The void is deadly. If you were cast into a void, it would cause you to die in just a few minutes. It would suck the air from your lungs. It would boil your blood. It would drain the warmth from your body. And it would inflate enclosures in your body until they burst}.
Urban void sometimes amplifies alienation within urban space, and thus leads the way to the human craving for authenticity. Juxtaposing urban void with the conventional notion of urban objects, furthermore, conforms to Nietzsche's distinction between Dionysian and Apollonian deportment. The Apollonian is at the founding of the Platonic myth of the Ideal City and its modern descendant, the myth of the Rational City. Modern urban planning has been object-directed and, consistent with the historical trend since the Renaissance, has (...) become a constituent of a Neo-Platonic mythology that insists on forging a city as an urban technological artifact. Most existing urban parks and squares, as well as suburban gardens, within this approach, only augment the subordinate standing of urban voids. Yet the significance of urban void, as the unplanned place that represents the pre-rational, the genuine and the unadulterated, ought to lead to its re-introduction into city-form as a conduit for self-reflection and authenticity. Recognizing urban void for its significance may reintroduce an important Dionysian feature into city-form, leading to deliberate carving of authentic urban spaces. (shrink)
This is a preprint version, please do not quote without authorization. The final version has appeared as Stefano Franchi, "Palomar, the Triviality of Modernity, and the Doctrine of the Void,“ New Literary History, 28 (1997), 4, 757-778. See: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/new_literary_history/toc/nlh28.4.html..
Abstract This paper examines a fundamental, though relatively understudied, aspect of the physical theory of the physician Asclepiades of Bithynia, namely his doctrine of pores. My principal thesis is that this doctrine is dependent on a conception of void taken directly from Epicurean physics. The paper falls into two parts: the first half addresses the evidence for the presence of void in Asclepiades' theory, and concludes that his conception of void was basically that of Epicurus; the second (...) half focuses on the precise nature of Asclepiadean pores, and seeks to show that they represent void interstices between the primary particles of matter which are the constituents of the human body, and are thus exactly analogous to the void interstices between atoms within solid objects in Epicurus' theory. (shrink)
What remains when you eliminate all matter? Can empty space-a void-exist? _Frank Close takes the reader on a lively and accessible tour through ancient ideas and cultural superstitions (including Aristotle, who insisted that the vacuum was impossible) to the frontiers of current scientific research. These newest discoveries tell us extraordinary things about the cosmos and may provide answers to some of our most fundamental questions: What lies outside the universe? If there was once nothing, then how did the universe (...) begin? (shrink)
While agreeing with me on many issues, Revonsuo rejects my claim that phenomenal states could be co-conscious without being spatially related (in experience). In defence of my claim I described a thought-experiment in which.
Based on the experiences of two high profile voluntary data collection programs for engineered nanomaterials, this article considers the merit of an international online registry for scientific data on engineered nanomaterials and environmental, health and safety (EHS) data. Drawing on the earlier experiences from the pharmaceutical industry, the article considers whether a registry of nanomaterials at the international level is practical or indeed desirable, and if so, whether such an initiative—based on the current state of play—should be voluntary or mandatory. (...) The article commences with an examination of the success and failures of voluntary reporting schemes in the UK and the US, as well as the International Council of Nanotechnology’s EHS Database and the OECD’s Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials. The article then examines the history of clinical trials registries, including the key motivations behind their creation, the role of self-regulation, and the perceived benefits thereof. Key lessons of the rise of clinical trials registration are highlighted, as are crucial considerations that must be addressed by policy makers should a multi-lateral public registry for data on nanoscale materials and EHS research be perceived to be a desirable option. The article concludes by arguing that while the creation of a registry to record information generated on nanomaterials is not straightforward, this reason alone should not deter industry from taking a proactive approach to the dissemination of fundamental data and research findings. (shrink)
In this paper I look at two connections between natural philosophy and theology in the late 17th century. In the last quarter of the century there was an interesting development of an argument, earlier but sketchier versions of which can be found in classical philosophers and in Descartes. The manoeuvre in question goes like this: first, prove that there must, necessarily, be a being which is, in some sense of "greater", greater than humans. Second, sketch a proof that such a (...) being is necessary. Move from the fact that there must be at least one such being to the conclusion that there is precisely one such being. Raise the question: could this necessary being be matter, the entire material universe, or must it be God? Produce an argument from natural philosophy to show that matter cannot be the required necessary being. Either explicitly or implicitly run the obvious disjunctive syllogism and conclude with a few remarks about the foolishness of atheism. The argument, which has classical roots, found a number of 17th-century exponents. Cudworth provided the most important version, and Locke, Bentley and Clarke adapted Cudworth's version with varying success. The argument touches on natural philosophy in two ways. First, the basis of the argument invites consideration of a problem in the philosophy of science - the relation between micro properties and macro properties - which was seen clearly enough in some contexts but which was overlooked in others, particularly when the theological aspect was uppermost. The second point of contact involves a direct application of a scientific result - the existence of a vacuum - to the theological issue. (shrink)
Although working through different traditions in European philosophy, the works of Giorgio Agamben and Slavoj Žižek have recently focused on issues surrounding the “state of emergency” that characterizes our age of increasing humanitarianism and global “police” actions. By investigating parallels in their separate diagnoses of our current political tendencies, this paper examines their suggestions for a political program of the future. Beginning with the paradoxes revealed in the ontological referent implied in “universal human rights,” this investigation will examine the contemporary (...) failure at developing a viable political ontology and the ensuing theoretical possibilities that these failures open for a politics of the future. (shrink)
MANY moons from now, when extraterrestrial archeologists sift through the records of our brief civilization, they might be amused to stumble across the proceedings of an annual convention of stargazers called the American Astronomical Society. They would be right in concluding that 1996 was, in one way or another, a landmark year.
In this book Almaas brings together concepts and experiences drawn from contemporary object relations theory, Freudian-based ego psychology, case studies from his own spiritual practice, and teaching from the highest levels of Buddhist and other Eastern practices. He challenges us to look not only at the personality and the content of the mind, but also at the underlying nature of the mind itself.
J. Robert Oppenheimer was one of the outstanding physicists of his generation. He was also an immensely gifted writer and speaker, who thought deeply about the way that scientific discoveries have changed the way people live and think. Displaying his subtlety of thought and expression as do few other documents, this book of his lectures discusses the moral and cultural implications of developments in modern physics.
Introduction -- The one real thing -- Agent of all acts and thinker of all thoughts -- Substance vs. attribute -- Attributes as spaces -- Naturalism -- Figments of reason -- Nihilism -- Idea vs. image -- Intuitive knowing and the fear of death -- Determinism -- Human agency : the basic law of "trying" -- "Right" naturalized : the politics of Spinoza.
