Wolfgang Merkel’s concept of rooted democracy in the context of contemporary populism and the crisis of democracy: The article presents the concept of “rooted democracy” by Wolf‐ gang Merkel, which was presented in the context of the democratic crisis. The German poli‐ tical scientist indicates what democracy is — specifying the proper functioning of the regula‐ tions of the democratic system. Speaking of the weakness or strength of democracy, we must have a well‐described set of system principles that determine the (...) degree of strength of democracy or its erosion. The above set of principles of the democratic system is thoroughly discussed in the article. In particular, the functional model of civil society is analysed. The text also explores how the crisis of democracy is understood and Merkel’s view of the impact of global capitalism on democratic institutions, which contributes to the transformation of democracy into an oligarchy. The topics discussed in the article also concern alternative, non‐ ‐liberal forms of democracy and populism. The question is whether Merkel’s concept is useful in explaining populism and its political consequences. (shrink)
Microbiota-gut-brain research is a fast-growing field of inquiry with important implications for how human brain function and behaviour are understood. Researchers manipulate gut microbes to reveal connections between intestinal microbiota and normal brain functions or pathological states. Many claims are made about causal relationships between gut microbiota and human behaviour. By uncovering these relationships, MGB research aims to offer new explanations of mental health and potential avenues of treatment. So far, limited evaluation has been made of MGB's methods and its (...) core experimental findings, many of which are extensively reiterated in copious reviews of the field. These factors, plus the self-help potential of MGB, have combined to encourage uncritical public uptake of MGB discoveries. Both social and professional media focus on the potential for dietary intervention in mental health, and causal relationships are assumed to be established. Our target article has two main aims. One is to examine critically the core practices and findings of experimental MGB research and to raise questions about them for brain and behavioural scientists who may not be familiar with the field. The other is to challenge the way in which MGB findings are presented. Our positive goal is to suggest how current problems and weaknesses may be addressed, in order for both scientific and public audiences to gain a clearer picture of MGB research and its strengths and limitations. (shrink)
This book is about beliefs, language, communication and cognition. It deals with the fundamental issue of the interpretation of the speaker's utterance expressing a belief and reporting on beliefs of other people in the form of oratio obliqua. The main aim of the book is to present a new account of the problem of interpreting utterances expressing beliefs and belief reports in terms of an approach called Default Semantics.
Utilitarianism may well be the most influential secular ethical theory in the world today. It is also one of the most controversial. It clashes, or is widely thought to clash, with many conventional moral views, and with human rights when they are seen as inviolable. Would it, for example, be right to torture a suspected terrorist in order to prevent an attack that could kill and injure a large number of innocent people? In this Very Short Introduction Peter Singer and (...)Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek provide an authoritative account of the nature of utilitarianism, from its nineteenth-century origins, to its justification and its varieties. Considering how utilitarians can respond to objections that are often regarded as devastating, they explore the utilitarian answer to the question of whether torture can ever be justified. They also discuss what it is that utilitarians should seek to maximize, paying special attention to the classical utilitarian view that only pleasure or happiness is of intrinsic value. Singer and de Lazari-Radek conclude by analysing the continuing importance of utilitarianism in the world, indicating how it is a force for new thinking on contemporary moral challenges like global poverty, the treatment of animals, climate change, reducing the risk of human extinction, end-of-life decisions for terminally-ill patients, and the shift towards assessing the success of government policies in terms of their impact on happiness. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable. (shrink)
People differ in the extent to which they express a need for sense-making, and these individual differences are important to understand in light of meaning-making processes. To quantify this important variable, we originally proposed a need for sense-making scale. We now propose a refined, similarly reliable short version of the scale. The 7-item NSM-SF was validated across a series of four studies. NSM-SF showed psychometric properties and correlations consistent with its longer forerunner. Additionally, results indicated that the need for sense-making (...) was moderately positively related to the satisfaction of basic psychological needs, and it related negatively to the frustration of these needs. The research offers a useful, brief tool for assessing the NSM construct and broadens our understanding of basic psychological motivations. (shrink)
This paper juxtaposes biosemiotic and anthropological perspectives to consider the issue of dwelling and living, with particular reference to nonhuman agency and design. The author discusses the fundamental issues and theoretical concepts associated with this issue before making comparisons with reference to a case study and defining a stance on the agency of animate and inanimate nature, with particular regard paid to dwelling. The Zoepolis project is an artistic one, on the borderline of the humanities, the natural sciences and art, (...) thus it combines three seemingly irreconcilable spheres to address issues associated with the subjectivity of living entities, and with the processes of their inhabiting and designing. (shrink)
The aim of the paper is to explore the interrelation between persuasion tactics and properties of speech acts. We investigate two types of arguments ad: ad hominem and ad baculum. We show that with both of these tactics, the structures that play a key role are not inferential, but rather ethotic, i.e., related to the speaker’s character and trust. We use the concepts of illocutionary force and constitutive conditions related to the character or status of the speaker in order to (...) explain the dynamics of these two techniques. In keeping with the research focus of the Polish School of Argumentation, we examine how the pragmatic and rhetorical aspects of the force of ad hominem and ad baculum arguments exploit trust in the speaker’s status to influence the audience’s cognition. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to provide a model that allows the representation and analysis of circularity in ethotic structures, i.e. in communication structures related to the speaker’s character and in particular, his credibility. The paper studies three types of cycles: in self-referential sentences, embedded testimony and ethotic begging the question. It is shown that standard models allow the reconstruction of the circularities only if those circular utterances are interpreted as ethotic arguments. Their alternative, assertive interpretation requires enriching the (...) existing models with a purely ethotic component related to the credibility of the performer of any (not necessarily argumentative) speech act. (shrink)
The first comprehensive study of Santayana’s political thought as connected to his cultural criticism. It ranges over topics such as Santayana’s political ontology, his criticism of democracy, liberalism, and communism, his views on freedom and forms of human servitude.
