In this unique and mind-expanding book, addressed to general readers as well as students of philosophy, Creel Froman establishes a fascinatingly new way of looking at humanbehavior. His principal themes are: What does life mean? How do we arrive at answers to such a question? What is the answer? In a skillful blending of fiction and scholarship, using dialogue, prose, and poetry, he makes his points regarding the human condition.
This is a review article of Charles Beitz's 2009 book on the philosophy of human rights, The Idea of Human Rights. The article provides a charitable overview of the book's main arguments, but also raises some doubts about the depth of the distinction between Beitz's 'practical' approach to humans rights and its 'naturalistic' counterparts.
In this major new book, the internationally renowned thinker Jonathan Bennett offers a deeper understanding of what is going on in our own moral thoughts about humanbehavior. The Act Itself presents a conceptual analysis of descriptions of behavior on which we base our moral judgements, and shows that this analysis can be used as a means toward getting more control of our thoughts and thus of our lives.
Economists, in stressing the prescriptive implications of their analysis, typically have ignored the potential contributions of their theorems and methodological principles to the understanding of humanbehavior as an end in itself. The purpose of the paper is to establish the principle, by detailed reference to the literature of economics, that the 'deductive pattern of explanation' constitutes a valid approach to the general study of humanbehavior. As such, it is a potentially useful method of analysis (...) in the other social sciences. Literature from the philosophy of social science bearing on the applicability of deductive theory to the study of humanbehavior is subjected to detailed critical analysis. (shrink)
A radical approach to the environment which argues that by harnessing the power of science for human benefit, we can have a healthier planet As a prizewinning theoretical physicist and an outspoken advocate for scientific literacy, James Trefil has long been the public's guide to a better understanding of the world. In this provocative book, Trefil looks squarely at our environmental future and finds-contrary to popular wisdom-reason to celebrate. For too long, Trefil argues, humans have treated nature as something (...) separate from themselves-pristine wilderness to be saved or material resources to be exploited. What we need instead is a scientific approach to the environment that embraces the human transformation of nature for our benefit. In Human Nature , Trefil exposes the benefits of genetically modified species, uncovers vital facts about droughts and global warming, and points to examples of environmental management where catering to humans reaps greater rewards than sheltering other species. By taking advantage of explosive advances in the sciences, we can fruitfully manage the planet, if we rise to the challenge. Like Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and Paul Ehrlich's Population Bomb, Human Nature promises to fundamentally alter the way we perceive our relationship to the Earth-but with optimism rather than alarm. (shrink)
Humanbehavior cannot be understood by using only models of explanation utilized in the natural sciences. Multiple models of explanation, which are not consistent with, or reducible to each other, are required and are in fact used in psychology to explain human actions. This situation, called "Multiexplanation," could cause a problem of developing a justified correspondence between psychological phenomena and multiple models of explanation. Unless this problem is solved, the explanatory capability of a psychological theory seems inconsistent (...) and ad hoc. A solution suggesting "correspondence guidelines" between phenomena and available models of explanation and "organization guidelines" for constructing a coherent psychological theory is offered. It contributes to the development of a "multiexplanation-model theory" (or a "multimodel theory" for brevity) which employs different models of explanation needed for proposing accounts of psychological phenomena. (shrink)
. Evolutionary psychology and behavioural genomics are both approaches to explain human behaviour from a genetic point of view. Nonetheless, thus far the development of these disciplines is anything but interdependent. This paper examines the question whether evolutionary psychology can contribute to behavioural genomics. Firstly, a possible inconsistency between the two approaches is reviewed, viz. that evolutionary psychology focuses on the universal human nature and disregards the genetic variation studied by behavioural genomics. Secondly, we will discuss the structure (...) of biological explanations. Some philosophers rightly acknowledge that explanations do not involve laws which are exceptionless and universal. Instead, generalisations that are invariant suffice for successful explanation as long as two other stipulations are recognised: the domain within which the generalisation has no exceptions as well as the distribution of the mechanism described by the generalisation should both be specified. It is argued that evolutionary psychology can contribute to behavioural genomic explanations by accounting for these two specifications. (shrink)
A work of outstanding originality and importance, which will become a cornerstone in the philosophy of geography, this book asks: What is human science? Is a truly human science of geography possible? What notions of spatiality adequately describe human spatial experience and behaviour? It sets out to answer these questions through a discussion of the nature of science in the human sciences, and, specifically, of the role of phenomenology in such inquiry. It criticises established understanding (...) of phenomenology in these sciences, and demonstrates how they are integrally related to each other. The need for a reflective geography to accompany all empirical science is argued strongly. The discussion is orgamsed into four parts: geography and traditional metaphysics; geography and phenomenology; phenomenology and the question of human science; and human science, worldhood and place. The author draws upon the works, of Husserl, Heidegger, Gadamer and Kockelmans in particular. (shrink)
Although the notion of natural behavior occurs in many policy-making and legal documents on animal welfare, no consensus has been reached concerning its definition. This paper argues that one reason why the notion resists unanimously accepted definition is that natural behavior is not properly a biological concept, although it aspires to be one, but rather a philosophical tendency to perceive animal behavior in accordance with certain dichotomies between nature and culture, animal and human, original orders and (...) invented artifacts. The paper scrutinizes the philosophy of natural behavior as it developed in the organic movement in response to a perceived contrast between industrialized and traditional agriculture. There are two reasons for focusing on the organic movement: (i) the emphasis on “the natural” is most accentuated there and has a long history, (ii) everyday life on organic farms presupposes human/animal interplay, which conflicts with the philosophical tendency to separate nature from culture. This mismatch between theory and practice helps us see why, and how, the philosophy of natural behavior needs to be reconsidered. The paper proposes that we understand farms as local human/animal cultures, and asks what we can mean my natural behavior in such contexts. Since domestic animals adapt to agricultural environments via interaction with caretakers, such interplay is analyzed as “hub” in these animals’ natural behavior. (shrink)
This review of John Russon's Human Experience: Philosophy, Neurosis, and the Elements of Everyday Life focuses on Russon's position that experience is open (having a developmental, situated and dynamic, rather than fixed, structure) and figured (having a structure inseparable from forms of bodily function), and that mind is something learned in the process of working out experience as figured and open. These themes are drawn together in relation to recent scientific discussions (e.g., of bodily dynamics, mirror neurons, robotic (...) systems and thermodynamics), to show how Russon's view challenges deep philosophical assumptions in prevailing accounts of mind, body and experience. (shrink)
