The paper presents a ‘multiple agent’ logic where formulas are pairs of the form, made of a proposition and a subset of agents. The formula is intended to mean ‘ all agents in believe that is true’. The formal similarity of such formulas with those of possibilistic logic, where propositions are associated with certainty levels, is emphasised. However, the subsets of agents are organised in a Boolean lattice, while certainty levels belong to a totally ordered scale. The semantics of a (...) set of ‘multiple agent’ logic formulas is expressed by a mapping which associates a subset of agents with each interpretation. Soundness and completeness results are established. Then a joint extension of the multiple agent logic and possibilistic logic is outlined. In this extended logic, propositions are then associated with both sets of agents and certainty levels. A formula then expresses that ‘all agents in set believe that is true at least at some level’. The semantics is then given in terms of fuzzy sets of agents that find an interpretation more or less possible. A specific feature of possibilistic logic is that the inconsistency of a knowledge base is a matter of degree. The proposed setting enables us to distinguish between the global consistency of a set of agents and their individual consistency. In particular, given a set of multiple agent possibilistic formulas, one can compute the subset of agents that are individually consistent to some degree. (shrink)
From the school yard to the workplace, there’s no charge more damning than “you’re being unfair!” Born out of democracy and raised in open markets, fairness has become our de facto modern creed. The very symbol of American ethics—Lady Justice—wears a blindfold as she weighs the law on her impartial scale. In our zealous pursuit of fairness, we have banished our urges to like one person more than another, one thing over another, hiding them away as dirty secrets of our (...) humanity. In Against Fairness, polymath philosopher Stephen T. Asma drags them triumphantly back into the light. Through playful, witty, but always serious arguments and examples, he vindicates our unspoken and undeniable instinct to favor, making the case that we would all be better off if we showed our unfair tendencies a little more kindness—indeed, if we favored favoritism. Conscious of the egalitarian feathers his argument is sure to ruffle, Asma makes his point by synthesizing a startling array of scientific findings, historical philosophies, cultural practices, analytic arguments, and a variety of personal and literary narratives to give a remarkably nuanced and thorough understanding of how fairness and favoritism fit within our moral architecture. Examining everything from the survival-enhancing biochemistry that makes our mothers love us to the motivating properties of our “affective community,” he not only shows how we favor but the reasons we should. Drawing on thinkers from Confucius to Tocqueville to Nietzsche, he reveals how we have confused fairness with more noble traits, like compassion and open-mindedness. He dismantles a number of seemingly egalitarian pursuits, from classwide Valentine’s Day cards to civil rights, to reveal the envy that lies at their hearts, going on to prove that we can still be kind to strangers, have no prejudice, and fight for equal opportunity at the same time we reserve the best of what we can offer for those dearest to us. Fed up with the blue-ribbons-for-all absurdity of "fairness" today, and wary of the psychological paralysis it creates, Asma resets our moral compass with favoritism as its lodestar, providing a strikingly new and remarkably positive way to think through all our actions, big and small. (shrink)
How we feel is as vital to our survival as how we think. This claim, based on the premise that emotions are largely adaptive, serves as the organizing theme of Why We Need Religion. This book is a novel pathway in a well-trodden field of religious studies and philosophy of religion. Stephen Asma argues that, like art, religion has direct access to our emotional lives in ways that science does not. Yes, science can give us emotional feelings of wonder (...) and the sublime--we can feel the sacred depths of nature--but there are many forms of human suffering and vulnerability that are beyond the reach of help from science. Different emotional stresses require different kinds of rescue. Unlike secular authors who praise religion's ethical and civilizing function, Asma argues that its core value lies in its emotionally therapeutic power. No theorist of religion has failed to notice the importance of emotions in spiritual and ritual life, but truly systematic research has only recently delivered concrete data on the neurology, psychology, and anthropology of the emotional systems. This very recent "affective turn" has begun to map out a powerful territory of embodied cognition. Why We Need Religion incorporates new data from these affective sciences into the philosophy of religion. It goes on to describe the way in which religion manages those systems--rage, play, lust, care, grief, and so on. Finally, it argues that religion is still the best cultural apparatus for doing this adaptive work. In short, the book is a Darwinian defense of religious emotions and the cultural systems that manage them. (shrink)