Height preferences reflecting positive assortative mating for height—wherein an individual’s own height positively predicts the preferred height of their mate—have been observed in several distinct human populations and are thought to increase reproductive fitness. However, the extent to which assortative preferences for height differ strategically for short-term versus long-term relationship partners, as they do for numerous other indices of mate quality, remains unclear. We explore this possibility in a large representative sample of over 500 men and women aged 15–77 from (...) Canada, Cuba, Norway and the United States. Participants’ own heights were measured, and they indicated their height preferences for a long-term and short-term mate using graphic stimuli containing metric indices. Replicating the “male-taller norm,” participants on average preferred taller-than-average male mates, and shorter-than-average female mates. Positive assortative preferences for height were observed across sexes and samples, however the strength of these height preferences varied with relationship context for men, and not for women. Taller men preferred relatively shorter women for short-term relationships than for long-term relationships, indicating stronger assortative preferences for height in a long-term context. These results provide preliminary evidence that, in addition to mate preferences for other physical traits related to mate quality such as masculinity in the body, face, and voice, assortative preferences for height do vary as a function of expected relationship length, but this was surprisingly only observed in preferences for female height. (shrink)
What does the idea of taking 'the point of view of the universe' tell us about ethics? Lazari-Radek and Singer defend objectivism in ethics, and hedonistic utilitarianism, following Henry Sidgwick's lead. They explore how to justify an ethical theory; conflicts of self-interest and universal benevolence; and whether we should discount the future.
We show that the variety of equivalential algebras with regularization gives the algebraic semantics for the -fragment of intuitionistic propositional logic. We also prove that this fragment is hereditarily structurally complete.
Building on our diverse research traditions in the study of reasoning, language and communication, the Polish School of Argumentation integrates various disciplines and institutions across Poland in which scholars are dedicated to understanding the phenomenon of the force of argument. Our primary goal is to craft a methodological programme and establish organisational infrastructure: this is the first key step in facilitating and fostering our research movement, which joins people with a common research focus, complementary skills and an enthusiasm to work (...) together. This statement—the Manifesto—lays the foundations for the research programme of the Polish School of Argumentation. (shrink)
In their book Commitment in Dialogue, Walton and Krabbe claim that formal dialogue systems for conversational argumentation are “not very realistic and not easy to apply”. This difficulty may make argumentation theory less well adapted to be employed to describe or analyse actual argumentation practice. On the other hand, the empirical study of real-life arguments may miss or ignore insights of more than the two millennia of the development of philosophy of language, rhetoric, and argumentation theory. In this paper, we (...) propose a novel methodology for adapting such theories to serve as applicable tools in the study of argumentation phenomena. Our approach is both theoretically-informed and empirically-grounded in large-scale corpus analysis. The area of interest are appeals to ethos, the character of the speaker, building upon Aristotle’s rhetoric. Ethotic techniques are used to influence the hearers through the communication, where speakers might establish, but also emphasise, weaken or undermine their own or others’ credibility and trustworthiness. Specifically, we apply our method to Aristotelian theory of ethos elements which identifies practical wisdom, moral virtue and goodwill as components of speakers’ character, which can be supported or attacked. The challenges we identified in this case and the solutions we proposed allow us to formulate general guidelines of how to exploit rich theoretical frameworks to the analysis of the practice of language use. (shrink)
Focusing on the analysis of Athens' relations with both Greeks and non-Greeks as recorded in extant fourth-century decrees, this paper challenges the applicability of the notion of Greek/barbarian antithesis to the interpretation of formal diplomatic exchanges between Athens and the non-Greek states. A comparison of the types of decrees and honors reveals a remarkable uniformity in the forms of Athens' foreign relations irrespective of the ethnicity of honorands. The distribution of honors among individuals and groups of recipients within single decrees (...) further demonstrates that the Athenian honorific system typically elevated individuals over communities they represented, suggesting that political differences between Athens and non-Greek states did not adversely influence the methods of exchanges between them. Apart from the provisions contained in the decrees, this paper also considers their function within the city as monuments that attest to the important place of philobarbaric discourse and practice in fourth-century Athens. (shrink)
Pragmatics and dialectics are two disciplines which have been amongst the first and most important partners for argument studies in the exploration of the complex realm of communication. Treating argumentation as a construct consisting of premises and conclusion allows for investigating some interesting properties of the phenomenon of reasoning, but does not capture a variety of aspects related to the usage of natural language and dialogical context in which real-life argumentation is typically embedded. This special issue explores some of the (...) fascinating research questions which emerge when we move beyond logic into the territory of the pragmatics and dialectics of argument. (shrink)
