In contemporary literature, the fact that there is negative causation is the primary motivation for rejecting the physical connection view, and arguing for alternative accounts of causation. In this paper we insist that such a conclusion is too fast. We present two frameworks, which help the proponent of the physical connection view to resist the anti-connectionist conclusion. According to the first framework, there are positive causal claims, which co-refer with at least some negative causal claims. According to (...) the second framework, negative causal claims are generated from mapping and comparing different scenarios, which can fully be accounted for in purely positive terms. Since the positive causal claims evoked by both frameworks pose no obvious difficulties for the physical connection view, these frameworks make it possible for the connectionists to accommodate negative causal claims into their theory. Once these strategies are available, the connectionists become able to render all the arguments starting from the observation that there are negative causal claims in our causal discourse inconclusive with regard to the viability of the physical connection view. (shrink)
In World Poverty and Human Rights, Thomas Pogge argues that the global rich have a duty to eradicate severe poverty in the world. The novelty of Pogges approach is to present this demand as stemming from basic commands which are negative rather than positive in nature: the global rich have an obligation to eradicate the radical poverty of the global poor not because of a norm of beneficence asking them to help those in need when they can at (...) little cost to themselves, but because of their having violated a principle of justice not to unduly harm others by imposing on them a coercive global order that makes their access to the objects of their human right to subsistence insecure. In this paper, I claim that although Pogge is right in arguing that negative duties are crucial in an account of global justice, he is wrong in saying that they are the only ones that are crucial. Harming the global poor by causing their poverty provides a sufficient but not a necessary condition for the global rich to have a duty of justice to assist them. After engaging in a critical analysis of Pogges argument, I conclude by suggesting the need for a robust conception of cosmopolitan solidarity that includes positive duties of assistance which are not mere duties of charity, but enforceable ones of justice. (shrink)
Previous research has demonstrated that the use of emotion regulation strategies can vary by sociocultural context. In a previous study, we reported changes in the use of two different emotion regulation strategies at an annual alternative cultural event, Burning Man (McRae, Heller, John, & Gross, 2011). In this sociocultural context, as compared to home, participants reported less use of expressive suppression (a strategy generally associated with maladaptive outcomes), and greater use of cognitive reappraisal (a strategy associated with adaptive outcomes). What (...) remained unclear was whether these changes in self-reported emotion regulation strategy use were characterized by changes in the regulation of positive emotion, negative emotion, or both. We addressed this issue in the current study by asking Burning Man participants separate questions about positive and negative emotion. Using multiple datasets, we not only replicated our previous findings, but also found that the decreased use of suppression is primarily driven by reports of decreased suppression of positive emotion at Burning Man. By contrast, the reported increased use of reappraisal is not characterized by differential reappraisal of positive and negative emotion at Burning Man. Moreover, we observed novel individual differences in the magnitude of these effects. The contextual changes in self-reported suppression that we report are strongest for men and younger participants. For those who had previously attended Burning Man, we observed lower levels of self-reported suppression in both sociocultural contexts: Burning Man and home. These findings have implications for understanding the ways in which certain sociocultural contexts may decrease suppression, and possibly minimize its associated maladaptive effects. (shrink)
In this paper, using a multilevel approach, we defend the positive role of natural selection in the generation of organismal form. Despite the currently widespread opinion that natural selection only plays a negative role in the evolution of form, we argue, in contrast, that the Darwinian factor is a crucial (but not exclusive) factor in morphological organization. Analyzing some classic arguments, we propose incorporating the notion of ‘downward causation’ into the concept of ‘natural selection.’ In our opinion, this (...) kind of causation is fundamental to the operation of selection as a creative evolutionary process. (shrink)
Negative facts get a bad press. One reason for this is that it is not clear what negative facts are. We provide a theory of negative facts on which they are no stranger than positive atomic facts. We show that none of the usual arguments hold water against this account. Negative facts exist in the usual sense of existence and conform to an acceptable Eleatic principle. Furthermore, there are good reasons to want them around, including (...) their roles in causation, chance-making and truth-making, and in constituting holes and edges. (shrink)
Substantial metaphysical theory has long struggled with the question of negative facts, facts capable of making it true that Valerie isn’t vigorous. This paper argues that there is an elegant solution to these problems available to anyone who thinks that there are positive facts. Bradley’s regress and considerations of ontological parsimony show that an object’s having a property is an affair internal to the object and the property, just as numerical identity and distinctness are internal to the entities (...) that are numerically identical or distinct. For the same reasons, an object’s lacking a property must be an affair internal to the object and the property. Negative facts will thus be part of any ontology of positive facts. (shrink)
