Tracing a central theme of Plato's Republic , G. R. F. Ferrari reconsiders in this study the nature and purpose of the comparison between the structure of society and that of the individual soul. In four chapters, Ferrari examines the personalities and social status of the brothers Glaucon and Adeimantus, Plato's notion of justice, coherence in Plato's description of the decline of states, and the tyrant and the philosopher king—a pair who, in their different ways, break with the (...) terms of the city-soul analogy. In addition to acknowledging familiar themes in the interpretation of the Republic —the sincerity of its utopianism, the justice of the philosopher's return to the Cave—Ferrari provocatively engages secondary literature by Leo Strauss, Bernard Williams, and Jonathan Lear. With admirable clarity and insight, Ferrari conveys the relation between the city and the soul and the choice between tyranny and philosophy. City and Soul in Plato's Republic will be of value to students of classics, philosophy, and political theory alike. (shrink)
Abstract In his paper “The Opposite of Human Enhancement: Nanotechnology and the Blind Chicken problem” ( Nanoethics 2: 305-36, 2008) Thompson argued that technological attempts to reduce or eliminate selected non-human animals’ capabilities (animal disenhancements) in order to solve or mitigate animal welfare problems in animals’ use pose a philosophical conundrum, because there is a contradiction between rational arguments in favor of these technological interventions and intuitions against them. In her response “Animal Disenhancement and the Non-Identity Problem: A Response to (...) Thompson” ( Nanoethics 5:43–48, 2011), Palmer maintained that the philosophical conundrum is even deeper if we introduce the non-identity problem into the discussion. In my brief response, I claim that in order to avoid the pitfalls of speculative ethics, empirical facts related to the technologies involved as well as costs for the non-human animals have to be taken into account. Depending on which changes we are referring to, ethical problems can be seen very differently. Widening the consideration to the socio-economic context in which non-human animals are currently used by humans, I challenge the idea of genuine philosophical conundrums from an antispeciesist and abolitionist perspective. Only in a context of exploitation, in which non-human animals are deprived of basic rights and their existence is totally dependent on human exploitation, the contradictions between improvement of welfare and disenhancement of capabilities make sense. Content Type Journal Article Category Critical Discussion Notes Pages 1-12 DOI 10.1007/s11569-012-0139-1 Authors Arianna Ferrari, KIT/ITAS (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology/Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis), Karlsruhe, Germany Journal NanoEthics Online ISSN 1871-4765 Print ISSN 1871-4757. (shrink)
Empathy is the phenomenal experience of mirroring ourselves into others. It can be explained in terms of simulations of actions, sensations, and emotions which constitute a shared manifold for intersubjectivity. Simulation, in turn, can be sustained at the subpersonal level by a series of neural mirror matching systems.
This paper aims to review different discourses within the emerging field of ethical reflection on nanotechnology. I will start by analysing the early stages of this debate, showing how it has been focused on searching for legitimacy for this sphere of moral inquiry. I will then characterise an ethical approach, common to many authors, which frames ethical issues in terms of risks and benefits. This approach identifies normative issues where there are conflicts of interest or where challenges to the fundamental (...) values of our society arise. In response to the limitations of this approach, other commentators have called for more profound analysis of the limits of our knowledge, and have appealed to values, such as sustainability or responsibility, which should, they suggest, inform nanotechnological development (I will define this approach as a “sophisticated form of prudence”). After showing the ways in which these frameworks are limited, I will examine more recent developments in debates on nanoethics which call for the contextualisation of ethical discourse in its ontological, epistemic and socio-economic and political reflections. Such contextualisation thus involves inquiry into the ‘metaphysical research program’ (MRP) of nanotechnology/ies and analysis of the socio-economic, political and historical reality of nano. These ideas offer genuinely new insights into the kind of approach required for nanoethical reflection: they recover a sense of the present alongside the need to engage with the past, while avoiding speculation on the future. (shrink)