`It is a safe bet that Key Thinkers will emerge as something of a 'hit' within the undergraduate community and will rise to prominance as a 'must buy' -Environment and Planning `Key Thinkers on Space and Place is an engagingly written, well-researched and very accessible book. It will surely prove an invaluable tool for students, whom I would strongly encourage to purchase this edited collection as one of the best guides to recent geographical thought' -Claudio Minca, University of Newcastle `Key (...) Thinkers is the best encyclopedic tool for human geographers since the Dictionary of Human Geography. It takes into its orbit discussions of the lives and work of the last three decades' major thinkers on space and place. It is hugely useful for students who want an easy way to access the roots of where some major themes and debates in contemporary geography. It is organized so that each chapter details the scholar's biography, their contribution to spatial and place-based theory and the controversies that arise through their work' - Stuart Aitken, San Diego State University Key Thinkers on Space and Place is a comprehensive guide to the latest work on space. Each entry is a short interpretative essay of 2,500 words, outlining the contributions made by the key theorists, and comprises: · a concise biography, indicating disciplinary background, career trajectory and collaboration with others · an outline of the key theoretical, conceptual and methodological ideas each has introduced to human geography · an explanation of the reaction to, and uptake of, how these ideas has changed and evolved over time · an explanation of how these theories have been used and critiqued by human geographers · a selective bibliography of each thinker's key publications (and key secondary publications) The text is introduced by a contextual essay which outlines in general terms the shifting ways in which space and place have been theorised and which explains how Key Thinkers on Space and Place can be used. A glossary that defines key traditions, with cross-links to key theorists and a timeline of key article/book publication date is also included. (shrink)
In this paper I review some theoretical exchanges and empiricalresults from recent work on humanbehavior and cognition in thehope of indicating some productive avenues for critical engagement.I focus particular attention on methodological debates between Evolutionary Psychologists and behavioral ecologists. I argue for a broader and more encompassing approach to the evolutionarily based study of humanbehavior and cognition than either of these two rivals present.
I introduce a range of examples of different causal hypotheses about human mate selection. The hypotheses I focus on come from evolutionary psychology, fluctuating asymmetry research and chemical signaling research. I argue that a major obstacle facing an integrated biology of humanbehavior is the lack of a causal framework that shows how multiple proximate causal mechanisms can act together to produce components of our behavior.
acknowledgements This is not a memoir, it is a description of the world seen by one pair of eyes. This is not intentionally a science book, although it draws on generations of scientific research. Because it is a book about the nature ...
Humans have developed the capacity to approve or disapprove of the behavior of their children and of unrelated individuals. The ability to approve or disapprove transformed social learning into a system of cumulative cultural inheritance, because it increased the reliability of cultural transmission. Moreover, people can transmit their behavioral experiences (regarding what can and cannot be done) to their offspring, thereby avoiding the costs of a laborious, and sometimes dangerous, evaluation of different cultural alternatives. Our thesis is that, during (...) ontogeny, the evaluative communication (approval/disapproval) between parents and offspring is substituted by other evaluative communications among peers, like individuals of the same generation. Each person belongs to a reference social group with individuals that interact more intensively. Humans have developed psychological mechanisms that enable cultural transmission by being receptive to parental advice as well as their reference social group. The selective pressure that promoted these new evaluative interactions arose to facilitate the establishment of efficient cooperative relationships. In short, the social control of behavior is essential to understand human cultural transmission. (shrink)
[John Dupré] This paper attacks some prominent contemporary attempts to provide reductive accounts of ever wider areas of human behaviour. In particular, I shall address the claims of sociobiology (or evolutionary psychology) to provide a universal account of human nature, and attempts to subsume ever wider domains of behaviour within the scope of economics. I shall also consider some recent suggestions as to how these approaches might be integrated. Having rejected the imperialistic ambitions of these approaches, I shall (...) briefly advocate a more pluralistic approach to the understanding of human behaviour, and one which leaves some space for the possibility of genuine human autonomy. /// [John O'Neill] One response to Dupré's criticism of rational choice theory's unifying aspirations is that it is aimed at over-ambitious versions of the theory. Immodesty about the scope of rational choice theory may look more plausible given suitable modesty in assumptions about the rational agent. The paper examines problems with one immodest version of the theory-public choice theory-and show how these shed light on problems in modest versions employing minimal assumptions about the preference structure of rational agents. However, while rational choice theory may fail in its unifying ambitions, I argue those aspirations are defensible. (shrink)
Attempts to explain humanbehavior that appeal to economic rationality share many of the same ontological as- sumptions and methodological practices that the so-called ‘adaptationist program’ in biology was criticized for. This program in biology was largely abandoned by biologists as poorly motivated, and replaced with the active testing of both adaptive and non-adaptive hypotheses regarding the spread and maintenance of traits in populations. This development was largely welcome by the biological <span class='Hi'>community</span>, despite having required the development (...) of new tools, both conceptual and method- ological. Many analysts of contemporary microeconomic practice criticize the assumptions and practices employed therein as similarly poorly motivated. Close attention to these criticisms reveal them to have more than superficial similarities to the critiques of adaptationism in biology. These similarities extend to some macroeconomics researchers recent suggestions of ways that hypotheses regarding the causes of people’s actions might be tested; as yet, however, these suggestions have not been embraced by the field as a whole. By attending to the ways in which biological practice has moved beyond the adaptationist program, similar changes in economic practice may be motivated. (shrink)
Evolutionary theory is one of the most wide-ranging and inspiring of scientific ideas. It offers a battery of methods that can be used to interpret human behaviour. But the legitimacy of this exercise is at the centre of a heated controversy that has raged for over a century. Many evolutionary biologists, anthropologists and psychologists are optimistic that evolutionary principles can be applied to human behaviour, and have offered evolutionary explanations for a wide range of human characteristics, such (...) as homicide, religion and sex differences in behaviour. Others are sceptical of these interpretations. Moreover, researchers disagree as to the best ways to use evolution to explore humanity, and a number of schools have emerged. Sense and Nonsense provides an introduction to the ideas, methods and findings of five such schools, namely, sociobiology, human behavioural ecology, evolutionary psychology, cultural evolution, and gene-culture co-evolution. In this revised and updated edition of their successful monograph, Laland and Brown provide a balanced, rigorous analysis that scrutinizes both the evolutionary arguments and the allegations of the critics, carefully guiding the reader through the mire of confusing terminology, claim and counter-claim, and polemical statements. This readable and informative introductory book will be of use to undergraduate and postgraduate students (for example, in psychology, anthropology and zoology), to experts on one approach who would like to know more about the other perspectives, and to lay-persons interested in evolutionary explanations of human behaviour. Having completed this book, the reader should feel better placed to assess the legitimacy of claims made about human behaviour under the name of evolution, and to make judgements as to what is sense and what is nonsense. (shrink)
An evolutionary model of humanbehavior should privilege emotions: essential, phylogenetically ancient behaviors that learning and decision making only subserve. Infants and non-mammals lack advanced cognitive powers but still survive. Decision making is only a means to emotional ends, which organize and prioritize behavior. The emotion of pride/shame, or dominance striving, bridges the social and biological sciences via internalization of cultural norms. (Published Online April 27 2007).
