In the first part of chapter 2 of book II of the Physics Aristotle addresses the issue of the difference between mathematics and physics. In the course of his discussion he says some things about astronomy and the ‘ ‘ more physical branches of mathematics”. In this paper I discuss historical issues concerning the text, translation, and interpretation of the passage, focusing on two cruxes, the first reference to astronomy at 193b25–26 and the reference to the more physical branches at 194a7–8. In (...) section I, I criticize Ross’s interpretation of the passage and point out that his alteration of has no warrant in the Greek manuscripts. In the next three sections I treat three other interpretations, all of which depart from Ross's: in section II that of Simplicius, which I commend; in section III that of Thomas Aquinas, which is importantly influenced by a mistranslation of, and in section IV that of Ibn Rushd, which is based on an Arabic text corresponding to that printed by Ross. In the concluding section of the paper I describe the modern history of the Greek text of our passage and translations of it from the early twelfth century until the appearance of Ross's text in 1936. (shrink)
Durkheim’s theory of suicide remains one of the quintessential “classic” theories in sociology. Since the 1960s and 1970s, however, it has been challenged on theoretical and empirical grounds. Rather than defend Durkheim’s theory on its own terms, this paper elaborates his typology of suicide by sketching suicide’s socioemotional structure. We integrate social psychological, psychological, and psychiatric advances in emotion research and argue that (1) egoistic, or attachment-based suicides, are driven primarily by sadness/hopelessness; (2) anomic/fatalistic, or regulative suicides, are driven by (...) shame; and (3) mixed-types exist and are useful for developing a more robust and complex multilevel model. (shrink)
Despite its enduring insights, Durkheim’s theory of suicide fails to account for a significant set of cases because of its overreliance on structural forces to the detriment of other possible factors. In this paper, we develop a new theoretical framework for thinking about the role of culture in vulnerability to suicide. We argue that by focusing on the cultural dynamics of excessive regulation, particularly at the meso level, a more robust sociological model for suicide could be offered that supplements structure-heavy (...) Durkheimian theory. In essence, we argue that the relevance of cultural regulation to suicide rests on the (1) degree to which culture is coherent in sociocultural places, (2) existence of directives related to prescribing or proscribing suicide, (3) degree to which these directives translate into internalized meanings affecting social psychological processes, and (4) degree to which the social space is bounded. We then illustrate how our new theory provides useful insights into three cases of suicide largely neglected within sociology: specifically, suicide clusters in high schools, suicide in the military, and suicides of “despair” among middle-aged white men. We conclude with implications for future sociological research on suicide and suicide prevention. (shrink)
: Dr. Smith is an internist in private practice who works at an inner city clinic affiliated with a university hospital. He is also a member of the university faculty. Many of Dr. Smith’s patients have type 2 diabetes mellitus and struggle with health care and other costs. Thinking about opportunities to better serve his patients and advance his career, Dr. Smith considers conducting clinical research in his office. ACME is a respected pharmaceutical company that for decades has engaged in (...) research, development, and production of widely used drugs. Several of ACME’s oral agents for type 2 diabetes will soon go off patent. In an effort to retain its market share in this class of drugs, ACME wants to complete clinical trials expeditiously and obtain approval for its new oral hypoglycemic medicine. The company approaches Dr. Smith to be a coinvestigator in its multicenter clinical trial. (shrink)
If we supply a missing connection in the master text of English Renaissance poetic theory, we can bring the dilemma posed by political poetry into sharp relief. Sidney’s Defence of Poesie seeks to confirm the supremacy of the poet’s power over human minds by invoking the celebrated three-way distinction between poetry, philosophy, and history in the Poetics. According to Sidney, the proper question to ask of poetry is not “whether it were better to have a particular act truly or falsely (...) set down” but “whether it be better to have it set down as it should be, … for your own use and learning.” On this criterion, the philosopher shows himself too devoted to “knowledge” that “standeth upon the abstract and general,” to the “precept,” to “what should be.” The historian attends too much to “the particular truth of things and not to the general reason of things,” to the “example,” to “what is.” Only the poet “coupleth the general notion with the particular example” in “the speaking picture of poesy,” thus synthesizing through his “imaginative and judging power” the best that the philosophical and historical domains can offer. “Aristotle himself,” concludes Sidney, “plainly determineth this question, saying that poetry … is more philosophical and more studiously serious than history … because poesy dealeth with … the universal consideration, and the history with … the particular.” Yet in mounting his Defence of Poesie, Sidney fails to give due force to a related and equally important distinction drawn from the Poetics. Aristotle ranks poetry below philosophy—and, by implication, history as well—at the crucial juncture where ontology and epistemology meet. He exclusively credits philosophical universals with rational “necessity.” Poetic universals are recognized as having imaginative “likelihood,” but no more than this.1 Under this second three-way distinction, the domain proper to poetry turns out to be neither the realm of historical fact nor that of philosophical truth but some half-region of the truthlike, the verisimilar, disjoint from the plane of knowledge.