Mark speaks of the life of faith by using the notion of “following Jesus” as a metaphor to bring to light all the profound dimensions of the relation which the gospel inaugurates between believer and living Lord.
Bernard Schweizer explores a hitherto neglected strain of religious rebellion. Misotheism, or hatred of God, is more radical than atheism. God-haters do not question God's existence, but instead deny his competence and goodness. Sifting through centuries of evidence and uncovering fascinating networks of influences among writers and thinkers as diverse as Friedrich Nietzsche, Zora Neale Hurston, and Philip Pullman. Schweizer reveals deep undercurrents of misotheism in many acclaimed works of literature and philosophy.
Sir Herbert Butterfield was one of the leading British historians of the twentieth century. A diplomatic historian by training, he branched out into a variety of fields including historiography, the history of science and international theory. The International Thought of Sir Herbert Butterfield brings together material from Butterfield's previously unpublished papers and a critical commentary from two leading Butterfield scholars: Sharp and Schweizer. They recover Butterfield's contribution to international thought, particularly his role as a founding member of the British (...) Committee on the theory of international politics (also known as the English School). (shrink)
Climate change assessments rely upon scenarios of socioeconomic developments to conceptualize alternative outcomes for global greenhouse gas emissions. These are used in conjunction with climate models to make projections of future climate. Specifically, the estimations of greenhouse gas emissions based on socioeconomic scenarios constrain climate models in their outcomes of temperatures, precipitation, etc. Traditionally, the fundamental logic of the socioeconomic scenarios—that is, the logic that makes them plausible—is developed and prioritized using methods that are very subjective. This introduces a fundamental (...) challenge for climate change assessment: The veracity of projections of future climate currently rests on subjective ground. We elaborate on these subjective aspects of scenarios in climate change research. We then consider an alternative method for developing scenarios, a systems dynamics approach called ‘Cross-Impact Balance’ (CIB) analysis. We discuss notions of ‘objective’ and ‘objectivity’ as criteria for distinguishing appropriate scenario methods for climate change research. We distinguish seven distinct meanings of ‘objective,’ and demonstrate that CIB analysis is more objective than traditional subjective approaches. However, we also consider criticisms concerning which of the seven meanings of ‘objective’ are appropriate for scenario work. Finally, we arrive at conclusions regarding which meanings of ‘objective’ and ‘objectivity’ are relevant for climate change research. Because scientific assessments uncover knowledge relevant to the responses of a real, independently existing climate system, this requires scenario methodologies employed in such studies to also uphold the seven meanings of ‘objective’ and ‘objectivity.’. (shrink)
This article focuses on both daily forms of weakness of will as discussed in the philosophical debate and psychopathological phenomena as impairments of decision making. We argue that both descriptions of dysfunctional decision making can be organized within a common theoretical framework that divides the decision making process in three different stages: option generation, option selection, and action initiation. We first discuss our theoretical framework, focusing on option generation as an aspect that has been neglected by previous models. In the (...) main body of this article, we review how both philosophy and neuropsychiatry have provided accounts of dysfunction in each decision-making stage, as well as where these accounts can be integrated. Also, the neural underpinnings of dysfunction in the three different stages are discussed. We conclude by discussing advantages and limitations of our integrative approach. (shrink)
The paper examines the nature of the behavioral evidence underlying attributions of intelligence in the case of human beings, and how this might be extended to other kinds of cognitive system, in the spirit of the original Turing Test. I consider Harnad's Total Turing Test, which involves successful performance of both linguistic and robotic behavior, and which is often thought to incorporate the very same range of empirical data that is available in the human case. However, I argue that the (...) TTT is still too weak, because it only tests the capabilities of particular tokens within a preexisting context of intelligent behavior. What is needed is a test of the cognitive type, as manifested through a number of exemplary tokens, in order to confirm that the cognitive type is able to produce the context of intelligent behavior presupposed by tests such as the TT and TTT. (shrink)
In 1968, Jürgen Habermas claimed that, in an advanced technological society, the emancipatory force of knowledge can only be regained by actively recovering the ‘forgotten experience of reflection’. In this article, we argue that, in the contemporary situation, critical reflection requires a deliberative ambiance, a process of mutual learning, a consciously organised process of deliberative and distributed reflection. And this especially applies, we argue, to critical reflection concerning a specific subset of technologies which are actually oriented towards optimising human cognition. (...) In order to create a deliberative ambiance, fostering critical upstream reflection on emerging technologies, we developed the concept of a mutual learning exercise. Building on a number of case studies, we analyse what an MLE involves, both practically and conceptually, focussing on key aspects such as ambiance and expertise, the role of ‘genres of the imagination’ and the profiles of various ‘subcultures of debate’. Ideally, an MLE becomes a contemporary version of the Socratic agora, providing a stage where multiple and sometimes unexpected voices and perspectives mutually challenge each other, in order to strength-en the societal robustness and responsiveness of emerg-ing technologies. (shrink)
