The primary concern of the present paper is to answer the question, ‘What is the relation between non-identity and truth in Adorno’s Negative Dialectics?’ It employs Adorno’s articulation of the ‘outside’ of philosophy, which underpins the need for conceptual constellations if we are to mimetically examine the non-conceptual thing. Following this a further question presents itself: how do these engagements inflict a critical mark on the Hegelian method of totalization – the dialectic of truth? The essay ends with an analysis (...) of two films, Metropolis and Primal Fear, aimed at separating out Hegelian conceptions of truth from Adornian unresolved truth; the former aimed at a universal, the latter indicative of a non-identical aporia. We must conclude with the possibility that to leave the unresolved nature of non-identity unresolved for truth is the ontological challenge par excellence that presented itself to Adorno’s negative dialectics as it presents itself to post-Kantian continental philosophy today. (shrink)
This essay investigates the transformation of the faculty of understanding in Kant’s Transition from Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science to Physics drafts found in Opus postumum. I argue that in fascicles X and XI Kant implicitly reverses the architectonic order of sensibility and understanding. Without an account of this reversal, Kant’s critique of Isaac Newton’s conception of phenomena and the so called Selbstsetzungslehre in fascicle VII fall apart. I argue that what is at stake is a challenge Kant makes to (...) his own presuppositions and a challenge to the Kantian philosopher who wishes to stay with a strictly ‘critical’ Kant. (shrink)
In this article, we document the growing influence of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the realm of socially responsible investing (SRI). Drawing from ethical and economic perspectives on stakeholder management and agency theory, we develop a framework to understand how and when NGOs will be most influential in shaping the ethical and social responsibility orientations of business using the emergence of SRI as the primary influencing vehicle. We find that NGOs have opportunities to influence corporate conduct via direct, indirect, and interactive (...) influences on the investment community, and that the overall influence of NGOs as major actors in socially responsible investment is growing, with attendant consequences for corporate strategy, governance, and social performance. (shrink)
The paper describes the approach by which ethics are integrated into the undergraduate curriculum at Northern Illinois University''s College of Business. Literature is reviewed to identify conceptual frameworks for, and issues associated with, the teaching of business ethics. From the review, a set of guidelines for teaching ethics is developed and proposed. The objectives and strategies implemented for teaching ethics is discussed. Foundation and follow-up coursework, measurement issues and ancillary programs are also discussed.
By recourse to the fundamentals of preference orderings and their numerical representations through linear utility, we address certain questions raised in Nover and Hájek 2004, Hájek and Nover 2006, and Colyvan 2006. In brief, the Pasadena and Altadena games are well-defined and can be assigned any finite utility values while remaining consistent with preferences between those games having well-defined finite expected value. This is also true for the St Petersburg game. Furthermore, the dominance claimed for the Altadena game over the (...) Pasadena game, and that would have been claimed for the St Petersburg game over the Altadena, can be contradicted without fear of inconsistency with the axioms of utility theory. However, insistence upon dominance can be made to yield a contradiction of the Archimedean axiom of utility theory. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Theses on the semiotic study of life as presented here provide a collectively formulated set of statements on what biology needs to be focused on in order to describe life as a process based on semiosis, or sign action. An aim of the biosemiotic approach is to explain how life evolves through all varieties of forms of communication and signification (including cellular adaptive behavior, animal communication, and human intellect) and to provide tools for grounding sign theories. We introduce the concept (...) of semiotic threshold zone and analyze the concepts of semiosis, function, umwelt, and the like as the basic concepts for theoretical biology. (shrink)
Terrence Malick and the Thought of Film explores how the experience of viewing Terrence Malick's films enables imaginative acts of philosophical interpretation. Useful for both professional philosophers interested in film and scholars of cinema intrigued by philosophy, this book shows the ways Malick's films cast philosophy in new cinematic light.
