Where has the Western attraction to the study and practice of shamanic techniques brought us? Where might it take us? In what ways have our Western biases and philosophical underpinnings influenced and changed how shamanism is practiced, both in the West and in the traditional cultures out of which they emerged? Is it time to stop using the umbrella term “shamanism” to refer to such diverse cross-cultural practices? What are our responsibilities, both as researchers and as spiritual seekers? In this (...) conversation, researcher-authors Stephan Beyer, Stanley Krippner, and Hillary S. Webb discuss their work in field and consider some of the ramifications of the Western world's intellectual and spiritual fascination with shamanic practices. Special attention is paid to the language used to describe these techniques and their practitioners, the developing relationship between researchers and cultural participants, and the ethical implications of merging what are often very distinct worldviews. (shrink)
Volume one looks at the language of spirituality to deepen our understanding of the suicidal crisis. Spirituality remains the primary motivation for my work. However, two other significant influences have emerged in my research. The first is the intellectual tradition from the school of philosophy known as phenomenology. The second is only at an embryonic stage as a academic discourse. This is the social change, human rights movement that is becoming known as Mad Culture. The accompanying volume to this exegesis, (...) Thinking About Suicide, gives expression to the lived experience of suicidality as I have lived it and in my own words. Throughout Thinking About Suicide there is a theme of story-telling, a theme that continues here. Two distinct voices are used to tell the stories of Thinking About Suicide - a narrative voice that tells of my personal journey into and out of suicidality, and a commentary voice that reflects on that history. The aim of Thinking About Suicide is to encourage and contribute to a broad community conversation about suicide, so both these voices are in plain language to speak to that audience. In this exegesis, a third voice is heard, an academic voice telling academic 'stories'. These stories are told here through a selection of the academic papers that were written during the research and which represent the three central issues of my thesis and this exegesis: firstly, a phenomenology of the subjective, lived experience of suicidality; secondly, an anthropological or cultural critique of suicidology; and thirdly, a role for spirituality in understanding the suicidal crisis of the self. (shrink)
The book proposes that Foucault's archaeology is a direct response to the predicament for thought in modernity that he described in the closing chapters of The Order of Things, and that science and mathematics are fundamental to the possibility of this response. Centered around the figure of man, Foucault described thinking in modernity as split between empirical and transcendental forms of enquiry, neither of which is able to secure a foundation. To understand how Foucault responds to this situation, the book (...) sets out a series of key ideas in the work of Gaston Bachelard, Jean Cavaillès, and Michel Serres that pave the way for Foucault's account of the historical character of the formal conditions of knowledge. In this way, Foucault's conception of discourse, and above all of the historical a priori, can be understood against the background of what he calls the mathematical a priori. The book also provides an analysis of what Foucault calls ‘temporal dispersion’, tracing this idea back to his critique of Kant. Employing these ideas, the book goes on to provide a detailed commentary on Foucault's The Archaeology of Knowledge. (shrink)
Continuity and difference in Heidegger's sophist -- To think as mortals : Heidegger and the finitude of philosophical existence -- The contingency of freedom : Heidegger reading Kant -- Dimension and difference : from undifferentiatedness to singularity -- Heidegger and Weyl on the question of continuity -- The experience of language as such.
