An important contribution of Christian ethics in the pluralistic world of the twenty-firstcentury is to emphasize inclusivity. Rather than promoting the interests of certain groups at the expense of the most vulnerable, society does well to prioritize ways forward that benefit all. For stem cell research, inclusivity entails benefiting or at least protecting the beneficiaries of treatment, the sources of materials, and the subjects of research. Adult stem cells are already benefiting many ill patients without causing harm, (...) and select adult cells may prove even more beneficial in the future. Other types of stem cells require other bodily materials such as eggs and somatic cells that should be obtained without unduly harming those who provide them. Research subjects, especially the most vulnerable, require protection as well. Should human embryos be included among them? Considerations of location, formation, individuation, and intention are here examined. Ultimately, for safety reasons as well as workability, pluripotency, and compatibility, relatively new types of pluripotent stem cells, especially induced pluripotent stem cells, warrant special priority according to an inclusive ethics. (shrink)
Through comparisons between traditional Chinese and Western aesthetics, this article tries to explain the worldwide significance of Chinese aesthetic tradition in the twenty-firstcentury. In contrast to cognitive-rational spirit and the tendency to distinguish the subjectives and objectives of traditional Western aesthetics, traditional Chinese aesthetics shows a distinctive practical-emotional spirit and a tendency to harmoniously unite human beings with nature, and believes that beauty is, first and foremost, a free state or way (Dao) of human life; the most (...) important thing for human beings is how to make their own lives and existence beautiful. Therefore, it puts forward some persuasive and valuable insights into beauty and art, thus playing an independent and constructive role in intercultural aesthetic dialogues of the twenty-firstcentury. (shrink)
This article provides current Schwartz Values Survey (SVS) data from samples of business managers and professionals across 50 societies that are culturally and socioeconomically diverse. We report the society scores for SVS values dimensions for both individual- and societal-level analyses. At the individual-level, we report on the ten circumplex values sub-dimensions and two sets of values dimensions (collectivism and individualism; openness to change, conservation, self-enhancement, and self-transcendence). At the societal-level, we report on the values dimensions of embeddedness, hierarchy, mastery, affective (...) autonomy, intellectual autonomy, egalitarianism, and harmony. For each society, we report the Cronbach’s α statistics for each values dimension scale to assess their internal consistency (reliability) as well as report interrater agreement (IRA) analyses to assess the acceptability of using aggregated individual level values scores to represent country values. We also examined whether societal development level is related to systematic variation in the measurement and importance of values. Thus, the contributions of our evaluation of the SVS values dimensions are two-fold. First, we identify the SVS dimensions that have cross-culturally internally reliable structures and within-society agreement for business professionals. Second, we report the society cultural values scores developed from the twenty-firstcentury data that can be used as macro-level predictors in multilevel and single-level international business research. (shrink)
Christian realism has provided a theological understanding of politics that identifies the limits within which all political choices are made. Those limits are set by a theological understanding of judgment, which reserves the ultimate meaning of history to divine judgment, and by a theological understanding of responsibility, which gives proximate meaning to the choices between greater and lesser goods that are available to human politics. The assessments of global politics offered by Reinhold Niebuhr and other Christian realists during the Second (...) World War and the Cold War which followed owe their influence partly to an astute and historically informed reading of events, but primarily, their influence is due to this basic theological understanding of politics. While the world has changed in ways that clearly reveal limitations in the original formulations of Christian realism, the theological principles of judgment and responsibility continue to provide an understanding of global politics adequate to the new realities of the twenty-firstcentury. (shrink)
In the medieval legend, Doctor Faustus strikes a dark deal with the devil; he obtains vast powers for a limited time in exchange for a priceless possession, his eternal soul. The cautionary tale, perhaps more than ever, provides a provocative lens for examining humankind’s condition, notably its indefatigable faith in knowledge and technology and its predilection toward misusing both. A variety of important questions are raised in this meditation including What is the nature of knowledge today and how does it (...) differ from knowledge in prior times? What is its relation to technology and power? What paths are we heading along and which alternative ones are being avoided? Not insignificantly, we also raise the issue of civic ignorance, including that which is intentionally cultivated and that which is simply a lack of knowledge. We also consider the identity of Doctor Faustus in the twenty-firstcentury and in a more material world like ours, what is the soul that he would lose in the bargain, and what damage might be done to Faustus and to innocent bystanders. Finally since people don’t always live up to the terms of agreements they make, what, if anything, could Faustus do to wriggle out of the bargain, to avoid the loss of his all-important soul. Our response is not to disavow knowledge (as the implicit “lesson” of the original myth might suggest) but to shift to another approach to knowledge that is more collective and more responsive to actual needs of our era. This approach which we call civic intelligence is considered as a way to avoid the possible catastrophes that the Faustian bargain we’ve seemingly struck is likely to bring. (shrink)
The four authors present their speculations about the future developments of mathematical logic in the twenty-firstcentury. The areas of recursion theory, proof theory and logic for computer science, model theory, and set theory are discussed independently.
