Introduction, by R. A. Markus.--St. Augustine and Christian Platonism, by A. H. Armstrong.--Action and contemplation, by F. R. J. O'Connell.--St. Augustine on signs, by R. A. Markus.--The theory of signs in St. Augustine's De doctrina Christiana, by B. D. Jackson.--Si fallor, sum, by G. B. Matthews.--Augustine on speaking from memory, by G. B. Matthews.--The inner man, by G. B. Matthews.--On Augustine's concept of a person, by A. C. Lloyd.--Augustine on foreknowledge and free will, by W. L. Rowe.--Augustine on (...) free will and predestination, by J. M. Rist.--Time and contingency in St. Augustine, by R. Jordan.--Empiricism and Augustine's problems about time, by H. M. Lacey.--Political society, by P. R. L. Brown.--The development of Augustine's ideas on society before the Donatist controversy, by F. E. Cranz.--De Civitate Dei, XV, 2, and Augustine's idea of the Christian society, by F. E. Cranz.--Chronological table.--Note on further reading (p. -423). (shrink)
The author argues in this article that it is possible to have a consistent and coherent version of the doctrine of divine timelessness. Towards the objection that a timeless God cannot act it is defended that a timeless God can certainly act in the world and can love human people. In spite of the consistency and coherence of the doctrine of divine timelessness, however, the author has serious problems with the fruitfulness of this doctrine when it comes to essential practices (...) of the Christian faith, such like seeking help from God, loving God, and prayer. (shrink)
Condorcet's arguments concerning the dependence of unhindered scientific development on the presence of democratic conditions still sounds relevant today, because they are based on specific and complex considerations concerning the character of the social enterprise of science that articulates problems that still continue. The implicit dispute between Condorcet and Rousseau is also the first great historical example of the conflict between the Enlightenment and Romanticism, which accompanies the history of modernity, as an unresolved and indeed irresolvable opposition that belongs to (...) the prehistory of our own confusions and quandaries concerning the relations between culture, science, politics and society. (shrink)
Is the assessment of a view of life only a matter of personal preference? I argue that there is more than personal preference. I defend the position that a view of life must be useful for the ascription of meaning and therefore needs to fulfil the requirements of the process of ascribing meaning. In this article I analyse this process and its requirements and deduce from them a set of criteria by which views of life can be assessed.
One of the many themes to which Agnes Heller's philosophy returns again and again is the theme of the home of the moderns. Although not necessarily her central philosophical theme, nonetheless, it opens onto the existential and multi-dimensional nature of the human condition in modernity, which her work permanently addresses.
Jonathan Weinberg (2007) has argued that we should not appeal to intuition as evidence because it cannot be externally corroborated. This paper argues for the normative claim that Weinberg’s demand for external corroboration is misguided. The idea is that Weinberg goes wrong in treating philosophical appeal to intuition analogous to the appeal to evidence in the sciences. Traditional practice is defended against Weinberg’s critique with the argument that some intuitions are true simply in virtue of being intuited by the majority (...) of people. The argument proceeds by way of examining a paradigm case, Putnam’s Twin Earth. (shrink)
In this paper I argue against Twin-Earth externalism. The mistake that Twin Earth arguments rest on is the failure to appreciate the force of the following dilemma. Some features of things around us do matter for the purposes of conceptual classification, and others do not. The most plausible way to draw this distinction is to see whether a certain feature enters the cognitive perspective of the experiencing subject in relation to the kind in question or not. If it (...) does, we can trace conceptual differences to internal differences. If it doesn’t, we do not have a case of conceptual difference. Neither case supports Twin Earth externalism. (shrink)
A number of philosophers defend naturalistic moral realism by appeal to an externalist semantics for moral predicates. The application of semantic externalism to moral predicates has been attacked by Terence Horgan and Mark Timmons in a series of papers that make use of their “Moral Twin Earth” thought experiment. In response, several defenders of naturalistic moral realism have claimed that the Moral Twin Earth thought experiment is misleading and yields distorted and inaccurate semantic intuitions. If they are right, (...) the intuitions generated by Moral Twin Earth cannot be appealed to in arguments against externalist moral semantics. The most developed case against the Moral Twin Earth argument that follows this strategy is found in a paper by Stephen Laurence, Eric Margolis and Angus Dawson. Here I argue that their attack on the Moral Twin Earth thought experiment fails. Laurence, Margolis and Dawson have not shown that we have reason to distrust the semantic intuitions it generates. (shrink)
This paper considers the problem of assigning meanings to empty natural kind terms. It does so in the context of the Twin-Earth externalist-internalist debate about whether the meanings of natural kind terms are individuated by the external physical environment of the speakers using these terms. The paper clarifies and outlines the different ways in which meanings could be assigned to empty natural kind terms. And it argues that externalists do not have the semantic resources to assign them meanings. The (...) paper ends on a sceptical note concerning the fruitfulness of using the Twin-Earth setting in debates about the semantics of empty natural kind terms. (shrink)
Introduction: Middle-Earth, The lord of the rings, and international relations -- Order, justice, and Middle-Earth -- Thinking about international relations and Middle-Earth -- Middle-Earth and three great debates in international relations -- Middle-Earth, levels of analysis, and war -- Middle-Earth and feminist theory -- Middle-Earth and feminist analysis of conflict -- Middle-Earth as a source of inspiration and enrichment -- Conclusion: international relations and our many worlds.
