It is an old philosophical idea that if the future self is literally different from the current self, one should be less concerned with the death of the future self. This paper examines the relation between attitudes about death and the self among Hindus, Westerners, and three Buddhist populations. Compared with other groups, monastic Tibetans gave particularly strong denials of the continuity of self, across several measures. We predicted that the denial of self would be associated with a lower fear (...) of death and greater generosity toward others. To our surprise, we found the opposite. Monastic Tibetan Buddhists showed significantly greater fear of death than any other group. The monastics were also less generous than any other group about the prospect of giving up a slightly longer life in order to extend the life of another. (shrink)
We discuss the structure of Buddhist theory, showing that it is a kind of moral phenomenology directed to the elimination of egoism through the elimination of a sense of self. We then ask whether being raised in a Buddhist culture in which the values of selflessness and the sense of non-self are so deeply embedded transforms one’s sense of who one is, one’s ethical attitudes and one’s attitude towards death, and in particular whether those transformations are consistent with the predictions (...) that Buddhist texts themselves make. We discover that the effects are often significant, but not always expected. (shrink)
The development of manufacturing technologies for new materials involves the generation of a large and continually evolving volume of information. The analysis, integration and management of such large volumes of data, typically stored in multiple independently developed databases, creates significant challenges for practitioners. There is a critical need especially for open-sharing of data pertaining to engineering design which together with effective decision support tools can enable innovation. We believe that ontology applied to engineering (OE) represents a viable strategy for the (...) alignment, reconciliation and integration of diverse and disparate data. The scope of OE includes: consistent capture of knowledge pertaining to the types of entities involved; facilitation of cooperation among diverse group of experts; more effective ongoing curation, and update of manufacturing data; collaborative design and knowledge reuse. As an illustrative case study we propose an ontology focused on the representation of composite materials focusing in particular on the class of Functionally Graded Materials (FGM) in particular. The scope of the ontology is to provide information about the components of such materials, the manufacturing processes involved in creation, and diversity of application ranging from additive manufacturing to restorative dentistry. The ontology is developed using Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) and the Ontology for Biomedical Investigations (OBI). (shrink)
Extant literature romanticizes frugality as a lifestyle trait that helps in the spiritual evolution of consumers, which in turn enables them in overcoming the negative consequences of materialism and over-consumption. Extant studies have not paid attention to cultural contexts, such as caste and gender, which could outline the non-volitional enactment of frugality in societies such as India. We draw from the work of the political philosopher Alain Badiou to argue that frugality embodies non-volitional subjectivities and is linked to processes of (...) responsibilization and de-politicization. We engage with layered narratives from three story-sites and conceptualize frugality as a socio-political subjectivity that disenfranchises consumers and normalizes inequality. Our study provides evidence of how consumers are made to adopt frugality to conform to political conservatism and unequal orders of caste and gender. (shrink)
This book discusses a variety of world views that we can find to describe human relationships with the environment, and the underlying values in them. It reviews existing international legal instruments discussing some of the ethical values that have been agreed among member states of the United Nations.
