Challenging the assumption that the concept of divine action is necessarily paradoxical, on the grounds that God is radically transcendent of finitude, or can perform only a master act of creating and sustaining the universe, Frank Kirkpatrick defends as philosophically credible the Christian conviction that God is a personal Agent who also acts in particular historical moments to further the divine intention of fostering universal community. Kirkpatrick claims that God and the world are distinct realities "together bound" in (...) a mutual relationship of reciprocal historical action. In this relationship, God both acts upon and responds to human beings in specific moments in their history. The implications of this claim for understanding the biblical narrative, the problem of evil, cosmological theories, and the realism of Christian community are pursued. (shrink)
Atran & Norenzayan (A&N) are correct that religion is an evolutionary by-product, not an adaptation, but they do not go far enough. Once supernatural beliefs are enabled by processes they describe, numerous social-cognitive mechanisms related to attachment, social exchange, coalitional psychology, status and dominance, and kinship are crucial for explaining the specific forms religion takes and individual and cultural differences therein.
A broad evolutionary perspective is essential to fully reverse figure and ground in the rationality debate. Humans' evolved psychological architecture was designed to produce inferences that were adaptive, not normatively logical. This perspective points to several predictable sources of errors in modern laboratory reasoning tasks, including inherent, systematic biases in information-processing systems explained by Error Management Theory.
The recent interest in wisdom in professional health care practice is explored in this article. Key features of wisdom are identified via consideration of certain classical, ancient and modern sources. Common themes are discussed in terms of their contribution to ‘clinical wisdom’ itself and this is reviewed against the nature of contemporary nursing education. The distinctive features of wisdom (recognition of contextual factors, the place of the person and timeliness) may enable their significance for practice to be promoted in more (...) coherent ways in nursing education. Wisdom as practical knowledge (phronesis) is offered as a complementary perspective within the educational preparation and practice of students of nursing. Certain limitations within contemporary UK nursing education are identified that may inhibit development of clinical wisdom. These are: the modularization of programmes in higher education institutions, the division of pastoral and academic support and the relationship between theory and practice. (shrink)
Heart disease is the leading cause of death amongst adult Americans and has recently become a top killer worldwide. The direct costs of cardiovascular disease are projected to triple in the next 20 years, from $272.5 billion to $818.1 billion (Heidenreich et al. 2011). Although there has been a decreased incidence and prevalence of ischemic heart disease over the past several decades in the United States, heart failure remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality. In the United States, approximately (...) 500,000 to 700,000 new cases are identified each year (Lloyd-Jones et al. 2009). Heart failure is now the number one diagnosis leading to hospitalization. As such, it is an increasingly heavy economic burden on .. (shrink)
Modern therapies in cardiovascular medicine aim at preventing death and improving patients' quality of life. However, cardiologists often focus on what can be done rather than what should be done, and the latter consideration may be neglected in the midst of therapeutic optimism. The life-saving success of cardiovascular treatments, combined with an aging population, has created an epidemic of heart failure, a disease that portends considerable morbidity and mortality and raises important questions about what should be done. This and the (...) following essays in this section address the emerging need for ethical analysis of issues raised by patients with heart failure. In this overview, we discuss end-of-life care in end-stage heart failure, new therapies for heart failure, and heart failure research. (shrink)
Habermas's theory of social evolution has been subjected to critique by environmentally motivated sociologists. They argue that his decision to recast social theory in terms of an extended, if selective analogy with biology leads him into a set of practical positions that are irreconcilable with Green politics and inconsistent with the goals of traditional critical theory. This article argues that these criticisms are based on an inaccurate assessment of the role of evolutionary concepts in Habermas's thought. By drawing out the (...) similarities between Habermas and Kant on the question of the relationship between history and natural history, it is possible to see that Habermas's use of evolutionary metaphors plays a regulative rather than a constitutive role in his thinking on society. This strategy does not save Habermas's position, but shows instead that it may be vulnerable to an immanent critique that pulls out the real underlying antagonisms in his system. (shrink)
