It is predicted that the rapid acquisition of new genetic knowledge and related applications during the next decade will have significant implications for virtually all members of society. Currently, most people get exposed to information about genes and genetics only through stories publicized in the media. We sought to understand how individuals in the general population used and understood the concepts of “genetics” and “genes.” During in-depth one-on-one telephone interviews with adults in the United States, we asked questions exploring their (...) basic understanding of these terms, as well as their belief as to the location of genes in the human body. A wide range of responses was received. Despite conversational familiarity with genetic terminology, many noted frustration or were hesitant when trying to answer these questions. In addition, some responses reflected a lack of understanding about basic genetic science that may have significant implications for broader public education measures in genetic literacy, genetic counseling, public health practices, and even routine health care. (shrink)
Universal Grammar (UG) can be interpreted as a constraint on the form of possible grammars (hypothesis space) or as a constraint on acquisition strategies (selection procedures). In this response to Herschensohn we reiterate the position outlined in Epstein et al. (1996a, r), that in the evaluation of L2 acquisition as a UG- constrained process the former (possible grammars/ knowledge states) is critical, not the latter. Selection procedures, on the other hand, are important in that they may have a bearing (...) on development in language acquisition. We raise the possibility that differences in first and second language acquisition pertaining to both attainment of the end-state and course of development may derive from differences in selection procedures. We further suggest that for these reasons age effects in the attainment of nativelike proficiency must necessarily be separated from UG effects. (shrink)
The thesis of methodological individualism in social science is commonly divided into two different claims—explanatory individualism and ontological individualism. Ontological individualism is the thesis that facts about individuals exhaustively determine social facts. Initially taken to be a claim about the identity of groups with sets of individuals or their properties, ontological individualism has more recently been understood as a global supervenience claim. While explanatory individualism has remained controversial, ontological individualism thus understood is almost universally accepted. In this paper I argue (...) that ontological individualism is false. Only if the thesis is weakened to the point that it is equivalent to physicalism can it be true, but then it fails to be a thesis about the determination of social facts by facts about individual persons. Even when individualistic facts are expanded to include people’s local environments and practices, I shall argue, those still underdetermine the social facts that obtain. If true, this has implications for explanation as well as ontology. I first consider arguments against the local supervenience of social facts on facts about individuals, correcting some flaws in existing arguments and affirming that local supervenience fails for a broad set of social properties. I subsequently apply a similar approach to defeat a particularly weak form of global supervenience, and consider potential responses. Finally, I explore why it is that people have taken ontological individualism to be true. (shrink)
The term queer has recently come into wide use to designate distinctive emphases in the politics and the intellectual study of sexuality. This article explores the unfortunate irony that most work falling under the rubric of queer theory has been undertaken largely at some remove from the discipline of sociology, despite the pioneering role that an earlier generation of sociologists played in formulating influential conceptions of the social construction of sexuality. The article suggests important continuities between the earlier sociological theories (...) and recent queer theory, but also analyzes the new challenges that queer theorists have posed by insisting on the indispensability of questions of sexual "marginality" to the larger understanding of social and cultural organization. The article concludes by suggesting how sociologists might engage with such a project. (shrink)
William James described the stream of thought as having two components: (1) a nucleus of highly conscious, often perceptual material; and (2) a fringe of dimly felt contextual information that controls the entry of information into the nucleus and guides the progression of internally directed thought. Here I examine the neural and cognitive correlates of this phenomenology. A survey of the cognitive neuroscience literature suggests that the nucleus corresponds to a dynamic global buffer formed by interactions between different regions of (...) the brain, while the fringe corresponds to a set of mechanisms in the frontal and medial temporal lobes that control the contents of this global buffer. A consequence of this account is that there might be conscious imagistic representations that are not part of the nucleus. I argue that phenomenology can be linked to psychology and neuroscience and a meaningful way that illuminates both. (shrink)
The choices I will be talking about have to do with biotechnology and genetic engineering, choices which we are currently not making consciously because we really don't know what is going on. I would like to tell you what is going on in these areas, and then talk about how we might approach this matter in ethical ways.
