Abstract In this paper we examine the role of the Israeli kibbutz experience as an agent of informal education in cross?cultural settings, acting as a transformative agent of ethnic identity. The study presents, through comparative longitudinal analysis, the changes in Jewish identity and values of young North American Jews between their arrival in Israel and the conclusion of the kibbutz programme, as well as after they have returned to their home country. The analysis utilises data gathered from 238 Oren Kibbutz (...) Institute alumni who participated in the programme between 1990?94 in six kibbutzim. The transformative role of the Israeli kibbutz experience contributes independently and cumulatively to the formative role of home background, Jewish schooling and previous visits to Israel. (shrink)
Participants were required to switch among randomly ordered tasks, and instructional cues were used to indicate which task to execute. In Experiments 1 and 2, the participants indicated their readiness for the task switch before they received the target stimulus; thus, each trial was associated with two primary dependent measures: (1) readiness time and (2) target reaction time. Slow readiness responses and instructions emphasizing high readiness were paradoxically accompanied by slow target reaction time. Moreover, the effect of task switching on (...) readiness time was an order of magnitude smaller then the (objectively estimated) duration required for task preparation (Experiment 3). The results strongly suggest that participants have little conscious awareness of their preparedness and challenge commonly accepted assumptions concerning the role of consciousness in cognitive control. (shrink)
Traditionally, biomedical research has been devoted to improvement in the understanding and treatment or prevention of disease. Building on the knowledge generated by the long history of disease-oriented research, the next few decades will witness an explosion of biomedical enhancements to make people faster, stronger, smarter, less forgetful, happier, prettier, and live longer (Turner et al. 2003; Vastag 2004; Rose 2002). As with other biomedical interventions, research to assess the safety and efficacy of these enhancements in humans should be conducted (...) before their introduction into clinical practice.1 However, various concerns regarding the ethics of enhancement research could be raised. Those who .. (shrink)
Health behaviors such as tobacco use contribute significantly to poor health. It is widely recognized that efforts to prevent poor health outcomes should begin in early childhood. Biomedical enhancements, such as a nicotine vaccine, are now emerging and have potential to be used for primary prevention of common diseases. In anticipation of such enhancements, it is important that we begin to consider the ethical and policy appropriateness of their use with children. The main ethical concerns raised by enhancing children relate (...) to their impact on children’s well-being and autonomy. These concerns are significant, however they do not appear to apply in the case of the nicotine vaccine; indeed the vaccine could even further these goals for children. Nevertheless, concerns about broadly applying this enhancement may be more challenging. The vaccine may be less cost-effective than alternative public efforts to prevent tobacco use, utilizing it could distract from addressing the foundational causes of smoking and it might not be publically acceptable. Empirical research about these concerns is needed to ascertain their likelihood and impact as well as how they could be minimized. This research could help determine whether behavior-related enhancements hold promise for improving children’s health. (shrink)
Prominent thinkers such as Jurgen Habermas and Michael Sandel are warning that biomedical enhancements will undermine fundamental political values. Yet whether biomedical enhancements will undermine such values depends on how biomedical enhancements will function, how they will be administered and to whom. Since only few enhancements are obtainable, it is difficult to tell whether these predictions are sound. Nevertheless, such warnings are extremely valuable. As a society we must, at the very least, be aware of developments that could have harmful (...) consequences. Indeed, if important values were to be jeopardized, we should take appropriate measures to protect them. This paper focuses on four central values: solidarity, personal responsibility, equality and autonomy. It delineates the conditions under which biomedical enhancements would undermine these values. It also details the circumstances under which these values would be unaffected by enhancements as well as those under which they would be promoted. Specifying these conditions is valuable; it would enable society to prepare appropriate ethical guidelines and policy responses in advance. (shrink)
The importance of an author can be evaluated by the extent to which his theoretical contribution transforms a certain area of knowledge: major researchers create new vistas. This certainly applies to Lev Vygotsky (1896–1934), one of the most brilliant authors of contemporary psychology. His work, owing to its originality, is of epistemological interest to several areas of knowledge. In fact, Vygotsky was at the center of a historical time of change in twentieth-century Russia, in which Mikhail Bakhtin, Roman Jakobson, Serguei (...) Eisenstein, Alexander Luria, and Yuri Lotman took part. Their theoretical proposals had repercussions in several areas of knowledge: in literature, semiotics, film, and .. (shrink)
The Russian-Jewish religious thinker Lev Shestov (1866–1938) has returned from obscurity in the post-Soviet revival of religious and philosophical thought in Russia. Despite his reputation as an anti-modern irrationalist, his heritage is of key relevance to contemporary currents in Russia and the wider world; we here explore the implications of his contribution in religious, social, philosophical and literary-cultural contexts. In particular, we trace Shestov's relation to post-modernism in various settings. We explore the connection between his thought and the conflict between (...) moral principles and scientific advance, and argue that his existential perspective is a precursor to anti-globalism. We expose a link between the apophatic theology that underlies modern Russian religiosity and the Hassidic tradition which, arguably, influenced Shestov's thought, and show the relevance of his premonitions to contemporary religious developments in Russia. (shrink)
In an article published in 1930, Lev Vygotsky refers explicitly to the seventeenth century Dutch philosopher Benedictus de Spinoza. From a close reading of Vygotsky’s remarkable piece, ‘The socialist transformation of man,’ the extraordinary parallels in the lives and philosophies of Vygotsky and Spinoza are revealed. Then the strengths and weaknesses are assessed of the analytical approach Vygotsky may have inherited from Spinoza. It is suggested that there are analytical ramifications arising from Vygotsky’s possible reliance on Spinoza’s nuanced but essentially (...) dualistic philosophy. The conclusion is that the key limitation of this methodology is the elision of radical doubting with radical unknowability. (shrink)
Con la publicación de al-�Aqida al-burhaniyya al-as,ariyya, una joya más del legado as,ari marroquí ha visto la luz. El objetivo de este trabajo es analizar la importancia de esa edición científica y aportar algunas reflexiones acerca de su contenido y forma.