This article is concerned with Mark Timmons and Terence Horgan's influential twin-earth argument against the semantic views of that school of thought in metaethics that has come to be known as “Cornell realism”. The semantic views of Cornell realism have been developed in greatest detail by Richard Boyd, and it is Boyd's view that is targeted by Timmons and Horgan. In the first part of the article, the twin-earth argument is introduced and two versions of it are disentangled. (...) Thereafter, a defensive strategy is developed against the most powerful version of the argument. The conclusion of the article is that Timmons and Horgan's argument does not succeed in showing that the semantic views associated with Cornell realism are false. (shrink)
Terence Horgan and Mark Timmons's Moral Twin Earth thought experiment poses a serious challenge for an influential kind of moral realism. It presents us with a case in which it is intuitive that two speakers are expressing a substantive disagreement with one another. However, the meta-semantics associated with this relevant form of moral realism entails that the speakers' moral predicates express different semantic contents, and thus, the moral sentences they utter do not express conflicting propositions. Consequently, this variety of (...) moral realism implies, wrongly, that the speakers do not express substantive disagreement after all. Some philosophers have objected to the Moral Twin Earth argument on the grounds that is possible for two speakers to express disagreement with one another, even if the moral sentences they utter do not express conflicting propositions. Heimer Geirsson supports this claim by appeal to the distinction between semantic reference and speaker reference. David Merli supports the same claim by noting that speakers whose moral sentences do not express conflicting propositions may nevertheless express a non-moral, practical disagreement over what to do. In this article, I argue that neither Geirsson nor Merli provides moral realists with a satisfying response to the Moral Twin Earth argument. (shrink)
Anthills and aardvarks -- The illusion of independence -- The myth of the master species -- Why law and jurisprudence matter -- The conceit of law -- Respecting the great law -- Remembering who we are -- The question of rights -- Elements of Earth governance -- Seeking Earth jurisprudence -- The rhythms of life -- The law of the land -- A communion of communities -- Transforming law and governance -- The mountain path.
The first of my works about a New Copernican Revolution, the shift from matter, and matter/energy to consciousness, and I go on to spell out a new Heaven, a new Universe, a new Earth, and a new Humanity.
Intentional states represent. Belief represents how we take things to be; desire represents how we would like things to be; and so on. To represent is to make a division among possibilities; it is to divide the possibilities into those that are consistent with how things are being represented to be and those that are not. I will call the possibilities consistent with how some intentional state represents things to be, its content. There is no suggestion that this is the (...) only legitimate notion of content, but for anyone who takes seriously the representational nature of intentional states, it must be one legitimate and central notion of content. To discover that DNA has a double helix structure is to make a selection from the various possible structures. (shrink)
In Chapters 4 and 5 of his 1998 book From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis, Frank Jackson propounds and defends a form of moral realism that he calls both ‘moral functionalism’ and ‘analytical descriptivism’. Here we argue that this metaethical position, which we will henceforth call ‘analytical moral functionalism’, is untenable. We do so by applying a generic thought-experimental deconstructive recipe that we have used before against other views that posit moral properties and identify them with certain (...) natural properties, a recipe that we believe is applicable to virtually any metaphysically naturalist version of moral realism. The recipe deploys a scenario we call Moral Twin Earth. (shrink)
1. Among the most striking features of the political arrangements on this planet is its division into sovereign states.1 To be sure, in recent times, globalization has woven together the fates of communities and individuals in distant parts of the world in complex ways. It is partly for this reason that now hardly anyone champions a notion of sovereignty that would entirely discount a state’s liability the effects that its actions would have on foreign nationals. Still, state sovereignty persists as (...) a political fact. The number of states has increased enormously due to upheavals of the 20th century, and there is nothing in principle morally wrong with the existence of states - or so we will assume.2 What must be explored, then, are the limits of normatively plausible sovereignty. How bad does a government have to be for outsiders to be allowed to interfere? What responsibilities does a country incur because of its contribution to global warming? What obligations arise through trading? In this paper, we explore another pertinent question: to what extent is a country allowed to influence who lives on its territory by regulating immigration? The angle from which we approach this question continues to be neglected even now that questions of global justice are receiving much attention. Immigration amounts to a change in political relationships as immigrants alter their standing within one community and acquire a status elsewhere. Yet it also amounts to an alteration in physical relationship, since they acquire a relationship to a territory, making a life for themselves with the resources offered by a part of the earth.3 We base our exploration of.. (shrink)
How, and why, does Earth (the element) move to the centre of Aristotle's Universe? In this paper, I argue that we cannot understand why it does so by reference merely to the nature of Earth, or the attractive force of the Centre. Rather, we have to understand the role that Earth plays in the cosmic order. Thus, in Aristotle, the behaviour of the elements is explained as one explains the function of organisms in a living organism.
In order to rebut G. E. Moore’s open question argument, ethical naturalists adopt a theory of direct reference for our moral terms. T. Horgan and M. Timmons have argued that this theory cannot be applied to moral terms, on the ground that it clashes with competent speakers’ linguistic intuitions. While Putnam’s Twin Earth thought experiment shows that our linguistic intuitions confirm the theory of direct reference, as applied to ‘water’, Horgan and Timmons devise a parallel thought experiment about moral (...) terms, in order to show that this theory runs against our linguistic intuitions about such terms. My claim is that the Horgan–Timmons argument does not work. I concede that their thought experiment is a good way to test the applicability of the theory of direct reference to moral terms, and argue that the upshot of their experiment is not what they claim it is: our linguistic intuitions about Moral Twin Earth are parallel to, not different from, our intuitions about Twin Earth. (shrink)
I say that it’s philosophically inexpensive because I think it is more convincing than any other Twin-Earth thought experiment in that it sidesteps many of the standard objections to the usual thought experiments. I also briefly discuss narrow contents and give an analysis of Putnam’s original argument.