Kuala Lumpur is a diverse city representing many different religions and nationalities. Recent government policy has actively promoted unity and cohesion throughout the city; and the country of Malaysia, with the implementation of a programme called 1Malaysia. In this book, the authors investigate the aims of this programme – predominantly to unify the Malaysian society – and how these objectives resonate in the daily spatial practices of the city’s residents. -/- This book argues that elements of urban infrastructure could work (...) as an essential mediator ‘beyond community’, allowing inclusive social structures to be built, despite cultural and religious tensions existing within the city. It builds on the premise of an empirical study which explores the ways in which different communities use the same spaces, supported through the implementation of a theoretical framework which looks at both Western and Islamic conceptualisations of the notion of community. Through the analysis of Kuala Lumpur, this book contributes towards the creation of more inclusive places in multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious communities across the world. (shrink)
Hailed as "a feast" (Washington Post) and "a modern-day bestiary" (The New Yorker), Stephen Asma's On Monsters is a wide-ranging cultural and conceptual history of monsters--how they have evolved over time, what functions they have served for us, and what shapes they are likely to take in the future. Beginning at the time of Alexander the Great, the monsters come fast and furious--Behemoth and Leviathan, Gog and Magog, Satan and his demons, Grendel and Frankenstein, circus freaks and headless children, (...) right up to the serial killers and terrorists of today and the post-human cyborgs of tomorrow. Monsters embody our deepest anxieties and vulnerabilities, Asma argues, but they also symbolize the mysterious and incoherent territory beyond the safe enclosures of rational thought. Exploring sources as diverse as philosophical treatises, scientific notebooks, and novels, Asma unravels traditional monster stories for the clues they offer about the inner logic of an era's fears and fascinations. In doing so, he illuminates the many ways monsters have become repositories for those human qualities that must be repudiated, externalized, and defeated. (shrink)
Tracing the leading role of emotions in the evolution of the mind, a philosopher and a psychologist pair up to reveal how thought and culture owe less to our faculty for reason than to our capacity to feel. Many accounts of the human mind concentrate on the brain’s computational power. Yet, in evolutionary terms, rational cognition emerged only the day before yesterday. For nearly 200 million years before humans developed a capacity to reason, the emotional centers of the brain were (...) hard at work. If we want to properly understand the evolution of the mind, we must explore this more primal capability that we share with other animals: the power to feel. Emotions saturate every thought and perception with the weight of feelings. The Emotional Mind reveals that many of the distinctive behaviors and social structures of our species are best discerned through the lens of emotions. Even the roots of so much that makes us uniquely human—art, mythology, religion—can be traced to feelings of caring, longing, fear, loneliness, awe, rage, lust, playfulness, and more. From prehistoric cave art to the songs of Hank Williams, Stephen T. Asma and Rami Gabriel explore how the evolution of the emotional mind stimulated our species’ cultural expression in all its rich variety. Bringing together insights and data from philosophy, biology, anthropology, neuroscience, and psychology, The Emotional Mind offers a new paradigm for understanding what it is that makes us so unique. (shrink)
In this chapter, we evaluate the politically generative dynamic of urban space. Notably, we put forward the notion of the ‘multiplier effect’ of the urban, referring to its ingrained tendency to multiply resistance to oppression and violence being exerted against subaltern groups and minorities and, in doing so, to turn this multiplied resistance into an active force of social change. We, therefore, look at the twofold valence of ‘resistance’: negative and affirmative. Resistance initially takes form as a defensive response to (...) oppression and violence. When this happens, the urban becomes the living platform for a multiplying dynamic of encounter and, potentially, of inter-group solidarity, thus laying the foundations for a cooperative – rather than competitive, as in neoliberal rationality, or inimical, as in national-populist reason – way of ‘being together’. After having developed this argument against the backdrop of the women’s movement in Tehran and the urban disobedience to anti-immigration policies in Italy, our chapter concludes by reflecting on the multiplier effect of urban resistance within the current context of national revanchism. (shrink)
These papers are based on a Symposium at the COGSCI Conference in 2010. 1. Naturalizing the Mammalian Mind 2. Modularity in Cognitive Psychology and Affective Neuroscience 3. Affective Neuroscience and the Philosophy of Self 4. Affective Neuroscience and Law.