This paper addresses the experimental trade?off between the exercise of control over the actions of the experimental participants and the potential to provide understanding about humanbehavior. Control is a requirement of the experimental method to produce pertinent and intelligible results for scientific inquiry. But the more control is exercised the more the experimental results are the outcome of economists' actions. Economic experiments must therefore achieve a difficult balance. They must elicit intelligible behavior while ensuring that the (...) actions of those taking part in the experiment are not determined by the design set?up and the rules of the experiment. The paper puts forward criteria for the analysis of the level of participation of experimental subjects in economics experiments and applies them to several experiments to illustrate the relevance of assessing the agency of experimental participants when deriving inferences about humanbehavior. (shrink)
The claimed link between dominance and free testosterone is an intriguing one but problems remain in attempting to link this single hormonal measure to human behaviour. These include the heterogeneous nature of dominance, the precise nature of the correlation(s), and whether only testosterone is important.
In several recent papers Arthur Robson sketches evolutionary scenarios in order to explain why we humans evolved hard-wired utility functions and the capacity to choose flexibly on the basis of them. Thesescenarios are scrutinized minutely in the paper. It is pointed out that Robson ignores several relevant insightful ideas and distinctions that have surfaced in other contemporary evolutionary theorizing. A somewhat different picture of humanbehavior emerges once these ideas and distinctions are taken seriously.
This book is about the liberation of the concept of life from the bondage fashioned by the interpreters of life ever since biology began, and about the liberation of the life of humans and non-humans alike from the bondage of social structures and behaviour, which now threatens the fullness of life's possibilities if not survival itself. It falls into a tradition of writings about human problems from a perspective informed by biology. It rejects the mechanistic model of life dominant (...) in the Western world and develops an alternative 'ecological model' which is applicable to the life of the cell and the life of the human community. For the first time it brings together in one work the insights of modern biology with those of a modern holistic philosophy and a liberal theology in a way which challenges conventional approaches to science, agriculture, sociology, politics, economics, development and liberation movements. (shrink)
As anxiety about environmental change and its effects grows, we need to understand both the scientific processes and the ethical and aesthetic judgments involved in deciding which changes we should welcome and promote and which we should try to avoid. In Environmental Philosophy Christopher Belshaw examines the current debates on the environment, focusing on questions of value while also taking into account relevant issues in epistemology and metaphysics. Beginning with an overview of current concerns, Belshaw locates our attitudes toward (...) the environment within their cultural and historical milieu. He then examines the various positions in detail, ranging from the moderate view that we ought to consider not only ourselves but also other animals, to the seemingly more extravagant contention that non-sentient life, rocks, deserts B indeed all of the processes of nature B should be considered intrinsically valuable. In later chapters Belshaw explores the importance of an aesthetic response to the environment, opening the way for a human-centred position that is both more generous and more flexible than those often advanced elsewhere. In contrast to many of its competitors, Environmental Philosophy challenges accepted dichotomies - man/nature, instrumental/intrinsic, green/non-green - and advocates conciliation rather than confrontation. Although the arguments are rigorous, the writing is clear and non-technical, making Environmental Philosophy an excellent survey for those engaging with these issues for the first time, as well as offering much to challenge the more advanced student. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: List of contributors; Acknowledgments; Introduction: the humanist tradition in Russian philosophy G. M. Hamburg and Randall A. Poole; Part I. The Nineteenth Century: 1. Slavophiles, Westernizers, and the birth of Russian philosophical humanism Sergey Horujy; 2. Alexander Herzen Derek Offord; 3. Materialism and the radical intelligentsia: the 1860s Victoria S. Frede; 4. Russian ethical humanism: from populism to neo-idealism Thomas Nemeth; Part II. Russian Metaphysical Idealism in Defense of Human Dignity: 5. Boris Chicherin and (...)human dignity in history G. M. Hamburg; 6. Vladimir Solov'iev's philosophical anthropology: autonomy, dignity, perfectibility Randall A. Poole; 7. Russian panpsychism: Kozlov, Lopatin, Losskii James P. Scanlan; Part III. Humanity and Divinity in Russian Religious Philosophy after Solov'iev: 8. A Russian cosmodicy: Sergei Bulgakov's religious philosophy Paul Valliere; 9. Pavel Florenskii's trinitarian humanism Steven Cassedy; 10. Semën Frank's expressivist humanism Philip J. Swoboda; Part IV. Freedom and Human Perfectibility in the Silver Age: 11. Religious humanism in the Russian silver age Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal; 12. Russian liberalism and the philosophy of law Frances Nethercott; 13. Imagination and ideology in the new religious consciousness Robert Bird; 14. Eschatology and hope in silver age thought Judith Deutsch Kornblatt; Part V. Russian Philosophy in Revolution and Exile: 15. Russian Marxism Andrzej Walicki; 16. Adventures in dialectic and intuition: Shpet, Il'in, Losev Philip T. Grier; 17. Nikolai Berdiaev and the philosophical tasks of the emigration Stuart Finkel; 18. Eurasianism: affirming the person in an 'Era of Faith' Martin Beisswenger; Afterword: on persons as open-ended ends-in-themselves (the view from two novelists and two critics) Caryl Emerson; Bibliography. (shrink)
The Young Karl Marx is an innovative and important new study of Marx’s early writings. These writings provide the fascinating spectacle of a powerful and imaginative intellect wrestling with complex and significant issues, but they also present formidable interpretative obstacles to modern readers. David Leopold shows how an understanding of their intellectual and cultural context can illuminate the political dimension of these works. An erudite yet accessible discussion of Marx’s influences and targets frames the author’s critical engagement with Marx’s account (...) of the emergence, character, and (future) replacement of the modern state. This combination of historical and analytical approaches results in a sympathetic, but not uncritical, exploration of such fundamental themes as alienation, citizenship, community, antisemitism, and utopianism. The Young Karl Marx is a scholarly and original work which provides a radical and persuasive reinterpretation of Marx’s complex and often misunderstood views of German philosophy, modern politics, and human flourishing. (shrink)