In the current debate about healthcare reform in the USA, advocates for government-ensured universal coverage assume that health care is a right. Although this position is politically popular, it is sometimes challenged by a restricted view of rights popular with libertarians and individualists. The restricted view of rights only accepts ‘negative’ rights as legitimate rights. Negative rights, the argument goes, place no obligations on you to provide goods to other people and thus respect your right to keep the (...) fruits of your labour. A classic enumeration of negative rights includes life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Positive rights, by contrast, obligate you either to provide goods to others, or pay taxes that are used for redistributive purposes. Health care falls into the category of positive rights since its provision by the government requires taxation and therefore redistribution. Therefore, the libertarian or individualist might argue that health care cannot be a true right. This paper rejects the distinction between positive and negative rights. In fact, the protection of both positive and negative rights can place obligations on others. Furthermore, because of its role in helping protect equality of opportunity, health care can be tied to the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. There is, therefore, good reason to believe that health care is a human right and that universal access should be guaranteed. The practical application, by governments and non-governmental organisations, of several of the arguments presented in this paper is also discussed. (shrink)
Several of Krueger & Funder's (K&F's) suggestions may promote more balanced social cognition research, but reconsidered null hypothesis statistical testing (NHST) is not one of them. Although NHST has primarily supported negative conclusions, this is simply because most conclusions have been negative. NHST can support positive, negative, and even balanced conclusions. Better NHST practices would benefit psychology, but would not alter the balance between positive and negative approaches.
This article offers a new scheme of the relation between positive and negative freedom that is based on a retrieval of T. H. Green's theory of freedom and on further reconstructions of his theory. Some of the distinctions in the literature have proven difficult to sustain, and this has resulted in a weakening of the dichotomy in principle, and of the concepts of positive and negative freedom independently of each other. The main distinction between negative (...) and positive freedom offered here is based on the relation of freedom to the will. We have two kinds of freedom, in both our private and social spheres, because there are two types of goods that we, as human beings, pursue: ordinary and moral. This distinction proves to be sustainable, manages to explain the antagonistic nature of the two concepts, and provides grounds for the support of the two kinds of freedom in their own right. (shrink)
According to the truthmaker theory that we favour, all contingent truths are made true by existing facts or states of affairs. But if that is so, then it appears that we must accept the existence of the negative facts that are required to make negative truths (such as 'There is no hippopotamus in the room.') true. We deny the existence of negative facts, show how negative truths are made true by positive facts, point out where (...) the (reluctant) advocates of negative facts (Russell, Armstrong, et al.) went wrong, and demonstrate the superiority of our solution to the alternatives. (shrink)
In this chapter, we discuss the distribution and lexical properties of common varieties of negative polarity items (NPIs) and positive polarity items (PPIs). We establish first that NPIs can be licensed in negative, downward entailing, and nonveridical environments. Then we examine if the scalarity approach (originating in Kadmon and Landman 1993) can handle the attested NPI distribution and empirical variation. By positing a unitary lexical source for NPIs—widening, plus EVEN— scalarity fails to capture the fact that a (...) significant number of NPIs are not scalar, and does not predict correctly NPI distribution in nonveridical contexts. It also misses the variation within the scalar class between broader (any) and narrow NPIs (either). Finally, scalarity predicts weaker effects (contradictions, presupposition failures) with ill-formed NPIs than is actually the case. The variation approach (Giannakidou 1998, 2001, 2007), on the other hand, posits that besides scalarity, NPIs can be created because of the presence of a variable in the NPI that cannot be interpreted deictically. This approach, by allowing more lexical sources for NPIs, is consistent with the diversity of NPIs, and extends easily to PPIs, which, as a class, appear to be non-scalar (Szabolcsi 2004 for some). Here one can again advance the argument that PPI-status is due to various sources including referentiality (some), and speaker commitment (with PPI adverbs; Ernst 2008). (shrink)
Acts of criticism characteristically display a negative and a positive dimension. I undertake a qualified defense of the thesis that both dimensions are essential, at least in the case of logical criticism – criticism that relies either implicitly or explicitly on the resources of logic. Such criticism presupposes at least a minimal grasp on what is involved in ‘getting it right’ in the domain that is subjected to critique. In making the case I distinguish between positive and (...)negative logic. Traditional logic is positive insofar as it takes as primitive a positive notion, typically truth. I consider to what extent logic might be reconstructed on an exclusively negative basis – as a tool for avoiding falsity and fallacy. Negative logic faces serious obstacles which suggest a prima facie case that logical criticism is essentially, not just accidentally, positive. (shrink)
