Blackmore and Rose (1997) reported an experiment designed to examine the operation of psi when reality and imagination were confused. The original experiment used a situation in which participants were encouraged to generate false memories of common household objects. The topic of false memory is highly relevant to parapsychologists and psychical researchers in two ways. First, it may be the case that psi lurks in this borderline between reality and imagination. There are abundant examples of phenomena that appear (...) to utilise such a confusion: spontaneous cases, which often involve “realistic dreams,” lucid dreams, false awakenings, hypnagogic images, waking imagery, and sleep paralysis; and states in which reality and imagination are often confused. The occult traditions, for example, shamanistic traditions that entail the use of drugs and sensory deprivation to induce altered states of consciousness in which imagery is enhanced, and experienced journeys are interpreted as real excursions. Finally, laboratory psi techniques, for example, the use of hypnosis or encouraging imagery to arise unbidden, can also be thought of as utilising this kind of confusion. Alternatively, confusions between reality and imagination can represent a serious problem for parapsychologists and psychical researchers who often have to rely on eyewitness reports of spontaneous, ostensibly psychic, or paranormal events. The fact that the investigation of.. (shrink)
This book offers an historical and critical guide to the concepts of the post-modern and the post-industrial. It brings admirable clarity and thoroughness to a discussion of the many different uses made of the term post-modern across a number of different disciplines (including literature, architecture, art history, philosophy, anthropology and geography). It also analyses the concept of the post-industrial society to which the concept of the post-modern has often been related. Dr Rose discusses the work of many theorists in (...) the area, including Hassan, Lyotard, Jameson and the architectural historian Charles Jencks, and also looks at analyses and uses of the concepts of the post-modern and post-industrial by Frampton, Portoghesi, Peter Fuller and others. (shrink)
In Mourning Becomes the Law, Gillian Rose takes us beyond the impasse of post-modernism or 'despairing rationalism withour reason'. Arguing that the post-modern search for a 'new ethics' and ironic philosophy are incoherent, she breathes new life into the debates concerning power and domination, transcendence and eternity. Mourning Becomes the Law is the philosophical counterpart to Gillian Rose's highly acclaimed memoir Love's Work. She extends similar clarity and insight to discussions of architecture, cinema, painting and poetry, through which (...) relations between the formation of the individual and the theory of justice are connected. At the heart of this reconnection lies a reflection on the significance of the Holocaust and Judaism. Mourning Becomes the Law reinvents the classical analogy of the soul, the city and the sacred. It returns philosophy, Nietzsche's 'bestowing virtue', to the pulse of our intellectual and political culture. (shrink)
In Life Beyond the Gene, Steven Rose offers a theory of life which insists that we as humans -- and indeed all living creatures -- create our own futures, though in circumstances not of our own choosing. Placing the organism at the center of life, Rose confronts the ideology of reductionism and ultra-Darwinism, with its insistence that all aspects of human life from sexual preference to infanticide, political orientation to violence, male domination to alcoholism, are in our genes (...) and are the inevitable consequences of natural selection. These claims, Rose asserts, are not only socially naive, but fundamentally misunderstand the active and irreducible nature of living processes. Rose argues that life depends on the elaborate web of interactions that occur within cells, organisms, and ecosystems, in which DNA has one part to play. From early in their development, living organisms have to be capable of quasi-independent existence while growing to maturity. If we are to understand life, we must recapture an understanding of the entire living organism and its trajectory through time and space. Rose calls these trajectories lifelines. Provocative and incisive, Life Beyond the Gene provides a compelling response to those enthusiasts of the gene who would deny the complexity of life. (shrink)
