In this extraordinary tribute to the importance of the ordinary places in our lives, fifty-two Minnesotans write about the special, sometimes secret, places that give their lives meaning. For some it is their home or cabin or lake. For others, it's a family farm or neighbourhood park, a backyard garden or north woods trail: all places where we find a personal and spiritual connection to the land. VOICES FOR THE LAND explores this complex relationship by linking these personal essays with (...) striking images captured by award-winning photographer Brian Peterson. This marriage of words, images, and landscape provides a powerful reminder of our deep and abiding connection to the land. The writers share the experience of these favourite places through their senses, from the aching tingle of a cold winter night and the sound of ice 'singing' to the buzz of mosquitoes and the acrid smell of burning peat. The Voices for the Land project, organised by the non-profit group 1000 Friends of Minnesota, encouraged Minnesotans to write about the land they love and to fight for its preservation. The Minneapolis Star Tribune published a selection of these essays, paired with Brian Peterson's photos, in an award-winning series. VOICES FOR THE LAND brings these essays and photos together in book form for the first time. (shrink)
In developing the metaethical foundation for the Land Ethic, J. Baird Callicott has relied on the cognitive plasticity and directionality of the moral sentiments in order to argue for an extension of those sentiments to the environment. As he sees it, reason plays a substantial role in determining which objects we direct those sentiments toward, and ecology has now shown to reason’s satisfaction that we are part of larger, land communities. In this essay, I would like to develop the claim (...) that we should be careful not to overemphasize the cognitive nature of the “moral sentiments” at the expense of their biological basis as an ecologicaladaptation. I hope to show that this is of special importance for the Land Ethic, where the metaethic involved is entirely dependent on a “felt” sense of community to generate the extension of moral consideration to the environment. (shrink)
Interpretation of conventional land seismic data over a Permian-age gas field in Eastern Saudi Arabia has proven difficult over time due to low signal-to-noise ratio and limited bandwidth in the seismic volume. In an effort to improve the signal and broaden the bandwidth, newly acquired seismic data over this field have employed point receiver technology, dense wavefield sampling, a full azimuth geometry, and a specially designed sweep with useful frequencies as low as three hertz. The resulting data display enhanced reflection (...) continuity and improved resolution. With the extension of low frequencies and improved interpretability, acoustic impedance inversion results are more robust and allow greater flexibility in reservoir characterization and prediction. In addition, because inversion to acoustic impedance is no longer completely tied to a wells-only low-frequency model, there are positive implications for exploration. (shrink)
The aim of this essay is twofold. First, I examine the role of Alfred North Whitehead and process thinkers in bringing about and shaping the field of environmental ethics. As we will see, our job is not so much to develop the connections between Whitehead and environmental thought as to recover them. Second, given this genealogical work, I invite process scholars to reconsider their generally hostile reception of Aldo Leopold and his land ethic. I suggest that a version of the (...) land ethic grounded in a process axiology could make a significant contribution to contemporary environmental thought. (shrink)
The traditional image of northern Iberian mountain settlements is that they are largely egalitarian, homogeneous, and survivals of archaic forms of 'agrarian collectivism'. In this book, based both on extensive fieldwork and detailed study of local records, Brian Juan O'Neill offers a different perspective, questioning prevailing views on both empirical as well as theoretical and methodological grounds. Through a detailed examination of three major areas of social life - land tenure, cooperative labour exchanges, and marriage and inheritance practices - (...) in one particular hamlet, the author demonstrates the predominance of forms of institutionalized economic inequality and social differentiation within the peasantry. Situating the local study within a wider European and Mediterranean ethnographic and geographical framework, O'Neill offers a refreshing and challenging way of combining the research methods of anthropology with those of social and economic history. His book will appeal to anthropologists, historians, sociologists, geographers and demographers interested in the present and past social structure of European village communities, as well as to those concerned with the growing links between anthropology and history. (shrink)