There has been a new reception and revival of interest in the Pseudo-Dionysius both in popular and academic circles, which has impacted Thomistic scholarship. Scholars roughly from the time of Vatican II have stressed the importance of Pseudo-Dionysius to Thomistic thought, in reaction to a previous emphasis on the ‘Aristotelian’ and analytic aspects of Thomistic thought. Whilst this approach uncovered a largely neglected area, the converse now appears to be the case: the Dionysian influence on Thomas is disproportionately exaggerated, leading (...) to a false identification of the two thinkers. This paper argues that whereas the negative theology of Pseudo-Dionysius entailed the unknowability of God as the One beyond language, concept and being, Thomas developed a ‘positive apophaticism’ that transformed Denys in light of Augustine, Aristotle and, most importantly, Scripture itself.I first trace the roots of apophaticism showing how neo-Platonism leads to equivocal God-talk and why Aquinas goes further than Dionysius in his rejection of equivocity. I then show how the unknowability of God taught by Dionysius is qualified by Thomas through his teaching on the ‘quidditative’ knowledge in the next life and through the doctrine of analogy in the present life that makes possible the naming of God using positive ‘perfection terms.’The primary perfection term is Being which, in contrast to the Dionysian God ‘beyond being,’ applies to God literally and pre-eminently. This has implications for epistemology since, as Aristotle showed, knowledge and rational discourse are grounded in Being. The reason Denys' theology leads to an absolute unknowing is because He denies that God is identical with Being, whereas Aquinas' metaphysics, while denying univocal being, retains true speech about God, including logical discourse by analogy.I finally explain how in spite of believing Dionysius to be a first century apostolic convert, Thomas was able to transform his teaching because of presuppositions regarding the authority of Scripture that he interprets in light of Augustine, Aristotle and a developing understanding of a ‘literal’ sense that stands in contrast to the ‘anagogical’ hermeneutic of Dionysius. This results in an undermining of Dionysian elitism that anticipates the work of the Reformers, beginning with John Wyclif. In the contemporary context, Thomas' ‘positive apophaticism’ offers a powerful resource for addressing an increasingly agnostic culture. (shrink)
The notion of the rational closure of a positive knowledge base K of conditional assertions | (standing for if then normally ) was first introduced by Lehmann (1989) and developed by Lehmann and Magidor (1992). Following those authors we would also argue that the rational closure is, in a strong sense, the minimal information, or simplest, rational consequence relation satisfying K. In practice, however, one might expect a knowledge base to consist not just of positive conditional assertions, | (...) , but also negative conditional assertions, i (standing for not if then normally . Restricting ourselves to a finite language we show that the rational closure still exists for satisfiable knowledge bases containing both positive and negative conditional assertions and has similar properties to those exhibited in Lehmann and Magidor (1992). In particular an algorithm in Lehmann and Magidor (1992) which constructs the rational closure can be adapted to this case and yields, in turn, completeness theorems for the conditional assertions entailed by such a mixed knowledge base. (shrink)
I explore how many within modern industrial societies currently understand, manage, and respond to their emotional suffering. I argue that this understanding and management of suffering has radically altered in the last 30 years, creating a new model of suffering, “the negative model” (suffering is purposeless), which has largely replaced the “positive model” (suffering is purposeful) that prevailed in the 18th and 19th centuries. This shift has been hastened by what I call the “rationalization of suffering”—namely, the process (...) by which suffering is predominantly now understood in biological and psychiatric terms rather than in religious, philosophical, or moral. This process accompanied the great forces of secularization, medicalization unleashed at the enlightenment—forces gaining their modern expression through psychiatry, the behavioral psychotherapies, the happiness industries, as well as through aggressive market, individualistic, medical, and positivistic ideas and movements. This shift has entailed many socio/cultural implications important for anthropologists to explore further. (shrink)
relative to the actual world) of a propositional theory are defined. A theory is ‘closer to the truth’ the logically stronger its positive content and the logically weaker its negative content. This proposal delivers the same verisimilar preordering of theories that has been defined by Brink and Heidema as a ‘power ordering’. The preordering may be collapsed to a partial ordering and then embedded into a complete distributive lattice. The preordering may also be refined to a partial ordering (...) by employing the ‘convex content’ and the ‘non-convex content’ of each theory. Philosophical implications and historical relations are discussed. (shrink)
The logic of proofs was introduced by Artemov in order to analize the formalization of the concept of proof rather than the concept of provability. In this context, some operations on proofs play a very important role. In this paper, we investigate some very natural operations, paying attention not only to positive information, but also to negative information (i.e. information saying that something cannot be a proof). We give a formalization for a fragment of such a logic of (...) proofs, and we prove that our fragment is complete and decidable. (shrink)