Reductionism--understanding complex processes by breaking them into simpler elements--dominates scientific thinking around the world and has certainly proved a powerful tool, leading to major discoveries in every field of science. But reductionism can be taken too far, especially in the life sciences, where sociobiological thinking has bordered on biological determinism. Thus popular science writers such as Richard Dawkins, author of the highly influential The Selfish Gene, can write that human beings are just "robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish (...) molecules known as genes." Indeed, for many in science, genes have become the fundamental unit for understanding human existence: genes determine every aspect of our lives, from personal success to existential despair: genes for health and illness, genes for criminality, violence, and sexual orientation. Others would say that this is reductionism with a vengeance. In Lifelines, biologist Steven Rose offers a powerful alternative to the ultradarwinist claims of Dawkins, E.O. Wilson, Daniel Dennett and others. Rose argues against an extreme reductionist approach that would make the gene the key to understanding human nature, in favor of a more complex and richer vision of life. He urges instead that we focus on the organism and in particular on the organism's lifeline: the trajectory it takes through time and space. Our personal lifeline, Rose points out, is unique--even identical twins, with identical genes at birth, will differ over time. These differences are obviously not embedded in our genes, but come about through our developmental trajectory in which genes, as part of the biochemical orchestra of trillions of cells in each human body, have an important part--but only a part--to play. To illustrate this idea, Rose examines recent research in modern biology, and especially two disciplines--genetics (which looks at the impact of genes on form) and developmental biology (which examines the interaction between the organism and the environment)--and he explores new ideas on biological complexity proposed by scientists such as Stuart Kauffman. He shows how our lifelines are constructed through the interplay of physical forces--such as the intrinsic chemistry of lipids and proteins, and the self-organizing and stabilizing properties of complex metabolic webs--and he reaches a startling conclusion: that organisms are active players in their own fate, not simply the playthings of the gods, nature, or the inevitable workings out of gene-driven natural selection. The organism is both the weaver and the pattern it weaves. Lifelines will be a rallying point for all who seek an alternative to the currently fashionable, deeply determinist accounts which dominate popular science writing and, in fact, crowd the pages of some of the major scientific journals. Based on solid, state-of-the-art research, it not only makes important contributions to our understanding of Darwin and natural selection, but will swing the pendulum back to a richer, more complex view of human nature and of life. (shrink)
Arguments about the discursive shaping of our inner lives explain the shaping powers of normalising forces on individual and collective social action, but, I argue here, do not adequately account for the actions of those who choose to follow alternative ways of being. Meta- Reality brings into this picture those aspects of being that are ‘beyond language’, and theorises human consciousness as stratified. I argue that it provides a fuller theoretical explanation for the motivations of five contemporary British visual artists. (...) Drawing on a discourse analysis, I explore why these artists go against the current stream of consumerist and work norms in order to find the time to make art. I summarise and compare Rose’s theory of a multiple interior self formed through our active participation in specific social processes with Bhaskar’s theory of individual uniqueness at a level of consciousness that also connects us to all others. (shrink)
: This project draws on scholarship of feminist and womanist scholars, and on results of interviews with scientists currently involved in molecular genetics. With reference to Margaret Urban Walker's "practices of moral responsibility," the social practices of molecular geneticists are explored, and strategies identified through which scientists negotiate their moral responsibilities. The implications of this work for scientists and for feminists are discussed.
