These essays represent an important contribution to modern philosophical theology. They begin with an appreciation of Basil Mitchell's work and then discuss the role of reason in the justification of Christian theism, giving special attention to the nature of informal reasoning in religion and science. The latter essays examine particular arguments raised by specific religious concepts, covering such topics as the problem of evil, conspicuous sanctity, atonement, and the Eucharist. Drawn from a wide spectrum of philosophers and theologians, the (...) contributors include Maurice Wiles, Grace M. Jantzen, Gordon Kaufman, J.R. Lucas, Rom Harr'e, Richard Swinburne, and Michael Dummett. (shrink)
Faith and Criticism addresses a central problem in the church today--the tension between traditionalists and progressives. Traditionalists want above all to hold fast to traditional foundations in belief and ensure that nothing of value is lost, even at the risk of a clash with "modern knowledge." Progressives are concerned above all to proclaim a faith that is credible today, even at the risk of sacrificing some elements of traditional doctrine. They are often locked in uncomprehending conflict. Basil Mitchell argues (...) that, not only in theology but in any other serious intellectual pursuit, faith and criticism are interdependent. A tradition which is not open to criticism will eventually ossify; and without faith in some established tradition criticism has nothing to fasten upon. This interdependence of faith and criticism has implications for society at large. Religious education can be Christian without ceasing to be critical, and a liberal society can espouse Christian values. (shrink)
This book analyzes the moral confusion of contemporary society, relating rival conceptions of morality with a wide variety of views about the nature and predicament of man. Mitchell argues that many secular thinkers possess a traditional "Christian" conscience which they find hard to defend in terms of an entirely secular world-view, but which is more in line with a Christian understanding of man.
Guanxi (literally interpersonal connections) is in essence a network of resource coalition-based stakeholders sharing resources for survival, and it plays a key role in achieving business success in China. However, the salience of guanxi stakeholders varies: not all guanxi relationships are necessary, and among the necessary guanxi participants, not all are equally important. A hierarchical stakeholder model of guanxi is developed drawing upon Mitchell et al.’s (1997) stakeholder salience theory and Anderson’s (1982) constituency theory. As an application of instrumental (...) stakeholder theory, the model dimensionalizes the notion of stakeholder salience, and distinguishes between and among internal and external guanxi, core, major, and peripheral guanxi, and primary and secondary guanxi stakeholders. Guanxi management principles are developed based on a hierarchy of guanxi priorities and management specializations. The goal of this application of instrumental stakeholder theory is to construct, for Western business firms in China, a means to reliably identify guanxi partners by employing the principles of effective guanxi. These principles are described in the form of testable propositions that advance social scientific research in this area of international business ethics. (shrink)
What enables individually simple insects like ants to act with such precision and purpose as a group? How do trillions of individual neurons produce something as extraordinarily complex as consciousness? What is it that guides self-organizing structures like the immune system, the World Wide Web, the global economy, and the human genome? These are just a few of the fascinating and elusive questions that the science of complexity seeks to answer. In this remarkably accessible and companionable book, leading complex systems (...) scientist Melanie Mitchell provides an intimate, detailed tour of the sciences of complexity, a broad set of efforts that seek to explain how large-scale complex, organized, and adaptive behavior can emerge from simple interactions among myriad individuals. Comprehending such systems requires a wholly new approach, one that goes beyond traditional scientific reductionism and that re-maps long-standing disciplinary boundaries. Based on her work at the Santa Fe Institute and drawing on its interdisciplinary strategies, Mitchell brings clarity to the workings of complexity across a broad range of biological, technological, and social phenomena, seeking out the general principles or laws that apply to all of them. She explores as well the relationship between complexity and evolution, artificial intelligence, computation, genetics, information processing, and many other fields. Richly illustrated and vividly written, Complexity: A Guided Tour offers a comprehensive and eminently comprehensible overview of the ideas underlying complex systems science, the current research at the forefront of this field, and the prospects for the field's contribution to solving some of the most important scientific questions of our time. (shrink)
Schmitt's study provides strong support for sexual strategies theory (Buss & Schmitt 1993) – that men and women both have evolved a complex menu of mating strategies, selectively deployed depending on personal, social, and ecological contexts. It also simultaneously refutes social structural theories founded on the core premise that women and men are sexually monomorphic in their psychology of human mating. Further progress depends on identifying evolved psychological design features sensitive to the costs and benefits of pursuing each strategy (...) from the menu, which vary across mating milieus. These design features, like many well-documented mating adaptations, are likely to be highly sex-differentiated. (shrink)
Guilty , by Georges Bataille Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 162-163 Authors Andrew J. Mitchell, Emory University Journal Comparative and Continental Philosophy Online ISSN 1757-0646 Print ISSN 1757-0638 Journal Volume Volume 4 Journal Issue Volume 4, Number 1 / 2012.
