Alzheimer's disease remains the most common form of dementia. Dementia symptoms vary depending on individual personality, life experience, and social and cultural influences. As dementia progresses, involvement of multi-disciplinary health care professionals is needed to manage the disease. Alzheimer research is progressing rapidly. While 5% of all Alzheimer's disease may be genetically determined, the majority is not. Susceptibility genes can reveal the risk of contracting Alzheimer's disease. Early life risk factors such as education, nutrition, and vascular disease may increase the (...) likelihood of dementia in later life. In the United States, two acetylcholinesterase inhibitors have been approved as cognitive enhancers. Possible prevention and symptomatic treatment interventions have focused on estrogen replacement therapy, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory medications. Research advances have improved the clinical management of dementia. Ethical implications to the patient, family, and society are multiple and remain challenging. (shrink)
This narrative describes the making of a German electrical engineer, Kurt Beyer, into a micro-entrepreneur. He set for himself the goal of sailing around the world in his own vessel â without being able to afford to buy such a ship. Many people in Germany have in recent years started to build their own sea-going vessels in order to escape from the creativity-stifling and restrictive patterns of their lives and work. Only a few of them have ever finished building (...) their vessels. Firstly, this report describes the experiences of one of those few who have made it. Secondly, it tells the story of how this engineer himself turned into a micro-entrepreneur during the period of yacht-building and how later he started his own charter enterprise, centred around his yacht. Following the model of entrepreneurship described by Dassen-Housen in this issue of AI & Society, the narrative illustrates what it means to run such an enterprise in view of the international competition. Here follows the narrative of the engineer and ship-builder himself (translated by D. Brandt). (shrink)
I propose to apply a version of contextualism about knowledge to the special case that represents the topic of this volume. I begin by motivating my preferred version of contextualism, which may be labelled as conventionalist contextualism; here I start from a well-known problem that besets epistemic internalism (section I). Following this, I pose a problem for conventionalist contextualism and argue that it can be solved by invoking, first, the idea of what I shall call the lifewordly background of epistemic (...) justifi cation, an idea originating from Husserl and Wittgenstein, and, secondly, the associated notion of normality, to be found in Husserl (section II). Finally, I apply the resulting conception of justification to philosophical knowledge, particularly focussing on the special role of intuitions (section III). (shrink)
John Searle''s hypothesis of the Background seems to conflict with his initial representationalism according to which each Intentional state contains a particular content that determines its conditions of satisfaction. In Section I of this essay I expose Searle''s initial theory of Intentionality and relate it to Edmund Husserl''s earlier phenomenology. In Section II I make it clear that Searle''s introduction of the notion of Network, though indispensable, does not, by itself, force us to modify that initial theory. However, a comparison (...) of this notion to the notion of horizon from Husserl''s later phenomenology and an interpretation of Husserl''s conception of the determinable X as providing a solution to the problem of perceptual misidentification lead me to conclude that in his discussion of ''twin examples'' Searle had better modified his initial theory. Finally, I critically examine Searle''s claim that anyone who tries seriously to follow out the threads in the Network will eventually reach a bedrock of non-Intentional capacities. In Section III I show in detail, partly in a rather Husserlian vein, that Searle''s four official arguments for the Background thesis, though containing some very valuable contributions to a theory of linguistic skills, are not convincing at all if they are to be understood as going beyond the scope of (Hus)Searle''s ''content-cum-Network'' picture of Intentionality. The upshot of these considerations is that the Background thesis should be read as a thesis concerning the causal neurophysiological preconditions of human Intentionality rather than concerning the logical properties of Intentional states in general. Recently Searle himself has come to the same result, but he does not say for which reasons. The present essay makes it clear why Searle just had to arrive at this important result. (shrink)
A certain objection to belief in God is based on the intrinsic incoherence of the concept of Divine Being or God. In particular, it questions the major traditional characteristic, notably omniscience, and its relation to omnipotence, moral unassailability, and absence of embodiment on the part of the Divine Being. In this paper, an attempt is made to counter this objection by an appeal, not to natural theology, but rather to physicalism in its application to human beings, and by extension to (...) the possible consistency of God’s omniscience with the other divine attributes, which philosophers such as Michael Martin have found to be mutually inconsistent and therefore wanting. (shrink)