It is commonly believed that disability disqualifies people from full participation in or recognition by society. This view is rooted in eugenic logic, which tells us that our world would be a better place if disability could be eliminated. In opposition to this position, I argue that that disability is inherent in the human condition and consider the bioethical question of why we might want to conserve rather than eliminate disability from our shared world. To do so, I draw together (...) an eclectic, rather than systematic, configuration of counter-eugenic arguments for conserving disability. The idea of preserving intact, keeping alive, and even encouraging to flourish denoted by conserve suggests that disabilities would be better understood as benefits rather than deficits. I present, then, a reading of disability as a potentially generative resource rather than unequivocally restrictive liability. In other words, what I consider here is the cultural and material contributions disability offers to the world. (shrink)
This article offers the critical concept misfit in an effort to further think through the lived identity and experience of disability as it is situated in place and time. The idea of a misfit and the situation of misfitting that I offer here elaborate a materialist feminist understanding of disability by extending a consideration of how the particularities of embodiment interact with the environment in its broadest sense, to include both its spatial and temporal aspects. The interrelated dynamics of fitting (...) and misfitting constitute a particular aspect of world-making involved in material-discursive becoming. The essay makes three arguments: the concept of misfit emphasizes the particularity of varying lived embodiments and avoids a theoretical generic disabled body; the concept of misfit clarifies the current feminist critical conversation about universal vulnerability and dependence; the concept of misfitting as a shifting spatial and perpetually temporal relationship confers agency and value on disabled subjects. (shrink)
I begin by distinguishing two notions of model, the notion of a truth-making structure and the notion of a mathematical model (in one specific sense). I then argue that although the models of the semantic view have often been taken to be both truth-making structures and mathematical models, this is in part due to a failure to distinguish between two ways of truth-making; in fact, the talk of truth-making is best excised from the view altogether. The result is a version (...) of the semantic view which is better supported by the direct evidence offered for it, better equipped to achieve its avowed aims, and, I think, closer to the intentions of the original proponents of the view in many ways, despite some of their own declarations to the contrary. (shrink)
The famous ‘trolley problem’ began as a simple variation on an example given in passing by Philippa Foot , involving a runaway trolley that cannot be stopped but can be steered to a path of lesser harm. By switching from the perspective of the driver to that of a bystander, Judith Jarvis Thomson showed how the case raises difficulties for the normative theory Foot meant to be defending, and Thomson compounded the challenge with further variations that created still (...) more puzzles of broader interest. In recent years, her thought experiments have even been co-opted by psychologists engaged in the empirical study of moral judgment . Yet more than thirty years after launching the trolley problem, Thomson has now strikingly reversed course, retracting the very claim she had originally used to raise puzzles for Foot. I shall argue that this reversal is a mistake, leading to a needlessly counterintuitive, contrarian position about damage-control cases. Instead of overturning her earlier position, her new variations merely uncover a surprising insight about the conditions under which one may permissibly sacrifice another for a good end.1. The central case at issue is what Thomson now calls Bystander's Two Options: you are a bystander who sees a runaway trolley headed toward five innocent people who cannot move off the track; you cannot stop the trolley, but you have access to a switch that will divert it onto a side track where one innocent person is trapped. Is it permissible to throw the switch and divert the trolley toward lesser harm? The common answer, and Thomson's earlier one, is that it is: in cases like this, where there is a public threat and we can act on it so …. (shrink)
Shared views regarding the moral respect which is owed to children in family life are used as a guide in determining the moral permissibility of nontherapeutic clinical research procedures involving children. The comparison suggests that it is not appropriate to seek assent from the preadolescent child. The analogy with interventions used in family life is similarly employed to specify the permissible limit of risk to which children may be exposed in nontherapeutic research procedures. The analysis indicates that recent writers misconceive (...) how certain moral principles, such as respect for personal autonomy, require us to act toward children. The results are also used to assess proposed federal regulations on research with children. (shrink)
A simple molecular system is described consisting of the reciprocal linkage between an autocatalytic cycle and a self-assembling encapsulation process where the molecular constituents for the capsule are products of the autocatalysis. In a molecular environment sufficiently rich in the substrates, capsule growth will also occur with high predictability. Growth to closure will be most probable in the vicinity of the most prolific autocatalysis and will thus tend to spontaneously enclose supportive catalysts within the capsule interior. If subsequently disrupted in (...) the presence of new substrates, the released components will initiate production of additional catalytic and capsule components that will spontaneously re-assemble into one or more autocell replicas, thereby reconstituting and sometimes reproducing the original. In a diverse molecular environment, cycles of disruption and enclosure will cause auto-cells to incidentally encapsulate other molecules as well as reactive substrates. To the extent that any captured molecule can be incorporated into the autocatalytic process by virtue of structural degeneracy of the catalytic binding sites, the altered autocell will incorporate the new type of component into subsequent replications. Such altered autocells will be progenitors of “lineages” with variant characteristics that will differentially propagate with respect to the availability of commonly required substrates. Autocells are susceptible to a limited form of evolution, capable of leading to more efficient, more environmentally fitted, and more complex forms. This provides a simple demonstration of the plausibility of open-ended reproduction and evolvability without self-replicating template molecules or maintenance of persistent nonequilibrium chemistry. This model identifies an intermediate domain between prebiotic and biotic systems and bridges the gap from nonequilibrium thermodynamics to life. (shrink)
