Can the state, as opposed to its individual human members in their personal capacity, intelligibly seek to avoid blame for unjustified wrongdoing by invoking excuses (as opposed to justifications)? Insofar as it can, should such claims ever be given moral and legal recognition? While a number of theorists have denied it in passing, the question remains radically underexplored. -/- In this article (in its penultimate draft version), I seek to identify the main metaphysical and moral objections to state (...) excuses, and begin to investigate their strength. I work from the ecumenical assumption that general understandings of modern states as group moral agents proper or as mere fictional points of imputation for individual behaviour are both plausible, and that the question of state excuses should be asked in terms of both paradigms. Issues addressed include: the lack of state consciousness/affect, the nature and relevance of developmental and executive defects in group agents, the value of state interests and how interests relate to plausible claims of excuses, the shortfall of responsibility argument for group responsibility and its interface with state excuses, the symbolic and consequential (dis)value that state excuses may have, as well as concerns that states are entities that should live up to outstandingly high virtuous standards of impartiality and equanimity. -/- I conclude that even if the range of excuses available to states does not overlap neatly with excuses available to ordinary individuals, some excuses may still be morally available to states. More generally, I emphasize the need for a systematic discussion of group excuses writ large, and of their relationship with the wider question of when group entities may legitimately be singled out to bear adverse normative consequences for wrongdoing. (shrink)
The author discusses several models of the relation of church and state with respect to their advantages and shortfalls to freedom of religion and equality of religions. The first model is the separation of church and state at a great distance, the second the model of equal religions and the third the rapprochement model of civil religion and constitutional ethics. None of these possible models is fully satisfying. Precisely because the minimum pre-requisites for legitimacy and liberality are (...) preserved, or should be preserved, in all three models, the advocates of all of these church-state models should learn to cherish their respective assets in order to ‘bear’ the accompanying losses. (shrink)
A proposal for an objective interpretation of probability is introduced and discussed: probabilities as deriving from ranges in suitably structured initial-state spaces. Roughly, the probability of an event on a chance trial is the proportion of initial states that lead to the event in question within the space of all possible initial states associated with this type of experiment, provided that the proportion is approximately the same in any not too small subregion of the space. This I would like (...) to call the “natural-range conception” of probability. Providing a substantial alternative to frequency or propensity accounts of probability in a deterministic setting, it is closely related to the so-called “method of arbitrary functions”. It is explicated, confronted with certain problems, and some ideas how these might be overcome are sketched and discussed. (shrink)
Bender, Robert The USA constitution does not have a clause requiring any separation of church and state and until 1948 there were no Supreme Court rulings to ensure that this was seen as a basic constitutional principle. Then in 1945 Vashti McCollum, a 33-year-old part-time squaredancing teacher from Champaign, Illinois, initiated a legal action that changed all that.
Democratic states must protect the liberty of citizens and must accommodate both religious liberty and cultural diversity. This democratic imperative is one reason for the increasing secularity of most modern democracies. Religious citizens, however, commonly see a secular state as unfriendly toward religion. This book articulates principles that enable secular governments to protect liberty in a way that judiciously separates church and state and fully respects religious citizens. -/- After presenting a brief account of the relation between religion (...) and ethics, the book shows how ethics can be independent of religion-evidentially autonomous in a way that makes moral knowledge possible for secular citizens-without denying religious sources a moral authority of their own. With this account in view, it portrays a church-stateseparation that requires governments not only to avoid religious establishment but also to maintain religious neutrality. The book shows how religious neutrality is related to such issues as teaching evolutionary biology in public schools, the legitimacy of vouchers to fund private schooling, and governmental support of <"faith-based initiatives.>" The final chapter shows how the proposed theory of religion and politics incorporates toleration and forgiveness as elements in flourishing democracies. Tolerance and forgiveness are described; their role in democratic citizenship is clarified; and in this light a conception of civic virtue is proposed. -/- Overall, the book advances the theory of liberal democracy, clarifies the relation between religion and ethics, provides distinctive principles governing religion in politics, and provides a theory of toleration for pluralistic societies. It frames institutional principles to guide governmental policy toward religion; it articulates citizenship standards for political conduct by individuals; it examines the case for affirming these two kinds of standards on the basis of what, historically, has been called natural reason; and it defends an account of toleration that enhances the practical application of the ethical framework both in individual nations and in the international realm. (shrink)
Every quantum state can be represented as a probability distribution over the outcomes of an informationally complete measurement. But not all probability distributions correspond to quantum states. Quantum state space may thus be thought of as a restricted subset of all potentially available probabilities. A recent publication (Fuchs and Schack, arXiv:0906.2187v1, 2009) advocates such a representation using symmetric informationally complete (SIC) measurements. Building upon this work we study how this subset—quantum-state space—might be characterized. Our leading characteristic (...) is that the inner products of the probabilities are bounded, a simple condition with nontrivial consequences. To get quantum-state space something more detailed about the extreme points is needed. No definitive characterization is reached, but we see several new interesting features over those in Fuchs and Schack (arXiv:0906.2187v1, 2009), and all in conformity with quantum theory. (shrink)
The main intention of this article is to analyze the role of Islam in post-Soviet Kazakhstan and its utilization in the nation-building and state-building processes. It is argued that Islam in post-Soviet Kazakhstan is a cultural phenomenon rather than a religious one and is an important marker of national identity despite the competition of radical movements in the “religious field.”.
Usual derivations of Lilders's projection rule show that Liuders's rule is the rule required by quantum statistics to calculate the final state after an ideal (minimally disturbing) measurement. These derivations are at best inconclusive, however, when it comes to interpreting Liuders's rule as a description of individual state transformations. In this paper, I show a natural way of deriving Liiders's rule from well-motivated and explicit physical assumptions referring to individual systems. This requires, however, the introduction of a concept (...) of individual state which is not standard. (shrink)
The paper deals with mutual conditionality of existence between the civil society and legal state. The paper is based on the 1918-1940 doctrine of independent Lithuania, the models of the legal state and the tentative models of the civil society created at that time. In the first part of the article, the concept of the legal state is discussed. In terms of creation of the model of the legal state, M. Romeris works are of exceptional importance. (...) It his works, M. Romeris related the legal state in essence with the legal, procedural system for ensuring the lawfulness. On the basis of works of European scholars of the 19th–20th centuries, M. Romeris conducted a critical analysis of the legal state and elucidated its most significant traits. It is notable that M. Romeris was able to make a correct insight into the strategy of advancing towards the legal state. (shrink)
In Sovereignty’s Promise: The State as Fiduciary, Evan Fox-Decent uses the idea of fiduciary relationships to explain the legitimate exercise of governmental authority. He makes use of the idea of the state as a fiduciary for the people to ground an account of the duty to obey the law, to explain the proper relationships between colonial (or “settler”) societies and aboriginal populations, the role of agency discretion and judicial review in the administrative state, the rule of law, (...) the relationship between law and morality, and the foundations of human rights. While I was not convinced by several of the arguments, the book does have many important virtues. In particular, it provides a clear discussion of the idea of fiduciary relationships and duties that is useful for, and should be largely accessible to, non-lawyers. And, though I do not think that Fox-Decent has established all that he hoped to in the book, he does a good job of showing how fiduciary relationships are relevant to the above issues and worth considering. (shrink)
Analyses of market-based reforms of state schooling have occasionally acknowledged positional elements in parental demand, but none has fully examined their nature and implications. Contrary to the normal predictions of orthodox economic analysis, competition in positional markets can result in inefficient outcomes. Predominantly relying upon recent British experience, we examine the extent to which compulsory schooling can be viewed as a positional good and explore its implications for policy. In particular, we consider whether policies targeting increases in parental choice (...) assist a rise in the overall level of educational attainment. (shrink)