A starting-point for the philosophical examination of theological belief, by A. Farrer.--The possibility of theological statements, by I. M. Crombie.--Revelation, by A. Farrer.--How theologians reason, by G. C. Stead.--The soul, by J. R. Lucas.--The grace of God, by B. Mitchell.--Religion and morals, by R. M. Hare.--"We" in modern philosophy, M. B. Foster.
At the moment in Britain and elsewhere the debate inside and outside of Parliament on various medical issues which are essentially moral never ends. Everybody has his own point of view--or principles. But what emerges for society to adopt can often be called in lay terminology 'compromise'. Professor Mitchell argues in this paper that a moral consensus is possible and indeed ought to be achieved, as today the medical practitioner can no longer make his decision only in accordance with (...) the strict code of ethics of the medical profession. The task of the philosopher, says Professor Mitchell, is to interpret the actions and attitudes demanded by modern medical practice. (shrink)
How can audiences interact creatively, wisely and peaceably with the many different forms of violence found throughout today's media? Suicide attacks, graphic executions and the horrors of war appear in news reports, films, web-sites, and even on mobile phones. One approach towards media violence is to attempt to protect viewers; another is to criticize journalists, editors, film-makers and their stories. In this book Jolyon Mitchell highlights Christianity's ambiguous relationship with media violence. He goes beyond debates about the effects of (...) watching mediated violence to examine how audiences, producers and critics interact with news images, films, video-games and advertising. He argues that practices such as hospitality, friendship, witness and worship can provide the context where both spectacular and hidden violence can be remembered and reframed. This can help audiences to imagine how their own identities and communities can be based not upon violence, but upon a more lasting foundation of peace. (shrink)
Terrorism is a metaphysical problem that concerns the presence of beings today. Heidegger's own thinking of being makes possible a confrontation with terrorism on four fronts: 1) Heidegger's conception of war in the age of technological replacement goes beyond the Clausewitzian model of war and all its modernist-subjectivist presuppositions, 2) Heidegger thinks "terror" (Erschrecken) as the fundamental mood of our time, 3) Heideggerian thinking is attuned to the nature of the terrorist "threat" and the "danger" that we face today, 4) (...) Heidegger rethinks the notion of "security" in a manner that alerts us to the oxymoronic character of "homeland security." The epoch of terrorism is likewise the era of political transformation that Heidegger identifies with "Americanism." In this essay an effort is made to think terrorism qua metaphysical problem and to inquire into the perhaps privileged role of America for the thinking of terrorism today. (shrink)
To be autonomous is to be a law to oneself; autonomous agents are self-governing agents. Most of us want to be autonomous because we want to be accountable for what we do, and because it seems that if we are not the ones calling the shots, then we cannot be accountable. More importantly, perhaps, the value of autonomy is tied to the value of self-integration. We don't want to be alien to, or at war with, ourselves; and it seems that (...) when our intentions are not under our own control, we suffer from self-alienation. What conditions must be satisfied in order to ensure that we govern ourselves when we act? Philosophers have offered a wide range of competing answers to this question. (shrink)
My chief aim is to explain how someone can act freely against her own best judgment. But I also have a second aim: to defend a conception of practical rationality according to which someone cannot do something freely if she believes it would be better to do something else. These aims may appear incompatible. But I argue that practical reason has the capacity to undermine itself in such a way that it produces reasons for behaving irrationally. Weakness of will is (...) possible because it is possible to conclude that one has sufficient reason to reject the verdicts of one's own reason. (shrink)
Biological knowledge does not fit the image of science that philosophers have developed. Many argue that biology has no laws. Here I criticize standard normative accounts of law and defend an alternative, pragmatic approach. I argue that a multidimensional conceptual framework should replace the standard dichotomous law/accident distinction in order to display important differences in the kinds of causal structure found in nature and the corresponding scientific representations of those structures. To this end I explore the dimensions of stability, strength, (...) and degree of abstraction that characterize the variety of scientific knowledge claims found in biology and other sciences. (shrink)
Beatty, Brandon, and Sober agree that biological generalizations, when contingent, do not qualify as laws. Their conclusion follows from a normative definition of law inherited from the Logical Empiricists. I suggest two additional approaches: paradigmatic and pragmatic. Only the pragmatic represents varying kinds and degrees of contingency and exposes the multiple relationships found among scientific generalizations. It emphasizes the function of laws in grounding expectation and promotes the evaluation of generalizations along continua of ontological and representational parameters. Stability of conditions (...) and strength of determination in nature govern projectibility. Accuracy, ontological level, simplicity, and manageability provide additional measures of usefulness. (shrink)
Managers often encounter situations that require them to make decisions with ethical implications that affect the organization as well as the managers themselves. The issue we address in this study concerns whether the ethical consistency of managerial decisions is situation dependent. That is, are the decisions managers make ethically consistent when they are faced with different ethical situations? We hypothesize that managerial decisions will vary depending on the type of ethical situation they encounter. We also hypothesize that gender plays a (...) role in determining the ethical consistency of managerial decisions. Results of statistical analyses support our hypotheses. (shrink)