With the ending of the strategic certainties of the Cold War, the need for moral clarity over when, where and how to start, conduct and conclude war has never been greater. There has been a recent revival of interest in the just war tradition. But can a medieval theory help us answer twenty-firstcentury security concerns? -/- David Fisher explores how just war thinking can and should be developed to provide such guidance. His in-depth study examines philosophical challenges (...) to just war thinking, including those posed by moral scepticism and relativism. It explores the nature and grounds of moral reasoning; the relation between public and private morality; and how just war teaching needs to be refashioned to provide practical guidance not just to politicians and generals but to ordinary service people. -/- The complexity and difficulty of moral decision-making requires a new ethical approach - here characterised as virtuous consequentialism - that recognises the importance of both the internal quality and external effects of agency; and of the moral principles and virtues needed to enact them. Having reinforced the key tenets of just war thinking, Fisher uses these to address contemporary security issues, including the changing nature of war, military pre-emption and torture, the morality of the Iraq war, and humanitarian intervention. He concludes that the just war tradition provides not only a robust but an indispensable guide to resolve the security challenges of the twenty-firstcentury. (shrink)
This timely anthology contains five pieces of republished poetry (and one original poem) and eleven essays of varying length taking mostly contemporary stances on—and thus hoping to spur the on-going reception into the twenty-firstcentury of—the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson. The assortment of the texts is heterogeneous, yet showing a slight philosophical emphasis: among the eleven essays, half a dozen are by authors trained in philosophy, a couple by literary scholars, and another couple by poets. The prose (...) pieces are previously unpublished, excluding the classical essays by Robert C. Pollock (published originally in 1958) and John J. McDermott (1980), as well as John Lysaker's thought-provoking meditation "Taking .. (shrink)
The mass popular dissent which has marked the early twenty-firstcentury, from al-Qaeda to the Arab Spring to the Occupy movement, can be read as expressions of collective, subjective, existential mutation. This reading is inspired by Félix Guattari, who described the 1979 Iranian revolution, the Polish Solidarity movement and the 1989 Chinese student demonstrations as demands for subjective singularisation. In each of these examples of social discontent, past and present, demands vary widely even within the same movement, spanning (...) economics, lifestyle, religion and politics, and ranging from cries for liberation to conservative returns to ancient tradition. In order to perform a schizoanalysis of such amorphous movements, Guattari developed a four-part ecosophic object, composed of existential Territories, Universes of value, material-energetic Flows and machinic Phyla. Assemblages can be dynamically mapped along these four dimensions. Of crucial importance in the age of extreme deterritorialisation is the existential Territory, which could potentially take the form of a homeland based on poetry or music rather than on ethnicity or even place. Such portable homelands would characterise the dissensual processual post-media era for which Guattari longed. (shrink)
The fact that sociology was born during the period of the Industrial Revolution does not authorize us to consider its discourse as lacking in philosophical elements that are rooted in a previous age. Neither can we consider as fully accomplished its role for modernity, nonetheless today, in an after-modern climate (in the sense of Donati 2009), sociology is trying to escape the prejudice of modern ethics to go beyond the clichés of postmodernity (Ardigò 1989). Filled with self-reflexivity and reductionist dichotomies, (...) the twenty-first-century sociologist feels the need to ?own factual reality again? and to rediscover ?a new metaphysics of the social world? (Donati 1993). If self-consciousness is in the world, sociology, perhaps, has to go beyond science and turn into ?globology? (Arnason 1990), or into a sociology on a global scale, which looks at how world unification has occurred. In order to accomplish this, it has to be careful about what it was able to do best in the past: ?to foresee and to enhance sustainable change,? to be aware of the ?relational connections,? which no mathematics will ever be able to show, to build new ?memes,? and to decide to accelerate or to go against the phenomena it encounters in its observation. Society in the twenty-firstcentury will go beyond postmodern stagnation and turn into something new (After-modernity? Hyper-modernity? Trans-modernity?) if it is to be helped by the interpretations of sociology. Notwithstanding the endeavors to change, most Westernized countries are trapped in the lib-lab model, while China argues for a complete reconfiguration of the concepts of public and private, states and market, freedom and controls, copyright and copyleft. What is going to happen in the future? Are we going to fall into a technocratic and authoritarian form of neo-modernization? Are we going to rediscover the system of exchanging gifts? Are we going to create a fully ?relational? society, going beyond the Hegelian categories of right and left? It will be the role of a ?strong and relational? sociology to identify all the ?viable? scenarios and to prepare its advent in symbolic terms. (shrink)
The twenty-firstcentury presents a major challenge for civil engineering. The magnitude and future importance of some of the problems perceived by society are directly related to the field of the civil engineer, implying an inescapable burden of responsibility for a group whose technical soundness, rational approach and efficiency is highly valued and respected by the citizen. However, the substantial changes in society and in the way it perceives the problems that it considers important call for a thorough (...) review of our structures, both professional and educational; so that our profession, with its undeniable historical prestige, may modernize certain approaches and attitudes in order to continue to be a reliable instrument in the service of society, giving priority from an ethical standpoint to its actions in pursuit of the public good . It possesses important tools to facilitate this work (new technologies, the development of communications, the transmission of scientific thought.···); but there is nevertheless a need for deep reflection on the very essence of civil engineering: what we want it to be in the future, and the ability and willingness to take the lead at a time when society needs disinterested messages, technically supported, reasonably presented and dispassionately transmitted. (shrink)
Forward - Prefacio - Acknowledgments - Preface - About the author - Part One: the rhetoric - An urgent context for twenty-firstcentury librarianship - Human rights, contestations and moral responsibilities of library and information workers - Part Two: the reality - Practical strategies for social action - Prevalent manifestations of social action applied to library and information work - Specific forms of social action used in library and information work for social change - Closing thought.
