Linguistics is important. An understanding of linguistic principles is as essential to the layperson as it is to the language scholar. Using concrete examples from politics, law, and education, this book shows how people misconceive language every day and what the consequences of misconceptions can be. Since the meanings of words are often fuzzy at best, this volume argues for a flexible approach to meaning and definitions, and demonstrates how this approach can help us understand many conflicts. It is an (...) alternative way of viewing and doing sociolinguistics. Language Misconceived: Arguing for Applied Cognitive Sociolinguistics offers many specific suggestions and guidelines for approaching a linguistic project. The ideas expressed in this book have been class tested for several years. Students enthusiastically appreciate the connections drawn between linguistics and real-life problems. The goal is to help students of sociolinguistics avoid pitfalls that may inhibit research. Language Misconceived: Arguing for Applied Cognitive Sociolinguistics is intended primarily for graduate and Ph.D. students of linguistics, especially those interested in applying linguistics to fields like politics, law, and education. It may also be recommended to seasoned linguists as well as researchers in communication, sociology, psychology, and education. (shrink)
A cornerstone of economic theory is that rational agents are self-interested, yet a decade of research in experimental economics has shown that economic decisions are frequently driven by concerns for fairness, equity, and reciprocity. One aspect of other-regarding behavior that has garnered attention is noblesse oblige, a social norm that obligates those of higher status to be generous in their dealings with those of lower status. The results of a cross-cultural study are reported in which marked noblesse oblige was observed (...) on a reciprocal-contract decision-making task. Participants from seven countries that vary along hierarchical and individualist/collectivist social dimensions were more tolerant of non-reciprocation when they adopted a high-ranking perspective compared with a low-ranking perspective. (shrink)
Number 1 of Fides et ratio contains a phrase crucial for the dialogue between science and philosophy. Its meaning is clear in the Latin, polish, English, German, French and Portuguese versions, but it loses its strength in the Italian and Spanish texts.
The lack of consensus in American society regarding the permissibility of assisted suicide and euthanasia is due in large part to a failure to address the nature of the human person involved in the ethical act itself. For Karol Wojtyla, philosopher and Pope, ethical action finds meaning only in an authentic understanding of the person; but it is through acting (actus humanus) alone that the human person reveals himself. Knowing what the person ought to be cannot be divorced from (...) what he ought to do; forWojtyla, the structure of the ethical “do” – the act itself – comes first. The current paper will focus on four arguments used to justify assisted suicide and euthanasia: (1) the argument from autonomy, (2) the argument from compassion, (3) the argument from the evil of suffering, and (4) the argument from the loss of dignity. It will seek to answer each claim from the perspective of Karol Wojtyla's philosophical anthropology. Much of this will come from his defining work in pure philosophy, The Acting Person (1969). The final part of the paper will suggest some positive solutions to the stalemate over the euthanasia debate, again drawn from Wojtyla's idea of human fulfillment through participation with the other, and with the community itself. (shrink)
Karol Wojtyła—the future pope John Paul II—chose the human being, especially in its personalistic dimension, as the main point of his philosophical research. Inaccordance with the metaphysical rule agere sequitur esse, he investigated the dynamisms proper to a human being: the reactive dynamism of the human body, the emotive dynamism of the human psyche, and the personalistic dynamism associated with free choice of the will. These allowed him to experience and understand the human being as a complex yet integrated (...) entity. The personal structure of the human being is manifest in terms of selfpossession, self-determination, and self-governance. Thanks to self-possession, human beings experience freedom of the will, which expresses itself in each free act. Being endowed with a free will, the human being is able to grow in freedom but can also lose his freedom. Wojtyła’s philosophical investigations are innovative by way of the use that he made of the philosophy of being according to Thomas Aquinas and the philosophy of consciousness articulated by Husserl. He not only pointed out man’s structure but also presented man as an objective entity in an objective world. Each human being is constituted by his or her inner self, which is absolutely exceptional because it is completely irreducible to anything else in the world. (shrink)
This paper examines the meaning of what Karol Wojtyła/John Paul II calls “The Law of the Gift,” namely, “Man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, can fully find himself only through a sincere gift of himself.” After explaining what it means to be “willed for itself,” I consider how “finding oneself only through a gift of self ” is justified. I then argue that in his theory of self-gift,Wojtyła/John Paul II espouses an “embodied” (...) altruism. Two objections to Wojtyła/John Paul II’s account are also addressed: (1) the idea that finding fulfillment (moral goodness) through self-giving is incompatible with altruism and (2) that reciprocal self-giving is incompatible with altruism. I defend Wojtyła/John Paul II’s notion of self-giving against these objections in several ways, but focus on evidence for the compatibility of subjective enrichment and altruism. (shrink)
