Case reports about patients undergoing Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for various motor and psychiatric disorders - including Parkinson’s Disease, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Treatment Resistant Depression - have sparked a vast literature in neuroethics. Questions about whether and how DBS changes the self have been at the fore. The present chapter brings these neuroethical debates into conversation with recent research in moral psychology. We begin in Section 1 by reviewing the recent clinical literature on DBS. In Section 2, we consider (...) whether DBS poses a threat to personal identity. In Section 3 we argue for engagement with recent empirical work examining judgements of when identity changes. We conclude in Section 4 by highlighting a range of ethical issues raised by DBS, including various cross-cultural considerations. (shrink)
This paper argues that the question, ‘where are virtues?’ demands a response from virtue theorists. Despite the polarizing nature of debates about the relevance of empirical work in psychology for virtue theory, I first show that there is widespread agreement about the underlying structure of virtue. Namely, that virtues are comprised of cognitive and affective processes. Next, I show that there are well-developed arguments that cognitive processes can extend beyond the agent. Then, I show that there are similarly well-developed arguments (...) that affective processes can extend beyond the agent. I then introduce three cases to establish that these cognitive and affective processes are relevantly similar to the cognitive and affective processes countenanced by plausible theories of virtue. Finally, I conclude that virtue theorists must abandon default internalism, the view that the cognitive and affective processes comprising virtues are internal to the agent. (shrink)
Recent research has begun treating the perennial philosophical question, “what makes a person the same over time?” as an empirical question. A long tradition in philosophy holds that psychological continuity and connectedness of memories are at the heart of personal identity. More recent experimental work, following Strohminger & Nichols (2014), has suggested that persistence of moral character, more than memories, is perceived as essential for personal identity. While there is a growing body of evidence supporting these findings, a critique by (...) Starmans & Bloom (2018) suggests that this research program conflates personal identity with mere similarity. To address this criticism, we explore how loss of someone’s morality or memories influence perceptions of identity change, and perceptions of moral duties towards the target of the change. We present participants with a classic ‘body switch’ thought experiment and after assessing perceptions of identity persistence, we present a moral dilemma, asking participants to imagine that one of the patients must die (Study 1) or be left alone in a care home for the rest of their life (Study 2). Our results highlight the importance of the continuity of moral character, suggesting lay intuitions are tracking (something like) personal identity, not just mere similarity. (shrink)
This paper brings together two erstwhile distinct strands of philosophical inquiry: the extended mind hypothesis and the situationist challenge to virtue theory. According to proponents of the extended mind hypothesis, the vehicles of at least some mental states (beliefs, desires, emotions) are not located solely within the confines of the nervous system (central or peripheral) or even the skin of the agent whose states they are. When external props, tools, and other systems are suitably integrated into the functional apparatus of (...) the agent, they are partial bearers of her cognitions, motivations, memories, and so on. According to proponents of the situationist challenge to virtue theory, dispositions located solely within the confines of the nervous system (central or peripheral) or even the skin of the agent to whom they are attributed typically do not meet the normative standards associated with either virtue or vice (moral, epistemic, or otherwise) because they are too susceptible to moderating external variables, such as mood modulators, ambient sensibilia, and social expectation signaling. We here draw on both of these literatures to formulate two novel views – the embedded and extended character hypotheses – according to which the vehicles of not just mental states but longer-lasting, wider-ranging, and normatively-evaluable agentic dispositions are sometimes located partially beyond the confines of the agent’s skin. (shrink)
This paper aims to expand the range of empirical work relevant to the extended cognition debates. First, I trace the historical development of the person-situation debate in social and personality psychology and the extended cognition debate in the philosophy of mind. Next, I highlight some instructive similarities between the two and consider possible objections to my comparison. I then argue that the resolution of the person-situation debate in terms of interactionism lends support for an analogously interactionist conception of extended cognition. (...) I argue that this interactionism might necessitate a shift away from the dominant agent-artifact paradigm toward an agent–agent paradigm. If this is right, then social and personality psychology—the discipline(s) that developed from the person-situation debate—opens a whole new range of empirical considerations for extended cognition theorists which align with Clark & Chalmers original vision of agents themselves as spread into the world. (shrink)