Recent data indicate that under a specific posthypnotic suggestion to circumvent reading, highly suggestible subjects successfully eliminated the Stroop interference effect. The present study examined whether an optical explanation could account for this finding. Using cyclopentolate hydrochloride eye drops to pharmacologically prevent visual accommodation in all subjects, behavioral Stroop data were collected from six highly hypnotizables and six less suggestibles using an optical setup that guaranteed either sharply focused or blurred vision. The highly suggestibles performed the Stroop task when naturally (...) vigilant, under posthypnotic suggestion not to read, and while visually blurred; the less suggestibles ran naturally vigilant, while looking away, and while visually blurred. Although visual accommodation was precluded for all subjects, posthypnotic suggestion effectively eliminated Stroop interference and was comparable to looking away in controls. These data strengthen the view that Stroop interference is neither robust nor inevitable and support the hypothesis that posthypnotic suggestion may exert a top-down influence on neural processing. (shrink)
The paper begins by examining the original Turing Test (2T) and Searle’s antithetical Chinese Room Argument, which is intended to refute the 2T in particular, as well as any formal or abstract procedural theory of the mind in general. In the ensuing dispute between Searle and his own critics, I argue that Searle’s ‘internalist’ strategy is unable to deflect Dennett’s combined robotic-systems reply and the allied Total Turing Test (3T). Many would hold that the 3T marks the culmination of the (...) dialectic and, in principle, constitutes a fully adequate empirical standard for judging that an artifact is intelligent on a par with human beings. However, the paper carries the debate forward by arguing that the sociolinguistic factors highlighted in externalist views in the philosophy of language indicate the need for a fundamental shift in perspective in a Truly Total Turing Test (4T). It’s not enough to focus on Dennett’s individual robot viewed as a system; instead, we need to focus on an ongoing system of such artifacts. Hence a 4T should evaluate the general category of cognitive organization under investigation, rather than the performance of single specimens. From this comprehensive standpoint, the question is not whether an individual instance could simulate intelligent behavior within the context of a pre-existing sociolinguistic culture developed by the human cognitive type. Instead the key issue is whether the artificial cognitive type itself is capable of producing a comparable sociolinguistic medium. (shrink)
This paper examines the relationship between performance persistence and corporate governance. We document systematic differences in performance persistence across listed companies in China during 2001–2011, and empirically demonstrate that firms with better corporate governance show higher performance persistence. The results are robust over both the short and long terms. We also find that performance persistence is an important factor in refinancing, and it can lower companies’ costs of borrowing. Overall, our findings offer important implications for business ethics, as we demonstrate (...) how corporate governance can lower companies’ costs of debt. (shrink)
Earthcare: Readings and Cases in Environmental Ethics presents a diverse collection of writings from a variety of authors on environmental ethics, environmental science, and the environmental movement overall. Exploring a broad range of world views, religions and philosophies, David W. Clowney and Patricia Mosto bring together insightful thoughts on the ethical issues arising in various areas of environmental concern.
The systems T N and T M show that necessity can be consistently construed as a predicate of syntactical objects, if the expressive/deductive power of the system is deliberately engineered to reflect the power of the original object language operator. The system T N relies on salient limitations on the expressive power of the language L N through the construction of a quotational hierarchy, while the system T Mrelies on limiting the scope of the modal axioms schemas to the sublanguage (...) L infM +, which corresponds exactly with the restrictive hierarchy of L N. The fact that L infM + is identical to the image of the metalinguistic mapping C + from the normal operator system into L M reveals that iterated operator modality is implicitly hierarchical, and that inconsistency is produced by applying the principles of the modal logic to formulas which have no natural analogues in the operator development. Thus the contradiction discovered by Montague can be diagnosed as the result of instantiating the axiom schemas with modally ungrounded formulas, and thereby adding radically new modal axioms to the predicate system.The predicate treatment of necessity differs significantly from that of the operator in that the cumulative models for the predicate system are strictly first-order. Possible worlds are not used as model-theoretic primitives, but rather alternate models are appealed to in order to specify the extension of N, which is semantically construed as a first-order predicate. In this manner, the intensional aspects of modality are built into the mode of specifying the particular set of objects which the denotation function assigns to N, rather than in the specification of the basic truth conditions for modal formulas. Intensional phenomena are thereby localised to the special requirements for determining the extension of a particular predicate, and this does not constitute a structural modification of the first-order models, but rather limits the relevant class of models to those which possess an appropriate denotation function. (shrink)
Rare earth elements have become increasingly important because of their relative scarcity and worldwide increasing demand, as well as China’s quasi-monopoly of this market. REEs are virtually not substitutable, and they are essential for a variety of high-tech products and modern key technologies. This has raised serious concerns that China will misuse its dominant position to set export quotas in order to maximize its own profits at the expense of other rare earth user industries. In fact, export restrictions on REEs (...) were the catalyst for the U.S. to lodge a formal complaint against China in 2012 at the World Trade Organization. This paper analyzes possible wealth transfer effects by focusing on export quota announcements by China, and the share price reactions of Chinese REE suppliers, the U.S. REE users, and the rest of the world REE refiners. Overall, we find limited support for the view of a wealth transfer in connection with MOFCOM announcements only when disentangling events prior to and post the initiation of the WTO trial, consistent with the trial triggering changes to China’s REE policy and recent announcement to abolish quotas. We do find, however, that extreme REE price movements have a first-order effect on all companies in the REE industry consistent with recent market trends to enable hedging against REE price volatility. (shrink)
