Linguistic phenomena of tense and aspect have been investigated in a great deal of theoretical work in linguistics, philosophy and computer science. Modern tense logics, established by Prior, are part of this effort. Point tense logics offer an intuitive representation of tense but lack the expressiveness to represent many aspectual structures. Interval tense logics offer more expressiveness but in the general case can be computationally intractable. From a linguistic perspective there is the problem of precisely how to formalise the aspectual (...) structures, such as a culmination and a culminated process. In this paper we define a computationally tractable augmented fragment of Halpern and Shoham's interval tense logic HS and apply it to represent a core set of aspectual structures, which are incorporated into a temporal semantics of a simple fragment of English. We model the logic fragment using timelines and define two procedures, one for constructing the minimal timelines that satisfy a formula and one for checking semantic entailments between one formula and another by comparing their timelines. The former is applied to compute models of temporal readings and the latter to check entailments between them. Possible extensions to the logic fragment and timeline models are discussed as ways of accounting for a wider range of linguistic behaviour. (shrink)
Nihilism is the logic of nothing as something, which claims that Nothing Is. Its unmaking of things, and its forming of formless things, strain the fundamental terms of existence: what it is to be, to know, to be known. But nihilism, the antithesis of God, is also like theology. Where nihilism creates nothingness, condenses it to substance, God also makes nothingness creative. Negotiating the borders of spirit and substance, theology can ask the questions of nihilism that other disciplines do not (...) ask: Where is it? What is it made of? Why is it so destructive? How can it be made holy, or overcome? Genealogy of Nihilism rereads Western history in the light of nihilistic logic, which pervades two millennia of Western thought and is coming to fruition in our present age in a virulently dangerous manner. From Parmenides to Alain Badiou, via Plotinus, Avicenna, Duns Scotus, Ockham, Descartes, Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, Heidegger, Sartre, Lacan, Deleuze and Derrida, a genealogy of nothingness can be witnessed in development, with devastating consequences for the way we live. Conor Cunningham's elaborate and sophisticated theology, spanning the disciplines of philosophy, science and popular culture, permits us to see not simply how modernity has formulated its philosophies of nothing, but how these philosophies might be transfigures by the crucial difference theology makes, and so be reconcilable with life and the living - with the very gift which being is. (shrink)
Journalism and media ethics texts commonly invoke Aristotle's Golden Mean as a principal ethical theory that models such journalistic values as balance, fairness, and proportion. Working from Aristotle's text, this article argues that the Golden Mean model, as widely understood and applied to media ethics, seriously belies Aristotle's intent. It also shortchanges the reality of our moral agency and epistemic responsibility. A more authentic rendering of Aristotle's theory of acting rightly, moreover, has profound implications for communication ethicists and media practitioners.
A variety of recent philosophical discussions, particularly on topics relating to complexity, have begun to reemploy the concept of 'emergence'. Although multiple concepts of 'emergence' are available, little effort has been made to systematically distinguish them. In this paper, I provide a taxonomy of higher-order properties that (inter alia) distinguishes three classes of emergent properties: (1) ontologically basic properties of complex entities, such as the mythical vital properties, (2) fully configurational properties, such as mental properties as they are conceived of (...) by functionalists and computationalists, and (3) highly configurational/holistic properties, such as the higher-level patterns characteristic of complex dynamical systems. Or more simply: emergence as ontological liberality, emergence as multiple realizability, and emergence as interactive complexity. (shrink)
Theories of intentionality need to account for non-cognitive states like emotions as well as cognitive states like beliefs. When certain non-cognitive states are included, one can formulate a feasible physicalist account of intentionality that highlights its evolutionary roots. I argue that recent experimental data support just such a move.
