What role should religion play in a religiously pluralistic liberal society? Public bioethics unavoidably raises this question in a particularly insistent fashion. As the 20 papers in this collection demonstrate, the issues are complex and multifaceted. The authors address specific and highly contested issues as assisted suicide, stem cell research, cloning, reproductive health, and alternative medicine as well as more general questions such as who legitimately speaks for religion in public bioethics, what religion can add to our understanding of justice, (...) and the value of faith-based contributions to healthcare. Christian (Catholic and Protestant), Jewish, Islamic, and Buddhist viewpoints are represented. The first book to focus on the interface of religion and bioethics, this collection fills a significant void in the literature. (shrink)
Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia are among the fastest growing health problems in America. Dementia incidence tends to increase with age, and the elderly are the fastest growing segment of the population. Medical and social sciences research on dementia involving demented patients is both ongoing and necessary. However, as noted in a report of the Office for Human Subjects Research, “while research with intellectually impaired people generates valuable … data, it also provides significant ethical challenges.
Concerns about caregivers providing religious or spiritual care arise, in large part, out of a misunderstanding about religion and spirituality and what those terms really mean. Many people treat religion and spirituality as special and unique. This chapter argues that religion and spirituality are basic human facts as inseparable from what it means to be human in the same way as our sex, our age, our ethnicity or the other social and cultural factors that caregivers routinely address. The chapter begins (...) by offering a functionalist definition of religion and spirituality. It then examines research on the needs of patients at the end of life and suggests how these express religious and spiritual concerns. Finally, it offers guidelines as to how the caregiver may meet those needs of a patient. (shrink)
En el mundo occidental, la primera figura que encarna el arquetipo del mediador sapiencial entre la comunidad humana y lo divino es, sin duda, Pitágoras de Samos. Las implicaciones de las doctrinas de este chamán en la historia de las ideas son enormes, pues sus invenciones abarcan todos los campos del saber: matemáticas, astronomía, filosofía, retórica, política, adivinación, medicina y religión. Nada escapa a este sabio griego, al que se atribuye un famoso teorema matemático, las escalas musicales y la idea (...) de la inmortalidad del alma. La primera parte del libro se ocupa de estudiar a Pitágoras como figura carismática y legendaria, la colección de sus enseñanzas, sus aspectos mánticos y políticos y, finalmente, la tradición pitagórica entre la realidad y la falsificación. En la segunda parte se presenta por primera vez, en una nueva traducción anotada, una recopilación de todas las biografías del filósofo: las escritas por Porfirio de Tiro, Jámblico de Calcis y Diógenes Laercio, y, como novedad, la más antigua que se conserva, redactada por el historiador griego Diodoro de Sicilia (s. I a.C.), y la del patriarca Focio de Constantinopla (s. IX). Todo ello, junto a la colección de máximas pitagóricas de origen tardío, llamada Versos de oro, así como el epítome de la enciclopedia bizantina Suda (s. X), forma el presente corpus biográfico-doctrinal de Pitágoras, que era una labor pendiente en el panorama bibliográfico español. David Hernández de la Fuente (Madrid, 1974) es escritor y profesor universitario, especializado en religión griega, antigüedad tardía e historia del platonismo. Doctor en filología clásica y sociología, es autor de los ensayos Oráculos griegos (Alianza) y Bakkhos Anax (CSIC), así como de numerosos artículos en revistas académicas y ediciones de autores clásicos, y ha coordinado la obra colectiva New Perspectives on Late Antiquity (Cambridge Scholars Pub.). Como autor de narrativa ha publicado Las puertas del sueño (Premio de Arte Joven 2005 de la Comunidad de Madrid), Continental (2007) y A cubierto (Premio Diputación de Valencia 2010). Memoria mundi 59 Isbn: 978-84-938466-6-4 440 páginas. (shrink)
