What are the intellectual origins of the ecological crisis? Which approach can offer an alternative? In the first part of this paper, I argue that the crisis was caused not by faith in reason as such, but instead by distortions of reason. Further, I consider the intellectual prerequisites for ecological destruction, the ultimate cause of which can be seen in the transitional state of our civilisation from a dependent to an interdependent mode of interaction with the biosphere. A possible remedy (...) to this can be the reconciliation of humankind with the biosphere by means of the Gestalt approach. (shrink)
Fictional realism, i.e., the view that because fictions exist, fictional characters exist as well, has recently been accused of leading to inconsistency generated by phenomena of indeterminacy and inconsistency in fiction. We examine in detail four arguments against fictional realism, and present a version of fictional realism which can withstand those arguments.
In recent work, Louis deRosset (Philosophical Studies 149:73–97, 2010) has argued that priority theorists, who hold that truths about macroscopic objects can be metaphysically explained without reference to such things, cannot meet an independently motivated constraint upon good explanation. By clarifying the nature of the priority theorist’s project, I argue that deRosset’s argument fails to establish its conclusion.
As a member of the British Oxford Group, psychologist Richard Ryder marked the beginning of the modern animal rights and animal welfare movement in the seventies. By introducing the concept “speciesism.” Ryder contributed importantly to the expansion of this movement. Surprisingly little attention has been paid to Ryder’s moral theory, “painism”, that aims to resolve the conflict between the two predominant rival theories in animal ethics, the deontological of Tom Regan and the utilitarian of Peter Singer. First, this paper examines (...) the kernel and historical sources of Ryder’s painist theory, linking it to the work of John Rawls and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Second, it examines Ryder’s critique of utilitarianism. It is argued that his critique of Singer’s use of the word “sentience” is unconvincing and that his critique of utilitarian aggregation as not taking a full account of the metaphysical separateness of persons, has already been countered and dealt with. Finally this paper looks at some of the counterintuitive implications of Ryder’s theory and argues that utilitarianism might have more resources for dealing with its own alleged counterintuitive implications than Ryder acknowledges. (shrink)
The many well-publicized food scandals in recent years have resulted in a general state of vulnerable trust. As a result, building consumer trust has become an important goal in agri-food policy. In their efforts to protect trust in the agricultural and food sector, governments and industries have tended to consider the problem of trust as merely a matter of informing consumers on risks. In this article, we argue that the food sector better addresses the problem of trust from the perspective (...) of the trustworthiness of the food sector itself. This broad idea for changing the focus of trust is the assumption that if you want to be trusted, you should be trustworthy. To provide a clear understanding of what being trustworthy means within the food sector, we elaborate on both the concept of trust and of responsibility. In this way we show that policy focused on enhancing transparency and providing information to consumers is crucial, but not sufficient for dealing with the problem of consumer trust in the current agri-food context. (shrink)
Ayahuasca is a psychoactive beverage that is mostly used in ritualized settings (Santo Daime rituals, neo-shamanic rituals, and even do-it-yourself-rituals). It is a common practice in the investigated socio-cultural field to call these settings “healing rituals.” For this study, 15 people who underwent ayahuasca (self-)therapy for a particular disease like chronic pain, cancer, asthma, depression, alcohol abuse, or Hepatitis C were interviewed twice about their subjective concepts and beliefs on ayahuasca and healing. Qualitative data analysis revealed a variety of motivational (...) patterns, subjective effects, and user types. Most participants were convinced that ayahuasca had influenced their illness positively or improved their coping with their illness. More importantly, it had enhanced their well being in general. As a result, we concluded that the effects of ayahuasca should not be reduced to a pharmacological model. The substance should be conceptualized as a psychological catalyst that unfolds within different fields of sociocultural ideas. (shrink)