Antireductionist philosophers have argued for higher-order classifications of qualia that locate consciousness outside the scope of conventional scientific explanations, viz., by classifying qualia as intrinsic, basic, or subjective properties, antireductionists distinguish qualia from extrinsic, complex, and objective properties, and thereby distinguish conscious mental states from the possible explananda of functionalist or physicalist explanations. I argue that, in important respects, qualia are intrinsic, basic, and subjective properties of conscious mental states, and that, contrary to antireductionists' suggestions, these (...) higher-order classifications are compatible with qualia reduction. I demonstrate this compatibility by examining the putative higher-order properties of qualia and comparing them to the higher-order properties characteristic of connectionist models of cognitive processes. I contend that the higher-order properties characteristic of connectionist networks approximate (in intertheoretic terms) the putative higher-order properties of qualia sufficiently well to conclude that qualia reductionism can (1) accommodate claims that qualia are intrinsic, basic, and subjective properties, and (2) explain the motivating intuitions for those claims generated by inverted, absent, and alien qualia thought experiments. In this way I argue that (approximate versions of) the putative higher-order classifications of qualia not only fail to defeat qualia reduction but, ironically, turn out to support it. (shrink)
In this paper, we explore Peirce's work for insights into a theory of learning and cognition for education. Our focus for this exploration is Peirce's paper The Fixation of Belief (FOB), originally published in 1877 in Popular Science Monthly. We begin by examining Peirce's assertion that the study of logic is essential for understanding thought and reasoning. We explicate Peirce's view of the nature of reasoning itself—the characteristic guiding principles or ‘habits of mind’ that underlie acts of inference, the dimensions (...) of and interaction between doubt and belief, and his four methods of resolving or ‘fixing’ belief (i.e., tenacity, authority, a priori, and experimentation). The four methods are then juxtaposed against current models of teaching and learning such as constructivism, schema theory, situated cognition, and inquiry learning. Finally, we discuss Peirce's modes of inference as they relate educationally to the resolution of doubt and beliefs and offer an example of belief resolution from an experienced teacher in a professional development environment. (shrink)
when the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives published an ambitious report, The Rich and the Rest of Us by Armine Yalnizyan, reactions from the political right quickly followed. This was, of course, to be expected. Her research describes galloping disparities of income among Canadians from 1976, where after-tax median income of the top 10% of families was 31 times higher than that of the bottom 10%, to 2004 when it was 82 times higher. An even more dramatic case could be (...) made by comparing wealth as well as income, including such things as real estate, stocks, and savings. Also, the report does not throw into relief the most grotesque of disparities since the top 10% of incomes includes both families earning $110,000 a year and the multimillionaires. In my naiveté I anticipated an exchange of technical debates over analytic methods, sampling strategies, data sources, and the like. Instead, the rError: Illegal entry in bfchar block in ToUnicode CMapight-wing pundits and think tanks, for the most part, accepted the findings and reacted to them by complaining that reversing the trend would require socialistic state interference with market forces. A theme running through the critical reactions was that nobody has grounds for objection to growing income disparities as long as the worst off are no worse off than they had been earlier. In fact, if the worst off are somewhat better off, the findings would, it is claimed, lend support to the “trickle down” theory endorsed by neoliberals at least since the Thatcher/Reagan era. Trickle-down assertions depend on the never proven assumption that ballooning income of the rich is a central cause of economic growth (rather than being made possible by growth, which has other origins). If there is anything to the trickle-down theory, it is nullified exactly by the sort of disparity in income the Rich and the Rest.. (shrink)
