Heidegger and ethics is a contentious conjunction of terms. Martin Heidegger himself rejected the notion of ethics, while his endorsement of Nazism is widely seen as unethical. This major study examines the complex and controversial issues involved in bringing Heidegger and ethics together. Working backwards through his work, from his 1964 claim that philosophy has been completed to his first major book, Being and Time, Joanna Hodge questions Heidegger's denial that his inquiries were concerned with ethics. She discovers a (...) form of ethics in Heidegger's thinking which elucidates his important distinction between metaphysics and philosophy. Opposing many contemporary views, Hodge proposes that ethics can be retrieved and questions the relation between ethics and metaphysics that Heidegger made so pervasive. (shrink)
This article presents arguments and evidence that run counter to the widespread assumption among scholars that humans are intuitive Cartesian substance dualists. With regard to afterlife beliefs, the hypothesis of Cartesian substance dualism as the intuitive folk position fails to have the explanatory power with which its proponents endow it. It is argued that the embedded corollary assumptions of the intuitive Cartesian substance dualist position (that the mind and body are different substances, that the mind and soul are intensionally identical, (...) and that the mind is the sole source of identity) are not compatible with cultural representations such as mythologies, funerary rites, iconography and doctrine as well as empirical evidence concerning intuitive folk reasoning about the mind and body concerning the afterlife. Finally, the article
suggests an alternative and more parsimonious explanation for understanding intuitive folk representations of the afterlife. (shrink)
In the interview conducted with Giovanna Borradori, after the attack on the World Trade Centre, in September 2001, Jacques Derrida is pressed to specify connections between his own thinking, Heidegger's deployment of the term ‘event’, and the use of the term ‘event’ to pick out the unprecedented character of that attack. Derrida intimates that the attack is, perhaps, not as unprecedented, not the ‘wholly other’ which it has been framed as being. His reading of that event is to move it (...) from a naive status, as ‘wholly other’, to a philosophically inflected thinking of the political, in the mode of the ‘wholly otherwise’, that is, in a sense to be made out here, whereby politics takes precedence over physics, as the originator of the basic components to be thought, and whereby the future takes precedence over the past, as the site at which what is arrives. The principal aim of this article is to consider how to think this counter-factual ontology, in the mode of a future anteriority. The article will set out Heidegger's move from affirming a fundamental ontology, of Dasein, to an ontology in parentheses (vom Ereignis) but will show how both of these are objectionable, on different counts, to Derrida and to Levinas. Derrida explores the options of supplementing an inadmissible thetic stance, with respect to the future, and therefore with respect to what there is, by developing the notion of the prosthetic, that which stands in for the impossible, timelessly asserted thesis. Levinas invents a new mode of phenomenology which opens a route into this ‘wholly otherwise’. These two strands of enquiry contribute to an analysis displacing these versions of ontology, in favour of a reformulation of political ontology. A subsidiary aim is to clarify Derrida's reservations with respect to the Heideggerian notion of the event. These reservations about Heidegger's usage throw light on his reluctance to deploy the term, within an analysis of the destruction of the World Trade Centre. (shrink)
The author argues for three interconnected theses which provide a cognitive account for why humans intuitively believe that others survive death. The first thesis, from which the second and third theses follow, is that the acceptance of afterlife beliefs is predisposed by a specific, and already well-documented, imaginative process - the offline social reasoning process. The second thesis is that afterlife beliefs are social in nature. The third thesis is that the living imagine the deceased as socially embodied in such (...) a way as to continue to fulfill on-going social obligations with others. The author further suggests six reasons why the fantasy/reality distinction breaks down for the imaginer such that the continued existence of the decedent in the afterlife is believed to be real. Finally, the author suggests avenues for further research which would support this cognitive account. (shrink)
Recent research in the cognitive science of religion suggests that humans intuitively believe that others survive death. In response to this finding, three cognitive theories have been offered to explain this: the simulation constraint theory (Bering, 2002); the imaginative obstacle theory (Nichols, 2007); and terror management theory (Pyszczynski, Rothschild, & Abdollahi, 2008). First, I provide a critical analysis of each of these theories. Second, I argue that these theories, while perhaps explaining why one would believe in his own personal immortality, (...) leave an explanatory gap in that they do not explain why one would intuitively attribute survival of death to others. To fill in the gap, I offer a cognitive theory based on offline social reasoning and social embodiment which provides for the belief in an eternal social realm in which the deceased survive?the afterlife. (shrink)