Dry earth seems to its inhabitants (our intrinsic duplicates) just as earth seems to us, that is, it seems to them as though there are rivers and lakes and a clear, odorless liquid flowing from their faucets. But, in fact, this is an illusion; there is no such liquid anywhere on the planet. I address two objections to externalism concerning the nature of the concept that is expressed by the word 'water' in the mouths of the inhabitants of (...) dry earth. Gabriel Segal presents a dilemma for the externalist concerning the application conditions of the concept, and Paul Boghossian presents a dilemma for the externalist concerning the complexity of the concept. I show that, in both cases, the externalist may occupy the horn of his choice without departing from either the letter or spirit of externalism. (shrink)
Frantz Fanon was an enthusiastic reader of Sartre's Critique of Dialectical Reason and in this essay I focus on what can be gleaned from The Wretched of the Earth about how he read it. I argue that the reputation among Sartre's critics of the Critique as a failure on the grounds that it was left incomplete should take into account its presence in Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth . Their shared perspectives on the systemic character of racism (...) and colonialism, on the genesis and fragility of groups, and on parties indicates the vitality of the ideas set out in the Critique . However, these similarities between the two thinkers are offset by their differences on national consciousness and on the rural masses. I end by speculating about a certain defence on Sartre's part toward Fanon's concrete experience. (shrink)
It is widely believed that Twin-Earth-style thought experiments show that the contents of a person's thoughts fail to supervene on her intrinsic properties. Several recent philosophers have made the further claim that Twin-Earth-style thought experiments produce metaphysically necessary conditions for the possession of certain concepts. I argue that the latter view is false, and produce counterexamples to several proposed conditions. My thesis is of particular interest because it undermines some attempts to show that externalism is incompatible with privileged (...) access. (shrink)
In a series of articles, Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons have argued that Richard Boyd’s defence of moral realism, utilizing a causal theory of reference, fails. Horgan and Timmons construct a twin Earth-style thought experiment which, they claim, generates intuitions inconsistent with the realist account. In their thought experiment, the use of (allegedly) moral terms at a world is causally regulated by some property distinct from that regulating their use here on Earth; nevertheless, Horgan and Timmons claim, it (...) is intuitive that the inhabitants of this world disagree with us in their moral claims. Since any disagreement would be merely verbal were the alleged moral facts identical to or constituted by different natural facts, the identity or constitution claim must be false. I argue that their argument fails. Horgan and Timmons’ thought experiment is underdescribed; when we fill out the details, I claim, we shall see that the challenge to moral realism fades away. I sketch two possible interpretations of the (apparently) moral claims of the inhabitants of moral Twin Earth. On one interpretation, they fail to disagree with us because they actually agree with us; on the other, they fail to disagree with us because they are not moralizers at all. Which interpretation is true, I argue, will depend on the facts that explain the differences between us and the inhabitants of moral twin Earth. (shrink)
The present paper has three aims. The first and foremost aim is to introduce into philosophy of mind and related areas (philosophy of language, etc) a discussion of Slow Earth, an analogue to the classic Twin Earth scenario that features a difference from aboriginal Earth that hinges on time instead of the distribution of natural kinds. The second aim is to use Slow Earth to call into question the central lessons often alleged to flow from consideration (...) of Twin Earth, lessons having to do with relations of minds to spatially definable boundaries of bodies such as skin or skull. The third aim is to suggest a puzzle for adherents of cognitive content externalism having to do with the metaphysical requirements on slow-switching, a hypothetical process whereby changes in the relations between subjects and their environments are followed by gradual changes in cognitive contents. (shrink)
Abstract In recent work I have tried to revitalize the standpoint of humanity's commonly owning the earth. This standpoint has implications for a range of problems that have recently preoccupied us at the global level, including immigration, obligations to future generations, climate change, and human rights. In particular, this approach helps illuminate what moral claims to international aid small island nations whose existence is threatened by global climate change have. A recent proposal for relocating his people across different nations (...) by President Tong of Kiribati is a case in point. My approach vindicates President Tong's proposal. (shrink)
A popular form of virtue epistemology—defended by such figures as Ernest Sosa, Linda Zagzebski and John Greco—holds that knowledge can be exclusively understood in virtue-theoretic terms. In particular, it holds that there isn't any need for an additional epistemic condition to deal with the problem posed by knowledge-undermining epistemic luck. It is argued that the sustainability of such a proposal is called into question by the possibility of epistemic twin earth cases. In particular, it is argued that such cases (...) demonstrate the need for virtue-theoretic accounts of knowledge to appeal to an independent epistemic condition which excludes knowledge-undermining epistemic luck. (shrink)
Ecologists and environmental theorists have paid little attention to our direct, sensory experience of the enveloping world. In this paper I discuss the importance of such experience for ecological philosophy. Merleau-Ponty’s careful phenomenology of perceptual experience shows perception to be an inherently creative, participatory activity-a sort of conversation, carried on underneath our spoken discourse, between the living body and its world. His later work discloses the character of language itself as a medium born of the body’s participation with a world (...) experienced as alive. That living world is none other than the Earth. (shrink)
Hilary Putnam's Twin Earth thought experiment has come to have an enormous impact on contemporary philosophical thought. But while most of the discussion has taken place within the context of the philosophy of mind and language, Terence Horgan and Mark Timmons (H8cT) have defended the intriguing suggestion that a variation on the original thought experiment has important consequences for ethics.' In a series of papers, they' ve developed the idea of a Moral Twin Earth and have argued that (...) its significance is that it has the resources to undermine naturalistic versions of moral realism.' H8t T don't hold back in their assessment. "Moral Twin.. (shrink)
A central point of controversy in the time of the Copernican Revolution was the motion, or not, of the earth. We now take it for granted that Copernicus and Galileo were right; the earth really does move. But to what extent is this conclusion based on observation? This paper explores the meaning and observability of the rotation of the earth and shows that the phenomenon was not observable at the time of Galileo, and it is not observable (...) now. (shrink)
This article presents global ethics as critical reflection on the nature, justification and application of a global ethic. Much of the article focuses on the nature of a global ethic as the content of global ethics, e.g. whether it is thick or thin, is about universal values or transnational responsibilities, is a set of values justified by a particular thinker, values widely shared or values universally accepted. Global ethics itself as a process is also examined. In the last part the (...)Earth Charter is examined as an example of a global ethic, and a case is made for regarding it, both in respect to its content and in respect to the senses in which it is and is not a global ethic, as an appropriate subject matter for global ethics. (shrink)
Abstract: The Inverted Earth case has seen fierce debate between Ned Block, who says it defeats the causal-covariational brand of wide representationalism about qualia, and Michael Tye and Bill Lycan, who say it does not. The debate has generated more heat than light because of a failure to get clear on who is supposed to be proving what, and what premises can be deployed in doing so. I argue that a correct understanding of the case makes it clear that (...) the causal covariation theory is in deeper trouble over Inverted Earth than is generally supposed even by the theory's detractors. (shrink)
