It is well known that Friedrich Nietzsche loved to refer to himself as the “last disciple of Dionysus.” On the basis of this famous self-characterization, it would seem warranted to describe Nietzsche’s ideal as Dionysian—as Tracy Strong, BruceDetwiler, and Daniel Conway have done. This paper seeks to reassess the extent of Nietzsche’s Dionysianism via an examination of what the philosopher had to say about music—in particular, Richard Wagner’s music. What the paper argues is that Nietzsche’s musical aesthetics (...) is remarkably Apollonian (or classical), and that elements of this aesthetics can be detected in every period of Nietzsche’s intellectual life. While some scholars have acknowledged the classicism in Nietzsche’s middle-period, I go further and argue that Nietzsche’s earlyworks already indicate that the philosopher was not an entirely loyal disciple of Dionysus. (shrink)
I respond to Jonathan Chimakonam’s paper in which he presents an approach to dialogue in philosophical space, and raises questions about my own approach. I raise four questions to his understanding of conversation. First, I ask him for more details on his conception of conversation. Second, what happens if not everyone cares to enter into conversation? Third, is conversation a prerequisite to philosophy, or a part of philosophy? And fourth, how does wonder fit into conversation in and about place?
John Stuart Mill's connection with the Irish question spanned more than four decades and embraced a variety of elements. Of his writings on Ireland, the best known are his forty-three Morning Chronicle articles of 1846–47 composed in response to the Famine, the section of the Principles of Political Economy that treats the issue of cottier tenancy and the problem of Irish land, and, most conspicuous of all, his radical pamphlet England and Ireland, published in 1868. All of these writings take (...) the land question as their paramount concern. The fairly absorbing interest in the subject disclosed by Mill during the second half of the 1840s arose from the fortuitous conjuncture of the disaster unfolding in Ireland and his engagement with the principles of political economy. Between 1848 and 1871 Mill's Principles went through seven editions and the substantive revisions he made in the section on Ireland from one edition to the next illumine both the essence and the accidentals of his bearing towards that country. Mill's cogent and controversial advocacy of fixity of tenure in England and Ireland constituted the heart of his answer to the Fenian challenge. The land question aside, Mill was drawn into the battle over the Irish university system in the 1860s largely through his friendship with John Elliot Cairnes, professor of jurisprudence and political economy at the Queen's College Galway. On this subject, however, Mill wrote almost nothing for publication. The longest single piece he ever drafted on Ireland was his first, an essay that predated the Morning Chronicle articles by two decades. In his own bibliography this essay is referred to as ‘An article on the Catholic Question which appeared in the Parliamentary Review for 1825’. Although the essay of 1825 could justly have borne the same title as the pamphlet of 1868, the particulars of course differ markedly. Ireland never ceased to pose a question during the course of the nineteenth century, but the dynamics shaping that question changed much between the mid-1820s and the late 1860s. Even so, the 1825 essay prefigures something of Mill's later involvement with the Irish question, and also invites examination as a quite remarkable piece of political journalism from the pen of a young man not yet twenty, who would subsequently establish himself as the most influential thinker of his generation. (shrink)
I hope to persuade Charles Fried to think again about his developing views on distributive justice. Since I live at a certain remove from Cambridge, the best I can offer is a hypothetical dialogue with an imaginary person whose views seem, to me at least, of a Friedian inspiration. My central question deals with the way Fried establishes his rights to things he candidly concedes he does not deserve. To present my problems, I shall begin with a simpler case than (...) those – involving kidneys and talents – that Fried makes central to his discussion. Rather than starting with these rather special goods, I find it clarifying to focus first on more garden variety commodities – which, to emphasize their character, I shall call apples. (shrink)
The integration of biomedical terminologies is indispensable to the process of information integration. When terminologies are linked merely through the alignment of their leaf terms, however, differences in context and ontological structure are ignored. Making use of the SNAP and SPAN ontologies, we show how three reference domain ontologies can be integrated at a higher level, through what we shall call the OBR framework (for: Ontology of Biomedical Reality). OBR is designed to facilitate inference across the boundaries of domain ontologies (...) in anatomy, physiology and pathology. (shrink)
