In this groundbreaking new study, Lowell Nissen explores the use of teleological language in the study of subjects such as behaviorism, negative feedback, and natural selection. He argues that all existing analyses fail to explain how teleological language can be used legitimately, and provides his own analysis in terms of intentionality.
Posset, Franz The 500th anniversary of Luther's Reformation has been commemorated and celebrated in a decade-long undertaking between 2007 and 2017. At its beginning in 2007, the Catholic-Ecumenical publisher Paulist Press issued a volume within its series of the Classics of Western Spirituality, titled Luther's Spirituality, which was edited and translated by Lutheran theologians Philip D. Krey and Peter D. S. Krey, with a preface by Lutheran theologian Timothy J. Wengert. It contains numerous text selections. Toward the end of (...) the 'Luther Decade', the two compilers offered another anthology, The Catholic Luther: His Early Writings, published by the same press in 2016, with a foreword by Catholic ecumenist Wolfgang Th nissen, director of the Ecumenical Institute in the Archdiocese of Paderborn, Germany. These are welcome ecumenical signposts. (shrink)
The purpose of this study was to explore situations experienced by 12 health-care providers working in two nursing homes. Individual interviews, using a narrative approach, were conducted. A phenomenological–hermeneutical method, developed for researching life experiences, was applied in the analysis. The findings showed that good care situations are experienced when the time culture is flexible, the carers act in a sovereign time rhythm, not mentioning clock time or time as a stress factor. The results are discussed in terms of anthropological (...) and sociological theory: time as event and action and flexible time cultures. Care settings for persons with dementia represent many challenges, such as a heavy workload and time strain. Time ethics is a construction, understanding time used in caring for persons suffering from dementia, which involves a mature, responsible and flexible nursing approach to these patients. (shrink)
The degree of success in creating quality care for people suffering from dementia is limited despite extensive research. This article describes Healthcare providers’ experience with the ethical challenges and possibilities in the relationship with patients suffering from dementia and its impact on quality care. The material is based on qualitative, in-depth individual narrative interviews with 12 professional Healthcare providers from two different nursing homes. The transcribed interview texts were subjected to a phenomenological–hermeneutical interpretation. To provide quality care to patients with (...) dementia, the Healthcare providers emphasized the importance of sensing and understanding the patients’ emotional and bodily expressions through sentient attentiveness and recognition of the patient as a person. They also described reciprocity of expressions in the relationship where the patient recognized them both as persons and Healthcare providers. The analyses of the findings are, inter alia, discussed in light of Løgstrup’s relational philosophy of ethics. (shrink)
Taking as a starting point the assertion of an ambiguity in the Lutheran tradition's assessment of reason, the essay argues that the Kantian unreserved confidence in reason is criticised in Bonhoeffer. Based upon a Christological understanding of reason, Bonhoeffer endorses a view of reason which is specifically Christian and yet maintains a universality. With a focus on Bonhoeffer's Ethik as the hermeneutical key to his theology, Bonhoeffer's notion is also discussed in light of contemporary Christian ethics. In this part it (...) is particularly the role of reason within a public discourse which is treated in the essay. Here it is argued that Bonhoeffer may be appropriated in attempting to outline a Christological ontology of reason holding essential implications for the sources and conditions of public discourse. (shrink)
In Jeffrey P. Bishop's The Anticipatory Corpse it is argued that the dead body has become epistemologically normative in contemporary medicine. In order to regain the communal bonds necessary for the responsive encounter with the other, medicine is in need of living traditions. This leads Bishop to question whether only theology can save medicine. The present essay takes up on this question with a reply from a Bonhoefferian anthropology, arguing for the embodied human being as being-there-with-others and shows how this (...) is Christologically shaped. The broader aim of the essay is to contribute to the debate on embodiment in theological bioethics. The essay maintains a normative understanding of the corporeal reality of what it means to be human and yet argues that this must always be understood in connection with the responsive relation to the other. (shrink)