The notion of empathy has more recently seen a considerable revival—notably (first) in connection with Quine's empathy model of radical interpretation, in contrast to which Davidson has developed his triangulation model, and (secondly) in the context of the debate between simulation theory vs. theory theory about propositional attitude ascription. So far, these debates have been carried on fairly independently of each other. This paper is an attempt to utilize the interpretation-theoretical discussion in order to argue for a moderate version of (...) simulation theory. To this end, Davidson's explanation of the radical interpretation scenario in terms of triangulation is reconstructed by comparison to some relevant ideas of Husserl's. (shrink)
It is not well known that in his Göttingen period (1900–1916) Edmund Husserl developed a kind of direct reference theory, anticipating,among other things, the distinction between referential and attributive use of adefinite description, which was rediscovered by Keith Donnellan in 1966 and further analysed by Saul Kripke in 1977. This paper defends the claim that Husserl''s idea of the mental act given voice to in an utterance sheds new light on that distinction and particularly on cases where semantic referent and (...) speaker''s referent diverge. It is argued that whenembedded in a dynamic theory of intentionality, the idea of giving-voice-to allows for a pragmatic (as opposed to a purely semantic) analysis of such cases. In Section 1 an example involving a referentially used description is presented, and the view that descriptions that can be used both attributively and referentially are thus ambiguous is criticized. Section 2 is concerned with Husserl''s discussion of a case where someone seems to demonstratively refer to something that he mistakes for something else. On thebasis of this discussion, a dynamic conception of the intentional content (and referent) of the mental act given voice to in an utterance is developed. Section 3 applies this neo-Husserlian conception to the example described in Section 1. Finally, it is shown how this conception serves to elucidate the referential/attributive distinction. (shrink)
The Dutch health care system is developing a two, or multiple, tier system. How can moral principles be of help in assessing whether this is the right track? Instead of dismissing as unhelpful the principles that have been suggested so far and exchanging them for other, usually more complex, principles, it is suggested that the methods of moral inquiry be reconsidered. Keywords: diversification in health care, health care financing, public and private responsibility in health care CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
Where has the Western attraction to the study and practice of shamanic techniques brought us? Where might it take us? In what ways have our Western biases and philosophical underpinnings influenced and changed how shamanism is practiced, both in the West and in the traditional cultures out of which they emerged? Is it time to stop using the umbrella term “shamanism” to refer to such diverse cross-cultural practices? What are our responsibilities, both as researchers and as spiritual seekers? In this (...) conversation, researcher-authors Stephan Beyer, Stanley Krippner, and Hillary S. Webb discuss their work in field and consider some of the ramifications of the Western world's intellectual and spiritual fascination with shamanic practices. Special attention is paid to the language used to describe these techniques and their practitioners, the developing relationship between researchers and cultural participants, and the ethical implications of merging what are often very distinct worldviews. (shrink)
This paper describes the work of the Polish logician Jan Kalicki (1922?1953). After a biographical introduction, his work on logical matrices and equational logic is appraised. A bibliography of his papers and reviews is also included.
Susan Okin read Robert Nozick as taking it to be fundamental to his Libertarianism that people own themselves, and that they can acquire entitlement to other things by making them. But she thinks that, since mothers make people, all people must then be owned by their mothers, a consequence Okin finds absurd. She sees no way for Nozick to make a principled exception to the idea that people own what they make when what they make is people, concluding that Nozick’s (...) theory of entitlement must be false, and that entitlement must instead be rooted in people’s needs. I say Okin misreads Nozick’s Libertarianism. In fact, its fundamental principle is that, simply by being persons, people are entitled to the maximum negative liberty compatible with a like liberty for all persons. Further, Nozick, and Jan Narveson, who has taken on the advocacy of Libertarian ideas, analyze liberty as freedom to interact with things, and analyze being entitled to or having property in something, as freedom to interact with it, to determine what may be done with it. People therefore have such freedom to do what they want with themselves, and such freedom to do what they want with other things, as is compatible with all persons having similar freedom. The former is what self-ownership amounts to, the latter, ownership of other things. Libertarianism’s fundamental principle therefore both grounds and delimits entitlements in ways entailing that mothers don’t own persons by dint of making them. Otherwise, since it would then be the prerogative of mothers to determine what shall be done with the persons they made, the persons made would lack equal liberty, this violating the fundamental principle. (shrink)
In a recent issue of Sophia, Jason A. Beyer introduced objections to the antitheist arguments that purport to show the inconsistencies between God’s attributes. In this short response I argue that Beyer’s objections are untenable.