This paper examines connections between concepts of space and extension on the one hand and immaterial spirits on the other, specifically the immanentist concept of spirits as present in rerum natura. Those holding an immanentist concept, such as Thomas Aquinas, typically understood spirits non-dimensionally as present by essence and power; and that concept was historically linked to holenmerism, the doctrine that the spirit is whole in every part. Yet as Aristotelian ideas about extension were challenged and an actual, infinite, dimensional (...) space readmitted, a dimensionalist concept of spirit became possible—that asserted by the mature Henry More, as he repudiated holenmerism. Despite More’s intentions, his dimensionalist concept opens the door to materialism, for supposing that spirits have parts outside parts implies that those parts could in principle be mapped onto the parts of divisible bodies. The specter of materialism broadens our interest in More’s unconventional ideas, for the question of whether other early modern thinkers, including Isaac Newton, followed More becomes a question of whether they too unwittingly helped usher in materialism. This paper shows that More’s attack upon holenmerism fails. He illegitimately injects his dimensionalist concept of spirit into the doctrine, failing to recognize it as a consequence of the non-dimensionalist concept of spirit, which in itself secures indivisibility. The interpretive consequence for Newton is that there is no prima facie reason to suppose that the charitable interpretation takes him to deny holenmerism. (shrink)
Preface/Introduction: The question under discussion is metaphysical and truly elemental. It emerges in two aspects — how did we come to be conscious of our own existence, and, as a deeper corollary, do existence and awareness necessitate each other? I am bold enough to explore these questions and I invite you to come along; I make no claim to have discovered absolute answers. However, I do believe I have created here a compelling interpretation. You’ll have to judge for yourself. -/- (...) What follows is the presentation of three essays I have worked on over the past several years seeing publication for the first time. “Hollows of Experience” was written first as an invited chapter for a collection on the ontology of consciousness. However, when cuts became necessary, my chapter got the knife. Its length has prohibited it from publication in any print journal. “Myth and Mind” was written next as a journal article, but as my involvement with it grew so did its length, so it has also idled on my websty awaiting its call. “From Panexperientialism to Conscious Experience” was written most recently, but it is the only one to have been available to the public elsewhere than my own website. Under the name, “The Continuum of Experience”, it was Target Article #95 on the recently closed Karl Jaspers Forum (for discussion purposes only). -/- I have put them in a different sequence here, for reasons of logical sense. Up first, “Panexperientialism” deals with an idea difficult for many to accept, namely that conscious experience is a particular mode of symbolically reflected experience that is largely unique to our species. However, I aver that experienced sensation in itself (as found, for example, in autonomic sensory response systems) goes “all the way down” into nature, and thus the title, panexperientialism. -/- Understanding this idea is helpful to dealing with the focus on language in Part I of “Hollows”, next, since here speech and general symbolic interaction in general are found to be the catalysts for the creation of our consciously experienced world (our “lived reality”). In Part II, however, I explore how experienced sensations must be coeval with existence, and, with even greater temerity, how all this sensational existence might have arisen within some literally inconceivable background of awareness-in-itself that yet has a dynamism that occasionally breaks into existence as experiential events and entities. (The latter may sound wacky, but physicists and cosmologists are themselves attempting to come to terms with that which seethes with vast potential energy in what they refer to as the quantum vacuum.) -/- “Myth and Mind” was put third since it deals with a major lacuna in “Hollows” — that presumed prehistoric period when members of our species made the painful crossing of the symbolic threshold into the beginnings of cultural consciousness. Speech plays a central role here, too, but I look more at narrative structures from the dawn of self-awareness when ritual and myth became vital to human survival. Why would fantastic stories and bizarre rituals be necessary? I speculate that growing foresight led to the unavoidable realization of certain mortality, from which, in turn, emerged the secondary realization that we were now alive. In contrast to our yet-to-come death, we have life here and now, and by ritually identifying with a symbolically expanded mythic, i.e., sacred, reality, we may continue to live on after bodily death, just as our ancestors and loved ones must also do. Language and mythmaking are necessary to avoid mortal despair and they remain at the core of human consciousness. -/- As Ernst Cassirer (1944) has noted, language and myth are “twin creatures”, both metaphoric webs over a reality we can never wholly comprehend. We live in the symbolic and construct our works of imagination and wars of conquest to make life meaningful, to feel immortal, and to sense that we ourselves participate in a reality greater than ourselves. No doubt we do, but this does not mean our culturally constructed self-identities survive the death of our bodies, and it does not imply that our symbolic concepts can ever indicate the ultimate truth. We simply must symbolize an extended reality that was sacred to our ancestors: “Is it not our way, as illusory as it may be, to force continuance on our world and our life in the face of their inevitable ending? Are we not compelled to extend those imaginary horizons as far as we can despite the terror and the sometime joy their extension incites? Is their closure not a form of death?” (Crapanzano, p. 210) -/- Of course, this leaves me in the uncomfortable position of being forced to admit that this venture of mine must inevitably be another attempt at meaningful mythmaking. But what else could it be? This is certainly not a scientific proof though it is indeed an academically rigorous exploration. (Just try to count the citations!) I hope the reader will judge my thesis on the basis of its coherence, the sense of meaning it evokes, my intellectual responsibility, and, finally, the engagement it inspires. If you have read my expositions and found yourself immersed in the timeless questions I here call forth, I would call these writings successful (even if you violently disagree with my answers). -/- I am very grateful to Huping Hu for granting me this special issue of JCER in which to present my ideas in some detail. He has patiently dealt with my exuberant approach and allowed the many changes I kept coming up with right until the final publication date. I also wish to thank the many potential commentators who politely replied to my invitation, and, even more, I thank those who made time to write actual commentaries. -/- References -/- Cassirer, E. (1944). An Essay on Man: An Introduction to a Philosophy of Human Culture. New Haven/London: Yale UP. -/- Crapanzano, V. (2004). Imaginative Horizons: An Essay in Literary-Philosophical Anthropology. Chicago: U of Chicago Press. -/- Gregory M. Nixon University of Northern British Columbia Prince George, British Columbia, Canada Email: email@example.com Websty: http://members.shaw.ca/doknyx. (shrink)
We present evidence for the existence of ‘responsibility voids’ in committee decision-making, that is, the existence of situations where no member of a committee can individually be held morally responsible for the outcome. We analyse three types of reasons (causal, normative and epistemic) for the emergence of responsibility voids, and show that each of them can occur in committees. But the conditions for these voids are so restrictive as to reduce the philosophical or institutional significance they might be thought to (...) possess. (shrink)
We present evidence for the existence of 'responsibility voids' in committee decision-making, that is, the existence of situations where no member of a committee can individually be held morally responsible for the outcome. We analyse three types of reasons (causal, normative and epistemic) for the emergence of responsibility voids, and show that each of them can occur in committees. But the conditions for these voids are so restrictive as to reduce the philosophical or institutional significance they might be thought to (...) possess. (shrink)
In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche demands that “psychology shall be recognized again as the queen of the sciences.” While one might cast a dubious glance at the “again,” many of Nietzsche’s insights were indeed psychological, and many of his arguments invoke psychological premises. In Genealogy, he criticizes the “English psychologists” for the “inherent psychological absurdity” of their theory of the origin of good and bad, pointing out the implausibility of the claim that the utility of unegoistic actions would be forgotten. Tabling (...) whether this criticism is valid, we see Nietzsche’s methodological naturalism here: moral claims should be grounded in empirical psychological claims. Later in Genealogy, Nietzsche advances his own naturalistic account of the origins of good, bad, and evil. Three cheers for methodological naturalism, but it was not Nietzsche’s innovation, and he did not pioneer its application to morality. The list of moral naturalists who appealed to psychology arguably includes Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, Bentham, and Mill, among many others. If Nietzsche’s naturalism is to be worth the candle of contemporary scholarship, it must involve more than the methodological naturalism that predated him by centuries and to which he made no serious contribution. Nietzsche’s key contribution to naturalism is not his adherence to its methodology, but his discovery of certain psychological facts. In particular, he realized that mental states are not ordinary dyadic relations between a subject and an intentional content. Nietzsche discovered the tenacity of intentional states: when an intentional state loses its object (because the subject realizes the object does not exist, because the object is forbidden, or because of something else), a new object replaces the original; the state does not disappear entirely. As Nietzsche puts it Genealogy, “Man would rather will the void than be void of will.” Nietzsche relies on the tenacity thesis in his explanation of the origin of bad conscience: “All instincts that do not discharge themselves outwardly turn inward […. They turn] against [their] possessors.” When hostility towards others becomes impossible, hostility does not disappear; instead, its object is replaced. (shrink)
The American Antitrust Institute, a Washington, D.C. think tank, recently completed a study that concludes that competition law and policy plays little if any role in business ethics courses taught in U.S. business schools. To fill this intellectual void, this article makes a case for the development of a business ethics sub-field of antitrust ethics that is synonymous with the ethics of competitive strategy. After reviewing Paine''s Five Principles of Positive Competition and Boatright''s and Hendry''s views on the Moral (...) Manager Model and Moral Market Model, the need for ethical decision-making in a dynamic, innovative environment is explained through a Federal Trade Commission antitrust case involving the Dell Computer Corporation. The author argues that the contributions of Paine, Boatright, and Hendry provide an initial foundation for further research concerning the moral theories, principles, and rules pertaining to antitrust ethics, especially as it pertains to dynamic competition and "fair and competitive" executive behavior. (shrink)