The paper encircles the subjectivity of drug taking as one form of contemporary practice in which fundamental theoretical issues are dealt with. In particular, following Mariana Valverde's genealogy of alcohol regulation (Valverde, 1998), the question of the free will, and the paradox of the simultaneous being and non-being of the autonomous subject, are viewed as present in various approaches to drugs. The current neo-pragmatist wave substitutes low-key practical notions of habits for a dichotomy of free will or determinism. The concept (...) of objectification promises to overcome that dichotomy by externalizing it; in terms of this concept, we can distinguish the abstract-imagined 'fix' from a genuinely transforming realization, and suggest that ours is the age of the fix, of instrumental commodities that change us in ways we do not intend. But, it is claimed, an inescapable issue of the self-dissolution of the subject remains; perhaps in the definitive shape of a suicide, or in the minor shapes of fixes such as a tactics of feigned surrender, New Age Higher Powers, or imagined communities. Determined to realize the idea of a benevolent surrender of the subject, the paper ends in an attempt to contribute to the coming to an understanding of herself and with herself of a person who finds herself at the troublesome intersection of Narcotics Anonymous and a social work development network of Copenhagen City called Wild Learning. (shrink)
The essay attempts to contextualize the German-Scandinavian tradition of Critical Psychology (GSCP) that bases on Cultural-Historical Activity Theory in today's critical psychologies. It is argued that adding to a psychology and ideology critique the positive dimension of ”foundational” theory is important to counteract the currently prevailing “negative” ideology of liberalism. It is also claimed that an ”instrumental” version of critical psychology, which takes up elements from psychology for tactical purposes will remain dependent on the given discipline of psychology and unable (...) to reflect on its own subject position. GSCP is then rendered as developing the Marxist ontology of social practice (rather than its utopianism) toward a concept of a subjectivity constituted in social practice but with the criteria of action potency and productive needs on the part of the individual. It is suggested that this approach solves important problems in contemporary critical psychology. Finally, it is described how GSCP, too, might grow from the encounter, by developing a theory of collective subjectivity to include – us. (shrink)
The article identifies a problem in socio-cultural-historical activity theory (SCHAT) with ignoring how hope and power constitute the theory itself, and suggests that this is why the tradition faces a bad choice between functionalist or utopianist reductions of its own social relevance. Currently, remedies for this kind of (perhaps shammed) innocence can be found in Foucauldian and Latourian approaches to knowledge. However, since these appear to presuppose the (often feigned) cynicism of a purely negative standpoint that fits all too smoothly (...) into the neoliberal management it describes, this presents us with an impossible choice or oscillation at another level. To get beyond it, we need the frankly self-reflected standpoint of ideology critique and the articulation of ‘concrete utopia’, i.e. real possibilities for social transformation. The approach is then realized and exemplified as part of an emergent practice research in the field of drug treatment. The field is broadly described as moving toward certain kinds of recognition of users’ standards, but also as filled with paradoxes that allow us to intervene with theory. One of these (sets of) paradoxes concerns the relations between state and civil (bourgeois) society that are played out in drug treatment. Contrary to the doxa of New Public Management, the (welfare) state’s normative power has not dissolved, only hides from itself. An immanent critique of practices and ideas in the field leads to the suggestion that its forms of recognition imply both submission of users, and the creation of positive standards and collectives. To intervene in this set of issues, we must expand the SCHAT reading of its own Hegelian-Marxist legacy, against the dominant liberal and scientistic trend, to engage with theories of recognition. A contemporary, participatory concept of recognition is sketched, which seeks to sublate (include and supersede) submission into the building of the generalizing ethics of a collective. (shrink)
Peter Singer is probably the best-known and most controversial ethicist in the world today. He rigorously applies utilitarian moral theory to issues such as world poverty, the environment, abortion, euthanasia and, most famously, animal welfare. He has also written a book about his grandfather, David Oppenheim, who died in Theresienstadt concentration camp. He is Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University.