Background: Recent literature on addiction and judgments about the characteristics of agents has focused on the implications of adopting a ‘brain disease’ versus ‘moral weakness’ model of addiction. Typically, such judgments have to do with what capacities an agent has (e.g., the ability to abstain from substance use). Much less work, however, has been conducted on the relationship between addiction and judgments about an agent’s identity, including whether or to what extent an individual is seen as the same person after (...) becoming addicted. Methods: We conducted a series of vignette-based experiments (total N = 3,620) to assess lay attitudes concerning addiction and identity persistence, systematically manipulating key characteristics of agents and their drug of addiction. Conclusions: In Study 1, we found that US participants judged an agent who became addicted to drugs as being closer to ‘a completely different person’ than ‘completely the same person’ as the agent who existed prior to the addiction. In Studies 2-6, we investigated the intuitive basis for this result, finding that lay judgments of altered identity as a consequence of drug use and addiction are driven primarily by perceived negative changes in the moral character of drug users, who are seen as having deviated from their good true selves. (shrink)
We argue that the interaction of biased media coverage and widespread employment of the recognition heuristic can produce epistemic injustices. First, we explain the recognition heuristic as studied by Gerd Gigerenzer and colleagues, highlighting how some of its components are largely external to, and outside the control of, the cognitive agent. We then connect the recognition heuristic with recent work on the hypotheses of embedded, extended, and scaffolded cognition, arguing that the recognition heuristic is best understood as an instance of (...) scaffolded cognition. In section three, we consider the double-edged sword of cognitive scaffolding. On the one hand, scaffolds can reduce the internal processing demands on cognitive agents while increasing their access to information. On the other hand, the use of scaffolding leaves cognitive agents increasingly vulnerable to forming false beliefs or failing to form beliefs at all about particular topics. With respect to the recognition heuristic, agents rely on third parties (such as the media) to report not just what’s true but also what’s important or valuable. This makes cognitive agents relying on these third parties vulnerable to two erroneous influences: 1) because they don’t recognize something, it isn’t important or valuable, and 2) because they do recognize something, it is important or valuable. Call the latter the Kardashian Inference and the former the Darfur Inference. In section four, we use Fricker’s (2007) concept of epistemic injustice to characterize the nature and harm of these false inferences, with special emphasis on the Darfur Inference. In section five, we use data-mining and an empirical study to show how Gigerenzer’s population estimation task is liable to produce Darfur Inferences. We conclude with some speculative remarks on more important Darfur Inferences, and how to avoid them by scaffolding better. One primary way to accomplish this it to shift the burden of embodying the virtue of epistemic justice from the hearer or consumer of media to the media themselves. (shrink)
Peer commentary on: Goering, S., Klein, E., Dougherty, D. D., & Widge, A. S. (2017). Staying in the loop: Relational agency and identity in next-generation DBS for psychiatry. AJOB Neuroscience, 8(2), 59-70.
This paper argues that the activist, feminist and pragmatist Jane Addams was an experimental philosopher. To defend this claim, I argue for capacious notions of both philosophical pragmatism and experimental philosophy. I begin in Section 2 with a new defence of Rose and Danks’ [‘In Defense of a Broad Conception of Experimental Philosophy’. Metaphilosophy 44, no. 4 : 512–32] argument in favour of a broad conception of experimental philosophy. Koopman [‘Pragmatist Resources for Experimental Philosophy: Inquiry in Place of Intuition’. Journal (...) of Speculative Philosophy 26, no. 1 : 1–24] argues that many twentieth-century American pragmatists can make important contributions to contemporary experimental philosophy. In Section 3, I argue that while this may be true, it is also true that under the broad conception, many of the pragmatists just were experimental philosophers. In Section 4, I argue that as a pragmatist philosopher in her own right, Jane... (shrink)
This chapter aims to expand the body of empirical literature considered relevant to virtue theory beyond the burned-over districts that are the situationist challenges to virtue ethics and epistemology. We thus raise a rather simple-sounding question: why doesn’t virtue epistemology have an account of intelligence? In the first section, we sketch the history and present state of the person-situation debate to argue for the importance of an interactionist framework in bringing psychological research in general, and intelligence research in particular, to (...) bear on questions of virtue. In Section 2, we discuss the history and present state of intelligence research to argue for its relevance to virtue epistemology. In Section 3, we argue that intelligence sits uneasily in both responsibilist and reliabilist virtue frameworks, which suggests that a new approach to virtue epistemology is needed. We conclude by placing intelligence within a new interactionist framework. (shrink)
Dominant views about the nature of health and disease in bioethics and the philosophy of medicine have presumed the existence of a fixed, stable, individual organism as the bearer of health and disease states, and as such, the appropriate target of medical therapy and ethical concern. However, recent developments in microbial biology, neuroscience, the philosophy of cognitive science, and social and personality psychology (Ickes...