As more and more firms operate globally, an understanding of the effects of cultural differences on ethical decision making becomes increasingly important for avoiding potential business pitfalls and for designing effective international marketing management programs. Although several articles have addressed this area in general, differences along specific, cultural dimensions have not been directly examined. Hence, the purpose of this study was to examine differences in ethical decision making within Hofstede's cultural framework. The results confirm the utility of Hofstede's cultural dimensions (...) and place ethical decision making within an overall theoretical framework. Sales agents from a high power distance, uncertainty avoidant, Confucian, collectivist culture (i.e., Taiwan) placed more value on company and fellow employee interests (vis-à-vis self interests) than did managers from a masculine, individualistic culture (i.e., the United States). American and Taiwanese managers did not differ in their deontological norms or on the importance that they placed on customer interests. The theoretical and managerial importance of these findings are also discussed. (shrink)
For the last several decades, philosophers have wrestled with the proper place of religion in liberal societies. Usually, the debates among these philosophers have started with the articulation of various conceptions of liberalism and then proceeded to locate religion in the context of these conceptions. In the process, however, too little attention has been paid to the way religion is conceived. Drawing on the work of Robert Audi and Nicholas Wolterstorff, two scholars who are often read as holding opposing (...) views on these issues, I argue that, for the purposes of their argument about liberalism, both have implicitly accepted a concept of religion that has come under severe attack in recent work on the subject. Namely, they have accepted a concept of religion that identifies religion primarily with belief, ritual practice, and ecclesial institutions. Following recent scholarship, I suggest that religion is better conceived as a kind of culture. To conclude the essay, I gesture toward what the beginnings of a re-visioned debate about religion and liberal society might look like if one started from this revised conception of religion. (shrink)
Section 1 of this essay distinguishes between four interpretations of Socratic intellectualism, which are, very roughly: (1) a version in which on any given occasion desire, and then action, is determined by what we think will turn out best for us, that being what we all, always, really desire; (2) a version in which on any given occasion action is determined by what we think will best satisfy our permanent desire for what is really best for us; (3) a version (...) formed by the assimilation of (2) to (1), labelled the ‘standard’ version’ by Thomas C. Brickhouse and Nicholas D. Smith, and treated by them as a single alternative to their own interpretation; and (4) Brickhouse and Smith’s own version. Section 2 considers, in particular, Brickhouse and Smith’s handling of the ‘appetites and passions’, which is the most distinctive feature of interpretation (4). Section 3 discusses Brickhouse and Smith’s defence of ‘Socratic studies’ in its historical context, and assesses the contribution made by their distinctive interpretation of ‘the philosophy of Socrates’. One question raised in this section, and one that is clearly fundamental to the existence of ‘Socratic studies’, is how different Brickhouse and Smith’s Socrates turns out to be from Plato himself, i.e., the Plato of the post-‘Socratic’ dialogues; to which the answer offered is that on Brickhouse and Smith’s interpretation Socratic moral psychology becomes rather less distinguishable from its ‘Platonic’ counterpart—as that is currently understood—than it is on the interpretation(s) they oppose. (shrink)
In response to the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Nicholas of Cusa wrote De pace fidei defending a commitment to religious tolerance on the basis of the notion that all diverse rites are but manifestations of one true religion. Drawing on a discussion of why Nicholas of Cusa is unable to square the two objectives of arguing for pluralistic tolerance and explaining the contents of the one true faith, we outline why theological pluralism is compromised by its own (...) meta-exclusivism. (shrink)
Gillian Rose was a philosopher, social theorist, memoirist, and Jewish convert to Christianity who died an untimely death in 1995. She offers a novel account of faith, which grows out of her Hegelian philosophical background inflected by her reading of Kierkegaard and her rediscovered Jewish heritage. For Rose, faith is a mode of social practice. Rose's conception of faith is here reconstructed by translating her obscure jurisprudential idiom into the language of social practices and norms. The conception (...) of secular faith developed by Rose is shown to have implications for contemporary discussions of ethics and politics. The contemporary relevance of Rose's work is made clear through comparison with recent work by Robert Brandom, Robert Adams, and Patrick Deneen. (shrink)
This introduction sets the stage for four papers on Nicholas Wolterstorff's Justice: Rights and Wrongs , written by Harold Attridge, Oliver O'Donovan, Richard Bernstein, and myself. In his book, Wolterstorff defends an account of human rights. The first section of this introduction distinguishes Wolterstorff's account of rights from the alternative account of rights against which he contends. The alternative account draws much of its power from a historical narrative according to which theory and politics supplanted earlier ways of thinking (...) about justice. The second section sketches that narrative and Wolterstorff's counter-narrative. The third section draws together the main points of Wolterstorff's own account. (shrink)
This paper is a reaction to the book “Science and the Pursuit of Wisdom”, whose central concern is the philosophy of Nicholas Maxwell. I distinguish and discuss three concerns in Maxwell’s philosophy. The first is his critique of standard empiricism (SE) in the philosophy of science, the second his defense of aim-oriented rationality (AOR), and the third his philosophy of mind. I point at some problematic aspects of Maxwell’s rebuttal of SE and of his philosophy of mind and argue (...) in favor of AOR. (shrink)
Nicholas Wolterstorff: Practices of belief: selected essays, volume 2 (Terence Cuneo, ed.) Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 255-258 DOI 10.1007/s11153-011-9287-4 Authors Scott A. Davison, Philosophy Program, Morehead State University, 150 University Blvd., 354A Rader Hall, Morehead, KY 40351, USA Journal International Journal for Philosophy of Religion Online ISSN 1572-8684 Print ISSN 0020-7047 Journal Volume Volume 70 Journal Issue Volume 70, Number 3.