In this paper I argue that al Ash'ari was a Theological Determinist whose position on free will and human responsibility was marred by his failure to distinguish between two senses of the word 'can' (yastati'u ). I also compare al Ash'ari's position with that of the Mu'tazilite thinker al Qadi 'Abd al Jabbar. I conclude that their positions may not have been so much opposed to each other as merely different. This, I suggest, should invite us to re evaluate the (...) nature and extent of the disagreement between the Ash'arites and the Mu'tazilites on the free will question. (shrink)
In response to Ari Armstrong's essay, "A Direct Realist's Challenge to Skepticism," Huemer defends his views on two issues concerning the nature of perception, against the Objectivist position: First, he argues that perceptual experiences have propositional but nonconceptual content; second, he argues that in perceptual illusions, the senses misrepresent their objects. He finds that the Objectivist view that perception cannot misrepresent because it lacks propositional content not only is absurd but opens the door to philosophical skepticism.
Summary Russian intellectuals like to appeal to examples of foreign history. Lev Gumilev's views on history are a good example. Gumilev was one of the most well-known representatives of Eurasianism, which was in turn one of the most interesting intellectual constructs in Russian historiography. Gumilev believed that Russia was born not from Kievan Rus?the view of the majority of Russian historians of his time?but from the empire of the Mongols. While Gumilev saw Europe as a hostile entity to Russia/Eurasia, this (...) was not the case with the neo-Eurasianists of the Yeltsin era. This article examines Gumilev's Eurasianism and its influence on modern Russian national identity. (shrink)
Plotinus represent a constant reference in all of Šestov's philosophy. For the Russian philosopher Plotinus is, on the one hand, the one who thought up thesynthesis of Greek philosophy, on the other, the one who first broke with that same tradition precisely when it was at its peak. However, Šestov does lift from the Enneadi certain passages which he marries - as if in a sort of contrapuntal rewriting exercise - to others in which Plotinus seems to contradict himself. What (...) interests Šestov are precisely those discontinuities in the thought of the last great philosopher of old in an anti-Greek function. That of Šestov is once again a marked criticism of Rationalism as creator of an autonomous set of ethics that he judges according to an intellect which everything is subject to. Autonomousethics, affirms Šestov, is a fruit of Greek schools of thought to the extent that it shows distrust for what is mutable, unforeseen and arbitrary, of everything which, in short, is irrational, as it is not inserted in the One/All necessitating, justifying, regulating. In the alternative between Athens and Jerusalem, between the Rationalism and the Bible, Šestov opts to assume a stance, in no uncertain terms, on the side Jerusalem, taking with him the Plotinus of the awakening andheading towards a greater reality capable of overturning the throne occupied for too long by reason. That Plotinus who at a certain point was obliged to say thatin this other dimension "the intellect before God represents a reckless, ungodly apostate" (VI.9.5). That Plotinus, who ultimately, in one of those most particularmoments, realized that he was predestined for something loftier with respect to the world of evil and death. (shrink)
This article analyses the debate concerning divine attributes in medieval Islamic theology (kalam), more specifically in Mu‘tazilite and in Ash‘arite theology. It further compares their approach with that of medieval Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides (d. 1204). In particular it studies the identification of the divine attributes with God’s essence in Mu‘tazilite theology, which flourished in the first half of the 9th century. It discusses the Ash‘arite response that followed, and which consisted in considering God’s attributes as real entities separate from (...) God’s essence. Maimonides, conversant with the tradition of kalam, proposes a solution that does not involve the predication of any attributes that would undermine his oneness. KEY WORDS – Mu‘tazilites. Ash‘arites. Kalam. Maimonides. Divine attributes. Predication. Medieval philosophy. Islamic theology. (shrink)