Abstract: While pragmatism and the so-called 4E program may form a united front against methodological individualism, classical cognitivism, traditional internalism, and the like, the 4E approach is not without its own internal tensions. One such tension, between Embodied and Extended, is brought to light by Clark (2008), who argues in favor of the latter. Dempsey and Shani (2013) reply that Clark’s functionalism undercuts what should be a more fundamental commitment to Embodied. With respect to this tension, Gallagher (2014) claims that (...) “there may be resources in pragmatism that can help to adjudicate some of the current debate and to develop a more integrated perspective” (Gallagher 2014, 110). In this paper, I assess Gallagher’s strategy and offer a critical perspective on the use of Deweyan pragmatism to resolve these tensions in the 4E program. (shrink)
August Weismann is famous for having argued against the inheritance of acquired characters. However, an analysis of his work indicates that Weismann always held that changes in external conditions, acting during development, were the necessary causes of variation in the hereditary material. For much of his career he held that acquired germ-plasm variation was inherited. An irony, which is in tension with much of the standard twentieth-century history of biology, thus exists – Weismann was not a Weismannian. I distinguish (...) three claims regarding the germ-plasm: (1) its continuity, (2) its morphological sequestration, and (3) its variational sequestration. With respect to changes in Weismann’s views on the cause of variation, I divide his career into four stages. For each stage I analyze his beliefs on the relative importance of changes in external conditions and sexual reproduction as causes of variation in the hereditary material. Weismann believed, and Weismannism denies, that variation, heredity, and development were deeply intertwined processes. This article is part of a larger project comparing commitments regarding variation during the latter half of the nineteenth century. (shrink)
We present a new understanding of Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist on the model of Stump’s account of God’s omnipresence and Green and Quan’s account of experiencing God in Scripture. On this understanding, Christ is derivatively, rather than fundamentally, located in the consecrated bread and wine, such that Christ is present to the believer through the consecrated bread and wine, thereby making available to the believer a second-person experience of Christ, where the consecrated bread and wine are the way (...) in which she shares attention with him. The consecrated bread and wine are then, in a sense, icons of Christ. (shrink)
This paper examines the contents and institutional context of August Weismann's long essay on Amphimixis (1891). Therein he presented detailed discussions of his on-going studies of reduction division and parthenogenesis, but more to the point, he included an elaborate examination of Émile Maupas's two major publications in protozoology. To understand the relevance of this part to the other two, the author briefly reviews highpoints in earlier nineteenth century protozoology and concludes that only in the mid-1870s and 1880s did protozoa (...) add an important dimension to heredity theory. Otto Bütschli and then Maupas provided Weismann with a deeper understanding of how conjugation and fertilization were related but not identical processes. This allowed him to integrate the two into a fuller understanding of evolution by natural selection. (shrink)
In this paper I propose to question the Joshua Greene’s neuroethical thesis about the essentially emotional character of so-called “deontological moral judgments”. Frist, I focus on the dual process theory of moral judgment and I criticize that they are considered only and mainly intuitive and non reflective. Se condly, I question that the “utilitarian judgment” is linked to mathematical calculation and the deontological judgment is exclusively reduced to non-reflective factor of emotion. The main objection to Greene’s naturalism raised by (...) me is trying to eliminate the philosophical justification about the moral validity defended by Kant’s deontologism; meanwhile Greene reduces “deontological moral judgment” to exclusively psychological and neurophysiological factors associated with emotion. (shrink)
Weismann's ideas on species transmutation were first expressed in his famous debate with Moritz Wagner on the mechanism of speciation. Wagner suggested that the isolation of a colony from its original source is a preliminary and necessary factor for speciation. Weismann accepted a secondary, facilitating role for isolation, but argued that natural and sexual selection are the primary driving forces of species transmutation, and are always necessary and often sufficient causes for its occurrence. The debate with Wagner, which occurred between (...) 1868 and 1872 within the framework of Darwin's discussions of geographical distribution, was Weismann's first public battle over the mechanism of evolution. This paper, which offers the first comprehensive analysis of this debate, extends previous analyses and throws light on the underlying beliefs and motivations of these early evolutionists, focusing mainly on Weismann's views and showing his commitment to what he later called "the all sufficiency of Natural Selection." It led to the crystallization of his ideas on the central and essential role of selection, both natural and sexual, in all processes of evolution, and, already at this early stage in his theoretical thinking, was coupled with sophisticated and nuanced approach to biological organization. The paper also discusses Ernst Mayr's analysis of the debate and highlights aspects of Weismann's views that were overlooked by Mayr and were peripheral to the discussions of other historians of biology. (shrink)