This paper offers two possible readings of the Earth Charter that are informed by current scholarship in the field of environmental politics. The first reading finds much in the document to suggest congruence with emerging discourses of cosmopolitanism and global environmental citizenship. The second reading, a more sceptical one, identifies aspects of the Earth Charter that seem more resonant with depoliticizing United Nations-style light green globalism than with an inclusive ethical vision of environmentalism. After setting out these two (...) readings, I argue that, although potentially undermining of its endorsability, thinking critically about problematic aspects of the Earth Charter is an exercise that may point in the direction of a cosmopolitan environmentalism that is less banal and instrumental and more dialogically open, reflexive, and democratic. (shrink)
The present paper presents a philosophical analysis of earth science, a discipline that has received relatively little attention from philosophers of science. We focus on the question of whether earth science can be reduced to allegedly more fundamental sciences, such as chemistry or physics. In order to answer this question, we investigate the aims and methods of earth science, the laws and theories used by earth scientists, and the nature of earth-scientific explanation. Our analysis leads (...) to the tentative conclusion that there are emergent phenomena in earth science but that these may be reducible to physics. However, earth science does not have irreducible laws, and the theories of earth science are typically hypotheses about unobservable (past) events or generalised - but not universally valid - descriptions of contingent processes. Unlike more fundamental sciences, earth science is characterised by explanatory pluralism: earth scientists employ various forms of narrative explanations in combination with causal explanations. The main reason is that earth-scientific explanations are typically hampered by local underdetermination by the data to such an extent that complete causal explanations are impossible in practice, if not in principle. (shrink)
In this paper, it is argued the Stoics develop an account of corporeals that allows their theory of bodies to be, at the same time, a theory of causation, agency, and reason. The paper aims to shed new light on the Stoics' engagement with Plato's Sophist . It is argued that the Stoics are Sons of the Earth insofar as, for them, the study of corporeals - rather than the study of being - is the most fundamental study of (...) reality. However, they are sophisticated Sons of the Earth by developing a complex notion of corporeals. A crucial component of this account is that ordinary bodies are individuated by the way in which the corporeal god pervades them. The corporeal god is the one cause of all movements and actions in the universe. (shrink)
Starting with Antonin Artaud's radio play To Have Done With The Judgement Of God, this article analyses the ways in which Artaud's idea of the body without organs links up with various of his writings on the body and bodily theatre and with Deleuze and Guattari's later development of his ideas. Using Klossowski (or Klossowski's Nietzsche) to explain how the dominance of dialogue equals the dominance of God, I go on to examine how the Son (the facialised body), the Father (...) (Language) and the Holy Spirit (Subjectification), need to be warded off in order to revitalize the body, reuniting it with ‘‘the earth’’ it has been separated from. Artaud's writings on Balinese dancing and the Tarahumaran people pave the way for the new body to appear. Reconstructing the body through bodily practices, through religion and above all through art, as Deleuze and Guattari suggest, we are introduced not only to new ways of thinking theatre and performance art, but to life itself. (shrink)
This paper explores the idea of 'respect for nature' in the Earth Charter. It maintains that the Earth Charter proposes a broadly holistic environmental ethic where, in situations of conflict, species are given ethical priority over the lives of individual sentient organisms. The paper considers policy implications of this perspective, looking by means of example at the current European environmental policy dispute about the ruddy and white-headed duck. Questions about the value of species and biological diversity this raises (...) are explored. The paper concludes that the principle of valuing individual animal lives should be given more prominence in Earth Charter principles. (shrink)
Earth possesses a double-character: it supports life and grounds perception and experience, but because of being this very base, also restricts these stances, since as base of any activity, theoretical or practical, it cannot be overstepped. Thus, earth itself is also groundless. Nevertheless, this duplicity is not contradictory, is no dualism, when formulated as earth being both a space of movement and a space of sense. Understanding this duplicity means understanding the intertwining of these two spaces by (...) articulating the possibilities of movements within sense; it means an understanding of sense and meaning in moving. This is the task of philosophy: both alienation from earth and the matter-of-course of its sense and return to it by taking part in its sense of moving and becoming. This is gained by interpretation, of which we draw on as a model reading Nietzsche on 'Will to Power' and perspectivity, and Plato's conception of dialectic. Thus, interpretation represents itself sensibly in earth's duplicity. (shrink)
Rooted in a tradition of thought and spirituality akin to, yet other than, the onto-theology of the Latin West, the aesthetico-theological experience of the Byzantine icon can help articulate aesthetic and numinous elements of our relation to nature that environmental philosophy should no longer ignore. In contrast to the technical mastery of the natural in Western art inaugurated by the Renaissance, itself related to the emerged technological mastery of nature in the late Middle Ages, the iconic sensibility characteristic of the (...) Byzantine East exhibits an experience of materiality common to non-Western humanity, seeing nature as a visible window to the invinsible, a lintel of the holy. A series of correlations between features of iconic seeing and exemplary encounters with the natural environment by prominent naturalists elaborates this thesis, along with examples from the later writings of Dostoevsky, who looked to divine beauty to save the earth. (shrink)
This paper explores a view of experience as a strife between earth and world. The concept of strife, borrowed from the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, is elaborated as a new starting point for an empirical psychology.
Provides a reading of Terrence Malick's 2011 film The Tree of Life, and an account of how the film can be said to exhibit an ethics of the earth. For support of my thesis, I formulate a largely phenomenological framework for assembling the film's earth ethic. My thesis is also strongly influenced by Holmes Rolston III's formula for environmental ethics.
I take issue with several themes in Ted Toadvine’s lively paper, “Limits of the Flesh,” suggesting that he has significantly misread many of the arguments in The Spell of the Sensuous. I first engage his contention that I disparage reflection and denigrate the written word. Then I take up the assertion that I exclude the symbolic dimension of experience from my account, and indeed that I seek to eliminate the symbolic from our interactions with others. Finally, I refute his claim (...) that my ecophenomenological stance leaves no room for resistance, contradiction, and alterity—elements that are, in fact, central to my understanding of ethics. My reply leads directly into a discussion of one of the crucial concerns of my work: the manner in which the very style of our discourse—our way of wielding words—tacitly works to either enhance, or to stifle, the solidarity between the human community and the more-than-human earth. (shrink)
Michael Williams: Deforesting the Earth: From Prehistory to Global Crisis, an Abridgment Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10806-010-9294-y Authors Doug Seale, 21 Turner Ridge Road, Marlborough, MA 01752, UK Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
Le Souffle de la Terre/The Pulse of the Earth is an on-going sound work (1996–20–) by the artist L. Abenavoli. She outlines the sonification methods employed in the making of the work in an analysis of its technical and conceptual features. The work is described in terms of her artistic objectives.