When socio-economic contexts are sought for Darwin's science, it is customary to turn to the Industrial Revolution. However, important issues about the long run of England's capitalisms can only be recognised by taking a wider view than Industrial Revolution historiographies tend to engage. The role of land and finance capitalisms in the development of the empire is one such issue. If we historians of Darwin's science allow ourselves a distinction between land and finance capitalisms on the one hand and industrial (...) capitalism on the other; and if we ask with which side of this divide were Darwin and his theory of branching descent by natural selection aligned, then reflection on leading features of that theory, including its Malthusian elements, suggests that the answer is often and largely, though not exclusively: on the land side. The case of Wallace, socialist opponent of land capitalism, may not be as anomalous for this suggestion as one might at first think. Social and economic historians have reached no settled consensuses on the long-run of England's capitalisms. We historians of Darwin's science would do well to import some of these unsettled states of discussion into our own work over the years to come. (shrink)
There is little doubt that the development and commercialisation of nanotechnologies is challenging traditional state-based regulatory regimes. Yet governments currently appear to be taking a non-interventionist approach to directly regulating this emerging technology. This paper argues that a large regulatory toolbox is available for governing this small technology and that as nanotechnologies evolve, many regulatory advances are likely to occur outside of government. It notes the scientific uncertainties facing us as we contemplate nanotechnology regulatory matters and then examines the notion (...) of regulation itself, suggesting new ways to frame our understanding of both regulation and the regulatory tools relevant to nanotechnologies. By drawing upon three different conceptual lenses of regulation, the paper articulates a wide range of potential regulatory tools at hand. It also focuses particularly on the ways various tools are currently being used or perhaps may be employed in the future. The strengths and weaknesses characterising these tools is examined as well as the different actors involved. The paper concludes that we will increasingly face debate over what is likely to work most effectively in regulating nano technologies, the legitimacy of these different potential approaches, and the speed at which these different regimes may be employed. (shrink)
This thesis has two main goals: (1) to argue that myths are natural products of human cognition; and (2) that structuralism, as introduced by Claude Levi-Strauss, provides an over-arching theory of myth when supplemented and supported by current research in philosophy of mind, cognitive psychology, and cognitive anthropology. With regard to (1), we argue that myths are naturally produced by the human mind through individuals’ interaction with their natural and social environments. This interaction is constrained by both the type of (...) body the individual has and the environment in which the individual is situated. From this interaction, we argue, is produced the human-body metaphor which plays an essential role in forming analogical mental models which humans use to navigate, predict, and think about their environment(s). With regard to (2), we argue that these analogical mental models are the structures from which myths are created, just as structural anthropology suggests. (shrink)
Full-text of this article is not available in this e-prints service. This article was originally published [following peer-review] in Diacritics, published by and copyright The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Various claims have been made, recently, that Darwin's argumentation in the Origin instantiates and so supports some general philosophical proposal about scientific theorizing, for example, the "semantic view". But these claims are grounded in various incorrect analyses of that argumentation. A summary is given here of an analysis defended at greater length in several papers by the present author. The historical and philosophical advantages of this analysis are explained briefly. Darwin's argument comprises three distinct evidential cases on behalf of natural (...) selection, cases, that is, for its existence, its adequacy and its responsibility. Theorizing, today, about evolution by natural selection involves a similar structure of evidential and explanatory concerns. (shrink)
This article uses an autobiography as an object of research, to both illustrate some principles of chaos theory in analytic practice, and give those ideas a personal and social context, thereby producing a unique but explanation-rich history of chaos theory and recent intellectual history of transdisciplinarity and social research in the West. The ideas from Chaos Theory it uses and illustrates include: three-body analysis (Poincaré); fractals (Mandelbrot); fuzzy logic (Zadeh); and the butterfly effect (Lorenz).