War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political communities. Thus, fisticuffs between individual persons do not count as a war, nor does a gang fight, nor does a feud on the order of the Hatfields versus the McCoys. War is a phenomenon which occurs only between political communities, defined as those entities which either are states or intend to become states (in order to allow for civil war). Classical war is international war, a war (...) between different states, like the two World Wars. But just as frequent is war within a state between rival groups or communities, like the American Civil War. Certain political pressure groups, like terrorist organizations, might also be considered “political communities,” in that they are associations of people with a political purpose and, indeed, many of them aspire to statehood or to influence the development of statehood in certain lands. (shrink)
The Sleeping Beauty puzzle provides a nice illustration of the approach to self-locating belief defended by Robert Stalnaker in Our Knowledge of the Internal World (Stalnaker, 2008), as well as a test of the utility of that method. The setup of the Sleeping Beauty puzzle is by now fairly familiar. On Sunday Sleeping Beauty is told the rules of the game, and a (known to be) fair coin is ﬂipped. On Monday, Sleeping Beauty is woken, and then put back to (...) sleep. If, and only if, the coin landed tails, she is woken again on Tuesday after having her memory of the Monday awakening erased.1 On Wednesday she is woken again and the game ends. There are a few questions we can ask about Beauty’s attitudes as the game progresses. We’d like to know what her credence that the coin landed heads should be (a) Before she goes to sleep Sunday; (b) When she wakes on Monday; (c) When she wakes on Tuesday; and (d) When she wakes on Wednesday? Standard treatments of the Sleeping Beauty puzzle ignore (d), run together (b) and (c) into one (somewhat ill-formed) question, and then divide theorists into ‘halfers’ or ‘thirders’ depending on how they answer it. Following Stalnaker, I’m going to focus on (b) here, though I’ll have a little to say about (c) and (d) as well. I’ll be following orthodoxy in taking 1 2 to be the clear answer to (a), and in taking the correct answers to (b) and (c) to be independent of how the coin lands, though I’ll brieﬂy question that assumption at the end. An answer to these four questions should respect two different kinds of constraints. The answer for day n should make sense ‘statically’. It should be a sensible answer to the question of what Beauty should do given what information she then has. And the answer should make sense ‘dynamically’. It should be a sensible answer to the question of how Beauty should have updated her credences from some earlier day, given rational credences on the earlier day. As has been fairly clear since the discussion of the problem in Elga (2000), Sleeping Beauty is puzzling because static and dynamic considerations appear to push in different directions.. (shrink)
What does an Alaskan look like? When asked to visualize someone from Alaska, the image most people conjure up is one of a face lost in a parka, surrounded by snow. Missing from this image is the vibrant diversity of those who call themselves Alaskans, as well as the true essence of the place. Brian Adams, a rising star in photography, aims to change all this with his captivating new collection, I Am Alaskan. In this full-color tribute, Adams entices (...) us to reconsider our ideas of this unique and compelling land and its equally individual residents. He captures subjects on urban streets and in rural villages, revealing what daily life in Alaska is really like. The portraits focus on moments both ordinary and extraordinary, serious and playful, while capturing Alaskans at their most natural. Subjects range from Alaska Native villagers to rarely seen portraits of famous Alaskans, including Sarah Palin, Vic Fischer, and Lance Mackey. Through photographs, Adams also explores his own half-Iñupiat, half-American Alaska identity in the process, revealing how he came to define himself and the state in which he lives. Frame by frame, Adams powerfully and honestly shows what it means to be an Alaskan. (shrink)
As the collective impact of human activity approaches Earth’s biophysical limits, the ethics of food become increasingly important. Hundreds of millions of people remain undernourished, yet only 60 percent of the global harvest is consumed by humans, while 35 percent is fed to livestock and 5 percent is used for biofuels and other industrial products. This essay considers the ethics of such use of edible nutrition for feedstock and biofuel. How humanity uses Earth’s land is a reflection of its values. (...) The current land-use arrangements, which divert 40 percent of all food to feed animals or create fuels, suggest that dietary and transportation preferences of wealthier individuals are considered more important than feeding undernourished people, or the stability of the wider biotic community. (shrink)