From the very first milk you suckle, your food is genetically engineered. The natural world is completely made over, invaded and distorted beyond recognition by genetically engineered trees, plants, animals, insects, bacteria, and viruses, both planned and run amok. Illnesses are very different too. Most of the old ones are gone or mutated into new forms, yet most people are suffering from genetically engineered pathogens, either used in biowarfare, or mistakenly released into the environment, or recombined in toxic form from (...) originally harmless but rapidly mutating engineered organisms. Genetic engineering is so commonplace, you start your own simple experiments with it in elementary school. (shrink)
The Gestalt psychologists adopted a set of positions on mind-body issues that seem like an odd mix. They sought to combine a version of naturalism and physiological reductionism with an insistence on the reality of the phenomenal and the attribution of meanings to objects as natural characteristics. After reviewing basic positions in contemporary philosophy of mind, we examine the Gestalt position, characterizing it m terms of phenomenal realism and programmatic reductionism. We then distinguish Gestalt philosophy of mind from instrumentalism and (...) computational functionalism, and examine Gestalt attributions of meaning and value to perceived objects. Finally, we consider a metatheoretical moral from Gestalt theory, which commends the search for commensurate description of mental phenomena and their physiological counterparts. (shrink)
Within the American context, the term Corporate Good Citizenship, a rather vague and somewhat dated notion, bears little relationship to the concept of Business Ethics. Whereas the latter refers to systematic reflection on the moral significance of the institutions, policies and behavior of business actors in the normal course of their business operations, the former is a subset of the broader notion of Corporate Social Responsibility and denotes, generally, discretionary, possibly altruistic, non-business relationships between business organizations and diverse community stakeholders. (...) A newer concept, the Corporate Social Policy Process, which focuses on the institutionalization within business organizations of processes facilitating individual and organizational reflection and choice regarding the moral significance of personal and organizational action together with a consideration of the likely consequences of such action, provides analytical linkages between Business Ethics and Corporate Good Citizenship which can be useful to business scholars and operating managers alike. Specific aspects of Corporate Good Citizenship, including corporate community involvements, are examined and particular attention is paid to current trends in corporate donations, including an increasing emphasis on strategic philanthropy which explicitly mixes practical and benevolent motives in company giving policies and practices. (shrink)
In a recent article, Harold Noonan argues that application conditions and criteria of identity are not distinct from one another. This seems to threaten the standard approach to distinguishing sortals from adjectival terms. I propose that his observation, while correct, does not have this consequence. I present a simple scheme for distinguishing sortals from adjectival terms. I also propose an amended version of the standard canonical form of criteria of identity.
I want to relate to you two striking examples of animals acting with more humanity than most humans. My point is not that animals are more humane than humans, but that there is dramatic evidence that animals can act in ways that do not support certain Western stereotypes about their capacities.
Models treating the simple properties of social groups have a common shortcoming. Typically, they focus on the local properties of group members and the features of the world with which group members interact. I consider economic models of bureaucratic corruption, to show that (a) simple properties of groups are often constituted by the properties of the wider population, and (b) even sophisticated models are commonly inadequate to account for many simple social properties. Adequate models and social policies must treat certain (...) factors that are not local to individual members of the group, even if those factors are not causally connected to those individuals. Key Words: individualism corruption supervenience model cause. (shrink)
This fascinating collection on artifacts brings together seven papers by philosophers with nine by psychologists, biologists, and an archaeologist. The psychological papers include two excellent discussions of empirical work on the mental representation of artifact concepts – an assessment by Malt and Sloman of a large variety of studies on the conflicting ways we classify artifacts and extend our applications of artifact categories to new cases, and a review by Mahon and Caramazza of data from semantically impaired patients and from (...) neuroimaging on concepts of living kinds versus artifact kinds. Following these are three papers on the development of artifact concepts in children, including a short but provocative piece by Keil, Greif, and Kerner arguing that there is a mismatch between the patterns of development for our concepts of artifacts and the patterns of representation we end up developing. The final part of the book includes authoritative papers on artifact use by insects, birds, and mammals, by primates, and by Australopithecines and Neanderthals. (shrink)
In Anarchy, State, and Utopia, Robert Nozick seeks to demonstrate that principles of justice in acquisition and transfer can be applied to justify the minimal state, and no state greater than the minimal state. That approach fails to acknowledge the critical role that forced exchanges play in overcoming a range of public goods and coordination problems. These ends are accomplished by taking property for which the owner is compensated in cash or in kind in an amount that leaves him better (...) off (by his own lights) than before the transaction. Forced exchanges use coercion to form the state, but the just compensation requirement guards against redistribution state imposed redistribution for collateral purposes. Once these forced exchanges are allowed to form a state, then they may be used thereafter to justify the powers of taxation and eminent domain used to support infrastructure (roads, sewers, public utilities) that neither the minimal state nor private markets can supply. Footnotesa I have benefited from comments at the workshop at the Social Sciences Division of the California Institute of Technology. My thanks to Justin Herring and Eric Murphy, The University of Chicago Law School, for their usual capable research assistance. (shrink)
Quite unexpectedly, cognitive psychologists find their field intimately connected to a whole new intellectual landscape that had previously seemed remote, unfamiliar, and all but irrelevant. Yet the proliferating connections tying together the cognitive and evolutionary communities promise to transform both fields, with each supplying necessary principles, methods, and a species of rigor that the other lacks. (Cosmides and Tooby, 1994, p. 85).