How does a sense of touch, figuratively and practically, get deployed within equality governance, and to what questions and ways of thinking about the state does this direct us? Taking 2009–2010 as a snap-shot moment in the development of British equality reform—the year leading up to passage of the Equality Act 2010—this article explores the relationship between touch (the haptic) and equality governance from three angles. First, how have governmental bodies used touch language and imagery, including in geometrical representations (...) of disadvantage? Second, what other, more challenging encounters and actions are imaginable; specifically, can touch mobilise the feeling state as a critical form of active citizenship? Third, what re-conceptualisations of the state does the touching, feeling state invoke, and with what effects? Specifically, does conceiving of the state as a multi-identity formation reframe the risks associated with a haptic state, thereby opening up new strategies for political action? (shrink)
This article provides a comparative summary of the findings of the survey of Business Ethics as field of Teaching, Training and Research across the four sub-regions in Sub-Saharan Africa (Western Africa, Southern Africa, Eastern Africa and Francophone Africa). The article commences with a discussion on the terminology that is used to refer to Business and Economic Ethics in Sub-Saharan Africa. It then provides an overview of the prevalence and distribution of Business Ethics as field of Teaching, Training and Research in (...) Sub-Saharan Africa that demonstrates the substantial growth in the field of Business Ethics since 2000 when an earlier survey was conducted. The focus areas in the field of Business Ethics are identified as well as the major themes that were found with regard to Teaching, Training and Research in Business Ethics. Also the major challenges that are foreseen in the field of Business Ethics over the next five year are discussed. Finally a number of concluding remarks are made that highlight unique features and challenges in the current state of Business Ethics in Sub-Saharan Africa. (shrink)
The article deals with the criteria upon which the powers of the Seimas (the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania) and the Government are delimited in the constitutional jurisprudence of Lithuania. It analyses how the Constitutional Court construes the principle of separation of powers as entrenched in the Constitution and evaluates the meaning of the provision of the Constitution that corresponding ‘relations are regulated by law’. If the Constitution provides that certain relations are regulated by means of a law, (...) such relations may be regulated only by means of a legal act, which takes the form of a law, and it is, therefore, not permissible to regulate such relations by Government resolutions or other acts of the executive. The most important elements of legal relations must be regulated (established) by means of a law, whereas Government resolutions might establish the procedure for the implementation of such laws. Rulings of the Constitutional Court reveal that once the powers of a specific branch of state power have been directly established in the Constitution, an institution of state power may not assume the said powers fr om another state institution. It may not transfer or waive them; and such powers may not be amended or limited by means of a law. The question remains, whether the provision of the Law on the Diplomatic Service wh ereby the candidacy of a diplomatic representative must be reviewed by the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs in advance is not in conflict with the Constitution. (shrink)
Jerry Fodor now holds (1990) that the content of mental state types opaquely taxonomized (de dicto content: DDC) is determined by the 'orthographical' syntax + the computational/functional role of such states. Mental states whose tokens are both orthographically and truth-conditionally identical may be different with regard to the computational/functional role played by their respective representational cores. This make them tantamount to different contentful states, i.e. states with different DDCs, insofar as they are opaquely taxonomized. Indeed they cannot both be (...) truthfully ascribed to a single subject at the same time. Some years ago (1987), Fodor postulated a notion of mental content which also went beyond that of a mental state's truth-conditions. States whose tokens differ in their truth-conditions, or broad content, might, he claimed, still share a narrow content (NC), which was causally responsible for the shared behavior of the subjects of these states. For instance, two molecularly identical individuals, living in environments in all respects the same, except for the chemical substance of the phenomenically indistinguishable liquids filling their respective lakes and rivers, would behave similarly when having truth-conditionally different thoughts regarding those liquids. According to Fodor, this sameness of behavior was causally dependent on the sameness of the NC of the two individuals' truth-conditionally different thoughts. Now, this way of individuating mental states is still of interest for semantics. Indeed, NC allows one contextually to fix the broad content of a mental state token. Echoing Kaplan's notion of character,1 Fodor explained NC as a function that mapped contexts (of thought) onto broad contents. NC was thus invoked by Fodor mainly in order to account for sameness of intentional behavior. But DDC also plays a role in explaining intentional behavior, precisely by explaining why a subject whose thought-tokens have identical truthconditions may behave differently.. (shrink)
In 20th Century America, and in countries of similar political culture, it seemed a permanently established principle that there should be a "wall of separation" between Church and State. But the separation has again become contentious. It is rejected by Muslims and in the US it is under attack from "evangelical" Christians (see Theocracy watch " website). It seems useful to look again at the doctrine of "separation of Church and State", to see what various (...) things the phrase might mean, and what reasons there might be, for and against, regarding at least some of the possible formulations of the doctrine. (shrink)
A new model for the aether is suggested according to which it is a superfluid state of fermion and antifermion pairs, describable by a macroscopic wave function. The vacuum state of this superfluid pervades the entire universe and may account for the missing matter. The visible matter in the universe appears as excitations from the underlying superfluid vacuum.
The fundamental characteristics of older German constitutional history were not determined by the urban-bourgeois element but by that of the princely state and nobility; the King/Emperor in this respect equally was a prince. This situation appeared at a very early stage, with respect to some conditions even before the beginnings of German history in the tenth century. An average level of urbanization comparable to that in Flanders or Northern Italy, which may have created a “modern” urban atmosphere, was simply (...) excluded in the context of the development of the Empire. Nevertheless, the urbanization process, starting mainly in the twelfth century, bringing major changes in the fields of demography, economy, and social and cultural phenomena, did have consequences with respect to the “state.” Its many effects occurred in close interaction with the leading aristocracy. This interaction stabilized the social and political aristocratic structure on the short and middle term, and only in the middle and longer term did restructuring occur. The “feudal” Empire and its princely states were for a very long period not less adequate within the European context than were other imaginable social structures.Regional histories, however, included interesting particular cases of cities intruding in state-building processes. Normally the result was a mixture of “feudal” and urban elements. Just when one takes in consideration the many communal leagues, the conclusion must be that in most cases the “feudal” world won.The elites playing a role in all these circumstances were not only those closely linked to the communes; persons and groups with looser contacts to particular cities often placed themselves into the service of the king or princes. When these groups formed social networks, then they adapted themselves easily to the prevailing “state” context. The main occupations in the bureaucracy, the economic life, the Church, and education existing in the eighteenth century, existed already in principle in the Middle Ages.With respect to periodization and breaks, some time lags are to be observed in the general directions West-East and South-North. Under this remark, we can distinguish until 1800 a primary phase (from around 1250 to 1450/1470), a core phase (1450/1470 to 1650), a phase of continuation (from 1650 to after 1750) and finally a phase of transition (second half of the eighteenth century). This global situation surely can be considered to be backward in comparison to Western Europe.When one is looking forward to bourgeois freedom in industrial society, our endeavor urges caution for all too hasty overviews of premodern history; the particular phenomena have to be placed prudently in the context of their time. In this respect, the search for a modern bourgeois alternative to the traditional constitution of the estates around 1500 tends to be anachronistic. Freedom of particular cities and the citizenry in Germany were movements within the whole of the “feudal” world, which in its turn was modified by them. As the assemblies of estates preluded to parliamentarism, the urban movement prepared the modernity in Central Europe, without being its direct and exclusive cause. (shrink)
The article offers a concise view on the problems related to the Church and State relationship in Latvia. The article presents the author’s hypothesis that under the new circumstances when special legal provisions apply to traditional churches, it must discussed whether the rest of religious organizations could be classified as religious societies, operating in accordance with the Law on Societies and foundations. The author also holds an opinion that it is important for every country to follow the principle of (...)separation of church from state; however, it must be combined with religious freedom. Nevertheless, the article reveals that the task is difficult to follow in practice, in Latvia and in other EU member states alike. (shrink)
Determinism, as the thesis that given the state of the world at a moment there is only one way it can be at the next moment, is problematic. After explaining why the thesis is defined as it is, the paper goes on to raise questions about the terms in which it is defined. Is the 'world' to be understood as constituted by whatever figures in our talk or thought, or to what is reconstituted by an ontology seemingly derived from (...) the sciences? Either way of understanding it is shown to be inadequate. (shrink)