Phantasmagoria explores ideas of spirit and soul since the Enlightenment; it traces metaphors that have traditionally conveyed the presence of immaterial forces, and reveals how such pagan and Christian imagery about ethereal beings are embedded in a logic of the imagination, clothing spirits in the languages of air, clouds, light and shadow, glass, and ether itself. Moving from Wax to Film, the book also discusses key questions of imagination and cognition, and probes the perceived distinctions between fantasy and deception; it (...) uncovers a host of spirit forms--angels, ghosts, fairies, revenants, and zombies--that are still actively present in contemporary culture. It reveals how their transformations over time illuminate changing ideas about the self. Phantasmagoria also tells the accompanying story about the means used to communicate such ideas, and relates how the new technologies of the Victorian era were applied to figuring the invisible and the impalpable, and how magic lanterns (the phantasmagoria shows themselves), radio, photography and then moving pictures spread ideas about spirit forces. As the story unfolds, the book features the many eminent men and women--scientists and philosophers--who in the Society of Psychical Research applied their considerable energies to the question of other worlds and other states of mind: they staged trance seances in which mediums produced spirit phenomena, including ectoplasm. The book shows how this often embarrassing story connects with some of the important scientific discoveries of a fertile age, in psychology and physics. Over a sequence of twenty-eight chapters, with over thirty illustrations in color and black and white, Phantasmagoria thus tells an unexpected and often uncomfortable story about shifts in thought about consciousness and the individual person, from the first public waxworks portraits at the end of the eighteenth century to stories of hauntings, possession, and loss of self as in the case of the zombie, a popular figure of soulessness, in modern times. (shrink)
In a spellbinding narrative that skillfully weaves together cutting-edge research among today's foremost scientists, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku--author of the bestselling book Hyperspace --presents a bold, exhilarating adventure into the science of tomorrow. In Visions, Dr. Kaku examines in vivid detail how the three scientific revolutions that profoundly reshaped the twentieth century--the quantum, biogenetic, and computer revolutions--will transform the way we live in the twenty-firstcentury. The fundamental elements of matter and life--the particles of the atom and (...) the nucleus of the cell--have now been decoded, closing one of the great chapters of scientific history. But this is just the preface to an even more far-reaching scientific revolution, as we make the transition from being passive observers of the mysteries of nature to becoming masters of nature, able to manipulate matter, life, and intelligence to remold the world around us. In the first part of Visions, Dr. Kaku discusses the cyber future, when millions of microprocessors are scattered throughout our environment; when the iron principle that has ruled the computer industry, Moore's Law, finally collapses, forcing scientists to adopt startling new designs like DNA computers and quantum computers; and when artificial intelligence systems finally arrive. In the next section, Dr. Kaku shows how the decoding of DNA will allow us to conquer devastating genetic diseases, defeat many cancers at the molecular level, synthesize new medicines using virtual reality, grow new organs, conquer aging and reshape our genetic inheritance. Finally, he explores how quantum physicists will perfect new ways to harness the cosmic energy of the universe--from molecular machines to supermagnets that may energize a second industrial revolution, to powerful fusion engines that one day may take us to the stars. What makes Michio Kaku's vision of the future of science so compelling and authoritative is that it is based on the groundbreaking research already underway at leading laboratories around the world. Weaving interviews with over 150 scientists--several of them Nobel laureates--into a rich, inspiring narrative, Dr. Kaku reveals the growing consensus among key scientists about how science will likely evolve through the early, middle, and late years of the twenty-firstcentury. An intimate, thrilling tour through the next century of science, Visions is a riveting, essential map to how scientists will reshape our future. (shrink)
This paper sketches an analysis of the development of 20th-century philosophy. Starting with the foundational work of Frege and Husserl, the paper traces two parallel strands of philosophy developing from their work. It diagnoses three phases of development: the optimistic phase, the pessimistic phase, and finally the phase of fragmentation. The paper ends with some speculations as to where philosophy will go this century.