By his critical reflections on the crisis of modern civilization, Jan Patočka, phenomenologist of the Other Europe, incarnates the critical consciousness of the phenomenological movement. He was in fact one of the first European philosophers to have emphasized the necessity of abandoning the hitherto Eurocentric propositions of solution to the crisis when he explicitly raised the problems of a “Post-European humanity”. In advocating an understanding of the history of European humanity different from those of Husserl and Heidegger, Patočka directs his (...) philosophical reflections back to sketch a more profound phenomenology of the natural world insufficiently thematized in Husserl and absent in Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit. By virtue of its emphasis on the structural characteristics of movement, of praxis, and of the disclosure of the abyssal nature of human existence and of the original nothingness as the (non-)foundation of the phenomenal world, Patočka’s phenomenology of the natural world constitutes an opening towards the reception of Others and other cultures, in particular that of Chinese Taoist philosophy. (shrink)
Organized around the central concept of struggle, this paper is an introduction to the later thought of the Czech phenomenologist Jan Patočka (1907–1977), with attention to the circumstances of his life. The first section of the paper presents Patočka’s description of the “three movements” of human existence, with emphasis upon the second, the movement of defense, work, and survival. The second section examines his later conception of philosophy, where he reprised elements of classical Greek thought (the Heraclitean notion of polemos (...) and the Socratic notion of “care of the soul”) for their relevance in the modern world. (shrink)
As regular readers of The Pluralist are aware, there appeared in 2008 an issue devoted to Jan Olof Bengtsson's The Worldview of Personalism.1 The issue included five articles, each concerned with a different aspect of the book; and after each article, there was a "Reply" by Bengtsson. In what follows, I shall say something about Bengtsson's reply to my own contribution, "Absolute and Personal Idealism." However, first let me briefly describe that article's argument.In "Absolute and Personal Idealism," I examined the (...) personalist attack on absolutism as formulated by Andrew Seth Pringle-Pattison in two works: Hegelianism and Personality and The Idea of God in the Light of Recent Philosophy. In the first section of .. (shrink)
This paper presents a short biography of Jan Patočka, as well as biographical data of the author in connection to the life and work of Jan Patočka. The paper describes Patočka’s academic activity at Charles University between 1968 and 1972, how he continued by giving private underground seminars in the dark years of 1972 to 1976, and how his engagement culminated in the dissident movement Charter 77. The author explains how the unofficial underground Patočka Archive was established on the very (...) day of Patočka’s death, even before the terrible events around his funeral. Before the official Patočka Archive was founded on the 1st of January, 1990, many volumes of his works were edited secretly during the period of 1977 to 1989. This made it possible to continue successfully publishing the series of the Complete Works of Jan Patočka after 1990. (shrink)
The aim of the present study is (1) to show, on the basis of a number of unpublished documents, how Heinrich Scholz supported his Warsaw colleague Jan ?ukasiewicz, the Polish logician, during World War II, and (2) to discuss the efforts he made in order to enable Jan ?ukasiewicz and his wife Regina to move from Warsaw to Münster under life-threatening circumstances. In the first section, we explain how Scholz provided financial help to ?ukasiewicz, and we also adduce evidence of (...) the risks incurred by German scholars who offered assistance to their Polish colleagues. In the second section, we discuss the dramatic circumstances surrounding the ?ukasiewiczes' move to Münster in the summer of 1944. (shrink)
Common Sense and Logic in Jan Smedslund's 'Psycho-logic'. This paper is about the efforts the norwegian psychologist Jan Smedslund made in analyzing and checking philosophically his theory called 'Psycho-logic'. I am going to reconstruct and discuss the debates between Smedslund and several critics, which have been going on since about 1978, mainly in the "Scandinavian Journal of Psychology". A result will be that the kind of modal logics Smedslund uses - a type with realistic semantics and epistemology - is not (...) the proper one for the analysis of 'Psycho-logic'. (shrink)