تافوری (همانند فورتینی) تحقیق تاریخی را (که آوانگاردها هیچ وقت زیر بار این تحقیق تاریخی بهعنوان پیششرط پروژههایشان نمیرفتند) ابزاری بهغایت قدرتمند برای به پرسشکشیدن اثرات گسترش سرمایهداری بر عاملیت فکری میپنداشت. تاریخمندکردن ذهنیتهای فکری بدان معنی است که حوزهای که باید در آن مبارزهی سیاسی کرد، خودِ حوزهی کار فکری است. یعنی تأمل در ویژگیها و کیفیات آن، در چگونگیِ تخصصیشدن کار فکری، و در اینکه چگونه در هر چرخهی تولیدْ سرمایهداری وظیفهی خاصی را برای نقش اجتماعی روشنفکران و (...) اندیشمندان تعریف میکند. به زعم تافوری چنین کاوشی میتواند شکلی از فهم غیرایدئولوژیک از امکانهای موجود برای عمل (روشنفکرانه) پیش از انجام آن بهدست دهد. (shrink)
This paper aims to analyze the square beyond an architectural element in the city, but weaves this blank slate, with its contemporary socio political atmosphere as a new paradigm. As a result, this research investigates the historical, social and political concept of Meydan – a term which has mostly applied for the Iranian and Islamic public squares. This interpretation, suggested the idea of Meydan as the core of the projects in the city, which historically exposed in formalization of power relations (...) and religious ideologies. In this sense, studying the spatial transformation of Iranian public squares introduces the framework, which is adaptable to contemporary urban context. (shrink)
The concept of Tabula Rasa, as a desire for sweeping renewal and creating a potential site for the construction of utopian dreams, is presupposition of Modern Architecture. Starting from the middle of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century, Iranian urban and architectural history has been integrated with modernization, and western-influenced modernity. The case of Tehran as the Middle Eastern political capital is the main scene for the manifestation of modernity within it’s urban projects that was (...) associated with several changes to the social, political and spatial structure of the city. In this regard, the strategy of Tabula Rasa as a utopian blank slate upon which a new Iran could be conceived “over again” – was the dominant strategy of modernization during First Pahlavi era (1925–1941). This article explores the very concept of constructing a new image of Tehran through the processes of autocratic modernism and orientalist historicism that also influenced the discourse of national identity during First Pahlavi era. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis article discusses the exegeses of two Qur'anic verses: Qur'an 2:143, which describes righteous Muslims as constituting a “middle/moderate community” and Qur'an 5:66, which similarly describes righteous Jews and Christians as constituting a “balanced/moderate community”. Taken together, these verses clearly suggest that it is subscription to some common standard of righteousness and ethical conduct that determines the salvific nature of a religious community and not the denominational label it chooses to wear. Such a perspective offers the possibility of formulating universal (...) principles of ethical and moral conduct, which may contribute to the formation of a genuinely pluralist global society today. Through a close study of Qur'anic exegeses of these verses from the late first/seventh century to modern times, I retrieve some of the most prevalent Muslim understandings of “moderation” through time and dwell on their contemporary implications. (shrink)
The concepts of form and function have traditionally been defined in terms of biology and then extended to other disciplines. Stephen T. Asma examines the various interpretations of form and function in science and philosophy, reflecting on the philosophical presuppositions underlying the work of Geoffroy, Cuvier, Darwin, and others. -/- In the continental tradition of Canguilhem and Foucault, Asma's treatment of the historical form/function dispute analyzes the complex interactions among ideologies, metaphysical commitments, and research programs. Following Form and (...) Function is a significant contribution to the history of science, history of philosophy, and disputes within contemporary biology. (shrink)
The relationship of public space to democracy is dominated by two competing, yet intertwined, theoretical bases: political philosophy and spatial theory. But how does the architect make political space? Can architectural practice create political space through design? In this book, Teresa Hoskyns theorizes that the converging point between theoretical foundations and democratic practices is “participation” within “social production of space.” Therefore, “participation” from joint perspectives of architecture and political philosophy has been studied in two different frameworks: the theoretical and the (...) practical. Unlike most previous works on the relationship between architecture and democracy, Hoskyn’s book transcends the spatial and political interpretation of public space. By incorporating new theoretical approaches to representative democracy, it depicts a complex dialectic and multilayered picture of—“spaces of democracy” and the “democracy of space”—in her phrasing. (shrink)
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explain how abstract space of the State – universally and specifically within the context of Middle Eastern cities – aims to homogenise the city and eliminate any anomaly that threatens its power structure. Design/methodology/approach – Through a historical and discourse analysis of these policies and processes in the two case studies, this paper presents a contextualised reading of Lefebvre’s concept of abstract space and process of abstraction in relation to the alienation (...) of political public spaces. Findings – The paper proposes that regardless of these homogenising strategies being applied universally, they fail to respond to contextual particularities and therefore they – in a contradictory manner – may themselves produce a space of resistance and difference. Originality/value – This paper focusses on Iran, the case of Tehran and Turkey, the case of Taksim Square and Gezi Park in Istanbul. Recent policies and strategies have been proposed and implemented to reduce, alienate and possibly neutralise the impacts of urban and political protests in these cities and socio-political contexts. (shrink)