Through the critical examination of Baudrillard's concept of hyperreality, this article seeks to make a wider contribution to contempor ary debates about postmodernism. It draws on a post-Cartesian, Heideg gerian philosophy to demonstrate the weakness of the concept of hyperreality and reveal its foundation in a Cartesian epistemology. The article goes on to claim that this same Heideggerian tradition suggests a way in which the concept of hyperreality and nihilistic postmodern sociologies more generally might be dialectically superseded. Instead of these (...) theories being seen as saying anything insightful about recent social transformations, the epistemological void in which they position themselves should be inter preted as the intellectual expression of the wider cultural and postmodern trend of transgression. Key Words: Baudrillard Cartesianism Heidegger hyperreality postmodernism. (shrink)
Laws of nature seem to take two forms. Fundamental physics discovers laws that hold without exception, ‘strict laws’, as they are sometimes called; even if some laws of fundamental physics are irreducibly probabilistic, the probabilistic relation is thought not to waver. In the nonfundamental, or special, sciences, matters differ. Laws of such sciences as psychology and economics hold only ceteris paribus – that is, when other things are equal. Sometimes events accord with these ceteris paribus laws (c.p. laws, hereafter), but (...) sometimes the laws are not manifest, as if they have somehow been placed in abeyance: the regular relation indicative of natural law can fail in circumstances where an analogous outcome would effectively refute the assertion of strict law. Many authors have questioned the supposed distinction between strict laws and c.p. laws. The brief against it comprises various considerations: from the complaint that c.p. clauses are void of meaning to the claim that, although understood well enough, they should appear in all law-statements. These two concerns, among others, are addressed in due course, but first, I venture a positive proposal. I contend that there is an important contrast between strict laws and c.p. laws, one that rests on an independent distinction between combinatorial and noncombinatorial nomic principles.2 Instantiations of certain properties, e.g., mass and charge, nomically produce individual forces, or more generally, causal influences,3 in accordance with noncombinatorial.. (shrink)
The World In Your Head: A Gestalt View of the Mechanism of Conscious Experience represents a bold assault on one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in science: the nature of consciousness and the human mind. Rather than examining the brain and nervous system to see what they tell us about the mind, this book begins with an examination of conscious experience to see what it can tell us about the brain. Through this analysis, the first and most obvious observation is (...) that consciousness appears as a volumetric spatial void, containing colored objects and surfaces. This reveals that the representation in the brain takes the form of an explicit volumetric spatial model of external reality. Therefore, the world we see around us is not the real world itself, but merely a miniature virtual-reality replica of that world in an internal representation. In fact, the phenomena of dreams and hallucinations clearly demonstrate the capacity of the brain to construct complete virtual worlds even in the absence of sensory input. Perception is somewhat like a guided hallucination, based on sensory stimulation. This insight allows us to examine the world of visual experience not as scientists exploring the external world, but as perceptual scientists examining a rich and complex internal representation. This unique approach to investigating mental function has implications in a wide variety of related fields, including the nature of language and abstract thought, and motor control and behavior. It also has implications to the world of music, art, and dance, showing how the patterns of regularity and periodicity in space and time--apparent in those aesthetic domains--reflect the periodic basis set of the underlying harmonic resonance representation in the brain. (shrink)
Although Alain Badiou dedicates a number of texts to the philosophy of Benedict de Spinoza throughout his work—after all, the author of a systematic philosophy of being more geometrico must be a point of reference for the philosopher who claims that “mathematics = ontology”—the reading offered in Meditation Ten of his key work Being and Event presents the most significant moment of this engagement. Here, Badiou proposes a reading of Spinoza’s ontology that foregrounds a concept that is as central to, (...) and celebrated in, his philosophy as it is strictly excluded by Spinoza: the void. In nuce, Badiou contends that for all of Spinoza’s efforts to offer an ontology of total plenitude, the void returns in his philosophy under the (at first sight) unlikely name of infinite mode. The presence of this errant name in Spinoza’s philosophy bears witness to the failure of his most profound intellectual endeavour. However striking Badiou’s reading of Spinoza, this paper argues that it fails to adequately grasp Spinoza’s metaphysics, particularly with respect to the central concept of modal essence, a concept which does not appear at all in the Badiouian text. By introducing a consideration of this concept, it becomes able to resolve the status of infinite modes, and to account for the move across the notorious finite–infinite divide. Thus the argument turns to the reading of Spinoza offered by Gilles Deleuze for a more thorough-going and nuanced approach, much superior to Badiou’s procrustean critique. (shrink)
The idea of nothingness has been viewed as neither a vital nor a positive element in Western philosophy or theology. With the exception of a handful of mystics, nothingness has been taken to refer to the negation of being, or to some theoretical void. By contrast, the Japanese philosopher Nishida Kitarō gave nothingness a central role in philosophy. The strategy of this essay is to use the German mystic Meister Eckhart as a more familiar thinker who did take nothingness (...) seriously, and then to look closely at Nishida’s philosophy, and at the work of his contemporary Ueda Shizuteru, in exploring the central importance of nothingness in Zen Buddhist thought. Eckhart writes of the nothingness of the godhead, whereas Nishida and Ueda speak of nothingness “pure and simple.” Eckhart remains within the being of the godhead and theology. Nishida moves directly to nothingness. Some have claimed that Nishida is not a mystic, and Nishida himself concurred, yet it is Ueda who explains why Nishida can rightly be read as a mystic and as not a mystic. He argues that Zen includes mysticism, but then goes beyond it to a “non-mysticism.” Mystic or non-mystic, the guidance that Nishida and Ueda offer leads to a compelling outlook on life. (shrink)
Like many of his contemporaries, Hegel considered Spinoza a modern reviver of ancient Eleatic monism, in whose system “all determinate content is swallowed up as radically null and void”. This characterization of Spinoza as denying the reality of the world of finite things had a lasting influence on the perception of Spinoza in the two centuries that followed. In this article, I take these claims of Hegel to task and evaluate their validity. Although Hegel’s official argument for the unreality (...) of modes in Spinoza’s system will turn out to be unsound, I do believe there is one crucial line in Spinoza’s system – Spinoza’s rather weak and functional conception of individuality – which provides some support for Hegel’s reading of Spinoza. (shrink)
The primary objective of this study is to provide a description of the major ideas about void space within and beyond the world that were formulated between the fourteenth and early eighteenth centuries. The second part of the book - on infinite, extracosmic void space - is of special significance. The significance of Professor Grant's account is twofold: it provides the first comprehensive and detailed description of the scholastic Aristotelian arguments for and against the existence of void (...) space; and it presents (again for the first time) an analysis of the possible influence of scholastic ideas and arguments on the interpretations of space proposed by the nonscholastic authors who made the Scientific Revolution possible. The concluding chapter of the book is unique in not only describing the conceptualizations of space proposed by the makers of the Scientific Revolution, but in assessing the role of readily available scholastic ideas on the conception of space adopted for the Newtonian world. (shrink)
Since September 11, we frequently hear that the struggle is between good and evil and that politics is at an end. Should we welcome or fear a 'Third Way' beyond left and right? In this timely and thought provoking book, Chantal Mouffe argues that third way thinking ignores fundamental, conflictual aspects of human nature and that far from expanding democracy, globalization is undermining the combative and radical heart of democratic life. Going back first to Aristotle, she identifies the historical origins (...) of the political. She also reflects on the Enlightenment and the social contract, arguing that in spite of its good intentions, it fatally suppressed the radical core of political life. She uses many contemporary examples, including the Iraq war, racism and the rise of the far right, to argue that far from ending dangerous extremism, the political void created by the search for consensus inflames it. (shrink)
“A sentimental layman would feel, and ought to feel, horrified, on being admitted into [an expert art] critic's mind, to see how cold, how thin, how void of human significance, are the motives for favour or disfavour that there prevail.” Thus writes William James (1884: 202). The art-world is dominated by critics who sneer and sentimentality, resist evocation, and issue stale, dispassionate appraisals. Memorized standards are coolly deployed to scan works for the features that are currently in fashion, (...) before an icy verdict is delivered. Untutored art enthusiasts make aesthetic judgments in an entirely differently way. For them, appraisal is read off “the sounding board of the body.” They use their emotions. Thus, according to James, there are two ways to assess art: cold and hot. So who is right, the rhapsodical museum-goer or the effete professional critic? As a first pass, I side with the rhapsodies. I think dispassionate appraisal is parasitic on passionate appraisal. Cool reason can never be sufficient on its own to assess artistic merit. This is a corollary of “aesthetic sentimentalism”—a view was championed by Hume and other British moralists. Of course, aesthetic sentimentalism does not entail that critics are wrong when they depart from the bubbling masses. It entails merely that good critics must be slaves to their own passions. Hacks may deliver aesthetic judgments dispassionately, but more sensitive critics have been known to muster an occasional gasp or thrill. Perhaps the refined emotions of professional critics have more validity than the crude gushings of James’s “sentimental layman.” True beauty may be restricted to those works that elicit goosebumps in skilled viewers. Hume flirts with this idea. He thinks John Milton is objectively better than John Ogilby. Why? Because John Dryden said so, and he should know. John D. can arbitrate between the merits of John M.. (shrink)