In this article the author attempts to establish whether we can find a “theory of appearance” in the philosophy of Jan Patočka. The “appearance” for Patočka is basically composed of two elements. First there is a “primeval movement” which accounts for an infinite possibility of phenomena. The second element is the relation of this movement with an “addressee”, the subjectivity. If we begin to analyse the unity of these two elements we fundamentally come across three problems: what is it that (...) appears, when appearance presupposes a certain totality of appearance; how does this total appearance come forth; and, finally, is this whole “structure of appearance” taken as a free movement, kept once and for all within the boundaries of phenomenology, which is founded on a precise and positive term of “appearance” — or do we have to stipulate a special “experience” as the starting point of a phenomenology, which accepts the abyssal impossibility to control its frame? (shrink)
Existuje překvapivě málo knih, které by se pokoušely o syntetizující pohled na analytickou filosofii. Je ovšem pravda, že ve druhé polovině našeho století se soubor filosofů, kteří se k analytické filosofii hlásí nebo kteří k ní bývají řazeni, stává natolik různorodý, že se jakákoli syntéza stává problematickou; překvapivě málo syntetizujících prací existuje ale i o ‘klasické’ analytické filosofii, to jest o analytické filosofii období zhruba od konce devatenáctého století do poloviny století dvacátého. Dejnožkova kniha je jednou z těch mála, které (...) se o něco takového pokouší, a to je třeba přivítat. Dejnožka se ovšem nesnaží podat všestranný rozbor názorů klasiků analytické filosofie; soustředí se pouze jeden aspekt jejich učení, totiž na jejich ontologii. Hned v úvodu své knihy k tomu vysvětluje, jaké opodstatnění může mít hovořit o ontologii u takového druhu filosofie, která se programově distancuje od metafyziky. Podle něj je tomu tak, že i když se někteří analytičtí filosofové někdy více či méně úspěšně vyhýbali otázkám metafyzickým (to jest otázkám po nejzákladnějších kategoriích bytí), ontologickým otázkám (to jest otázkám po povaze bytí jako takového) se v podstatě vyhnout nelze. A Dejnožka se snaží ukázat, že klasikové analytické filosofie se těmito otázkami zabývali mnohdy velice do hloubky. To je patrné zejména u Frega a Russella, kterým autor věnuje největší pozornost; avšak k těm, kteří podle Dejnožky berou ústřední otázku ontologie za svou, řadí Dejnožka i Wittgensteina i Quina (jimž se však věnuje na pouze velice omezeném prostoru - každému asi na dvanácti stránkách). (shrink)
This article explores some indications in the texts of Patočka that point towards a concept of language which no longer takes it to be a derived layer of an original perceptive basis: he disassociates intuition from origin, and establishes a co-origin of language and perception. It is this co-origin whose meaning and limits this article seeks to determine.
Jan Österberg (Self and Others, 1988) argues that the most defensible form of egoism should not only tell each of us what to do but also tell us what we ought to do. He also claims that collective norms should take precedence over individual ones. An individual ought to do one's part in an action pattern that is prescribed for the group - provided that other members of the group do their part. question This paper questions Österberg's claim that Collective (...) Egoism, unlike other forms of egoism, avoids violations of the principles which he takes to be analytical adequacy criteria for ethical theories: the principles of "deontic consequence" and "joint satisfiability". Furthermore, it questions his argument that Collective Egoism yields the "right" prescriptions in its main test-case: Prisoners' Dilemma. The improved version of Collective Egoism is able to deal with the two-person Prisoners' Dilemma, but it still misbehaves when we move to the many-persons cases. A certain type of "free rider"-problems proves to be especially troublesome. (shrink)
We reproduce here the text of a lecture held by Paul Ricoeur at Naples in 1997. Ricoeur sees in Patočka’s work an elliptical movement with two foci: the phenomenology of the natural world and the question of the meaning of history. Ricoeur evidences the new features of Patočka’s a-subjective phenomenology compared to Husserl’s transcendental idealism and Heidegger’s existential analytics. The transition from the phenomenology of the natural world to the problematic of history suggests in any case a substantial dialectical thread (...) that starts from the phenomenology of the movement of life, weaves through the problematic and tragic character of history and ends in the idea of the solidarity of the shaken. (shrink)