The ancient Stoics notoriously argued, with thoroughness and force, that all ordinary “emotions” (passions, mental affections: in Greek, pãyh) are thoroughly bad states of mind, not to be indulged in by anyone, under any circumstances: anger, resentment, gloating; pity, sympathy, grief; delight, glee, pleasure; impassioned love (i.e. ¶rvw), agitated desires of any kind, fear; disappointment, regret, all sorts of sorrow; hatred, contempt, schadenfreude. Early on in the history of Stoicism, however, apparently in order to avoid the objection that human nature (...) itself demands and indeed justifies—under certain circumstances at any rate—emotional attachments to or aversions from, and reactions to, some persons, things, and happenings, they introduced a theory of what came to be called eÈpãyeiai, good and acceptable ways of feeling or being affected. For short I will render these in English by “good feelings.”1 They divided these into three generic kinds, which they dubbed “joy” (xarã), “wish” (boÊlhsiw) and “caution” (eÈlãbeia). They ranged these alongside, and set them in sharp contrast to, three of the four highest genera into which they divided the normal human emotions: “pleasure” (≤donÆ), i.e., being pleased about something,2 “appetitive desire” (§piyuµ€a), and “fear” (fÒbow), respectively. The Stoics maintained that, though ordinary, familiar human emotions such as these last-named ones were always bad, the three sorts of “good feeling,” and their more specific variations (since these three are only the basic genera into which lots of other good ways of feeling will fall), were not merely free from the grounds of criticism on which ordinary emotions were rejected, and so were perfectly acceptable. The fully perfected human being (the “wise person”) would indeed regularly be subject to them. (shrink)
David Cooper explores and defends the view that a reality independent of human perspectives is necessarily indescribable, a "mystery." Other views are shown to be hubristic. Humanists, for whom "man is the measure" of reality, exaggerate our capacity to live without the sense of an independent measure. Absolutists, who proclaim our capacity to know an independent reality, exaggerate our cognitive powers. In this highly original book Cooper restores to philosophy a proper appreciation of mystery-that is what provides a (...) measure of our beliefs and conduct. (shrink)
Why do gardens matter so much and mean so much to people? That is the intriguing question to which David Cooper seeks an answer in this book. Given the enthusiasm for gardens in human civilization ancient and modern, Eastern and Western, it is surprising that the question has been so long neglected by modern philosophy. Now at last there is a philosophy of gardens. David Cooper identifies garden appreciation as a special human phenomenon distinct from both from the (...) appreciation of art and the appreciation of nature. He discusses the contribution of gardening and other garden-related pursuits to "the good life." And he distinguishes the many kinds of meanings that gardens may have, from their representation of nature to their spiritual significance. A Philosophy of Gardens will open up this subject to students and scholars of aesthetics, ethics, and cultural and environmental studies, and to anyone with a reflective interest in things horticultural. (shrink)
The formal systems of logic have ordinarily been regarded as independent of biology, but recent developments in evolutionary theory suggest that biology and logic may be intimately interrelated. In this book, Cooper outlines a theory of rationality in which logical law emerges as an intrinsic aspect of evolutionary biology. This biological perspective on logic, though at present unorthodox, could change traditional ideas about the reasoning process. Cooper examines the connections between logic and evolutionary biology and illustrates how logical (...) rules are derived directly from evolutionary principles, and therefore have no independent status of their own. Laws of decision theory, utility theory, induction, and deduction are reinterpreted as natural consequences of evolutionary processes. Cooper's connection of logical law to evolutionary theory results in a unified foundation for an evolutionary science of reason. (shrink)
Cooper, Austin John Henry Newman was born in 1801, converted to the Catholic Church in 1845 and died in 1890. That is, he spent the first half of his life in the Church of England. He was to exercise a profound influence on both Communions in Australia. The young Newman was elected a Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford, in April 1822. Despite the declining fortunes of his family, his own career was off to a promising start. Two years later (...) he was ordained Deacon at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford on 13 June 1824. This was a very solemn commitment indeed. He thought he should give himself totally to the service of the Gospel. This attitude prompted him to write to the CMS (the Church Missionary Society) in London seeking information regarding service as a missionary. He followed up his letter with a visit to the CMS London Headquarters on July 3, 1824 - just two weeks after his ordination as deacon. (shrink)
Cooper, Austin Christian Spirituality can be approached from numerous points on the theological compass: Sacred Scripture is an obvious source, but so are almost any of the theological disciplines. This paper will be concerned with it as emanating from Church History.