This paper is about the metaphysical debate whether objects persist over time by the selfsame object existing at different times (nowadays called `endurance' by metaphysicians), or by different temporal parts, or stages, existing at different times (called ` perdurance'). I aim to illuminate the debate by using some elementary kinematics and real analysis: resources which metaphysicians have, surprisingly, not availed themselves of. There are two main results, which are of interest to both endurantists and perdurantists. (1): I describe a precise (...) formal equivalence between the way that the two metaphysical positions represent the motion of the objects of classical mechanics (both point-particles and continua). (2): I make precise, and prove a result about, the idea that the persistence of objects moving in a void is to be analysed in terms of tracking the continuous curves in spacetime that connect points occupied by matter. The result is entirely elementary: it is a corollary of the Heine-Borel theorem. (shrink)
This study links Cressey’s established fraud triangle theory to a recently developed academic fraud risk triangle as a platform for identifying the determinants of academic fraud risk factors. The study then evaluates the magnitude and extent to which students are willing to confront the realities of academic fraud and move towards a culture of academic integrity. Most of the studies pertaining to combating academic fraud have primarily been the opinions of the researchers, namely, the faculty. Although students may not be (...) expected to police the fight against academic fraud, their opinions as to what would work and what would not, have not been sufficiently examined, and this study contributes to filling that void. We explore the agreement among students and groups of students concerning specific deterrent strategies. We find two types of strategies, student action and faculty/administration action . Results from 740 students surveyed found that the most widely supported strategies are stronger penalties, parental notification, an anonymous tip line, and administering a uniform policy. The least supported strategies were academic honor code, no strategy at all, requiring an ethics course, and leaving individual instructors to determine penalties. Further, full time, domestic, undergraduate, and male students favor student action strategies, which are more reactionary and less punitive. (shrink)
The book will prove an invaluable source for philosophers and philosophy students, as well as for scholars from other disciplines (e.g., history, political science, sociology, diversity studies, and gender and race studies) to begin understanding the dynamic relationship in thinking between the two Americas. In addition to documenting the results of a new and thriving area of research, it can also function as a primer to direct and provoke further inquiry. -/- Its essays, from North American, Spanish, and Latin American (...) scholars, fill a void in the humanities and introduce a number of Hispanic pragmatists who have not been included in standard pragmatist texts. (shrink)
The new millennium has opened with a perfectly splendid decade of scholarship relating to the ‘Species Problem’. So, at least we now have a clear idea of what this is, but still no clear solution that will suit both biologists and philosophers. Richards (The species problem. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2010 ) has recently attempted to capture this story and to fill the void with two projects in one book. The first project (Chapters 1–4) is a descriptive and analytical (...) history of the problem, which provides links to other recent works and thereby allows one to fully reconstruct the literature. The second (Chapters 5–7) is prescriptive and presents Richards’s solution via a ‘ division of labour in a conceptual framework ’ followed by recapitulation and conclusions. It is my assessment as presented here that the first project will appeal more to biologists and the second one to philosophers. There is much of value in Richards ( 2010 ) approach including an excellent evaluation of the essentialism story in the descriptive project and clear exposition of several key issues such as the ‘ species - as - individuals ’ versus ‘ species - as - categories ’ debate which are covered in the second project. Interesting and informative as these arguments undoubtedly are, something still seems to be missing here. In this essay I suggest that this perception arises from Richards’ (and others) failure to embrace ideas about the importance of relativity and contingency in species definitions and further that his new conceptual framework lacks one hierarchical level to link overarching lineage concepts of species as evolutionary units with practical definitions for their recognition. In my view, the missing link is reproductive isolation and I conclude my review by presenting a prescriptive project for biologists to balance the one that Richards has delivered to philosophers. (shrink)
It is not unusual for even the very greatest polemics to proceed through some unfairness toward what they attack, indeed to draw strength from the very distortions which they impose upon their targets. In the same way that a good caricature of a person’s face enables us to see something that we feel was genuinely there to be seen all along, a conviction that persists in the face of, and may indeed be sustained by, our ongoing sense of the discrepancy (...) between the picture and the reality. Some such distortion may be necessary in order to point to or make visible a feature that is perfectly present, but is obscured by the mass of other details. In the case of ideas and systems of thought there is an additional reason for a positive concern with distortion, and that is that we do not encounter ideas in a social or intellectual void. Rather, they come to us through their admirers, detractors, followers and opponents. The social and intellectual reception and dissemination of Plato, or Marx, or the Bible are now and forever part of the meaning of those texts, and this remains true however demonstrable it may be that their reception involves a large distortion of what is actually there in those texts. To concern oneself with them must also be to concern oneself with what both their advocates and opponents have made of them, and in this or that context this image may be of greater social and intellectual importance than the question of strictly ‘correct’ readings. And of course for no contemporary school of philosophy has the social and cultural milieu of its reception been more important to its identity as a trend of thought than in the case of Existentialism, particularly in its French, Sartrean form. Today, of course, it has been a fact of intellectual life within the Academy for over 30 years that Existentialism has no friends, and is.. (shrink)
There can be no doubt that the public face of contemporary philosophy is the professional who goes by the name of “bioethicist.” Since the bioethics industry—which is what it is—sprang up in the 1970s, large numbers of professional philosophers have found it a congenial and remunerative way in which to make a reputation for themselves. A few general observations can be made about bioethicists. Some of them are well-meaning. For example, they are dedicated to the laudable notion that philosophy should (...) be heard in the public square and have an influence on the making of policy. Or they believe, rightly, that the bioethical problems of our day are of such grave moment that philosophers should try to grapple with them, at least, and provide solutions if possible. It is not only that the welfare of society depends on such solutions, but that if philosophers, who are supposed to be trained in rigorous thinking, do not do the hard conceptual work that needs to be done, the void will be filled by the looser and fuzzier moral thinking of others—especially lawyers, politicians, and economists. Some are simply committed to the idea, again admirable, that bioethics is a serious intellectual discipline that demands equally serious analytical application. Some find bioethics just interesting and worthy of philosophical pursuit in its own right. Again, this is true. On the other hand, it is all too evident that very many, perhaps the majority, of bioethicists are, to put it frankly, less than competent. I believe that this is a view a good number of philosophers share. The bioethics industry is, unfortunately, populated by many individuals whom one might even call second-rate philosophers. They have found themselves unable to grapple with the more technical or abstract areas of philosophy—or at least to make a name for themselves in such areas—but have found that it is relatively easy to forge a name for oneself in the bioethics business. For one, there is an insatiable demand by the media for comment upon the latest developments in biotechnology, medicine, genetics, and so on, or for comment upon someone else’s comment upon such developments.. (shrink)
The vacuum is fast emerging as the central structure of modern physics. This collection brings together philosophically-minded specialists who engage these issues in the context of classical gravity, quantum electrodynamics, and the grand unification program. The vacuum emerges as the synthesis of concepts of space, time, and matter; in the context of relativity and the quantum this new synthesis represents a structure of the most intricate and novel complexity. This book is a work in modern metaphysics, in which the concepts (...) of substance and space interweave in the most intangible of forms, the background and context of our physical experience: vacuum, void, or nothingness. (shrink)
A study is reported testing two hypotheses about a close parallel relation between indicative conditionals, if A then B , and conditional bets, I bet you that if A then B . The first is that both the indicative conditional and the conditional bet are related to the conditional probability, P(B|A). The second is that de Finetti's three-valued truth table has psychological reality for both types of conditional— true , false , or void for indicative conditionals and win , (...) lose , or void for conditional bets. The participants were presented with an array of chips in two different colours and two different shapes, and an indicative conditional or a conditional bet about a random chip. They had to make judgements in two conditions: either about the chances of making the indicative conditional true or false or about the chances of winning or losing the conditional bet. The observed distributions of responses in the two conditions were generally related to the conditional probability, supporting the first hypothesis. In addition, a majority of participants in further conditions chose the third option, “void”, when the antecedent of the conditional was false, supporting the second hypothesis. (shrink)
In this paper I use William James's understanding of significance in life to show that for certain patients euthanasia and assisted suicide can be importantly meaningful acts that family, friends, and health care professionals must acknowledge and even, at times, aid in bringing to fruition. Dying with meaning is transformative. It reshapes the lives of others that are left behind, giving to their lives new groundings by engaging them in the meaning of dying for us. For the patient, dying with (...) meaning takes the seemingly formless void in the abyss of death and gives it a significant purpose in the last stages of life itself; it turns potential nothingness into actual significance. To the extent that we outsiders do not help the dying, we condemn terminally ill patients to a meaningless existence until they die. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction 1 -- 1. Transcending Mortality: Plato's Philosophy and Augustine's Theology 10 -- 2. Transcending the Void: Sex and Death in Sartre and Beauvoir's Existentialism 39 -- 3. Eros, Thanatos and the Human .Self: Sigmund Freud 60 -- 4. Sex and Death in a Meaningless Universe: The Marquis de Sade 80 -- 5. Living in Accordance with Nature: Seneca 104 -- Conclusion Sex, Death, and the Meaningful Life 126.
