This article examines the responses given by 590 kindergarten to 12th-Grade students when they were asked about their conception of heroes. The sequence of questions asked students to define, describe, name, and justify their response about heroes. Students, regardless of age level, appear to use an operational definition of hero, but when asked to identify a hero, most students named a person with whom they have had personal experiences. Responses given over the age spans move from a specific (...) behaviour to that of a sustained behaviour over a period of time. The change in responses demonstrates developmental changes in conceptual, cognitive, and social growth. (shrink)
This essay discusses the views of historian Gertrude Himmelfarb, who sets forth that democratic societies tend toward a determinist outlook; she fears that the weakened belief in free will and its heroes endangers a democratic society. She regards H. G. Wells as the founder in 1920 of the "new history," with its antiheroic bias. She welcomes therefore the television series The Civil War for having achieved "a history from above and history from below," with its heroes among common (...) soldiers as well as the generals and statesmen. Himmelfarb criticizes the "debunking" historians who not only belittle the significance of heroes but find in "small causes" (e.g., the origins of Hitler's obsessive anti-Semitism) a basis for large-scale events (e.g., the Holocaust). Himmelfarb finds that H. G. Wells's Outline of History was intended not only to displace military conquerors as the heroes of history but to elevate the scientific elite in their place as history's truly constructive people. Americans, however, were, earlier, first introduced to another variety of "new history" by two Columbia University professors, Charles A. Beard and James Harvey Robinson, who wrote textbooks used by perhaps millions of high school students; Beard had derived the concept in 1906 when he read the Socialist History of France , much of it written by the French socialist, Jean Jaurès. The philosophy of history still remains in a position similar to that which has long prevailed in the philosophy of physics, where determinism and indeterminism have persisted irreconcilably. (shrink)
Some students do not cheat. Students high in measures of bravery, honesty, and empathy, our defining characteristics of heroism, report less past cheating than other students. These student heroes also reported that they would feel more guilt if they cheated and also reported less intent to cheat in the future than nonheroes. We find general consensus between students and professors as to reasons for the nonreporting of cheating, suggesting a general impression of insufficient evidence, lack of courage, and denial. (...) Suggested interventions in academia are based in positive psychology and an understanding of academic heroes. (shrink)
Abstract Since the seventeenth century the dream of rendering human life less arduous and of securing it against the whims of fate through the development and deployment of technological devices has been a factor stimulating scientific research and development. This dream rests on a supposition that we live in a universe governed by deterministic laws in which limits on our ability to predict and control are set only by the imperfection of our knowledge and skill. But recent work in chaos (...) theory combined with reminders that human beings themselves form part of the worldin which they live and seek to control suggests that this supposition is unjustified. If this is the case, then the idea that there is a technological solution to every problem, one which can be found by scientists or experts (the modern heroes) is revealed as a magical attitude which should have no place in rational decision making and whose persistence threatens to turn scientists into the high priests of a cult of technology. (shrink)
This paper presents a reading of the transcripts of interviews withNHS Trust Chief Executives. Using a poststructuralist understanding ofthe interviews, it privileges a reading that (ironically) representsthese Chief Executives as heroes. Following the classic hero story line,they leave the civilized order of home and journey into a threateningwilderness where they encounter dangerous and magical things butovercome them all because of their masculine characteristics such asrationality, strength and resourcefulness. One way in which thesestories can be understood to have significance is (...) that they(misleadingly but powerfully) portray management as obvious andnecessary by evocatively drawing on a myth of ancient origin. The piececoncludes with some reflections on the ontological implications of theanalysis and reflexive comments on the production of truth as aproblem. (shrink)
Scale matters in morality, so that different factors occupy us at high and low scales. Different people are needed to be good neighbours in everyday life and moral heroes in crises. There is no reason to believe that the same traits are required for both. So there is no such thing as the all-round good person.