In Against Moral Responsibility, Bruce Waller launches a spirited attack on a system that is profoundly entrenched in our society and its institutions, deeply rooted in our emotions, and vigorously defended by philosophers from ancient times to the present. Waller argues that, despite the creative defenses of it by contemporary thinkers, moral responsibility cannot survive in our naturalistic-scientific system. The scientific understanding of human behavior and the causes that shape human character, he contends, leaves no room for moral responsibility. (...) Waller argues that moral responsibility in all its forms--including criminal justice, distributive justice, and all claims of just deserts--is fundamentally unfair and harmful and that its abolition will be liberating and beneficial. What we really want--natural human free will, moral judgments, meaningful human relationships, creative abilities--would survive and flourish without moral responsibility. In the course of his argument, Waller examines the origins of the basic belief in moral responsibility, proposes a naturalistic understanding of free will, offers a detailed argument against moral responsibility and critiques arguments in favor of it, gives a general account of what a world without moral responsibility would look like, and examines the social and psychological aspects of abolishing moral responsibility. Waller not only mounts a vigorous, and philosophically rigorous, attack on the moral responsibility system, but also celebrates the benefits that would result from its total abolition. (shrink)
Despite being co-opted by economists and politicians for their own purposes, ‘welfare’ traditionally refers to well-being, and it is in this sense that L. W. Sumner understands the term. His book is a clear, careful, and well-crafted investigation into major theories of welfare, accompanied by a one-chapter defense of “welfarism,” the view that welfare is the only foundational value necessary for ethics. Sumner himself is attracted to utilitarianism, but he makes no commitment to it in this work, which will be (...) of interest to many moral philosophers. (shrink)
Bruce Janz, Jessica Locke, and Cynthia Willett interact in this exchange with different aspects of Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad’s book Human Being, Bodily Being. Through “constructive inter-cultural thinking”, they seek to engage with Ram-Prasad’s “lower-case p” phenomenology, which exemplifies “how to think otherwise about the nature and role of bodiliness in human experience”. This exchange, which includes Ram-Prasad’s reply to their interventions, pushes the reader to reflect more about different aspects of bodiliness.
When I write about ‘American philosophy’ in this paper, I refer not to the practice of philosophizing in a certain geographic area during a certain time. Rather I mean a scholarly field defined by certain conventions, standard arguments, and major works. I hope primarily to show that that area of inquiry is befuddled. I also want to suggest, however, that it may be unhelpful to try to write about the practice of philosophizing in a certain geographic area—the continental United States—in (...) anything like the way scholars now write about it. (shrink)
In a recent article in Religious Studies, Professor P. W. Gooch attempts to wean the orthodox Christian from anthropological materialism by consideration of the question of the nature of the post-mortem person in the resurrection. He argues that the view that the resurrected person is a psychophysical organism who is in some physical sense the same as the ante-mortem person is inconsistent with the Pauline view of the resurrected body; rather, according to him, Paul's view is most consistent with that (...) which affirms the disembodied survival of the person. ‘I want to argue’, he writes, ‘for the thesis that a Pauline resurrection body may well be ontologically the same as a disembodied person.’ I intend to show that Professor Gooch has failed to provide any support for this view and indeed that his own view falls prey to the criticisms which he has raised against other views. (shrink)
In an attempt to make the idea of surviving one's own death in a disembodied state intelligible, H. H. Price has presented a possible description of what the afterlife might be like for a disembodied self or consciousness. Price suggests that the world of the disembodied self might be a kind of dream or image world. In it he would replace his present sense-perception by activating his image-producing powers, which are now inhibited by their continuous bombardment by sensory stimuli, to (...) produce mental images. Though he would be cut off from any new supply of sensory material, he might be able to draw upon his memory of his previous physical existence to create an entire environment of images. A nexus of perspectively inter-related images would constitute an object; this would serve as a substitute for the material objects which he perceived in his past life. The entire environment of the disembodied individual would be composed of such families of mental images and would serve to constitute his world. It need not, however, be a solipsistic world, for by means of telepathy the discarnate individual could communicate with other disembodied selves and in this way acquire new information. Price notes that since this world would be as real to the discarnate self as our present world is to our embodied self, in the afterlife the disembodied self in effect would create for itself a real world, though of course if it took it to be anything other than an image world it would be deceiving itself. (shrink)