This understanding of dirty hands should dispell the air of paradox so often associated with it. Dirty hands is a genuine moral problem, but not a conceptual one. The temptation to see it as a conceptual one arises from a hasty acceptance of these assumptions:Moral criticism is appropriate if and only if we can always do what is right. If we cannot do X or avoid doing Y, we cannot be criticized for failing to do X or for doing Y.We (...) are always free to avoid moral compromise since goodness is a matter of having the will to do what is right.We are morally compromised if and only if we either intentionally do what is wrong, or if we do what is right for the wrong reasons.As a general description of conscientiousness, these conditions are uncontroversial. However, conscientiousness does not exhaust the moral realm. The problem with the individuals in the cases above is not that they are guilty of being unconscientious. They are conscientious and still cannot avoid dirtying themselves.The Kantian aspiration to render ourselves invulnerable to moral compromise is well-intentioned and deserves our respect insofar as it alerts us to the importance of struggling with courage and imagination against evil. But to the extent that it rejects or ignores the possibility of moral tragedy, the Kantian conception paints too optimistic and artificial a picture of the human condition. We are complicated creatures with diverse and often conflicting ethical loves. Rigging our ethical theories to eliminate such conflicts does nothing to change life as real-life moral agents experience it. As with any kind of theory, we need to be careful about unwittingly deforming the world in order to make it conform to the beloved castles we so often build in the air. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to examine three different approaches to autonomy in order to demonstrate how each leads to a different conclusion about the ethicality of advertising. I contend that Noggle''s (1995) belief-based autonomy theory provides the most complete understanding of autonomy. Read in conjunction with Arendt''s theory of cooperative power, Noggle''s theory leads to the conclusion that advertising does not violate consumers'' autonomy. Although it is possible for advertisers to abuse the power granted them by society these (...) abuses do not constitute a violation of consumers'' autonomy. (shrink)
By virtue of its epistemic deficits, propaganda is very much an unethical phenomenon. Coping effectively with propaganda requires a communicative response that confronts its inherent unethicality with ethically grounded resistance. In this article, I propose two congruent plans of communicative action, each of which rests on an apparent ethical connection: J. Michael Sproule's (1994) reclaiming of classical eloquence, and Jonathan Rauch's (1993) provocative program of "liberal science.".
Two years ago, the distribution of the world’s people reached the point at which over half now live in cities. Some social scientists and urban planners (but few political leaders other than those of large municipalities) had seen this change coming. With one group of exceptions, philosophers have paid less attention to the subject. I would like to advance some ideas about how to think philosophically about cities, drawing upon North American and European thinkers and traditions.
"The golden rule" (Matthew 7:12) is a formulation of natural moral law, a logical way to divide good from evil. It has been attacked by J.W. Hennessey, Jr. and Bernard Gert as a "particularist preachment." On the contrary, it remains a useful, universal guide to moral conduct and cannot be considered a self-centered, subjective guide to the moral life. We must agree with Jeffrey Wattles that there are multiple possible meanings to the "rule", some legitimate and some spurious. The legitimate (...) meanings, such as the "standard of God-like behavior," all yield the same judgment on morally doubtful actions such as forgery. The so-called "platinum" rule, "Do unto others as they would have you do unto them" has face appeal, but is fatally flawed in its logic, and does not supercede "the golden rule" because part of the treatment I wish from others is a full understanding of my true needs and wishes, even when I do not judge my own needs correctly. (shrink)
It is argued that the disciplinary identity of anatomy and physiology before 1800 are unknown to us due to the subsequent creation, success and historiographical dominance of a different discipline-experimental physiology. The first of these two papers deals with the identity of physiology from its revival in the 1530s, and demonstrates that it was a theoretical, not an experimental, discipline, achieved with the mind and the pen, not the hand and the knife. The physiological work of Jean Fernel, Albrecht von (...) Haller and others is explored to prove this point. In conclusion this old physiological tradition is compared to the new experimental physiology, as practised by Francois Magendie and Pierre Flourens. (shrink)
No abstract available. First paragraph: In this issue’s target article, Stier and Schoene-Siefert purport to ‘depotentialize’ the argument from potentiality based on their claim that any human cell may be “converted” into a morally significant entity, and consequently, the argument from potentiality finally succumbs to a reductio ad absurdum. I aim to convey two reasons for skepticism about the innocuousness of the notion of cell convertibility, and hence, the cogency of their argument.
