Humans have always sought to change their environment—building houses, monuments, temples, and roads. In the process, they have remade the fabric of the world into newly functional objects that are also works of art to be admired. In this second edition of his popular Existential Pleasures of Engineering, Samuel Florman explores how engineers think and feel about their profession. A deeply insightful and refreshingly unique text, this book corrects the myth that engineering is cold and passionless. Indeed, Florman (...) celebrates engineering not only crucial and fundamental but also vital and alive he views it as a response to some of our deepest impulses, an endeavor rich in spiritual and sensual rewards. Opposing the "anti-technology" stance, Florman gives readers a practical, creative, and even amusing philosophy of engineering that boasts of pride in his craft. (shrink)
_Despite advances in standard of living of the population, the condition of widows and divorced women remains deplorable in society. The situation is worse in developing nations with their unique social, cultural and economic milieu, which at times ignores the basic human rights of this vulnerable section of society. A gap exists in life expectancies of men and women in both developing and developed nations. This, coupled with greater remarriage rates in men, ensures that the number of widows continues to (...) exceed that of widowers. Moreover, with women becoming more educated, economically independent and aware of their rights, divorce rates are increasing along with associated psychological ramifications. The fact that widowed/divorced women suffer from varying psychological stressors is often ignored. It has been concluded in various studies that such stressors could be harbingers of psychiatric illnesses (e.g., depression, anxiety, substance dependence), and hence should be taken into account by treating physicians, social workers and others who come to the aid of such women. A change in mindset of the society is required before these women get their rightful place, for which a strong will is needed in the minds of the people, and in law-governing bodies._. (shrink)
PsychologicalAspects of Risk and Aggression among Motorcyclists - "Mad Max" Syndrome The primary objective of this study was the psychological examination of a group of Polish motorcyclists against a group of students and graduates of Technical Universities. This work poses a question regarding the differences in temperament, aggression and the level of risk between motorcyclists and the control group. The second question was whether it was possible to create a typology of Polish motorcyclists taking into account (...) the variables describing risk, temperament and aggression. This study used the Pavlovian Temperamental Scale, Stimulating-Instrumental Risk Inventory, SIRI 2001, Multifactor Risky Behavior Scale, Unhealthy behavior Inventory and the Buss and Perry Aggression Questionnaire. The tests were performed on 267 motorcyclists and 188 students and graduates of Technical Universities. A number of important differences was observed between the motorcyclists and the control group. Motorcyclists had a higher level of mobility of nervous processes and higher degree of excitation at the lower level of inhibitory processes. In terms of the measured level of risk they also had a higher level of stimulating, instrumental and unhealthy risk, at the lower levels of physical, social, ethical and financial risk in relation to the control group. Cluster and confirmation analyses showed the existence of three sub-groups of motorcyclists: prevaricators, ones with a Mad Max syndrome, and adventurers. The confirmation analysis was carried out on an additional group of 243 motorcyclists. (shrink)
Are there trans-religious, trans-cultural constants in psychologicalaspects of religion across different religions and cultures? An excessively culturalistic approach may overlook this possibility, putting an emphasis on the uniqueness of the religious phenomenon studied as emerging from a complex of multiple contextual factors. This article reviews empirical studies in psychology of religion in the 1990s that mainly include participants from different Christian denominations, but also from other religions: Muslims, Jews and Hindus. It appeared, at first, that several cross-cultural/religious (...) differences can be documented , but the interpretation of these differences is not simple, as other factors may interfere. Secondly it turned out that an impressive series of psychological constants also exist across different denominations, religions, and cultures. These constants include personality correlates, gender and gender orientation, positive and negative values, cognitive and affective aspects, identity formation, social attitudes and consequences. (shrink)
Translation science is going through a preliminary stage of self-definition. Jakobson’s essay “On linguistic aspects of translation”, whose title is re-echoed in the title of this article, despite the linguistic approach suggested, opened, in 1959, the study of translation to disciplines other than linguistics, semiotics to start with. Many developments in the semiotics of translation — particularly Torop’s theory of total translation — take their cue from the celebrated category “intersemiotic translation or transmutation” outlined in that 1959 article. I (...) intend to outline here the contributions that the science of translation — following a semiotic perspective opened by Peirce and continued by Torop — can gather from another discipline: psychology. The “totalistic” approach to translation provided by Torop can be more deeply enforced by applying to it the consequences deriving from the psychological insight offered by the concept of “interpretant” as mental sign; the perceptual interpretation of the prototext; reading and writing as intersemiotic translation processes; unlimited semiosis as interminable analysis; primary and secondary process in dreams and in other kinds of translation; metaphor and disambiguation as mental processes; the defenses activated when translation criticism (review) and self-criticism (revision) are made. (shrink)
This study investigates the ethical aspects of deploying and researching into so-called climate engineering methods, i.e. large-scale technical interventions in the climate system with the objective of offsetting anthropogenic climate change. The moral reasons in favour of and against R&D into and deployment of CE methods are analysed by means of argument maps. These argument maps provide an overview of the CE controversy and help to structure the complex debate.
