It is a contradictory argument to say on the one hand that social systems are always open and that there is nothing between closed and open systems, and on the other that there are pseudo-closed systems. Further, Petter Næss has shown that multivariate regression analysis can be used to help uncover mechanisms, something that should be impossible if social systems were always open. He has in addition found that the meaningful activity of urban planning requires for its existence the possibility (...) to make crude, qualitative predictions, which should also be impossible for the same reason. Critical realists therefore need to rethink the whole question of closed and open social systems. (shrink)
All prospective studies and purposes to improve cure and create a race that would be exempt of various diseases and disabilities are generally defined as eugenic procedures. They aim to create the "perfect" and "higher" human being by eliminating the "unhealthy" prospective persons. All of the supporting actions taken in order to enable the desired properties are called positive eugenic actions; the elimination of undesired properties are defined as negative eugenics. In addition, if such applications and approaches target the public (...) as a whole, they are defined as macro-eugenics. On the other hand, if they only aim at individuals and/or families, they are called micro-eugenics. As generally acknowledged, Galton re-introduced eugenic proposals, but their roots stretch as far back as Plato. Eugenic thoughts and developments were widely accepted in many different countries beginning with the end of the 19 th to the first half of the 20 th centuries. Initially, the view of negative eugenics that included compulsory sterilizations of handicapped, diseased and "lower" classes, resulted in tens of thousands being exterminated especially in the period of Nazi Germany. In the 1930s, the type of micro positive eugenics movement found a place within the pro-natalist policies of a number of countries. However, it was unsuccessful since the policy was not able to become effective enough and totally disappeared in the 1960s. It was no longer a fashionable movement and left a deep impression on public opinion after the long years of war. However, developments in genetics and its related fields have now enabled eugenic thoughts to reappear under the spotlight and this is creating new moral dilemmas from an ethical perspective. Content Type Journal Article Pages 20-26 Authors Güvercin CH, Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, Ankara University Health Sciences Institute, Turkey Arda B, School of Medicine, Ankara University, Turkey Journal Human Reproduction & Genetic Ethics Online ISSN 2043-0469 Print ISSN 1028-7825 Journal Volume Volume 14 Journal Issue Volume 14, Number 2 / 2008. (shrink)
The distinction between acting and suffering underlies any theory of agency. Among contemporary writers, Fred Dretske is one of the few who has attempted to explicate this distinction without restricting the notion of action to intentional action alone. Aristotle also developed a global account of agency, one which is deeper and more detailed than Dretske's, and it is to Aristotle's account (with some modifications) that the bulk of this paper is devoted. Dretske's sketchier theory faces at least two ground-level problems. (...) It is shown in the course of the paper how these can be handled by the Aristotelian account, in a way which is friendly to Dretske's approach. (shrink)
This phenomenological-psychological study aims at discovering the essential constituents involved in congenitally blind people's spatial experiences. Nine congenitally blind persons took part in this study. The data were made up of half structured (thorough) interviews. The analysis of the data yielded the following three comprehension forms of spatiality; (i) Comprehension in terms of image-experience; (ii) Comprehension in terms of notions; (iii) Comprehension in terms of knowledge.Comprehension in terms of image experience is the form which is most concretely and clearly experienced. (...) It is important to notice, that this kind of image experience is not synonymous with a visually based image experience — a fact which is discussed in the article. The following three features, which are to be understood as a description of what characterizes congenitally blind people's image experience, are presented; (i) Experience of the whole; (ii) Synthesizing/Harmonizing; (iii) Spontanous presentation of the whole. Furthermore, comprehension in terms of image experience is made up of the following four constituents, which aim at specifying the conditions for the possibility of having an image experience; (i) The image experience is based on tactile experiences; (ii) The inner horizon of the object has to be limited in order for the tactile sense to constitute an image experience; (iii) The person must have reached a certain degree of familiarity with the object; (iv) The importance of the emotional investment in the object. (shrink)
In spite of stricter provisions inthe new EU directive on deliberate release ofgenetically modified organisms (GMOs), criticsstill advocate a moratorium on permits forcultivation of GMOs. However, in an attempt tomeet concerns raised by the public, thedirective explicitly gives Member States thepossibility to take into consideration ethicalaspects of GMOs in the decision-making. Thisarticle investigates the potential effects ofsuch formulation by means of an empiricalanalysis of experiences gained the last yearsfrom similar Swedish regulations for GMOs,aiming at promoting sustainable development.The faulty implementation shown (...) in the Swedishcase indicates that legal stipulations forethics as such have limited importance. It issuggested that public participation is animportant factor for successful implementationof the ethics of sustainable development. (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)
For the Western philosopher the most difficult idea to understand is the Zen (Ch'an) notion of ?Mind?, which is a key to understanding Zen Buddhism. In order to transmit the idea of ?Mind? Huang Po suggests that the only successful method for understanding it is intuition. Perhaps the difficulty for the Western philosopher arises from his compulsion to analyze and his wholesale rejection of intuition as a valid method of understanding. For the Zen Buddhist, ?Mind? is a sea in which (...) men float expecting to know it as a whole by analyzing every droplet. (shrink)
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)
Abstract This essay attempts to articulate an understanding of the goal of ?freedom? in classical Ch'an Buddhism by setting concerns for ?liberation? in relation to the kinds of authority and regulated structure characteristic of Sung dynasty Ch'an monasteries. It begins with the thesis that early Western interpreters of Zen have tended to emphasise the dimensions of Zen freedom that accord with modem Western versions of freedom presupposing tension between freedom and authority as well as between individual autonomy and the demands (...) of a communal setting. These dichotomies, assumed by modem Western interpreters, appear to have been absent from this medieval Chinese context, thus suggesting that their concepts of freedom and liberation must have differed significantly from our own. The essay examines classical Ch'an rhetoric and practices in an effort to reconceive what ?freedom? might have meant in this context and concludes with a proposal for this reconception. (shrink)
This comparative study argues that both Aristotle and the Ch'eng-Chu School deny that a weak-willed person truly and clearly knows what is best at the time of action, but their analyses of a weak-willed person's knowledge are rather different. It is shown that both Aristotle and the Ch'eng-Chu School believe that practical knowledge presupposes repeatedly acting on it and thus that the defect of the weak-willed person's knowledge cannot be overcome by purely cognitive training.