Buddhists call Buddhism the Buddha Dharma: the Dharma, a collection of methods for getting enlightened, taught by a Buddha, a Fully Enlightened One. Buddhists refer to themselves as people who have taken refuge with the Three Jewels: 1) the Buddhas or Fully Enlightened Ones, 2) the Dharma or methods taught for reaching enlightenment, 3) and the Sangha or community of Buddhist monks and nuns, called Bhikshus and Bhikshunis. In formally becoming a Buddhist one becomes a disciple of a Buddhist master, (...) a fully ordained Bhikshu, who administers the Three Refuges: "I take refuge with the Buddhas; I take refuge with the Dharma; I take refuge with the Sangha.". (shrink)
Many theorists have regarded genealogy as an important technique for social criticism. But it has been unclear how genealogy can go beyond the accomplishments of other, more mundane, critical methods. I propose a new approach to understanding the critical potential of history. I argue that theorists have been misled by the assumption that if a claim is deserving of criticism, it is because the claim is false. Turning to the criticism of concepts rather than criticism of claims, I expand on (...) the distinction between "descriptive semantics" and "foundational semantics" to show that genealogy can be uniquely qualified to explore the foundations of concepts, and hence to criticize concepts that are problematic in nonobvious ways. (shrink)
What might it be like to be a Buddhist in a future world where your life started with your parents designing your genes? In addition to screening for unwanted genetic diseases, they would have selected your genes for sex; height; eye, hair, and skin color; and, if your parents are Buddhists, maybe even for genes that allow you to sit easily in the full lotus position. Pressured by current social fads, they may also have chosen genes whose overall functions are (...) not clearly understood but are rumored to be connected with temperament, intelligence, mindfulness, and perhaps psychic powers. (There is no longer any need to search for reincarnated lamas. They now clone themselves and get reborn in their own clones.) If your parents are poor, they may have been paid to design you with genes tailored for a particular occupation, together with a pre-birth contract for future employment. As in the film Gattaca, you probably belong to a clearly defined social class according to the degree of your genetic enhancement. Of course there may still be a few weird, unenhanced naturals-by-choice meditating in the mountains. (shrink)
What are the conditions for fixing the reference of a proper name? Debate on this point has recently been rekindled by Scott Soames, Robin Jeshion, and others. In this paper, I sketch a new pragmatic approach to the justification of reference-fixing procedures, in opposition to accounts that insist on an invariant set of conditions for fixing reference across environments and linguistic communities. Comparing reference to other relations whose instances are introduced through "initiation" procedures, I outline a picture in which the (...) procedures that are successful for fixing the reference of proper names depend in part on regularities in the actual environment. (shrink)
Imagine a world in which as part of their basic substances tomatoes contain fish and tobacco, potatoes contain chicken, moths and other insects, and corn contains fireflies. Is this science-fiction? No, these plant-animal hybrids already exist today and may soon be on your supermarket shelves without any special labeling to warn you. Furthermore, in a few years the types of these genetically engineered "vegetables" are sure to increase and may very possibly also include human genes. If you are a vegetarian, (...) do you want to be in the position of inadvertently eating vegetables that are part meat? Even if you are not a vegetarian, are you ready to become a cannibal and eat foods that are part human being? (shrink)
The historical Buddha Shakyamuni denied the divine authority of the Brahmins, the Hindu priestly class. He set up a system of taking refuge with the Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha) in which a member of the Buddhist monastic community becomes the representative of the Three Jewels and the teacher of individual lay Buddhists. He also set up lineages of enlightened masters, who were entrusted with the task of carrying on the authentic teachings.