The article examines whether state officials may shoot down a hijacked airplane which carries uninvolved passengers, if it is known that the plane will be used against the lives of other human beings. In its first sections, it explains the German Federal Constitutional Courtâs verdict against such a permission, and it scrutinizes the crucial arguments in this ruling (restrictions on the use of military weapons; human dignity arguments). The author then extends the discussion beyond the path taken by the court. (...) She examines the defensive claims of passengers aboard the plane and the protective claims of potential victims who are present at the hijackersâ target zone. In contrast to the German Federal Constitutional Court, she concludes that state officials must take the claims of both groups of potential victims equally serious, and that such conditions allow applying a consequentialist calculus ( save the greater number ) because it is the only way out of a genuine dilemma. (shrink)
In the recent literature on all things metaontological, discussion of a notorious Meinongian doctrine—the thesis that some objects have no kind of being at all—has been conspicuous by its absence. And this is despite the fact that this thesis is the central element of the noneist metaphysics of Richard Routley (1980) and Graham Priest (2005). In this paper, we therefore examine the metaontological foundations of noneism, with a view to seeing exactly how the noneist's approach to ontological inquiry differs from (...) the orthodox Quinean one. We proceed by arguing that the core anti-Quinean element in noneism has routinely been misidentified: rather than concerning Quine's thesis that to be is to be the value of a variable, the real difference is that the noneist rejects what we identify as Quine's “translate-and-deflate” methodology. In rejecting this aspect of Quinean orthodoxy, the noneist is in good company: many of those who think that questions of fundamentality should be the proper focus of ontological inquiry can be read as rejecting it too. Accordingly, we then examine the differences between the noneist's conception of ontology and that offered by the fundamentalist. We argue that these two anti-Quinean approaches differ in terms of their respective conceptions of the theoretical role associated with the notion of being. And the contrast that emerges between them is, in the end, an explanatory one. (shrink)
In general, the Sartrean concept of the subject as "being-for-self" and "being-for-others" is read as if Sartre had sketched these structures as given "a priori" and therefore as unalterable . One of the consequences of this interpretation lies in calling Sartre's theory contradictory, especially with regard to his ethics, because of the assumption that, based on this concept, changing the inauthentic structures of the subject into authentic ones would be impossible. Contrary to this interpretation, I argue that Sartre's philosophical theory (...) is by no means contradictory, neither in its relation to ethics nor as it relates to the complete edition of Sartre's philosophical writing, if one tries to understand what kind of theoretical requirements Sartre considered to be relevant and necessary . From this point of view, it is possible to work out an adequate and consistent interpretation. In order for me to argue for the immanent consistency of Sartre's theory and for the resulting possibility of an ethical theory based on it, I will discuss some aspects of the relation between epistemological, ontological and ethical elements within Sartre's philosophical system. (shrink)
The paper is devoted to applications of algebraic logic to databases. In databases a query is represented by a formula of first order logic. The same query can be associated with different formulas. Thus, a query is a class of equivalent formulae: equivalence here being similar to that in the transition to the Lindenbaum-Tarski algebra. An algebra of queries is identified with the corresponding algebra of logic. An algebra of replies to the queries is also associated with algebraic logic. These (...) relations lie at the core of the applications.In this paper it is shown how the theory of Halmos (polyadic) algebras (a notion introduced by Halmos as a tool in the algebraization of the first order predicate calculus) is used to create the algebraic model of a relational data base. The model allows us, in particular, to solve the problem of databases equivalence as well as develop a formal algebraic definition of a database's state description. In this paper we use the term "state description" for the logical description of the model. This description is based on the notion of filters in Halmos algebras. When speaking of a state description, we mean the description of a function which realizes the symbols of relations as real relations in the given system of data. (shrink)