In his book Radical Evolution: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies—and What It Means to Be Human (2005), author-journalist Joel Garreau identifies four technologies whose synergistic activity may transform humankind into a state transcending present human nature: genetic, robotic, information, and nano (GRIN) technologies. If the GRIN technologies follow Moore's Law, as information technology has done for the past four decades, Homo sapiens and human society may be unimaginably different before the middle of this century. (...) But among scientists, futurists, and other pundits there is no agreement on the nature and ramifications of this transformation. Based on dozens of interviews, Garreau sees three possible scenarios for our species. The Heaven Scenario foresees enhanced bodies and minds in a disease-free world, perhaps even immortality; the Hell Scenario warns of losing our identity as a biological entity and perhaps the demise of liberal democracy; the Prevail Scenario predicts that we will muddle through the GRIN technology revolution basically intact, as we have prevailed during past technological upheavals. In this review, these scenarios are examined in the context of Kuhn's “normal” versus “extraordinary” science and in the context of current understanding about gene function. (shrink)
This paper aims to show how recent cinematic representations reveal a far more pessimistic and essentialised vision of Human/Cyborg hybridity in comparison with the more enunciative and optimistic ones seen at the end of the twentieth century. Donna Haraway’s still influential 1985 essay “A Cyborg Manifesto” saw the combination of the organic and the technological as offering new and exciting ways beyond the normalised culturally constructed categories of gender and identity formation. However, more recently critics see her later writings (...) as embodying a Faustian deal between the individual and hegemony, where technology does not enhance but merely returns the subject to a level of normalisation. As such cybernetics is only configured as a form of prosthetic rehabilitation, to ‘re’-able the ‘dis’-abled, that ultimately re-establishes earlier essentialised subject positions through that same evolutionary process. The Six Million Dollar Man, which ran from 1974 to 1978, exampled a symbiosis between the organic and the technological where the broken human body is not just re-made via mechanical prosthesis but through a process of Cyborg hybridity which actually makes it better, faster, stronger than before. In contrast, contemporary films such as Avatar (Cameron 2009 ), Transformers II: Revenge of the Fallen (Bay 2009 ) and Iron Man II (Faveraeu 2010) portray an inherent anxiety toward the cyborg body disavowing of any human/cyborg interaction beyond re-establishing their own discrete and separate subject positions. Although human/cyborg symbiosis constructs the possibility for potentialised bodies beyond those previously imagined, contemporary, popular, film represents them as separated and essentialised. This article looks at what cultural anxieties might produce such an about turn in such representations how this positions human identity in a time of increasing technology and, as a result, asks “ whatever happened to The Six Million Dollar Man ?”. (shrink)
he award given to me by the American Institute of Biological Sciences fills me with pride and gratitude, particularly since it was also awarded to my friend, Ledyard Stebbins, perhaps the greatest botanist of the twentieth century. It greatly saddened me to learn of his death in January. How gratifying that he was still able to receive this honor in person last year at the meeting of the Botanical Society of America. On that occasion, Ledyard expertly described the trials (...) and tribulations of evolutionism and its ultimately overwhelming victory in the twentieth century. (shrink)