“Clinical ethics consultants” have been practicing in the United States for about 50 years. Most of the earliest consultants—the “pioneers”—were “outsiders” when they first appeared at patients' bedsides and in the clinic. However, if they were outsiders initially, they acclimated to the clinical setting and became “insiders” very quickly. Moreover, there was some tension between traditional academics and those doing applied ethics about whether there was sufficient “critical distance” for appropriate reflection about the complex medical ethics dilemmas of the day (...) if one were involved in the decision making. Again, the pioneers deflected concerns by identifying and instituting safeguards to assure professional objectivity in clinical ethics consultation services. One might suggest that in moving inside and establishing normative practices, the pioneer clinical ethics consultants anticipated adoption of their routines and professionalization of the field. (shrink)
One of the more sustained efforts to think beyond current academic structures has been launched by CIRET, the International Centre for Transdisciplinary Research, in Paris. This centre was involved in the First World Congress of Transdisciplinarity, in Portugal, 1994, and another international congress in Locarno, Switzerland, in early May 1997. They have a project with UNESCO on transdisciplinarity, and are involved in the World Conference on Higher Education, to be held in Paris at the end of September 1998.
In a departure from the traditional studies of corporate philanthropy that focus on board composition, advertising, and social networks, the authors investigate the financial correlates of corporate philanthropy. The research design controls for firm size and industry while observing firms from a variety of industries. The sample contains matched pairs of generous and less generous corporate givers. The authors find, as hypothesized, a positive relationship between a firm''s cash resources available and cash donations, but no significant relationship between corporate philanthropy (...) and firm financial performance, regardless of whether corporate philanthropy is measured as cash payouts or the aggregate contributions that charities actually receive, and regardless of whether financial performance is gauged using accounting measures or market measures. Whereas the link between available resources and corporate philanthropy is well accepted in the literature on corporate social responsibility, it has been rarely tested and never so definitively found as in this research. (shrink)
The most successful theory in all of science--and the basis of one third of our economy--says the strangest things about the world and about us. Can you believe that physical reality is created by our observation of it? Physicists were forced to this conclusion, the quantum enigma, by what they observed in their laboratories. Trying to understand the atom, physicists built quantum mechanics and found, to their embarrassment, that their theory intimately connects consciousness with the physical world. Quantum Enigma explores (...) what that implies and why some founders of the theory became the foremost objectors to it. Schrodinger showed that it "absurdly" allowed a cat to be in a "superposition" simultaneously dead and alive. Einstein derided the theory's "spooky interactions." With Bell's Theorem, we now know Schrodinger's superpositions and Einstein's spooky interactions indeed exist. Authors Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner explain all of this in non-technical terms with help from some fanciful stories and bits about the theory's developers. They present the quantum mystery honestly, with an emphasis on what is and what is not speculation. Physics' encounter with consciousness is its skeleton in the closet. Because the authors open the closet and examine the skeleton, theirs is a controversial book. Quantum Enigma's description of the experimental quantum facts, and the quantum theory explaining them, is undisputed. Interpreting what it all means, however, is controversial. Every interpretation of quantum physics encounters consciousness. Rosenblum and Kuttner therefore turn to exploring consciousness itself--and encounter quantum physics. Free will and anthropic principles become crucial issues, and the connection of consciousness with the cosmos suggested by some leading quantum cosmologists is mind-blowing. Readers are brought to a boundary where the particular expertise of physicists is no longer a sure guide. They will find, instead, the facts and hints provided by quantum mechanics and the ability to speculate for themselves. (shrink)
God, the Best, and Evil is an original treatment of notable problems about God and his actions towards human beings. Bruce Langtry examines implications of divine omnipotence, omniscience, and perfect goodness for God's providence; the apparent fact that God could have created a better world than this one; and the problem of evil.
