge, he concludes, is ultimately an aesthetic one: it remains for the artists, poets, novelists, musicians, filmmakers, and other masters of illusion to seduce us into an embrace with a noble lie. We need a new myth that tells us where we have come from, what our nature is, and how we should live together--a story with the courage and presumption to say how things really are and what really matters. (shrink)
Kant’s discussion of radical evil and moral regeneration in Religion Within the Bounds of Reason Alone raises numerous moral and metaphysical problems.If the ground of one’s disposition does not lie in time, as Kant argues, how can it be reformed, as the moral law commands? If divine aid is necessary for thisimpossible reformation, how does this not destroy a person’s moral personality by bypassing her freedom? This paper argues that these problems can be resolved by showing how Kant can conceive (...) the moral law itself as kind of grace which, willed properly, makes moral regeneration possible without destroying the autonomy of the individual. (shrink)
Eleonore Stump has recently articulated an account of grace which is neither deterministic nor Pelagian. Drawing on resources from Aquinas’s moral psychology, Stump’s account of grace affords the quiescence of the will a significant role in an individual’s coming to saving faith. In the present paper, I firstoutline Stump’s account and then raise a worry for that account. I conclude by suggesting a metaphysic that provides a way of resolving this worry. The resulting view allows one to maintain (...) both (i) that divine grace is the efficient cause of saving faith and (ii) that humans control whether or not they come to saving faith. (shrink)
Rowe argues that if for every good world there is a better, then God is not morally perfect since no matter what world God were to create he could have done better than he did. I contend that Rowe’s argument doesn’t do justice to the role grace plays in the theist’s doctrine of creation, and respond to five new criticisms of my position that Rowe offers in Can God be Free?
This essay investigates Bonaventure’s account of the original state of human nature and his reasons for holding the theory that God created human beingswithout grace in an actual, historical moment. Bonaventure argues that positing a historical moment before grace is more congruent with the divine order, precisely because it emphasizes the distinction between nature and grace and delays the conferral of grace until man’s desire is elicited and his willingness to cooperate in the divine plan made (...) clear. Bonaventure incorporates Aristotle’s teleological view of nature into his thought while managing to avoid a view of nature as autonomous. He grounds nature’s heteronomy in the exigencies of natural desires, which dispose our nature to remain radically and intrinsically orderable to a good that transcends those natural powers (albeit not actually so ordered). Bonaventure’s theory thus affirms the integrity of nature, while also emphasizing the total gratuity of grace. He thinks human nature is suspended between its own finitude and a radical capacity for the transcendent that waits upon divine agency. (shrink)
This paper looks at Sartre's 1957 papers on Jacopo Tintoretto to examine his reading of action and space in Tintoretto's St George and the Dragon . I suggest that Sartre offers an idea of grace which, far from shoring up a sense of decisive resolution to the action depicted in the painting, speaks instead of an abandonment in the subjective situation. This notion of abandonment appears through the erasure of a conclusive causal point, the disappearance of which lies at (...) the heart of Sartre's reading. Once freed from causal moorings existence is not loosened but rather becomes weighed down in its very situation. Taking support from the work of Levinas this paper considers how Sartre follows the cursive lines of this burdened subjectivity within the deceptive play of Tintoretto's painting. (shrink)
From the standpoint of the moral theologian, perhaps the most influential aspect of Karl Rahner’s theology is the thesis of the fundamental option, that is, the claim that the individual’s status before God is determined by a basic, freely chosen and prethematic orientation of openness towards, or rejection of God which takes place at the level of core or transcendental freedom. This paper argues that this notion of the fundamental option is problematic because it is not concrete enough to provide (...) an adequate interpretation of our actual experience. Yet this problem cannot be addressed through reviving the traditional account of mortal and venial sins, which are equally problematic, albeit in a somewhat different way. The second half of the paper explores the alternative offered by Aquinas’s account of charity, which, it is argued, does provide us with an account of grace sufficiently rich and concrete to illuminate human experience. However, this alternative is likewise problematic, most notably in its commitment to the view that charity is lost through one mortal sin. Yet Aquinas’s account of charity provides resources for an internal critique and revision on this point, as can be seen through a consideration of cases of “sinful saints.”. (shrink)
Traditional views of grace assert that God owes us nothing. Grace is undeserved, supererogatory and free. In this paper I argue that while this is an accurate characterization of creating grace, it is not true of saving grace. We have no right to be created as spiritual beings whose true good is found in relationship with God. But once we exist as spiritual beings, God does owe us a genuine offer of the salvation that constitutes our (...) highest fulfillment. Creating grace is undeserved. Saving grace is deserved (being based on our inherent worth and vital interests as spiritual beings) but unearned (it is not based on anything we have done). (shrink)