Ever since Ernst Cassirer in his epochal book Individuum und Kosmos in der Philosophie der Renaissance1 labeled Nicholas of Cusa “the first modern thinker,” interest in Cusa’s thought has burgeoned. At various times, both before and after Cassirer, Nicholas has been viewed as a forerunner of Leibniz,2 a harbinger of Kant,3 a prefigurer of Hegel,4 indeed, as an anticipator of the whole of..
We are in a state of impending crisis. And the fault lies in part with academia. For two centuries or so, academia has been devoted to the pursuit of knowledge and technological know-how. This has enormously increased our power to act which has, in turn, brought us both all the great benefits of the modern world and the crises we now face. Modern science and technology have made possible modern industry and agriculture, the explosive growth of the world’s population, global (...) warming, modern armaments and the lethal character of modern warfare, destruction of natural habitats and rapid extinction of species, immense inequalities of wealth and power across the globe, pollution of earth, sea and air, even the aids epidemic (aids being spread by modern travel). All these global problems have arisen because some of us have acquired unprecedented powers to act, via science and technology, without also acquiring the capacity to act wisely. (shrink)
Nicholas Maxwell takes on the ambitious project of explaining, both epistemologically and metaphysically, the physical universe and human existence within it. His vision is appealing; he unites the physical and the personal by means of the concepts of aim and value, which he sees as the keys to explaining traditional physical puzzles. Given the current popularity of theories of goal-oriented dynamical systems in biology and cognitive science, this approach is timely. But a large vision requires firm and nuanced arguments (...) to support it. Here Maxwell's work is weakest; his arguments for contingent mind-body identity and for free will, on which his larger theory depends, are inadequate. The book is valuable both for its comprehensive view of the human condition and its mysteries, and for its demonstration of the difficulties in making such a view coherent. (shrink)
I argue that Nicholas of Cusa agrees with Thomas Aquinas on the metaphysics of analogy in God, but differs on epistemology, taking a Platonic position against Aquinas’ Aristotelianism. As a result Cusa has to rethink Thomas’ solution to the problem of discourse about God. In De docta ignorantia he uses the mathematics of the infinite as a clue to the relations between a thing and its Measure and this allows him, he thinks, to adapt Aquinas’ approach to the problem (...) of his own epistemology. The resulting approach, I maintain, is coherent and reasonable if the metaphysical views behind it are. (shrink)
Three problems are raised for Nicholas Georgalis’s recent work: (1) a problem with regard to the supposed noninferential knowledge of minimal content, (2) a problem with the “necessary condition” Georgalis stipulates for the legitimate application of a first-person methodology to a science of the mind, and (3) a problem with regard to denying phenomenal content to intentional acts.
This article explores the conviction that the durability of communities is contingent, at least in part, on the conception of reason in play. It proposes that prospects for building and sustaining community areenhanced to the degree that rationalistic theories of rationality are rejected. The resulting equivocation in the processes of rule-making, moral thinking, analysis, and critique, while problematic, will bepreferable to the alternative and caricatured approaches premised on a strong division between reason and its so-called others. This desirable equivocation involves (...) an analysis of the role of trust in human relations and a revised conception of reason developed by philosopher and social critic Gillian Rose (1947–1995). Through an analysis of Rose’s commentary on the folk legend of Camelot and the phenomenology of friendship, this article tries to show how relations constrained by alterity can be transformed. (shrink)
This volume not only provides the first critical edition with an English translation of the famous correspondence of Nicholas of Autrecourt (c. 1300-1369), but also an assessment of his views and the views of those to whom the letters were ...