In this article I argue that Jacques Derrida is correct in holding that the law is always an authorized force but that he is mistaken in suggesting that its ultimate font or origin (what he calls the mystical foundation of authority) is an originary or foundationalional act of violence. I suggest that Derrida and, more recently, Jens Bartelson fall prey to a curious, one-sided narrow view of foundationalism and contrast their overly architecturalized image of the foundation of authority with the (...) foundationalism of Thomas Hobbes which is, I shall argue, architectural only as and when appropriate. I also suggest that Hobbes helps us to see that the state, strictly speaking, does not have or exercise authority but that it is, rather, the font or source of the authority wielded by its (empirical) government. Key Words: Jens Bartelson Jacques Derrida Thomas Hobbes justice Immanuel Kant law Michel de Montaigne Blaise Pascal violence. (shrink)
When the state buys and then provides to the citizens goods and services, the state may certainly choose to audit, independently and comprehensively, the quality of the goods and services so provided, particularly when citizens are reporting back that the goods or services are causing unwanted, deleterious effects. This principle applies to intellectual property -- information -- education -- as well as to other goods and services. In particular, it applies to the theory of evolution as taught by (...) the state in its schools, colleges, and universities. A substantial public has long expressed concern; and the state may properly respond to that concern. Naturally, the state would never allow the vendor of goods and services to dictate that only its employees, or others whom it effectively controls, may be allowed to conduct audits. Indeed, persons substantially subject to the control of the vendor are the last possible choices to serve as independent auditors. The conflict-of-interest is well-recognized regarding information and opinion services: a huge problem arose with the big national auditing firms when they also established management consulting divisions -- the auditors tended to report favorably about companies and projects on which their own management consultants were involved. Yet the science community quite bluntly and openly proclaims that only its members -- persons it controls -- may function as auditors of the quality of scientific statements and propositions. They do this by asserting that only scientists may declare what is, or is not, scientific. Now it may be true that within any company, only employees of that company may properly develop the products that the company sells, and only they may deliver the company's statements regarding the quality of its own products. But when a company sells its products outside of itself, to others, such as the government, it may not impose as a condition of sale that only its employees may continue to render opinions about the quality of the product. When the science community actively urges the government to take-up and re-distribute its product, it necessarily surrenders any claim to a monopoly over auditing the product. A difficulty of conducting truly independent audits of science product vended to the government for delivery to the people lies in the fact that to-date, there is no systematic program of developing and training people to serve as such independent auditors. The closest group of people to rely on for this would be lawyers who, in litigation, have developed the ability to cross-examine expert witnesses in cases such as patent cases, or product-liability cases, or other litigations that involve expert testimony in advanced academic fields. This paper outlines a program by which states can conduct appropriate independent audits of evolution as vended to the state by the science community. (shrink)
The ability to dominate or exercise will in social encounters is often assumed in social theory to define power, but there is another form of power that is often confused with it and rarely analyzed as distinct: logistics or the ability to mobilize the natural world for political effect. I develop this claim through a case study of seventeenthcentury France, where the power of impersonal rule, exercised through logistics, was fundamental to state formation. Logistical activity circumvented patrimonial networks, disempowering (...) the nobility and supporting a new regime of impersonal rule: the modern, territorial state. (shrink)
This article analyzes how China’s increasing engagement in the global market induced significant institution-building in China’s tobacco industry and enabled a power shift from the local authorities to the central authority in controlling this market. During this process of “getting onto the international track,” the central government reorganized the industrial tobacco system and broke up the “monopolies” set up by local governments in order to enhance the competitive capacities of China’s tobacco industry in the global market. Given such a concrete (...) institutional change in China’s tobacco industry, I propose the theory of “global-market building as state building” to explain the interactions among the global market, the nation-states, and the domestic market-building projects. I suggest that nation-states strategically seek to engage themselves in the global market and that, under certain circumstances by taking advantage of their global market engagement, the nation-states can enhance their abilities to govern the domestic market. (shrink)
Todo Estado de Derecho moderno tiene su fundamento en ciertos principios que rigen la manera en cómo se ejerce el Poder Público, y es el modo en que efectivamente se aplican, lo que ciertamente determinará la naturaleza y característica de dicho Estado. En el caso venezolano, tales principios se encuentran expresamente plasmados en nuestra Carta Magna y son: El principio de competencia administrativa, el principio de legalidad, el principio de separación y colaboración entre los poderes y el principio de responsabilidad (...) del Estado y sus funcionarios. La intención es definir y desarrollar brevemente estos principios, a fin de poder establecer las características del Estado Venezolano, desde el punto de vista Constitucional (positivo) y desde el punto de vista real. Palabras clave: Principios constitucionales; Responsabilidad del Estado; Competencia; Legalidad; Separación de poderes. Constitutional principles concerning the exercise of public power.Every modern law-ruled State has its foundation on certain principles which govern theway Public Power is exercised. It is the manner in which those principles are in fact applied what will actually determine the nature and characteristics of such a State. In Venezuela’s case such principles are explicitly presented in our Constitution. They are: the principle of administrative competence, the principle of legality, the principle of separation and cooperation between powers and the principle of responsibility of the State and its officials. The aim is to define and briefly unfold these principles, so as to establish the characteristics of the Venezuelan State, both from the Constitutional (positive) and reality standpoints. Keywords : Constitutional Principles; State Responsibility; Competence; Legality; Separation of Powers. (shrink)
The fact that the space of states of a quantum mechanical system is a projective space (as opposed to a linear manifold) has many consequences. We develop some of these here. First, the space is nearly contractible, namely all the finite homotopy groups (except the second) vanish (i.e., it is the Eilenberg-MacLane space K(ℤ, 2)). Moreover, there is strictly speaking no “superposition principle” in quantum mechanics as one cannot “add” rays; instead, there is adecomposition principle by which a given ray (...) has well-defined projections in other rays. When the evolution of a system is cyclic, any representativevector traces out an open curve, defining an element of the holonomy group, which is essentially the (geometrical) Berry phase. Finally, for the massless case of the representations of the Poincaré group (the so-called “Wigner program”), there could be in principle arbitrarily multivalued representations coming from the Lie algebra of the Euclidean plane group. In fact they are at most bivalued (as commonly admitted). (shrink)
This review starts with a brief overview of the technological potential of molecular-based solar cell technologies. It then goes on to focus on the core scientific challenge associated with using molecular light-absorbing materials for solar energy conversion, namely the separation of short-lived, molecular-excited states into sufficiently long-lived, energetic, separated charges capable of generating an external photocurrent. Comparisons are made between different molecular-based solar cell technologies, with particular focus on the function of dye-sensitized photoelectrochemical solar cells as well as parallels (...) with the function of photosynthetic reaction centres. The core theme of this review is that generating charge carriers with sufficient lifetime and a high quantum yield from molecular-excited states comes at a significant energetic cost—such that the energy stored in these charge-separated states is typically substantially less than the energy of the initially generated excited state. The role of this energetic loss in limiting the efficiency of solar energy conversion by such devices is emphasized, and strategies to minimize this energy loss are compared and contrasted. (shrink)
This paper aims at showing that Hobbes's theory of language, which allows men to communicate among themselves like no other animal species, is an importante factor in the integration of modern states. Both his nominalism and the fact that he considers language previous to reason play a role in the formation of social groups. This leads him, as Johnston points out, to make political order depend upon linguistic order. In consequence, Hobbes aims at building a political philosophy by introducing a (...) suitable vocabulary and setting basic propositions from which to deduce valid conclusions, proceding more geometrico . He also points out the importance of language for men to emerge from the state of nature and to draw a compact for peace and security. He also stresses the relation between language and power. Biblical references are included to reinforce the role of language in society, It is also shown that occasionally language may be a disgregating factor. Examples are put rather to show the integrating force of language. (shrink)
This paper aims to analyze the social structure of the society in Teutonic state (1226-1525), which was distinct from structure of estate societies. The author put hypothesis that Teutonic Knight monopolised in their state political, economical and spiritual power. In the light of this thesis certain trends from history of the state of Teutonic Order are explained.