In 1889 Hugo de Vries published " Intracellular Pangenesis " in which he formulated his ideas on heredity. The high expectations of the impression these ideas would make did not come true and publication was negated or reviewed critically. From the reactions of his Dutch colleagues and the discussion with the famous German zoologist August Weismann we conclude that the assertion that each cell contains all hereditary material was controversial and even more the claim that characters are inherited independently (...) of each other. De Vries felt that he had to convince his colleagues of the validity of his theory by providing experimental evidence. He established an important research program which resulted in the rediscovery of Mendel's laws and the publication of "The Mutation Theory." This article also illustrates some phenomena that go beyond an interesting episode in the development of theories of heredity. It shows that criticism from colleagues can move a researcher so deeply that he feels compelled to set up an extensive research program. Moreover it illustrates that it is not unusual that a creative scientist is only partially willing to take criticism on his theories into account. Last but not least it demonstrates that common opinion on the validity of specific arguments may change in the course of time. (shrink)
In Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind, Joshua May argues successfully that many claims about the causal influence of affect on moral judgment are overblown. But the findings he cites are compatible with many of the key arguments of philosophical sentimentalists. His account of rationalism, in turn, relies on an overly broad notion of inference, and leaves open crucial questions about how we reason to moral conclusions.
In 1964, the American Medical Association invited liberal theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel to address its annual meeting in a program entitled “The Patient as a Person” . Unsurprisingly, in light of Heschel’s reputation for outspokenness, he launched a jeremiad against physicians, claiming: “The admiration for medical science is increasing, the respect for its practitioners is decreasing. The depreciation of the image of the doctor is bound to disseminate disenchantment and to affect the state of medicine itself” [1, p. 35]. (...) Heschel’s reference to “disenchantment” suggests that he may have been familiar with the work, or at least the outlook, of sociologist Max Weber, whose 1917 address “Science as a Vocation” portrays the modern world as disenchanted by the progress of rationalism. Heschel’s life’s vocation had been to uncover the inner meaning of religious faith and to translate that faith into principled action. Heschel saw disenchantment not as an inescapable aspect of modern life but rather as the byproduct of physicians’ conscious choices to seek worldly success and material comfort. Yet, because of their privileged position as witnesses to human vulnerability, physicians possess an obligation to develop their own personhood, to re-enchant medicine, and through medicine to spark a positive transformation in all of modern life. As Heschel says, “The doctor must realize the supreme nobility of his vocation, to cultivate a taste for the pleasures of the soul. … The doctor is a major source of moral energy affecting the spiritual texture and substance of the entire society” [1, pp. 34, 38]. While Heschel’s conception of the physician’s role is romanticized and idealized, changes in the organization and practice of medicine have validated his concerns. (shrink)
Is democracy a human right? There is a growing consensus within international legal and political practice that the answer is “Yes.” However, some philosophers doubt that we should see democracy as a human right. In this paper I respond to the most systematic challenge presented so far, which was recently offered by Joshua Cohen. His challenge is directed to the view that democracy is a human right, not to the view that democracy is part of what justice demands. It (...) is instructive because it forces us to consider important questions about the nature and justification of human rights, including the putative human right to democracy. There is a tendency to see every claim of justice as a human right, and Cohen presses us to face the risk that this slip may occur in the case of democracy. Thus my aim is not simply to refute Cohen’s arguments but to engage the questions he forcefully and helpfully puts on the table. I start in section 2 by analyzing Cohen’s account of human rights. In section 3 I defend the human right to democracy against his challenge. I conclude in section 4 by articulating some reasons for the claim that democracy is a human right that mobilize and elaborate on some of Cohen’s own key premises. (shrink)
Pojęcie eutanazji ma w kręgu kultury europejskiej nie tylko znaczenie historyczne. Odnosząc się do historii, filozofii, medycyny, etyki czy literatury, nabrało ono także charakteru instytucjonalnego w okresie Trzeciej Rzeszy, kiedy eutanazja stała się elementem walki z najsłabszymi członkami społeczeństwa. Na przykładzie analizy kazania biskupa niemieckiego Cicmensa Augusta Grafa von Galena z 3 sierpnia 1941 r. ukazany został sprzeciw Kościoła katolickiego w Trzeciej Rzeszy w okresie tzw. Kirchenkampf. Analiza kontekstualna miała na celu ukazanie elementów charakterystycznych języka i argumentacji, którymi posługiwał się (...) Clemens August. (shrink)
A detailed chronology is offered for the writing of Frege's central philosophical essays from the early 1890s. Particular attention is given to (the distinction between) Sinn and Bedeutung. Suggestions are made as to the origin of the examples concerning the Morning Star/Evening Star and August Bebel's views on the return of Alsace-Lorraine. Likely sources are offered for Frege's use of the terms Bestimmungsweise, Art des Gegebenseins and Sinn und Bedeutung.