Little is known about how and why corporate social responsibility (CSR) emerged in lesser developed countries. In order to address this knowledge gap, we used Chile as a test case and conducted a series of in-depth interviews with leaders of CSR initiatives. We also did an Internet and literature search to help provide support for the findings that emerged from our data. We discovered that while there are similarities in the drivers of CSR in developed countries, there are distinct differences (...) as well. In particular, we found that different sectors drive CSR in Chile. In contrast to other geographies where consumer demand and government regulation provided the impetus for CSR efforts, multinational companies (MNCs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are key actors in Chile. MNCs imported their CSR beliefs, skills, and processes into Chile. Their efforts resulted in a virtuous cycle. Once large domestic firms felt pressured by their MNC rivals, they too adopted CSR initiatives. The ability to manage relationships with multiple stakeholders and perceptions of authenticity were also critical to the success of CSR in Chile. Using network theory as a lens, we suggest that network density and centrality largely determine whether CSR efforts will be authentic. Based on these contentions, we suggest avenues for future research. (shrink)
Leading Frankfurt School theorist, Herbert Marcuse, possessed an intricate relationship with higher education. As a professor, Marcuse participated in the 1960s student movements, believing that college students had potential as revolutionary subjects. Additionally, Marcuse advocated for a college education empowered by a form of praxis that extended education outside the university into realms of critical thought and action. However, the more pessimistic facet of his theory, best represented in the canonical One Dimensional Man, now seems to be the dominant ideology (...) in the contemporary college experience. With the rise of the corporate university, knowledge is commodified and praxis is supplanted by rampant consumerism. Once a haven for critical theory, the college experience has been overtaken by capitalism, substantially limiting the revolutionary potential for college students in favour of an institutionalised, one dimensional university. (shrink)
One would be hard pressed these days to ﬁnd any defenders of the sort of full-blown economic planniﬁcation characteristic of the late Soviet Union and other Communist states, and with good reason given their economic inefﬁciency. The departure from planniﬁcation is, of course, celebrated by neo-liberal champions of capitalism. Critics of unbridled capitalism are less enthusiastic about the embrace of economic markets, which are correctly seen as promoting inequalities and objectionably competitive values. A question put to themselves by the critics (...) is whether a market economy will bring such socially undesirable consequences in its wake. This topic is often framed in language ﬁrst employed by Karl Polanyi. He described a progression in the development of market mechanisms from the Industrial Revolution. (shrink)
Albert and the career of virtue theory -- Modern virtue theory as foreground to Albert's moral philosophy -- Albert's ethical treatises -- The significance of Albert's moral treatises in early-thirteenth-century moral philosophy -- Approaching the moral order -- Meta-ethical reflections on "moral science" and its procedures -- The metaphysics of the good -- The architecture of moral goodness -- The genesis of virtue : intrinsic causes -- The genesis of virtue : extrinsic causes -- The concept of virtue -- The (...) organization of the virtues -- The passions -- Morality, obligation, and law -- Natural law -- Virtue's rewards -- Friendship -- Last ends and happiness -- Conclusion: Albertus redux. (shrink)
Considerations of social justice pertain to universities with respect to reserved spaces for applicants from disadvantaged groups, targeted hiring, differential student fees or faculty workloads and salaries, and similarly contested matters. This paper displaces debates over what constitutes just allocation of university resources from those over theories of justice in general to those about alternative visions of the proper goal of universities. To this end, educational and democratic theories of John Dewey are drawn on as an alternative to elitist conceptions (...) and the implications of these competing viewpoints for specific justice-related issues are explicated. (shrink)
I argue against the claim of certain functionalists, like Jerry Fodor, that theories of psychological states ought to abstract from the physiology of the systems that exhibit such states. Taking seriously Darwin’s claim that living organisms struggle to survive, and that their “mental powers” are adaptations that assist them in this struggle, I argue that not only emotions but also paradigm cognitive states like beliefs are intimately bound up with the physiology of the organism and its efforts to maintain its (...) own well-being. I defend the definitional aspirations of functionalism but reject its attempt at ontological neutrality. (shrink)
This paper suggests that the truths of religion and democracy are, respectively, theocracy and moral relativism. Religion tends toward theocracy, the thesis that religiously influenced political norms should trump secular norms. Democracy tends toward moral relativism, the thesis that society lacks agreed upon standards by which the varying and conflicting moral views therein may be adjudicated. The conflict between religion and democracy is thus unavoidable: theocracy insists that any conflict with democracy be decided in favor of the religious principles in (...) question; and the moral relativism engendered by democracy cannot be tolerated by religion. The recommendation is to act in accordance with principles that will ease the conflict by strengthening tendencies counter to the two, namely the principle of chaos (which mitigates the effects of religion) and the principle of order (which serves to mitigate the effects of democracy). (shrink)