On October 11, 2003, the Talk Reason website posted an article by Nicholas Matzke titled "Evolution in (Brownian) Space: A Model for the Origin of the Bacterial Flagellum" (http://www.talkreason.org/articles/flagellum.cfm). Talk Reason advertises itself as a website that presents a collection of articles which aim to defend genuine science from numerous attempts by the new crop of creationists to replace it with theistic pseudo-science under various disguises and names." The most obvious target here is intelligent design. Indeed, Matzke's article attempts (...) to rebut one of the main challenges that intelligent design has raised against Darwinian evolution, namely, how to explain the emergence of irreducibly complex biochemical machines like the bacterial flagellum. (shrink)
http://www.cla.umn.edu/jhopkins/ Taken together, twenty-four of these works constitute Nicholas of Cusa’s complete philosophical and theological treatises. They must be supplemented by studying his richly conceptual sermons, along with his ecclesiological and exegetical writings such as De Concordantia Catholica and Coniectura de Ultimis Diebus. His mathematical writings are also of interest, even though they are not of lasting importance, as Gottfried Leibniz rightly recognized.
Like any important philosophical work, De Docta Ignorantia cannot be understood by merely being read: it must be studied. For its main themes are so profoundly innovative that their author's exposition of them could not have anticipated, and therefore taken measures to prevent, all the serious misunderstandings which were likely to arise. Moreover, the themes are so extensively interlinked that a misunderstanding of any one of them will serve to obscure all the others as well. In such case, the mental (...) effort required of the reader-who-interprets must approximate the effort expended by the author-who- instructs. No words are more self-condemning than are those of John Wenck, at the conclusion of whose critique of De Docta Ignorantia we read: “Et sic est finis scriptis cursorie Heydelberg”: “And this is the end to what was written cursorily at Heidelberg.”1 Nicholas has not made his reader's task easy. For in spite of his claim to have explained matters “as clearly as I could” and to have avoided “all roughness of style,” many of his points escape even the diligent reader, since the explanation for them is either too condensed, or else too barbarously expressed, to be assuredly followed. And yet, from out of the vagueness, the ambiguity, the amphiboly, the enthymematic movement of thought, there emerges—for a reader patient enough to solliciter doucement les textes—an internally coherent pattern of reasoning. The present translation of this reasoning aims above all at accuracy.2 To this end the rendering is literal, though with no deliberate sacrifice of literate English expression. Only a literal translation (but not word for word) permits the subtle twists and turns of Nicholas's arguments to shine forth.3 The earlier, radically inaccurate rendering by Germain Heron (1954) distorts Nicholas's arguments— and thus belies history by making the author of De Docta Ignorantia appear as someone mindlessly unable to develop even the semblance of a systematic line of thought.. (shrink)
Stephen Rose's formulation of evolutionary theory is too scattered and impressionistic to serve as a genuine alternative to ultra- Darwinism. In addition, he has muddied a distinction that is crucial to our understanding of evolutionary phenomenona – the distinction between homologies and homoplasies.
Lifelines by Steven Rose is supposed to present a new perspective on biology replacing an emphasis on genes with one on organisms. However, much of the book is a highly biased critique of sociobiology and behavior genetics. Some of the flaws in Rose's description and depiction of these fields are presented and refuted. Also, it would appear that these aspects of the book and many others are, in fact, related more to Rose's perennial concern for the ideology, (...) social origins or social consequences of behavioral biology. These concerns are, I believe based, in part, upon Rose's misunderstandings and misinterpretations of genetics, behavior genetics, and sociobiology. (shrink)
Nicholas Maxwell’s project, among others the character of its philosophical foundations, the notion of wisdom, and its radical post-Enlightenment scientism are discussed, and some doubts regard to it are presented. Above all, it is argued that Maxwell’s proposal of the establishing of world confederations of scientists standing above governments might lead to a totalitarian system.