Typical of ecocentric approaches such as the land ethic and the deep ecology movement is the use of concepts from ecological science to create an “ecoholistic” ontological foundation from which a strong environmental ethic is generated. Crucial to ecocentric theories is the assumption that ecological science has shown that humanity and nonhuman nature are essentially integrated into communal or communal-like arrangements. In this essay, I challenge the adequacy of that claim. I argue that for the most part the claim is (...) false, and that, if it were true, it would overextend the sphere of morally considerable entities to include entities that are implausibly deserving of moral consideration. In either case, the foundation of ecocentrism is significantly weakened. (shrink)
Call Justificatory Probabilism (hereafter, JP) the thesis that there is some (classical) probability function Pr such that for an agent S with evidence E, the degree to which they are justified in believing a hypothesis H is given by Pr(H|E). As stated, the thesis is fairly ambiguous, though none of the disambiguations are obviously true. Indeed, several of them are obviously false. If JP is a thesis about how justified agents are in fully believing propositions, it is trivially false. I’m (...) about to flip a penny. Call H the proposition that it will land heads. Right now I’m completely unjustified in believing either H or ¬H . Yet according to JP, at least one of them must be half-justified. (shrink)
This paper explores my personal journey of where, when, and how I have “landed” to now. It is a sketch of my intellectual development and the impact of cross-cultural sources on my work, my thinking, and my visual practice. I follow a chronological way of looking at how I became informed about philosophy, art history, practice, and Indigenous ways of knowing for the sake of clarity. Although one’s life is not linear and operates in a more cyclic way, I reveal (...) how I was influenced by the diverse lived experiences from childhood up until now. (shrink)
The Ozark Highlands’ karst topography of caves and hollows has provided refuge and escape for myriad peoples seeking to evade mainstream society throughout history, ranging from displaced Native Americans to counter-cultural back-to-the-landers. This ethnographic and ethnohistorical research moves beyond the popular misconception that the back-to-the-land movement merely represented an offshoot of the countercultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, and situates it within a deeper historical context. In this paper, I present the Arcadian evocations in various Ozark-related media and how (...) they relate to homesteading in the region, and demonstrate the shared agrarian values among diverse waves of agrarian Ozark homesteaders, recent and historical. (shrink)
The principle of Conditional Excluded Middle has been a matter of longstanding controversy in both semantics and metaphysics. According to this principle, we are, inter alia, committed to claims like the following: If the coin had been flipped, it would have landed heads, or if the coin had been flipped, it would not have landed heads. In favour of the principle, theorists have appealed, primarily, to linguistic data such as that we tend to hear ¬(A > B) as equivalent to (...) (A > ¬B). Williams (2010), provides one of the most compelling recent arguments along these lines by appealing to intuitive equivalencies between certain quantified conditional statements. We argue that the strategy Williams employs can be parodied to generate an argument for the unwelcome principle of Should Excluded Middle: the principle that, for any A, it either should be that A or it should be that not A. Uncovering what goes wrong with this argument casts doubt on a key premise in Williams’ argument. The way we develop this point is by defending the thesis that, like "should", "would" is a so-called neg-raising predicate. Neg-raising is the linguistic phenomenon whereby “I don’t think that Trump is a good president” strongly tends to implicate “I think that Trump is not a good president,” despite the former not semantically entailing the latter. We show how a defender of a Lewis-style semantics for counterfactuals should implement the idea that the counterfactual is a “neg-raiser”. (shrink)
The royal house of Pontus claimed to be descended from the cream of the old Persian nobility, the Seven Families, and to have received its lands as the gift of Darius I. The claim is first attested by Polybius, and it became common currency in the reign of Mithridates Eupator. Since Théodore Reinach wrote his magisterial history of the Pontic kingdom, the royal pretensions of the regime have been dismissed as apocryphal.