Nussbaum seems to have had a spell during which she made villains heroes (and sometimes visa versa). Thus she has argued, in effect, that Steerforth is the hero of David Copperfield, and Heathcliff the most admirable character in Wuthering Heights. Here I discuss her more or less explicit claim that Alcibiades is the hero, (and Socrates the villain) in Plato’s Symposium. -/- .
This essay explores the question of how to be good. My starting point is a thesis about moral worth that I’ve defended in the past: roughly, that an action is morally worthy if and only it is performed for the reasons why it is right. While I think that account gets at one important sense of moral goodness, I argue here that it fails to capture several ways of being worthy of admiration on moral grounds. Moral goodness is more multi-faceted. (...) My title is intended to capture that multi-facetedness: the essay examines saintliness, heroism, and sagacity. The variety of our common-sense moral ideals underscores the inadequacy of any one account of moral admirableness, and I hope to illuminate the distinct roles these ideals play in our everyday understanding of goodness. Along the way, I give an account of what makes actions heroic, of whether such actions are supererogatory, and of what, if anything, is wrong with moral deference. At the close of the essay, I begin to explore the flipside of these ideals: villainy. (shrink)
In 1941 Father Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish friar from Warsaw was arrested for publishing anti-Nazi pamphlets and sentenced to Auschwitz. There he was beaten, kicked by shiny leather boots, and whipped by his prison guards. After one prisoner successfully escaped, the prescribed punishment was to select ten other prisoners who were to die by starvation. As ten prisoners were pulled out of line one by one, Fr. Kolbe broke out from the ranks, pleading with he Commandant to be allowed to (...) take the place of one of the prisoners, a Polish worker with a wife and children dependent upon him. "I'm an old man, sir, and good for nothing. My life will serve no purpose," the 45 year old priest pleaded. He was taken, thrown down the stairs into a dank dark basement with the other nine prisoners and left to starve. Usually, prisoners punished like this spent their last days howling, attacking each other and clawing the walls in a frenzy of despair. (shrink)
This unique collection looks at analytic philosophy in its historical context. Called into question are its self-image, its relationship with philosophical alternatives, its fruitfulness and even legitimacy in the general philosophical community. This volume is an undertaking by analytic philosophers to address the crisis formed by changing cultural and philosophical trends and movements. Interpreting the crisis by telling the "story" of analytic philosophy, the volume presents its raison d' etre and the motivations, methods, and results of its (...) eminent figures. Contributors include Hilary Putnam, Jaako Hintikka, and Peter Hylton. (shrink)
Why do people do horrific things to one another? This article reviews two recent books that attempt to answer that question, Philip Zimbardo's The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil and Barbara Coloroso's Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide . The author discusses the educational implications of these works and raises preliminary considerations for an education for heroism.
Introduction : heroes like us -- Hegel, the western and classical modernity -- The myth and the frontier -- The hero in the epochs of mythical and the bourgeois -- The end of the individual -- The end of the subject -- Romanticism, crime and agonal modernity -- The return of tragedy in modernity -- Heroes of coolness and the ironist -- Nietzsche, science fiction and hybrid modernity -- Heroic individualismus and metaphysics -- Superhumans, supermen, cyborgs -- (...) class='Hi'>Heroes of the future. (shrink)
Hegel, the western and classical modernity. The myth and the frontier ; The hero in the epochs of mythical and the bourgeois ; The end of the individual ; The end of the subject -- Romanticism, crime and agonal modernity. The return of tragedy in modernity ; Heroes of coolness and the ironist -- Nietzsche, science fiction and hybrid modernity. Heroic individualismus and metaphysics ; Superhumans, supermen, cyborgs ; Heroes of the future.