Aristotle stated one of the most influential postulates in the history of ethics: virtue is the middle point between two vicious extremes: "…excess and defect are characteristic of vice, and the mean of virtue. For men are good in but one way, but bad in many." The paper argues that between two vices there are two virtues that comprise two different moral perspectives as perceived by stereoethics. For example, two virtues can be found between the vices of miserliness and wastefulness: (...) generosity, which is further from miserliness, and thrift, which is further from wastefulness. Just as there are stereo music and stereo cinema, which convey the full volume of sounds and objects, there is stereo ethics, based on the duality of virtues. From the point of view of stereo ethics we can rethink the "golden rule": "Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them." At the basis of both the golden rule and, later, the Kantian categorical imperative, lies the reversibility of moral subjects: you should put yourself in somebody else's place and treat you neighbor as you wish him or her to treat you. Today, however, ithas become obvious that only the ethics of differentiation can save us from relativism, which is a negative reaction against traditional morals with their universal norms. It is precisely this irreducibility of the individual to the general that may become a source of new moral energy. Two questions form a moral criterion: Would you wish to become an object of your own actions? Could anyone but you be the subject of your actions? The best action is that which corresponds to the needs of the largest number and the capacities of the smallest number of people. Act in such a way that you yourself would like to become an object of your actions, but no one else could be their subject. It is moral to do for others that which no one else can do except myself : to be for-others, but not like-others. (shrink)
An educated guess about the future of academic bioethics can only be made on the basis of the historical conditions of its success. According to its official history, which attributes its success primarily to the service it has done for the patient, it should be safe at least as long as the patient still needs its service. Like many other academic disciplines, it might suffer under the present economic downturn. However, in the plausible assumption that its social role has not (...) been exhausted yet, it should recover as soon as the economy does. But if, as this paper tries to argue, the success of academic bioethics should be attributed first and foremost to the service it has done for the neoliberal agenda, then its future would have to depend on the fate of the latter. The exact implications of the downturn for the neoliberal agenda are obviously impossible to predict. Among the various options, however, the one of going back to 'normal' seems to be the least likely. The other options suggest that the future of academic bioethics, as we have known it, is bleak. (shrink)
Chomsky's current Biolinguistic (Minimalist) methodology is shown to comport with what might be called 'established' aspects of biological method, thereby raising, in the biolinguistic domain, issues concerning biological autonomy from the physical sciences. At least current irreducibility of biology, including biolinguistics, stems in at least some cases from the very nature of what I will claim is physiological, or inter-organ/inter-component, macro-levels of explanation which play a new and central explanatory role in Chomsky's inter-componential (interface-based) explanation of certain (anatomical) properties of (...) the syntactic component of Universal Grammar. Under this new mode of explanation, certain physiological functions of cognitive mental organs are hypothesized, in an attempt to explain aspects of their internal anatomy. Thus, the internal anatomy of the syntactic component exhibits features that enable it to effectively interface with (i.e. function in a coordinated fashion with) other 'adjacent' organs, such as the Conceptual-Intensional (C-I) ('meaning') system and the Sensory- Motor (SM) ('sound') system. These two interface systems take as their inputs the assembled outputs of the syntactic component and, as a result of the very syntactic structure imposed by the syntax (as opposed to countless imaginable alternatives) are then able to assign their (linearized) sound and (compositional) meaning interpretations. If this is an accurate characterization, Chomsky's long-standing postulation of mental organs, and I will argue, the advancement of new hypotheses concerning physiological inter-organ functions, has attained in current biolinguistic Minimalist method a significant unification with foundational aspects of physiological explanation in other areas of biology. (shrink)
Ruth Millikan is one of the most interesting and influential philosophers alive. Her work is also hard to penetrate. In this review, I try to present and assess her work on the nature of language, which is collected in this anthology. I also criticize her analysis of “natural convention” as well as her discussion of illocutionary acts.
Chomsky and others have denied the relevance of external linguistic entities, such as E-languages, to linguistic explanation, and have questioned their coherence altogether. I discuss a new approach to understanding the nature of linguistic entities, focusing in particular on making sense of the varieties of kinds of “words” that are employed in linguistic theorizing. This treatment of linguistic entities in general is applied to constructing an understanding of external linguistic entities.
The extent to which concepts, memory, and planning are necessary to the simulation of intelligent behavior is a fundamental philosophical issue in Artificial Intelligence. An active and productive segement of the AI community has taken the position that multiple low-level agents, properly organized, can account for high-level behavior. Empirical research on these questions with fully operational systems has been restricted to mobile robots that do simple tasks. This paper recounts experiments with Hoyle, a system in a cerebral, rather than a (...) physical, domain. The program learns to perform well and quickly, often outpacing its human creators at two-person, perfect information board games. Hoyle demonstrates that a surprising amount of intelligent behavior can be treated as if it were situation-determined, that often planning is unnecessary, and that the memory required to support this learning is minimal. Concepts, however, are crucial to this reactive program's ability to learn and perform. (shrink)
The ratio-bias (RB) phenomenon refers to the perceived likelihood of a low-probability event as greater when it is presented in the form of larger (e.g. 10-in-100) rather than smaller (e.g. 1-in-10) numbers. According to cognitive-experiential self-theory (CEST), the RB effect in a game of chance in a win condition, in which drawing a red jellybean is rewarded, can be accounted for by two facets of concrete thinking, the greater comprehension (at the intuitive-experiential level) of single numbers than of ratios, and (...) of smaller than of larger numbers. In a lose condition, in which drawing a red jellybean is punished, the assumption of a third facet of concrete thinking, the ''affirmative-representation principle'', is necessary, as many participants reverse their focus of attention from the undesirable red to the desirable white jellybeans. Results supported the CEST explanation of the RB effect by demonstrating a predicted negative linear relation between the magnitude of the RB effect and the magnitude of the probability-ratios in the win condition and a positive linear relation in the lose condition. Support was also found for the associative principle of experiential processing. (shrink)
A problem with Stanovich & West's inference that there a nonintellectual processing system independent from an intellectual one from data in which they partialled out global intelligence is that they may have controlled for the wrong kind of intellectual intelligence. Research on cognitive-experiential self-theory over the past two decades provides much stronger support for two independent processing systems.