Informed by D. W. Winnicott’s object relations theory, and focused on the role of Things in constituting the world that is the object of Arendtian care, this essay examines Hannah Arendt’s treatment in The Human Condition of two liminal examples, cultivated land and poetry, that hover on the borders of Labor, Work, and/or Action. Cultivated land could belong to Work because cultivation leaves a lasting mark on the land, but it is assigned to Labor because land, once it is left (...) uncultivated, returns to nature, Arendt says. Poetry could belong to Action, which is the realm of meaning-making speech, but it is assigned to Work because, Arendt argues, poetry’s memorability ultimately depends on its writtenness and, once it is written, it becomes a Thing possessed of the object permanence characteristic of Work’s objects. But cultivated land also has a textualized form; it, too, can be written down as, for example, in the form of mapping. Why does Arendt not consider this? What possibilities of political thought or action might have been opened had she done so? Working through these questions with particular reference to colonial cartography, and reading Kafka’s The Castle alongside Brian Friel’s Translations, this essay explores practices of participatory mapping and land sabbatical that might make of land a “Thing” in Arendt’s sense. Noting the Biblical origins of land sabbatical and that Arendt’s move in the Work section from cultivated land to text/poem retraces George Steiner’s diasporic journey “From Homeland to Text,” I suggest that The Human Condition, commonly called Arendt’s most Greek text, may have a Jewish unconscious. (shrink)
: Three major strategies exist for the protection of endangered habitat and species: (1) land acquisition programs, (2) government legislation and regulatory agencies, and (3) "stewardship" programs that are voluntary and community-based. While all of these strategies have merit, we suggest that stewardship holds particular advantages and should be considered more often as a strategy of first choice. In this article, we examine the Municipal Wetland Stewardship program of Newfoundland, a popular and successful Canadian policy for the local protection of (...) wetlands. Important issues are at stake: competing philosophical foundations for managerial ecology, the value of "local ecological knowledge," principles of community-based conservation, the question of whether stewardship empowers local communities or controls them from afar, and ethical conflicts around American colonialism, hunting, and ecotourism. The results suggest that despite some potentially problematic ironies, the Newfoundland program provides a model for a public policy aimed both at the pragmatics of biophysical sustainability and at the ideals of environmental ethics, social justice, and democratic politics. (shrink)
Three major strategies exist for the protection of endangered habitat and species: land acquisition programs, government legislation and regulatory agencies, and "stewardship" programs that are voluntary and community-based. While all of these strategies have merit, we suggest that stewardship holds particular advantages and should be considered more often as a strategy of first choice. In this article, we examine the Municipal Wetland Stewardship program of Newfoundland, a popular and successful Canadian policy for the local protection of wetlands. Important issues are (...) at stake: competing philosophical foundations for managerial ecology, the value of "local ecological knowledge," principles of community-based conservation, the question of whether stewardship empowers local communities or controls them from afar, and ethical conflicts around American colonialism, hunting, and ecotourism. The results suggest that despite some potentially problematic ironies, the Newfoundland program provides a model for a public policy aimed both at the pragmatics of biophysical sustainability and at the ideals of environmental ethics, social justice, and democratic politics. (shrink)
Bayesians take “definite” or “single-case” probabilities to be basic. Definite probabilities attach to closed formulas or propositions. We write them here using small caps: PROB(P) and PROB(P/Q). Most objective probability theories begin instead with “indefinite” or “general” probabilities (sometimes called “statistical probabilities”). Indefinite probabilities attach to open formulas or propositions. We write indefinite probabilities using lower case “prob” and free variables: prob(Bx/Ax). The indefinite probability of an A being a B is not about any particular A, but rather about the (...) property of being an A. In this respect, its logical form is the same as that of relative frequencies. For instance, we might talk about the probability of a human baby being female. That probability is about human babies in general — not about individuals. If we examine a baby and determine conclusively that she is female, then the definite probability of her being female is 1, but that does not alter the indefinite probability of human babies in general being female. Most objective approaches to probability tie probabilities to relative frequencies in some way, and the resulting probabilities have the same logical form as the relative frequencies. That is, they are indefinite probabilities. The simplest theories identify indefinite probabilities with relative frequencies.3 It is often objected that such “finite frequency theories” are inadequate because our probability judgments often diverge from relative frequencies. For example, we can talk about a coin being fair (and so the indefinite probability of a flip landing heads is 0.5) even when it is flipped only once and then destroyed (in which case the relative frequency is either 1 or 0). For understanding such indefinite probabilities, it has been suggested that we need a notion of probability that talks about possible instances of properties as well as actual instances.. (shrink)