Among multiple legal challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is the premise that PPACA's “individual mandate” (requiring all individuals to obtain health insurance by 2014 or face civil penalties) is inviolate of Congress' interstate commerce powers because Congress lacks the power to regulate commercial “inactivity.” Several courts initially considering this argument have rejected it, but federal district courts in Virginia and Florida have concurred, leading to numerous appeals and prospective review of the United States Supreme Court. (...) Despite creative arguments, the dispositive constitutional question is not whether Congress' interstate commerce power extends to commercial inactivity. Rather, it is whether Congress may regulate individual decisions with significant economic ramifications in the interests of protecting and promoting the public's health. This article offers a counter-interpretation of the scope of Congress' interstate commerce power to regulate in furtherance of the public's health. (shrink)
Proceedings of the Pittsburgh Workshop in History and Philosophy of Biology, Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, March 23-24 2001 Session 3: Natural Selection as a Causal Theory.
The United States is at a critical crossroads in its foreign policy and its relationship to the international community. Indeed, the very existence of an international community, rooted in the authority of the United Nations and capable of enforcing its resolutions, is from Washington's contemporary perspective an issue of contention. The foreign policy of the administration of George W. Bush has demonstrated, both before and after the tragic events of 11 September 2001, a willingness to undertake major initiatives unilaterally when (...) these are deemed to be in the vital interest of the United States specifically or of international order generally. In light of the inability of the United Nations to exercise collective will in the effort to disarm the aggressive regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, 1991-2003, Washington's determination to act alone or in coalitions-of-the-willing to secure international order is a welcome alternative to the international community as it is presently constituted. (shrink)
Television advertisements depicting the use of electronic cigarettes have recently exposed minors to images of smoking behaviors. While these advertisements are currently legal, existing laws should be interpreted or expanded to ban the commercial depiction of smoking behaviors with any product that resembles a cigarette to shield minors from potentially influential advertising.
In 1966, island biogeographer Sherwin Carlquist published a list of 24 principles governing long-distance dispersal and evolution on islands. The 24 principles describe many aspects of island biology, from long-distance dispersal and establishment to community change and assemblage. Although this was an active period for island biogeography, other models and research garnered much more attention than did Carlquist’s. In this review, over 40 years of support for or against Carlquist’s principles is presented. Recent work has supported most of the 24 (...) principles, and improved methodologies have generally substantiated his initial claims. However, Carlquist’s original work and ideas remain relatively under-represented in the biogeographic literature. Use of philosophical model domains provides one explanation as to why Carlquist’s work has received little attention. Carlquist’s principles are largely natural history tests, and don’t translate well into the theoretical, design of preserves, or the experimental domains—whereas other competing models do well in such domains. (shrink)
Recent research (Bering 2002, 2006) into what has become known as “the folk psychology of souls” demonstrates that humans intuitively believe that others survive death. Additional research (Harris & Gimenéz, 2005; Astuti & Harris, 2008) has demonstrated that this belief is highly context sensitive. In this thesis, the author presents this research and provides a critical analysis of the findings based on philosophical and empirical concerns. The author also presents and critically analyses several theories that have been proposed to explain (...) this intuitive belief: intuitive Cartesian substance dualism (Bloom, 2004); the simulation constraint theory (Bering, 2006); the imaginative obstacle theory (Nichols, 2007); and terror management theory (Pyszczynski, Rothschild, & Abdollahi, 2008; Vail III, et al., 2010). The author argues, based on philosophical concerns, and anthropological and psychological empirical evidence, that none of the proposed theories are up to the task of giving a cognitive account of the folk psychology of souls. The author then argues for three interconnected theses to provide a cognitive account for why humans intuitively believe that others survive death. The first thesis, from which the second and third theses follow, is that the acceptance of afterlife beliefs is predisposed by a specific, and already well-documented, imaginative process—the offline social reasoning process. The second thesis is that afterlife beliefs are social in nature. The third thesis is that the living imagine the deceased as socially embodied in such a way as to continue to fulfill on-going social obligations with others. The author further suggests six reasons why the fantasy/reality distinction breaks down for the imaginer such that the continued existence of the decedent in the afterlife is believed to be real. Finally, the author suggests avenues for further research that would support this cognitive account. (shrink)
Banging on about Darwin: Hodge in context Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-5 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9550-4 Authors Evelleen Richards, Unit for History and Philosophy of Science, University of Sydney, PO Box 255, Thirroul, NSW 2515, Australia Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.