Evidence and theory ranging from traditional philosophy to contemporary cognitive research support the hypothesis that consciousness has a two-part structure: a focused region of articulated experience surrounded by a field of relatively unarticulated, vague experience.William James developed an especially useful phenomenological analysis of this "fringe" of consciousness, but its relation to, and potential value for, the study of cognition has not been explored. I propose strengthening James′ work on the fringe with a functional analysis: fringe experiences work to radically condense (...) context information in consciousness; are vague because a more explicit representation of context information would overwhelm consciousness′ limited articulation capacity; help mediate retrieval functions in consciousness; and contain a subset of monitoring and control experiences that cannot be elaborated in focal attention and are "ineffable." In general, the phenomenology of the fringe is a consequence of its cognitive functions, constrained by consciousness′ limited articulation capacity. Crucial to monitoring and control is the feeling of "rightness." Rightness functions as a summary index of cognitive integration, representing, in the fringe, the degree of positive fit between a given conscious content and its parallel, unconsciously encoded context. Rightness appears analogous to the connectionist metric of global network integration, known variously as goodness-of-fit, harmony, or minimum energy. (shrink)
Molday and Hsu review results from in vitro experiments, which indicate that Ca-bound calmodulin reduces the cGMP sensitivity of the cyclic nucleotide-gated channel of photoreceptor cells, and speculate about the role they might play in the recovery of the light response. We discuss results from in vivo experiments that argue against the participation of Ca-calmodulin in photorecovery.
As clinical ethics consultants move toward professionalization, the process of certifying individual consultants or accrediting programs will be discussed and debated. With certification, some entity must be established or ordained to oversee the standards and procedures. If the process evolves like other professions, it seems plausible that it will eventually include a written examination to evaluate the core knowledge competencies that individual practitioners should possess to meet peer practice standards. The American Society for Bioethics and Humanities has published core knowledge (...) competencies for many years that are accepted by experts as the prevailing standard. Probably any written examination will be based upon the ASBH core knowledge competencies. However, much remains to be done before any examination may be offered. In particular, it seems likely that a recognized examining board must create and validate examination questions and structure the examination so as to establish meaningful, defensible parameters after dealing with such challenging questions as: Should the certifying examination be multiple choice or short-answer essay? How should the test be graded? What should the pass rate be? How may the examination be best administered? To advance the field of health care ethics consultation, thought leaders should start to focus on the written examination possibilities, to date unaddressed carefully in the literature. Examination models—both objective and written—must be explored as a viable strategy about how the field of health care ethics consultations can grow toward professionalization. (shrink)
This book is an important contribution to the philosophy of music. Whereas most books in this field focus on the creation and reproduction of music, Bruce Benson's concern is the phenomenology of music making as an activity. He offers the radical thesis that it is improvisation that is primary in the moment of music making. Succinct and lucid, the book brings together a wide range of musical examples from classical music, jazz, early music and other genres. It offers a (...) rich tapestry incorporating both analytic and continental philosophy, musicology and performance-practice issues. It will be a provocative read for philosophers of art and musicologists and, because it eschews technicality, should appeal to general readers, especially those who perform. (shrink)
Non-sensory experiences represent almost all context information in consciousness. They condition most aspects of conscious cognition including voluntary retrieval, perception, monitoring, problem solving, emotion, evaluation, meaning recognition. Many peculiar aspects of non-sensory qualia (e.g., they resist being 'grasped' by an act of attention) are explained as adaptations shaped by the cognitive functions they serve. The most important nonsensory experience is coherence or "rightness." Rightness represents degrees of context fit among contents in consciousness, and between conscious and non-conscious processes. Rightness (not (...) familiarity) is the feeling-of-knowing in implicit cognition. The experience of rightness suggests that neural mechanisms "compute" signals indicating the global dynamics of network integration. (shrink)