Anatomical exhibitions, online atlases and televised dissections have recently attracted much attention and raised questions concerning the status of and the authority over the human body, the purpose of anatomical education within and outside medical schools and the methods of teaching in the digital age. I propose that for understanding the current public views of anatomy, we need to gain insight into their historical development. This article focuses on anatomies accessible to non-medical audiences in the capital of the Habsburg Empire, (...) Vienna, at the time when the city was the seat of a world-leading medical school. Anatomy at the University of Vienna was famous for its research, instruction and the abundant provision with dissectible corpses. Public anatomies were equally rich and ranged from exhibitions at the Präuscher’s Panoptikon und Anatomisches Museum , established in 1871 in the Prater amusement park, lectures on human and comparative anatomy by the university professor Carl Bernhard Brühl (1863–1890), to displays of anatomical objects at the World Exhibition in 1873. I finish by discussing a collection of letters written by the prospective ‘cadaver donors’, offering an insight into the ways in which medical encounters and anatomical knowledge informed the working-class views of their bodies. By looking at the kinds of anatomy in circulation, as well as at the participants in these exchanges, I want to illuminate the relationship between academic and public anatomies, as well as to reveal the purposes to which public anatomy served. (shrink)
Wittgenstein ist auf vielschichtige Weise mit Rußland verbunden: als Kriegsfreiwilliger an der Ostfront, als eifriger Leser von Tolstoi und Dostojewski, als Freund Nikolai Bachtins und als Reisender in der Sowjet-Union. Wittgensteins Verhältnis zu Nikolai Bachtin - eine Geistesverwandtschaft vor dem Hintergrund humanistischer Bildung, Religiosität, Askese, Patriotismus und Weltbürgertum - und zu dessen Bruder Michail sowie beider Einfuß auf seine Philosophie, speziell in den Philosophischen Untersuchungen, werden im Detail untersucht. Seine Kontakte zu anderen Exilrussen (bes. Fanja Pascal), die Beziehungen der Bachtin-Brüder (...) zum Brenner-Kreis und Wittgensteins Motive für seine Rußlandreise sowie seinen vagen Plan, sich dort niederzulassen, werden anhand von Tagebuchaufzeichnungen und Korrespondenzen rekonstruiert. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to discuss the criminalization of conduct based on human dignity arguments. It proposes a modest version of integrating human dignity into discussions about criminalization. After a critical examination of both the notion of “human dignity as an objective value” and the assumption that the meaning of human dignity can be explained by referring to Kant’s moral philosophy, human dignity violations are characterized as severe humiliations.
One distinctive phenomenon in which Christianity differs from all other religions is the custom of naming and honoring those considered blessed and saints. Generally, they are real people, whose lives were characterized by Christian virtues and who “died in sanctity,” and also the people who, in the course of their lives and after their deaths, performed miracles. Consequently, specific protective capabilities are attributed to most of them and they are thus considered to be patrons by certain groups. One hundred and (...) fifty of them are established as patrons of certain diseases or as aids in certain critical situations. The reasons why the pious people accepted individual saints as patrons of certain .. (shrink)
We investigated the neural mechanisms and the autonomic and cognitive responses associated with visual avoidance behavior in spider phobia. Spider phobic and control participants imagined visiting different forest locations with the possibility of encountering spiders, snakes, or birds (neutral reference category). In each experimental trial, participants saw a picture of a forest location followed by a picture of a spider, snake, or bird, and then rated their personal risk of encountering these animals in this context, as well as their fear. (...) The greater the visual avoidance of spiders that a phobic participant demonstrated (as measured by eye tracking), the higher were her autonomic arousal and neural activity in the amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and precuneus at picture onset. Visual avoidance of spiders in phobics also went hand in hand with subsequently reduced cognitive risk of encounters. Control participants, in contrast, displayed a positive relationship between gaze duration toward spiders, on the one hand, and autonomic responding, as well as OFC, ACC, and precuneus activity, on the other hand. In addition, they showed reduced encounter risk estimates when they looked longer at the animal pictures. Our data are consistent with the idea that one reason for phobics to avoid phobic information may be grounded in heightened activity in the fear circuit, which signals potential threat. Because of the absence of alternative efficient regulation strategies, visual avoidance may then function to down-regulate cognitive risk evaluations for threatening information about the phobic stimuli. Control participants, in contrast, may be characterized by a different coping style, whereby paying visual attention to potentially threatening information may help them to actively down-regulate cognitive evaluations of risk. (shrink)