The Spiritual Dimension offers a new model for the philosophy of religion, bringing together emotional and intellectual aspects of our human experience, and embracing practical as well as theoretical concerns. It shows how a religious worldview is best understood not as an isolated set of doctrines, but as intimately related to spiritual praxis and to the search for self-understanding and moral growth. It argues that the religious quest requires a certain emotional openness, but can be pursued without sacrificing (...) our philosophical integrity. Touching on many important debates in contemporary philosophy and theology, but accessible to general readers, The Spiritual Dimension covers a range of central topics in the philosophy of religion, including scientific cosmology and the problem of evil; ethical theory and the objectivity of goodness; psychoanalytic thought, self-discovery and virtue; the multi-layered nature of religious discourse; and the relation between faith and evidence. (shrink)
The German philosopher Robert Spaemann provides an important contribution to a number of contemporary debates in philosophy and theology, opening up possibilities for conversation between these disciplines. He engages in a dialogue with classical and contemporary positions and often formulates important and original insights which lie beyond common alternatives. In this study Holger Zaborowski provides an analysis of the most important features of Spaemann's philosophy and shows the unity of his thought. The question 'Who is a person?' is (...) of increasing significance: Are all human beings persons? Are there animals that can be considered persons? What does it mean to speak of personal identity and of the dignity of the person? Spaemann provides an answer to these questions: Every human being, he argues, is a person and, therefore, 'has' his nature in freedom. In order to understand the person, Spaemann explains, we have to think about the relation between nature and freedom and avoid the reductive accounts of this relation prevalent in important strands of modern thought. Spaemann develops a challenging critique of modernity, incorporating analysis of modern anti-modernisms and showing that these are also subject to a dialectical development, perpetuating the problematic shortcomings of many features of modern reasoning. If we do not want to abolish ourselves as persons, Spaemann reasons, we need to find a way of understanding ourselves that evades the dialectic of modernity. Thus, he reminds his readers of 'self-evident' knowledge: insights that we have once already known, but tend to forget. (shrink)
Charles Taylor has been one of the most original and influential figures in contemporary philosophy: his 'philosophical anthropology' spans an unusually wide range of theoretical interests and draws creatively on both Anglo-American and Continental traditions in philosophy. A selection of his published papers is presented here in two volumes, structured to indicate the direction and essential unity of the work. He starts from a polemical concern with behaviourism and other reductionist theories (particularly in psychology and the philosophy (...) of language) which aim to model the study of man on the natural sciences. This leads to a general critique of naturalism, its historical development and its importance for modern culture and consciousness; and that in turn points, forward to a positive account of human agency and the self, the constitutive role of language and value, and the scope of practical reason. The volumes jointly present some two decades of work on these fundamental themes, and convey strongly the tenacity, verve and versatility of the author in grappling with them. They will interest a very wide range of philosophers and students of the human sciences. (shrink)
P. M. S. Hacker 1. The poverty of philosophy as a science Throughout its history philosophy has been thought to be a member of a community of intellectual disciplines united by their common pursuit of knowledge. It has sometimes been thought to be the queen of the sciences, at other times merely their under-labourer. But irrespective of its social status, it was held to be a participant in the quest for knowledge – a cognitive discipline. Cognitive disciplines may (...) be a priori or empirical. The distinction between what is a priori and what is empirical is epistemological. It turns, as Frege noted, on the ultimate justification for holding something to be true.1 If the truths which a cognitive discipline attains are warranted neither by observation nor by experiment (nor by inference therefrom), then they are a priori. Otherwise they are empirical. The natural and moral sciences (the Geisteswissenschaften) strive for and attain empirical knowledge.2 The mathematical sciences are a priori. Cognitive disciplines have a distinctive subject matter, concerning which they aim to add to human knowledge. Physics deals with matter, motion, and energy, chemistry with the constitution of stuffs out of elements, biology with the nature of living beings, history with ‘the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind’ (Gibbon), and so forth. The empirical sciences aim not only to discover truths but also to explain the phenomena they study. The natural sciences produce theories (typically with predictive powers) to explain the facts and laws they discover. The moral sciences too aim to explain the phenomena they study – although not to the same extent by way of theory and general laws; and their predictive powers, if any, are more limited. Mathematics and logic strive to produce theorems by means of proofs, and are.. (shrink)
Genomics has brought biology, medicine, agriculture, psychology, anthropology, and even philosophy to a new threshold. In this new context, the question about "what is human in humans" may end up being answered by geneticists, specialists of technoscience, and owners of biotech companies. The author defends, in this article, the idea that humanity is at risk in our age of genetic engineering, biotechnologies, and market-geared genetic research; he also argues that the values at the very core of our postgenomic (...) era bring to its peak the science-based ideology that has developed since the time of Galileo, Newton, Descartes, and Harvey; finally, it shows that the bioindustry has invented a new genomythology that goes against the scientific evidence produced by the research in human sciences in which life is interpreted as a language. (shrink)
The social sciences must be biological ones, owing simply to the fact that they focus on the causes and effects of the behavior of members of a biological species, Homo sapiens. Our improved understanding of biology as a science and of the biological realm should enable us therefore to solve several of the outstanding problems of the philosophy of social science. The solution to these problems leaves most of the social and behavioral sciences pretty much as it finds (...) them, though it does provide improved understanding of their scope, limits, and methods. Key Words: biology natural selection Darwinism models narratives history. (shrink)
Philosophical anthropology is concerned with assumptions about human nature, differential psychology with the empirical investigation of such belief systems. A questionnaire composed of 64 questions concerning brain and consciousness, free will, evolution, meaning of life, belief in God, and theodicy problem was used to gather data from 563 students of psychology at seven universities and from 233 students enrolled in philosophy or the natural sciences. Essential concepts were monism–dualism–complementarity, atheism–agnosticism–deism–theism, attitude toward transcendence–immanence, and self-ratings of religiosity and interest (...) in meaning of life. The response profiles (Menschenbild) of women and men, and of psychology students in the first and midterm of study were very similar. The method of statistical twins indicated a number of differences between students of psychology, philosophy, and the natural sciences. The majority of respondents were convinced that philosophical preconceptions on mind–body and free will have important practical implications for the way in which psychotherapists, physicians, or and judges exercise their professions. (shrink)