In this paper we respond to three objections raised by Joshua Harris to our article, “Against a Postmodern Pentecostal Epistemology,” in which we express misgivings about the conjunction of Pentecostalism with James K. A. Smith’s postmodern, story-based epistemolo- gy. According to Harris, our critique: 1) problematically assumes a correspondence theory of truth, 2) invalidly concludes that “Derrida’s Axiom” conflicts with “Peter’s Axiom,” and 3) fails to consider an alternative account of the universality of Christian truth claims. We argue that (...) Harris’s objections either demonstrate a deficient interpretation of the relevant biblical pas- sages or are not directed at us at all. (shrink)
In early August 2011, disturbances broke out in a number of English cities. What happened was broadcast globally, and all of a sudden it seemed as if all of the country was about to burst into flames. This short paper is offered by way of a ‘letter’ from England. It was written in late August 2011 and is an initial attempt to develop an understanding of why the disturbances broke out, what motivated the people who were involved and, (...) indeed, why things were confined to England. Cities elsewhere in Britain experienced nothing. The paper identifies a crisis in the English social imaginary. The disturbances are understood as a conjunctural response to this crisis, a response highlighting the interregnum in the English social imaginary. (shrink)
We are pleased to find that our 2005 paper “Why Pragmatists Cannot Be Pluralists” continues to draw critical attention. It seems to us that despite the many responses to our paper, its central challenge has not been met. That challenge is for pragmatists to articulate a genuine pluralism that is consistent with their broader commitments. Unfortunately, much of the wrangling over our paper has aimed to capture the word “pluralism” for pragmatist deployment; little has been done to clarify what that (...) term means when pragmatists use it. This is pragmatically unacceptable. Hence there is work to be done, and we are happy to revisit the issues.We accept the central conclusion of Joshua Anderson’s.. (shrink)
I have argued elsewhere that scientific realism is most significantly challenged neither by traditional arguments from underdetermination of theories by the evidence, nor by the traditional pessimistic induction, but by a rather different historical pattern: our repeated failure to conceive of alternatives to extant scientific theories, even when those alternatives were both (1) well-confirmed by the evidence available at the time and (2) sufficiently scientifically serious as to be later embraced by actual scientific communities. Here I use August Weismann's (...) defense of his influential germ-plasm theory of inheritance to support my claim that this pattern characterizes the history of theoretical scientific investigation generally. Weismann believed that the germ-plasm must become disintegrated into its constituent elements over the course of development, I argue, only because he failed to conceive of any possible alternative mechanism of ontogenetic differentiation. This and other features of the germ-plasm theory, I suggest, reflect a still more fundamental failure to imagine that the germ-plasm might be a productive rather than expendable resource for the cell. Weismann's case provides impressive support for the problem of unconceived alternatives while rendering its challenge to scientific realism deeper and sharper in a number of important ways. (shrink)
Joshua Daniel offers a reconstruction of the influence of Josiah Royce and George Herbert Mead on H. Richard Niebuhr to counter predominate strains in Christian ethics that overemphasize the role of socialization in moral formation at the expense of acknowledging the agency of individuals and their importance in preventing communities from turning in on themselves or becoming static. Daniel characterizes the driving worry of postliberal Christian ethics as “the accommodation of Christian communities to prevailing social forces and norms, which (...) is understood to radically undermine the churches’ existence and mission”. The primary accusation against these prevailing social norms is individualism. The modern... (shrink)
On Thursday evening, August 30, 1989, in the Combination Room of Trinity College, Cambridge University, Michael Petry of Erasmus University, Rotterdam, opened the conference he had organized on “Hegel and Newtonianism.” Under the sponsorship of the Istituo per gli Studi Filosofici of Naples, Petry invited more than 40 scholars from Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada to discuss the relation between eighteenth century Newtonian science and Hegel’s philosophy of nature.