It is shown that in every gauge the potential of the electromagnetic field in the presence of sources is resolved by an extension of the Helmholtz theorem into a solenoidal component and an irrotational component irrelevant for description of the field. Only irrotational components are affected by gauge transformations; in Coulomb gauge the irrotational component vanishes: the potential is solenoidal. The method of solution of the wave equation by use of positive- and negative-frequency parts is extended to solutions (...) of D'Alembert's equation, and applied to equations satisfied by the potential in Coulomb gauge and the electric and magnetic vectors. Fourier transforms of potentials specifying destruction/creation operators become time dependent in the presence of sources. Our central equation states this time dependence. Frequency parts of Maxwell's equations are obtained. When the retarded potential in Coulomb gauge is resolved into kinetic and dissipative components, the latter is shown to be in radiation gauge. Correspondingly, the energy/stress tensor is resolved into three components; the power/force density, into two: a kinetic and a dissipative component. Work done by the latter component is negative: energy and momentum are dissipated from matter to radiation. Boson quantization conditions are satisfied by the kinetic component of the retarded potential, but commutators of the dissipative component are determined by the current sources. The energy/stress tensor and Hamiltonian of the field in the presence of sources are derived from the classical Lagrangian density. The relation between the Hamiltonian and the energy is shown to agree with the time dependence of the destruction/creation operators in Heisenberg picture. (shrink)
The infinite time Turing machine analogue of Post's problem, the question whether there are semi-decidable supertask degrees between 0 and the supertask jump 0∇, has in a sense both positive and negative solutions. Namely, in the context of the reals there are no degrees between 0 and 0∇, but in the context of sets of reals, there are; indeed, there are incomparable semi-decidable supertask degrees. Both arguments employ a kind of transfinite-injury construction which generalizes canonically to oracles.
There are positiveviews towards use of science and technology in all Asian countries, and positiveviews towards use of enhancement in China, India and Thailand. After considering of the widespread use of cosmetic surgery and other body enhancements in Asian countries, and the generally positiveviews towards letting individuals make choices about improvement of themselves, the paper concludes that we can expect other enhancements to also be adopted rapidly in Asia. There will be (...) future ethical dilemmas emerging from this with concepts of preservation of nature, flow with nature, and definitions of human-ness, along with concepts of harmony and social justice. Japan is less willing to engage in genetic enhancement compared to China, India and Thailand, despite widespread cosmetic surgery across Asia. (shrink)
Recent research suggests that the cerebral correlates of cognitive deficits in schizophrenia are nested in the activity of widespread, inter-regional networks rather than being restricted to any specific brain location. One of the networks that have received focus lately is the default mode network. Parts of this network have been reported as hyper-activated in schizophrenia patients (SZ) during rest and during task performance compared to healthy controls (HC), although other parts have been found to be hypo-activated. In contrast to this (...) network, task-positive networks have been reported as hypo-activated compared in SZ during task performance. However, the results are mixed, with e.g. the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex showing both hyper-and hypo-activation in SZ. In this study we were interested in signal increase and decrease differences between a group of SZ and HC in cortical networks, assuming that the regulatory dynamics of alternating task-positive and task-negative neuronal processes are aberrant in SZ. We compared 31 SZ to age- and gender-matched HC, and used fMRI and independent component analysis in order to identify relevant networks. We selected the independent components with the largest signal intensity increases (STG, insula, SMA, ACC and MTG) and decreases (fusiform gyri, occipital lobe, PFC, cingulate, precuneus and angular gyrus) in response to a dichotic auditory cognitive task. These independent components were then tested for group differences. Our findings showed deficient up-regulation of the executive network and a corresponding deficit in the down-regulation of the anterior default mode network during task performance in SZ when compared with HC. These findings may indicate a deficit in the dynamics of alternating task-dependent and task-independent neuronal processes in SZ. The results may cast new light on the mechanisms underlying cognitive deficits in schizophrenia, and may be of relevance for diagnostics and new treatments. (shrink)
Existing research on the financial implications of corporate social responsibility (CSR) for firms has predominantly focused on positive aspects of CSR, overlooking that firms also undertake actions and initiatives that qualify as negative CSR. Moreover, studies in this area have not investigated how both positive and negative CSR affect the financial risk of firms. As such, in this research, the authors provide a framework linking both positive and negative CSR to idiosyncratic risk of firms. (...) While investigating these relationships, the authors also analyze the moderating role of financial leverage of firms. Overall, analysis of secondary information for firms from multiple industries over the years 2000–2009 shows that CSR has a significant effect on the idiosyncratic risk of firms, with positive CSR reducing risk and negative CSR increasing it. Results also show that the reduction in risk from positive CSR is not guaranteed, with firms having high levels of financial leverage witnessing lower idiosyncratic risk reduction. (shrink)
In chronic schizophrenic patients with both positive and negative symptoms (see Table 1), interhemispheric connections at the high frequency beta2-rhythm are absent during cognitive tasks, in contrast to normal controls, who have many interhemispheric connections at this frequency in the same situation. Connectivity is a fundamental brain feature, evidently greatly promoted by the NMDA system. It is a more reliable measure of brain function than the spectral power of this rhythm.