The paper examines the status of conscious presentation with regard to mental content and intentional states. I argue that conscious presentation of mental content should be viewed on the model of a secondary quality, as a subjectiveeffect of the microstructure of an underlying brain state. The brain state is in turn viewed as the instantiation of an abstract computational state, with the result that introspectively accessible content is interpreted as a presentation of the associated computational state realized by the brain. (...) However, if the relation between consciousness and representational content is construed in this manner, then conscious presentation does not provide an adequate foundation for the claim that human mental states areintrinsically intentional. On this model, I argue that functionalism is able to account for (non-intrinsic) intentionality, but not for consciousness, which has implications for the computational paradigm, as well as for Searle's Chinese room thought experiment. (shrink)
Today’s food production and consumption go hand in hand with immense damages to humans and nature. Change is needed, but where to start and which direction to go? This article tries to give an interdisciplinary answer by taking recourse to a vision, that is, an ideal image of the future which is drawn upon ethical reflection and beyond the limits of actual political and economic constraints. The main purpose of this paper is to show that generating and discussing visions can (...) be a powerful process in order to regain ability to act in the face of the complex challenges of our time and that Education for Sustainable Development plays an important role to enable current and future generations to become actors of change. First, a students vision on agriculture and society in 2050 is presented, followed by a theoretical examination of visions, their potentials, limits and practical implications. Subsequently, the results of a field analysis of current innovative solutions to local agriculture are given. These include intercultural gardens and community supported agriculture. Claiming that a sustainable development can only be reached if people are not only able to envision a desirable future, but to develop small scale, locally adapted solutions as answers to challenges such as climate change, this paper then focuses on the competence oriented educational concept of ESD. Here, an approach of integrating ethics in the course of studies of agricultural sciences implemented by a student’s initiative serves as practice example. (shrink)
Neuroenhancement involves the use of neurotechnologies to improve cognitive, affective or behavioural functioning, where these are not judged to be clinically impaired. Questions about enhancement have become one of the key topics of neuroethics over the past decade. The current study draws on in-depth public engagement activities in ten European countries giving a bottom-up perspective on the ethics and desirability of enhancement. This informed the design of an online contrastive vignette experiment that was administered to representative samples of 1000 respondents (...) in the ten countries and the United States. The experiment investigated how the gender of the protagonist, his or her level of performance, the efficacy of the enhancer and the mode of enhancement affected support for neuroenhancement in both educational and employment contexts. Of these, higher efficacy and lower performance were found to increase willingness to support enhancement. A series of commonly articulated claims about the individual and societal dimensions of neuroenhancement were derived from the public engagement activities. Underlying these claims, multivariate analysis identified two social values. The Societal/Protective highlights counter normative consequences and opposes the use enhancers. The Individual/Proactionary highlights opportunities and supports use. For most respondents these values are not mutually exclusive. This suggests that for many neuroenhancement is viewed simultaneously as a source of both promise and concern. (shrink)
Summary The development of stratigraphy started with the work of the Danish scientist Nicolaus Steno (1638?1696), who ascribed the formation of strata to the gradual deposition of sediment in the sea. In the course of the eighteenth century, his work was complemented by the independent observations of various European scientists, who recorded deposits of fossilized plants and animals in sedimentary strata. Late in the eighteenth century, William Smith (1769?1839) discovered the specificity of fossil deposits in successive strata, an observation that (...) allowed the identification of sedimentary layers by their fossil contents as well as by their lithological composition. These findings paved the way for the establishment of biostratigraphy as an additional tool for geognostic studies and later for the establishment of evolutionary biology. Stratigraphy?initially an interdisciplinary field between palaeontology and geognosy?thus achieved a transdisciplinary status as a new discipline in its own right. This paper traces the course of the concurrent development of biostratigraphy on the one hand and lithostratigraphy on the other, and their geognostic or stratigraphic application. In addition, there were the implications for naturalists asking for the history of life in the first third of the nineteenth century. The present study is based on the examples of printed and unprinted historical sources from that period, with special reference to developments in Central Europe. (shrink)
A philosophically comprehended account is given of the genesis and evolution of the concept of protein. Characteristic of this development were not shifts in theory in response to new experimental data, but shifts in the range of questions that the available experimental resources were fit to cope with effectively. Apart from explanatory success with regard to its own range of questions, various other selecting factors acted on a conceptual variant, some stemming from a competing set of research questions, others from (...) an altogether different field of inquiry, and still others from the external environment. These results are best explained on, hence support, an evolutionary model of the progress of experimental investigation, whose outlines are briefly discussed. (shrink)
Recently, P. D. Finch and R. Groblicki determined all bivariate probability densities with specified margins. We point out that their result follows immediately from the complete solution to the problem of determining all n-dimensional cumulative probability distribution functions with specified one-dimensional margins, which was solved by one of us in 1959.