This paper raises the question whether language and violence are internally connected. It starts from the experience of violence and from its theoretical interpretation as violence in the context of political forms of life which are challenged by complaints about violence. Such forms of life have to confront this issue because they are supposed to be responsive to claims and demands of others who articulate violence as an experience of violation. Whether a kind of responsive ethos may be based on (...) the suspected inner connection between language and violence is being discussed at the end. (shrink)
The 1995 Encyclopedia of Bioethics is an almost complete reworking of the original 1978 edition, due to the expanding nature of the field. The following article focuses on how the second edition of the Encyclopedia deals with the topic of “clinical ethics” and three related topics: “nursing ethics”, “trust”, and “conflict of interest”. We assess their relevance to the current developments in these fields and the Encyclopedia's usefulness as a resource to ethics consultants, researchers and clinicians. We emphasize the heterogeneity (...) of clinical ethics as a still new and evolving field. (shrink)
This paper raises the question whether language and violence are internally connected. It starts from the experience of violence and from its theoretical interpretation as violence in the context of political forms of life which are challenged by complaints about violence. Such forms of life have to confront this issue because they are supposed to be responsive to claims and demands of others who articulate violence as an experience of violation. Whether a kind of responsive ethos may be based on (...) the suspected inner connection between language and violence is being discussed at the end. (shrink)
Israel has always mattered to American Christians. They are among the strongest supporters of the State of Israel in the United States. The paper argues that the support that was extended by American Christians in general and the Christian Right in particular, to Israel and the Jewish people is the continuation of a long tradition in conservative American Christians rooted mainly in their theological doctrine. However, the study shows that the Christian Right is ambivalent in its view on Jews. (...) On the one hand, Jews are considered to be God’s chosen people and to have a special Biblical status and role. On the other hand, the Christian Right is allegedly anti-Semitic, as it views Jews as a condemned nation for their rejection of Christ as the Messiah, the reason for which they are unsaved and need to be converted to Christianity. Interestingly, both views, love and hatred of Jews, are based on the Biblical teachings and grounded in conservative Protestant theology; their paradoxical views on Jews are not a new phenomenon among conservative American Christians. Nevertheless, the study found that the support of the American Christians of the establishment of the State of Israel goes beyond theological doctrines or values. In fact, the humanitarian considerations of the liberal Christian and secular organizations in particular, were significant in contributing to the establishment of the Jewish state. (shrink)
Joseph Raz's defence of government is grounded in his ‘normal justification thesis’. This thesis justifies the exercise of state authority in just those cases where subjects are more likely to fulfill their duties by obeying the state than by carrying out their own deliberations. I argue that the assumptions underlying this argument are importantly similar to those made by the Enlightenment anarchist philosopher William Godwin. Raz's arguments can supplement Godwin's political theory, producing an argument which, though grounded in (...) anarchist principles, justifies a limited state authority. (shrink)
The present article focusesupon three aspects of computer ethics as aphilosophical field: contemporary perspectives,future projections, and current resources.Several topics are covered, including variouscomputer ethics methodologies, the `uniqueness'of computer ethics questions, and speculationsabout the impact of globalization and theinternet. Also examined is the suggestion thatcomputer ethics may `disappear' in the future.Finally, there is a brief description ofcomputer ethics resources, such as journals,textbooks, conferences and associations.
It is increasingly evident that there is more to biological evolution than natural selection; moreover, the concept of evolution is not limited to biology. We propose an integrative framework for characterizing how entities evolve, in which evolution is viewed as a process of context-driven actualization of potential (CAP). Processes of change differ according to the degree of nondeterminism, and the degree to which they are sensitive to, internalize, and depend upon a particular context. The approach enables us to embed phenomena (...) across disciplines into a broad conceptual framework. We give examples of insights into physics, biology, culture and cognition that derive from this unifying framework. (shrink)
In what sense might the authoritarian practices and suspension of legal norms as means to combat the supposed threat of “terrorism,” within and by contemporary western democratic states, be understood as a problem of and not for democracy? That question lies at the heart of this article. It will be explored through the theoretical frame offered in the work of Giorgio Agamben on the state of exception and the example of British state collusion in non-state violence in (...) the North of Ireland. The North of Ireland provides a particularly illuminating case study to explore how the state of exception—the suspension of law and of legal norms and the exercise of arbitrary decision—has increasingly become a paradigm of contemporary governance. In so doing it brings into question not only the traditional conceptualization of the “democratic dilemma” of liberal democratic states “confronting terrorism” but also challenge dominant paradigms of transitional justice that generally fail to problematize the liberal democratic order. After outlining Agamben’s understanding of the state of exception the article will chart the development of “exceptional measures” and the creation of a permanent state of emergency in the North, before critically exploring the role of collusion as an aspect of counter-insurgency during the recent conflict. The paper will argue that the normalization of exceptional measures, combined with the need to delimit the explicitness of constitutional provision for the same, provided a context for the emergence of collusion as a paradigm case for the increasing replication of colonial practices into the core activity of the contemporary democratic state. (shrink)
Here I shall call elements (1)-(3) the quantum state (or the “state”), since they give the quantum state of the universe that obeys the dynamical laws and is written in terms of the kinematic variables, and I shall call elements (4)-(6) the probability rules (or the “rules”), since they specify what it is that has probabilities (here taken to be the results of observations, Oj, or “observations” for short), the rules for extracting these observational probabilities from the (...) quantum state, and the meaning of the probabilities. What I shall write below is largely independent of the meaning of the probabilities, though personally I view them in a rather Everettian way as objective measures for the set of observations with positive probabilities. Usually it is implicitly believed that the observational probabilities depend strongly upon the quantum state. (Sometimes the Everett interpretation  is taken to mean that all of physical reality is determined purely by the quantum state, without the need for any additional rules to extract probabilities, but this extreme view seems untenable  and will not be adopted here. Instead, I shall discuss the opposite view, that the probabilities are independent of the quantum state.) However, some advocates of inflation[5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22] often claim that our observations do not depend upon the quantum state at all, but rather that inflation acts as an attractor to give the same statistical distribution of observations from any state. In this note, I shall use the framework of state plus rules to discuss this possibility that observational probabilities might be independent of the quantum state. I shall show that this indeed is logically possible, but apparently only if the probability rules are rather ad hoc. If indeed the rules are this ad hoc, so that the probabilities of our observations do not depend upon a quantum state at all, it would seem to leave it mysterious why many of our observations can be simply interpreted as if our universe really were quantum.. (shrink)