[…]Milton coped with the questions intrinsic to political poetry during the decade from 1642 to 1652 when he rose to prominence as a pamphleteer on public issued and concurrently pioneered the writing of political sonnets in English. This essay examines the responses he made, in part in his prose but mainly in the composition of seven sonnets. Political poems in a root sense, these sonnets concern themselves with human agency channeled into the functions of the state, with power manifested through governance. After exploratory and uneven beginnings, the group as a whole goes a fair way toward vindicating the enterprise of political poetry and offering one set of criteria for a good political poem. 1. The core distinctions are drawn by Aristotle in chap. 9, secs. 2-4, of the Poetics; also see chap. 1, sec. 1 of the Topics on the distinction between demonstration, based on reasoning from true knowledge, and dialectic, based on reasoning from what is generally accepted as probable. The quotations in this paragraph are from Sidney: A Defence of Poetry, ed. J. A. Van Dorsten , pp. 35, 32, 33, 35. Janel Mueller is professor of English and humanities at the University of Chicago. She has published mainly on poetry and prose of the earlier English Renaissance, culminating in her book The Native Tongue and the Word: Developments in English Prose Style, 1380-1580. An interest in Milton, however, has drawn her more recently to work in the later part of this period. She is writing a book on nature, culture, and gender in Milton’s major poems. (shrink)
A survey of Euclid's Elements, this text provides an understanding of the classical Greek conception of mathematics and its similarities to modern views as well as its differences. It focuses on philosophical, foundational, and logical questions — rather than strictly historical and mathematical issues — and features several helpful appendixes.
I present three versions –Grimm, Offe and Streeck—of a general argument that is often used to establish that the EU-institutions meets a legitimacy-disabling condition, the so called “no demos” argument (II), embedding them in the context of the notorious “democratic deficit” suspicions against the legal system and practice of the EU (I). After examining the logical structure behind the no-demos intuition considered as an argument (III), I present principled reasons by Möllers and Habermas that show why the “no demos” argument (...) fails to have bite in discussions of the legitimacy and status of the supranational level in the multi-level EU-architecture. These are complemented by another principled reason arising from John Dewey’s conception of the “public” as a clearer alternative for the “popular” requirement of democratic legitimation (IV). I conclude that all three conceptions together suggest that the hunt after pre-politically existing peoples as foundations of democratic legitimacy expresses no more than methodological nationalism without any footing in the material and conceptual requirements of democratic legitimation. Given the absence of a principled problem with the legitimacy of the priority and interference of supranational EU-law in the national legal and political orders, there are thus also no principled reasons to abandon or discredit the European project in the absence of a European nation or society. (shrink)
This article examines some arguments in favor of taking peace as a political obligation that can be found in one of the most important founders of the pacifist movement, Jane Addams. The main focus is on her 1907 book Newer Ideals of Peace, which has often been read as idealistic and outdated, and above all, as more of an activist’s manifesto than a serious contribution to either political philosophy or political theory. I point out that this owes much to an (...) ambiguity of Addams’ criticisms of the traditional and Kantian cosmopolitan defense of peace as a political ideal, the ambiguity between practical-political and conceptual problems. However, Addam’s succeeds in identifying one profound problem for traditional, even enlightended institution-centered ideals of peace, the collapse of the very ideal in cases of breaches of explicit peace-agreements among nations, because breaches of agreements are tantamount to the loss of all commitment to the other nation’s rights. It reveals that the conditions imposed by such ideals are at most necessary, but not sufficient for peace, and hence that the concept based on them is not a complete concept of lasting peaceful conditions among humans. Once it is seen as dedicated to resolving the problems entailed by this fundamental problem, Addams’ work, and in particular her focus on resources of solidarity and right-granting practices beyond and outside explicit agreements between governments can be understood as the development of a more adequate, coherent and comprehensive, while also a more actionable conception of peace. In the course of this development, Addams can also be observed to make use of crucial epistemological and more technical philosophical tools that are most closely associated with classical pragmatism, but which partly appear (albeit largely obliquely in the course of their application to a particular case) for the first time Addams’ treatise. Addams’ work is therefore of more than merely political activist interest for philosophers. Nonetheless, the article also explains her status as an important contributor to proper conceptions of world peace and the understanding of certain phenomena in the organization of public will formation precisely by pointing out that without some of her future-oriented proposals, like the inseparability of peace-policies and development, or the need to institutionally protect and foster spontaneous solidary action, the best contemporary work on peace would not have been possible. (shrink)