The possibility of positing critiques of the contemporary from within Hegel’s political philosophy is by no means evident. In fact, Hegel’s political philosophy has been plagued with accusations of quietism and conservatism and Hegel himself claims that the philosophical task is retrospective and descriptive. Yet, in spite of this claim, Hegel posits a critique of his contemporaries, the Jacobins. I attempt to answer the question, is Hegel’s critique of the Jacobins consistent with his political philosophy as a whole? Or, is (...) this critique a mere inconsistency in Hegel’s system? In essence, is Hegel justified, on his own grounds, to criticize the Jacobins? In order to answer this question, I identify what Hegel means by the “genuinely philosophical viewpoint,” which he equates with the “world-historical perspective,” and show that this perspective is not limited to historical description, but does in fact allow and even call for political discernment and critique. (shrink)
Parmenides as Secret Hero. Gregor Betz’s Theorie Dialektischer Strukturen (Theory of Dialectical Structures) Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-13 DOI 10.1007/s10503-011-9213-z Authors Frank Zenker, Department of Philosophy and Cognitive Science, Lund University, Kungshuset, Lundagård, 222 22 Lund, Sweden Journal Argumentation Online ISSN 1572-8374 Print ISSN 0920-427X.
In his treatises Hero of Alexandria describes a range of devices for producing spectacles and generating wonder that have frequently been treated as marginal by historians of technology and science. In this paper I shall show that these devices and Hero's emphasis on wonder-making are of central importance to the image that Hero presents of mechanics. Hero uses the concept of wonder to add an intellectual component to the utility of mechanics, to strengthen the epistemological claims of mechanics and to (...) relate mechanical expertise to divine cunning. He is thereby able to present mechanics as a form of knowledge which is epistemically on a par with philosophy, but which still maintains powerful practical consequence. (shrink)
In defending Levinas’s ethical theory against Ricoeur’s objections in Oneself as Another, I make a two-fold argument in regard to heroic action and the ordinary ethical relation. First, I suggest a definition of the hero as she who does what is right—that is, what is ethically necessary or obligatory—even when it requires extreme sacrifice. Second, I argue that the development of virtuous character, out of which such heroic action comes, is dependent upon the asymmetrical relation between an alterior Other and (...) a self who is willing to sacrifice to do what is right. Re-orienting oneself toward the ethical relation is, itself, a sacrifice, requiring that one adopt a non-reciprocal, asymmetrical devotion to the Other. Thus, ethics, including both heroic and ordinary ethical behavior, ought not be founded on notions of friendship, symmetry, or mutuality, but rather on absolute difference, asymmetry, and self-sacrifice. (shrink)
Professor Robert Alexy wrote a book whose avowed purpose is to refute the basic tenets of a type of legal theory which 'has long since been obsolete in legal science and practice'. The quotation is from the German Federal Constitutional Court in 1968. The fact that Prof Alexy himself mentions no writings in the legal positivist tradition [in English] later than Hart's The Concept of Law (1961) may suggest that he shares the court's view. The book itself may be evidence (...) to the contrary. After all why flog a dead horse? Why write a book to refute a totally discredited theory? Perhaps Alexy was simply unlucky. The burst of reflective, suggestive and interesting writings in the legal positivist tradition reached serious dimensions only in the years after the original publication of his book, when Waldron, Marmor, Gardner, Leiter, Shapiro, Murphy, Himma, Kramer, Endicott, Lamont, Dickson, Bix and others joined those who had made important contributions to legal theory in the positivistic tradition in the years preceding the original publication of Alexy's book: Lyons, Coleman, Campbell, Harris, Green, Waluchow and others, who are still among the main contributors to legal theory in the positivist tradition. It is a great shame that nothing in these writings influenced the arguments of the book. Perhaps this regret is misplaced. After all ‘positivism' in legal theory means, and always did mean, different things to different people. What Radbruch, one of Alexy's heroes, meant when he first saw himself as a legal positivist and then recanted was not the same as what 'legal positivism' means in Britain (and nowadays in the