SINCE SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, THE DEBATE ON RELIGION AND POLITICS HAS attracted considerable attention. One of the problems in this discussion has been the challenge to find a common ground of discourse while maintaining the identity of diverse worldviews. In this essay I argue—from a Christian viewpoint—that a reformulated understanding of the secular, understood as saeculum, may serve as the source of a view of the plenitude of human reality that overcomes this tension. Drawing on the theologies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (...) and John Milbank, I argue that human reality is always partaking in divine reality, and as such there is no being apart from God. In the light of this view, I endorse a Christological affirmation of reality that enables us to move beyond an antagonism of secular and religious worldviews and ethics. (shrink)
In an oft-quoted passage from The Principles of Morals and Legislation, Jeremy Bentham addresses the issue of our treatment of animals with the following words: ‘the question is not, Can they reason? nor, can they talk? but, Can they suffer?’ The point is well taken, for surely if animals suffer, they are legitimate objects of our moral concern. It is curious therefore, given the current interest in the moral status of animals, that Bentham's question has been assumed to be merely (...) rhetorical. No-one has seriously examined the claim, central to arguments for animal liberation and animal rights, that animals actually feel pain. Peter Singer's Animal Liberation is perhaps typical in this regard. His treatment of the issue covers a scant seven pages, after which he summarily announces that ‘there are no good reasons, scientific or philosophical, for denying that animals feel pain’. In this paper I shall suggest that the issue of animal pain is not so easily dispensed with, and that the evidence brought forward to demonstrate that animals feel pain is far from conclusive. (shrink)
Histories of philosophy frequently depict the later eleventh century as the scene of a series of bouts between dialecticians and anti-dialecticians — Berengar vs. Lanfranc, Roscelin vs. Anselm — preliminaries to the twelfth century welterweight contest between Abelard and St. Bernard and — dare one say? — the thirteenth century heavy-weight championship between St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure.The bouts took place — no question about that — but whether the contestants can properly be characterized as dialecticians and anti-dialecticians is less (...) certain. Dialectics is logic, the third part of the trivium, and increasingly cultivated in the eleventh century; men like Berengar and Roscelin were plainly eager to apply the logical tools with which they had been equipped to the solution of intellectual problems. In particular they undertook the solution of certain central problems of theology — Berengar that of the Eucharist and Roscelin that of the Trinity — and it was this, we are told, that aroused the ire of the anti-dialecticians: if the aim of the dialecticians was to lay bare the mysteries of faith to the light of reason that of the anti-dialecticians was to protect those same mysteries from profanation. (shrink)
The paper is about objectification in and of social work. Drawing on a decade-long cooperation with a Copenhagen social workers network focused in the organization Wild Learning, and starting from an Internet essay this organization has provided, the problems with objectifying social work are discussed. Viewed as basically a wholistic subjectification, social work cannot easily be endowed with objectivity in the form of scientific standards, and the objects representing it are often like novels, uniqueness mass-produced; they can be said to (...) ideologically confirm rather than scientifically model its activities and communities. The approach to objectification must dig a level deeper. It is considered how objectifications in social work – and the Internet essay is taken as example – can be approached critically as ideological objectifications and at the same time, in the cultural-historical tradition, as prototypes with some scope of relevance. (shrink)
The claim that there are nonpurposive functional statements is critically examined by looking at nine translation schemata, several of which are drawn from recent literature. All but one or two fail, suggesting that all functional statements (a) are causal (and not about probabilities or necessary conditions), and (b) have implicit reference to goals. If so, then the possibility of nonpurposive functional statements rests squarely on the possibility of nonpurposive goals.
