In this thorough compendium, nineteen accomplished scholars explore, in some manner the values they find inherent in the world, their nature, and revelence through the thought of Frederick FerrZ. These essays, informed by the insights of FerrZ and coming from manifold perspectives—ethics, philosophy, theology, and environmental studies, advance an ambitious challenge to current intellectual and scholarly fashions.
In this thorough compendium, nineteen accomplished scholars explore, in some manner the values they find inherent in the world, their nature, and revelence through the thought of Frederick Ferré. These essays, informed by the insights of Ferré and coming from manifold perspectives—ethics, philosophy, theology, and environmental studies, advance an ambitious challenge to current intellectual and scholarly fashions.
concepts typically are defined in terms of lacking physical or perceptual referents. We argue instead that they are not devoid of perceptual information because knowledge of real-world situations is an important component of learning and using many abstract concepts. Although the relationship between perceptual information and abstract concepts is less straightforward than for concrete concepts, situation-based perceptual knowledge is part of many abstract concepts. In Experiment 1, participants made lexical decisions to abstract words that were preceded by related and unrelated (...) pictures of situations. For example, share was preceded by a picture of two girls sharing a cob of corn. When pictures were presented for 500 ms, latencies did not differ. However, when pictures were presented for 1,000 ms, decision latencies were significantly shorter for abstract words preceded by related versus unrelated pictures. Because the abstract concepts corresponded to the pictured situation as a whole, rather than a single concrete object or entity, the necessary relational processing takes time. In Experiment 2, on each trial, an abstract word was presented for 250 ms, immediately followed by a picture. Participants indicated whether or not the picture showed a normal situation. Decision latencies were significantly shorter for pictures preceded by related versus unrelated abstract words. Our experiments provide evidence that knowledge of events and situations is important for learning and using at least some types of abstract concepts. That is, abstract concepts are grounded in situations, but in a more complex manner than for concrete concepts. Although people's understanding of abstract concepts certainly includes knowledge gained from language describing situations and events for which those concepts are relevant, sensory and motor information experienced during real-life events is important as well. (shrink)
This paper addresses the ways that we can understand and transform our strong emotions and how this project contributes to moral and spiritual development. To this end, I choose to think with two Tibetan Buddhist thinkers, both of whom take up the question of how passionate emotions can fit into spiritual and moral life: the famous, playful yogin Shabkar Tsodruk Rangdrol (1781–1851) and the wandering, charismatic master Patrul Rinpoche (1808–1887). Shabkar's The Autobiography of Shabkar provides excellent examples of using one's (...) own passionate emotions to connect to others and gain insight into the world. Patrul Rinpoche's The Words of My Perfect Teacher (kun bzang bla ma'i zhal lung) focuses on passionate empathy with the emotions of others. Drawing on these texts, I present a (distinctly Buddhist) conception of a passionate life and argue that passionate emotional experience is a central part of moral and spiritual development more broadly construed. (shrink)
Offered here is an interpretation of the ancient Confucian philosopher Mengzi's (372–289 B.C.E.) method of cultivating moral feelings, which he calls "extension." It is argued that this method is both psychologically plausible and an important, but often overlooked, part of moral life. In this interpretation, extending our moral feelings is not a project in logical consistency, analogical reasoning, or emotional intuition. Rather, Mengzi's method of extension is a project in realigning the human heart that harnesses our rational, reflective, and emotional (...) capacities in order to extend the feelings we already have to the appropriate objects for these feelings. It is argued that there are three main features of Mengzi's account that make it an attractive explanation of the cultivation of moral feelings. The first is the way Mengzi sees reasoning and philosophical reflection as an aid to, rather than the foundation for, moral development. The second is Mengzi's precision regarding the relationship between the basic moral feelings we start with (the "sprouts") and their corresponding virtues. The method of extension acts as a well-designed bridge between feelings and virtues. Third, Mengzi's account, unlike that of the Mohist Yi Zhi, whom he criticizes, pays special attention to the complexities and limitations of human psychology. In conclusion it is shown how a Mengzian understanding of the relationship between feelings and morality can answer some traditional challenges, especially Kantian ones, regarding the proper role of emotion in moral life. (shrink)
The author argues for the following as constituents of the moral virtue of open-mindedness: a second-order awareness that is not reducible to first-order doubt; strong moral concern for members of the moral community; and some freedom from reactive habit patterns, particularly with regard to one's self-narratives, or equanimity. Drawing on Buddhist philosophical accounts of equanimity, the author focuses on the third constituent, equanimity, and argues that it is a central, but often ignored, component of the moral virtue of open-mindedness, and (...) its absence can explain many failures of open-mindedness. (shrink)
ABSTRACTWhich emotion regulation strategy one uses in a given context can have profound affective, cognitive, and social consequences. It is therefore important to understand the determinants of emotion regulation choice. Many prior studies have examined person-specific, internal determinants of emotion regulation choice. Recently, it has become clear that external variables that are properties of the stimulus can also influence emotion regulation choice. In the present research, we consider whether reappraisal affordances, defined as the opportunities for re-interpretation of a stimulus that (...) are inherent in that stimulus, can shape individuals’ emotion regulation choices. We show that reappraisal affordances have stability across people and across time, and are confounded with emotional intensity for a standardised set of picture stimuli. Since emotional intensity has been shown to drive emotion regulation choice, we construct a context in which emotional intensity is separable from r... (shrink)
In their excellent new volume, Asian and Feminist Philosophies in Dialogue: Liberating Traditions, editors Jennifer McWeeny and Ashby Butnor offer a vision for philosophy that begins with the insight that philosophy is an activity: it is something that we do rather than simply learn about. As an activity—or even, at times, a performance—philosophy both shapes and is shaped by the social world, a world of power hierarchies, economic realities, and political strategies. Conceiving of philosophy as a socially situated activity highlights (...) its liberatory potential. The activity of philosophy can liberate or constrain; it can empower a person or diminish her. This volume seizes on this insight by employing what Butnor... (shrink)