Philosophy of science in the past half century can be seen as a reaction against logical empiricism's focus on modern logic as the format in which debates should be expressed and on physics as the canonical science. These reactions have resulted in a fragmentation of the field. Although this provides ways forward for disparate philosophies of various sciences, it threatens the very possibility of general philosophy of science. The debate that most obviously continues to be conducted at the general (...) level—the debate about scientific realism—only does so because of a dangerous naïveté. Nevertheless, this article suggests that there is a place for general work not by starting at the highest level of abstraction but instead by abstracting general lessons from actual science. (shrink)
: This article focuses on two possible missions for a national bioethics commission. The first is handling differences of worldview, political orientation, and discipline. Recent work in political philosophy emphasizes regard for the dignity of difference manifested in "conversation" that seeks understanding rather than agreement. The President's Council on Bioethics gets a mixed review in this area. The second is experimenting with prophetic bioethics. "Prophetic bioethics" is a term coined by Daniel Callahan to describe an alternative to compromise-seeking "regulatory bioethics." (...) It involves a critique of modern medicine. In the contemporary context, the areas of biotechnology and access to health care cry out for prophetic attention. The Council has addressed biotechnology; unfortunately, that experience suggests that the kind of prophecy that it practices poses risks to conversation. With regard to access issues, the article proposes an effort that unites themes of human dignity, solidarity, and limits in support of reform, while highlighting, rather than papering over, differences. (shrink)
Freud described religion as the universal obsessional neurosis, and uncompromisingly rejected it in favor of "science". Ever since, there has been the assumption that psychoanalysts are hostile to religion. Yet, from the beginning, individual analysts have questioned Freud's blanket rejection of religion. In this book, David Black brings together contributors from a wide range of schools and movements to discuss the issues. They bring a fresh perspective to the subject of religion and psychoanalysis, answering vital questions such as: · How (...) do religious stories carry (or distort) psychological truth? · How do religions 'work', psychologically? · What is the nature of religious experience? · Are there parallels between psychoanalysis and particular religious traditions? Psychoanalysis and Religion in the 21st Century will be of great interest to psychoanalysts, psychoanalytic therapists, psychodynamic counselors, and anyone interested in the issues surrounding psychoanalysis, religion, theology and spirituality. (shrink)
In the current century, geographic and psychological separations from familial and cultural connections have become endemic. The various fields of social sciences have made belonging vis à vis existential alienation a focal issue with an emphasis on the need for localized belonging. This article argues that there is an innate predisposition within the self that must connect to another, a ?re-membering??a compelling humanistic need to connect and become a member, yet again, of a greater collective. It is suggested herein (...) that this predisposition stems from the need to reclaim our anthropocosmic connection of being embedded in the world beyond, as opposed to an anthrocentric view that instigates an entity-in-isolation mentality. (shrink)
Where is philosophy going? Are we entering a post-philosophy millennium? The Future of Philosophy presents the notion of what the future of philosophy is as a crucial concept, since it allows us to speculate not only on the future, but also on the past. The insightful essays consider a variety of issues, from ethics to mind, language to feminist thought, postmodernism to religion. Contributors: Peter Edwards, Lenn Goodman, Sean Hand, Heta Hayry, Matti Hayry, Gill Howie, Oliver Leaman, Harry Lesser, Gerard (...) Livingstone, William Lyons and Catherine Wilson. (shrink)
Two major reasons feminists are concerned with science relate to science's social effects: that science can be a powerful ally in the struggle for equality for women; and that all too frequently science has been a generator and perpetuator of inequality. This concern with the social effects of science leads feminists to a different mode of appraising science from the purely epistemic one prized by most contemporary philosophers of science. The upshot, I suggest, is a new program for philosophy of (...) science, a program for a socially responsible philosophy of science. (shrink)