Throughout the medieval and modern periods, in various sacred and secular guises, the unification of all forms of knowledge under the rubric of ‘science’ has been taken as the prerogative of humanity as a species. However, as our sense of species privilege has been called increasingly into question, so too has the very salience of ‘humanity’ and ‘science’ as general categories, let alone ones that might bear some essential relationship to each other. After showing how the ascendant Stanford School in (...) the philosophy of science has contributed to this joint demystification of ‘humanity’ and ‘science’, I proceed on a more positive note to a conceptual framework for making sense of science as the art of being human. My understanding of ‘science’ is indebted to the red thread that runs from Christian theology through the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment to the Humboldtian revival of the university as the site for the synthesis of knowledge as the culmination of self-development. Especially salient to this idea is science‘s epistemic capacity to manage modality (i.e. to determine the conditions under which possibilities can be actualised) and its political capacity to organize humanity into projects of universal concern. However, the challenge facing such an ideal in the twentyfirst century is that the predicate ‘human’ may be projected in three quite distinct ways, governed by what I call ‘ecological’, ‘biomedical’ and ‘cybernetic’ interests. Which one of these future humanities would claim today’s humans as proper ancestors and could these futures co-habit the same world thus become two important questions that general philosophy of science will need to address in the coming years. (shrink)
Any society can have its own worthy place in the history of human civilization, if human problem in it becomes a core, a base of politics and world outlook, economy and culture, morality and science and all main goals of social practice are re-comprehended on this base. In public theory human problem has an important place. For a long time function of philosophy was in elucidation of nature and essence of a man and his attitude to (...) the world. In theory of a man methodological problem about specific features of a man as an object and subject of cognition is starting. Peculiarity of a man as an object of cognition is in complex interweaving of various sides: biological, psychological, and social. Peculiarity of a man as a subject of cognition is expressed in regular increase of his potential intellectual resources. (shrink)
Wang, Kai 王楷, Naturalistic Human Nature and Cultivation of the Self: The Spirit of Xunzi’s Virtue Philosophy 天然與修為—荀子道德哲學的精神. Beijing 北京: Peking University Press, 2011, 206 pages Content Type Journal Article Pages 115-118 DOI 10.1007/s11712-011-9252-z Authors Elizabeth Woo Li, Department of Philosophy, Peking University, Beijing, China Journal Dao Online ISSN 1569-7274 Print ISSN 1540-3009 Journal Volume Volume 11 Journal Issue Volume 11, Number 1.
Guo, Xiaodong 郭曉東, Comprehending Benevolence and Controlling Human Proclivity : A Study of Cheng Mingdao’s Philosophy from the Perspective of Moral Cultivation 識仁與定性 : 功夫論視域下的程明道哲學研究 Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11712-009-9143-8 Authors Tze-ki Hon, State University of New York, SUNY-Geneseo History Department 1 College Circle Geneseo NY 14454 USA Journal Dao Online ISSN 1569-7274 Print ISSN 1540-3009 Journal Volume Volume 9 Journal Issue Volume 9, Number 1.
Making meaning out of life requires effort, sustained thought and action. It can be difficult to reassert our responsibility for solving real life problems from within social science research or current trends, such as extremely deconstructivist text, and postmodernism in its cheerfully nihilistic guise. Hermeneutical philosophy, of the Ricoeurian reconstructive mode, rehabilitates text as a powerful device for influencing others and offers us courage to proceed with the human project by developing a way of writing, thinking and behaving (...) that is provisional, affirmative and conciliatory, yet constantly questioning. Ricoeur invites the person, both reflective subject and empiricist object of research, to combine these elements and use written text and action as text for an active mode of living. Within philosophy he attempts to achieve a rapprochement between hermeneutical and rational thought. Understanding oneself, through better understanding of the other, derives benefit from crossing disciplinary boundaries between, in this study, philosophy and the social sciences (education and psychology), in order to attempt to move from the particular, individual issues to the general, holistic view and return to ones own situation to act for oneself and others. Ricoeur offers us the opportunity to repossess language, to be ethical and practical, and to challenge the hegemony of Explaining, going beyond method and methodology into epistemology and beyond fact into Understanding: an ontology of hope that makes sense of plurality, without the damage of relativism. This text attempts a narrative ethics, illustrating how Ricoeurs work transformed my thinking from that of a method-bound psychologist to that of, perhaps, a philosopher in the making. Key Words: critical realism hermeneutics holism Hollis individualism Norris rational analytic Ricoeur self text. (shrink)
This article counters the popular misunderstanding that China lacks a conception of human rights in its philosophical heritage. The authors demonstrate that even divergent traditions such as Classical Confucianism and Mohism provide strong and pervasive antecedents for human rights ideology, and both have much to contribute to the contemporary Chinese articulation of human rights theory and practice. The first part of the article shows that traditional Confucian values have the capacity to produce a social environment in which (...) rights outcomes are realized, yet without recourse to the full legal mechanisms of Western claim-rights. The second part of the article reveals that Mohism offers several insights and motivations for contemporary human rights ideology. Thus, the authors substantiate that historic Chinese philosophy supports a meaningful framework for human rights, refuting the claim that human rights is alien to the Chinese way. (shrink)