Educational neuroscience promises to incorporate emerging insights from neuroscience into education, and is an exiting renovation of cognitive science in education. But unlike cognitive neuroscience—which aims to explain how the mind is embodied—educational neuroscience necessarily incorporates values that reflect the kind of citizen and the kind of society we aspire to create. Neuroscience can help fulfill the mandate of public education, but only as a tool that is part of a broader conversation about what schools should strive to achieve for (...) the millions of students who attend them. I propose that educational neuroscience must advance our understanding of how knowledge is embodied in light of efforts to promote personal learning and development. (shrink)
This Companion provides a fresh and comprehensive account of this outstanding work, which remains among the most frequently read works of Greek philosophy, indeed of Classical antiquity in general. The sixteen essays, by authors who represent various academic disciplines, bring a spectrum of interpretive approaches to bear in order to aid the understanding of a wide-ranging audience, from first-time readers of the Republic who require guidance, to more experienced readers who wish to explore contemporary currents in the work’s interpretation. The (...) three initial chapters address aspects of the work as a whole. They are followed by essays that match closely the sequence in which topics are presented in the ten books of the Republic. Since the Republic returns frequently to the same topics by different routes, so do the authors of this volume, who provide the readers with divergent yet complementary perspectives by which to appreciate the Republic’s principal concerns. (shrink)
Against the consensus that Aristotle in the "Poetics" sets out to give tragedy a role in exercising or improving the mature citizen's moral sensibilities, I argue that his aim is rather to analyse what makes a work of literature successful in its own terms, and in particular how a tragic drama can achieve the effect of suspense. The proper pleasure of tragedy is produced by the plotting and eventual dispelling of the play's suspense. Aristotle claims that poetry 'says what is (...) universal' not in order to suggest that poetry achieves anything of the effect of philosophy, but to explain how in creating his plots the poet takes into consideration what, in general, could be expected to happen. Chapter 4 of the "Poetics" is not a theory of mimesis but an analysis of the lowest common denominator of the pleasure we take in fictions. The inevitability or likelihood by which events in the tragic plot are to be connected has an aesthetic rather than a moral function. Doing away with the irrationality of chance and increasing the human intelligibility of the action is not its point; the point is to furnish the plot with the second half of the formula for successful suspense: that events in the plot should happen 'against expectation because of one another'. The first half of the formula is examined under the rubric of peripety or reversal. The formula as a whole describes the pivotal moment when the pieces of the plot suddenly fit with a configuration that only in retrospect can we see to have been falling into place all along. Pity and fear are the emotions on which Aristotle focusses because they are the emotions engaged by the tightening-towards-release of literary suspense. And the pleasure of catharsis is the pleasure of that release. (shrink)
The Latin conscius does not translate anything like mind or consciousness. Only in the mid-nineteenth century do we find the first attempts to study consciousness as its own discipline. Wundt, James, and Freud disagreed about how to approach the science of consciousness, although agreeing that psychology was a 'science of consciousness' that takes lived biological experience as its object. The behaviorists vetoed this idea. By the 1950s, for cognitive science, mind (conscious and unconscious) was considered analogous to computer software. Recently, (...) the science of consciousness has returned as Consciousness Studies, a new interdisciplinary synthesis of neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, and cultural anthropology. But what is new in this renaissance of the science of consciousness? New first, second and third person approaches all propose to take consciousness itself as a variable. This approach is as controversial as the nineteenth-century science of consciousness--controversy perhaps inherent to any science of consciousness. (shrink)
The focus of this account is how myth and formal argument in the dialogue Phaedrus complement and reinforce each other in Plato's philosophy. Not only is the dialogue in its formal structure a joining of myth and argument, but the philosophic life that it praises is also shaped by the limitations of argument and the importance of mythical and poetic understanding. The book is written for anyone seriously interested in Plato's thought and in the history of literary theory or of (...) rhetoric. No knowledge of Greek is required. (shrink)
Summary From the following discussion, we conclude that: (a) the homogeneity of space implies (in special relativity) the homogeneity of time, and vice versa; (b) the assumption of homogeneity of space (or time) implies that the transformation formulae must be linear (see Equations (10) and (17)).