: This essay explores some themes in use of a relativized Kantian a priori in the work of Thomas Kuhn and Michael Friedman. It teases out some shared and some divergent beliefs and attitudes in these two philosophers by comparing their characteristic questions and problems to the questions and problems that seem most appropriately to attend to an adequate understanding of games and their histories. It argues for a way forward within a relativized Kantian framework that is suggested but not (...) argued for in Friedman (2001): philosophers of science should move from a concern with unreason as meaninglessness to a concern with unreason as argumentative coercion. It ends with a few suggestions regarding a place for philosophy in the history of reason. (shrink)
The recent development of a field known as experimental philosophy—in particular, its subfield devoted to moral decision making—invites us to reflect on what it means to experiment in ethics and how it is that philosophers determine the good. Furthermore, as this new discipline uses the methods of experimental psychology to examine our intuitions about such things as praise, blame, and moral responsibility, we ought to consider the relationship between ethics and our psychological makeup. To this end, it will be beneficial (...) to consider the American pragmatists' interpretations of these issues. Ethics, for these thinkers, was both a psychological and an experimental enterprise, one in which all of our psychological .. (shrink)
Fodor’s theory makes thinking prior to doing. It allows for an inactive agent or pure reflector, and for agents whose actions in various ways seem to float free of their own conceptual repertoires. We show that naturally evolved creatures are not like that. In the real world, thinking is always and everywhere about doing. The point of having a brain is to guide the actions of embodied beings in a complex material world. Some of those actions are, to be sure, (...) more recondite than others. But in every case the contents of thoughts still look to depend, in some non-unique but vitally important way, on the kinds of doings they support. (shrink)
This article takes the form of a set of edited diary entries containing reflections on incidents drawn mainly from the author?s professional life as a university professor and as a consultant to a disadvantaged multi-ethnic secondary school in the north of England. The form of the article allows a wide range of issues to be touched on, including respect, equality, authority, discipline, postmodernism, multicultural education, complexities in the concept of teaching by example and tensions between the enforcement of morality and (...) the goal of moral autonomy. Entries were selected to illustrate the dilemmas teachers face in their role as moral educators, to suggest a number of priorities for moral education and to encourage further reflection on the experiences, values and emotional responses described in the narratives. The form is intended to mirror the fragmentary way that learning actually takes place in the moral domain. (shrink)
This paper is the second in a two-part series in which we discuss several notions of completeness for systems of mathematical axioms, with special focus on their interrelations and historical origins in the development of the axiomatic method. We argue that, both from historical and logical points of view, higher-order logic is an appropriate framework for considering such notions, and we consider some open questions in higher-order axiomatics. In addition, we indicate how one can fruitfully extend the usual set-theoretic semantics (...) so as to shed new light on the relevant strengths and limits of higher-order logic. (shrink)
Evolution has increasingly become a topic of conflict between scientists and Christians, but Alexandre Meinesz’s recent book How Life Began aims to provide a reconciliation between the two. Here I review his somewhat unorthodox perspective on major transitions, alien origins and the meaning of life, with a critical focus on his account of the generation of multicellularity.