It has been claimed that ceteris paribus laws, rather than strict laws are the proper aim of the special sciences. This is so because the causal regularities found in these domains are exception-ridden, being contingent on the presence of the appropriate conditions and the absence of interfering factors. I argue that the ceteris paribus strategy obscures rather than illuminates the important similarities and differences between representations of causal regularities in the exact and inexact sciences. In particular, a detailed account of (...) the types and degrees of contingency found in the domain of biology permits a more adequate understanding of the relations among the sciences. (shrink)
The `fact' of pluralism in science is nosurprise. Yet, if science is representing andexplaining the structure of the oneworld, why is there such a diversity ofrepresentations and explanations in somedomains? In this paper I consider severalphilosophical accounts of scientific pluralismthat explain the persistence of bothcompetitive and compatible alternatives. PaulSherman's `Levels of Analysis' account suggeststhat in biology competition betweenexplanations can be partitioned by the type ofquestion being investigated. I argue that thisaccount does not locate competition andcompatibility correctly. I then defend anintegrative (...) model for understanding pluralism. This view is based on taking seriously both thecomplexity and contingency of biologicalorganization and the idealized character ofbiological models. On this view, explanationbecomes, among other things, the location forthe integration of diverse models. I explicatemy argument by an analysis of explanations ofdivision of labor in social insects. (shrink)
Aberrant consumer behaviour costs firms millions of pounds a year, and the Internet has provided young techno-literate consumers with a new medium to exploit businesses. This paper addresses Internet related ethics and describes the ways in which young consumers misdemean on the Internet and their attitudes towards these. Using a sample of 219 generation Y consumers, the study identified 24 aberrant behaviours which grouped into five factors; illegal, questionable activities, hacking related, human Internet trade and downloading. Those perceived as least (...) wrong were; "Downloading movie and music files from the Internet for free". The consequences of these behaviours have implications for educators, consumer policy and marketers. (shrink)
The purpose of this study was to identify general characteristics attributed to ethical business cultures by executives from a variety of industries. Our research identified five clusters of characteristics: Mission- and Values-Driven, Stakeholder Balance, Leadership Effectiveness, Process Integrity, and Long-term Perspective. We propose that these characteristics be used as a foundation of a comprehensive model that can be engaged to influence operational practices in creating and sustaining an ethical business culture.
The mutation-selection hypothesis may extend to understanding normal personality variation. Traits such as emotional stability, agreeableness, and conscientiousness figure strongly in mate selection and show evidence of non-additive genetic variance. They are linked with reproductively relevant outcomes, including longevity, resource acquisition, and mating success. Evolved difference-detection adaptations may function to spurn individuals whose high mutation load signals a burdensome relationship load. (Published Online November 9 2006).
Introductions should introduce, but sometimes lead to engagements. That is our aim. We want to make Plato’s Republic more easily read by modern readers, but do not want to do only that. For philosophy is like poetry, and cannot be learned second-hand. I can learn all sorts of facts about a poem, but unless I have entered into the poet’s experience, if only in my imagination, it remains dead. Similarly, I shall not see the point of text-book analyses of philosophical (...) doctrines unless I have felt the force of the arguments that led the philosopher to propose them, and have some sense of the objections he encountered and the way he sought to surmount them. That is why we still need to read Plato and Aristotle, as we do Homer and Sophocles, in a way that we do not, save as a historical exercise, read ancient textbooks of medicine or mechanical construction. (shrink)
We applaud Campbell's cogent arguments for the evolution of female survival mechanisms but take issue with several key conceptual claims: the treatment of patriarchy; the implicit assumption that women are passive pawns in a male game of media exploitation; and the neglect of the possibility that media images exploit existing evolved psychological mechanisms rather than create them.
Over the last several years, as cesarean deliveries have grown increasingly common, there has been a great deal of public and professional interest in the phenomenon of women 'choosing' to deliver by cesarean section in the absence of any specific medical indication. The issue has sparked intense conversation, as it raises questions about the nature of autonomy in birth. Whereas mainstream bioethical discourse is used to associating autonomy with having a large array of choices, this conception of autonomy does not (...) seem adequate to capture concerns and intuitions that have a strong grip outside this discourse. An empirical and conceptual exploration of how delivery decisions ought to be negotiated must be guided by a rich understanding of women's agency and its placement within a complicated set of cultural meanings and pressures surrounding birth. It is too early to be 'for' or 'against' women's access to cesarean delivery in the absence of traditional medical indications – and indeed, a simple pro- or con- position is never going to do justice to the subtlety of the issue. The right question is not whether women ought to be allowed to choose their delivery approach but, rather, taking the value of women's autonomy in decision-making around birth as a given, what sorts of guidelines, practices, and social conditions will best promote and protect women's full inclusion in a safe and positive birth process. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss recent debates concerning etiological theories of functions. I defend an etiological theory against two criticisms, namely the ability to account for malfunction, and the problem of structural doubles. I then consider the arguments provided by Bigelow and Pargetter (1987) for a more forward looking account of functions as propensities or dispositions. I argue that their approach fails to address the explanatory problematic for which etiological theories were developed.