The new millennium will be ushered in by the biotech century. The earlier we prepare the better. In the short term, we will be affected in these main areas: medical treatment; industrial, agricultural, and forest use; and food. First, let us take a brief look at some problems with the use of genetic engineering in agriculture and in our food. Then I would like to make some simple suggestions about steps we can take to assess the situation here in Mendocino (...) County. (shrink)
It is very easy to get the feeling here in our local community that we have reached an impasse on pollution and many other environmental issues. The lines are clearly drawn, and all too often loud name-calling drowns out the little meaningful dialogue that is actually taking place. My purpose tonight is to present some ways of looking at environmental questions that are very old, yet which may represent fresh approaches to many of us. Perhaps some of the ideas can (...) provide new beginnings for meaningful dialogues and perhaps even solutions. The three main ancient traditions that I would like to discuss, albeit very briefly, are Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism. (shrink)
This study surveyed investors to determine the extent to which they preferred ethical behavior to profits and their interest in having information about corporate ethical behavior reported in the corporate annual report. First, investors were asked to determine what penalties should be assessed against employees who engage in profitable, but unethical, behavior. Second, investors were asked about their interest in using the annual report to disclose the ethical performance of the corporation and company officials. Finally, investors were asked if they (...) felt that ethics reports should be audited.The survey results indicate that many shareholders (42%) do not expect a high level of ethical behavior from corporate employees or officers. There is a significant amount of interest in disclosure of ethical issues (72%) and unwillingness to trust management to provide unbiased reports of ethical behavior. If such reports are included with the financial statements, 32 percent of the investors surveyed would prefer to have them audited to provide independent verification. (shrink)
During the past decade many individuals have sought to create a connection between their work persona and their religious/spiritual persona. Management education has a legitimate role to play in introducing teachings drawn from our religious traditions into business ethics and other courses. Thereby, we can help prepare students to consider the possibility that business endeavors, spirituality and religious commitment can be inextricable parts of a coherent life.
The first series of doctrinal arguments in the Surangama-sutra (T. 945) is concerned with the Buddha's refutation of seven hypothetical locations for the mind proposed by Ananda.The arguments are the first step in the development of the teaching of the entire work. A synopsis of the arguments follows.
Cognition is readily seen to be connected to evolution through plots of the ratio of cranial capacity to body size of hominids which show two regions of sharply increasing ratios beginning at 2.5 and 0.5 million years ago – precisely the critical times inferred by the author from his study of tools. A similar correlation exists between current human brain growth spurts and the onsets of the Piagetian stages of reasoning development. The first goal of the author's target article is (...) stated to be “to make a case for the relevance of archeological contributions to studies of the evolution of cognition” (sect. 1, Introduction). His analysis focuses on spatial cognition. (shrink)
My aim in this paper is to discuss a metaphysical framework within which to understand “standard linguistic entities” (SLEs), such as words, sentences, phonemes, and other entities routinely employed in linguistic theory. In doing so, I aim to defuse certain kinds of skepticism, challenge convention-based accounts of SLEs, and present a series of distinctions for better understanding what the various accounts of SLEs do and do not accomplish.
The article presents Gogol as marking the end of a century-long phase of secularism in Russian culture, from Peter the Great to Pushkin, and as the first writer to represent the cultural phenomenon of the ‘New Middle Ages’ and renewed religious zeal, first described by Berdyaev; further, it highlights some commonalities between Gogol and Belinsky and takes Belinsky as a leading instance of ‘religious atheism’. The article goes on to consider Russian culture’s need for neutral ‘middle ground’ between its multiple (...) and extreme polarities and, in this context, highlights Sergej Averintsev’s plea for an orientation towards Aristotelianism. (shrink)
(Originally published in Vajra Bodhi Sea , Jan., Feb., Mar., 1985. Copyright by Vajra Bodhi Sea. Permission is granted for single copies made for personal use. Comments and corrections may be sent to the author's e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.).