One of the aims of the DEEPEN project was to deepen ethical understanding of issues related to emerging nanotechnologies through an interdisciplinary approach utilizing insights from philosophy, ethics, and the social sciences. Accordingly, part of its final report was dedicated to the question of what was accomplished with regards to this aim and what further research is required. It relates two insights: Nanotechnologies intensify the ambivalence of ongoing, long-term developments; and yet, our intuitions and received story-lines fail us as a (...) guide to ethical and political matters concerning nanotechnologies. (shrink)
Since it is now broadly acknowledged that ethics should receive early consideration in discourse on emerging technologies, ethical debates tend to flourish even while new fields of technology are still in their infancy. Such debates often liberally mix existing applications with technologies in the pipeline and far-reaching visions. This paper analyses the problems associated with this use of ethics as “preparatory” research, taking discourse on human enhancement in general and on pharmaceutical cognitive enhancement in particular as an example. The paper (...) will outline and discuss the gap between the scientific and technological state of the art and the ethical debates, pointing out epistemic problems in this context. Furthermore, it will discuss the future role of genuine ethical reflection in discourse on human enhancement, arguing also that such discourse needs to include a technology assessment—in the broad sense of the term—which encompasses, inter alia, anthropological perspectives and aspects of social theory. (shrink)
For Bering, appreciating that people are objects is a developmental accomplishment. Baldwin and Piaget agree. However, for Piaget, an immanent conception of the divine is more developed than a separate transcendent God. Culture also matters. In Plato's Phaedo, Socrates' belief in immortality was a reasoned conclusion – not “built in” – for reasons similar to those still held by modern scientists.
I agree with Thomas & Karmiloff-Smith (T&K-S) in their critique of Residual Normality. However, first-person data must be integrated into their account of neurobiological development of disabilities. Furthermore, psychological development itself is not only about an individual’ brain and how it interacts with the world; rather, development depends crucially on the sociocultural context in which (normal and abnormal) children develop.
O propósito deste ensaio é o de investigar as razões pelas quais a educação de Alcibíades por Sócrates não é tão exitosa quanto a educação de Sócrates por Diotima. Em outras palavras: qual é o motivo da derrota de Sócrates enquanto educador? Segundo a minha interpretação, enquanto Sócrates aprende de Diotima a scala amoris com a separação ontológica entre entidades materiais e imateriais, isto é, ideais, Alcibíades não recebe esta mesma teoria de Sócrates. A falta deste conhecimento (isto é, dos (...) princípios metafísicos do platonismo) é a razão pela qual Alcibíades pode propor a Sócrates a troca da verdade (isto é, da verdadeira virtude) pela opinião (a beleza corporal). (shrink)
The history of the science of consciousness is difficult to trace because it involves an ongoing debate over the aims involved in the study of consciousness that historically engaged people working in a variety of different, often overlapping, philosophical projects. At least three main aims of these different projects can be identified: (1) providing an ultimate foundation for natural science; (2) providing an empirical study of experience; and (3) promoting human well-being by relieving suffering and encouraging human flourishing. Each of (...) these aims has its own problems and its own methods for solving them that endorse different epistemic virtues characteristic of science in different historical periods through a variety of ‘styles of science’. (shrink)
This article looks at three historical efforts to coordinate the scientific study of biological and cultural aspects of human consciousness into a single comprehensive theory of human development that includes the evolution of the human body, cultural evolution and personal development: specifically, the research programs of Wilhelm Wundt, Lev Vygotsky and Albert Bandura. The lack of historical relations between these similar efforts is striking, and suggests that the effort to promote cultural and personal sources of consciousness arises as a natural (...) foil to an overemphasis on the biological basis of consciousness, sometimes associated with biological determinism. (shrink)