How do minds emerge from developing brains? According to the representational features of cortex are built from the dynamic interaction between neural growth mechanisms and environmentally derived neural activity. Contrary to popular selectionist models that emphasize regressive mechanisms, the neurobiological evidence suggests that this growth is a progressive increase in the representational properties of cortex. The interaction between the environment and neural growth results in a flexible type of learning: minimizes the need for prespecification in accordance with recent neurobiological evidence (...) that the developing cerebral cortex is largely free of domain-specific structure. Instead, the representational properties of cortex are built by the nature of the problem domain confronting it. This uniquely powerful and general learning strategy undermines the central assumption of classical learnability theory, that the learning properties of a system can be deduced from a fixed computational architecture. Neural constructivism suggests that the evolutionary emergence of neocortex in mammals is a progression toward more flexible representational structures, in contrast to the popular view of cortical evolution as an increase in innate, specialized circuits. Human cortical postnatal development is also more extensive and protracted than generally supposed, suggesting that cortex has evolved so as to maximize the capacity of environmental structure to shape its structure and function through constructive learning. (shrink)
In “Modern Moral Philosophy” Anscombe argues that the distinction between intention of an end or means and foresight of a consequentially comparable outcome proves crucial in act-evaluation. The deontologist J. J. Thomson disagrees. She asserts that Anscombe mistakes the distinction’s moral import; it bears on agent-evaluation, not act-evaluation. I map out the contours of this dispute. I show that it implicates other disagreements, some to be expected and others not to be expected. Amongst the expected, one finds the ethicists’ (...) accounts of action and understanding of how agent-assessment relates to act-assessment. Amongst the unexpected, one finds the moralists’ views about the possibility of self-imposed moral dilemmas and allied positions concerning temporal aspects of “ought implies can.” Anscombe’s employment of the distinction in act-evaluation withstands close scrutiny; Thomson’s denial of it does not. (shrink)
What has come to be called critical disability studies is an emergent field of academic research, teaching, theory building, public scholarship, and something I'll call "educational advocacy." The critical part of critical disability studies suggests its alignment with areas of intellectual inquiry, sometimes awkwardly called identity studies, rooted in the political and social transformations of the mid-20th century brought forward by the broad civil and human rights movement. These movements pressed both the law and the social order toward an expansion (...) of rights for people previously marginalized or excluded from full participation in exercising the obligations and benefits of equal citizenship. The ideas of... (shrink)
Quantum probability (QP) theory can be seen as a type of vector symbolic architecture (VSA): mental states are vectors storing structured information and manipulated using algebraic operations. Furthermore, the operations needed by QP match those in other VSAs. This allows existing biologically realistic neural models to be adapted to provide a mechanistic explanation of the cognitive phenomena described in the target article by Pothos & Busemeyer (P&B).
Christian hope of resurrection requires that the one raised be the same person who died. Philosophers and theologians alike seek to understand the coherence of bodily resurrection and what accounts for numerical identity between the earthly and risen person. I address this question from the perspective of disability. Is a person with a disability raised in the age to come with that disability? Many theologians argue that disability is essential to one's identity such that it could not be eliminated in (...) the resurrection. What anthropology undergirds these claims is not often explicated. I argue that Thomistic hylemorphic anthropology provides the best context to understand the human person such that disability is not essential to identity. In the resurrection, we shall become truly ourselves. The marks of disability may remain, but Thomistic anthropology expresses the coherence of bodily resurrection in which one may hope for healing which eliminates the disability but not numerical identity. (shrink)
James Thomson envisaged a lamp which would be turned on for 1 minute, off for 1/2 minute, on for 1/4 minute, etc. ad infinitum. He asked whether the lamp would be on or off at the end of 2 minutes. Use of “internal set theory” (a version of nonstandard analysis), developed by Edward Nelson, shows Thomson's lamp is chimerical; its copy within set theory yields a contradiction. The demonstration extends to placing restrictions on other “infinite tasks” such as (...) Zeno's paradoxes of motion and Kant's First Antinomy. Resolution of such logical-philosophical problems leads to some very general constraints which must be placed upon the syntax of physical theories. In particular, at some scale space and time would appear granular. The suitability of internal set theory for analyzing phenomena is examined, using a paper by Alper and Bridger (1997) to frame the discussion. (shrink)
We propose a unified theory of intentions as neural processes that integrate representations of states of affairs, actions, and emotional evaluation. We show how this theory provides answers to philosophical questions about the concept of intention, psychological questions about human behavior, computational questions about the relations between belief and action, and neuroscientific questions about how the brain produces actions. Our theory of intention ties together biologically plausible mechanisms for belief, planning, and motor control. The computational feasibility of these mechanisms is (...) shown by a model that simulates psychologically important cases of intention. (shrink)
Like many critics of Rawls, Habermas believes that the Original Position (OP) implicitly utilizes normative (and unargued for) assumptions. The author defends the OP by arguing that its basic concepts are the product of a rational reconstruction of the everyday know-how, or common sense, employed by citizens in democratic practices. The author identifies this reconstruction in Rawls's work but suggests that while this answers the charge of circularity, it raises the problem of contextual relativism. It is concluded that Rawls can (...) avoid such relativism only on a stronger commitment to social scientific research in support of a more transcendental form of rational reconstruction. (shrink)