Shepard has supposed that the mind is stocked with innate knowledge of the world and that this knowledge figures prominently in the way we see the world. According to him, this internal knowledge is the legacy of a process of internalization; a process of natural selection over the evolutionary history of the species. Shepard has developed his proposal most fully in his analysis of the relation between kinematic geometry and the shape of the motion path in apparent motion displays. We (...) argue that Shepard has made a case for applying the principles of kinematic geometry to the perception of motion, but that he has not made the case for injecting these principles into the mind of the percipient. We offer a more modest interpretation of his important findings: that kinematic geometry may be a model of apparent motion. Inasmuch as our recommended interpretation does not lodge geometry in the mind of the percipient, the motivation of positing internalization, a process that moves kinematic geometry into the mind, is obviated. In our conclusion, we suggest that cognitive psychologists, in their embrace of internal mental universals and internalization may have been seduced by the siren call of metaphor. Key Words: apparent motion; imagery; internalization; inverse projection problem; kinematic geometry; measurement; metaphors of mind. (shrink)
Measure H reads: “It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to propagate, cultivate, raise, or grow genetically modified organisms in Mendocino County.” It goes on to exempt any GMOs associated with medical treatment and any GMOs that come into the county through commerce. Genetic modification in the sense in which it is defined in the ordinance refers to genetic engineering, not conventional breeding or hybridizing. GMOs cannot be produced conventionally.
The topic of this panel is "Biotechnology: Boon or Bane for Spiritual Development." It has very often been said that we are on the threshold of the biotech century, and I am sure that all of you are very clearly aware that genetic engineering is going to totally reshape life on this planet in many ways: economically, politically, scientifically--particularly in terms of medicine, and also environmentally. Most important for all of us is what the relationship of this incredible technology will (...) be to the spiritual nature of human beings. Although an enormous amount has been written on biotechnology, very little has been written about the relationship between biotechnology, particularly genetic engineering, and the human spirit. (shrink)
The bare bones of the story of Bodhidharma, that strange, bearded, wide-eyed fellow who brought the meditation school of Buddhism that we know as Zen to China, are well known. He sailed from India to Canton and then proceeded to the court of Emperor Wu of the Liang Dynasty, who asked the Patriarch how much merit he had accumulated from sponsoring the building of temples, the copying of Buddhist scriptures, and the ordination of monks. When Bodhidharma replied, "None," the emperor (...) didn't understand, so Bodhidharma went north, crossed the Yangtse River on a reed, and spent nine years gazing at a wall at Shao-lin Monastery. (shrink)
What I would like to do in the next few minutes is to outline very briefly some of my research on the authenticity of the Shurangama-sutra. Although the material is rather complex, I'll do my best to omit what is tedious without sacrificing important points. However, it will be necessary to omit most of the details just in order to get through the material.
Genes are the fundamental chemical codes that determine the physical nature of all living things, from the tiniest single-celled organism to human beings. Genes make up the DNA, the cell-level master plan which determines how the organism is going to develop in all ways that are not environmentally influenced.
I would like to thank the Sangha for inviting me to speak with you tonight. Some of you may be wondering what Measure H has to do with the Buddhadharma and why we are taking time during the period for sutra lectures to discuss it. I think it's very important to remember that all dharmas are Buddhadharmas, and that the Venerable Master Hua taught us that we have a responsibility towards the country in which we are living. (...) class='Hi'> This is one of the few places in the world where we can freely practice Buddhism without interference or oppression from the government. This is a democratic country in which the principle of freedom of religion is practiced. In order to protect freedom of religion and to maintain the democracy in this country, all the people in the country, including us-both lay Buddhists and monastic Buddhists-must act responsibly. If you are a citizen, you have the responsibility to vote intelligently. If you are a teacher, you have a responsibility to teach the students how to be knowledgeable and responsible citizens of this country. And if you are student, you should learn what it means to be a responsible citizen. And if you are in none of those categories, you still have a responsibility to do whatever you can to lessen the suffering of all the sentient beings in this country. That is why it is important that you understand about Measure H and its relationship to the Buddhadharma. (shrink)
Shape and slant judgments of rotated or frontoparallel ellipses were elicited from three groups of 10 subjects. A masking stimulus was introduced to control processing time. Backward masking trials were presented with interstimulus intervals of 0, 25, and 50 msec, Reduction of processing time altered shape judgments in the direction of projective shape and slant judgments in the direction of frontoparallelness. This finding is consistent with the shapeslant invariance hypothesis. In order to study the effects of processing load, one group (...) of subjects was given prior knowledge of the kind of judgment.. (shrink)
After having been invited to the United States by some disciples from Hong Kong, the Master established a Buddhist Lecture Hall in San Francisco's Chinatown in 1962. In 1963, because some of the disciples there were not respectful of the Dharma, he left Chinatown and moved the Buddhist Lecture Hall to a first-floor flat in a run-down Victorian building on the edge of San Francisco's Fillmore District and Japantown. The other floors of the building contained individual rooms for rent with (...) communal kitchens. Those rooms were occupied by poor, elderly black people and a bunch of young Americans who were, in various ways, eagerly searching for meaning in their lives. (shrink)
Many of America's new Buddhists are spreading the idea that they are a "sangha" and that their lay "sangha" movement is the correct adaptation of Buddhism to the American scene. Where does this peculiar and dangerous idea come from?