Probably the main purpose of reproductive technologies is to enable people who choose to do so to avoid the birth of a baby with a disabling condition. However the conditions women want information about and the ‘price’ they are willing to pay for obtaining that information vary enormously. Individual women have to arrive at their own prenatal testing choices by ‘trading off’ means and ends in order to resolve the dilemmas facing them. We know very little about how individuals make (...) these trade-offs, so it is difficult to predict how new technologies will affect their choices and preferences. Uptake decisions can be expected to change, especially in the group of women who now are put off by some aspect of the current screening approach, where the avoidance of miscarriage risk may have provided a kind of ‘psychological shelter’, protecting a lot of people from having to make other decisions. Technologies such as Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis may remove a second ‘psychological shelter’ because they offer the means of avoiding the birth of an affected child without terminating a pregnancy. Even if new technologies will make some decisions easier in terms of their cognitive demands, they will also create new dilemmas and decision making will not necessarily become less stressful in emotional terms. Key challenges concern information and decision-making. (shrink)
To design effective and socially sensitive systems, engineers must be able to integrate a technology-based approach to engineering problems with concerns for social impact and the context of use. The conventional approach to engineering education is largely technology-based, and even when additional courses with a social orientation are added, engineering graduates are often not well prepared to design user- and context-sensitive systems. Using data from interviews with three engineering students who had significant exposure to a socially-oriented (...) perspective on production systems design, this paper argues that engineering students may have difficulty integrating in their own practice the technology-based and the socially-oriented perspectives on production. To enhance engineering students' ability to create systems that integrate both perspectives, and to relieve the intense cognitive and emotional pain that can be experienced by students exposed to both perspectives but unable to reconcile them, this paper reinforces the importance of teaching students the meta skill, design. A design perspective can help students integrate varied, sometimes conflicting, perspectives, and reach beyond customer-defined constraints to consider workplace and social impact. (shrink)
Ethics has become an increasingly important issue within engineering as the profession has become progressively more complex. The need to integrate ethics into an engineering curriculum is well documented, as education does not often sufficiently prepare engineers for the ethical conflicts they experience. Recent research indicates that there is great diversity in the way institutions approach the problem of teaching ethics to undergraduate engineering students; some schools require students to take general ethics courses from philosophical or religious (...) perspectives, while others integrate ethics in existing engineering courses. The purpose of this paper is to propose a method to implement the integration of ethics in engineering education that is pedagogically based on Kohlberg’s stage theory of moral development. (shrink)
It could be argued that mythology dramatizes aspects of our relationship with potent forces of which we have little understanding and over which we have little control. Moreover, many of these forces are less concrete than the forces of nature and arise from an apprehension of our existential predicaments, our interpersonal vulnerability and the intensity of our own psychological pain. This paper argues that in many contemporary discourses this territory is referred to more neutrally as ‘the unconscious'. Within (...) this framework, the Freudian interpretation of the unconscious is explored, as is the use of mythology to disguise deep, fear inducing aspects of the unconscious by expressing them in ways that are less threatening. In particular, the myth of Oedipus and its Freudian interpretation is examined together with the divergent opinions of Freud, Adler and Jung regarding the unconscious. The paper continues to examine the difficulty that modern ‘science' has had in reconciling contemporary and past views on the unconscious, viewing the unconscious as more of an information processing system. The paper proceeds to discuss different ways of how meaning is encoded into language and how it can affect people on an unconscious level. Jung's concept of the collective unconscious is briefly examined, particularly the notion that the collective unconscious is "a separate reality with its own autonomous existence". The use of psychedelic substances by various psychological professionals is briefly commented on, as well as their use in shamanism.Also discussed is how the unconscious serves as a mythic entity in contemporary psychology, with the ability to invoke feelings of fascination at the implication of "something powerful, mysterious and beyond our control". Within this context, Bynum's work on "the African unconscious" is examined through the lens of paleoanthropological data, healing rituals and Jung's experiences in Africa, and how these contribute to a uniquely African viewpoint on the subject of the unconscious. The paper concludes that although the unconscious has been conceptualised differently by many different scholars across time, it continues to point "to profound existential truths about the nature of human life". (shrink)
Ockham’s theory of natural rights was based on a careful definition of the basic juridical terms dominium and ius utendi, as well as on the idea of human agency and morality. By defining a right as a licit power of action in accordance with right reason , Ockham placed rights firmly in the agent. A right was a subjective power of action. Ockham’s theory of natural rights was influential for later natural rights theories. Its advocates included leading thinkers of the (...) sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, whose views on the right to life, its relation to the right to property, and the state of nature resembled those ideas already developed by Ockham approximately three hundred years earlier. (shrink)
Ockham’s theory of natural rights was based on a careful definition of the basic juridical terms dominium and ius utendi, as well as on the idea of human agency and morality. By defining a right as a licit power of action in accordance with right reason, Ockham placed rights firmly in the agent. A right was a subjective power of action. Ockham’s theory of natural rights was influential for later natural rights theories. Its advocates included leading thinkers of the sixteenth (...) and seventeenth centuries, whose views on the right to life, its relation to the right to property, and the state of nature resembled those ideas already developed by Ockham approximately three hundred years earlier. (shrink)
A controlled comparison study was completed using interview data from 80 women each experiencing their first pregnancy whilst single. Half of the women continued their pregnancy, in some cases marrying the father. The other half obtained an abortion. Two interviewers, one male and the other female, each completed an equal number of interviews with both groups of women.