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)
Ai Ssu-ch'i is a little known but very important figure in the introduction of Marxism-Leninism into China. This first article provides a brief biography of Ai Ssu-ch'i as well as a detailed account of his activities as teacher, author and propagandist. Among his other services to the cause of Marxism-Leninism in China, one has to stress Ai Ssu-ch'i's systematic opposition to Yeh Ch'ing and to the non-Communist interpretation of Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Three Principles of the People. (cf.SST 10 (1970), 138–166.).
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)
The article relates Ch'an Buddhism, to Western thought via the philosophy of Spinoza, in particular through the concept of substance. It shows that Spinoza abandoned this concept as a fundamental metaphysical one. The consequent reuse of ?substance? requires a re?examination of the concepts of property and identity. It is seen that Spinoza made this drastic break with Western tradition by experiencing egolessness, the psychological basis for his metaphysical moves. The move is illustrated by the development of quantum physics. Egolessness and (...) a rethinking of identity are basic to a feeling for, if not an understanding of, Ch'an Buddhism. (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)
In Ai Ssu-ch'i is exemplified and substantiated the Soviet influence on the official definition of philosophy in the history of Communist Party of China, i.e., the assertion about and the method for knowledge of the world. Such a philosophical knowledge has as its formal object the most fundamental laws of the universe.In order to acquire such a genuine philosophical knowledge, one needs a desire to change the world and a proletarian point of view. For only by aiming at changing (...) the world is inevitability reflected; only in the proletarian viewpoint are the objective laws reflected. In order to substantiate these assertions, one has to point out that, first, man's thinking is determined by his social relations (economic relationships) and, secondly, social relations are determined by practice. Since the proletariat is in the right kind of practice, it is both in the proper locus of social relations and, therefore, it perceives both inevitability and objectivity. Yet, due to man's subjective dynamism, it is possible for other classes to adopt the standpoint of the proletariat. (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)
This book explains the general intellectual climate of the early Ch'ing period, and the political and cultural characteristics of the Ch'ing regime at the time. Professor Huang brings to life the book's central characters, Li Fu and the three great emperors - K'ang-hsi, Yung-cheng, and Chien-lung - whom he served. Although the author's main concern is to explain the contributions of Li Fu to the Lu-Wang school of Confucianism, he also gives a clearly written account of the Lu-Wang and Ch'eng-Chu (...) schools from the twelfth century to the eighteenth. In a clear, succinct style, Huang explains the historical differences between the Ch'eng-Chu and Lu-Wang schools without sacrificing the subtleties of either. The book culminates in a discussion of the hero-emperor K'ang-hsi's appropriation of the 'Tradition of the Way' from his intellectual officials, which denied them their traditional role as moral censors and critics of the emperor's exercise of authority. (shrink)
Where should we begin our story? Many books start with Newton, but Newton was responding to both Galileo1 and especially (for our purposes) Descartes. But Galileo and Descartes themselves were writing in the context of late Aristotelianism, and so were trained in and critical of that rich school of thought, so if we want to fully understand their work we would need to understand scholastic views on space and motion (see Grant, 1974, Murdoch and Sylla, 1978 and Ariew and Gabbey, (...) 1998). But late scholasticism itself is the result of a long history tracing from Plato and Aristotle through Jewish, Arabic, Islamic and European thought. And of course Plato and Aristotle are explicitly reacting to their predecessors and contemporaries. In other words, we could start the story as early in recorded thought as we like. (shrink)