Introduction: Laughter as an expression of human nature in the Middle Ages and the early modern period: literary, historical, theological, philosophical, and psychological reflections -- Judith Hagen. Laughter in Procopius's wars -- Livnat Holtzman. "Does God really laugh?": appropriate and inappropriate descriptions of God in Islamic traditionalist theology -- Daniel F. Pigg. Laughter in Beowulf: ambiguity, ambivalence, and group identity formation -- Mark Burde. The parodia sacra problem and medieval comic studies -- Olga V. Trokhimenko. Women's laughter and gender (...) politics in medieval conduct discourse -- Madelon Köhler-Busch. Pushing decorum: uneasy laughter in Heinrich von Dem Türlîn's Diu crône -- Connie L. Scarborough. Laughter and the comic in a religious text -- John Sewell. The son rebelled and so the father made man alone: ridicule and boundary maintenance in The Nizzahon vetus -- Birgit Wiedl. Laughing at the beast: the judensau: anti-Jewish propaganda and humor from the Middle Ages to the early modern period -- Fabian Alfie. Yes . . . but was it funny? Cecco Angiolieri, Rustico Filippi and Giovanni Boccaccio -- Nicolino Applauso. Curses and laughter in medieval Italian comic poetry -- Feargal Béarra. Tromdhámh guaire: a context for laughter and audience in early modern Ireland -- Jean E. Jost. Humorous transgression in the non-conformist fabliaux: a Bakhtinian analysis of three comic tales -- Gretchen Mieszkowski. Chaucerian comedy: Troilus and Criseyde -- Sarah Gordon. Laughing and eating in the fabliaux -- Christine Bousquet-Labouérie. Laughter and medieval stalls -- Scott L. Taylor. Esoteric humor and the incommensurability of laughter -- Jean N. Goodrich. The function of laughter in The second shepherds' play -- Albrecht Classen. Laughing in late-medieval verse and prose narratives -- Rosa Alvarez perez. The workings of desire: Panurge and the dogs -- Elizabeth Chesney Zegura. Laughing out loud in the Heptaméron: a reassessment of Marguerite de Navarre's ambivalent humor -- Lia B. Ross. You had to be there: the elusive humor of the Sottie -- Kyle Diroberto. Sacred parody in Robert Greene's Groatsworth of wit -- Martha Moffitt Peacock. The comedy of the shrew: theorizing humor in early modern Netherlandish art -- Jessica Tvordi. The comic personas of Milton's Prolusion VI: negotiating masculine identity through self-directed humor -- John Alexander. Ridentum dicere verum (using laughter to speak the truth): laughter and the language of the early modern clown "pickelhering" in German literature of the late seventeenth century (1675-1700) -- Thomas Willard. Andreae's ludibrium: Menippean satire in The chymische hochzeit -- Diane Rudall. The comic power of illusion-allusion -- Allison P. Coudert. Laughing at credulity and superstition in the long eighteenth century. (shrink)
The consequentialist project for human rights -- Exceptions to libertarian natural rights -- The main principle -- What is well-being? What is equity? -- The two deepest mysteries in moral philosophy -- Security rights -- Epistemological foundations for the priority of autonomy rights -- The millian epistemological argument for autonomy rights -- Property rights, contract rights, and other economic rights -- Democratic rights -- Equity rights -- The most reliable judgment standard for weak paternalism -- Liberty rights and (...) privacy rights -- Clarifications and responses to objections -- Conclusion. (shrink)
The belief that the mind and the body are separate and that the mind is the source of all meaning has been a part of Western culture for centuries. Both philosophers and scientists have questioned this dualism, but their efforts have rarely converged. Many philosophers continue to rely on disembodied models of human thought, while scientists tend to reduce the complex process of thinking to a merely physical phenomenon. In The Meaning of the Body , Mark Johnson continues his (...) pioneering work on the exciting connections between cognitive science, language, and meaning first begun in the classic Metaphors We Live By . Johnson uses recent research into infant psychology to show how the body generates meaning even before self-consciousness has fully developed. From there he turns to cognitive neuroscience to further explore the bodily origins of meaning, thought, and language and examines the many dimensions of meaning—including images, qualities, emotions, and metaphors—that are all rooted in the body’s physical encounters with the world. Drawing on the psychology of art and pragmatist philosophy, Johnson argues that all of these aspects of meaning-making are fundamentally aesthetic. Thus the arts are the culmination of human attempts to find meaning and studying the aesthetic dimensions of our experience is crucial to unlocking the bodily sources of meaning. Brilliantly synthesizing a broad range of scientific research and philosophical inquiry in clear and original writing, Mark Johnson’s The Meaning of the Body puts forth a bold new conception of the mind rooted in the understanding that philosophy will matter to nonphilosophers only if it is built on a visceral connection to the world. (shrink)
What is space? And why are questions of space important to social theory? Society, Action and Space is the first English translation of a book which has been widely recognized in Europe as a major contribution to the interface between geography and social theory. Benno Werlen focuses on the issues which are at the heart of the most important debates in human and social geography today. One of the most significant recent developments in social analysis has been the increasing (...) interchange among geographers, sociologists, anthropologists and social philosophers concerning "the spatial." This debate involves the work of Giddens, Foucault, Bourdieu, Lefebvre, Harvey, Gregory, Soja, and many others. From these new developments a whole series of new forms and empirical work, as well as theoretical innovations, have come into being. Spatial considerations are no longer confined to the realm of geography, but are now seen as fundamental to all forms of social theorizing, especially under conditions of late modernity and globalization. Society, Action and Space links discussions in the philosophy of social science with theories of action which have direct relevance to concepts of space. Benno Werlen provides a discussion of Popper's critical rationalism, and connects it to ideas drawn from phenomenology. This epistemological debate is linked with the sociological action theories of Pareto, Weber, Parsons, and Schutz. The book closes with an evaluation of how "the spatial" can be systematically integrated into action theory. Ambitious, original, and persuasive in its arguments, it raises exciting new implications for the study of space and social theory. (shrink)
Spaces of Geographical Thought examines key ideas – like space and place - which inform the geographic imagination. The text: discusses the core conceptual vocabulary of human geography: agency: structure; state: society; culture: economy; space: place; black: white; man: woman; nature: culture; local: global; and time: space; explains the significance of these binaries in the constitution of geographic thought; and shows how many of these binaries have been interrogated and re-imagined in more recent geographical thinking. A consideration of these (...) binaries will define the concepts and situate students in the most current geographical arguments and debates. The text will be required reading for all modules on the philosophy of geography and on geographical theory. (shrink)
Genocide is evil or nothing could be. It raises a host of questions about humanity, rights, justice, and reality, which are key areas of concern for philosophy. Strangely, however, philosophers have tended to ignore genocide. Even more problematic, philosophy and philosophers bear more responsibility for genocide than they have usually admitted. In Genocide and Human Rights: A Philosophical Guide, an international group of twenty-five contemporary philosophers work to correct those deficiencies by showing how philosophy can and (...) should repsond to genocide, particularly in ways that defend human rights. (shrink)
This article explores the traditional basis of modern human rights doctrines and exposes some of the systemic shortcomings. It then posits that a number of these problems are advanced via integrating some developments in the philosophy of science and substantive scientific research into legal philosophy. This article argues that supervening holism grounded in quantum mechanics provides an alternative basis to human rights by positing an ontological construct that is congruous with many of the wisdom traditions practiced (...) around the world. Such a foundation exposes a rational imperative for universal human rights and hence appeals to legal pragmatists. (shrink)