continent. 1.3 (2011): 187-194. 1. St. Reagan and the Return of the Storyteller The 2004 Republican National Convention was a significant event concerning language and aesthetics in contemporary politics. The Reagan myth appeared as a stellar aura of sentimentality that churned a cultic swoon. Among the polity this spectacular mystery passed a glow upon the shoulders of gleeful followers. Engulfing George W. Bush’s body, the Reagan aura of the protector, the prophet, the historian, and narrator of American destiny oft portrayed (...) as a humble man who simply transmits “content,” bequeathed upon the sitting president his missionary staff to guard that “shining city on a hill.” This proverbial key to New Jerusalem follows Reagan’s own mythical thinking about the sacred role of the United States. After all the organism-city was under attack by “terrorism.” The “real America” had to be preserved from suitcase nukes and radical Islam, what was needed, in fact, was the wise counsel of Reagan-Bush to survive not only as a nation, but as a world. When Bush ceremoniously accepted his spectral host his image was woven into Reagan’s, the ultimate sovereign who rode off into the screen on a white stallion. This journey scene manifested after two key elements of memorial montage: the late leader’s image preceded by a surging fighter plane that merged into the image of a priest calming his flock at what appeared to be Reagan’s own funeral service. With Reagan returning from heaven through media he assured the converted any crisis facing American providence was only a point of passage. Having returned a short time after ascension his “final journey to the West”1 was an aura every conservative leader need embody and project. Reagan’s channelers, the conservative faithful, amplified the aura of father Exceptionalism. This novelistic perpetuity endowed the faithful with an ability to overcome not only history and its seismic interruptions (given its attempt to claim the impossibility of nature), but as much the finitude of mortality. Contemporary crises of origin has breached a certain threshold of experience through broadcast media. This phenomenon is provisionally linked to authenticity and language, similarly articulated by Christopher Fynsk concerning the “way” one takes “in the saying of language.” The way is complicated by the “fact” of language itself, and the fact of language may indeed be our devices that transmit political messages.2 Thus how we engage what appears or inflects as an essence in the experience of media persists in relation to our own speaking or saying. The first barrier is a thinking of or with devices we inhabit daily. It is easy to call this a type of agency, yet to target the device in hand obscures the question of the apparatus itself and its relation to language. Far more ephemeral than the Reagan myth per se something surpassed a key threshold related to that question. The “funerary moment” as Jacques Derrida conceived of it examples, perhaps, the distinction Fynsk makes between Hegel and Heidegger on the fact of language in consideration of the way of its saying essence, it also links to a moment of terror and war as capitalism enters into its late phase. As Fynsk sets out in the introduction to Language and Relation, one must “attend to an implication of approach and object that is no less intricate than (though fundamentally different from) the one purposed by Hegel.”3 Method denotes the problematic of the death in language and the way it relates to political discourse, or, as we propound, the way death is turned against subjectivity.4 Derrida’s observation of Hegelian semiotics perhaps underscores this matter of the “fact” of language, that is, if we are concerned with recovering discourse from pure aesthetic manipulation, as a type of death-speaking in media devices is a language that is factual: Hegel knew that this proper and animated body of the signifier was also a tomb. The association s?ma/s?ma is also at work in this semiology, which is in no way surprising. The tomb is the life of the body as the sign of death, the body as the other of the soul, the other of the animate psyche, of the living breath. But the tomb also shelters, maintains in reserve, capitalizes on life by marking that life continues elsewhere the family crypt: oik?sis. It consecrates the disappearance of life by attesting to the perseverance of life. Thus the tomb also shelters life from death. It warns the soul of possible death, warns (of) death of the soul, turns away (from) death. This double warning function belongs to the funerary moment. The body of the sign thus becomes the monument in which the soul will be enclosed, preserved, maintained, kept in maintenance, present, signified. At the heart of this monument the soul keeps itself alive, but it needs the monument only to the extent that it is exposed—to death—in its living relation to its own body. It was indeed necessary for death to be at work [... ]5 Reagan became an incorruptible saint by a death at work, a mythical force indelibly printed through the incumbent Bush and his bio-formative constituency. Limited not to a particular ideological identity the embodiment of American providence and its sacral mission is at stake in this transferral of aura. Sure to spring from his or her mouth are the wise maxims and proverbs, that in a sense of scale, Bush attained the attributes of Benjamin’s storyteller as a Reaganesque narrator: speaking wise counsel from beyond the pale of broadcasting lumens. The device in hand is yet a mere distinction to Benjamin’s concept of the novel and its crystallized narrator whereby a solitary reader (hence viewer of broadcast politics) reunited with their own death-speaking capacity. The distinction between the novel and the device occurs in the withdraw from reading a novel and return to the realities of life. Our devices today are increasingly attached to our mode of encountering and cracking phenomenon once demarcated by the actual pages and limited by distances that gave readers a chance to see a report for what it was. Reagan’s ubiquitous Americana, telegraphed through folk speak crafted by his minders, is constantly recycled by neophytes. The likes of Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and Christine O’Donnell present to the American public newer developments of a candidate with special attributes of a storyteller narrator. These acolyte test models attempt to perfect what appears as a neo-romantic element of American cult. Even Barack Obama in his misguided attempt at Burkean consensus invokes Reagan.6 Given the lack of substance in conservative candidates today, the ultra synthetic reality surrounding political leaders denotes a crisis in authentic discourse. This demands a deeper mediation on the nature of essence, that is, where essence vanishes into the impossibility of nature and further, whether or not we can even think this distinction without committing an incredible fault of curiosity, that is, running the risk of participating in a fully synthetic political discourse. Our naive animality, if not our “bare life” holds the ability to distinguish what was given away to the device that understands more and more of our bodily movement. Since we are accustomed to thinking by way of self-reflection the experience of discovery has always lent itself to the destructive and “secret” mores of an ideology of progress. If I participate, no matter what, things might change. This is a matter limited to technological agency but not fully that: language has entered an eidetic blender. Therefore beyond this tendency to call Reagan acolytes religious lunatics we have entered a time of political eschatology. These candidates and the sophisticated elements of their campaigns gamble on our increasingly faltering capacity to grasp our own capacity for language. How are we to think the appearances of these figures in order to gain access to the displacement of a synthesis of reason, the crafting of thinking we have apparently left behind? The content of Reagan and Obama’s speeches are stabilizations of a death-lost polity. This phenomenon is analogous to the emergencies of a stock market. The nature of machine-driven trading demands a more emotive check on tensing outcomes. The practice of language is in doubt because the usurpation of discursively built community, that is, communities have adopted the logic of information as the basis for their meaning: broken, without brevity and lack of context. The media device is an interesting object. Its capacity to subjectify or structure perception depends on our lingering from actual reality in the same way the novel and the newspaper did. We cannot however limit our thinking to the object. Appearances are linked to the fact of language. If engagement with forming language continues by way of device habitation, pragmatic legislation which is the synthetic material for rule of law will face continual destruction. Law takes its place in the body. The body marks the limit of freedom by moving to the limits prescribed by law. A perpetual image crystallizing a general condition in the American polity suggests the reflections of salvation, a blindness of vanity or the narcissistic awe of our devices and networks allows essence to meet this law beyond our perceptual capacity of reflection. The law is no longer engaged by the body in formal thinking, it is engaged by whatever imagination may be, arguably the furthest extent of a thinking, human body. Imagination would become the essence of a new law. Neo-romantic vision quests for the real America become the blinding element of political identity dominated by the aesthetics of an obscure authenticity. What is the authenticating body then, for whom? The American polity has hit an ideological bottom. Wandering in portable magic mirrors listening to every revelation spouting about produces a result that pushes once calculative governance by argument into endless oblivion, hence the craft of reason aimlessly drifting into a multi-polar voidance without any legible consensus. The question “how do we think of the multiple?” is perhaps phrased more effectively as “how do we avoid what appears as reasonable discourse?” 