The historical debate on representation in cognitive science and neuroscience construes representations as theoretical posits and discusses the degree to which we have reason to posit them. We reject the premise of that debate. We argue that experimental neuroscientists routinely observe and manipulate neural representations in their laboratory. Therefore, neural representations are as real as neurons, action potentials, or any other well-established entities in our ontology.
Ectogenesis, or the use of an artificial womb to allow a foetus to develop, will likely become a reality within a few decades, and could significantly affect the abortion debate. We first examine the implications for Judith Jarvis Thomson’s violinist analogy, which argues for a woman’s right to withdraw life support from the foetus and so terminate her pregnancy, even if the foetus is granted full moral status. We show that on Thomson’s reasoning, there is no right to (...) the death of the foetus, and abortion is not permissible if ectogenesis is available, provided it is safe and inexpensive. This raises the question of whether there are persuasive reasons for the right to the death of the foetus that could be exercised in the context of ectogenesis. Eric Mathison and Jeremy Davis have examined several arguments for this right, doubting that it exists, while Joona Räsänen has recently criticized their reasoning. We respond to Räsänen’s analysis, concluding that his arguments are unsuccessful, and that there is no right to the death of the foetus in these circumstances. (shrink)
In this paper I take a critical look at Judith Jarvis Thomson famous violinist analogy for abortion. I argue that while the violinist example does show that a right to life does not entail a right to be given the means of life, the violinist cast is relevantly different from the pregnancy case. I also argue that Thomson's positive argument in favor of the permissibility of abortion fails because it is based on a false conception of bodily self-ownsership. (...) Finally, I offer an argument against abortion built not on the child's rights, but the mother's obligation to the vulnerable. (shrink)
As a young scholar, Eric Voegelin wanted to prove whether the ‘race idea’ could function as a means of political integration. He published two books on race that, after his flight to the USA, were eventually passed off as an early critique of racism. This is a complete misinterpretation and inversion of his endeavor. In his tracts, Voegelin only criticized a certain direction of race thinking that he identified as a materialistic biological approach to the problem. At the same (...) time, he advocated another spiritual and metaphysical attempt, represented by the examples of Carl Gustav Carus, Othmar Spann, and Ludwig Ferdinand Clauß. Both versions of race thinking were abundant in different types of fascism and also in Nazi Germany. That is why Voegelin could publish his books in Germany—and one of them even at the recommendation of a Nazi philosopher, with a publisher close to völkisch and fascist ideology. The revaluation of his racist texts was only possible on the basis of their affirmative or superficial and uncritical reading against the backdrop of the development of a one-dimensional conception of racism. (shrink)
A virtual reality translation of Judith Thomson's Violinist Analogy. These modules are free to download and use in the classroom and for research/x-phi purposes. -/- *Requires an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive and VR capable computer. To open the files, uncompress the downloaded .zip folder and run the executable (.exe) file.
A proposta deste estudo é abordar de forma teórica o pensamento do filósofo e cientista político, germano-americano, Eric Voegelin, buscando compreender a relação que promove entre o gnosticismo e a modernidade, tendo como foco sua afirmação de que o gnosticismo é o fundamento da modernidade. Para esta pesquisa, são utilizados como base teórica fundamental dois conceitos de sua teoria: religiões políticas e gnosticismo. Divide-se o trabalho em uma introdução ao tema e três capítulos, seguidos da conclusão. Na introdução, se (...) aborda o contexto histórico-político que fornece o estofo para o surgimento da modernidade e movimentos totalitários; com a biografia do autor, buscam-se elementos essenciais para a compreensão de sua posição de combate irrestrito às ideologias, principalmente ao nacional-socialismo alemão e socialismo stalinista. A partir da crítica ao movimento positivista, que considera a ciência natural e seus métodos o modo por excelência de apreensão da realidade, Voegelin demonstra que a dimensão simbólica, espiritual e transcendente do ser fica relegada a uma posição inferior, inexistente ou banalizada, causando uma deformação da verdade, que pode se manifestar em dogmas ou doutrinas ideológicas. No segundo capítulo, introduz-se sua noção de que o gnosticismo é o fundamento da sociedade moderna, na medida em que a insatisfação com a ordem corrente, a crença e desejo de mudança do indivíduo por meio do conhecimento, se firmam como contrários ao desenvolvimento do ser, apontando uma tendência nos movimentos ideológicos modernos à imanentização da escatologia cristã. No terceiro capítulo, apresentam-se as principais discussões a respeito dos limites e alcances de sua teoria, sua aproximação com uma filosofia da consciência e as possibilidades de utilizá-la para a compreensão dos fenômenos totalitários na atualidade, vistos como uma doença pneumopatológica. Concluiu-se que Voegelin, categórico ao apontar para a necessidade de uma nova abordagem para a ciência social e política, evidenciou uma estrutura religiosa nos movimentos modernos, ditos seculares; o conceito de gnosticismo como fundamento da modernidade, apesar de revisto pelo próprio autor e ainda fomentar controvérsias, pode ser um ponto de partida para estudos complementares, uma vez que enfatiza a necessidade de ampliação da consciência para a restauração da ordem social e política, e de incluir o aspecto transcendente do ser, que se expressa em seus símbolos e em suas experiências religiosas ao longo da história, para a compreensão da modernidade. (shrink)