An amended bootstrapping can avoid Christensen's counterexamples. Earman and Edidin argue that Christensen's examples to bootstrapping rely on his failure to analyze background knowledge. I add an additional condition to bootstrapping that is motivated by Glymour's remarks on variety of evidence. I argue that it avoids the problems that the examples raise. I defend the modification against the charge that it is holistic, and that it collapses into Bayesianism.
The resurgence of religion around the globe poses a challenge for both empirical and normative social scientists. For the former, the question is whether the terms at their disposal are adequate to comprehend religious self-understanding and, therefore, human motivation and conduct. For the latter, the question is whether those terms confuse or clarify the way in which religion may be brought into public dialog without violating the tenets of pluralism or toleration. How, then, do social scientists of both persuasions currently (...) understand religion? I begin by distinguishing religious experience from other sorts of experience, with a view to demonstrating, first, that the two preeminent terms adopted by social scientists today preference and choice cannot comprehend religious experience. To do this, I provide a brief exposition of what I call the fable of liberalism, in order to explain why the terms preference and choice have achieved the currency that they have and what problems their invocation was intended to address. Second, I consider two other terms social scientists often invoke value and identity and suggest that these terms also are inadequate for understanding religious experience. The first set of terms arises in the eighteenth century, out of the Anglo-American tradition; the second set of terms arises in the nineteenth century, out of the German tradition. None of these terms are able to comprehend religious experience, which antedates these sets of terms by centuries. I end by suggesting, first, that empirical social scientists would do well to reconsider whether terms that arose during specific historical moments in order to circumvent or to supersede religious experience can help them understand human motivation, let alone predict human conduct, whenever or wherever religion is involved; and, second, that the attempt by well-meaning normative social scientists to bring religion into the public sphere by treating it in terms of preference, choice, value, or identity distorts religious experience, and cannot succeed as a strategy for reintroducing religion into public dialog, since religion is not what they wish to render it in terms of. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that two domains of uncertainty should inform our strategies for making social policy on new genetic technologies. The first is biological complexity, which includes both unknown consequences on known variables and unknown unknowns. The second is value pluralism, which includes both moral conflict and moral pluralism. This framework is used to investigate policy on genetically modified food and suggests that adaptive management is required to track changes in biological knowledge of these interventions and that less (...) simplistic, polemic representations of scientific knowledge are required to permit democratic decision making. (shrink)
The controversy regarding the unit of selection is fundamentally a dispute about what is the correct causal structure of the process of evolution by natural selection and its ontological commitments. By characterizing the process as consisting of two essential steps--interaction and transmission--a singular answer to the unit question becomes ambiguous. With such an account on hand, two recent defenses of competing units of selection are considered. Richard Dawkins maintains that the gene is the appropriate unit of selection and Robert Brandon, (...) in response, argues that the individual organism is better suited to the role. This paper argues that by making explicit the underlying questions that each of these views addresses, the apparent conflict can be resolved. Furthermore, such a resolution allows for a more complete and realistic understanding of the process of evolution by natural selection. (shrink)
Gangestad & Simpson make a major contribution by highlighting the importance of mate choice for good genes, the costs of alternative strategies, and tradeoffs inherent in human mating. By downplaying sex differences and ignoring the nongenetic adaptive benefits of short term mating, however, they undermine their goal of “strategic pluralism” by presenting a theory devoid of many documented complexities of human mating.
There has been a recent resurgence of interest in anthropomorphism, attributable to both the rise of cognitive ethology and the requirements of various forms of expanded, environmental ethics. The manner and degree to which non-human animals are similar to human beings has thus become a focus of scientific research and a necessary component to our decisions to act morally. At its basis, anthropomorphism involves claims about the similarity of non-human objects or beings to humans. Critics of anthropomorphism often attack the (...) presumptive character of such claims. In this paper I consider a range of stances toward anthropomorphism from global rejections to specific models. The bumper sticker version of this talk could be: science made too easy is bound to be wrong. In the end I will argue that specific anthropomorphic theses are supported or not supported by the same rigorous experimental and logical reasoning as any other scientific model. (shrink)