2. Shock Values: Masses in a Post-Electro-Mechanical Age We think we are part of political movements every time we stroke our screens. Therefore when Reagan reappeared from death he was Benjamin’s storyteller, he was a saint and now incorruptibly true—this is the experience of devices and the claim of their ability to channel appearances of facts. This glazed upon Obama, who, no matter how brilliant, proves unable to stabilize the destruction of civic spatialization whereby law appears and may be thought about. Political strategists will continue to manipulate this factoring of language whether known to them or not. And the world beat essence of Obama once hailed as messiah can no longer keep up with the national quest for origin. “Birthers,” in fact, are a nonpartisan phenomenon that lends to our theorization. Birthers’ desire for authentic origin by way of mythical delusion indicates the power of appearances and a lack of perceptual literacy. Conversely Obama did precipitate a potential cure for the inadequacies of death care through devices that reach beyond “Hope.” Casual observance of “conservative” right ideologies congealing in contemporary America demonstrates a growing reactionary position against government and administration. The Obama campaign, following all the progressive elements of political identification and subjectification is no exception, no one can win without using technologies of an increasingly sophisticated apparatus of voter identification. This is differentiated by Obama’s pragmatic style of governance, the executive versus the messianic candidate. By the administration’s own admission their information was “ineffectively” communicated.7 The arguments as to the real appropriation of Reagan’s good governance, whatever the case may be, are appropriated today by a radical right that rejects any America whereby its modern institutions survive, and that is the real fall-out in Washington today. The bios that gives force to symbolic power is now oriented toward the thought of these bodies, not the bodies themselves. They have a whole new issue to enforce upon America: governance is no longer acceptable in any civic manifestation where organizing physical bodies was its primary task. These bodies are already in place. Governance would begin in our own blinding vanity as the submission to essence driven by a factored language. That is why following the wise counsel of contemporary politicians has less and less to do with how well one knows their leader or their half-baked conspiracies. Today more and more people do not clearly understand what these leaders really say or mean. Regardless of bravado, language contrasts to a general sense of reality these leaders exude once in office. Yet by 2012 it is not a gamble of prophecy to say this general rupture in political messaging will not be corrected and perfected. Everyone knows revolutionary leaders are insane, yet to be insane is generally a mode by which one has little way of confronting its suppositionary notions. We live in a time of demented and hallucinogenic language inherited from the post-war America of the 1950s, yet that phenomenon has begun to transpire into nothingness and along with it any revolutionary possibility. Would the new emergence of far right leaders really qualify for a whole group of insane revolutionary leaders appearing in such prolific numbers? This question rests upon the disappearance and emergence of something like an iconographic scaffold whereby our ability to read depends on our aesthetic health, that is, grasping the death in speaking, which would be the ineffable fact of language itself. Our “conservative” leaders of the day, are not yet full lunatics, they believe what they say and what they say is authenticated by invoking the storyteller of Reagan who holds the mantle as the most malleable blazon in American political lexicography. This diction or literacy-shaping is buttressed by nearly countless amounts of data crunching and micro-targeting, the goal, as it has been since the formal introduction of social and information sciences in the early 20th century, is to find a way into the subjectification processes of human bios.8 Walter Lippmann, a pioneer on journalistic ethics and social sciences defines the goal of seeing images forming in people’s head in uncomfortably similar terms: The pictures inside the heads of these human beings, the pictures of themselves, of others, of their needs, purposes and relationship, are their public opinions [. W]e shall inquire first into some of the reasons why the picture inside often misleads men in their dealings with the world outside. We shall consider first the chief factors which limit their access to the facts. They are the artificial censorships, the limitations of social contact, the comparatively meager time available in each day for paying attention to public affairs, the distortion arising because events have to be compressed into very short messages, the difficulty of making a small vocabulary express a complicated world, and finally the fear of facing those facts which would seem to threaten the established routine of men’s lives.”9 Hallucinogenic experience inherited something from the percussive shocks that shattered the body. Benjamin’s shattered human, as he thought it in “The Storyteller,” was one undergoing a decline in valuable experience. Lippmann’s cynical attitude stands in contradistinction to any progressive goal of educating and informing everyone by the merits of information and newspapers. Benjamin’s stance was quite similar to that. Despite the percussive assault of modern life and its loosing of biological sanctity, human-beings retained an ability to redress progressive obliteration. Benjamin therefore sought an “-ability” to think creatively against a desubjectification presaging the ascension of total war fascism. Would this form of desubjectification fully manifest today depends upon whether or not we are able to observe appearances proximate to death, or to authenticate the end of our personal world. The crises of finitude for the subject are linked to Benjamin’s analysis of a final review. A dying body allowed a necessary life-affirming transmission critical to human society.10 This is a society we conserve less and less of today. How do we engage technological claims on bios, and the use of our imaginations by political regimes exploiting those “plugged-in” to the system? Benjamin’s general prognosis aligns with this in a rather interesting way. The incessant wiring of the world digs into the destructive currents of our unknowable nature whereby our capacity to grasp our finite existence has few ethical stabilizations. In Benjamin’s thought one could attempt to strike against this type of historical determination. This observation was linked to the electro-mechanical experience of the human body. Today it takes place at an aesthetic level and requires a new articulation whereby a new praxis lacks a consistent engagement. How do we un-subjectify with “smart” technologies and conserve the dignity and nature of our own language? How do we smash them without destroying our own bodies and imaginations?11 If we follow a type of linguistically driven empiricism language is the last place whereby a sensible conversation takes place. In fact I think this is the enigma by which Obama will secure reelection. It is based upon means of a synthetic authentication through accessing a human based temporality we are quickly losing touch with. This will not secure whatever governance is already taking position, the new governance may be confronted by what Benjamin called “spectrum analysis."12 This mnemonic shift would drive death from language and throw it about the mediated world. It would, in effect, have to be supposed before imagined. Is this best addressed by whatever we are calling post-human? Is it merely an excrescence of writing that demands a more efficacious recovery? Would mourning for authentic language finally been overcome or does this post-human merely obscure it? Only a new art and poetry could emerge as a way to articulate it.13 3. Legibility in the Age of Sustained Beings: Thoughts on a Post-Human Militancy Today it seems language is completely packaged on a level of thought-utterance. Recovering the dignity and nature of authentic speaking, or dare I say “organic” voice, is a move toward smashing historical determination. From the inside-out language seems ripped apart from being; conversely, from the outside-in death is inhaled through endless objects of commoditized life. Aisle after aisle of produced thinking we ceaselessly inhabit a neo-bourgeois ideology of moderation. Profane thinkers of the day have yet to turn to novel tactics that are sustaining fronts of resistance. How does one address something that we cannot even see? Paradoxically this ends in the destruction of the body if the aim of any determinative machine would truly want anything at all. But what it really hints at is the reflection of a real body more available than we think. If Benjaminian shock served as a positioning agent for the “sustainability” regime we have now entered, would we not benefit from seriously engaging a project of aesthetic rebellion? If we inherited shock from the long-term incubation with the technology of writing we should have access to its claim on imagination. That would need to be tempered by the fact that writing has begun a type of disappearance. In the sense of its general “legibility” the essence of writing could be what powers the affect of canonized authenticity.14 If the ancient human today dissolves in the wake of the shock and awe by a disappearing writing, its own natural propellant (voice and the mystery of nature) would obtain an appearance. Would this new phenomenon have already begun a decline? Discourse for constructing communities would be one recovered through media that attempts to fully claim synthetic reason from thought. Discourse is therefore not directly from bodies in a sense of transmission, which would handle any effective construction of synthetic reason or moderation, i.e. Burkean calculation or post-Humean passion. Though clearly an issue of the posthumous it is in this death-notion that we surrender to our leaders appearing in devices. Whatever resembles of our own dead-death it is obscured by vanity. Vanity obscures scintillas of truth in media devices via storytellers by the essence of death itself. No matter what political or ideological identity, language is the device and perhaps the apparatuses of media in general. Powered by the force of death, our death, everyone’s dead-death, language is no longer a footnote for philosophical pause: it powers what appears now as political inanity. Imagination is in some sense legible, somewhere, somehow. Does object-philosophy promise to solve this problem through dejected curiosities, or veiled desubjectification? Thinking the claim on imagination would be the only way to confront the lunatics attempting to destroy public and civic governance. Yet this is a problem of immanence or waiting. God is a crisis of imagination incredibly difficult to conceive in the self-conceptualization we have today. It would depend upon those entrepreneurs savvy enough to create a type of space to accommodate radical language in an already fully exhibited human body. The affirmative and immediate truth we ignore today, or simply cannot stabilize any further for