The debate over the place of religion in secular, democratic societies dominates philosophical and intellectual discourse. These arguments often polarize around simplistic reductions, making efforts at reconciliation impossible. Yet more rational stances do exist, positions that broker a peace between relativism and religion in people's public, private, and ethical lives. _Christianity, Truth, and Weakening Faith_ advances just such a dialogue, featuring the collaboration of two major philosophers known for their progressive approach to this issue. Seeking unity over difference, Gianni Vattimo (...) and René Girard turn to Max Weber, Eric Auerbach, and Marcel Gauchet, among others, in their exploration of truth and liberty, relativism and faith, and the tensions of a world filled with new forms of religiously inspired violence. Vattimo and Girard ultimately conclude that secularism and the involvement of religion in governance are, in essence, produced by Christianity. In other words, Christianity is "the religion of the exit from religion," and democracy, civil rights, the free market, and individual freedoms are all facilitated by Christian culture. Through an exchange that is both intimate and enlightening, Vattimo and Girard share their unparalleled insight into the relationships among religion, modernity, and the role of Christianity, especially as it exists in our multicultural world. (shrink)
In a series of recent papers, Darwall has argued that Raz’s Normal Justification Thesis ought to be rejected. Here I shall argue that Darwall’s criticisms are unsuccessful. First, I argue that, contrary to what Darwall suggests, the NJT does not rely on an inference from the fact that B has a reason to treat A’s directives as protected reasons to the conclusion that A’s directives are protected reasons for B. Second, I argue that Darwall’s arguments to the effect that the (...) reasons that obtain in virtue of the satisfaction of NJT cannot ground accountability are either ill-conceived or insufficient. (shrink)
The classical theory of preference among monetary bets represents people as expected utility maximizers with concave utility functions. Critics of this account often rely on assumptions about preferences over wide ranges of total wealth. We derive a prediction of the theory that bears on bets at any fixed level of wealth, and test the prediction behaviorally. Our results are discrepant with the classical account. Competing theories are also examined in light of our data.
Spallanzani was in contact with a large number of European scholars, but he never succeeded in forming a group around him. We must consider a true exception his research on animal regeneration, started in 1765 and which was harshly criticised in the intellectual community. Spallanzani replied shifting his engagement from the 'laboratory' to the creation of a 'net' of supporters and led them to repeat the most daring manoeuvres. Apparently, he delegated the destruction of adverse positions, but he skilfully held (...) control of the situation. Such a sharp dissociation between cultural politics and experimental activity was unique in his scientific career. The most numerous group in the net included unknown professors coming from provinces of Lombardy, quite often outsiders in sciences. Spallanzani's correspondence guided their methods and the letters reveal care in managing experiment material, cleverness in questions, awareness of objections, and even a certain amount of creativity. Totally different was the case of two first-rate professionals, the entomologist Giuseppe Rovatti and the physician Michele Girardi. Spallanzani disguised the net as a summation of individuals without an oriented programme. He concealed its most interesting aspect and he himself contributed to frame the view of his isolation in the supposed 'desert' of 18th century Italian sciences. (shrink)
This case note reviews the guidelines issued by Morison J. in the Employment Appeal Tribunal at the end of the decision in Reed and Bull Information Systems Ltd v. Stedman  I.R.L.R.299. The author argues that while the judge’s decision is to be welcomed in adopting an approach more sympathetic to victims of sexual harassment, it also raises a number of problems by placing a burden on the victim to place the harasser on notice that she does not welcome his (...) conduct. The guidelines are likely to be usefully applied in any jurisdiction that has rules forbidding sexual harassment. The author considers the guidelines from both a practical and a doctrinal angle and indicates that the right to be free from sexual harassment is one that the courts are reluctant to protect like other civil rights. (shrink)
En este trabajo, analizo críticamente la tesis de Nino según la cual el valor epistémico de la democracia soluciona la paradoja de la superfluidad del derecho. En este sentido, examino dos cuestiones. Primero, si el valor epistémico de la democracia es una razón para creer que tenemos razones para actuar de conformidad con las leyes democráticas. Segundo, si el valor epistémico de la democracia es una razón para actuar de conformidad con las leyes democráticas independientemente de los méritos del caso (...) y, en su caso, si ello explica adecuadamente la normatividad del derecho. In this paper I critically analyse Nino’s thesis according to which the epistemic value of democracy solves the paradox of the superfluousness of law. In this regard, I address two issues. First, if the epistemic value of democracy is a reason to believe that we have reasons to act in conformity with democratic laws. Second, if the epistemic value of democracy is a reason to act in conformity with democratic laws independently of the merits of the case and, in that case, if that can adequately explain the normativity of law. (shrink)
The present essay analyzes an eighteenth-century phase of the querelle des monstres and highlights two main points. 1) As the cases of Lémery and Winslow demonstrate, in the period when preformation was the dominant view, the dispute over the origin of monsters carried into the very field of preformation the contrast which had originally opposed it to the now defeated model of epigenesis, namely the alternative between mechanical genesis and pre-existence of the monstrous form itself. 2) One of the most (...) important episodes in the shift of teratology from a primarily theological or metaphysical issue to a purely natural one was due to Albrecht von Haller. Haller shifted the dispute from anatomy to embryology; and it is on an embryological base and not on metaphysics that he built his own demonstration of the original nature of the monster. He was furthermore the only scientist of authority who dealt with teratology from an epigenetic standpoint. His numerous changes of view in the field of embryology did in fact never affect his early adherence to the thesis of original monstrosity. (shrink)
O estudo teve por objetivo identificar e analisar os processos de aprendizagem que contribuem para o desenvolvimento de competências requeridas ao administrador no atual ambiente de negócios a partir da percepção de estudantes universitários que estavam trabalhando e cursando a etapa final do curso ..