Life and the living (on Aristotelian biohorror) -- Supernatural horror as the paradigm for life -- Aristotle's De anima and the problem of life -- The ontology of life -- The entelechy of the weird -- Superlative life -- Life with or without limits -- Life as time in Plotinus -- On the superlative -- Superlative life I: Pseudo-Dionysius -- Negative vs. affirmative theology -- Superlative negation -- Negation and preexistent life -- Excess, evil, and non-being -- Superlative life II: (...) Eriugena -- Negation in the periphyseon -- The quaestio de nihilo: on nothing -- The quaestio de nihilo: superlative nothing -- Dark intelligible abyss -- Apophasis -- The apophatic logic -- Negation in Frege and Ayer -- Negation vs. subtraction in Badiou -- Negation and contradiction in Priest -- The dialetheic vitalism of negative theology -- Ellipses: Suhraward and the luminous void -- Univocal creatures -- On spiritual creatures -- Life as form in Aristotle -- The concept of the creature -- Univocity I: Duns Scotus vs. Aquinas -- Univocity in Aquinas' Summa theologica -- Univocity in Duns Scotus' Opus oxoniense -- The common nature of the creature -- Univocity II: Duns Scotus vs. Henry of Ghent -- Univocity in Henry of Ghent -- Negative vs. privative indetermination -- Absolute indetermination -- Univocity III: Deleuze's scholasticism three variations -- Spinoza et le problème de l'expression -- Différence et répétition -- Cours de Vincennes -- Univocal creatures -- Ellipses: Dgen and uncreated univocity -- Dark pantheism -- Everything and nothing -- Life as spirit in Aquinas -- The concept of the divine nature -- Immanence I: Eriugena's periphyseon -- Natura and the unthought -- Universal life -- Four statements on pantheism -- Immanence II: Duns Scotus' reportatio Ia -- Univocal immanence -- Actual infinity -- The pathology of the triple primacy -- Immanence III: Nicholas of Cusa's De docta ignorantia -- The coincidence of opposites -- The folds of life -- Absolute vs. contracted pantheism -- Speculative pantheism (Deleuze's interlocutors) -- Pantheism and pure immanence -- The insubordination of immanence in Deleuze -- Scholia I: the isomorphism of univocity and immanence -- Scholia II: the vitalist logic of common notions -- Scholia III: the life of substance -- Dark pantheism -- Ellipses: Wang Yangming and idealist naturalism -- Logic and life (on Kantian teratology) -- The wandering line from Aristotle to Kant -- Critique of life -- Spectral life and speculative realism -- Ontotheology in Kant, atheology in Bataille -- The night land. (shrink)
Care drain brings the traditional problem of carers' choice between paid work and family at a new level. Taking care drain from Romania as a case study, I analyse the consequences of parents' migration within a normative framework committed to meeting the needs of vulnerable individuals. The temporary migration of parents who cannot take their children with them involves moral harm, particularly the frustration of children's developmental and emotional needs. I use recent feminist work on justice and care in the (...) economy to address the question whose responsibility it is to fill the void of care created by temporary migration. I argue that the moral issues raised by care drain are also issues of social justice and therefore call for rectification by the states involved. (shrink)
The Marquis de Sade's books have been censored in many countries. He is notorious for his forbidden novels like The 120 Days of Sodom and Justine, Juliette . The Marquis de Sade has long been considered the archetypal pornographer. The Philosophy of the Marquis de Sade challenges these traditional interpretations by reading de Sade and his books philosophically. Airaksinen examines de Sade's claim that in order to be truly happy and free we must perform evil acts. The Sadeian hero leads (...) a life filled with perverted and extreme pleasures such as rape, murder, stealing and blasphemy. This Sadeian hero creates impossible situations and contradictions which lead to the tearing apart of reality. Through this gap he or she can discharge and experience the ultimate pleasures of disappearing into a void. Thus, Airaksinen argues that Sade is a philosopher on a performative level of evil, pain and perversion. Secondary sources on de Sade such as Hobbes, Erasmus and Brillat-Savarin are analyzed as are contemporary studies on de Sade's life and work. This book is of immense value to all those interested in de Sade and his work and who may not have been able to complete readings of his long, violent and repetitive texts. (shrink)
Any study of the 'Scientific Revolution' and particularly Descartes' role in the debates surrounding the conception of nature (atoms and the void v. plenum theory, the role of mathematics and experiment in natural knowledge, the status and derivation of the laws of nature, the eternality and necessity of eternal truths, etc.) should be placed in the philosophical, scientific, theological, and sociological context of its time. Seventeenth-century debates concerning the nature of the eternal truths such as '2 + 2 = (...) 4' or the law of inertia turn on the question of whether these truths were created along with nature, or were uncreated and subsisting in God's mind. One's answer to that question has direct consequences for conceptions of the necessity/contingency of mathematical and natural knowledge, how knowledge of such truths is accomplished by humans, and what grounds these truths. In this paper, I review the positions of four successors to Descartes' philosophy on the question of the eternal truths to illustrate how in specific ways that question with its theological, metaphysical, modal, and epistemological dimensions concerned the objectivity and certainty of the discoveries of the new science. Author Recommends: Clarke, Desmond. Descartes' Philosophy of Science . University Park, Penn State Press, 1982. This work provides an account of Descartes as a practicing scientist whose rationalism is mitigated by reliance on experiment and experience. Author re-examines Descartes' philosophical and scientific works in this new light. Dear, Peter. Revolutionizing the Sciences: European Knowledge and its Ambitions, 1500–1700 . Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2001. This work provides a useful overview of the issues and thinkers of the Scientific Revolution. Of particular relevance is chapter 8 on Cartesian and Newtonian science. Funkenstein, Amos. Theology and the Scientific Imagination from the Middle Ages to the Seventeenth Century . Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1986. This work is an advanced study of the theological and metaphysical foundations of early modern science. Discussions include questions of God's nature, God's knowledge in relation to human knowledge, providence, the laws of nature, and the truths of mathematics. In particular, chapter 3 discusses Descartes' account of the eternal truths and divine omnipotence. Garber, Daniel. Descartes' Metaphysical Physics . Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1992. This work examines how Descartes' metaphysical doctrines of God, soul, and body set the groundwork for his physics. It includes a study of God and the grounds for the laws of physics (chapter 9). Henry, John. The Scientific Revolution and the Origins of Modern Science . 3rd ed. New York, Palgrave, Macmillan Press, 2008. This work provides a brief, general, and informative overview of the Scientific Revolution, including the themes of method, magic, religion, and culture. Osler, Margaret J. Divine Will and the Mechanical Philosophy: Gassendi and Descartes on Contingency and Necessity in the Created World . Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1994. This work is an examination and comparison of the mechanical philosophies of Gassendi and Descartes. It offers in-depth discussion of the issue of voluntarism and intellectualism in the period and how that related to conceptions of laws of nature and the eternal truths. Shapin, Steven. The Scientific Revolution . Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1996. This work provides a critical synthesis of as well as a guide to recent scholarship in the history of science for a general readership. Online Materials Dr. Robert A. Hatch's Scientific Revolution Website: http://web.clas.ufl.edu/users/rhatch/pages/03-Sci-Rev/SCI-REV-Home/ A compendium of resources for the study of Scientific Revolution. Early English Books Online: http://eebo.chadwyck.com/home Early English Books Online (EEBO) contains digital facsimile page images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473 to 1700. Early Modern Resources: http://www.earlymodernweb.org.uk/emr/ Early Modern Resources is a gateway for all those interested in finding electronic resources relating to the early modern period in history. Gallica, the Digital Library of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France: http://gallica.bnf.fr/ An ever-growing digital library which includes numerous primary and secondary texts of relevance to Descartes and his role in Scientific Revolution. Hatfield, Gary, 'René Descartes', The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Spring 2009 ed. Ed. Edward N. Zalta; URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2009/entries/descartes/ Slowik, Edward, 'Descartes' Physics', The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Winter 2008 ed. Ed. Edward N. Zalta; URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2008/entries/descartes-physics/ Syllabus Sample Syllabus: Cartesian Science The following is five weeks covering Cartesian Science in a course on Descartes or the Scientific Revolution, or 17th-century theories of matter, or related themes on early modern truth and method, especially on the continent. This material is best suited to a graduate level audience, but it could be modified to suit an upper-division undergraduate course, as the readings are basically primary texts whose context and background can be explained in lectures. Week 1: Cartesian Revolution in France • Scientific method • Role of mathematics and experiment • Certainty of scientific knowledge Readings: Hatfield, Gary, 'René Descartes', The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Spring 2009 ed. Ed. Edward N. Zalta; URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2009/entries/descartes/ Descartes, Discourse on Method , Parts 1–3 Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy , First Meditation. Week 2: Descartes' Scientific Treatises • Mechanization and mathematization of nature • Primary–secondary quality distinction Readings: Discourse on Method, Parts 4–6 Selections from Descartes' Scientific Essays: The World or Treatise on Light (ATXI 3–48); Treatise on Man (ATXI 119–202); Optics (ATVI 82–147). Slowik, Edward, 'Descartes' Physics', The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Winter 2008 ed. Ed. Edward N. Zalta; URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2008/entries/descartes-physics/ Henry, John, 'The Mechanical Philosophy,' chapter 5. The Scientific Revolution and the Origins of Modern Science . 3rd ed. Macmillan, 2008. Week 3: Descartes' Theory of Nature • Descartes' derivation of the law of conservation and the three laws of motion • God's role in the metaphysics and physics of nature Readings: Selections from Principles of Philosophy, Preface (all); Letter to Elizabeth; Part I: 1–8; Part II: 1–45, 55, 64; Part III: 1–4, 15–19, 45–47; Part IV: 187–207. John Henry, 'Religion and Science,' chapter 6. The Scientific Revolution and the Origins of Modern Science . 