Karl Rahner distinguishes “the experience of grace” and “the experience of grace as grace.” How is the experience of grace to be understood? How is grace experienced? This article attempts to understand the experience of grace in terms of Maurice Blanchot’s thought of the impossible. “Human life is impossible,” as Simone Weil reflects. Blanchot, particularly through a reflection which echoes that of Levinas, seeks to reverse the relationship between possibility and impossibility. Whereas, for Heidegger, (...) the subject is to be understood in terms of possibility, Blanchot stresses the impossibility of human life which is only rendered possible through an initiative which is prior to the subject. The impossible relation with the other is the context for any possibility the self may have. With regard to grace, we argue its prior necessity, and its experience as impossible. Like suffering and death, the experience of grace is not the possibility of impossibility, but the impossibility of possibility. Maurice Blanchot himself remains relatively unfamiliar, he and his thoughts remaining in themselves inaccessible. Michel Foucault quite simply writes, “so far has he withdrawn into the manifestation of his work, so completely is he, not hidden by his texts, but absent from their existence, that for us he is that thought itself—its real, absolutely distant, shimmering, invisible presence, its inevitable law, its calm, infinite measured strength” (Foucault: Maurice Blanchot: The Thought from the Outside, 19). To a world espoused to philosophies of light and systems of integration, Blanchot’s thought presents itself as a “thought from outside” of any philosophy and any system, and refuses, as Levinas, says, to “see in philosophy the ultimate possibility.”. (shrink)
This article identifies the context of Augustine's theology of grace. His disappointing experiences as a priest and young bishop impacted his theological notions of gratia, especially as they would mature during the Pelagian crisis. Using Cyprian as an authority, Augustine argued against the Donatist idea of grace solely through membership in the 'pure' church and sacramental grace only via ministers free from ecclesial-sin (traditio). Instead, Augustine argued that all grace is solely through God and that all (...) humanity and the earthly Church was a mixed body of the fallen and blessed and in need of divine grace. (shrink)
With The Republic of Grace: Augustinian Thoughts for Dark Times, Charles Mathewes has given us a timely book that, I imagine, will be so for many times to come. His purpose throughout is to "offer a primer in the Augustinian-Christian vernacular, a language of religious, moral, and political deliberation" (2). This language and way of understanding reality, Mathewes argues, can provide us with ways of thinking about our own lives in the world as political and social creatures. The "dark (...) times" to which he refers in the subtitle have to do with life after 9/11 as citizens in a country that dominates as an economic and military powerhouse and greatly under the influence of what he calls "millennial capitalism" .. (shrink)
Once considered inimical to ethics, Karl Barth's theology is now rightly recognized for the central role ethics plays in it. But can Barth be safely placed in the mainstream tradition of Christian moral theology or does he offer a challenge to the latter? Gerald McKenny argues that the claim that God not only establishes the good from eternity but also brings it about in time is of fundamental importance to Barth's mature ethics. The good confronts us from the site of (...) its fulfilment in Jesus Christ, who has accomplished it in our place. The result is a vision of the moral life as a human analogy to God's grace, a vision which contrasts with the bourgeois vision of the moral life as an expression of human capability. Barth's moral theology is presented here as the attempt to reorder ethical thought and practice in light of this fundamental claim. This lucid and well-argued study is the most comprehensive treatment of Barth's ethics to date, offering a thorough account of the development of Barth's ethical thought and a wide-ranging analysis of its chief concepts and arguments. McKenny explains why certain widespread assumptions about Barth's moral theology are mistaken and explores the rich, complex, and often surprising ways in which Barth's position engages the traditions of Christian ethics and modern continental moral thought. Above all, McKenny shows why Barth's moral theology deserves our attention in spite of, or rather because of, its uneasy fit in the mainstream tradition of Christian moral theology. (shrink)
The American Progressive Movement argued for both a democratization of the political process and deference to expert administrators. Relying on the work of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, the article endeavors to explore this tension and make some preliminary suggestions as to how it might be reconciledinto a single democratic theory. Both Roosevelt and Wilson criticize the principles of the original Constitution for being insufficiently democratic and overly suspicious of the popular will, and they want to make public (...) opinion a more direct force in national politics. Yet both are also suspicious of politics and its potential for corruption by and thus look for ways of empowering expert administrative agencies and insulating them from political influence. Wilson seems to understand the potential conflict between these two aims more than Roosevelt does, although both look to a popularized presidency as a means of reconciling consent and expertise. (shrink)