This paper advocates the importance of an ethical choice in the design of a given technology. As—among various possible examples—the history of the Internet shows, the intersection between trust, law, and technology can become either an empowering factor for business and individuals or a tool for infringing human rights. It is of utmost importance not to lose focus on the fact that every technology is a human byproduct, and that when a technology fails, it is mainly a human fault.
In Democratic Authority and the Separation of Church and State, Robert Audi addresses disagreements among equally rational persons on political matters of coercion by analysing the features of discussions between epistemic peers, and supporting a normative principle of toleration. It is possible to question the extent to which Audi’s views are consistent with the possibility of religious citizens being properly defined as epistemic peers with their non-religious counterparts, insofar as he also argues for some significant constraints on religious reasons in (...) public debates, and he advocates secular reasons being considered as equivalent to natural reasons. I shall also consider Jürgen Habermas’s criticism of Audi’s stance. One of Habermas’ main points focused on Audi’s strong division between religious and non-religious arguments that requires religious citizens to artificially split their reasons, while non-religiously affiliated citizens are not met with any similar requirement. Also, analysing the concept of epistemic parity, we can as well grasp some of the main features of the Habermasian idea of postsecularism. The difference between secular and postsecular views can be framed as hinging on what it means to be epistemic peers, thus bearing consequences on the understanding of the relationship between church and state—particularly regarding the nature of state neutrality and the different status of churches and organised secular groups. (shrink)
En este trabajo examino el concepto de normas permisivas y la distinción entre permisos débiles y permisos fuertes. En primer lugar, explico la distinción entre permisos débiles y fuertes, tal como fue presentada por Alchourrón y Bulygin. En segundo lugar, reconstruyo los argumentos de Alf Ross contra la noción de "normas permisivas", los que implícitamente socavan tal distinción. En tercer lugar, analizo las respuestas de Alchourrón y Bulygin a las objeciones de Ross, y sostengo que, en última instancia, no son (...) satisfactorias. La conclusión es que, a menos que se aduzcan otras razones, el concepto de normas permisivas y, por lo tanto, la distinción entre permisos débiles y fuertes, debería abandonarse. In this paper, I examine the concept of permissive norms and the distinction between weak and strong permissions. First, I explain the difference between weak and strong permissions as given by Alchourrón and Bulygin. Second, I reconstruct Alf Ross' arguments against the very notion of "permissive norms", which implicitly undermine the aforementioned distinction. Third, I analyse Alchourrón and Bulygin's answers to Ross' objections and claim that these answers are not satisfactory. My conclusion is that, unless other reasons are presented, the concept of permissive norms and the distinction between weak and strong permissions, should be abandoned. (shrink)
Between the 1970s and the 1980s social practices were the object of theoretical research in some areas of sociology and cultural anthropology, to meet the need to integrate structuralist, functionalist or Marxist objectivist theories of society by using more sensitive types of approach to social actors, who were viewed as subjects capable of individual decisions, actions and interpretations. In particular, the role of reflexion on social practices became more relevant in the critique of society as an organic, unified whole, also (...) stressing an alternative to liberal outlooks and describing society in the basic terms of relationships between individuals. Social practices are constituted by an organic set of base elements usually applicable also outside structured practices but assuming a peculiar network of relationships within them. This studies is an attempt to show the distinct traits that rationality criteria take while operating inside social, cooperative practices, also pointing to the consequences that this configuration has in the relationship between practictioners and institutions. (shrink)
By drawing mainly, but not only, on the work of Jürgen Habermas and Charles Taylor, I suggest that the postsecular turn provides a more substantial and insightful contribution to the understanding of religious pluralism in contexts of late secularization thanks to its focus on how the self-understanding of religious and secular actors is affected by their co-implication within the same discursive space. The ensuing attention for the processes of self-critique and reciprocal learning allows for a fairer distribution of the burdens (...) of participation, consistently with standards of parity which can be properly, but not exclusively, understood within an egalitarian liberal outlook. The participation to a shared conversation about the primary goods is seen, here, as a primary good in itself. I argue that it is possible to move away from this problem while still retaining the distinct awareness that the postsecular stance articulates about the role played by self-critical understandings of religious and secular views when it comes to the cooperative effort necessary to realize conditions of genuine epistemic parity and equal access to public discourse. To this purpose, I suggest that three further steps should be taken: the boundary between the religious and the secular should be more decisively conceived as a shifting and porous border, the resources of public discourse shouldn’t be too rigidly divided between argumentative and non-argumentative, and the presence of stoppers and enablers of public conversation should be acknowledged both in the religious and in the secular domain. The resulting kind of postsecular perspective will turn out to be relevant at two levels: that of the relationships between individuals who actively engage in public discourse and that of the relationships between religious and secular institutions. (shrink)
Bank customers are not financial experts, and yet they make high-stakes decisions that can substantively affect personal wealth. Sooner or later, every individual has to take relevant investment decisions. Using data collected from financial advisors, bank customers and university students in Italy, this paper aims to reveal new insights about the decision processes of average non-expert investors: their investment goals, the information sets they consider, and the factors that ultimately influence decisions about investment products. Using four portfolio choice tasks based (...) on data collected directly from financial advisors and their clients, we find that most subjects used a limited set of information, ignoring factors that conventional economic models usually assume drive investor behavior. Furthermore, we suggest that non-compensatory decision-tree models, which make no trade-offs among investment features, are parsimonious descriptions of investor behavior useful for improving the organization of financial institutions and in policy contexts alike. (shrink)