The dilemma confronted by Buridan’s Ass leads into a problem about nil-preference situations, to which there is a solution in the literature that is inspired by Alan Turing: we have evolved with a computational module in our brains that comes into play in such situations by picking a random action among the alternatives that detennines the subject’s choice. We relate these Buridan’s Ass situations to a larger, theoretically interesting category in which there is no alternative that is decisively superior to (...) others with respect to expected utility, and we try to show how our emotional makeup figures in a rational response, particularly as informed by symbolic utilitythat we draw down from our culture’s shared understandings. The category is theoretically interesting because it contains moral dilemmas, as well as hard cases in which an imponant choice must be made without an option that has clearly superior expected utility. We argue that our Emotional Response Model is preferable to Turing’s Randomizer for this category, as well as more illuminating about nil-preference situations or close approximations thereto. (shrink)
The rapid recent expansion of copyright law worldwide has sparked efforts to defend the ‘public domain’ of non-propertized information, often on the ground that an expansive public domain is a condition of a ‘free culture’. Yet questions remain about why the public domain is worth defending, what exactly a free culture is, and what role (if any) authors’ rights might play in relation to it. From the standard liberal perspective shared by many critics of copyright expansionism, the protection of individual (...) expression by means of marketable property rights in authors’ works serves as an engine of progress towards a fully competitive ‘marketplace of ideas’ – though only if balanced by an extensive public domain from which users may draw in the exercise of their own expressivity. This article shows that a significantly different, and arguably richer, conception of what a free culture is and how authors’ rights underpin it emerges from a direct engagement with the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. For Kant, progress towards a fully emancipated (i.e. a ‘mature’ or ‘enlightened’) culture can only be achieved through the critical intellectual activity that public communication demands: individual expressive freedom is only a condition, not constitutive, of this ‘freedom to make public use of one’s reason in all matters’. The main thesis defended in this article is that when Kant’s writings on publicity (critical public debate) are read in relation to his writings on the legal organization of publishing, a necessary connection emerges between authors’ rights – as distinct from copyrights – and what Jürgen Habermas and others have named the public sphere. I conclude that it is the public sphere, and not the public domain as such, that should serve as the key reference point in any evaluation of copyright law’s role in relation to the possibility of a free culture. (shrink)
Although the demographics on male versus female death-row prisoners suggest that males are criminal justice system’s primary targets, the author argues that the system still discriminates against women. Vtilizing postmodern scholarship, he argues that female prisoners are punished primarily for violating dominant norms of gender correctness.
MEDIEVAL LOGICS LAMBERT MARIE DE RIJK (ed.), Die mittelalterlichen Traktate De mod0 opponendiet respondendi, Einleitung und Ausgabe der einschlagigen Texte. (Beitrage zur Geschichte der Philosophie und Theologie des Mittelalters, Neue Folge Band 17.) Miinster: Aschendorff, 1980. 379 pp. No price stated. THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY MARTA FATTORI, Lessico del Novum Organum di Francesco Bacone. Rome: Edizioni dell'Ateneo 1980. Two volumes, il + 543, 520 pp. Lire 65.000. VIVIAN SALMON, The study of language in 17th century England. (Amsterdam Studies in the Theory (...) and History of Linguistic Science, Series 111: Studies in theHistory of Linguistics, Volume 17.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins B.V., 1979.x + 218 pp. Dfl. 65. Theoria cum Praxi. Zum Verhaltnis von Theorie und Praxis im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert. (Akten des 111. Internationalen Leibnizkongress, Hannover, 12. bis 17.November 1977, Band 111: Logik, Erkenntnistheorie, Wissenschaftstheorie, Metaphysik, Theologie.) Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1980. vii + 269 pp. DM 48. CLASSICAL AND NON-CLASSICAL LOGICS MICHAEL CLARK, The place of syllogistic in logical theory. Nottingham: University of Nottingham Press, 1980. ix + 151 pp. £3.00. A.F. PARKER-RHODES, The theory of indistinguishables. Dordrecht, Boston and London: D. Reidel Publishing Company, 1981. xvii + 216 pp. Dfl.90.00/$39.50. NICHOLAS RESCHER and ROBERT BRANDOM, The logic of inconsistency. Oxford:Basil Blackwell, 1980. x + 174 pp. f 11.50. MISCELLANEOUS J. ZELENY, The logic of Marx. Translated from the German by T. Carver. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1980. xcii + 247 pp. £12.50. FELIX KAUFMANN, The infinite in mathematics. Edited by Brian McGuinness. Introduction by E. Nagel. Translation from the German by Paul Foulkes. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1978. xvii + 235 pp. Dfl 85/$39.50 (cloth); Dfl 45/$19.95 (paper). PAMELA MCCORDUCK, Machines who think. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1979. xiv + 275 pp. $14.95. J. MITTELSTRASS (ed.), Enzyklopadie Philosophie und Wissenschaftstheorie Bd. 1 : A-G. Mannheim, Wien, Ziirich: Bibliographisches Institut, 1980. 835 pp. DM 128. (shrink)
This article, which was originally presented at the annual conference of the Venerable John Henry Newman Association in Mundelein, Illinois, in August 2004, portrays Newman as anticipating three aspects of postmodernism:the question of epistemological foundations, the role of theology in the academy, and a conversational model of truth.