United States as well) among those who engage in philosophical reflection about the nature of law. Perhaps Alexy is simply addressing himself to a German audience, and refuting, or attempting to refute, legal theories of a kind identified in Germany as 'legal positivism'. Perhaps, though his references to Hart show that he does not intend it that way. My aims in this chapter are, however, reasonably clear. My main purpose is to explore whether any of Alexy's arguments challenge any of the views which I have advocated. Subsidiary aims are, first, to clarify why what Alexy says is legal positivism is not what is understood as such in the English speaking world, so that some of Alexy's sound points find no target; secondly, to try and clarify some of his arguments which I found, at least initially, rather obscure. Given the prominence of Alexy's book I will refer only to it, and will not consider his other publications. (shrink)
Let me begin with a stylized contrast between two ways of thinking about morality. On the one hand, morality can be understood as the dictate of, or uncovered by, impartial reason. That which is (truly) moral must be capable of being verified by everyone’s reasoning from a suitably impartial perspective. If we are to respect the free and equal nature of each person, each must (in some sense) rationally validate the requirements of morality. If we take this view, the genuine (...) requirements of morality are a matter of rational reflection and self-imposed law. For Kant it seemed to be a matter of reflection by a rational individual, testing the impartiality of his maxims. For Rousseau, who was an important influence on Kant, under the proper conditions collective deliberation could yield impartial rules of justice that are willed by all. From another point of view moralities are social facts with histories. The heroes of this tradition are Hume, Ferguson and, perhaps surprisingly given his “deductive” method, Hobbes. The moral codes — or if “code” implies too much systematization, moral “practices” — we have ended up with are, to some extent, a matter of chance. This is by no means to say that morality is entirely arbitrary, but it does contain a significant arbitrary element. The morality we have ended up with is path-dependent: only because our moral codes have started somewhere, and have changed in response to unanticipated events, can we explain why we ended up where we have, and different societies end up in different places. The proponents of each view typically seek to discredit the other. Those who conceive of morality as the demand of impartial reason often insist the evolutionists confuse “positive morality” (the moral code that people actually follow) with justified (or true) morality, which is revealed by impartial reason. The positive morality that has evolved is simply what people think is morality, not what really is morality.. (shrink)
In his 1958 seminal paper “Saints and Heroes”, J. O. Urmson argued that the then dominant tripartite deontic scheme of classifying actions as being exclusively either obligatory, or optional in the sense of being morally indifferent, or wrong, ought to be expanded to include the category of the supererogatory. Colloquially, this category includes actions that are “beyond the call of duty” (beyond what is obligatory) and hence actions that one has no duty or obligation to perform. But it is (...) a controversial category. Some have argued that the concept of supererogation is paradoxical because on one hand, supererogatory actions are (by definition) supposed to be morally good, indeed morally best, actions. But then if they are morally best, why aren't they morally required, contrary to the assumption that they are morally optional? In short: how can an action that is morally best to perform fail to be what one is morally required to do? The source of this alleged paradox has been dubbed the ‘good-ought tie-up’. In our article, we address this alleged paradox by first making a phenomenological case for the reality of instances of genuine supererogatory actions, and then, by reflecting on the relevant phenomenology, explaining why there is no genuine paradox. Our explanation appeals to the idea that moral reasons can play what we call a merit conferring role. The basic idea is that moral reasons that favor supererogatory actions function to confer merit on the actions they favor—they play a merit conferring role—and can do without also requiring the actions in question. Hence, supererogatory actions can be both good and morally meritorious to perform yet still be morally optional. Recognition of a merit conferring role unties the good-ought tie up, and (as we further argue) there are good reasons, independent of helping to resolve the alleged paradox, for recognizing this sort of role that moral reasons may play. (shrink)