In Inhabiting the Earth Foltz undertakes the first sustained analysis of how Heidegger's thought can contribute to environmental ethics and to the more broadly conceived field of environmental philosophy. Through a comprehensive study of the status of "nature" and related concepts such as "earth" in the thought of Martin Heidegger, Foltz attempts to show how Heidegger's understanding of the natural environment and our relation to it offer a more promising basis for environmental philosophy than others that have so far been (...) put forward. Indeed, Dr. Foltz finds that to ecofeminism and social ecology, whose prescriptions are based on historically oriented etiologies of domination and oppression, Heidegger's work offers what is arguably the first comprehensive and nonreductive philosophy of history since Hegel that can embrace both nature and humanity in one narrative, and the first since Augustine that can do this while granting to nature a messure of selfstanding. But it is probably for the environmental philosophies of deep ecology, bioregionalism, and ecological holism that Heidegger's work has the most immediate, as well as the most extensive implications, because it is to them that it has the most affinity. Finally, as a corrective and a major challenge to deep ecology, which has tended to valorize the scientific approach to nature, Heidegger's work provides a sophisticated basis for showing the primacy of the poetic in the task of learning to inhabit the earth rightly. (shrink)
The Great Psychotherapy Debate: Models, Methods, and Findings comprehensively reviews the research on psychotherapy to dispute the commonly held view that the benefits of psychotherapy are derived from the specific ingredients contained in a given treatment (medical model). The author reviews the literature related to the absolute efficacy of psychotherapy, the relative efficacy of various treatments, the specificity of ingredients contained in established therapies, effects due to common factors, such as the working alliance, adherence and allegiance to the therapeutic protocol, (...) and effects that are produced by different therapists. In each case, the evidence convincingly corroborates the contextual model and disconfirms the prevailing medical model. (shrink)
I argue that the atheological claim that the existence of pain and suffering either contradicts or makes improbable God's existence or his possession of certain critical properties cannot be sustained. The construction of a theodicy for both moral and natural evils is the focus of the central part of the book. In the final chapters I analyze the concept of the best possible world and the properties of goodness and omnipotence insofar as they are predicated of God.
This article provides a narrative review of the scholarly writings on professional ethics education for future teachers. Against the background of a widespread belief among scholars working in this area that longstanding and sustained research and reflection on the ethics of teaching have had little impact on the teacher education curriculum, the article takes stock of the field by synthesizing viewpoints on key aspects of teaching ethics to teacher candidates—the role ethics plays in teacher education, the primary objectives of ethics (...) education for teachers, recommended teaching and learning strategies, and challenges to introducing ethics curriculum—and maps out how opinions on these matters have evolved over the three decades since the initial publication of Strike and Soltis’ seminal book, The Ethics of Teaching. In light of the review’s results, the article identifies critical deficits in this literature and proposes a set of recommendations for future inquiry. (shrink)
In this paper I consider several versions of the argument from evil against the existence of a God who is omniscient, omnipotent and wholly good and raise some objections to them. Then I offer my own version of the argument from evil that says that if God exists, nothing happens that he should have prevented from happening and that he should have prevented the brutal rape and murder of a certain little girl if he exists. Since it was not prevented, (...) God does not exist. My conclusion rests on the claim that no outweighing good was served by allowing that murder, or any other instance of comparable evil, to occur. I take up the objection that my argument moves illicitly from apparently pointless suffering to the claim that there is reason to believe that there is pointless suffering. I offer an example to show that the existence of apparently pointless suffering counts to some extent against the existence of God and to show that no basic belief that God exists that rests on certain sorts of grounds can remain justified in the face of apparently pointless suffering. (shrink)
Analogies come in several forms that serve distinct functions. Inductive analogy is a common type of analogical argument, but critical thinking texts sometimes treat all analogies as inductive. Such an analysis ignores figurative analogies, which may elucidate but do not argue; and also neglects a priori arguments by analogy, a type of analogical argument prominent in law and ethics. A priori arguments by analogy are distinctive, but--contrary to the claims of Govier and Sunstein-they are best understood as deductive, rather than (...) a special form of non deductive reasoning. (shrink)