This short essay by Karol Kuzmány (1806–1866), a founding father of Slovak aesthetic thinking, was written in Czech and published in 1836 in Hronka, a periodical edited by the author. In the essay, Kuzmány follows on from the thinking of his teacher at Jena, Jakob Friedrich Fries (1773–1843), particularly Fries’s theory of Ahn(d)ung (intuitive awareness). In the introduction, Kuzmány emphasizes that his concern is to bridge the gap between the theory of imitation and the theory of art based on (...) imagination. In the first part of the essay, concerning general aesthetics, Kuzmány presents his theory of beauty – the feeling of the essence of things through perception by the mind (Anschauung or intuitus mentis); the basic idea – truth, the moral good, and beauty – according to Kuzmány, comprises the idea of religion in the broader sense – Humanität, humanitas. Rather than the opposite of beauty, the sublime constitutes beauty’s being raised to a qualitatively higher level: it is based on a contemplated intuitive awareness, which is itself felt. The second part of the essay consists of Kuzmány’s attempt to define art and to categorize kinds of art and genres of poetry. He distinguishes between unmediated art, which represents beauty to the external senses, and mediated art, which is aimed at inner feeling. The latter category includes poetry, which is, according to him, the supreme art, for it can, with the help of language, represent all forms of unmediated art as well. Kuzmány also devotes himself to a speculative justification of its genres, poetic style, and verse. (shrink)
An objection has been raised that Karol Wojtyła presents an ethical system heavily centered on actions and deeds. With the exception of his occasional references to the virtue of chastity in Love and Responsibility and his first writing on Saint John, some of the most central themes of ancient and medieval, as well as of contemporary, ethics seem almost entirely absent. In the following article, we will turn to Wojtyła’s most important philosophical work, The Acting Person, to glean from (...) it his understanding of “action.” We will then turn to the writings of Dietrich von Hildebrand, as an example of a classic counterpart for any approach to man primarily through action. After briefly discussing the ethical relevance of aspects such as inner responses, fundamental moral attitudes, and virtues, we will conclude by returning to Wojtyła and re-evaluating the legitimacy of the objection raised against him. (shrink)
Cicero and Wojtyla see the art of oratory as an integral part of the growth of mankind. Cicero considers communication as a fountain of noble action. At the same time, Wojtyla considers the word in its spiritual sense, elevating all human beings towards beauty. Both authors teach us that those who communicate with moral dignity and creativity construct a humanized culture.
What, if anything, has art to do with the rest of our lives, and in particular with those ethical and political issues that matter to us most? Will art created today be likely to play a role in our lives as profound as that of the best art of the past? A Theory of Art shifts the focus of aesthetics from the traditional debate of "what is art?" to the engaging question of "what is art for?" Skillfully describing the social (...) and historical situation of art today, author Karol Berger argues that music exemplifies the current condition of art in a radical, acute, and revealing fashion. He also uniquely combines aesthetics with poetics and hermeneutics. Offering a careful synthesis of a wide breadth of scholarship from art history, musicology, literary studies, political philosophy, ethics, and metaphysics, and written in a clear, accessible style, this book will appeal to anyone with a serious interest in the arts. (shrink)
In The New Constitutionalism , seven distinguished scholars develop an innovative perspective on the power of institutions to shape politics and political life. Believing that constitutionalism needs to go beyond the classical goal of limiting the arbitrary exercise of political power, the contributors argue that it should--and can--be designed to achieve economic efficiency, informed democratic control, and other valued political ends. More broadly, they believe that political and social theory needs to turn away from the negativism of critical theory to (...) consider how a good society should be "constituted" and to direct the work of designing institutions that can constitute a "good polity," in both the economic and civic senses. Stephen L. Elkin and Karol Edward Soltan begin with an overview of constitutionalist theory and a discussion of the new constitutionalism within the broader intellectual and historical context of political and social thought. Charles Anderson, James Ceaser, and the editors then offer different interpretations of the central issues regarding institutional design in a constitutionalist social science, consider various ways of performing the task, and discuss the inadequacy of recent political science to the job it ought to be doing. The book concludes with essays by Ted Lowi, Cass Sunstein and Edwin Haefele which apply these themes to the American regime. (shrink)