In his New Science of Politics, Eric Voegelin offers an analysis of modernity: at its heart, it is a radicalization of Christianity—a radicalization that counts as a betrayal. Like other movements of its time, Christianity judged this world in terms of another—one wherein all of us were brothers and sisters, wherein justice mattered more than victory and mercy more than justice. But rather than endure in patience their own limitations, those whom Voegelin calls “gnostics” tried to build heaven on (...) earth—inevitably, by violence. This serves as his postmortem on the twentieth century: liberalism, communism, and fascism are all, according to Voegelin, trying to do what cannot be done—specifically, to do what Voegelin calls “immanentizing the eschaton.” Each is, in its own way, a revolt against the human condition—and so a revolt against God. -/- But these gnostics would hardly have seen themselves in this demonic light. Indeed, they often called themselves “rationalists” and saw themselves as a brave few who might lead humanity out of the madness of the past. Of course, Voegelin would hardly grant that Plato or Saint Augustine were less rational than, say, Thomas Hobbes. But he would certainly grant that the gnostics hoped to render the world “rational” by abolishing whatever aspects of the human condition were “irrational”—in the case of Hobbes, our capacity for mystical experience of God. -/- Of course, this is hardly how contemporary political scientists would explain Hobbes. In the introduction to his New Science of Politics, though, Voegelin offers an indirect explanation of this. He warns that the social sciences are prisoners of their idolatry of the natural sciences: they ignore any data that cannot be rendered in language that is entirely descriptive—insisting as they do so that this methodology is only “rational.”. (shrink)
Este artigo quer mostrar que Kant descobriu, segundo Eric Weil, o problema do sentido. Entretanto, Eric Weil observa que Kant não encontrou uma linguagem apropriada para falar do sentido. A linguagem de Kant era ainda uma linguagem ontológica. Malgrado isso, Kant conseguiu fechar, na terceira Crítica, o abismo que separava natureza e liberdade.
_ Source: _Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 236 - 255 In this article I compare some elements of Eric Gans’s thought with a few aspects of the philosophy of Hermann Cohen—first and foremost, Gans’s concept of the origin and Cohen’s concept of Ursprung—while revealing the deep affinity between these two lines of thinking.
Eric Voegelin believed that a morally acceptable and in the long run successful political order (which meant for the emigrant Voegelin primarily an order that is resistant to totalitarianism) can only be built on the foundation of a healthy religiosity of the citizens and the political leaders. The question of what a healthy religiosity is was examined by Voegelin by recurring to intellectual history and to the philosophy of consciousness. In my book I offer a detailed criticism Voegelin's philosophy (...) of consciousness and of his concept of political order. (shrink)
Leo Strauss and Eric Voegelin were political theorists of the first rank whose impact on the study of political science in North America has been profound. A study of their writings is one of the most expeditious ways to explore the core of political science; comparing and contrasting the positions both theorists have taken in assessing that core provides a comprehensive appreciation of the main options of the Western tradition. In fifty-three recently discovered letters, Strauss and Voegelin explore the (...) nature of their similarities and differences, offering trenchant observations about one another's work, about the state of the discipline, and about the influences working on them. The correspondence fleshes out many assumptions made in their published writings, often with a frankness and directness that removes all vestiges of ambiguity. Included with the correspondence are four pivotal re-published essays—"Jerusalem and Athens: Some Preliminary Reflections", "The Gospel and Culture", "Immortality: Experience and Symbol", and "The Mutual Influence of Theology and Philosophy" —and commentaries by James L. Wiser, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Stanley Rosen, Thomas J. J. Altizer, Timothy Fuller, Ellis Sandoz, Thomas L. Pangle, and David Walsh. (shrink)
Consciousness is at once the most obvious and mysterious feature of the human mind. Kenneth Keulman seeks a better understanding of its many dimensions through interpretations of the ideas of the twentieth-century philosopher Eric Voegelin, who viewed the complexity of modern consciousness as the result of a distinctive form of evolution combining genetic change with cultural history. Voegelin's unique contribution to political theory, Keulman shows, comes from his development of an approach to history rooted in a study of the (...) symbolisms of the history of order. It is because the problems of order in society arise from the order of consciousness that the theory of consciousness can be placed at the center of political theory. Keulman's interpretation encompasses not only Voegelin's published writings but also a substantial body of unpublished material to which Voegelin gave him access before his death in 1985, including portions of what was to become Volume V of _Order and History_. (shrink)
फेसबुक आणि ब्लॉगच्या जमान्यात तत्त्वज्ञानाची चर्चा केवळ पुस्तकांपुरती किंवा विद्यापीठीय चर्चासत्रांपुरती मर्यादित राहू नये, असे मानणारा एक चळवळय़ा प्राध्यापक, पुस्तकांच्या मानीव वर्चस्वामुळे तत्त्वज्ञान क्षेत्राचे काय नुकसान झाले, याबद्दलही बोलतो आहे आणि ही चर्चा पुस्तकांच्या बाहेरही झाली पाहिजे.. ती लोकाभिमुख झाली पाहिजे, असे सांगतो आहे..