Duncan Foley’s Unholy Trinity: Labor, capital, and land in the new economy is the sixth in the series of Graz Schumpeter Lectures published by Routledge, all relatively slim volumes elucidating themes arguably related to Schumpeter, if just peripherally, and that usually summarize major arguments of the authors (previous authors were Stanley Metcalfe, Brian Loasby, Nathan Rosenberg, Ian Steedman, and Erich Streissler). In this one, which deals with questions of induced technological change in several sections, Foley attempts to provide an (...) integration of ideas that have evolved through his varied career, from high general equilibrium theorist (Foley, 1967), through deep student of Marxian economics (Foley, 1986), to complexity theorist (Foley, 1994; for more detailed discussion of his personal and intellectual path see Colander et al, 2004, Chapter 7). A central argument is that the classical political economists, not just Marx but also Adam Smith and Malthus with Ricardo (largely lumped together in his analysis), developed ideas that are well suited to representation and understanding using the methods of modern complexity economics, themes of dynamic out-of-equilibrium selforganization in systems with boundedly rational agents, in contrast to the requirements for full Walrasian general equilibrium that he studied early in his career. (shrink)
Listen to the interview with Brian Kemple... and learn to appreciate the diachronic trajectory of semiotics. *** Live interview with Brian Kemple, Executive Director of the Lyceum Institute, to discuss the legacy and influence of John Deely, the thinker most responsible for developing semiotics into the 21st century. This interview, conducted by William Passarini and Tim Troutman, is part of the preliminary activities of the 2022 International Open Seminar on Semiotics: a Tribute to John Deely on the Fifth (...) Anniversary of His Passing, cooperatively organized by the Institute for Philosophical Studies of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Coimbra, the Lyceum Institute, the Deely Project, Saint Vincent College, the Iranian Society for Phenomenology at the Iranian Political Science Association, the International Association for Semiotics of Space and Time, the Institute for Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Semiotic Society of America, the American Maritain Association, the International Association for Semiotic Studies, the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies, the International Center for Semiotics and Intercultural Dialogue, Moscow State Academic University for the Humanities and the Mansarda Acesa with the support of the FCT - Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P., of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of the Government of Portugal under the UID/FIL/00010/2020 project. Brian Kemple holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of St. Thomas, in Houston TX, where he wrote his dissertation under the inimitable John Deely. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the Lyceum Institute. Philosophical interests and areas of study include: Thomas Aquinas, John Poinsot, Charles Peirce, Martin Heidegger, the history and importance of semiotics, scholasticism, phenomenology; as well as ancillary interests in the liberal arts, technology, and education as a moral habit. He has published two scholarly books— 'Ens Primum Cognitum in Thomas Aquinas and the Tradition' and 'The Intersections of Semiotics and Phenomenology: Peirce and Heidegger in Dialogue', as well as a number of scholarly articles, popular articles, and his own 'Introduction to Philosophical Principles: Logic, Physics, and the Human Person' and the forthcoming 'Linguistic Signification: A Classical Course in Grammar and Composition'. In addition to being the Executive Director of the Lyceum Institute, he is the Executive Editor of 'Reality: a Journal for Philosophical Discourse'. *** Technical support was assured by Robert Junqueira and the cover image for the video was designed by Zahra Soltani. (shrink)
In ‘The ethics of belief and Christian faith as commitment to assumptions’, Rik Peels attacks the views that I advanced in ‘Christianity and the ethics of belief’. Here, I rebut his criticisms of the claim that it is wrong to believe without sufficient evidence, of the contention that Christians are committed to that claim, and of the notion of that faith is not belief but commitment to assumptions in the hope of salvation. My original conclusions still stand.