Exploring the decisive steps taken by Anaximander of Miletus, this book details the transition from the archaic cosmological world-picture of a flat earth with a celestial vault to the Western world-picture of a free floating earth in an ...
Collective Intelligence (CI) can be formalized as a specific1 computational process through the use of a molecular model of computations and mathematical logic, in terms of interacting information_molecules, which are chaotically or quasi-chaotically displacing and running natural-based inference processes in their own environment. The formal definition of Collective Intelligence as a property of a social structure of beings of any nature is surprisingly short and abstract (which is astonishing) from definitions of Life. The formal definition of Collective Intelligence proposed by (...) the author in the last few years seems to be valid for the whole spectrum of beings, in human social structures to ants in colonies, and even for bacterial colonies. It has recently been found that the CI definition also has an engineering value. The theory of CI can also be used to better understand Evolution because it allows us to locate and relate Life and Intelligence in Evolution. Moreover, this approach presents Evolution as something more complex than can be concluded from Darwinism. Probably the most surprising fact is that a simple extrapolation of the definition of Collective Intelligence brings us to the conclusion that most probably the first elementary Collective Intelligence emerged on Earth in the "chemical soup of primeval molecules," much before Life emerged. Collective Intelligence can be defined with fewer and weaker conditions than Life requires. Perhaps the emergence of that early elementary Collective Intelligence provided the basic momentum to build Life as we now know it. Thus Evolution caused Intelligence to create Life. Our hypothesis is consistent with biochemistry theories that "primeval biochemical molecules" started to interact, "firing" the Collective Intelligence of their "elementary chemical social structure" for survival. This successful action boosted further growth of complexity in that "elementary social structure," which finally resulted in the emergence of "well-defined Life." Furthermore, it provided a self-propagating cycle of growth of individual and collective Intelligence and individual and collective Life. The Collective Intelligence of ants, wolves, humans, and so forth today is only a higher level of Collective Intelligence development. Thus the present Evolution is a computational process of unidentified complexity where Life, Intelligence, and perhaps other as yet undiscovered components play temporary roles. In this paper we provide formalization and a proposed partial proof for this hypothesis. (shrink)
This paper seeks to provide a historically well-informed analysis of an important post-Newtonian area of research in experimental physics between 1798 and 1898, namely the determination of the mean density of the earth and, by the end of the nineteenth century, the gravitational constant. Traditionally, research on these matters is seen as a case of ‘puzzle solving.’ In this paper, I show that such focus does not do justice to the evidential significance of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century experimental research on (...) the mean density of the earth and the gravitational constant. As Newton’s theory of universal gravitation was mainly based on astronomical observation, it remained to be shown that Newton’s law of universal gravitation did not break down at terrestrial distances. In this context, Cavendish’ experiment and related nineteenth-century experiments played a decisive role, for they provided converging and increasingly stronger evidence for the universality of Newton’s theory of gravitation. More precisely, I shall argue that, as the accuracy and precision of the experimental apparatuses and the procedures to eliminate external disturbances involved increasingly improved, the empirical support for the universality of Newton’s theory of gravitation improved correspondingly. (shrink)
Fenves becomes one of the first to thoroughly explore Kant's later writings and give them the detailed scholarly attention they deserve. In his opening chapters, Fenves examines in detail the various essays in which Kant invents, formulates and complicates the thesis of "radical evil"--a thesis which serves as the point of departure for all his later writings. Late Kant then turns towards the counter-thesis of "radical mean-ness," which states that human beings exist on earth for the sake of another (...) species or race of human beings. The consequences of this startling thesis are that human beings cannot claim possession of the earth, but must rather prepare the earth for its rightful owners. (shrink)
more Philosophically and scientifically profound aspect of the Copernican revolution, instead of being just a matter of taking the other end of the stick and orienting things in the opposite way, is that whereas before the Earth was looked upon as the centre of the universe (with the human race occupying an equally prime and important place in the existence of things), now it is looked upon as just one insignificant planet circle ling a smallish star amongst countless billions (...) of others. Kant’s Copernican revolution, by contrast, is designed to keep human consciousness unequivocally at the centre of the metaphysical universe. It is therefore going in completely the opposite direction to the scientific effect of the Copernican revolution. Kant seems to be insincerely accepting the prestige of the Copernican revolution as a good scientific achievement while inventing a philosophy which, as it claims to give the ‘real meaning’ of the Copernican revolution, is able to ignore its.. (shrink)
The search for an ethics rooted in human experience is the crux of this deeply compassionate work, here translated from the 1983 German edition. Distinguished philosopher Werner Marx provides a close reading, critique, and Weiterdenken , or "further thinking," of Martin Heidegger's later work on death, language, and poetry, which has often been dismissed as both obscure and obscurantist. In it Marx seeks, and perhaps finds, both a measure for distinguishing between good and evil and a motive for preferring the (...) former. The poet Hölderlin posed the question, "Is there a measure on earth?" His own answer was emphatic, "There is none," for he was convinced that the measure for man was to be found only in the domain of the heavenly beings. Such metaphysical assumptions, as well as the attempt to found ethical conduct in the nature of man as a rational being, have been rejected by many contemporary thinkers, particularly Heidegger. Yet these thinkers have not been able to provide a satisfactory alternative to metaphysical foundations of the standards for responsible human conduct. Marx, therefore, goes beyond Heidegger in demonstrating how several of his most basic notions could be relevant to a secular morality in our age. It is death, Marx claims, that unsettles man and transforms his conduct toward his fellow man. the common experience of mortality nourishes ethical life--and leads to the measures of compassion, love, and recognition of one's fellow human beings. "It is only on the basis of these 'traditional virtues,'" Marx writes, "that we can find a motive for averting the impending dangers which have often enough been described so vividly and convincingly.". (shrink)
The social and ecological crises of the twenty-first century represent a failure of the techno-industrial way of living and knowing. It has become apparent that we need both a new mythos and a new science. In this essay, I draw attention to the important epistemological and cosmological implications of enactivism, a still emerging paradigm within the life sciences. Guided by the insights of the enactive paradigm, I offer a new story of human origins and destiny in an attempt to contribute (...) to a more livable future for our species and the rest of the community of life on Earth. (shrink)
On March 21 a suit was filed in Federal District Court in Hawaii asking for a temporary restraining order prohibiting the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva from turning on the world’s largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), this summer. The suit contends that the collider could produce a tiny black hole or an exotic object called a “strangelet,” either of which might swallow up Earth and perhaps more.