This article investigates the relation between freedom, the public use of reason, and sensus communis, as discussed throughout Kant’s political writings and critical works. Kant’s discussion of the public use of reason, as put forth in "What Is Enlightenment?" is closely tied to his views on autonomy, most notably in the political sphere. However, Kant’s distinction between the public and private uses of reason relies upon sensus communis as discussed in the Critique of Judgment. The communicability achieved by sensus communis (...) has a relevance not restricted only to Kant’s explicitly political writings; sensus communis is also what we might call “transcendentally significant.” In this article, I argue that the public use of reason—a use of reason achieved by sensus communis—is vital for reason itself to follow its own normative demands. I conclude that sensus communis itself grounds reason’s use for its own critique. (shrink)
As an attempt to formulate epistemological boundaries , for which Gustave Flaubert becomes a test-case, L'Idiot de la famille can be seen simultaneously as the exemplification of a method and as a re-assertion and further development of Sartre's theory of subjectivity. This article proposes to approach the issue of Sartre's notion of human subjectivity in L'Idiot from the particular angle of the idea of “destiny.” It will be argued that the term “ destin ” provides a focal point for multiple (...) visions of subjectivity as it contains at least three layers of meaning: firstly, Sartre's representation of Flaubert's idea of his life as predetermined destiny; secondly, Sartre's analysis of destiny as a situation created by others; and finally, an understanding of destiny which is close to the notion of the project. It will be argued that precisely the mutual interdependence of these terms is an expression of Sartre's conception of alienation and the possibility of freedom. (shrink)
In this note i argue against harold n. lee's assertion ("mind," october, 1965) that resolution of zeno's paradoxes is closely connected with the modern mathematical distinction between density and continuity. zeno's paradoxes would arise as much if space or time is dense as they do if it is continuous. in fact the paradoxes only arise if one combines a mathematical analysis of space and time with a non-mathematical conception of motion.
Poorly understood, linked in complex ways to ideas about race and European identity, and the focus today of an ethically vexed and rapidly expanding testing industry, cystic fibrosis is a relatively common life-threatening genetic disorder in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. Many genetic diseases are invisible to the general public, but CF is a high-profile genetic disease, often characterized as a “white” disease though it occurs in many populations. Over the last five years it has (...) become the focus of genetic screening programs of many kinds, but especially for newborns, all over the world. CF is also a scientifically interesting genetic disease. By the simple if imperfect .. (shrink)
Formal axiology is based on the logical nature of meaning, namely intension, and on the structure of intension as a set of predicates. It applies set theory to this set of predicates. Set theory is a certain kind of mathematics that deals with subsets in general, and of finite and infinite sets in particular. Since mathematics is objective and a priori, formal axiology is an objective and a priori science; and a test based on it is an objective test based (...) on an objective standard.1. (shrink)
In this paper, I aim to reconsider MacIntyre’s notion of an educated public. In particular, I aim to do so in light of his recent elucidation of the role of philosophical education in rejecting, or at least challenging, predominant and shared cultural assumptions. I begin by outlining MacIntyre’s original case for an educated public as found in The Idea of an Educated Public. I then briefly consider and respond to three prominent criticisms of MacIntyre’s original explication of the notion. In (...) responding to these criticisms, it will be made clear that subtle shifts in MacIntyre’s subsequent treatments of the notion reduces the dependency of such a public’s existence on the university. I conclude by arguing that the development in MacIntyre’s articulation of the necessary conditions for an educated public when considered in conjunction with his recent defence of the conditions for an ‘adequate philosophical education’ provides his philosophy of education with the conceptual resources needed to break free of a final difficulty which MacIntyre himself has articulated. Specifically, I contend that the four stages of an adequate philosophical education MacIntyre outlines are such that they need not be restricted to implementation in formal educational institutions such as the university. (shrink)
Background Regarding controversial medical services, many have argued that if physicians cannot in good conscience provide a legal medical intervention for which a patient is a candidate, they should refer the requesting patient to an accommodating provider. This study examines what US physicians think a doctor is obligated to do when the doctor thinks it would be immoral to provide a referral. Method The authors conducted a cross-sectional survey of a random sample of 2000 US physicians from all specialties. The (...) primary criterion variable was agreement that physicians have a professional obligation to refer patients for all legal medical services for which the patients are candidates, even if the physician believes that such a referral is immoral. Results Of 1895 eligible physicians, 1032 (55%) responded. 57% of physicians agreed that doctors must refer patients regardless of whether or not the doctor believes the referral itself is immoral. Holding this opinion was independently associated with being more theologically pluralistic, describing oneself as sociopolitically liberal, and indicating that respect for patient autonomy is the most important bioethical principle in one's practice (multivariable ORs, 1.6–2.4). Conclusions Physicians are divided about a professional obligation to refer when the physician believes that referral itself is immoral. These data suggest there is no uncontroversial way to resolve conflicts posed when patients request interventions that their physicians cannot in good conscience provide. (shrink)