Connectivity topology analysis is a powerful method for describing both crystalline structures and their metamict or amorphous analogues, because it places no reliance on symmetry operators or periodic translation, which vanish upon introduction of disorder to a material. Topological analysis represents atomic systems as graphs, and analysis of closed circuit connectivity (rings) is used to search for shortest non-degenerable connectivity paths that define the structure. A connectivity topology analysis is presented of crystalline zirconolite, a potential actinide-accommodating nuclear waste material. Characteristic (...) topological differences are established in the connectivities of radiation-damaged and melt-quenched zirconolite structures generated by molecular dynamics simulations. Amorphization induced by alpha-recoil displacement cascades still retains certain short- and intermediate-range ordered configurations, particularly for Ti atoms. [TiO x ] polyhedral edge-sharing chains are observed in the metamict state, which may act to stabilize the radiation-damaged structure and prevent recovery of the initial crystalline phase. An assessment of the predicted amorphizability of zirconolite, based on the topological constraints imposed by its structure, reveals that the varying structural rigidity of the layers in the zirconolite structure is crucial to its amorphizability behavior. The hexagonal tungsten bronze structure [TiO x ] layer in particular provides weak constraints that are responsible for zirconolite's comparative ease of amorphization. (shrink)
A continuous Oxford tradition on knowledge runs from John Cook Wilson to John McDowell. A central idea is that knowledge is not a species of belief, or that, in McDowell's terms, it is not a hybrid state; that, moreover, it is a kind of taking in of what is there that precludes one's being, for all one can see, wrong. Cook Wilson and McDowell differ on what this means as to the scope of knowledge. J.L. Austin set out (...) the requisite foundations for McDowell to be right. McDowell has shown why the tradition, and his version of it, need to be right. But he does not accept Austin's innovation. That is a shame. For, despite McDowell's very great insightfulness, precisely that much separates him from a very powerful, and correct, view of what knowledge is. (shrink)
John Cook Wilson (1849–1915) was Wykeham Professor of Logic at New College, Oxford and the founder of ‘Oxford Realism’, a philosophical movement that flourished at Oxford during the first decades of the 20th century. Although trained as a classicist and a mathematician, his most important contribution was to the theory of knowledge, where he argued that knowledge is factive and not definable in terms of belief, and he criticized ‘hybrid’ and ‘externalist’ accounts. He also argued for direct realism in (...) perception, criticizing both empiricism and idealism, and argued for a moderate nominalist view of universals as being in rebus and only ‘apprehended’ by their particulars. His influence helped swaying Oxford away from idealism and, through figures such as H. A. Prichard, Gilbert Ryle, or J. L. Austin, his ideas were also to some extent at the origin of ‘moral intuitionism’ and ‘ordinary language philosophy’ which defined much of Oxford philosophy until the second half of the twentieth-century. Nevertheless, his name and legacy were all but forgotten for generations after World War II. Still, his views on knowledge are with us today, being in part at work in the writings of philosophers as diverse as John McDowell, Charles Travis, and Timothy Williamson. (shrink)
In his landmark monograph, "The Politics of Jesus", John Howard Yoder challenged mainstream Christian social ethics by arguing that the New Testament account of Jesus's founding of a messianic community entails a normative politics, not only for early Christianity but for the contemporary church. This challenge is further elaborated in several important posthumous publications, especially "Preface to Theology", in which Yoder examines the development of early Christology with attention to its political and ethical implications, and "The Jewish-Christian Schism Revisited", (...) Yoder's proposal for a renewed Jewish-Christian dialogue around the moral meaning of messianism. This article interprets these writings with reference to a range of critical scholarship on and about Yoder, Yoder and Augustine, and Jewish and Christian messianism, paying particular attention to questions of political ethics. (shrink)
Most discussions of John Doris’s situationism center on what can be called descriptive situationism, the claim that our folk usage of global personality and character traits in describing and predicting human behavior is empirically unsupported. Philosophers have not yet paid much attention to another central claim of situationism, which says that given that local traits are empirically supported, we can more successfully act in line with our moral values if, in our deliberation about what to do, we focus on (...) our situation instead of on our moral character. Call this prescriptive situationism. In this paper, we will point toward a previously unrecognized tension between these two situationist theses and explore some ways for the situationist to address it. (shrink)
In this paper, we try to show why a formal definition of truth is not satisfactory (first point). Later, we expound (second point) the polemic between Austin and Strawson about truth with the intention to show that both refer to different problems concerning truth and to prove that Austin did not lose this confrontation and that we can recover some elements of his investigation for making an adequate approach to this notion. We will complete our definition of truth using the (...) latest thesis of Charles Travis and that will permit us to conclude with a semantic definition of truth for natural languages. (shrink)
If God exists, and if our ultimate well-being depends on having a positive relationship with Him (which requires as a first step that we believe He exists), why doesn't He make sure that we all believe in Him? Why doesn't He make His existence obvious? This traditional theological question is today much-used as an argument for atheism. In this paper I argue that the answer may have something to do with God's character, specifically God's humility.
The present article examines the theology of John Zizioulas with a view to understanding its coherence and viability for ecclesiology. Instead of treating his trinitarian theology, or his historical claims, I focus upon the basic themes of his personalistic ontology, especially the relationship between the ‘hypostasis’ and its ‘nature.’ I argue that Zizioulas's central concept of freedom rests upon an equivocation: he affirms both that freedom and being are identical, and that they are mutually exclusive. In conversation with the (...) philosophy of Levinas, I further argue that Zizioulas's proposal, as an ontology of communion, falls prey to the same reduction of being to thought that forms the central tenet of Western conceptions of subjectivity. In conclusion, I argue that both of these problems trade on a basic inability to account for grace as the fundamental reality of communion. Throughout my basic concern is to inquire into just what function the category of ‘being’ has in Zizioulas's theology, and to point out its surprising obscurity. (shrink)