This article enquires into the value of 'concepts' as a framework for the school curriculum by questioning their contribution towards our responsibilities for thinking about the earth. I take Derrida's deconstructive reading of Plato's Timaeus to show how spaces in meaning can be revealed, and more transgressive ways of knowing invited in. Derrida's Kh ra marks the opportunity for something new, productive and unforeseeable to arise as the play of traces unfurls. A deconstructive reading of the geography national curriculum (...) policy exposes the impracticality and impossibility of following the text as a definitive scheme and basis for curriculum planning. The paper ends with a spacing of a real place for the geography curriculum by appropriating four different ways of knowing Whitby, a harbour town in north-east England, outside the conceptual scheme. The paper contrasts an approach that is essentially general, conceptual and at the level of the plan, map or net, with a deconstructive approach that welcomes in other, more ethically responsible and imaginative meanings. (shrink)
: Despite its amazing morphological diversity, life as we know it on Earth today is remarkably similar in its basic molecular architecture and biochemistry. The assumption that all life on Earth today shares these molecular and biochemical features is part of the paradigm of modern biology. This paper examines the possibility that this assumption is false, more speciﬁcally, that the contemporary Earth contains as yet unrecognized alternative forms of microbial life. The possibility that more than one form (...) of life arose on Earth is consistent with our current understanding of conditions on the early Earth and the biochemical and molecular possibilities for life. Arguments that microbial descendents of an alternative origin of life could not co-exist with familiar life are belied by what we know of the complexity and diversity of microbial communities. Furthermore, the tools that are currently used to explore the microbial world – microscopy (with the aid of techniques such as DAPI staining and ﬂuorescence in situ hybridization), cultivation and PCR ampliﬁcation of rRNA genes – could not detect such organisms if they existed. Thus, the fact that we have not discovered any alternative life forms cannot be taken as evidence that they do not exist. (shrink)
We hope—even as we doubt—that the environmental crisis can be controlled. Public awareness of our species’ self-destructiveness as material beings in a material world is growing—but so is the destructiveness. The practical interventions needed for saving and restoring the earth will require a collective shift of such magnitude as to take on a spiritual and religious intensity.This transformation has in part already begun. Traditions of ecological theology and ecologically aware religious practice have been preparing the way for decades. Yet (...) these traditions still remain marginal to society, academy, and church. With a fresh, transdisciplinary approach, Ecospirit probes the possibility of a green shift radical enough to permeate the ancient roots of our sensibility and the social sources of our practice. From new language for imagining the earth as a living ground to current constructions of nature in theology, science, and philosophy; from environmentalism’s questioning of postmodern thought to a garden of green doctrines, rituals, and liturgies for contemporary religion, these original essays explore and expand our sense of how to proceed in the face of an ecological crisis that demands new thinking and acting. In the midst of planetary crisis, they activateimagination, humor, ritual, and hope. (shrink)
After Heitler and London published their pioneering work on the application of quantum mechanics to chemistry in 1927, it became an almost unquestioned dogma that chemistry would soon disappear as a discipline of its own rights. Reductionism felt victorious in the hope of analytically describing the chemical bond and the structure of molecules. The old quantum theory has already produced a widely applied model for the structure of atoms and the explanation of the periodic system. This paper will show two (...) examples of the entry of quantum physics into more classical fields of chemistry: inorganic chemistry and physical chemistry. Due to their professional networking, George Hevesy and Michael Polanyi found their ways to Niels Bohr and Fritz London, respectively, to cooperate in solving together some problems of classical chemistry. Their works on rare earth elements and adsorption theory throws light to the application of quantum physics outside the reductionist areas. They support the heuristic and persuasive value of quantum thinking in the 1920–1930s. Looking at Polanyi’s later oeuvre, his experience with adsorption theory could be a starting point of his non-justificationist philosophy. (shrink)
This paper is structured as follows. First, it offers a brief presentation of the Twin Earth thought experiment. Second, it offers an interpretation of Putnam'santi-realism. Third, it argues for the incompatibility of anti-realism and the semantic role of extension that Twin Earth is supposed to establish.