The paper presents a historical overview of some characteristic differences between rhetoric and dialectic in the pre-modern tradition. In the light of this historical analysis, some current approaches to dialectic are characterized, with special attention to Ralph Johnson's concept of dialectical tier.
Evolutionary thinking has expanded in the last decades, spreading from its traditional stronghold - the explanation of speciation and adaptation in Biology - to new domains including the human sciences. The essays in this collection attest to the illuminating power of evolutionary thinking when applied to the understanding of the human mind. The contributors to Cognition, Evolution and Rationality use an evolutionary standpoint to approach the nature of the human mind, including both cognitive and behavioral functions. Cognitive science is by (...) its nature an interdisciplinary subject and the essays use a variety of disciplines including the Philosophy of Science, the Philosophy of Mind, Game Theory, Robotics and Computational Neuroanatomy to investigate the workings of the mind. The topics covered by the essays range from general methodological issues to long-standing philosophical problems such as how rational human beings actually are. This book will be of interest across a number of fields, including philosophy, evolutionary theory and cognitive science. (shrink)
How much responsibility ought a professional engineer to have with regard to supporting basic principles of sustainable development? While within the United States, professional engineering societies, as reflected in their codes of ethics, differ in their responses to this question, none of these professional societies has yet to put the engineer’s responsibility toward sustainability on a par with commitments to public safety, health, and welfare. In this paper, we aim to suggest that sustainability should be included in the paramountcy clause (...) because it is a necessary condition to ensure the safety, health, and welfare of the public. Part of our justification rests on the fact that to engineer sustainably means among many things to consider social justice, understood as the fair and equitable distribution of social goods, as a design constraint similar to technical, economic, and environmental constraints. This element of social justice is not explicit in the current paramountcy clause. Our argument rests on demonstrating that social justice in terms of both inter- and intra-generational equity is an important dimension of sustainability (and engineering). We also propose that embracing sustainability in the codes while recognizing the role that social justice plays may elevate the status of the engineer as public intellectual and agent of social good. This shift will then need to be incorporated in how we teach undergraduate engineering students about engineering ethics. (shrink)
This article presents the main theoretical approaches to the religious phenomenon: functionalism, constructivism, civil religion, invisible religion, diffused religion, rational choice, vicarious religion, and so on. It is difficult to accumulate empirical data that in general are considered too weak. The state of the art of sociology of religion seems promising because of the presence of new generations of sociologists who are deeply involved in their work. For the future a specific theory on migration mobility is necessary. Another necessity is (...) a wider development of qualitative analysis for a better knowledge of religious dynamics. (shrink)
Underpinning all the other branches of science, physics affects the way we live our lives, and ultimately how life itself functions. Recent scientific advances have led to dramatic reassessment of our understanding of the world around us, and made a significant impact on our lifestyle. In this book, leading international experts, including Nobel prize winners, explore the frontiers of modern physics, from the particles inside an atom to the stars that make up a galaxy, from nano-engineering and brain research to (...) high-speed data networks. Revealing how physics plays a vital role in what we see around us, this book will fascinate scientists of all disciplines, and anyone wanting to know more about the world of physics today. (shrink)
It is argued that the conventional descriptions of chemical bonds as covalent, ionic, metallic, and Van der Waals are compromising the usefulness of quantum mechanics in the synthesis and design of new molecules and materials. Parallels are drawn between the state of chemistry now and when the idea that phlogiston was an element impeded the development of chemistry. Overcoming the current obstacles will require new methods to describe molecular structure and bonding, just as new concepts were needed before the phlogiston (...) theory could be set aside. (shrink)
The attacks on commercial shipping vessels by Somali pirates have introduced a business dilemma for ship-owners. While maritime piracy has been outlawed by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, ship-owners must determine whether to pay ransom demands to Somali pirates or not. There is no easy answer to solve this ethical dilemma for ship-owners and other interest groups, however, this article proposes a solution which takes into account all of the parties involved.