Increased and active involvement of multinational corporations in the promotion of social welfare, in developing countries in particular, through the facilitation of partnerships and cooperation with public and nonprofit sectors, challenges the existing framework of our social and political institutions, the boundaries of nation-states, the distinction between the private and public spheres of our lives, and thus our freedom. The blurring of certain distinctions, which ought to be observed between the political and the economic is most manifest in the gradual (...) saturation of the field of business ethics with rights-based arguments and analyses. In this article, I first argue against endorsing positive rights as having the same status as negative rights, and then try to demonstrate that, with the transportation of 'rights talk' into business ethics, the dangers of conflating positive and negative rights are superimposed on the dangers of conflating the private and the political. I conclude by presenting my own stance on the debate on what our basic institutionally sanctioned rights should be, and what the corresponding duties of multinational corporations really are. (shrink)
For many years controversy has surrounded the so-called ‘negative compatibility effect’ (NCE), a surprising phenomenon whereby responses to a target stimulus are delayed when the target is preceded by an unconscious, response-compatible prime. According to proponents of the ‘self-inhibition’ hypothesis, the NCE occurs when a low-level self-inhibitory mechanism supresses early motor activations that are no longer supported by perceptual evidence. This account has been debated, however, by those who regard the NCE to be a stimulus-specific phenomenon that can be (...) explained without recourse to a self-inhibitory mechanism. The present study used a novel reach-to-touch paradigm to test whether unconscious response priming would manifest as motor activation of the opposite-to-prime response (supporting mask-induced priming accounts), or motor inhibition of the primed response (supporting the notion of low-level self-inhibition). This paper presents new findings that show the emergence of positive and negative compatibility effects as they occur in stimulus processing time. Evidence is provided suggesting that the NCE is not driven by the activation of the incorrect, ‘opposite-to-prime’ response, but rather might reflect automatic motor inhibition. (shrink)
I argue that Colin Cheyne and Charles Pigden's recent attempt to find truthmakers for negative truths fails. Though Cheyne and Pigden are correct in their treatment of some of the truths they set out to find truthmakers for (such as 'There is no hippopotamus in S223' and 'Theatetus is not flying') they over-generalize when they apply the same treatment to 'There are no unicorns'. In my view, this difficulty is ineliminable: not every truth has a truthmaker.
It is only those who do not understand our people, who believe our national life is entirely absorbed by material motives. We make no concealment of the fact that we want wealth, but there are many other things we want much more. We want peace and honor, and that charity which is so strong an element of all civilization. The chief ideal of the American people is idealism. I cannot repeat too often that America is a nation of idealists.