My purpose is to analyze the peculiar thinking of Weil, according to the categories of reasoning, as a choice to avoid violence. In his definition of man, Weil recovers the notion of realization, with which man is redefined in terms of what he must be and not merely for what he is. There-to, man is ..
There is an evident lack of rigorous frameworks for making sense of the role and status of spirituality and religion in organizations and organizing, in particular from the perspective of spiritual philosophies of the social. This paper suggests that the philosophy of Plato and his modern follower, political theorist Eric Voegelin could offer a viable perspective for understanding organizational spirituality in its metaphysical, political and ethical contexts. Essential for such a philosophical reflection is the postulation of the transcendental realm (...) as the ultimate reality that provides the fullest templates for order, knowledge and ethicality. It is argued, in the footsteps of Voegelin, that modern organizations and modern organization theory should seek to re-awaken the lost experiences of the divine Beyond by re-animating religious symbols and myths of transcendence as devices for a spiritually opened consciousness. (shrink)
En este trabajo presento un estudio sobre el estado del arte de la llamada ‘epistemología de las simulaciones computacionales’. En particular, me centro en los varios trabajos de Eric Winsberg quién es uno de los filósofos más fructíferos y sistemáticos en este tema. Además de analizar la obra de Winsberg, y basándome en sus trabajos y en el de otros filósofos, mostraré que hay buenas razones para pensar que la epistemología tradicional de la ciencia no es suficiente para el (...) análisis de las simulaciones computacionales. (shrink)
The famous ‘trolley problem’ began as a simple variation on an example given in passing by Philippa Foot , involving a runaway trolley that cannot be stopped but can be steered to a path of lesser harm. By switching from the perspective of the driver to that of a bystander, Judith Jarvis Thomson showed how the case raises difficulties for the normative theory Foot meant to be defending, and Thomson compounded the challenge with further variations that created still (...) more puzzles of broader interest. In recent years, her thought experiments have even been co-opted by psychologists engaged in the empirical study of moral judgment . Yet more than thirty years after launching the trolley problem, Thomson has now strikingly reversed course, retracting the very claim she had originally used to raise puzzles for Foot. I shall argue that this reversal is a mistake, leading to a needlessly counterintuitive, contrarian position about damage-control cases. Instead of overturning her earlier position, her new variations merely uncover a surprising insight about the conditions under which one may permissibly sacrifice another for a good end.1. The central case at issue is what Thomson now calls Bystander's Two Options: you are a bystander who sees a runaway trolley headed toward five innocent people who cannot move off the track; you cannot stop the trolley, but you have access to a switch that will divert it onto a side track where one innocent person is trapped. Is it permissible to throw the switch and divert the trolley toward lesser harm? The common answer, and Thomson's earlier one, is that it is: in cases like this, where there is a public threat and we can act on it so …. (shrink)
I argue that Judith Jarvis Thomson's attack on consequentialism, premised on the semantic claim that all goodness is goodness-in-a-way, is less powerful and less precisely targeted than she supposes. For we can develop an argument against pure obligation or categorical imperatives that is largely parallel to Thomson's argument against pure goodness. The right response to both arguments is that the existence of pure goodness or pure obligation is neither semantically rule out nor semantically guaranteed.