Although there are people from the north and people from the south, there is ultimately no north or south in the Buddha nature. The body of the barbarian and that of the High Master are not the same, but what distinction is there in the Buddha nature?
This is a review of Hans Moravec''s book, Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind. This review raises three categories of questions relating to Moravec''s vision of the future. First, there are the ethical and social implications issues implicit in robotics research. Second, there are the soul issues, which especially relate to the prospect of the demoralization of human beings. Third, there is the issue as to whether a robot could ever be a sentient being.
In his commentary, David Galin raises several important issues that deserve to be addressed. In this response, I do three things. First, I briefly discuss the relation between the present work and the metaphoric theories of thought developed by cognitive lin- guists such as Lakoff and Johnson (1998). Second, I address some of the confusions that seem to have arisen about my use of the terms ''substantive thought'' and ''nucleus.'' Third, I briefly discuss some of the directions that Galin suggests (...) for further research. (shrink)
Reversing the light to shine within, Avalokiteshvara Enlightens all the sentient beings, thus he is a Bodhisattva. His mind is thus, thus, unmoving, a superior one at peace. His total understanding of the ever-shining makes him a host and master. When the six types of psychic powers become an ordinary matter, Then even less can the winds and rains of the eight directions cause alarm. Rolling it up retracts it and keeps it secretly hidden away. Letting it go expands it (...) so it fills the whole world entirely. (shrink)
Abstract In Simple Rules for a Complex World, I outlined a set of legal rules that facilitate just and efficient social interactions among individuals. Frederick Schauer's critique of my book ignores the specific implications of my system in favor of a general critique of simplicity that overlooks the dangers to liberty when complex rules confer vast discretion on public figures. He also does not refer to the nonlibertarian features of my system that allow for overcoming holdout positions. These ?take and (...) pay? rules explain how a system broadly protective of private property responds to well?known two?person (Able?Infirm) hypothetical of the sort advanced by G. A. Cohen, which are designed to show how claims of self?ownership lend strong support to egalitarian outcomes. (shrink)
This book presents modern logic as the formalization of reasoning that needs and deserves a semantic foundation. Chapters on propositional logic; parsing propositions; and meaning, truth and reference give the reader a basis for establishing criteria that can be used to judge formalizations of ordinary language arguments. Over 120 worked examples illustrate the scope and limitations of modern logic, as analyzed in chapters on identity, quantifiers, descriptive names, and functions. The chapter on second-order logic shows how different conceptions of predicates (...) and propositions do not lead to a common basis for quantification over predicates, as they do for quantification over things. Notable for its clarity of presentation and supplemented by many exercises, this volume will be invaluable for philosophers, linguists, mathematicians, and computer scientists who wish to better understand the tools they use in formal reasoning. (shrink)
Genes are the fundamental chemical codes that determine the physical nature of all living things, from the tiniest single-celled organism to human beings. Genes make up DNA, the cell-level master plan which determines how the organism is going to develop in all ways that are not environmentally influenced.
Agent-based modeling is starting to crack problems that have resisted treatment by analytical methods. Many of these are in the physical and biological sciences, such as the growth of viruses in organisms, flocking and migration patterns, and models of neural interaction. In the social sciences, agent-based models have had success in such areas as modeling epidemics, traffic patterns, and the dynamics of battlefields. And in recent years, the methodology has begun to be applied to economics, simulating such phenomena as energy (...) markets and the design of auctions. (shrink)
When Dharma Master Heng Shun called to invite me to speak, he didn’t tell me that I was supposed to speak on the interior life. If he had, I would have said no, because here we have so many experts on the interior life, who are real professionals. I think that’s one of the great contributions of Buddhism to the world. It is a professional curriculum in the interior life. Although we have explorers of the interior life in the West, (...) too, I don’t think there’s the same kind of systematic dedication to that exploration as there was in ancient India and in particular in Buddhism. (shrink)
The monastic and the layperson are both individuals whose individuality is empty of essential, permanent reality. To the extent that they hold to individual identity, they are deluded. To the extent that they grasp dharmas, such as, ‘I am a nun or laywoman on the Path,’ they are also deluded, but that is an attachment that can lead to non-attachment, and ultimately to enlightenment. The Buddha said.