Andrew Feenberg’s distinction between formal and substantive bias in the design of technology is interrogated. The two dimensions of his definition—intention and the enhancement of specific social interests—are examined and eight logical possibilities arising from his argument are identified. These possibilities are explored through discussion of examples and it is argued that Feenberg has both: a) not broken sufficiently with substantivist philosophies of technology so that he retains ambivalence on technology’s ‘biased essence,’ and b) illegitimately rejected the idea of a (...) technology that is biased in itself. The latter category is important to critical theory of technology and the paper offers a conceptualization of it that draws on Habermas’s discourse ethics. (shrink)
This article argues that the computer game can be a locus of aesthetic form in contemporary culture. The context for understanding this claim is the decline of the artwork as bearer of form in the late 20th century, as this was understood by Adorno. Form is the enigmatic other of instrumental reason that emerges spontaneously in creative works and, in the modern era, is defined as that which makes them captivating and enigmatic yet resistant to analytic understanding. Clarification of the (...) ways in which form is at work in game play is sought from aesthetic theory (Kant), ludology (or theory of games), and the idea of a neo-baroque entertainment culture (Ndalianis). Kant emphasized the role of play in the constitution of imaginary realms associated with aesthetic pleasure. Ludology takes play as an anthropological given differentiated historically by the development of game structures. Neo-baroque theory postulates a labyrinthine, complex and de-centred entertainment culture, largely shaped by computing as a cultural practice. The article synthesizes insights from these perspectives and, drawing on ideas from Adorno and Benjamin, argues that computer games can occupy an oppositional or critical role within contemporary aesthetics and culture. Reflection on the constitutive processes of computer game play discloses a new place for instrumental reason within aesthetic experience, as the dialectic of form and analysis migrates from traditional art materials to digital electronics. (shrink)
This text provides an overview of debates in the sociology of technology, including definitions of the main terms and concepts and discussion of the dominant positions, especially in recent scholarship. At the same time, it develops a novel perspective on the subject based in critical theory, bridging work in the sociology of science and technology with wider debate in social theory. It integrates empirical and theoretical elements in well-themed chapters and draws on interesting contemporary examples such as mobile phones and (...) computer games to offer a distinctive sociological perspective on an important dimension of social life. (shrink)
The logic of mutual heterocentrism requires two radical changes in our traditional way of thinking. First, it requires that we accept ourselves as gifts received. Second, it requires that we take seriously the notion that God can and does act in history. Macmurray’s Persons in Relation provides not only an analysis of these claims, but also metaphysical support for them.
In 2002, then Cambridge student Joanna Jepson initiated a legal, ecclesial, and media conversation on selective termination for disability. Making herself available in a way that is vulnerable, palpable, and effective, Jepson has used subtle rhetorical skill to question the ways certain lives are appraised as precious or expendable. The now Revd Jepson’s witness may adumbrate a boundary past which the task of truly public bioethics becomes precarious. While ethicists may persuasively argue in the public square against positive eugenics (...) — against selectively breeding or genetically enhancing conception — opposition to negative eugenics — against the elimination of ‘unfit’ lives — stretches the bounds of apologetics. The theological bioethicist may be called to gesture toward the Whence? and the Whither?, even if the purveyors of public bioethics find this an objectionable undertaking. (shrink)
Joanna Mary Firth and Jonathan Quong argue that both an instrumental account of liability to defensive harm, according to which an aggressor can only be liable to defensive harms that are necessary to avert the threat he poses, and a purely noninstrumental account which completely jettisons the necessity condition, lead to very counterintuitive implications. To remedy this situation, they offer a “pluralist” account and base it on a distinction between “agency rights” and a “humanitarian right.” I argue, first, that (...) this distinction is spurious; second, that the conclusions they draw from this distinction do not cohere with its premises; third, that even if one granted the distinction, Firth’s and Quong’s implicit premise that you can forfeit your agency rights but not your “humanitarian right” is unwarranted; fourth, that their attempt to mitigate the counterintuitive implications of their own account in the Rape case relies on mistaken ad-hoc assumptions; fifth, that even if they were successful in somewhat mitigating said counterintuitive implications, they would still not be able to entirely avoid them; and sixth, that even in the unlikely case that none of these previous five critical points are correct, Firth and Quong still fail to establish that aggressors can be liable to unnecessary defensive harm since they fail to establish that unnecessary harm can ever be defensive in the first place. (shrink)