I have learned a lot from Evan Thompson’s book–his scholarship is formidable, and his taste for relatively overlooked thinkers is admirable–but I keep stumbling over the strain induced by his self-assigned task of demonstrating that his heroes–Varela and Maturana, Merleau-Ponty and (now) Husserl, Oyama and Moss and others–have shattered the comfortable assumptions of orthodoxy, and outlined radical new approaches to the puzzles of life and mind. The irony is that Thompson is such a clear and conscientious expositor that he (...) makes it much easier for me to see that the ideas he expounds, while often truly excellent, are not really all that revolutionary, but, at best, valuable correctives to the sorts of oversimplifications that tend to get turned into mantras by sheer repetition, in the textbooks and popular accounts of these topics in the media. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Contributors ix -- Foreword by Douglas A. Boyd andJoseph D. Straubhaar xiii -- Preface byMariaHenson xv -- Acknowledgments xvii -- Part I. Introduction 1 -- Chapter 1. Journalism as a Mission: Ethics and Purpose -- from an International Perspective -- by Joseph B. Atkins 3 -- Chapter 2. Chaos and Order: Sacrificing the Individual for the -- Sake of Social Harmony -- by John C. Merrill 17 -- Part II. In the United States and Latin America (...) 37 -- Chapter 3. Ways of a Muckraker -- by Jerry Mitchell 39 -- Chapter 4. A Sinister Zone of Likeness: Journalists as Heroes and -- Villains in the U.S. South and in Central and Eastern -- Europe -- by Joseph B. Atkins 45 -- Chapter 5. From Collusion to Independence: The Press, The Ruling -- Party, and Democratization in Mexico -- byMichaelSnodgrass 55 -- Chapter 6. The Outspoken Journalist Is an Expression, a Symbol -- of Colombia -- by Stephen E Jackson 69 -- Part III. In Europe 77 -- Chapter 7. The Stranger: Minorities and Their Treatment -- in the German Media -- by Georg Ruhrmann 79 -- Chapter 8. Between State Control and the Bottom Line: -- Journalism and Journalism Ethics in Hungary -- by Ildiko Kaposi and Eva Vajda 91 -- Chapter 9. SITA: Slovakia's First Independent News Service and -- Its Battles with the Huey Long of the Danube -- byPavol Mudry 101 -- Chapter 10. Holding Politicians' Feet to the Fire in Slovenia -- by Bernard Nezmah 111 -- Part IV. In the Middle East and Africa 121 -- Chapter 11. Lebanese Television: Caught Between the -- Government and the Private Sector -- by Nabil Dajani 123 -- Chapter 12. Press Freedom and the Crisis of Ethical Journalism -- in Southern Africa -- by Regina Jere-Malanda 143 -- Chapter 13. Nigerian Press Ethics and the Politics of Pluralism -- by Minabere Ibelema 153 -- Part V. In South and East Asia 169 -- Chapter 14. The Indian Press: Covering an Enigma -- byJayanti Ram-Chandran 171 -- Chapter 15. Palace Intrigue in Katmandu and the Press in Nepal -- byAkhilesh Upadhyay 181 -- Chapter 16. The Press in Japan: Job Security versus -- Journalistic Mission -- by Takehiko Nomura 187 -- Part VI. Three Journalists and Their Missions 201 -- Chapter 17. A Journey in Journalism: From Idealism -- to Bankruptcy -- by Neil White III 203 -- Chapter 18. Reclaiming Responsibility: A Journalist and Artist -- in the Catholic Worker Movement -- by Chuck Trapkus 211 -- Chapter 19. Ryszard Kapuscinski: The Empathetic Existentialist -- by Joseph B. Atkins and Bernard Nezmah 217 -- Postscript The White Rose: On the Martyrdom of Student Pamphleteers in -- Nazi Germany and Their Legacy -- by Joseph B. Atkins 227 -- References 233 -- Index 243. (shrink)
Yah boo sucks to the grammer wot we lernt in skool! Grammar (and the bad old traditional logic) says that quantifier phrases such as 'nobody', 'everyone', 'all women', 'some men' and 'a man' are in the same category as names such as 'Milly', 'Molly' and 'Mandy'. So, prior to their first corrective lessons, students are awfully muddled, the first and fundamental problem being the Woozle hunt for somebody called 'nobody'. Hoorah for modern logic and logic teachers! The story used to (...) justify our current logics is entirely fictional. The claims about names and quantifier phrases in English are wildly false. Two of the heroes of modern logic, Russell and Hilbert, make the very mistakes which are falsely blamed on traditional logic. The villain, Meinong, turns out to have been working a different patch. Ideas ascribed to traditional grammar are modern inventions. Neither logicians nor grammarians can be trusted to tell the history of either grammar or logic. (shrink)