Research over the last decades has stimulated a paradigm shift in biology from assuming fixed and dichotomous male and female sexual strategies to an appreciation of significant variation in sex and sexual behaviour both within and between species. This has resulted in the development of a broader biological understanding of sexual strategies, sexuality and variation in sexual behaviour. However, current introductory biological textbooks have not yet incorporated these new research findings. Our analysis of the content of current biology texts suggests (...) that in undergraduate biology curricula variation in sexual behaviour, sexual strategies and sexuality barely feature, even though sex is discussed in a range of contexts. In this aspect, biological teaching is lagging behind current research. Here, we draw attention to new findings in the biology of sex, and suggest how these might be incorporated in undergraduate teaching to provide a more contemporary and inclusive education for biology students. (shrink)
Forms characteristic of the earth itself are inherent in the design of man. Man's being emerged out of a cosmic matrix whose morphic aspects man himself expresses. These forms and their functional interrelationships are the very conditions of consciousness. This paper proposes that the relationship between human consciousness and its complete environment should be the subject matter of an emerging discipline, the ecology of consciousness. Constructs useful in the ecology of plants and animals should be coordinated to psychological constructs. These (...) coordinating constructs should be based upon study of the most pervasive morphic regularities at the biophysical level. An analysis of the design of man suggests many possibilities, especially when one considers the known neurophysiological and biochemical conditioners of consciousness. Educational (experiential) strategies for the transformation of consciousness should also be explored. These might include the manipulation of variables such as volume, duration, and intensity of sensory stimulation, including various combinations of modalities. A systematic effort should be made to state the fundamental problems to which a scientific ecology of consciousness might address itself. New methods must be devised. A preliminary program for an ecology of consciousness is proposed. (shrink)
The second International Knowledge and Discourse Conference, held at the University of Hong Kong in June 2002, was the forum for the long-awaited debate between Bruno Latour and Steve Fuller. Bruno Latour counts beyond two. He places the blame for the emphasis in academia on the subject-object distinction on Kant. Latour wants academics to acknowledge that things act, and suggests we look at other traditions, e.g. the Chinese, for alternatives to the subject-object dichotomy. Steve Fuller concentrated on the moral project (...) of science, which is to draw a distinction between the human and the non-human and, to highlight the fact that, as the culmination of the sciences, social science has a particular responsibility to make this distinction. He accused Bruno Latour of evading the moral issue. The debate can be read as a reiteration of the postions of Bruno Latour and Steve Fuller on the question of heterogeneity at the theoretical level, but it did not address the topic at the practical or research level. (shrink)
This article seeks to identify and address the normative void that resides at the heart of postmodernist-feminist theory, and to propose a philosophical framework – beyond postmodernism, but incorporating its central insights – for thinking through the normative questions with which feminists are inevitably confronted in their engagements with positive law. Two varieties of postmodernist-feminism are identified and critically analysed: the ‘corporeal feminism’ of Elizabeth Grosz and Judith Butler, which seeks to ground feminist critical practice in the irruptive capacities of (...) the material body considered as an arte fact of social construction; and the deconstructionist feminism of Drucilla Cornell, for whom ‘the feminine’ is an indeterminate but disruptive force beyond its construction in law and in other social sites. The first component of the argument elaborated here is that each of these approaches ultimately reduces to a form of aestheticism which is incapable of generating a worthwhile and workable feminist approach to the restructuring of politics and law. The second component of the argument involves a return to aesthetics, in particular to the philosophical aesthetics of Kant’s Critique of Judgement. Kant’s aesthetic philosophy, it will be suggested, yields a framework of concepts which, duly re-manipulated, could speak to the very concerns that have inspired postmodernist-feminism: how to attend to (bodily) particularity while avoiding the dangers associated with ‘essentialism’; and how to theorise the propensity of the unrepresentable power of the feminine to exceed both embodied human capacities and the confining rein of socially privileged rationalities. Crucially, however it also responds to a set of preoccupations – those of the feminist lawyer – that cannot be accommodated by postmodernism: how to translate embodied experience into (legal) norms; generalise from the particular; seek consensus; and codify an endless potentiality in the form of law. (shrink)