3rd ed. Macmillan, 2008. Week 4: Post-1650 Cartesian Science: Necessity and Contingency in Nature • Debates on God, Creation, and Causes Readings: Easton, Patricia, 'What is at Stake in the Cartesian Debates on the Eternal Truths?' Philosophy Compass 4.2 (2009): 348–62. Malebranche, Nicolas, 'Elucidation 10', from The Search after Truth (1674). Note: All selections available in Nicolas Malebranche (1992). Philosophical Selections , edited by S. Nadler, Hackett. Gottfried Leibniz (1714) Monadology . Week 5: Causes in Nature and Morals • Theodicy as an explanation of defect and evil in a lawful universe: Malebranche v. Leibniz Readings: Nicolas Malebranche, Elucidation XVI (on occasionalism), and Treatise on Nature and Grace, Discourse One, Part 1. Gottfried Leibniz (1706), Theodicy. Focus Questions Weekly questions can be used to focus the readings. This can be done in a web or e-mail discussion thread, as a weekly assignment, or for in class discussion. I require students to post a short paragraph in response to the question or some posting by a classmate on the question. Students are required to post by 10 a.m. the day before we meet for class on a course website. Week 1: According to Descartes, what role does skepticism play in scientific reasoning? Week 2: Comment on the following: 'But I am supposing this machine to be made by the hands of God, and so I think you may reasonably think it capable of a greater variety of movements than I could possibly imagine in it, and of exhibiting more artistry than I could possibly ascribe to it' [ Treatise on Man ; ATXI 120]. Week 3: What is Descartes' conception of the relation between the metaphysics and physics of nature? Week 4: Critically discuss the positions of Descartes, Malebranche, and Leibniz on what provides the foundation for the certitude of natural knowledge? Week 5: Explain why both Malebranche and Leibniz consider moral sin to be analogous to natural defect? Seminar/Project Idea Hold a debate on the question of the status of the eternal truths. The proposition will be Descartes' position: 'Eternal truths must be both created and necessary if certainty in science is to be possible'. Format: 1. At the beginning of the 5-week module, students will be assigned to one of three roles: Team A, Team B, and judge's panel. Students will be given the debate proposition, but will not be told which team will take the affirmative and which team the negative until the time of the debate. 2. Recommend a variation on the Classic Debate Format to encourage the development of argument: sequence begins with affirmative construction (8 minutes), negative construction (8 minutes), second affirmative construction (8 minutes), second negative construction (8 minutes), first negative rebuttal (4 minutes), first affirmative rebuttal (4 minutes), final negative rebuttal (4 minutes) and final affirmative rebuttal (4 minutes). 3. Judges Panel: will consist of 3–4 judges who will assess the performance of Teams A and B. Judgment should be based on the persuasiveness of the team position. 4. Debate will be held at the end of the fifth week, or semester, whichever makes most sense given the course length and structure. Acknowledgements The author gratefully acknowledges the immensely helpful comments and suggestions by the participants in her graduate seminar on the Scientific Revolution: Benjamin Chicka, Sarah Jacques-Ross, Richard Ross, Marcella Stockstill, and Zohra Wolters. (shrink)
Theories of intergenerational obligations usually take the shape of theories of distributive (social) justice. The complexities involved in intergenerational obligations force theorists to simplify. In this article I unpack two popular simplifications: the inevitability of future generations, and the Hardinesque assumption that future individuals are a burden on society but a benefit to parents. The first assumption obscures the fact that future generations consist of individuals whose existence can be a matter of voluntary choice, implying that there are individuals who (...) are responsible and accountable for that choice and for its consequences. The second assumption ignores the fact that the benefits and burdens of future individuals are complex, and different for different “beneficiaries” or “victims.” Introducing individual responsibility for procreation as a (crucially) relevant variable, and allowing a more sophisticated understanding of the impact of new individuals, generates grounds to prioritize the individual’s interest in responsibility for (creating and equipping) future individuals over any collective intergenerational obligation. I illustrate this by introducing a series of moral duties that take precedence over, and perhaps even void, possible collective redistributive duties. (shrink)
: Lucretius' Epicurean account of dreams in Book IV of De Rerum Natura indicates that they are wholly void of prophetic significance and of little practical significance. Dreams, rightly apprehended, do little more than mirror our daily preoccupations. For Lucretius, all dreams pass through the gate of ivory and all are reducible to psychophysical phenomena.In this paper, I examine Lucretius' account of sleep and the formation of dreams in light of the Epicurean aims of the poem as a whole. (...) In doing so, I give what I take to be a plausible sketch of the formation of dreams through what I call Lucretius' "selection model" of dreams. The selection model forbids, strictly speaking, the phenomenon of genuine prophecy through dreams, while at the same time it allows for a surprisingly rich psychophysical explanation of the genesis of seemingly prophetic dreams in sleepers. Thus, I argue, a proper grasp of the Lucretian account of oneiric formation is itself a significant part of the Epicurean cure for superstitions and religiously based ills of his day. (shrink)
Developing countries have recently experienced a burgeoning of small-scale individual entrepreneurs (SIEs) – who range from petty traders to personal service workers like small street vendors, barbers and owners of small shops – as a result of market-based reforms, rapid urbanisation, unemployment, landlessness and poverty. While SIEs form a major part of the informal workforce in developing countries and contribute significantly to economic growth, their potential is being undermined when they engage in irresponsible and deceptive business practices such as overpricing, (...) sale of underweight or substandard products, or attempts to hoard goods, to name a few. Despite the growing interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives of small businesses in developing countries, the SIEs have received almost no attention. To address this void in the literature, we explore the reasons for the less than optimal level of social responsibility demonstrated by some SIEs in developing countries. We do so by drawing upon the existing literature to develop a comprehensive framework of social responsibility of SIEs highlighting their unique characteristics and the different contextual factors that they encounter in developing countries. Based on this framework, we then present a set of propositions specifying the influence of these contextual factors such as business environment, cultural traditions, socio-economic conditions, and both international and domestic pressures on the business practices of SIEs. The framework offers an explanation for the lack of responsible entrepreneurship of SIEs and has important implications for promoting sustainable business practices in developing countries where businesses are striving hard to survive and compete. (shrink)
The paper surveys selected alternative conceptions of rationality in contemporary and (especially) traditional economics and sociology. While the status of rationality as one of the master concepts, subjects and objectives of social science and philosophy has been further promoted in contemporary economics and sociology, questions often arise among economists and sociologists themselves as to its meaning or definition. As an attempt to help address this issue, the paper selects and examines a (limited) number of pertinent definitions and conceptions of rationality (...) from both economic and sociological theory. By virtue of its coverage of economics and sociology, this study is thoroughly interdisciplinary and contributes toward filling in a void in the current literature in which such studies are relatively rare. (shrink)
The nihilists are right, admits philosopher Loyal Rue. The universe is blind and aimless, indifferent to us and void of meaning. There are no absolute truths and no objective values. There is no right or wrong way to live, only alternative ways. There is no correct reading of a text or a picture or a dance. God is dead, nihilism reigns. But, Rue adds, nihilism is a truth inconsistent with personal happiness and social coherence. What we need instead is (...) a new myth, a noble lie. Only a noble lie can save us from the psychological and social chaos now threatened by the spread of skepticism about the meaning of life and the universe. In By the Grace of Guile, Loyal Rue offers a wide ranging look at the importance of deception in nature and in human society, concluding with an argument for a noble lie to replace the religious beliefs rejected by modern thought. Most of the book is a provocative apology for deception, illuminating its role in the shaping of history, evolution, personality, and society. Ranging from the Bible and Greek philosophy, to Saint Augustine and Montaigne, to Galileo, Kirkegaard, and Freud, Rue shows that it may be more accurate to describe the history of our culture as a flight from deception than as a quest for truth. He turns then to the natural world to reveal how deception works at every level of life, ranging from plants that mimic dung, carrion, or prey to lure insects that then spread pollen, to a remarkable African insect (Acanthaspis petax) that bedecks itself with dead ants and enters the ant colony undetected to binge at will. Moreover, he points out that psychological research has shown that strategies of deception and self-deception are essential to our personal well-being, that we sometimes shore up our self-esteem by deceptive means, by leaving others in a state of ignorance, by manipulating others into a state of false belief, by suppressing information from consciousness, and by fabricating or distorting our own sense of reality. And he argues that social coherence is achievable only within certain optimal limits of deception--the social fabric would be threatened by an overabundance of lies and false promises, of course, but it would also collapse if everyone were perfectly honest all the time. Finally, he argues that society is caught up in a Kulturkampf with nihilists promoting intellectual and moral relativism and realists defending objective and universal truths. The noble lie, says Rue, would introduce a third voice, one which first agrees with the nihilists that universal myths are pretentious lies, but then insists, against the nihilists, that without such lies humanity cannot survive. The challenge, he concludes, is ultimately an aesthetic one: it remains for the artists, poets, novelists, musicians, filmmakers, and other masters of illusion to seduce us into an embrace with a noble lie. We need a new myth that tells us where we have come from, what our nature is, and how we should live together--a story with the courage and presumption to say how things really are and what really matters. (shrink)
GIRL IN MUSEUM: It restates the negativeness of the universe, the hideous lonely emptiness of existence, nothingness, the predicament of man forced to live in a barren, godless eternity, like a tiny flame flickering in an immense void, with nothing but waste, horror, and degradation, forming a useless bleak straightjacket in a black absurd cosmos.