Espen Hammer’s exceptionally fine book explores modern temporality, its problems and prospects. Hammer claims that how people experience time is a cultural/historical phenomenon, and that there is a peculiarly modern way of experiencing time as a series of present moments each indefinitely leading to the next in an ordered way. Time as measured by the clock is the paradigmatic instance of this sense of time. In this perspective time is quantifiable and forward-looking, and the present is dominated by the future. (...) Hammer argues that this manner of experiencing time provides a way of living that brings with it not only the basis for great successes in technology, but also great costs—specifically, what he calls the problems of transience and of meaning. Hammer goes about his task by considering the ways some of the great modern philosophers have characterized present-day temporality and have responded to the problems he has identified. Specifically, he considers what Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Habermas, Bloch, and Adorno provide in response to our peculiarly modern predicaments. The book is remarkable for its clarity and perceptiveness, but in the process in crucial places it simplifies the matters at hand or fails to push its insights as far as it ought, and in the end promises more than it can deliver. In this it betrays a rationalist confidence in the power of reason that founders on what in many ways remains a mystery. (shrink)
We typically have to act under uncertainty. We can be uncertain about the relevant descriptive facts, but also about the relevant normative facts. However, the search for a theory of decision-making under normative uncertainty is doomed to failure. First, the most natural proposal for what to do given normative uncertainty faces two devastating problems. Second, the motivations for wanting a theory of what to do given descriptive uncertainty do not carry over to normative uncertainty. Descriptive facts may be inaccessible even (...) in principle, and ignorance of them excuses one from blame, but normative facts are in principle accessible, and ignorance of them arguably is no excuse. Normative facts differ from descriptive facts: normative facts affect what we ought to do no matter what, while descriptive facts affect what we ought to do only insofar as we are aware of them. (shrink)
In the preface to his book God the Problem , Gordon Kaufman writes ‘Although the notion of God as agent seems presupposed by most contemporary theologians … Austin Farrer has been almost alone in trying to specify carefully and consistently just what this might be understood to mean.’.
William Hasker replies to my arguments against Social Trinitarianism, offers some criticism of my own view, and begins a sketch of another account of the Trinity. I reply with some defence of my own theory and some questions about his.
In teaching jurisprudence, I typically distinguish between two different families of theories of adjudication—theories of how judges do or should decide cases. “Formalist” theories claim that the law is “rationally” determinate, that is, the class of legitimate legal reasons available for a judge to offer in support of his or her decision justifies one and only one outcome either in all cases or in some significant and contested range of cases ; and adjudication is thus “autonomous” from other kinds of (...) reasoning, that is, the judge can reach the required decision without recourse to nonlegal normative considerations of morality or political philosophy. I also note that “formalism” is sometimes associated with the idea that judicial decision-making involves nothing more than mechanical deduction on the model of the syllogism—Beccaria, for example, expresses such a view. I call the latter “Vulgar Formalism” to emphasize that it is not a view to which anyone today cares to subscribe. (shrink)
As the author of Justice as Impartiality, I am not ashamed to admit that I was delighted by the liveliness of the discussion generated by it at the meeting on which this symposium is based. I am likewise grateful to the six authors for finding the book worthy of the careful attention that they have bestowed on it. Between them, the symposiasts take up many more points than I can cover in this response. I shall therefore focus on some themes (...) that cluster round the contractual device that I associate with the notion of justice as impartiality. Is it necessary? If it is not necessary is it nevertheless useful? Within an overall contractual framework is the form of contract that I propose uniquely justifiable? And does the form of contract that I defend generate the implications that I claim for it? (shrink)