Behavior analysis emphasizes the study of overt animal (human and nonhuman) behavior as a subject matter in its own right. This paper provides a metaphysical foundation for such an emphasis via an elucidation of a thesis that I generically call "realism about behavior," where by "realism" I mean an assertion of mind-independent existence. The elucidation takes the form of a conceptual framework that combines a property-exemplification account of events with modal realism in the context of three (...) opposing philosophies of mind: property dualism, reductive physicalism, and type behaviorism. Each philosophy leads to the thesis that at least one possible world exists in which counterparts of all actual behavioral events occur and no counterpart of any actual "mental" (either nonphysical, neuro-mental, or behavioro-mental) event occurs. The third thesis is false because it violates the assumption that nothing can exist independently of itself, which leads to a rejection of type behaviorism. The other two theses provide the sought-after foundation through a counterfactual characterization of behavior qua behavior as a scientific subject matter. Its study thus becomes the study of behavior as if the nonphysical and the neural did not exist, even if they may factually exist and play a causal role in behavior. Some implications are discussed. (shrink)
This collection of essays explores analogous issues in classical and modern philosophy that relate to the concepts of person and human being. A primary focus is whether there are such analogous issues, and whether we can find in ancient philosophy a notion that is comparable to "person" as understood in modern philosophy. Essays on modern philosophy reappraise the validity of the notion of person, while essays on classical philosophy take up the related questions of (...) what being "human" entails in ancient ethics and psychology, and whether we should regard ourselves as, essentially, human or rational beings. (shrink)
The current linkages between ethical theory and management behavior are investigated in the wake of the much-publicized convictions of Enron executives. The vignettes used in this investigation represent ethical dilemmas in the areas of coercion and control, conflict of interest, physical environment, and personal integrity. Since 2003, and after the successful prosecution of Enron executives, the link between ethical philosophy and management behavior has shifted somewhat dramatically. There has been a significant change in the rational basis for (...) managerial decision making. In 2003, even after the Enron scandal was publicized, practitioners still relied heavily on both act and rule utilitarian ethical philosophies when making business decisions. Currently, the majority of respondents are likely to select ethically appropriate actions based on either rule utilitarian or rights rationales. It appears that ethical behavior is now more in line with ethical rhetoric, which may positively impact the ethical climate of business decision making. Apparently, business scandals of the past did not really impact actual ethical behavior much, but the high-profile prosecutions, convictions, and jail sentences may have impressed on managers that now is the time to incorporate ethics into business decisions. (shrink)
The current linkages between ethical theory and management behavior are investigated. The vignettes used in this investigation represent ethical dilemmas in the areas of coercion and control, conflict of interest, physical environment, and personal integrity. Overall, even with heightened ethical awareness the link between ethical philosophy and management behavior remains similar to that of the early 1990s. Generally, practitioners still rely heavily on the utilitarian ethical philosophy when making business decisions. However, more managers are now likely (...) to select ethically appropriate actions either because it is ethical to do so, or because the consequences or risk of not doing so are too great. This shift could positively impact the ethical climate of business decision-making. (shrink)
This course covers paradigmatic accounts of human nature in ancient, medieval, and early modern philosophy, through a careful reading of selected primary texts and contemporary commentary. Major topics will include knowledge and opinion; body and soul; immortality, rationality, and freedom of the will; created being and goodness as emanations of divine perfection. The main focus of the discussions will be on the metaphysical foundations of moral value in the pre-modern tradition, and the conceptual changes shaking these metaphysical foundations (...) with the emergence of modern philosophy. (shrink)
In this GuideBook, Fogelin offers a thorough commentary of the text of the Principles of Human Knowledge and guides the reader through the philosophical complexities of Berkeley's thought and its importance today. Among the topics discussed are Berkeley's life and the background of the Principles , the ideas and text in the Treatise and his continuing importance to philosophy.
This study investigates current linkages between ethical theory and management behavior. The vignettes used in this investigation represent ethical dilemmas in the areas of coercion and control, conflict of interest, physical environment, and personal integrity. The results indicate that even with the heightened state of ethical awareness that has evolved in recent years the link between ethical philosophy and management behavior remains basically the same as it was in the mid 1980s. Specifically, practitioners still rely almost totally (...) on the utilitarian ethical philosophy when making business decisions. (shrink)
I discuss Dante’s understanding that human existence is “ordered by two final goals” and how this understanding defines philosophy’s and theology’s respective scopes of authority in guiding human conduct. I show that, while Dante devalues the philosophical authority associated with the traditional Aristotelian emphasis on the significance of contemplative activity, he does so in order to highlight philosophy’s ethico-political authority to guide human conduct toward its “earthly beatitude.” Moreover, I argue that, although Dante subordinates earthly (...) beatitude to spiritual beatitude, he nonetheless maintains that philosophy’s authority to reveal a path to spiritual beatitude requires its fundamental independence from theology. (shrink)
For many years, modern social science and philosophy have been a battlefield of conflicting visions of the human person. There are many armies involved in this fight—among them the personalists who, even among themselves, represent different approaches to the understanding of the human person.G. W. Allport states that both philosophy and psychology are interested in the same common subject matter—that is, the human person.1 Allport's statement in this regard is very clear: personalistic psychology and (...) class='Hi'>philosophy must join forces to fight against the reduction of the human person to a mere football or an academic pawn. We have to acknowledge an interior power of self-directedness in the human person.This article is .. (shrink)
Cultural group selection seems the only compelling explanation for the evolution of the uniquely human form of cooperation by large teams of unrelated individuals. Inspired by descriptions of sanctioning in mutualistic interactions between members of different species, I propose partner choice by powerful individuals or institutions as an alternative explanation for the evolution of behavior typical for “team players.” (Published Online April 27 2007).