This paper forms part of a wider campaign: to deny pointillisme, the doctrine that a physical theory's fundamental quantities are defined at points of space or of spacetime, and represent intrinsic properties of such points or point-sized objects located there; so that properties of spatial or spatiotemporal regions and their material contents are determined by the point-by-point facts. More specifically, this paper argues against pointillisme about the concept of velocity in classical mechanics; especially against proposals by Tooley, Robinson and Lewis. (...) A companion paper argues against pointillisme about (chrono)-geometry, as proposed by Bricker. To avoid technicalities, I conduct the argument almost entirely in the context of "Newtonian" ideas about space and time, and the classical mechanics of point-particles, i.e. extensionless particles moving in a void. But both the debate and my arguments carry over to relativistic physics. Introduction The wider campaign 2.1 Connecting physics and metaphysics 2.1.1 Avoiding controversy about the intrinsic–extrinsic distinction 2.1.2 Distinction from three mathematical distinctions 2.2 Classical mechanics is not pointilliste, and can be perdurantist 2.2.1 Two versions of pointillisme 2.2.2 Two common claims 2.2.3 My contrary claims 2.3 In more detail... 2.3.1 Four violations of pointillisme 2.3.2 For perdurantism Velocity as intrinsic? 3.1 Can properties represented by vectors be intrinsic to a point? 3.2 Orthodox velocity is extrinsic but local 3.2.1 A question and a debate 3.2.2 The verdict 3.3 Against intrinsic velocity 3.3.1 A common view—and a common problem 3.3.2 Tooley's proposal and his arguments 3.3.3 Tooley's further discussion "Shadow velocities": Lewis and Robinson 4.1 The proposal 4.2 Criticism: the vector field remains unspecified 4.3 Avoiding the presupposition of persistence, using Hilbert's symbol 4.4 Comparison with Robinson and Lewis. (shrink)
Introduction -- Religion and the philosophy of religion -- Religion and the world religions -- Philosophy and the philosophy of religion -- Philosophy of religion timeline -- Religious beliefs and practices -- Religious diversity and pluralism -- The diversity of religions -- Religious inclusivism and exclusivism -- Religious pluralism -- Religious relativism -- Evaluating religious systems -- Religious tolerance -- Conceptions of ultimate reality -- Ultimate reality : the absolute and the void -- Ultimate reality : a personal God (...) -- Arguments for God's existence: cosmological -- The argument from contingency -- The sufficient reason argument -- The Kalam argument -- A cosmological argument for atheism -- Arguments for God's existence : teleological -- Paley's design argument -- A fine-tuning argument -- An intelligent design argument -- Arguments for God's existence : ontological -- Anselm's ontological argument -- Plantinga's modal ontological argument -- Problems of evil -- Sketching the terrain -- Theoretical problems of evil -- The existential problem of evil -- Theodicies -- Science, faith, and reason -- Religion and science -- Religious belief and justification -- Religious experience -- The nature and diversity of religious experience -- Religious experience and justification -- Scientific explanations of religious experience -- The self, death, and the afterlife -- Conceptions of the self -- Reincarnation and karma -- Arguments for immortality -- Arguments against immortality. (shrink)
What role should religion play in a religiously pluralistic liberal society? Public bioethics unavoidably raises this question in a particularly insistent fashion. As the 20 papers in this collection demonstrate, the issues are complex and multifaceted. The authors address specific and highly contested issues as assisted suicide, stem cell research, cloning, reproductive health, and alternative medicine as well as more general questions such as who legitimately speaks for religion in public bioethics, what religion can add to our understanding of justice, (...) and the value of faith-based contributions to healthcare. Christian (Catholic and Protestant), Jewish, Islamic, and Buddhist viewpoints are represented. The first book to focus on the interface of religion and bioethics, this collection fills a significant void in the literature. (shrink)
In this article the author seeks to highlight a specific disorder related to bodily experience in melancholia conceived as a severe form of clinical depression. The article is divided into three parts. In the first section, the author investigates the intersubjective dimension of bodily experience in light of the categories of Außen- and Innenleiblichkeit. In the second section, I explore a specific disturbance of the dimension of intercorporeality. The excessive feeling of the bodily (außenleibliche) visibility of his/her own sufferance is (...) a fundamental aspect of depression. At a pre-reflexive level, we constantly assume the noncoincidence between one's own bodily expression and the Other's experience/reading of these expressions. An alteration of this (pre-reflexive) awareness occurs in melancholia. The patient feels as if the melancholic condition would be transparent to the other. In the third section, the author intends to show the alteration of the embodied communication between the melancholic person and the other investigating two particular phenomena: the exchange of gaze in a face to face encounter, and the disturbance of the oral sense, revealing a specific form of irresponsiveness and the experience of void. (shrink)
Welcome to the world of cutting-edge math, physics, and neuroscience, where the search for the ultimate vacuum, the point of nothingness, ground zero of theory, has rendered the universe deep, rich, and juicy. "Modern physics has animated the void," says K. C. Cole in her entrancing journey into the heart of Nothing. Every time scientists and mathematicians think they have reached the ultimate void, new stuff appears: a black hole, an undulating string, an additional dimension of space or (...) time, repulsive anti-gravity, universes that breed like bunnies. Cole's exploration at the edge of everything is as animated and exciting as the void itself. Take Cole's hand on this adventure into the unknown, and you'll come back informed, amused, and excited. (shrink)
Our commonsense understanding of meaning and motive is realized via the semantic encoding of causal role. Appreciating this together with other features of semantic theories enables us to see that methodological critiques of psychoanalysis, such as those by Popper and Grunbaum, systematically fail to take account of empirical data, and if taken seriously would render commonsense understanding of mind and language void. This is particularly problematic if we consider much of what we regard ourselves as knowing is registered in (...) language, or understood through our use of it, since this includes science itself. (shrink)
Clauses (1) and (2) guarantee the inclusion of all 'intuitive' natural numbers, and (3) guarantees the exclusion of all other objects. Thus, in particular, no nonstandard numbers, which would follow after the intuitive ones are admitted (nonstandard numbers are found in nonstandard models of Peano arithmetic, in which the standard natural numbers are followed by one or more 'copies' of integers running from minus infinity to infinity)1. What is problematic about this delimitation? I suspect that its hypothetical proponent would see (...) its weakest point in the unexplained concept of successor. However, we logicians know better (or at least some of us are convinced that we do): it is clause (3) which harbours the neuralgic spot, by dint of resisting any reasonable logical formalization to the point of appearing utterly void! There is, of course, no problem with regimenting (1) - we only need an individual constant 0 and a unary predicate constant N (the one whose meaning we are interested in) and we postulate.. (shrink)
There has been relatively little empirical research into the causes of research misconduct. To begin to address this void, the authors collected data from closed case files of the Office of Research Integrity (ORI). These data were in the form of statements extracted from ORI file documents including transcripts, investigative reports, witness statements, and correspondence. Researchers assigned these statements to 44 different concepts. These concepts were then analyzed using multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis. The authors chose a solution consisting (...) of seven clusters: (1) personal and professional stressors, (2) organizational climate, (3) job insecurities, (4) rationalizations A, (5) personal inhibitions, (6) rationalizations B and, (7) personality factors. The authors discuss the implications of their findings for policy and for future research. (shrink)
From Han Yu’s yuan Dao 原道 (retracing the Dao) to Ouyang Xiu’s lun ben 论本 (discussing the root), the conflicts arising from Confucianists’ rejection of Buddhism were focused on one point, namely, the examination of zhongxin suo shou 中心所守 (something kept in mind). The attitude towards the distinction between mind and trace, and the proper approach to erase the gap between emptiness and being, as well as that between the expedient and the true, became the major concerns unavoidable for various (...) thinkers to integrate the two teachings and to propel academic development. To understand by mind and to blame for matter were of crucial methodological significance for transcendence in both Confucianism and Buddhism. The arguments of Confucian scholars like Zhang Zai and the Cheng brothers on the identity of mind and trace and the unity of void and solid are mutually manifested. The same mind with the same principle means mind is principle. The common axis of Confucianism and Buddhism exists in the emphasis on mind beyond trace. The unification of mind and trace or the accordance of body and function has actually become the cardinal foundation for the possible mergence of the Three Teachings. (shrink)