This article discusses places and practices of young heterosexual Malaysian Muslims dating in non-private urban spaces. It is based on research conducted in Kuala Lumpur (KL) in two consecutive summers 2016 and 2017. Malaysian law (Khalwat law) does not allow for two unrelated people (where at least one of them is Muslim) of opposite sexes to be within ‘suspicious proximity’ of one another in public. This law significantly influences behaviors and activities in urban spaces in KL. In addition to the (...) legal framework, the beliefs of Malaysian muslims significantly influence the way they perceive space and how they behave in the city. The article discusses the empirical theme, beginning with the participants’ narratives of their engagement with the dominant sexual and gender order in non-private spaces of KL. Utilizing questionnaires, interviews and observations, this paper draws upon a qualitative research project and questions the analytical usefulness of the notion of public space (as a Western construct) in the context of an Islamic, postcolonial, tropical, global city. (shrink)
Based on a small research project conducted in Kuala Lumpur (KL) in July - August 2017, the paper discusses places and practices of young heterosexual Malaysian Muslims dating in KL. In Malaysia, the law (Khalwat law) does not allow for two unrelated people (where at least one of them is Muslim) of opposite sexes to be within ‘suspicious proximity’ of one another in public. This law significantly influences behaviours and activities in urban spaces in KL. However, apart from the legal (...) framework, the faith of urban users seems to influence significantly the way they perceive space and how they behave in the city. The paper questions the analytical usefulness of the notion of public space (as the Western construct) in an attempt to formulate new intellectual coordinates to discuss urban space in a context of the Islamic, post-colonial, tropical, and global city. The ultimate aim of this paper is to start discussing how religious imagination and narratives could lead to formulating a new typology of urban spaces. (shrink)
Drawing from research on ethical leadership, psychological capital, and social learning theory, this study investigated the mediating effects of goal congruence and psychological capital in the link between supervisors’ ethical leadership style and followers’ in-role job performance. Data captured from 171 employees and 24 supervisors showed that ethical leadership has a positive effect on followers’ in-role job performance, yet this effect is explained through the role of psychological capital and follower–leader goal congruence, providing evidence of mediation. These findings have significant (...) implications for research and practice. (shrink)
Philosophers and scientists have historically conceptualized race according to two main metaphors; internal differentiation (theological, philosophical and genetic), and external differentiation (environmental). This paper examines these metaphors and theories in Descartes, Kant, Hegel, and also Darwin and the subsequent racial theories of recent history. The paper argues that the externalist metaphor has a more liberal and potentially egalitarian tradition.
The selection of Karachi Export Promotion Zone is inspired by the fact that this city being the centre of industrial and economic activity attracts an everincreasing number of job seekers from across the country. EPZs are an integral part of the expanding global market. Procurement of cheap and easy-to-control labour are the prerequisites of a market-based economy. Concentration of markets in developed countries and the establishment of production units in the less developed or slow developing countries mirrors political power imbalance. (...) As women are the focus of this study, the assessment of the status of female factory workers is the centre point of this paper. Whereas women have always been part of waged-work outside the home, the phenomenon of women factory workers is a product of the World Wars, which encouraged women to work in factories as men were on the war front. This paper draws upon a research whose findings are not dramatically different from similar studies conducted elsewhere, however it presents a fresh perspective on the experiences of women working in a poor country. This paper presents both quantitative as well as qualitative data about 330 women working in 25 industrial units of varying production capacities. The paper also examines the absence of the phenomenon of labour laws in the Karachi Export Processing Zone and examines its impact on the lives of women workers. (shrink)
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights came into existence after World War II when the Nazi violence perpetrated upon the Jews came to light, the world community realized that the UN Charter was not sufficiently specific to protect human rights. In response, the Declaration was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on December 10, 1948. General Assembly resolution 217 A as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It consists of 30 articles which (...) cover a broad range including social, political, economic and religious rights. Though not legally binding, the UDHR is considered a foundational document in international human right laws. It has inspired the development of 50 human rights instruments around the world including international treaties, national constitutions, and regional human right laws. Whereas Islamic law or Shari’ah, has been used in countries throughout the world for more than 1,400 years and remains the ideal legal system for more than a billion people worldwide. During the reign of the Ottoman Empire, the nations under its rule flourished in such diverse fields of medicine, education, social sciences and arts. While Shari’ah has been examined in great detail, religious scholars and groups for implementation in Islamic countries mostly completed the research. However, by comparing the rulings and methodology of Shari’ah to current systems around the world, it is possible to gain both a better understanding and also provides an alternative current system of laws. (shrink)