Human beings have engaged in animal husbandry and have slaughtered animals for food for thousands of years. During the majority of that time most societies had no animal welfare regulations that governed the care or slaughter of animals. Judaism is a notable exception in that from its earliest days it has included such rules. Among the Jewish dietary laws is a prohibition to consume meat from an animal that dies in any manner other than through the rigorously defined method of (...) slaughter known as shechita. In recent decades more and more attempts have been initiated by governments around the world to either outright ban or to control and modify the practice of shechita. This paper presents the requisite background about shechita and then analyzes the ethics of some of the recent legislation. The analysis includes a rebuttal of the assertion that shechita is an inhumane method of slaughter. It further presents the consequences on the Jewish community of legislation to impose pre-slaughter stunning and explains why such legislation is unethical. The actual effect of labeling laws is discussed and it is shown why such laws are also un-ethical. (shrink)
In this issue of the Report, Daniel Groll suggests new ways to understand old tensions between autonomy and paternalism. He categorizes disagreements between doctors and patients in four ways. Some are about the ends or goals of medical treatment. For these, he claims, patient choices are based upon patient values, and physicians should neither challenge nor assess them. More common are disagreements about the appropriate means to achieve an agreed-upon goal. These subdivide into two distinct categories—those in which the relative (...) efficacy of possible means is “medically assessable” and those in which it is not. When disagreements are medically assessable, Groll argues, doctors can legitimately challenge patient .. (shrink)
Medical professionals are a community of highly educated individuals with a commitment to a core set of ideals and principles. This community provides both technical and ethical socialization. The ideal physician is confident, empathic, forthright, respectful, and thorough. These ideals allow us to define broadly "the excellence" of being a physician. At the core of these ideals is the ability to be empathic. Empathy exhibits itself in attributes of an individual's moral character and also in actions that actualize and support (...) communal life. Empathy, however, can be diminished or even lost and must be nurtured on an ongoing basis. The development of ethical physicians is strongly linked to experiences in the training period. Moral traits are situation-sensitive psychological and behavioral dispositions. The clinical environment of medical training programs can be so intense as to lead to conditions that may actually deprofessionalize trainees. Creating a clinical environment that is ethically nurturing and sustaining is an indispensable component of practicing medicine. (shrink)
These are not easy times for extending liberal religious traditions. I am struck by how much has changed in the past two decades, how differently I now imagine the challenges and possibilities of constructive religious thought. What's happened? What are the salient features of our current moment, and the constraints and opportunities for religious reflection that it affords? These are, of course, large and complex questions. But my charge to reflect upon future directions in liberal religious thought must inevitably begin (...) here.1To provide a sketch of our particular historical juncture I will focus my remarks on the shifting American religious landscape and more broadly on what I am calling a "late secular" age.2 I .. (shrink)