Larry Wright's analysis of teleological description of goal-directed behavior, though ingenious and insightful, errs in the following ways: it incorrectly claims that intentional human action exhibits consequence-etiology, making it impossible, contrary to his claim, for reference to consequence-etiology to be metaphorically transmitted to teleological descriptions of nonhuman behavior; it does not remove the threat of reverse causation for nonhuman behavior; it assumes in the face of contrary evidence that reference to purpose drops out in metaphorical extension; and it cannot account (...) for unrequired behavior directed toward impossible goals. (shrink)
Woodfield's analysis of teleology, though it has many virtues, nevertheless exhibits defects that are by no means peripheral. The acknowledged unity of teleological statements is removed because of the unnoticed difference between something being good and something appearing good. It is removed again because "good" does not have one meaning throughout but means desired in purposive and artifact-function TDs and beneficial in behavioral function and biological function TDs. In addition, the analyses of purposive and artifact-function TDs incorrectly claim that all (...) goals are desired. Further, if "desired" is substituted for "good," those same analyses become incoherent. Finally, the interpretation of "belief" assigned to "S believes B is good" makes unintelligible "S believes B causally contributes to G.". (shrink)
Peter Abelard (1079 – 21 April 1142) [‘Abailard’ or ‘Abaelard’ or ‘Habalaarz’ and so on] was the pre-eminent philosopher and theologian of the twelfth century. The teacher of his generation, he was also famous as a poet and a musician. Prior to the recovery of Aristotle, he brought the native Latin tradition in philosophy to its highest pitch. His genius was evident in all he did. He is, arguably, the greatest logician of the Middle Ages and is equally famous (...) as the first great nominalist philosopher. He championed the use of reason in matters of faith (he was the first to use ‘theology’ in its modern sense), and his systematic treatment of religious doctrines are as remarkable for their philosophical penetration and subtlety as they are for their audacity. Abelard seemed larger than life to his contemporaries: his quick wit, sharp tongue, perfect memory, and boundless arrogance made him unbeatable in debate — he was said by supporter and detractor alike never to have lost an argument — and the force of his personality impressed itself vividly on all with whom he came into contact. His luckless affair with Héloïse made him a tragic figure of romance, and his conflict with Bernard of Clairvaux over reason and religion made him the hero of the Enlightenment. For all his colourful life, though, his philosophical achievements are the cornerstone of his fame. (shrink)
You don't say much about who you are teaching, or what subject you teach, but you do seem to see a need to justify what you are doing. Perhaps you're teaching underprivileged children, opening their minds to possibilities that might otherwise never have occurred to them. Or maybe you're teaching the children of affluent families and opening their eyes to the big moral issues they will face in life — like global poverty, and climate change. If you're doing something like (...) this, then stick with it. Giving money isn't the only way to make a difference. (shrink)
Alan C. LoveDarwinian calisthenicsAn athlete engages in calisthenics as part of basic training and as a preliminary to more advanced or intense activity. Whether it is stretching, lunges, crunches, or push-ups, routine calisthenics provide a baseline of strength and flexibility that prevent a variety of injuries that might otherwise be incurred. Peter Bowler has spent 40 years doing Darwinian calisthenics, researching and writing on the development of evolutionary ideas with special attention to Darwin and subsequent filiations among scientists exploring (...) evolution . Therefore, we would expect that when Bowler engages in a counterfactual history—imagining a world without Darwin—he is able to avoid historical injury and generate novel insights. My assessment is that the results are mixed. Before we can see why, it is necessary to walk briskly through the main contours of his argument.Bowler begins with an apologia for a counterfactual appr .. (shrink)
Written by eminent philosophers from Britain, Europe, America, and Australia, the essays of this collection are a tribute to Peter Winch, whose work is marked by his deep appreciation of the most fundamental aspect of Wittgenstein's legacy: that we cannot detach our concepts from their roots in human life. The voices in this volume unite in different tones of sympathy and criticism by discussing the theme of human conditioning: the human conditioning of what we can find intelligible, possible and (...) impossible, and the suspicion of an illusory transcendence. (shrink)
Objectivity in historical perspective Content Type Journal Article Category Book Symposium Pages 11-39 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9597-2 Authors Peter Dear, Department of History, Cornell University, 435 McGraw Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA Ian Hacking, Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto, 170 St. George St., Toronto, ON M5R 2M8, Canada Matthew L. Jones, Department of History, Columbia University, 514 Fayerweather Hall, 1180 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10027, USA Lorraine Daston, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Boltzmannstraße 22, 14195 Berlin, (...) Germany Peter Galison, Department of the History of Science, Harvard University, Science Center 371, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796 Journal Volume Volume 21 Journal Issue Volume 21, Number 1. (shrink)