Several different evaluation issuesare perceived as important by people involved withinnovative projects intended to improve local food andnutrition systems; particularly the establishment oflocal food policy coalitions. Several such coalitionshave been formed in North America, Europe, andAustralia with the goal of improving community foodsecurity and promoting sustainable local food systems.Pioneer coalitions have served as models, yet therehas been little systematic evaluation of thesemodels. A qualitative study was conducted to identifyfactors that may hinder evaluation efforts. In grouptelephone interviews, we sought the views (...) ofacademics, project organizers, and funders, a total of24 key informants. Pressures to evaluate were assessed differently bythe three groups of key informants. Academics felt thefocus of evaluation should be on the effectiveness ofthe process used to discuss issues and formulatepolicies and plans. Project organizers and fundersperceived a need to assess project impact andoutcomes. A lack of suitable evaluation models andmethods was viewed as a formidable barrier. The use ofinappropriate methods and premature impact evaluationwere noted as potential threats to projectsustainability. External constraints and resourcelimitations were also said to inhibit evaluationefforts. It appears that several other factors may also beimpeding progress in conducting more (and more useful)evaluations including: (1) the apparent negativeconnotation of evaluation and the limited benefitsexpected from evaluation by stakeholders, (2) a lackof consensus about important evaluation questions,(3) insufficient evaluation expertise among projectorganizers, and (4) inadequate appreciation ofincreasing accountability pressures. (shrink)
The conception of time presented in Aristotle’s Physics IV has been supremely influential in the philosophical tradition. However, I shall argue that it proves to be inadequate to resolve a question arising from Aristotle’s own ethics; namely, the relation of ethical action to eudaimonia. As one explores this issue, a sense of time begins to emerge that calls for a reconsideration of the concepts of magnitude or dimension (megethos) and continuity (suneches) that determine the account of time found in Physics (...) IV. This paper sets out the case for such a reconsideration and outlines the impact that it may have on the way we understand the temporal characteristics of eudaimonia. (shrink)
This paper examines three forest value orientations – clusters of interrelated values and basic beliefs about forests – that emerged from an analysis of the public discourse about forest planning, management, and policy in the United States. The value orientations include anthropocentric, biocentric, and moral/spiritual/aesthetic orientations toward forests. Computer coded content analysis was used to identify shifts in the relative importance of these value orientations over the period 1980 through 2001. The share of expressions of anthropocentric forest value orientations declined (...) over this period, while the share of biocentric value expressions increased. Mora/spiritual/aesthetic value expressions remained constant over time. The observed shifts in forest value orientations have implications for identifying appropriate goals for public forest management and policy, developing socially acceptable means for accomplishing those goals, and dealing with inevitable conflict over forest management. (shrink)
In this highly personal book, one of Europe’s foremost contemporary philosophers confronts the theme of faith and religion. He argues that there is a substantial link between the history of Christian revelation and the history of nihilism, in particular as the latter appears in the work of Nietzsche and Heidegger, Vattimo’s philosophical specialty. Tracing the relation between his response to these two thinkers and his own life as a devout Catholic, Vattimo shows how his interpretation of Heidegger’s work and his (...) conceptions of “weak thought” and “weak ontology” can be seen as closely linked to a rediscovery of Christianity. Vattimo speaks here in the first person—a risk that results in a disarmingly open exploration of the themes of charity, truth, dogmatism, morality, and sin, viewed through the lens of his own life and his own return to Christianity. While deeply critical of institutionalized religion and the Church, Vattimo discovers in the Christian tradition a voice whose interpretation is still being played out around us. Shaped by his readings of Nietzsche and Heidegger, Vattimo’s decision to affirm his formation within the Christian tradition provides an original and engaging contribution to the contemporary debate on religion. At the center of this book is the enigma of belief. Freed by modernity from its Platonic subordination to knowledge, belief is recovered as a crucial and inevitable feature of our cultural and personal lives. “Do you believe?” Vattimo is asked. “I believe so,” he replies. (shrink)
This book taps the best American thinkers to answer the essential American question: How do we sustain our experiment in government of, by, and for the people? Authored by an extraordinary and politically diverse roster of public officials, scholars, and educators, these chapters describe our nation's civic education problem, assess its causes, offer an agenda for reform, and explain the high stakes at risk if we fail.
Notice is given of the discovery of two reports and an accompanying manuscript map by Andrew Ramsay, on the geology of the St David's area, Pembrokeshire. This adds to previously published information on early geological work in this important region: Ramsay's report throw some light on his attitude towards Murchison's ideas on Welsh stratigraphy. The map is the earliest known version of the Survey's St David's sheet.