Our society is currently experiencing a period of significant change in the concept of women’s role. This change is reflected in the increasing numbers of women who are planning their lives around careers in the work world. As women gradually enter leadership roles that traditionally were occupied mainly by men, the possibility that the leadership styles of women and men differ continues to attract attention. There are specifically no rules for leadership but there are certain skills that every good leader (...) seems to have. In the battle of the sexes, people often find themselves in discussion on the differences between male and female leadership. Indeed, there are different perspectives on this topic ranging from recognition of no differences in style or ability to clear-cut differences based on gender. This article discusses the differences between male and female leadership styles. Since there are different characteristics between men and women, male leadership is often symbolized by an ego-driven form of direction-giving, while female leadership entails more listening and co-operation. (shrink)
Traditionally, Darwin has been grouped with the functionalists because natural selection (an adaptational mechanism) plays the prominent role in shaping organic form. In this paper, I sketch the dichotomy of functionalism versus structuralism and then argue that Darwin cannot be characterized adequately with this dichotomy. I argue that Darwin can incorporate both causal stories because he makes two important modifications to the traditional metaphysical presuppositions. I then offer some brief reflections on the import of Darwin's causal pluralism for the Philosophy (...) of Science. (shrink)
As hubs of global exchange, port cities are host to inconvenient and contested pasts. Many of these pasts have yet to be fully recognized. In the wake of demonstrations against racial injustices this summer, the PortCityFutures team discussed how our own research practices relate to systemic inequalities within port cities. It was concluded that we need to better understand how these contested and complex pasts, legacies of diversity and segregation, and colonial pasts impact port cities today.
Imagination, like other higher cognition, is often thought to arise after the evolution of language. Stephen Asma argues instead that imagination is much older and forms a kind of early cognition --harvesting sensory, motor and affective impressions, and generating novel generate-and-test information.
The natural history museum is a place where the line between "high" and "low" culture effectively vanishes--where our awe of nature, our taste for the bizarre, and our thirst for knowledge all blend happily together. But as Stephen Asma shows in Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads, there is more going on in these great institutions than just smart fun. Asma takes us on a wide-ranging tour of natural history museums in New York and Chicago, London and Paris, interviewing (...) curators, scientists, and exhibit designers, and providing a wealth of fascinating observations. We learn how the first museums were little more than high-toned side shows, with such garish exhibits as the pickled head of Peter the Great's lover. In contrast, today's museums are hot-beds of serious science, funding major research in such fields as anthropology and archaeology. "Rich in detail, lucid explanation, telling anecdotes, and fascinating characters.... Asma has rendered a fascinating and credible account of how natural history museums are conceived and presented. It's the kind of book that will not only engage a wide and diverse readership, but it should, best of all, send them flocking to see how we look at nature and ourselves in those fabulous legacies of the curiosity cabinet."--The Boston Herald. (shrink)
Her heart shared between Iran and Italy, while Asma Mehan makes peace with lockdown in her current home in Porto, Portugal, her thoughts stray to those familiar places. In those distant horizons there is heartache, but also the unexpected promise of different futures.
The article discusses the evolutionary development of horror and fear in animals and humans, including in regard to cognition and physiological aspects of the brain. An overview of the social aspects of emotions, including the role that emotions play in interpersonal relations and the role that empathy plays in humans' ethics, is provided. An overview of the psychological aspects of monsters, including humans' simultaneous repulsion and interest in horror films that depict monsters, is also provided.
Epistemic category violations and hybrids arouse cognitive attention, and form sticky cultural memes that help social in-group bonding. This article discusses the cognitive science around monster hybrids and adds the important missing ingredient of affective/emotional systems.
Using a time-lagged design, we tested the main effects of Islamic Work Ethic (IWE) and perceived organizational justice on turnover intentions, job satisfaction, and job involvement. We also investigated the moderating influence of IWE in justice–outcomes relationship. Analyses using data collected from 182 employees revealed that IWE was positively related to satisfaction and involvement and negatively related to turnover intentions. Distributive fairness was negatively related to turnover intentions, whereas procedural justice was positively related to satisfaction. In addition, procedural justice was (...) positively related to involvement and satisfaction for individuals high on IWE however it was negatively related to both outcomes for individuals low on IWE. For low IWE, procedural justice was positively related to turnover intentions, however it was negatively related to turnover intentions for high IWE. In contrast, distributive justice was negatively related to turnover intentions for low IWE and it was positively related to turnover intentions for high IWE. (shrink)