The dynamics of changes in science inevitably, but also increasingly urgently begins to include ethical reflection. These issues include such problems as: the gap between the prestige of scientific and didactic activity, building scientific achievements solely through the prism of their carrying capacity, or the lack of influence of science on social and cultural life. The dominant role in shaping teaching standards is played by such phenomena as parameterization, indexing, coefficients or accreditation, while the normative space of scientific activity is (...) no longer subject to such obvious standardization. The educational and cultural role of the people of science devalues towards entrepreneurship and effectiveness. Based on Henryk Elzenberg’s views on the excess of the importance of science to the detriment of evaluative thinking, it can be noted that contemporary academic expertise does not seem to pursue any axiological connotations, which in the long run is a highly disturbing advantage for culture. (shrink)
Evolutionary accounts of the origins of human morality may lead us to doubt the truth of our moral judgments. Sidgwick tried to vindicate ethics from this kind of external attack. However, he ended The Methods in despair over another problem—an apparent conflict between rational egoism and universal benevolence, which he called the “dualism of practical reason.” Drawing on Sidgwick, we show that one way of defending objectivity in ethics against Sharon Street’s recent evolutionary critique also puts us in a position (...) to support a bold claim: the dualism of practical reason can be resolved in favor of impartiality. (shrink)
Celem diagnozy było: - przeprowadzenie badań dostarczających pełnej i rzetelnej wiedzy z zakresu potrzeb kulturalnych mieszkańców woj. podlaskiego; - wskazanie głównych barier uczestnictwa w kulturze wysokiej; - ilościowo-jakościowe określenie wizerunku instytucji kulturalnych, w tym Teatru Dramatycznego, i ocena ich działalności artystycznej; - zmierzenie poziomu kapitał kulturowego regionu na podstawie wskaźnika korzystania przez mieszkańców woj. podlaskiego z instytucji kulturalnych. -/- .
This is a collection of nine papers dealing with the topic of reporting on beliefs and other attitudes, and in particular with the issue of the semantics-pragmatics boundary dispute which is the core topic of research in the field.
Celem artykułu jest wykazanie, że filozofia może sięgać po ustalenia neuronauki, w tym psychologii, w zakresie poczucia winy i wstydu, w czym mają pomóc postawione w artykule pytania i poruszane zagadnienia. Autorka przywołała dane na temat neuronalnych korelatów poczucia winy i wstydu i neuropsychologiczne interpretacje niektórych z nich. Szczególną uwagę zwróciła na kwestie związane z oceną moralną i moralnymi sankcjami.
Paul Ricoeur uncovered the creative aspect of language in his theory of metaphor. The metaphor is a special combination of words that as a clash of distant semantic fields forces the reader to interpret the sentence in a new way and see things in a new light. It is a process in which the imagination plays an important role. Ricoeur compares the metaphor to the Kantian schema which is a procedure to provide an image to a concept. The image helps (...) in the process of assimilating distant elements and thus to achieve a new interpretation. To change perspective the suspension of reference is also needed. The aim of this essay is to analyze the imaginative functions which are operative in the metaphor and look for an answer to the question about the role of the imagination as a productive power as well as a power of internal intuitions. (shrink)
The characteristic asymmetry in intentionality attributions that is known as the Knobe effect can be explained by conjoining an orthodox theory of intentional action with a normative account of intentional omission. On the latter view: omissions presuppose some normative context; there are good reasons why the intentionality of omissions requires agents' knowledge rather than intention. The asymmetry in intentionality attributions in Knobe's cases can be seen to be derivative from an asymmetry in intentional omissions. The omissions account further explains the (...) Butler problem and some related puzzles. It also safeguards the simple view of intentional action from the asymmetry challenge. (shrink)
In the twentieth century, due to the development of mechanical reproduction and press, photomontage became a popular means of communication – popular and diverse in its nature and methods of exploitation. It is one of the cultural phenomena related to the change of rhythm of life and a sense of its increased pace, and an impression of fragmentation of reality. This article questions the role of photomontage in such an experience. The said role is complex: sometimes photomontage allows for expression (...) of that experience, and sometimes it is meant to evoke it, in the spirit of modernity; it is both a tool of agitation and critique. In order to answer this question I shall assume the approach of Walter Benjamin, who diagnoses the crisis of experience and the loss of storytelling skills – and describes the potential of photography. This potential is differently approached by artists and scholars who point out contradictory purposes and results of using photomontage. Referring to various works of art shall make it possible to define the tensions characteristic of photomontage. Due to its plasticity and the ambiguity of a photograph, and the potential for contextualization and construction, photomontage can function in a hard to understand, rapidly changing world and address the fragmentation of experience. (shrink)