Moral hypocrisy is typically viewed as an ethical accusation: Someone is applying different moral standards to essentially identical cases, dishonestly claiming that one action is acceptable while otherwise equivalent actions are not. We suggest that in some instances the apparent logical inconsistency stems from different evaluations of a weak argument, rather than dishonesty per se. Extending Corner, Hahn, and Oaksford's (2006) analysis of slippery slope arguments, we develop a Bayesian framework in which accusations of hypocrisy depend on inferences of shared (...) category membership between proposed actions and previous standards, based on prior probabilities that inform the strength of competing hypotheses. Across three experiments, we demonstrate that inferences of hypocrisy increase as perceptions of the likelihood of shared category membership between precedent cases and current cases increase, that these inferences follow established principles of category induction, and that the presence of self-serving motives increases inferences of hypocrisy independent of changes in the actions themselves. Taken together, these results demonstrate that Bayesian analyses of weak arguments may have implications for assessing moral reasoning. (shrink)
We consider work extraction from two finite reservoirs with constant heat capacity, when the thermodynamic coordinates of the process are not fully specified, i.e., are described by probabilities only. Incomplete information refers to both the specific value of the temperature as well as the label of the reservoir to which it is assigned. Based on the concept of inference, we characterize the reduced performance resulting from this lack of control. Indeed, the estimates for the average efficiency reveal that uncertainty regarding (...) the exact labels reduces the maximal expected efficiency below the Carnot value ), its minimum value reproducing the well known Curzon–Ahlborn value: \ . We also estimate the efficiency before the value of the temperature is revealed. It is found that if the labels are known with certainty, then in the near-equilibrium limit the efficiency scales as \ , while if there is maximal uncertainty in the labels, then the average estimate for efficiency drops to \ . We also suggest how the inferred properties of the incomplete model can be mapped onto a model with complete information but with an additional source of thermodynamic irreversibility. (shrink)
With the human genome mapped, and with the mapping of more than one hundred animal genomes in progress, the amount of genetic data available is increasing exponentially. This exponential increase in data is having an immediate impact on the process of drug development. By using techniques of information technology to manipulate data regarding the genes, proteins, and biochemical pathways associated with various diseases, scientists are beginning to be able to design drugs in a systematic fashion. In the context of any (...) given disease, scientists look to see whether a gene, a protein for which the gene codes, or another protein in the relevant biochemical pathway could be the “target” biological molecule, the “knocking out” of which would halt or slow the disease's progression. Once a target molecule has been identified and characterized structurally, drug therapies that would be likely to knock out this target can be identified and tested systematically. The merger of information technology and genetic technology has changed the process of pharmaceutical development so much that a new term—bioinformatics—has been coined to describe this new approach to such development. (shrink)
: By examining evidence from India, where quotas for women in local government were introduced in 1993, this article argues that institutional reform can disturb hegemonic discourses sufficiently to open a window of opportunity where deliberative democratic norms take root and where, in addition to the politics of recognition, the politics of redistribution also operates.
Most psychological research consists of experiments that put people in artificial situations that elicit unnatural behavior whose ecological validity is unknown. Without knowing the psychocultural meaning of experimental situations, we cannot interpret the responses of WEIRD people, let alone people in other cultures. Psychology, like other sciences, needs to be solidly rooted in naturalistic observation and description of people around the world. Theory should be inductively developed and tested against real-world behavior.
By examining evidence from India, where quotas for women in local government were introduced in 1993, this article argues that institutional reform can disturb hegemonic discourses sufficiently to open a window of opportunity where deliberative democratic norms take root and where, in addition to the politics of recognition, the politics of redistribution also operates.
India has been independent for 70 years now, and it is a good time to reflect on the political philosophy that underwrote the movement that gained that independence. When we do so, we discover the origins of a political vocabulary that is still in use today, although sadly not used with the same rigor and precision with which it was used then. We also find that those who recur to Indian political thought from the pre-independence period tend to return to (...) a single strand of that thought—the theorization of ahimsa by Mohandas K. Gandhi, as for instance in the recent essay on Indian political thought in The New York Times by Gopalkrishna Gandhi. In this discussion, we hope to draw attention to some of the less well-known resources offered by pre-independence Indian philosophy and in particular the political thought of the Arya samaji Congressman, philosopher and political activist, Lajpat Rai. His political philosophy is important for understanding the theorization of and debates within the Indian independence movement; we think that it also suggests ways to think about contemporary political and revolutionary movements and merits consideration in current debates in political philosophy. (shrink)
Julia Mahler Lived Temporalities: Exploring Duration in Guatemala. Empirical and Theoretical Studies. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag.Arun Saldanha Psychedelic White: Goa Trance and the Viscosity of Race. Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press.