A key premise of the kalam cosmological argument is that the universe began to exist. However, while a number of philosophers have offered powerful criticisms of William Lane Craig’s defense of the premise, J.P. Moreland has also offered a number of unique arguments in support of it, and to date, little attention has been paid to these in the literature. In this paper, I attempt to go some way toward redressing this matter. In particular, I shall argue that Moreland’s philosophical (...) arguments against the possibility of traversing a beginningless past are unsuccessful. (shrink)
It is argued that there is much to be said for a fairly standard interpretation of the thesis that colour, unlike shape, is a subjective or phenomenal property of objects. But if this fairly standard thesis fails to do justice to the ‘objective’ aspect of colour, and justice in this regard is called for, then it is argued we can settle for less; we can settle for the strategy of ‘dividing the spoils’ between subjective and objective accounts. But it is (...) also argued that if we do settle for this, we need to realise that the same ‘egalitarian’ division cannot be made in application to the primary properties. And that it is argued is the insight at the heart of the traditional account. (shrink)
In this paper I would like to address the problem of the aesthetic value of damaged nature. A variety of arguments have been offered in order to ground the view that we cannot perceive damaged nature as beautiful, at least as soon as we are aware of its damaged condition. These arguments are usually offered in tandem with a view about what the correct appreciation of nature involves and, hence, are often supported by this view. I will try to show (...) that none of these arguments are compelling and that there seems to be a way of explaining how damaged nature can be beautiful without disposing of the intuition that the awareness of its damaged condition penetrates our perception. (shrink)
According to Pettit, an account of freedom in terms of rational control fails to suffice, for he argues that such an account lacks the resources to rule out coerced actions as unfree. The crucial feature of a coerced action is that it leaves the agent with a choice to make, an apparently rational choice to make. To the extent that it does this, it would seem to leave the agent as free as he would be in any other case where (...) there is a choice to be made. However, we do not consider actions that are coerced to be on a par with actions that are not coerced, that are performed freely as we might say. We do not hold agents similarly responsible in the two sorts of cases. So it would seem that the rational control account fails, for it appears to fail to vindicate this differential practice. In this paper, I defend the rational control account. I outline two ways in which proponents of a rational control model, broadly understood, can respond to this criticism. (shrink)
Evaluation processes are a basic component of creativity. They guide not only the pure judgement about a new artefact but also the generation itself, as creators constantly evaluate their own work. This paper proposes a model for automatic story generation based on the evaluation of stories. A model of how quality in stories is evaluated is presented, and two possible implementations of the generation guided by this evaluation are shown: exhaustive space exploration and constrained exploration. A theoretical model and its (...) implementation are explained and validation of the evaluation function through comparison with human criteria is described. (shrink)
A review by Samantha Power in the Sunday New York Times Book Review (Jan. 4, 2003) of Noam Chomsky's Hegemony or Survival, America's Quest for Global Dominance (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt & Company) constitutes the most sympathetic, comparatively fair and balanced discussion of Chomsky's political writing in years appearing in these pages, with only a hint of Chomsky bashing.
Recent discussions on the nature of freedom have suggested that freedom of action depends on freedom of the will and that the conditions for the freedom of the will preclude the possibility of the antecedents of free actions being determined or alternatively require that the agent be responsible for those antecedents. In this paper, it is argued that the first thesis is correct but that the second on either interpretation is wrong. What I argue is that if we take one (...) essential component of the antecedents of action, namely belief, and look at the conditions for freedom of belief, or better, autonomy of belief, we will see that rather than determinism being precluded as a condition for autonomy, a certain sort of determinism would make best sense of that autonomy. It is argued that contrary to oft-cited intuitions, were this form of determinism to obtain, our autonomy would be enhanced. (shrink)
â€œOne moral truism that should not provoke controversy is the principle of universality: We should apply to ourselves the same standards we apply to othersâ€”in fact, more stringent ones,â€ writes Chomsky (Khaleej Times, August 6, 2004).
I had an unexpected encounter on a far island off the coast of Australia with a group of young people. These young people wanted to escape from the modern world and they inspired my conviction: that we must do our best to reshape our world and make it a place acceptable for the younger generation. I realized that it is the dominant consciousness of an epoch that creates the structures and the practices of an epoch. We must now address the (...) task of evolving or co-evolving our world's dominant consciousness. The fear and insecurity produced by this current dominant consciousness has created humanity's current sad condition. The Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University declares its mission to be a ?state of the art? global institution. It has the clear-cut objective of fostering a new consciousness, defeating ignorance, and providing an affordable world-class education that permits economically less privileged people to take an active part in the construction of a better world. Our first tenet is the bio-epistemological ?non- subordinate? horizontal model of education. This tenet is joined with our commitment to a cross-cultural social, interdisciplinary, and stereo-cognitive interaction-based academic platform. It is a platform that can empower young people to attain an innovative holistic view of the world and of themselves. (shrink)