The basis of having a direct moral obligation to an entity is that what we do to that entity matters to it. The ability to experience pain is a sufficient condition for a being to be morally considerable. But the ability to feel pain is not a necessary condition for moral considerability. Organisms could have possibly evolved so as to be motivated to flee danger or injury or to eat or drink not by pain, but by “pangs of pleasure” that (...) increase as one fills the relevant need or escapes the harm. In such a world, “mattering” would be positive, not negative, but would still be based in sentience and awareness. In our world, however, the “mattering” necessary to survival is negative—injuries and unfulfilled needs ramify in pain. But physical pain is by no means the only morally relevant mattering—fear, anxiety, loneliness, grief, certainly do not equate to varieties of physical pain, but are surely forms of “mattering.” An adequate morality towards animals would include a full range of possible matterings unique to each kind of animal, what I, following Aristotle, call “telos”. Sometimes not meeting other aspects of animal nature matter more to the animal than does physical pain. “Negative mattering” means all actions or events that harm animals—from frightening an animal to removing its young unnaturally early, to keeping it so it is unable to move or socialize. Physical pain is perhaps the paradigmatic case of “negative mattering”, but only constitutes a small part of what the concept covers. “Positive mattering” would of course encompass all states that are positive for the animal. An adequate ethic for animals takes cognizance of both kinds. The question arises as to how animals value death as compared with pain. Human cognition is such that it can value long-term future goals and endure short-run negative experiences for the sake of achieving them. In the case of animals, however, there is no evidence, either empirical or conceptual, that they have the capability to weigh future benefits or possibilities against current misery. We have no reason to believe that an animal can grasp the notion of extended life, let alone choose to trade current suffering for it. Pain may well be worse for animals than for humans, as they cannot rationalize its acceptance by appeal to future life without pain. How can we know that animals experience all or any of the negative or positive states we have enumerated above? The notion that we needed to be agnostic or downright atheistic about animal mentation, including pain, because we could not verify it through experience, became a mainstay of what I have called “scientific ideology”, the uncriticized dogma taught to young scientists through most of the 20th century despite its patent ignoring of Darwinian phylogenetic continuity. Together with the equally pernicious notion that science is “value-free”, and thus has no truck with ethics, this provided the complete justification for hurting animals in science without providing any pain control. This ideology could only be overthrown by federal law. Ordinary common sense throughout history, in contradistinction to scientific ideology, never denied that animals felt pain. Where, then, does the denial of pain and other forms of mattering come from if it is inimical to common sense? It came from the creation of philosophical systems hostile to common sense and salubrious to a scientific, non-commonsensical world view. Reasons for rejecting this philosophical position are detailed. In the end, then, there are no sound reasons for rejecting knowledge of animal pain and other forms of both negative and positive mattering in animals. Once that hurdle is cleared, science must work assiduously to classify, understand, and mitigate all instances of negative mattering occasioned in animals by human use, as well as to understand and maximize all modes of positive mattering. (shrink)
Truthmaker maximalism is the claim that every truth has a truthmaker. The case of negative truths leads some philosophers to postulate negative states of affairs or to give up on truthmaker maximalism. This paper defends a version of the incompatibility view of negative truths. Negative truths can be made true by positive facts, and thus, truthmaker maximalism can be maintained without postulating negative states of affairs.
Since its advent, predictive DNA testing has been perceived as a technology that may have considerable impact on the quality of people’s life. The decision whether or not to use this technology is up to the individual client. However, to enable well considered decision making both the negative as well as the positive freedom of the individual should be supported. In this paper, we argue that current professional and public discourse on predictive DNA-testing is lacking when it comes (...) to supporting positive freedom, because it is usually framed in terms of risk and risk management. We show how this ‘risk discourse’ steers thinking on the good life in a particular way. We go on to argue that empirical research into the actual deliberation and decision making processes of individuals and families may be used to enrich the environment of personal deliberation in three ways: (1) it points at a richer set of values that deliberators can take into account, (2) it acknowledges the shared nature of genes, and (3) it shows how one might frame decisions in a non-binary way. We argue that the public sharing and discussing of stories about personal deliberations offers valuable input for others who face similar choices: it fosters their positive freedom to shape their view of the good life in relation to DNA-diagnostics. We conclude by offering some suggestions as to how to realize such public sharing of personal stories. (shrink)
Philosophical semantics requires an ontology that includes negative as well as positive states of affairs as truth-makers and truth-breakers. Theories that try to do without negative states of affairs while interpreting propositional truth as positive correspondence with existent states of affairs are inherently inadequate and incomplete. A semantics and ontology of negative states of affairs can also do justice to positive states of affairs, since the iterated negative state of affairs that a (...) class='Hi'>negative state of affairs exists describes a positive state of affairs, but the iterated positive state of affairs that a positive state of affairs exists never describes a negative state of affairs. Negative states of affairs are not only essential to semantics, but to a complete description of the world; they include phenomena of presence in absence and the metaphysics of gaps, lacks, holes and interstitia. The conceivability of an empty or null universe as consisting of nothing but negative states of affairs recalls a famous problem of Parmenides. (shrink)