‘Reactionary modernism’ is a term happily coined by the historian and sociologist Jeffrey Herf to refer to a current of German thought during the interwar years. It indicates the attempt to ‘reconcil[e] the antimodernist, romantic and irrationalist ideas present in German nationalism’ with that ‘most obvious manifestation of means–ends rationality … modern technology’. Herf's paradigm examples of this current of thought are two best-selling writers of the period: Oswald Spengler, author of the massive domesday scenario The Decline of the West (...) in 1917 and, fifteen years later, of Man and Technics, and Ernst Jünger, the now centenarian chronicler of the war in which he was a much-decorated hero, whose main theoretical work was Der Arbeiter in 1932. The label is also applied by Herf to such intellectual luminaries as the legal theorist and apologist for the Third Reich, Carl Schmitt, and more contentiously Martin Heidegger. At a less elevated level, reactionary modernism also permeated the writings of countless, now forgotten engineers, who were inspired at once by the new technology, Nietzschean images of Promethean Übermenschen, and an ethos of völkisch nationalism. (shrink)
In 1929, doubtless to the discomfort of his logical positivist host Moritz Schlick, Wittgenstein remarked, ‘To be sure, I can understand what Heidegger means by Being and Angst ’ . I return to what Heidegger meant and Wittgenstein could understand later. I begin with that remark because it has had an instructive career. When the passage which it prefaced was first published in 1965, the editors left it out—presumably to protect a hero of ‘analytic’ philosophy from being compromised by an (...) expression of sympathy for the arch-fiend of ‘continental’ philosophy. It was as if a diary of Churchill's had been discovered containing admiring references to Hitler. This was the period, after all, when Heidegger was, as Michael Dummett recalls, a ‘joke’ among Oxford philosophers, the paradigm of the sort of metaphysical nonsense Wittgenstein had dedicated himself to exposing. (shrink)
It seems strange, on first thought, that anyone might look to Nietzsche to found an environmental ethic. In GS, he claims that “Whatever has value in the current world, has it not in itself, from nature—nature is always valueless”, and he generally lauds the natural strength and nobility manifested in the will to power’s domination and exploitation of resources. Yet in Naturalizing Heidegger, David E. Storey crafts an educative and compelling argument geared toward environmental philosophers who have yet to (...) consider the relevance of Nietzsche’s and Heidegger’s philosophies of life for environmental ethics. In particular, Storey argues that a non-mechanistic and... (shrink)
???Everyone agrees that the moral features of things supervene on their natural features??? , 22). Everyone is wrong, or so I will argue. In the first section, I explain the version of moral supervenience that Smith and others argue everyone should accept. In the second section, I argue that the mere conceptual possibility of a divine command theory of morality is sufficient to refute the version of moral supervenience under consideration. Lastly, I consider and respond to two objections, showing, among (...) other things, that while DCT is sufficient to refute this version of moral supervenience it is not necessary. (shrink)
David E. Fisher: Much Ado about (Practically) Nothing. A History of the Noble Gases Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s10698-011-9114-0 Authors Sandra D. Hojniak, Department of Chemistry, Laboratory of Coordination Chemistry, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200F, 3001 Leuven, Belgium Journal Foundations of Chemistry Online ISSN 1572-8463 Print ISSN 1386-4238.
Aside from aperçus of Kant, Nietzsche, and of course, Aristotle, metaphor has not, until recently, received its due. The dominant view has been Hobbes': metaphors are an ‘abuse’ of language, less dangerous than ordinary equivocation only because they ‘profess their inconstancy’.
The week, twenty-five years ago, of the Apollo spacecraft's return visit to the moon was described by Richard Nixon as the greatest since the Creation. Across the Atlantic, a French Academician judged the same event to matter less than the discovery of a lost etching by Daumier. Attitudes to technological achievement, then, differ. And they always have. Chuang-Tzu, over 2,000 years ago, relates an exchange between a Confucian passer-by and a Taoist gardener watering vegetables with a bucket drawn from a (...) well. ‘Don't you know that there is a machine with which 100 beds are easily watered in a day?’—‘How does it work?’—‘It's a counterbalanced ladle’—‘too clever to be good … all machines have to do with formulae, artificiality [which] destroy native ingenuity … and prevent the Tao from residing peacefully in one's heart’. ‘Engines of mischief, in the words of the Luddite song, or testaments to ‘the nobility of man [as] the conqueror of matter’, in those of Primo Levi, the products of technology continue to inspire phobia and philia. (shrink)
David e cooper has argued that it makes no sense to credit a young child with beliefs or concepts of any sort, since the young child lacks a fairly sophisticated linguistic system. in my paper i attempt to show that such a position cannot consistently be maintained. in fact, most of the arguments put forward by cooper to defend his position implicitly assume that the child has a conceptual system of some kind.