examination, enters a paradoxical crux.15 This seems confirmation enough to open a debate about the aesthetics of object philosophy as a proper place for the remnants of capitalist thought, if we are still thinking on terms of commodities. Dead-death is ripping imagination from the body and reselling it in what is called “wise counsel” from the likes of a used-car politician. I would like to take this question in this direction, because though this has never been the expressed goal of commodification, it is the result of late capitalism. Any new image of language presents a substantiation or claim on our “post-human” future and what type of politics it would produce. Does it appear in the ironic phrase of “Hope,” is it something intimate about our conditions with media? Are we in some sense entering a vast hopelessness but at the same time challenged not to fall victim to narratives of salvation? The human’s lingering ideal of having a “post” in society finds a possible irony as a type of Loughnerian grammar (the invisibility of constructing reason)16 and is linked to this pervasive loss or mourning. Indeed we may have fewer positions in society today. Conversely is not having a “post” the militant imperative of liberal democratic thought and its utopian undercurrents? What we have is equality through opposition and war. What was an inner contradiction in the promise of a welfare state was actually a warfare status of privileging groups or individuals in a larger manifestation or correcting apparatus of natural laws. By abusing “diversity” what was concealed are the nefarious elements of economic sciences and the invisible mastery of divisiveness, one that appears internally, as we see in contemporary politics, the most unnatural nature. This human position in liberal democracy is utterly collapsing. Authentic exchanges, friendship, and mutual care for creative destruction and construction are not nourished long on denatured excrement. Our post in contemporary society is thus messianic. The recycling of thinking has an end in itself, an end we must overcome. Our uncanny boot camp of psychosis, if never set down, will always obscure the locus of creative acts, that is, where reason or craft enters into the actual by way of reflection. That we all have a “Call of Duty” means the placement of the game controller in the hands of a biped: a direction that ends in the point-of-view. And the space between them presents an opportunity to move this orienting post. As for the word “orient,” the preverbal East is the last place the West appears as Western. Who or what is godlike has today a point of view that projects a world. What replaces orientation is the capacity to observe this schematic. First, one could destabilize the ordering of imagination itself by way of the individual imagination. This is our first “profanity.”17 Second, the imagination and the created world are thus voyages into the logic of an image and not the radical productivity of imagination alone. Their integration, or transmogrifying capacity, lends to our need to learn to read what is writing today in our imaginative bodies, that is, to read experience and navigate the punctual claim, its eidetic variations of our own movement in the world. To stop this novel illiteracy of sense from falling into a politician’s image of counsel one would have to recognize that any game console is not a true voyage without deference for reading “outside the box.” Here, object philosophies may offer thoughts on grammar. As it relates to its interiority, it, the post-human, must consider both until it is once again human. This is the only conservative position left in the world of thought. This would describe our musing about a post-ing, positing, or depositing—the punctual orientation of biology. For imagination available to each biological life is an imaginative “access” to their post or point in the world. This posting is what their real point of view could become as the perishing of this point of view, as an interior window to being. Every human has, in the military anyway, a “post.” And the post of Sarah Palin, among other inane creatures, is a twisted language, which has no regard for poetic care. The suppositions we operate on still concern on the imperatives of an “informed citizenry,” that is, their entire index of thoughts and thinking as a public property. The idealistic requisite for voting in a representative democracy is precisely what I mean by electro-mechanical profanity now relegated to a wet dream in the anti-humid reality of a computer. We are wise therefore to rethink the famous and certainly defunct “Canons of Journalism.” The modernist scientific answer of stabilizing information was to have its site in the bodies of thinking human beings. That is, the object of information and the newspaper itself were the plane by which one could reason effectively if they would just learn how to read them correctly. We have long since entered that phase, a time of readers and writers that we now no longer understand as separate positions. Benjamin observed that the vanity and egoistic desire of readers to be writers is often abused by editors. This is in no case diminished today, that is, “users” have constant reflection in the devices in hand and hackers find themselves committing the errorism of a Flusserian “functionary.” Perspective, that is, a point of view, is the habitation of the object of the paper by imagination, this is only sped up by way of the user comments. More precisely a migration of thinking-bios into information. The newspaper is now a motherboard, everybody reads them and no body understands it, the goal is to standardize the movement of bios. Science, in particular what is called “social science” does not determine democracy as we opined earlier. This cynical attitude toward participatory democracy is a cornerstone of a more accurate and forgotten conservative skepticism of “liberalism.” Thus liberalism fosters the correct conditions of warfare in order to gain access to imagination, and if democracy (the want of grammar) demands discursive freedom, we are far from that today. Conservatives today are merely liberal radicals who intentionally or not use information science to further manipulate every biotic form bleeding being into a corrective system of illegible grammar, that is the way to stabilize the orthodoxy of their followers, return the uncared death of language into the image of their regime. What is the point-of-viewing humans like that? The point-of-view, or the point-of-viewing has in some sense left us with a type of novel mourning. What is post-human is thus still human, a matter of access to positions of every moment of legible and illegible verbiage (referring here to Fynsk’s thinking of essence and language). We have to determine an increase in legibility that fits a criteria of dignity and privation. One can stop speeding-up to outsmart the calculative and programmatic nature of civil machinery and thus find ways to ethically engage ordering. Timing is thus the answer to impossible speed, at least in boxing. This imperative emerges in political want today, as in America and across the world the hard rightward migration toward national origins is based on the loss of a relationship to language and thus aims at destroying what it believes are results of a “big government.” The speed that has desubjectified the hobbits and ancient Vikings of a Tea Partying America are equally astounding, yet they too will undergo a perishing of becoming. The masticatory capacity of necrotic capitalism today is a type of political mourning for a reasonable discourse obscured in essence. But the answer is not by incarnating politicians as storytellers, or creating fictive worlds whereby our narrators emerge in actual certainty versus a general schematic of reality, these are things we merely attend to as objects and essences. 4. The Negative Kingdom of Sound Being It was the cultic and exhibitive dialectic that Benjamin thought in consideration of fascism and technology that excavated language, removing its production of wisdom for the finite subject into the device and returning it as something promising actual, infinite capacity. The weigh station remains the human body yet a body that has lost it capacity to handle the radical being concealed in language itself due to the technologization of metaphysical thought. If ana-logism or analog life characterized the annihilative expression of “world war” via media and its acceleration into images, what was underwritten was the capacity of seeing.18 Shock via media has left the body in a missionary-messianic position that indicates this lack of seeing as the site of almost every political utterance guided by the synthetic narrators of false histories. Iterated earlier, the ideological imperative of sustainability solidifies what appears as the imperatives of smart technology: a novel ground of human imagination and the mastery of the ineffable capacity we are no longer able to tacitly handle. Therefore Reagan’s post-humous appearances designate the ethics of optical thought as an ethics most inhumane. Reflected in the rise of Obama, the 2004 Republican Presidential Convention was only one site that is not fully consequential of what has since emerged as disquieting behavior exampled by “conservative” politicians and media despots. The emergence of cultic lunacy is built upon the incredible exploitation of language and being. We cannot fully account for these figures who seemingly occupy the fringes of imaginative thought through an inversion of bodily force into a nearly immaculate conception of the signification of wise counsel, that is, they emerge as our modern version of an effective storyteller capable of facilitating what was lost from real conversation, community and the essentiality of creative embellishments (not unlike the author Leskov for whom Benjamin afforded some finding of counsel even if the orator was merely a page). There is a bit of countermovement that may have an optimistic tenor. Our own recovery of being forces the question of how we recognize a return to being. If we have lost our collective vision it may be that we have only realized sight has nothing to do with appearances. This first theoretical step would address the ethical need erupting in not only our continuous digital migration, but the colonization of language by media and its claim on being. If our time is not engaged toward the preservation of biological thinking supposing the incredibly elusive element of human experience, it is at the same time an indifference oriented toward the utter destruction of human systems whereby a chaotic outcome would express a negative fecundity unseen, but one we conversely have some type of access to. Would this shift first appear in imagination itself or merely as another testing? Have we truly divorced ourselves from language by the pent up desire to escape the fact of finitude that has only resulted in near-death testimonies and theosophical doctrines? NOTES 1 Quoted from Ronald Reagan’s memorial as broadcasted by FoxNews 2 I refer in general to Christopher Fynsk’s inaugural questions concerning the “linguistic turn.” See Fynsk, Language and Relation. 