This essay seeks to illuminate the changing nature of experimental physics in the 1860s and 1870s by analysing the creation of dust tubes and dust figures by the German experimentalist August Kundt, and by showing how Kundt and his associate Emil Warburg used the ‘Kundt tube’ to test the new kinetic theory of gases. In so doing, the essay seeks to show how Kundt came to revise the vision of experimental physics that he had learned from his teacher Heinrich (...) Gustav Magnus, a vision in which the experimentalist's goal was to establish ‘the facts’. Kundt, by contrast, came to envision experimental physics as being in the service of theory: to confirm or disconfirm theory, or to provide theorists with new phenomena to theorize about. Kundt's vision, it is argued, is emblematic of the changing nature of experimental physics and reflective of the rise of the new subdisciplines of theoretical and experimental physics. (shrink)
This article provides an account of the Enlightenment dispute over hermeneutical skepticism with particular reference to the idea of hermeneutical probability in the philosophical work of Christian August Crusius. The essay sheds new light on the hermeneutical issues addressed in the philosophical school of the so-called Thomasians based mainly in Leipzig in the first half of the eighteenth century. The paper deals with Crusius’ wide-ranging efforts to cope with the uncertain character of most parts of human knowledge and his (...) attempts to construct a workable theory of hermeneutical probability. This raises points of central interest relating to probabilism in the methodology of textual interpretation and connects Crusius to contemporary discussions of hermeneutical skepticism. (shrink)
This essay attempts to elaborate a first thorough comparative analysis of August Cieszkowski and Nikolaj Berdjaev. Although the latter is well known as one of the most important Russian philosophers, the former is hardly known beyond the Polish borders. This general lack of recognition contrasts with the fact that Cieszkowski played a significant role in nineteenth century philosophy in Germany, France, Poland and Russia. A comparative analysis of Cieszkowski and Berdjaev will undergird the idea that Cieszkowski was not merely (...) a ‘marginal’ figure in the history of philosophy. This essay has sought the reasons why Berdjaev considered himself to a large extent as a disciple of Cieszkowski. The stress is put on the central aspects of both philosophers’ thinking: freedom, praxis and the way they relate to morality in general. (shrink)
With his recent contribution to Dewey studies, Deweyan Experimentalism and the Problem of Method in Political Philosophy, Joshua Forstenzer delivers a timely and highly readable examination of Dewey's democratic ideal and its contemporary relevance. Outstanding in its scholarship and compelling in its argument, Forstenzer's fascinating study presents an extensive interpretation of Dewey's experimentalist approach to democratic politics, while highlighting its significant interdisciplinary value and practical interest. Focussing particularly upon its experimentalist character and renunciation of a priori idealisations, Forstenzer examines, (...) over ten well-argued chapters, how Dewey's approach to political philosophy... (shrink)
This volume consists of the invited papers presented at the 23rd International Wittgenstein Conference held in Kirchberg, Austria in August 2000. Among the topics treated are: truth, psychologism, science, the nature of rational discourse, practical reason, contextualism, vagueness, types of rationality, the rationality of religious belief, and Wittgenstein. Questions addressed include: Is rationality tied to special sorts of contexts? ls rationality tied to language? Is scientific rationality the only kind of rationality? Is there something like a Western rationality? and: (...) Could we genetically engineer human beings to be less wicked? (shrink)
YHWH, the God of Israel, is not only a character embedded in the plot of the Book of Joshua. YHWH is the chief protagonist and the engine that drives the plot. Even when there are other actors in the plot, notably Joshua, their performances in the plot are at the behest of and in response to the intention of YHWH.
A filosofia da educação de Abraham Joshua Heschel busca, na tradição judaica, uma luz para o homem moderno. Esta tradição afirma que o mundo descansa sobre três pilares: estudar para participar da sabedoria divina, cultuar o Criador e ter compaixão pelo nosso próximo. Nossa civilização, afirma o filósofo, subverteu esses pilares fazendo do estudo uma forma de alcançar o poder, da caridade um instrumento de relações públicas e do culto uma forma de adorar nosso próprio ego. Essa crise extrema (...) exige uma reorientação radical: estudo, culto e caridade são fins e não meios. O poder, por sua vez, deveria ser um instrumento e não a finalidade da existência. Para Heschel, o clímax da existência, a experiência suprema do viver, deveria ser estudar. Na prática, isso significa uma reforma radical dos fundamentos da educação contemporânea. Os insights heschelianos podem ser fundamentais para a compreensão da condição humana em sua historicidade e do mundo como lugar de realização da humanidade. (shrink)