Recognition that biological systems are stabilized far from equilibrium by self-organizing, informed, autocatalytic cycles and structures that dissipate unusable energy and matter has led to recent attempts to reformulate evolutionary theory. We hold that such insights are consistent with the broad development of the Darwinian Tradition and with the concept of natural selection. Biological systems are selected that re not only more efficient than competitors but also enhance the integrity of the web of energetic relations in which they are embedded. (...) But the expansion of the informational phase space, upon which selection acts, is also guaranteed by the properties of open informational-energetic systems. This provides a directionality and irreversibility to evolutionary processes that are not reflected in current theory.For this thermodynamically-based program to progress, we believe that biological information should not be treated in isolation from energy flows, and that the ecological perspective must be given descriptive and explanatory primacy. Levels of the ecological hierarchy are relational parts of ecological systems in which there are stable, informed patterns of energy flow and entropic dissipation. Isomorphies between developmental patterns and ecological succession are revealing because they suggest that much of the encoded metabolic information in biological systems is internalized ecological information. The geneological hierarchy, to the extent that its information content reflects internalized ecological information, can therefore be redescribed as an ecological hierarchy. (shrink)
Many philosophers believe that the traditional problem of our knowledge of the external world was dissolved by Wittgestein and others. They argue that it was not really a problem - just a linguistic `confusion' that did not actually require a solution. Bruce Aune argues that they are wrong. He casts doubt on the generally accepted reasons for putting the problem aside and proposes an entirely new approach. By considering the history of the problem from Descartes to Kant, Aune shows (...) that analogous arguments create difficulties for the contemporary philosophical consensus. He makes it clear that the problem remains acute, particualarly for our understanding of scientific evidence. The solution he proposes draws upon contemporary philosophy of science and probability theory. (shrink)
When Australia was circumnavigated by Europeans in 1801–02, French and British natural historians were unsure how to describe the Indigenous peoples who inhabited the land they charted and catalogued. Ideas of race and of savagery were freely deployed by both British and French, but a discursive shift was underway. While the concept of savagery had long been understood to apply to categories of human populations deemed to be in want of more historically advanced ‘civilisation’, the application of this term in (...) the late 18th and early 19th centuries was increasingly being correlated with the emerging terminology of racial characteristics. The terminology of race was still remarkably fluid, and did not always imply fixed physical or mental endowments or racial hierarchies. Nonetheless, by means of this concept, natural historians began to conceptualise humanity as subject not only to historical gradations, but also to the environmental and climatic variations thought to determine race. This in turn meant that the degree of savagery or civilisation of different peoples could be understood through new criteria that enabled physical classification, in particular by reference to skin colour, hair, facial characteristics, skull morphology, or physical stature: the archetypal criteria of race. While race did not replace the language of savagery, in the early years of the 19th century savagery was re-inscribed by race. (shrink)
It is tempting to regard the perpetrators of the September 11th terrorist attacks as evil incarnate. But their motives, as Bruce Lincoln’s acclaimed Holy Terrors makes clear, were profoundly and intensely religious. Thus what we need after the events of 9/11, Lincoln argues, is greater clarity about what we take religion to be. Holy Terrors begins with a gripping dissection of the instruction manual given to each of the 9/11 hijackers. In their evocation of passages from the Quran, we (...) learn how the terrorists justified acts of destruction and mass murder “in the name of God, the most merciful, the most compassionate.” Lincoln then offers a provocative comparison of President Bush’s October 7, 2001 speech announcing U.S. military action in Afghanistan alongside the videotaped speech released by Osama bin Laden just a few hours later. As Lincoln authoritatively demonstrates, a close analysis of the rhetoric used by leaders as different as George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden—as well as Mohamed Atta and even Jerry Falwell—betrays startling similarities. These commonalities have considerable implications for our understanding of religion and its interrelationships with politics and culture in a postcolonial world, implications that Lincoln draws out with skill and sensitivity. With a chapter new to this edition, “Theses on Religion and Violence,” Holy Terrors remains one of the essential books on September 11 and a classic study on the character of religion. “Modernity has ended twice: in its Marxist form in 1989 Berlin, and in its liberal form on September 11, 2001. In order to understand such major historical changes we need both large-scale and focused analyses—a combination seldom to be found in one volume. But here Bruce Lincoln . . . has given us just such a mix of discrete and large-picture analysis.”—Stephen Healey, Christian Century “From time to time there appears a work . . . that serves to focus the wide-ranging, often contentious discussion of religion’s significance within broader cultural dynamics. Bruce Lincoln’s Holy Terrors is one such text. . . . Anyone still struggling toward a more nuanced comprehension of 9/11 would do well to spend time with this book.”—Theodore Pulcini, Middle East Journal. (shrink)