Not long after the historian, Seeley, had defined ‘perfect liberty’ as ‘the absence of all government’, Oscar Wilde wrote that a man can be totally free even in that granite embodiment of governmental constraint, prison. Ten years after Mill's famous defence of civil freedoms, On Liberty , Richard Wagner declaimed: I'll put up with everything—police, soldiers, muzzling of the press, limits on parliament… Freedom of the spiriti is the only thing for men to be proud of and which raises them (...) above animals. (shrink)
A subtitle for this paper might have been ‘The ugly face of Verstehen ’, for it asks whether the theory of Verstehen has, to switch metaphors, ‘dirty hands’. By the theory of Verstehen, I mean the constellation of concepts—life, experience, expression, interpretative understanding—which, according to Wilhelm Dilthey, are essential for the study of human affairs, thereby showing that ‘the methodology of the human studies [Geisteswissenschafteri] is … different from that of the physical sciences’ :1 for in the latter, these concepts (...) have no similar place. Even critics of Dilthey tend to agree that his heart, if not his head, was in the right place: that Verstehen was designed as an antidote to ‘dehumanizing’ attempts by positivists to reduce the categories used in explaining human behaviour to just those equally operative in the physical sciences. As Dilthey himself put it, ‘there is no real blood flowing in the veins’ of human beings as examined by the positivists and their precursors: they do not treat of ‘the whole man’. The idea of Verstehen, it seems, is doubly humane: a humanizing approach to the humane studies. (shrink)
Characterizations of philosophy abound. It is ‘the queen of the sciences’, a grand and sweeping metaphysical endeavour; or, less regally, it is a sort of deep anthropology or ‘descriptive metaphysics’, uncovering the general presuppositions or conceptual schemes that lurk beneath our words and thoughts. A different set of images portray philosophy as a type of therapy, or as a spiritual exercise, a way of life to be followed, or even as a special branch of poetry or politics. Then there is (...) a group of characterizations that include philosophy as linguistic analysis, as phenomenological description, as conceptual geography, or as genealogy in the sense proposed by Nietzsche and later taken up by Foucault. (shrink)
Quasi al termine della seconda guerra mondiale, alcuni ufficiali tedeschi diedero l’ordine di abbattere le storiche torri di San Gimignano; tutto pareva ormai deciso, quando un gruppo di civili riuscì con successo a ritardare l’esecuzione fino all’arrivo delle truppe alleate. Grazie a quei civili, le torri di San Gimignano sono ancora ben visibili a tutti, meta ogni anno di numerosi turisti; ma che cosa dire della possibilità che oggi esistessero soltanto le loro macerie? Esse rientrano in quella classe di cose (...) che chiamerò oggetti possibili, ovvero sono oggetti che avrebbero potuto esistere, ma per un qualche motivo non sono esistiti. Proprio di essi parlerò nelle prossime pagine, cercando di capire quale sia il loro statuto ontologico e in quale modo possiamo parlarne usando le espressioni del nostro linguaggio.1 Come vedremo, ci sono varie teorie che spiegano cos’è un oggetto possibile, tra loro anche molto diverse. Compito di ciascuna è quello di motivare e, se necessario, rendere plausibile una scelta filosofica. Quindi, ogni teoria degli oggetti possibili, attribuirà loro un preciso statuto ontologico e provvederà una semantica delle espressioni del linguaggio naturale sulla possibilità. Nelle poche pagine che seguono però, non scenderò nei dettagli di tutte le teorie della possibilità; piuttosto, ne considererò una particolarmente controversa e singolare: quella sostenuta da David K. Lewis. (shrink)
David McClean’s book Richard Rorty, Liberalism and Cosmopolitanism is an excellent contribution to Rorty scholarship and pragmatism in general. The book begins with a masterful reconstruction of the tradition of American philosophy from Emerson and Thoreau to Peirce and James and Dewey, culminating in Rorty. This beginning, from the Preface entitled “Rorty’s ‘Violence of Direction’” to Chapter 1 entitled “From Pragmatism to Rortyism” occupies almost the first third, and seems to establish a three-part structure, of the book. The second (...) part of the book, also very well done, critically engages Rorty’s pragmatist cosmopolitanism, finding the outlines... (shrink)
Do Buddhist ‘moral’ principles, such as generosity, equanimity, and compassion, consistently map onto Greek and, more generally, Western ‘virtues’? In other words, is it at all possible to talk about a Buddhist ‘virtue ethics’? Should equanimity, for instance, be understood as having the same function in Buddhist moral thought as temperance has for Plato, Aristotle, or the Stoics? Does the Buddha’s effort to embody certain cardinal virtues (sīla) resemble the classical Greek and Roman pursuit of a life of personal flourishing (...) (eudaimonia)? And, to take one step further – Is Buddhism’s perceived enlightened attitude toward the environment suggestive of a new ethics aimed at confronting the global ecological crisis? Buddhism, Virtue, and Environment, a volume co-authored by David Cooper and Simon James, addresses these questions and concerns in a systematic and philosophically sophisticated way. (shrink)