Just as nothingness is a fundamental concept in Daoist philosophy, it is also a fundamental concept in Chinese aesthetics, where it has multiple meanings: First, nothingness, as a reaction against unaesthetic psychical activity, is a primary precondition of aesthetic and artistic activity. Second, as the void or intangible stuff juxtaposed to substance, it is an indispensable compositional property of artworks as well as an essential condition for the manifestation of an artistic form. Finally, as a reaction against the unaesthetic (...) world of daily life—the experiential world—nothingness is the fundamental basis and essential provision for establishing an artistic world. (shrink)
Criminal law scholars approach legality in various ways. Some scholars eschew over-arching principles and proceed directly to one or more distinct “rules”: (1) the rule against retroactive criminalization; (2) the rule that criminal statutes be construed narrowly; (3) the rule against the judicial creation of common-law offenses; and (4) the rule that vague criminal statutes are void. Other scholars seek a single principle, i.e., the “principle of legality,” that they claim underlies the four rules. In contrast, I believe that (...) both approaches are misguided. There is no such thing as a single “principle of legality;” yet, the four aforementioned rules are not unrelated to each other. The so-called “principle of legality” consists of two distinct norms that derive, respectively, from two fundamental principles of criminal justice, viz., the principle, “No person shall be punished in the absence of a bad mind,” and the principle that underlies the maxim, “Every person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.” The first norm of legality explains the rules regarding ex post facto legislation, and rules regarding “notice” and “fair warning” of judicial decisions. When a person is punished for violating a rule that was non-existent or unclear at the time he acted, he is punished for conduct that the state now condemns and seeks to prevent by means of penal sanctions. Accordingly, at the time the person is prosecuted, his claim is not that he did not do anything that the state regards as wrong, but, rather, that he neither knew nor should have known that he was doing something that the state would come to regard as wrong. He ought, indeed, to be excused for his mistake, but only because of a principle that is common to excuses generally: “No person ought to be punished in the absence of a guilty mind.” He should be excused because even when a person does something the state condemns and seeks to prevent, he ought not to be blamed for it unless he was motivated in a certain way, namely, by an attitude of disrespect for the legitimate interests of the political community by whose norms he is bound.The second norm of legality informs several of the remaining rules, though not all of them. The second norm is that a person ought not to be punished in the name of a political community unless it can confidently be said that the community officially regards his conduct as warranting the criminal punishment at issue. It is a norm that is most commonly associated with the rule of lenity, but it is not confined to the construction of statutes that are ambiguous or vague. It can also be also violated when a person is punished for violating a statute that has fallen into desuetude, regardless of how widely promulgated or narrowly defined the statute may be. This second norm derives from a principle that also underlies the presumption of innocence - the only difference being that the presumption of innocence is a preference for acquittal in the event of uncertainty regarding the facts which an actor is charged, while the second norm of legality is a preference for acquittal in the event of uncertainty regarding the scope of the offense which he is charged.Nevertheless, one “rule” remains that this analysis throws into question - namely, the rule that “vague” criminal statutes are void. Criminal statutes are sometimes so broadly defined that they do, indeed, infringe constitutionally protected rights of speech, movement, etc. - in which event they ought to be invalidated on those very grounds. And criminal statutes are sometimes so broadly drafted that, before applying them, courts ought to construe them to apply only to constitutionally unprotected acts that courts can confidently say the relevant political community regards as warranting punishment. But once statutes are so construed to apply only to constitutionally unprotected conduct, courts have no further reason to invalidate them on grounds of “vagueness.” Lack of “notice” is no reason to invalidate them because, with respect to the narrowly defined conduct such statutes are construed to prohibit, “common social duty” alone ought to alert actors that their conduct is suspect. (shrink)
This paper argues that research on the business case for corporate social responsibility (CSR) must account for the path dependent nature of firm-stakeholderrelations, and develops the construct of stakeholder influence capacity (SIC) to fill this void. SIC helps to explain why the effects of CSR on corporate financial performance (CFP) vary across firms and across time, therein providing a missing link in the study of the business case. This paper distinguishes CSR from related and confounded corporate resource allocations and (...) from corporate social performance (CSP), then incorporates SIC into a model that explains how acts of CSR are transformed into CFP through stakeholder relationships. This paper also develops a set of propositions to aid future research on the contingencies that produce variable financial returns to investments in CSR. (shrink)
One of the 20th century's most popular non-realistic genre is absurd. The root "absurd," connotes something that does not follow the roots of logic. Existence is fragmented, pointless. There is no truth so the search for truth is abandoned in Absurdist works. Language is reduced to a bantering game where words obfuscate rather elucidate the truth. Action moves outside of the realm of causality to chaos. Absurdists minimalize the sense of place. Characters are forced to move in an incomprehensible, (...) class='Hi'>void-like realm. Danish philosopher Sїren Kierkegaard was the first to use the term "absurd" in its modern context. His application of the term related it to, what he considered, the incomprehensibility and unjustifiability of Christianity. Existentialist philosophers such as the Frenchman, Jean-Paul Sartre and the German, Martin Heidegger propagated use of the terms in their work. In the philosophical world of the novel, Albert Camus employed absurdism to portray the difference between man's intent and the resultant chaos he encounters. In modern civilization man is posited as the subject of knowledge in science and technology, animating the utopian projects of industrial civilization, and culminating in great urban conglomerates, as in the sealed universe of commodities which constitutes the omnipresent mall. Technique, defined as the ensemble of means, is the driving force of social development, moreimportant than the ends it is supposed to serve. Unfortunately, technique became an end in itself and the society is organized around it. Of course, we are all aware that we need a certain changes to subdue technique, but I think it is now too late to change the course of technique. However, technique is frequently pictured as the only hope for a better future and the only means of making the world more humane. And that is the sort of statement that French philosopher Jacques Ellul calls the technological bluff. Technology is a discourse on techniques: therefore, the bluff lies not in the failure of techniques as such but in presenting them in a falsely optimistic light. The author formulated in 1954 two laws of technical progress: first, it is irreversible: second, it advances by a geometric progression. Thus, a computer revolution changes nothing in the nature of technical progress, although products are new. This progress is hamperednot by internal mechanisms, but by maladaptation of the social body to it, since society is rooted in the past and constantly refers to it. On the other hand, technique is future oriented and discards as valueless everything that cannot be incorporated into the web of techniques. (shrink)
In 1982 the American philosopher and Levinas scholar Edith Wyschogrod conducted an interview with Emmanuel Levinas, the transcript of which she published seven years later. Early in the interview, Wyschogrod proposed to Levinas that his philosophy constituted a radical break with western theological tradition because it started not with a Parmenidean ontological plenitude, but rather with the God of the Hebrew Bible. The God Levinas began with, according to Wyschogrod, wasan indigent God, a hidden God who commands that there be (...) a world apart from God, because God needs the multiplicity of the world in order for there to be justice. Levinas responds to this proposal: That’s quite right. Justice, I call it responsibility for the other, right? There is even in Totality and Infinity, the evocation of the tzimtzum [the idea in kabbalistic writings of the self-contraction of God in order to create the void in which creation can take place], but I won’t venture into that. (shrink)
I summarise a conception of morality as containing a set of rules which hold ceteris paribus and which impose pro-tanto obligations. I explain two ways in which moral rules are ceteris-paribus, according to whether an exception is duty-voiding or duty-overriding. I defend the claim that moral rules are ceteris-paribus against two qualms suggested by Luke Robinson’s discussion of moral rules and against the worry that such rules are uninformative. I show that Robinson’s argument that moral rules cannot ground pro-tanto obligations (...) is unsound, because it confuses an absolute reason for an obligation with a reason for an absolute obligation, and because it overlooks the possibility that priority rules may be rules for ordering pro-tanto obligations rather than rules for eliminating contenders for the status of absolute obligation. (shrink)