The potential role of locus equations in three existing models of human classification behavior is examined. Locus equations can play a useful role in single-prototype and boundary-based models for human consonant recognition by reducing model complexity.
In order to design and implement electronic institutions that incorporate norms governing the behavior of the participants of those institutions, some crucial steps should be taken. The first problem is that human norms are (on purpose) specified on an abstract level. This ensures applicability of the norms over long periods of time in many different circumstances. However, for an electronic institution to function according to those norms, they should be concrete enough to be able to check them run (...) time. A second problem is that norms describe which behavior is desirable and permitted, but not how this is achieved in an institution. In the “real world" regulations often indicate procedures for implementing and enforcing the law. Likewise we should devise means to annotate the norms with practical aspects such as enforcement mechanisms, sanctions, etc. in order to get requirements for an institution that will enforce norms (by either constraining behavior within the norms or reacting to violation of the norms). The choice of which kind of mechanism is chosen is not a normative one, but usually based on criteria of efficiency and/or feasibility of the mechanism. In this paper we present our view on how to approach these problems and other related issues to be solved in order to develop e-institutions capable to operate in complex, highly regulated scenarios. (shrink)
euroscience of Rule-Guided Behavior brings together, for the first time, the experiments and theories that have created the new science of rules. Rules are central to humanbehavior, but until now the field of neuroscience lacked a synthetic approach to understanding them. How are rules learned, retrieved from memory, maintained in consciousness and implemented? How are they used to solve problems and select among actions and activities? How are the various levels of rules represented in the brain, (...) ranging from simple conditional ones if a traffic light turns red, then stop to rules and strategies of such sophistication that they defy description? And how do brain regions interact to produce rule-guided behavior? These are among the most fundamental questions facing neuroscience, but until recently there was relatively little progress in answering them. It was difficult to probe brain mechanisms in humans, and expert opinion held that animals lacked the capacity for such high-level behavior. However, rapid progress in neuroimaging technology has allowed investigators to explore brain mechanisms in humans, while increasingly sophisticated behavioral methods have revealed that animals can and do use high-level rules to control their behavior. The resulting explosion of information has led to a new science of rules, but it has also produced a plethora of overlapping ideas and terminology and a field sorely in need of synthesis. In this book, Silvia Bunge and Jonathan Wallis bring together the worlds leading cognitive and systems neuroscientists to explain the most recent research on rule-guided behavior. Their work covers a wide range of disciplines and methods, including neuropsychology, functional magnetic resonance imaging, neurophysiology, electroencephalography, neuropharmacology, near-infrared spectroscopy, and transcranial magnetic stimulation. This unprecedented synthesis is a must-read for anyone interested in how complex behavior is controlled and organized by the brain. (shrink)
In this controversial new book O'Hear takes a stand against the fashion for explaining humanbehavior in terms of evolution. He contends that while the theory of evolution is successful in explaining the development of the natural world in general, it is of limited value when applied to the human world. Because of our reflectiveness and our rationality we take on goals and ideals which cannot be justified in terms of survival-promotion or reproductive advantage. O'Hear examines the (...) nature of human self-consciousness, and argues that evolutionary theory cannot give a satisfactory account of such distinctive facets of human life as the quest for knowledge, moral sense, and the appreciation of beauty; in these we transcend our biological origins. It is our rationality that allows each of us to go beyond not only our biological but also our cultural inheritance: as the author says in the Preface, "we are prisoners neither of our genes nor of the ideas we encounter as we each make our personal and individual way through life.". (shrink)
The animal in Nietzsche's philosophy -- Culture and civilization -- Politics and promise -- Culture and economy -- Giving and forgiving -- Animality, creativity, and historicity -- Animality, language, and truth -- Biopolitics and the question of animal life.
Human Nature After Darwin is an original investigation of the implications of Darwinism for our understanding of ourselves and our situation. It casts new light on current Darwinian controversies, and in doing so provides an introduction to philosophical reasoning and a range of philosophical problems. Janet Radcliffe Richards claims that many current battles about Darwinism, in particular about evolutionary psychology and religion, are based on mistaken assumptions about the implications of the rival views. Her analysis of these implications provides (...) a much-needed guide to the fundamentals of Darwinism and the so-called Darwin-wars, as well as providing a set of philosophical techniques relevant to wide areas of moral and political debate. It also raises philosophical problems of knowledge and certainly, free will and responsibility, altruism, the status of ethics, and the relevance of Darwinism to questions of ethics, politics and religion. The lucid presentation makes the book an ideal introduction to both philosophy and Darwinism, as well as a substantive contribution to topics of intense current controversy. It will be of interest to students of philosophy, science and the social sciences, and critical thinking. (shrink)
I present ideas about human suffering that are salient among the black peoples of sub-Saharan Africa, reconstruct them in order to make them relevant to an international audience with philosophical interests, and urge that audience to give them consideration as alternatives or correctives to some dominant Western approaches. I first recount views commonly held by sub-Saharans about the nature, causes and cures of suffering, and then draw on them to articulate an account of it qua enervation, which rivals a (...) neuro-physical perspective that friends of Western science would readily adopt. Then, I address the way one morally should respond to suffering, appealing to judgments about the value of community that are influential among Africans. I show that, upon theoretical refinement, an Afro-communitarianism entails an ethical analysis of suffering that seriously competes with those entailed by standard Western moral philosophies. This view instructs moral agents neither to make others suffer because they deserve it, as per Kantian retributivism, nor to do whatever will minimize suffering, à la utilitarianism. Instead, it roughly prescribes responding to suffering out of love, which can require increasing the amount of suffering in the world by taking it upon oneself, instead of leaving it to others to bear on their own. (shrink)
I offer an analysis of Reid's notion of the will. Naturalism in the philosophy of action is defined as the attempt to eliminate the capacity of will and to reduce volition to some class of appetite or desire. Reid's arguments show, however, that volition plays a particular role in deliberation which cannot be reduced to some form of motivation present at the time of action. Deliberation is understood as an action over which the agent has control. Will is a (...) higher-order mental capacity enabling us to control our own attitudes, decisions and actions. Reid investigates several distinct forms of this control. I conclude with some remarks about the relation between Reid's arguments about the function of the will and his moral rationalism. (shrink)