Christianity is deeply interested in the body. In its central mysteries - creation, incarnation, and resurrection - the body and human flesh are radically implicated. Bodies are persons, and persons are spiritual beings, bearers of the divine image and destined for bodily union with God. From the Bible to the Second Vatican Council, from Irenaeus and Tertullian to Aquinas and Luther, the classic sources of the Christian tradition engender a spiritual philosophy that challenges the ever-present gnostic impulse either to marginalize, (...) or else to worship, the body. Adam G. Cooper brings these rich sources into conversation with numerous contemporary voices in philosophy and theology, offering an illuminating and critical perspective on such pressing social and ethical questions as pornography, feminism, philosophy of mind, sterility, and death. (shrink)
Mabel Cooper and Gloria Ferris lived in St Lawrence's Hospital one of the large learning disability institutions which were built round the edges of London. In this paper, Mabel and Gloria share their memories of three nurses at St Lawrence's, supported by Jane Abraham and in this process reveal a number of ethical issues that remain relevant today.
Neutral monist, panpsychist, naturalist, and phenomenological interpretations of James's theory of mind are canvassed. Culling the true tenets from each, I make a case for a reconciling view on the basis of a distinction between mental and proto-mental properties. The resulting interpretation is compared to two forms of panpsychism identified by T Nagel in his essay of that name.
Cognitive architectures - task-general theories of the structure and function of the complete cognitive system - are sometimes argued to be more akin to frameworks or belief systems than scientific theories. The argument stems from the apparent non-falsifiability of existing cognitive architectures. Newell was aware of this criticism and argued that architectures should be viewed not as theories subject to Popperian falsification, but rather as Lakatosian research programs based on cumulative growth. Newell's argument is undermined because he failed to demonstrate (...) that the development of Soar, his own candidate architecture, adhered to Lakatosian principles. This paper presents detailed case studies of the development of two cognitive architectures, Soar and ACT-R, from a Lakatosian perspective. It is demonstrated that both are broadly Lakatosian, but that in both cases there have been theoretical progressions that, according to Lakatosian criteria, are pseudo-scientific. Thus, Newell's defense of Soar as a scientific rather than pseudo-scientific theory is not supported in practice. The ACT series of architectures has fewer pseudo-scientific progressions than Soar, but it too is vulnerable to accusations of pseudo-science. From this analysis, it is argued that successive versions of theories of the human cognitive architecture must explicitly address five questions to maintain scientific credibility. (shrink)
: Sociologists of Scientific Knowledge sometimes claim to study scientists belonging to other forms of life. This claim causes difficulties, as traditionally Wittgensteinians have taken it to be the case that other forms of life are incomprehensible to us. This paper examines whether, and how, sociologists might gain understanding of another form of life, and whether, and how, this understanding might be passed on to readers. I argue that most techniques proposed for gaining and passing on understanding are inadequate, but (...) I end by describing a method that might work. (shrink)
is a term introduced by Ian Hacking to refer to the kinds of people—child abusers, pregnant teenagers, the unemployed—studied by the human sciences. Hacking argues that classifying and describing human kinds results in feedback, which alters the very kinds under study. This feedback results in human kinds having histories totally unlike those of natural kinds (such as gold, electrons and tigers), leading Hacking to conclude that human kinds are radically unlike natural kinds. Here I argue that Hacking's argument fails and (...) that he has not demonstrated that human kinds cannot be natural kinds. Introduction Natural kinds Hacking's feedback mechanisms 3.1 Cultural feedback 3.2 Conceptual feedback. (shrink)
An inventory of major studies between 1986 and 2006 indicates the public has continuing and in some cases increasing concerns about specific ethical practices in the mass media industries. While some concerns such as deception, invasion of privacy, advertising saturation, and excessive violence apply to multiple channels of communication, others are medium specific. For example, the public's primary anxieties about the Internet include fraud, spam, and the availability of pornography to children, while the primary concerns about telephone have included telemarketing (...) and wiretapping. Overall findings suggest several substantial and escalating concerns such as the erosion of press credibility and trust in the media at large. These findings proved consistent with a recent national poll commissioned for the second U.S. Media Ethics Summit conference. (shrink)
Increasingly, Deaf activists claim that it can be good to be Deaf. Still, much of the hearing world remains unconvinced, and continues to think of deafness in negative terms. I examine this debate and argue that to determine whether it can be good to be deaf it is necessary to examine each claimed advantage or disadvantage of being deaf, and then to make an overall judgment regarding the net cost or benefit. On the basis of such a survey I conclude (...) that being deaf may plausibly be a good thing for some deaf people but not for others. (shrink)
