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.
The critical lesion site responsible for the syndrome of unilateral spatial neglect has been debated for more than a decade. Here we performed an activation likelihood estimation (ALE) to provide for the first time an objective quantitative index of the consistency of lesion sites across anatomical group studies of spatial neglect. The analysis revealed several distinct regions in which damage has consistently been associated with spatial neglect symptoms. Lesioned clusters were located in several cortical and subcortical regions of the right (...) hemisphere, including the middle and superior temporal gyrus, inferior parietal lobule, intraparietal sulcus, precuneus, middle occipital gyrus, caudate nucleus and posterior insula, as well as in the white matter pathway corresponding to the posterior part of the superior longitudinal fasciculus. Further analyses suggested that separate lesion sites are associated with impairments in different behavioural tests, such as line bisection and target cancellation. Similarly, specific subcomponents of the heterogeneous neglect syndrome, such as extinction and allocentric and personal neglect, are associated with distinct lesion sites. Future progress in delineating the neuropathological correlates of spatial neglect will depend upon the development of more refined measures of perceptual and cognitive functions than those currently available in the clinical setting. (shrink)
The commercial trading of human organs, along withvarious related activities (for example, advertising)was criminalised throughout Great Britain under theHuman Organ Transplants Act 1989.This paper critically assesses one type of argumentfor this, and similar, legal prohibitions:commodification arguments.Firstly, the term `commodification' is analysed. Thiscan be used to refer to either social practices or toattitudes. Commodification arguments rely on thesecond sense and are based on the idea that having acommodifying attitude to certain classes of thing(e.g. bodies or persons) is wrong. The commodifyingattitude consists (...) of three main elements: denial ofsubjectivity, instrumentality, and fungibility.Secondly, in the light of this analysis, the claimthat organ sale involves commodifying the human bodyis examined. This claim is found to be plausible butinsufficient to ground an argument against organ sale,because the very same commodifying attitude is likelyto be present in cases of (unpaid) organ donation. Itis also argued that commodifying bodies per semay not be wrong.Thirdly, the view that organ sale involvescommodifying persons is examined. Although this andthe claim that it is wrong to commodify persons areprobably true, there is â it is argued â littlereason to regard organ sale as worse in this respectthan other widely accepted practices, such as thebuying and selling of labour.The conclusion is that although commodification is auseful ethical concept and although commodificationarguments may sometimes be successful, thecommodification argument against organ sale is notpersuasive. This is not to say, though, that thereare no arguments for prohibition â simply that thisparticular justificatory strategy is flawed. (shrink)
The object of this study is the legal framework for the sale or purchase of company shares when the goal of the transaction is the sale of a business. The impact of such transactions on Lithuanian economic development underlines the importance of this study. The recent wave of mergers and acquisitions in Lithuania is likely to substantially increase the number of related legal disputes as well. Legislation on the purchase and sale of company shares and the resulting (...) transfer of business has been enacted in Lithuania only recently. The regulation of such cases remains rather unclear, few cases have been brought to court, and the topic has been barely addressed by legal scholarship in Lithuania to date. It is unclear whether the fact that the real purpose of the transaction is not a simple reassignment of company shares, but business transfer, results in any differences in the interpretation and application of the law. An especially delicate question, raised in Lithuania and other European countries, is whether the buyer may submit a warranty claim to the seller regarding the business acquired. (shrink)
The form and registration requirements applicable for transfer of close company shares differ in various countries. Discussions on separate related aspects take place in the international business transfer theory and practice. The Lithuanian legal regulation of the said requirements is continually improved, taking into account the experience of other countries and business practice needs. Based on the analysis of the European Union, the Lithuanian and foreign legislation, case law and doctrine, this article is designed for the examination of effectiveness and (...) adequacy of current requirements for the form of share sales transactions as well as expedience of fixing the model of public registration of data about shareholders of a close company. (shrink)
The current interest in bioregionalism, stimulated in part by KirkpatrickSale’s Dwellers in the Land, shows that people are looking for a form of political praxis which addresses the importance of region. In this paper, I argue that much of the bioregional literature written to date mystifies the concept of region, discounting the role of subjectivity and culture in shaping regional boundaries and veers toward asimplistic view of “nature knows best.” Bioregionalism can be rehabilitated, provided we treat it (...) not as a “revealed wisdom” for the reconstruction of human society, but as a sensibility and environmental ethic that can infuse our work even as we make use of the functional regionalisms that increasingly shape people’s consciousness. I conclude by citing Lewis Mumford’s concept of a region as capturing the dialectical interplay of natural and cultural elements. (shrink)
In this essay, I use a general argument about the evidential role of data in ongoing inquiry to show that it is fruitful for economic historians and historians of economics to collaborate more frequently. The shared aim of this collaboration should be to learn from past economic experience in order to improve the cutting edge of economic theory. Along the way, I attack a too rigorous distinction between the history of economics and economic history. By drawing on the history of (...) physics, I argue that the history of a discipline can be a source of important evidence in ongoing inquiry. My argument relies on the claim that it is a constitutive element of science that evidence is never discarded forever and is thus historical in nature. In the final section, I offer a case study by explaining a research proposal that turns on a long-running data-set Babylonian whole-sale prices of six commodities noted in pre-Hellenistic and Hellenistic times. To motivate my reading of this data-set, I critically discuss Aristotle's successful attempt to distinguish between astrology and political economy. (shrink)