: Green consciousness is a holistic worldview based in many ancient and still-current principles and wisdoms, holistic worldview, and one that offers alternative conceptions of human and non-human subjectivity, of humans' relationships with each other and with non-human nature. Its principles are elaborated not only in environmentalist philosophies but also in some forms of popular culture. Shrek retells ancient earth-based myth, specifically around its imagination of greenness as an emblem of the life force, its respect for the feminine principle, (...) its refusal of hierarchy and split consciousness, its endorsement of the happy body and communal ecstasy, and its ringing celebration of diversity. (shrink)
The question of which areas of the earth are fit for human habitation and which ones are not is dealt with in several Hebrew scientific texts of the twelfth and thirteenth century. Medieval Jewish scholars such as Abraham bar [Hdotu]iyya, Samuel ibn Tibbon, and the three thirteenth-century Hebrew encyclopedists were familiar with theories of the oikoumene and its boundaries through Arabic sources. These Hebrew texts display a variety of views on the earth's habitability, all of which ultimately go (...) back to antiquity. Whereas some texts adopted a division of the inhabited portion of the earth into seven climes, others divided the earth into five zones of temperature, of which two were habitable and three were not owing to extreme temperatures. Some of these Jewish authors also pay attention to the question of how climatological or astrological conditions in a given region influence the mental constitution of its inhabitants. (shrink)
Huey D. Johnson: Green Plans: Blueprint for a Sustainable Earth Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s10806-012-9388-9 Authors Devparna Roy, Polson Institute for Global Development, Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
This paper is a response to an objection that Markus Seidel has made to my analysis of epistemic relativism. Seidel argues that the epistemic relativist is unable to base a relativist account of justification on the sceptical problem of the criterion in the way that I have suggested in earlier work. In response to Seidel, I distinguish between weak and strong justification, and argue that all the relativist needs is weak justification. In addition, I explain my reasons for employing (...) the idiom of objectivity rather than that of absolutism which Seidel prefers. -/- . (shrink)
In The Song of the Earth, Jonathan Bate promotes ‘ecopoesis’, contrasting it with ‘ecopolitical’ poetry (and by implication, other forms of writing and expression). Like others recently, including Simon James and Michael Bonnett, he appropriates the notion of ‘dwelling’ from Heidegger to add force to this distinction. Bate's argument is effectively that we have more chance of protecting the environment if we engage in ecopoetic activity, involving a sense of immediate response to nature, than if we do not. This (...) has obvious educational implications. If Bate, James and Bonnett are correct, then the educational pursuit of (eco)poetic sensibility will, of itself, contribute to education for a sustainable future by grounding human experience in nature; if their assertions are insupportable, and (eco)poetic sensibility does not afford privileged access to a state of nature, then the assumption cannot be made that the development of such sensibility will contribute to education for sustainability. I shall critique Bate's argument from a pragmatic perspective. (shrink)
In addition to good medical services, all aspects of an economy must work together to ensure a high level of public health. However, the abundant economies of the North are contributing heavily to global environmental disaster, with increasing concomitant damage to human health. Environmental health problems result from toxicity (i.e., pollution), scarcity (i.e., poverty), and energy degradation (i.e., entropy). Common to these three factors in environmental demise are the limits of the Earth. Production has evolved to a point where (...) the Earth is no longer safe from radical depletion. Therefore, simple living is a necessary feature of global public health. Rarely do readers of this journal see these limits first hand, but they are real. Our limited perceptions and efforts hinder our ability to understand how to reduce the impact of production on natural ecosystems. Contrary to standard media portrayals, growth and technology cannot solve our public health problems, because they are unequally distributed across the world and neither can they solve the problem of limits. The need for modest consumption in developed nations is an essential and almost completely ignored element of the answer to environmental and associated health problems. A radical and rapid change to public health is needed in order to avoid abysmal global health consequences during the next century. These changes involve a restructuring of our economy, including the health care industry. In the short run, this is an ethical demand. In the long run, this is an inevitability. The actual and appropriate role of bioethicists in championing these changes is unclear. (Abstract by Bruce R. Smith). (shrink)
This paper explores the history of a unique assemblage of researchers in the geodetic and allied sciences organised at Ohio State University (OSU) in 1947 at the beginning of the Cold War. From about 1950 to 1970, the OSU geodetic sciences group was the most significant group of geodetic researchers in the world. Funded almost entirely by military and intelligence agencies, they pioneered the technologies, organised the research initiatives, ordered the data sets, and trained the generation of geodesists who eventually (...) created the Cold War Figure of the Earth to both prosecute and prevent global nuclear war. They devised elaborate mechanisms to pursue in secrecy and isolation research that had hitherto been performed collaboratively and globally. They invented methods to maintain professional associations and protocols, both to distribute-and disguise-the fruits of their geodetic research. In accomplishing this, their work also undermined the basic hypothesis of isostasy that had been foundational to geodesy for the previous century.Fundamental progress in the geosciences and military and intelligence directives were inextricably linked during the Cold War, although the extent of their convergence has been masked by the security protocols organised to disguise it. With the declassification of key programmes underway, it is now both possible and necessary to substantially revise the history of Cold War-era geosciences and their associated technologies. (shrink)
This essay turns from a discussion of measure as it pertains to poetry to a discussion of Hölderlin’s poem “In Lovely Blueness” in the context of Heidegger’s essay on that poem, “Poetically Man Dwells.” For Hölderlin, paradoxically, although man measures himself against the godhead, there is a sense in which, for man, there is no measure on earth. I argue that Heidegger’s attempt to bridge the gap between absence and presence has the effect of “retheologizing” the poem and distorting (...) its meaning. The argument proceeds partly by measuring several English translation of the poem against one another. (shrink)
The Earth Charter is largely a wholesome embodiment of a commendable and globally applicable ecological ethic. But it fails to treat responsibilities towardfuture generations with sufficient clarity, presenting these generations as comparable to present and past generations, whose members are identifiable, whenin fact most future people are of unknown identity, and when the very existence of most of them depends on current actions. It can be claimed that we still haveobligations with regard to whoever there will be whom we (...) could affect, and in addition, all the possible people of the future whom we could affect have moralstanding, as well as corresponding members of other species. These obligations clash with the person-affecting principle, which considerably restricts suchobligations and the scope of moral standing at the same time. Finally, there are implications for sustainability, at least with regard to sustainable levels ofpopulation and with regard to global warming, and thus a need for further clarification of the content of responsibilities toward future generations. (shrink)
The discovery of Earth-sized extrasolar planets orbiting distant stars will merit an expansion of the sphere of entities worthy of moral consideration. Although it will be a long time, if ever, before humans visit these planets, it is nevertheless worthwhile to develop an environmental ethic that encompasses these planets, as this ethic reflects on our view of life on Earth and elsewhere. A particularly significant case would be a planet that displays spectroscopic signatures of life, although the discovery (...) of many lifeless planets might itself intensify the value of life on Earth. A derivation of Schweitzer’s general principle of “reverence for life” and similar frameworks are appropriate ethics with which to view extrasolar planets. The development of an ethical framework for extrasolar planets might provide a means to fashion a deeper and more effective environmental ethic for Earth’s biosphere. (shrink)