There is a long history of controversy in ecology over the role of competition in determining patterns of distribution and abundance, and over the significance of the mathematical modeling of competitive interactions. This paper examines the controversy. Three kinds of considerations have been involved at one time or another during the history of this debate. There has been dispute about the kinds of regularities ecologists can expect to find, about the significance of evolutionary considerations for ecological inquiry, and about the (...) empirical credentials of theoretical studies of competition. Each of these elements is examined with an eye toward gaining philosophical clarification of the issues involved. In the process, certain shortcomings of contemporary philosophical theories are revealed. In particular, I argue that plausibility arguments based on background considerations are an important part of the model building tradition, but that current accounts of the structure and evaluation of scientific theories do little to illuminate this side of theoretical ecology. (shrink)
The paper asks whether gardens may be objects of ‘serious’ (in Ronald Hepburn's sense) and distinctive appreciation. Dismissive attitudes to the possibility of such appreciation, including Hegel's, are rejected, as is the view—Kant's, for example—that garden appreciation is ‘factorizable’ into the modes appropriate for artworks and ‘raw’ nature respectively. That view entails that there is nothing distinctive in garden appreciation. Attention then turns to the idea that it is the representational/symbolic capacities of gardens that render them objects of distinctive appreciation. (...) That idea is criticized, but a related one, appealing to more ‘penumbral’ semantic notions like evocation, is defended. It is argued, in particular, that gardens may distinctively evoke the ‘creative receptivity’, to cite Gabriel Marcel, of human beings. Gardens, more perhaps than any other artworks, vividly testify to the dependence of their makers on what is beyond human artifice and control. (shrink)
This paper sympathetically examines the neglected virtue-centric idea that the primary location of beauty is in bodily expressions of human virtues, so that things like buildings are beautiful only because of an appropriate relationship they have to beautiful people. After a brief history of the idea as articulated by, for example, Kant, it is then distinguished from accounts of beauty with which it might be confused, such as the view that something is beautiful only if it helps to instil virtue. (...) In the central part of the paper, the attractions of virtue-centrism are articulated. These primarily consist in its explanatory power. It is argued, too, that virtue-centrism steers attractively between a rigidly conservative attitude towards beauty and an anything goes one. The final sections respond to some likely objections, the last of which provides an opportunity for correcting an impression that my formulation of the virtue-centrist idea might have given. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
The balance of nature concept is an old idea that manifests itself in anumber of forms in population and community ecology. This paper focuseson population ecology, where controversy surrounding the balance ofnature takes the form of perennial debates over the significance ofdensity dependence, population regulation, and species interactions suchas competition. One of the most striking features of these debates, overthe course of the previous century in ecology, is the tendency to arguethe case on largely conceptual grounds. This paper explores twoquestions. (...) Why this tendency to settle on conceptual grounds what is soobviously an empirical issue? Are there any good conceptual arguments tobe had in this area? (shrink)
A rational reconstruction of James's doctrine of pure experience is attempted, showing how it can be formulated in terms of a Ramsey sentence so that its credibility is comparable to contemporary functionalism about the mind. Whereas functionalism treats only mental predicates as theoretical terms and quantifies over physical objects, Jamesian 'global-functionalism' treats both mental and physical predicates as theoretical terms and quantifies over pure experience. Rehabilitated in this way, the doctrine of pure experience is a fit partner for Jamesian <span (...) class='Hi'>pragmatism</span>. When James says that <span class='Hi'>pragmatism</span> guides us in the course of our experience, this 'experience' must be understood as ultimately pure experience. Pure experience is just what appears , pre-conceptually, and Ramsey-sentence analysis shows how James's employment of the pre-conceptual demonstrative that can refer to pure experience with conditions of identity given by its physical or mental properties, while being itself 'colourless', neither mental nor physical. It is concluded that functionalists about the mind have reason to be global-functionalists about mind and body, in just the way that James's doctrine of pure experience lays out; and Jamesian pragmatists should also accept his radical empiricism. (shrink)
The division between “erklaren” and “verstehen” is not as sharp as the conventional wisdom maintains, for all understanding, including the understanding of people, consists in the connecting, ordering and appraising of things encountered, believed or known. The understanding of people is a distinctive kind of cognitive understanding which has a practical side, involving the emotions. The education of the emotions, needed for us to understand ourselves and others, can be achieved both by the observation of real life and importantly by (...) the study of realistic fiction and of biography. (shrink)
Arguably, every new technology creates hidden ejfects in its environment, rearranging the social order it penetrates. Many ofthese effects are inextricably linked to ethical issues. Some are eternal issues such as censorship andfree speech, but others have new names and dimensions, and may even be new issues. Forty of these issues pertaining to the new communication technologies of the 1990s and next millennium are catalogued here. The author argues that each new communication technology either retrieves, amplifies, transforms, obsolesces, or mixes (...) ethical issues from the past or creates new issues for the future. However, as in the Ross Hume Hall (1974) effect, it is also likely there are issues yet unknown due to untested eflects of combining new technologies. (shrink)