We are pleased to annouce that God’s Companions by Samuel Wells has been shortlisted for the 2007 Michael Ramsey Prize for theological writing. www.michaelramseyprize.org.uk Grounded in Samuel Wells’ experience of ordinary lives in poorer neighborhoods, this book presents a striking and imaginative approach to Christian ethics. It argues that Christian ethics is founded on God, on the practices of human community, and on worship, and that ethics is fundamentally a reflection of God's abundance. Wells synthesizes dogmatic, liturgical, ethical, scriptural, and (...) pastoral approaches to theology in order to make a bold claim for the centrality of the local church in theological reflection. He considers the abundance of gifts God gives through the practices of the Church, particularly the Eucharist. His central thesis, which governs his argument throughout, is that God gives his people everything they need to worship him, be his friends, and eat with him. Wells engages with serious scholarly material, yet sets out the issues lucidly for a student audience. (shrink)
The article will argue that Charles Sanders Peirce's concepts of the ?Dynamics of Belief and Doubt?, the ?Fixation of Belief? as well as ?habits of belief? taken together comprise a theory of learning. The ?dynamics of belief and doubt? are Peirce's explanation for the process of changing from one belief to another. Teaching, then, would be an attempt to control that process. Teaching critical thinking represents an attempt to teach the learner to regulate and discipline his or her own ?settlement (...) of belief?. The ?settlement of belief? takes four different forms based on doubt. Peirce's concept of the ?habits of belief? refers to the inner and outer constraints placed both on belief as such and belief as it becomes action. The article may be read as both an exegesis of learning and as a pedagogical guide for teaching critical thinking to college students. (shrink)
In determining when sexual behavior in the workplace creates a hostile working environment, some courts have asked, Would a reasonableperson view this as a hostile environment? Two recent court decisions, recognizing male-female differences in the perception of social sexual behavior at work, modified this standard to ask, Would a reasonablevictim view this as a hostile environment? As yet, there is no consensus in the legal community regarding which of these standards is just.We propose that moral theory provides the framework from (...) which business people can construct just procedures regarding sexually hostile environments. We argue that the natural duty of mutual respect of persons and the natural duty not to harm the innocent compels business people to identify sexually hostile work environments from the perspective of the reasonable victim, usually from the woman's perspective. (shrink)
Arnauld's criticisms as "a model of confusion confounded.” In a review of Wilson's book, R. McRae refers to "the difficult and not too coherent subject of material falsity. '' J. Cottingham describes the Descartes-Arnauld debate on the material falsity of adventitious ideas as "an involved and rather inconclusive exchange " and claims that the example of the material falsity of such ideas espoused by Descartes in Meditation III is "needlessly complicated. " A. Kenny, in turn, notes that several things are (...) "confusing in Descartes' account of false ideas. " Later reference is made to the fact that "Descartes appears confused. [...] and that "Descartes, it seems, cannot give a consistent answer. '' As will become clear, I take issue with each of these assessments. When Descartes' position on material falsity is understood in the light of late Scholastic sources, especially Suarez, whence it draws its strength and inspiration, the alleged confusion and incoherency vanishes. .. (shrink)
Abstract This paper explores gender and mental health with particular reference to the emerging philosophical field of critical realism. This philosophy suggests a shared ontology and epistemology for the natural and social sciences. Until recently, most of the debate surrounding gender and mental health has been guided either implicitly or explicitly within a positivist or constructivist philosophy. With this in mind, key areas of critical realism are explored in relation to gender and mental health, and contrasted with the positions of (...) positivism and constructivism. It is argued that critical realism offers an alternative philosophical framework for the exploration of gender issues within mental health care. (shrink)
This paper explores the influence of group context on the ethical predispositions of group members. Results indicate that groups exert a powerful influence on individuals' ethical frameworks, and that the patterns of these influences differ depending on the type of ethical framework involved. Individuals' ethical utilitarianism was affected by both leadership style and group cohesiveness. Ethical formalism was most affected by the leadership style in the group.
In recent years ethical purchasing policies have been promoted as potentially effective and promising ways of combatting global inequality and oppressive labour practices in developing countries. These initiatives have been launched on university campuses with the hope of opening a new front for improving labour rights under conditions of neo-liberal globalization. This paper is an attempt to respond to the critics of these policies, and especially their claims that ethical purchasing may have the perverse effect of increasing job losses and (...) undercutting economic development in poorer countries. Although it can be shown that these criticisms are misguided, it is important to acknowledge that ethical purchasing should not be seen as a full-blown alternative to the kind of progress that can be achieved through state-centred labour regulation. Nevertheless, the new role of universities as monitors of corporate responsibility remains a promising one. (shrink)
Barsalou's theory rightly emphasizes the perceptual basis of cognition. However, the perceptual symbols that he proposes seem ill suited to carry the representational burden entailed by the architecture in which they function, given that Barsalou accepts the requirement for productivity. A more radical proposal is needed in which symbols are largely external to the cognizer and linked to internal states via perception.
In a recent paper, Lyngzeidetson  has claimed that a type of parallel computer called the ‘Connection Machine’ instantiates architectural principles which will ‘revolutionize which "functions" of the human mind can and cannot be modelled by (non-human) computational automata.’ In particular, he claims that the Connection Machine architecture shows the anti-mechanist argument from Gödel's theorem to be false for at least one kind of parallel computer. In the first part of this paper, I argue that Lyngzeidetson's claims are not supported (...) by his arguments; in the second part I consider some other aspects of parallel computation which may be of theoretical significance in cognitive science. (shrink)
Vera & Simon (1993a) have argued that the theories and methods known as situated action or situativity theory are compatible with the assumptions and methodology of the physical symbol systems hypothesis and do not require a new approach to the study of cognition. When the central criterion of computational universality is added to the loose definition of a symbol system which Vera and Simon provide, it becomes apparent that there are important incompatibilities between the two approaches such that situativity theory (...) cannot be subsumed within the symbol systems approach. Symbol systems and situativity theoretic approaches are, and should be seen to be, competing approaches to the study of cognition. (shrink)
The Church-Turing Thesis (CTT) is often paraphrased as ``every computable function is computable by means of a Turing machine.'' The author has constructed a family of equational theories that are not Turing-decidable, that is, given one of the theories, no Turing machine can recognize whether an arbitrary equation is in the theory or not. But the theory is called pseudorecursive because it has the additional property that when attention is limited to equations with a bounded number of variables, one obtains, (...) for each number of variables, a fragment of the theory that is indeed Turing-decidable. In a 1982 conversation, Alfred Tarski announced that he believed the theory to be decidable, despite this contradicting CTT. The article gives the background for this proclamation, considers alternate interpretations, and sets the stage for further research. (shrink)
Lifelines discusses two approaches to biology, “ultra-Darwinism” which Rose criticises, and the “homeodynamic perspective,” which he offers as an alternative. This review suggests that ultra-Darwinism is a caricature of the theoretical positions Rose wishes to oppose and that the homeodynamic perspective is not an alternative, but is complementary to so-called ultra-Darwinism.
Clark & Thornton argue that the recoding functions which are used to solve type-2 problems are, at least in part, the ontogenetic products of general-purpose mechanisms. This commentary disputes this and suggests that recoding functions are adaptive specializations.