In the early 1970’s, the research submarine, Alvin explored a system of volcanic vents on the floor of the Pacific Ocean and biologists were surprised to see a variety of organisms living near the vents in total darkness and at enormous pressures thereby hinting that life on Earth is not restricted to the near surface only. The discovery that microbes dwell deep in apparently solid rock gives credence to the theory that life can be transported between planets inside material (...) blasted into space by big impacts. (shrink)
Assigning the moniker stakeholder to the planet has stirred a rather interesting debate in recent years. Proponents have insisted that the Earth is both the ultimate source of economic resources and the ultimate sink for economic wastes, meaning that it “affects or is affected by the achievement of the organization’s objectives” (Freeman, 1984, p. 46). They have said that giving the Earth stakeholder status can effectively tie the ecological health of the planet to the economic survival of the (...) firm, and they have demonstrated this by focusing primarily on the economic benefits which can accrue to firms that effectively respond to the ecological concerns of regulators, consumers, investors, lenders, insurers, and so forth. However, others have questioned assigning the Earth stakeholder status. They have said that doing so convolutes the definition of stakeholder too much by expanding it to something other than “person[s] and groups” (Freeman, 1984, p. 46), and they have said that referring to the planet as a stakeholder is an idealistic view which defies the realities of the relationship between economic activity and the Entropy Law. Regardless of the side, the arguments in this debate have focused primarily at the economic level. Does the Earth’s central place in humanity’s economic survival suffice to give it stakeholder status? Does the Earth have voices on boards of directors? Is the underlying assumption made by those who advocate giving the Earth stakeholder status—that economic activity is ecologically sustainable—truly reflective of the relationship between economics and entropy? However, for us this debate took an interesting turn away from the economic level at the 1997 Ruffin Lectures in Business Ethics when Ian Mitroff said, “The Earth is a stakeholder, but it is a spiritual stakeholder.”. (shrink)
Christopher Key Chapple (2009). Pthivi Sukta : Earth Verses. In Christopher Key Chapple (ed.), Yoga and Ecology: Dharma for the Earth: Proceedings of Two of the Sessions at the Fourth Danam Conference, Held on Site at the American Academy of Religion, Washington, Dc, 17-19 November 2006. Deepak Heritage Books.score: 12.0
Robert Fulghum’s new book begins with a question we’ve all asked ourselves: “What on Earth have I done?” As Fulghum finds out, the answer is never easy and, almost always, surprising. For the last couple of years, Fulghum has been traveling the world - from Seattle to the Moab Desert to Crete - looking for a few fellow travelers interested in thinking along with him as he delights in the unexpected: trick-or-treating with your grandchildren dressed like a large rabbit, (...) pots of daffodils blooming in mid-November, a view of the earth from outer space, the mysterious night sounds of the desert, every man's trip to a department store to buy socks, the raucous all-night long feast that is Easter in Greece, the trials and tribulations of plumbing problems and the friendship one can strike up with someone who doesn't share the same language. What on Earth Have I Done? is an armchair tour of everyday life as seen by Robert Fulghum, one of America’s great essayists, a man who has two feet planted firmly on the earth, one eye on the heavens and, at times, a tongue planted firmly in his cheek. Fulghum writes to his fellow travelers, with a sometimes light heart, about the deep and vexing mysteries of being alive and says, “This is my way of bringing the small boat of my life within speaking distance of yours. Hello…”. (shrink)
Choosing a compassionate lifestyle that makes you feel good and positively impacts on the environment and on animals has never been easier. In this practical and accessible handbook, loaded with resources for all products that are mentioned, Ingrid Newkirk presents fabulous options that will not only enhance your life, but those of your neighbors, your community, animals, and the earth itself. From comfortable home furnishings, to delicious foods, to fashionable clothing there are a myriad of choices to be made (...) that can have a lasting positive effect on the well-being of animals and the environment, including: - recognizing hidden animal ingredients in cosmetics and household products - raising ecologically aware and animal-friendly kids - creating healthy, environmentally-friendly meals for everyday and special occasions - dressing with style without using leather or other animal products - dealing kindly with mice, insects, and other 'pests' in home or garden - adopting the right animal companion for you - volunteering and investing in eco- and animal-friendly companies - traveling with Eco-consciousness. (shrink)
A radical approach to the environment which argues that by harnessing the power of science for human benefit, we can have a healthier planet As a prizewinning theoretical physicist and an outspoken advocate for scientific literacy, James Trefil has long been the public's guide to a better understanding of the world. In this provocative book, Trefil looks squarely at our environmental future and finds-contrary to popular wisdom-reason to celebrate. For too long, Trefil argues, humans have treated nature as something separate (...) from themselves-pristine wilderness to be saved or material resources to be exploited. What we need instead is a scientific approach to the environment that embraces the human transformation of nature for our benefit. In Human Nature , Trefil exposes the benefits of genetically modified species, uncovers vital facts about droughts and global warming, and points to examples of environmental management where catering to humans reaps greater rewards than sheltering other species. By taking advantage of explosive advances in the sciences, we can fruitfully manage the planet, if we rise to the challenge. Like Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and Paul Ehrlich's Population Bomb, Human Nature promises to fundamentally alter the way we perceive our relationship to the Earth-but with optimism rather than alarm. (shrink)
Scientific essentialism is the view that some necessities (e.g., water = H2O) can be known only with the aid of empirical science. The thesis of the paper is that scientific essentialism does not extend to the central questions of philosophy and that these questions can be answered a priori. The argument is that the evidence required for the defense of scientific essentialism (e.g., twin earth intuitions) is reliable only if the intuitions required by philosophy to answer its central questions (...) is also reliable. Included is an outline of a modal reliabilist theory of basic evidence and a concept-possession account of the reliability of a priori intuition. (shrink)
J. L. Mackie argued that if there were objective moral properties or facts, then the supervenience relation linking the nonmoral to the moral would be metaphysically queer. Moral realists reply that objective supervenience relations are ubiquitous according to contemporary versions of metaphysical naturalism and, hence, that there is nothing especially queer about moral supervenience. In this paper we revive Mackie's challenge to moral realism. We argue: (i) that objective supervenience relations of any kind, moral or otherwise, should be explainable rather (...) than sui generis; (ii) that this explanatory burden can be successfully met vis-à-vis the supervenience of the mental upon the physical, and in other related cases; and (iii) that the burden cannot be met for (putative) objective moral supervenience relations. (shrink)
Consciousness is more important than the Higgs-Bosen particle. Consciousness has emerged as a term, and a problem, in modern science. Most scientists believe that it can be accomodated and explained, by existing scientific principles. I say that it cannot, that it calls all existing principles into question, and so I propose a New Copernican Revolution among our fundamental terms. I say that consciousness points completely beyond present day science, to a whole new view of the universe, where consciousness, and not (...) matter or matter/energy is the true basis of the universe and the true fundamental term for the universe. And I go on to spell out this bold, brave and beautiful new understanding of the Universe, and with it the Earth, Spirit and Ourselves and with them a new and true foundation for Civilization itself. (shrink)