The development of an information society and information technologies does not result in positive consequences only. Individuals with criminal intent also find their niche. Information security includes the creation of the input, processing and output processes of protection. The objective of information security is to protect the system of values, to protect and ensure accuracy and integrity and to minimize losses that may be incurred if the information is modified or destroyed. In the development of an information society, the new (...) visible changes in the legislation for the classification of crimes–crimes against computers–altered the concept of electronic crime data and information system security concepts. This article presents a brief analysis on the concept of the change of crimes against security of electronic data and information systems, the legislation analysis, the crimes against security of electronic data systems and information dynamics and its relationship with business factors. (shrink)
This study provides a representation of the broad spectrum of theoretical work on topics related to business ethics, with a particular focus on corporate citizenship. It considers relations of business and society alongside social responsibility and moves on to examine the historical and systemic foundations of business ethics, focusing on the concepts of social and ethical responsibilities. The contributors explore established theories and concepts and their impact on moral behaviour. Together, the contributions offer varied philosophical theories in approaches to business (...) ethics. The book will be a valuable resource for academics and researchers with an interest in the theoretical development of business ethics. -/- Reviews: 'The rapidly expanding business ethics field is often populated by thinly theorised work. This book is a welcome exception. It is also distinctive in that it embraces a clear macro perspective whereas much of the debate is rather stuck at the level of the individual or the organisation. As such the book has a distinctively European flavour and should be considered as an intellectually stimulating collection offering original perspectives on business ethics.' Laura J. Spence, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK -/- 'This book makes an important contribution to our knowledge and understanding of corporations especially in the areas of corporate citizenship and responsibility as well as ethics and economic ethics. In addition the relationship of these areas with the social contract is well argued.' Australian Journal of Corporate Law. (shrink)
This paper focuses on a crucial and insufficiently examined issue of the conflict between legality and legitimacy, seen as a key element in securing continuity and providing the intellectual justification of the Francoist regime. Without analyzing the tension between legality and legitimacy, it is impossible to comprehend and successfully dismantle the thesis of the regime's intellectuals, recently revitalized by revisionist historians, according to which Francoism succeeded in re-establishing historical continuity and political normalcy in Spanish society. In the context of the (...) Cold War, it was crucial for Spanish legal scholars to portray Francoism not as a bastion of anti-liberalism, but as a regime whose survival entailed an original interpretation of notions such as freedom, rule of law, sovereignty and authority. They argued that the significance of Francoism consisted not only in defeating liberalism in Spain but in offering an alternative interpretation of its main tenets. By aspiring to justify and overcome its own historical exceptionality, the Francoist regime sought to avoid the inevitability of its demise. By virtue of its failure to do so, Francoism remained outside the European political norm, to which only democratic Spain would be re-admitted. (shrink)
Durch Migrationsprozesse und zunehmenden Pluralismus ist in Deutschland das Thema „kulturelle Diversität“ in der Medizin aktueller denn je. In der medizinischen Fachliteratur und im gesellschaftlichen Diskurs wird vermehrt von interkulturellen Konflikten im Kontakt zwischen Arzt und Patient berichtet, was die Frage nach der Rolle von Interkultureller Kompetenz für die klinische Praxis aufwirft. Zunächst widmet sich der Beitrag kritisch den verschiedenen Auffassungen des Begriffs „Kultur“ im medizinischen Kontext, um anschließend eine Methode der interkulturellen Philosophie als eine Möglichkeit für eine kultursensitive Ethik (...) zu skizzieren. Anschließend wird aufgezeigt, welche Schwierigkeiten mit dem Begriff der Interkulturellen Kompetenz verbunden sind und weshalb die Autoren diesen trotzdem als unerlässlich für die Wahrnehmung potentieller Konfliktfelder als auch für den Umgang mit diesen erachten. Schließlich werden derzeitige Entwicklungen in der medizinischen Ausbildung sowie konkrete Beispiele für eine kultursensible Ethikberatung illustriert. Es zeigt sich, dass international zahlreiche Ausgestaltungen Interkultureller Kompetenz in Form von Leitfäden und konkreten Schulungsmodulen existieren, aber auch, dass es in Deutschland an konkreten Umsetzungen in der Breite mangelt und die Zusammenarbeit wissenschaftlicher Disziplinen sowie der betroffenen Institutionen derzeit noch ausbaufähig ist. (shrink)