3 Fynsk notes that verb status of essence relates to the “way-making that occurs properly in the speaking of language,” whereby discerning essence and language might lead, via Heidegger to an experience with language: “...namely, the relation of essence and language as it involves the human engagement of speaking its essence.” See Fynsk, Language and Relation , 76-7. 4 I have begun a theory of such a recovery, See Groves, “Ultima Multis: The Raising of Deathcare.” 5 See Derrida, “The Pit and the Pyramid,” 82-3. 6 Sam Tanenhaus has observed that Obama is most likely a consensus conservative in the Burkean sense of calculation. See Tanenhaus, The Death of Conservatism . 7 See Beam, “Speech Therapy.” 8 I refer here to Walter Lippmann’s Public Opinion , published in 1922, whereby the goal was to see the pictures in people’s heads. 9 Lippmann, Public Opinion , 30. 10 In “The Storyteller,” Benjamin assigns this to anyone, including the “wretch,” where after death was swept from view presaging the asylum mentality of the disciplinary society. 11 In fact one may begin the conversation of imagination as body forming rather than bodies forming imagination. 12 Benjamin’s concept of material theology as he articulates it in the “Paralipomena to ‘On the Concept of History’.” 13 I reject the narratives of non-anthropocentric thinking. Any thinking is only human thinking even if by proxy. 14 Benjamin’s notebook N from The Arcades Project as well as “On the Concept of History,” attempt to find ways in which historical continuity may be disrupted, either by colliding with this historical penitentiary or by the realization of our suspension in its directional domination of perception. 15 I refer to Judith Balso’s most current work on poetry and ontology whereby an astounding concept of subjectivity introduces a novel conceptualization of history. See Balso, Mandelstam, Stalin, Hölderlin, Heidegger . 16 See Sharrock, “Explained.” 17 I refer expressly to Giorgio Agamben’s concept of returning to the public by way of profanity from what was sacred. Yet returning to the public also contributes to the contemporary culture of exhibition and therefore has nothing to do with private dignity. See What is an Apparatus ? 18 Literary scholar Laurence Rickels identifies this as “not-see,” hence “Nazi.” See: Rickels, Nazi Psychoanalysis. (shrink)
A majority of the countries in the world are still considered "developing," with a per capita income of less than U$1,000. Hahn (2008, Journal of Business Ethics 78, 711–721) recently proposed an ambitious business ethics research agenda for integrating the "bottom-of-the-pyramid" countries (Prahalad and Hart, 2002, Strategy and Competition 20, 22–14) through sustainable development and corporate citizenship. Hahn's work is among the growing field of research in comparative business ethics including the global business ethics index (Michalos, 2008, Journal of Business (...) Ethics 79(1), 9–19; Scholtens and Dam, 2008, Journal of Business Ethics 75(3), 273–284; Tsalikis and Seaton, 2008, Journal of Business Ethics 75(3), 229–238). This article is complementary to Hahn's work and it advocates an urgent need for business ethics researchers to globally integrate the bottom-of-thepyramid countries through a fundamental re-definition of the global economic triad, including the United States, Western Europe, and Japan [Ohmae, 1985, Triad Power: The Coming Shape of Global Competition (New York: Free Press)]. The definition that we propose is based on business systems and institutional perspectives that include the bottom-of-the-pyramid countries. We also propose to broaden the research in business ethics to enable comparisons across business systems indifferent income levels. (shrink)
Minors are generally considered incompetent to provide legally binding decisions regarding their health care, and parents or guardians are empowered to make those decisions on their behalf. Parental authority is not absolute, however, and when a parent acts contrary to the best interests of a child, the state may intervene. The best interests standard is the threshold most frequently employed in challenging a parent''s refusal to provide consent for a child''s medical care. In this paper, I will argue that (...) the best interest standard provides insufficient guidance for decision-making regarding children and does not reflect the actual standard used by medical providers and courts. Rather, I will suggest that the Harm Principle provides a more appropriate threshold for state intervention than the Best Interest standard. Finally, I will suggest a series of criteria that can be used in deciding whether the state should intervene in a parent''s decision to refuse medical care on behalf of a child. (shrink)
The judgment that a given event is epistemically improbable is necessary but insufficient for us to conclude that the event is surprising. Paul Horwich has argued that surprising events are, in addition, more probable given alternative background assumptions that are not themselves extremely improbable. I argue that Horwich’s definition fails to capture important features of surprises and offer an alternative definition that accords better with intuition. An important application of Horwich’s analysis has arisen in discussions of fine-tuning arguments. In the (...) second part of the paper I consider the implications for this argument of employing my definition of surprise. I argue that advocates of fine-tuning arguments are not justified in attaching significance to the fact that we are surprised by examples of fine-tuning. (shrink)
This paper offers a politolinguistic analysis of four ‘state of the nation’ speeches delivered by the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán between 1999 and 2002. The analysis focuses on the ways in which Orbán’s self-representation, his discourse strategies and the tone of the speeches changed in response to changes in the ideological background over the four years in question. The findings demonstrate that Orbán’s voice was most active in the pre-election speech of 2002, that he had become increasingly interpellative (...) (in the Althusserian sense) over this period and that he increasingly tried to conversationalize the dominant ideology. (shrink)
The identity of working-memory and long-term memory representations follows from many lines of evidence. However, the data provided by Ruchkin et al. are hardly compelling, as they make unproved assumptions about hypothetical generators. We cite studies from our lab in which congruent slow-wave topographies were found for short-term and long-term memory tasks, strongly suggesting that both activate identical cell assemblies.
Delayed-choice erasure is investigated in two-photon two-slit experiments that are generalizations of the micromaser experiment of Scully et al. (Nature 351:111–116, 1991). Applying quantum mechanics to the localization detector, it is shown that erasure with delayed choice in the sense of Scully, has an analogous structure as simple erasure. The description goes beyond probabilities. The EPR-type disentanglement, consisting in two mutually incompatible distant measurements, is used as a general framework in both parts of this study. Two simple coherence cases are (...) shown to emerge naturally, and they are precisely the two experiments of Scully et al. The treatment seems to require the relative-reality-of-unitarily-evolving-state (RRUES) approach. Besides insight in the experiments, this study has also the goal of insight in quantum mechanics. The question is if the latter can be more than just a “book-keeping device” for calculating probabilities as Scully et al. modestly and cautiously claim. (shrink)
Constructing a particular nation, that of early modern England, is seen here as a series of theatrical performances. Shakespeare’s work is taken as a series of thought experiments. Some, like The Merchant of Venice, are reassuring that threatening circumstances and innovatory social practices are capable of being overcome or assimilated from the unknown to the known. Some, like King Lear and Hamlet, ponder the consequences of a failure to discover a resolution. Some writers have argued that England was historically quite (...) early in beginning to conceive of itself as a nation, rather than as a population of possibly heterogeneous regions subject to a dynasty, a state of affairs summarized in the by now clichéd remark attributed to the Sun King, “L’Etat, c’est moi”. For Shakespeare, if not for all of his contemporaries, the Englishman is a bit slow-witted, owing to his fondness for beef and red wine, but he is distinguishable from others and provides material for the second pieces of theater I look at. If there could be an Englishman, his experience with the absolutist pretensions of the Stuart monarchy allowed there to be a free-born Englishman (and, actually, Englishwoman). The two crucial battles of the English civil war, Marston Moor and Naseby, followed by the Army Debates of 1647–1649 form the stage for an at least aspiring egalitarianism we now know as the rights of man, or the rights of the civic person. (shrink)