One major reason for the importance of the Sutra is its final section, presented in this volume, on fifty deviant mental states associated with the Five Skandhas; ten states are described for each of the skandhas. For each state a description is given of the mental phenomena experienced by the practitioner, the causes of the phenomena and the difficulties which arise from attachment to the phenomena and misinterpretation of them. In essence what is presented is both a unique method of (...) cataloguing and classifying spiritual experience and indication of causal factors involved in the experience of the phenomena. Although the fifty states presented are by no means exhaustive, the approach taken has the potential of offering a framework for the classification of all spiritual experience, both Buddhist and non-Buddhist. (shrink)
Jürgen Habermas's recent challenge to secular citizens calling for greater inclusivity of religious justifications in the public sphere opens new epistemological debates that could benefit from the rich insights of feminist epistemologists. Despite certain theoretical tensions, there is some common ground between Habermas and recent work in feminist epistemology. Specifically, this article explores the shared interests between Habermas and one feminist theorist in particular, Miranda Fricker. I choose Fricker because her formulation of the epistemological and ethical hybrid virtues of testimonial (...) justice and hermeneutical justice provide efficacious theoretical and practical tools capable of deepening the epistemological basis of Habermas's challenge to secular citizens. After a detailed analysis of Habermas's and Fricker's respective epistemological positions, I argue that Fricker's analysis provides a rich framework for thinking through questions of power, identity, and credibility with respect to religious justifications in the public sphere. In conclusion, this article emphasizes the importance of fostering more robust and just epistemic communities capable of countering the social, political, and ethical injustices of epistemic disauthorization and marginalization. (shrink)
Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) are frequently criticized for their marketing mistakes. Often that criticism is leveled against an implicit benchmark of an ideal competitive market or an ideal system of government provision. But any accurate assessment in the choice of health care organizations always requires a comparative measure of error rates. These are high in the provision of health care, given the inherent uncertainties in both the cost and effectiveness of treatment. But the continuous and rapid evolution of private health (...) care mechanisms is, in the absence of regulation, more likely to secure access and contain costs than any system of government regulation. State regulation is subject to the risk of capture and to the sluggish and acquisitive behavior of state run monopolies. The proposed fixes for the MCOs (rights to specialists, access to physicians outside the network, guaranteed emergency room access) are likely, when imposed from without, to cost more than they are worth. The long-term risk is that markets will fail under regulation, paving the way for greater losses from massive government control of the health care delivery system. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the most recent period in the development of Russian thought (1960s–1990s). Proceeding from the cyclical patterns of Russian intellectual history, I propose to name it the third philosophical awakening. I define the main tendency of this period as the struggle of thought against ideocracy. I then suggest a classification of main trends in Russian thought of this period: (1) Dialectical Materialism in its evolution from late Stalinism to neo-communist mysticism; (2) Neorationalism and Structuralism; (3) Religious Orthodox (...) Thought; (4) Synthetic and Spiritualist Teachings; (5) Personalism and Liberalism; (6) Neo-Slavophilism and the Philosophy of National Spirit; (7) Culturology, or the Philosophy of Culture; (8) Conceptualism, or the Philosophy of Postmodernity. (shrink)
The following story is about the Venerable Mahā-maudgalyāyana, an enlightened disciple of the historical Buddha Śākyamuni. Mahā-maudgalyāyana travels to a distant solar system, to a planet which is inhabited by giant people, and on which there is also a Buddha with disciples practicing under his guidance. The story, which brings to mind Swiftâ€™s Gulliver in the land of the giants, is remarkable in many respects. The Buddha and Mahā- maudgalyāyana both probably lived during the ﬁfth and sixth centuries BCE. In (...) the European West, until the time of Galileo (1564-1642), most educated people thought the whole cosmos rotated around the earth and consisted of the sun and seven planets. They did not realize that the stars were other suns. This story here related shows that 2,500 years ago, Buddhists were aware of a vast cosmos ﬁlled with suns and planets and sentient life. Contemporary, scientiﬁcally oriented people often have a tendency to dismiss non-Western cosmologies as limited, primitive, and distorted myths, in the negative sense of that word. In this story we are presented with a cosmology that seems much closer than the Western pre-Galilean view to the contemporary scientiﬁc view of the physical universe. Of course the assertions about the spiritual powers of the Buddha and Mahā-maudgalyāyana and the size of the people on the distant planet do not merge so easily with contemporary scientiﬁc, materialist mindsets. (shrink)