ABSTRACTIn a recent paper published in this journal, Eric Funkhouser argues that some of our beliefs have the primary function of signaling to others, rather than allowing us to navigate the world. Funkhouser’s case is persuasive. However, his account of beliefs as signals is underinclusive, omitting both beliefs that are signals to the self and less than full-fledged beliefs as signals. The latter set of beliefs, moreover, has a better claim to being considered as constituting a psychological kind in (...) its own right than the set of beliefs Funkhouser identifies. (shrink)
In this essay I propose to explicate and defend a new and improved version of a Lockean proviso—the self-ownership proviso . I shall presume here that individuals possess robust rights of self-ownership. I shall take it that each individual has strong moral claims over the elements which constitute her person, e.g., her body parts, her talents, and her energies. However, in the course of the essay, I shall be challenging what I take to be the standard conception of self-ownership and (...) proposing an enrichment of that conception. The SOP is presented and in part justified as an implication of the right of self-ownership as it is more richly conceived—hence its designation as the self-ownership proviso. As an implication of the right of self-ownership which is also compatible, in theory and practice, with extensive and robust private property rights, the SOP is offered as an integral element of classical-liberal political theory. (shrink)
In this paper we give a full account of the work of William Thomson on absolute temperature, which to this day provides the theoretical underpinnings for the most rigorous measurements of temperature. When Thomson fashioned his concepts of ‘absolute’ temperature, his main concern was to make the definition of temperature independent of the properties of particular thermometric substances . He tried out a succession of definitions based on the thermodynamics of ideal heat engines; most notably, in 1854 he (...) gave the ratio of two temperatures as the ratio of quantities of heat taken in and given out at those temperatures in a Carnot cycle. But there were difficulties with using such definitions for experimental work, since it was not possible even to approximate an ideal Carnot engine in reality. More generally, it is not trivial to connect an abstract concept with concrete operations in order to make physical measurements possible. In the end, Thomson argued that an ideal gas thermometer would indicate his absolute temperature, and that the deviation of actual gas thermometers from the ideal could be estimated by means of the Joule‐Thomson effect. However, the measurement of the Joule‐Thomson effect itself required measurements of temperature, so there was a problem of circularity. (shrink)
James Thomson envisaged a lamp which would be turned on for 1 minute, off for 1/2 minute, on for 1/4 minute, etc. ad infinitum. He asked whether the lamp would be on or off at the end of 2 minutes. Use of “internal set theory” (a version of nonstandard analysis), developed by Edward Nelson, shows Thomson's lamp is chimerical; its copy within set theory yields a contradiction. The demonstration extends to placing restrictions on other “infinite tasks” such as (...) Zeno's paradoxes of motion and Kant's First Antinomy. Resolution of such logical-philosophical problems leads to some very general constraints which must be placed upon the syntax of physical theories. In particular, at some scale space and time would appear granular. The suitability of internal set theory for analyzing phenomena is examined, using a paper by Alper and Bridger (1997) to frame the discussion. (shrink)
In her ground-breaking 1971 article, “A Defense of Abortion,” Judith Jarvis Thomson argues that even if one grants to the prolifer her most important premise—that the fetus is a person—the prolifer’s conclusion, the intrinsic wrongness of abortion, does not follow. However, in her 1995 article, “Abortion: Whose Right?,” Thomson employs Rawlsian liberalism to argue that even though the prolifer’s view of fetal personhood is not unreasonable, the prochoice advocate is not unreasonable in rejecting it. Thus, because we should (...) err on the side of liberty, the right to abortion is vindicated. In this article, I argue that Thomson’s latter reliance on Rawlsian thinking suggests a way of re-reading her earlier essay that casts doubt on whether she really grants the dominant prolife account of unborn human life. (shrink)
I am grateful to Eric Schliesser for his gracious response, and to Philosophy East and West and Roger Ames for hosting this discussion. The challenges currently facing the profession regarding exclusionary practices are many, and Schliesser's work at both NewAPPS and his newer blog, Digressions&Impressions, is sensitive both to how many and how complex these challenges are. Schliesser is correct that my discussion of the profession's conversational patterns is both a bit ungenerous and more than a little ambitious, asking (...) for "revolution" in how the discipline not only talks, but operates. Likewise, Schliesser is right to point out that there are now many, and more than ever before, seeking to probe critically the... (shrink)
Judith Jarvis Thomson recently argued that it is impermissible for a bystander to turn a runaway trolley from five onto one. But she also argues that a trolley driver is required to do just that. We believe that her argument is flawed in three important ways. She fails to give proper weight to (a) an agent¹s claims not to be required to act in ways he does not want to, (b) impartiality in the weighing of competing patient-claims, and (c) (...) the role of patient-claims in determining agent-duties. All three of these failures can be understood in terms of what we call the Mechanics of Claims, an approach we develop for identifying and balancing competing claims in determining rights. Using that framework, one can see both why Thomson's most recent argument is mistaken, and how to think more clearly about deontological choices generally. (shrink)
In 1938, doctors Eric Guttmann and Walter Maclay, two psychiatrists based at the Maudsley Hospital in London, administered the hallucinogenic drug mescaline to a group of artists, asking the participants to record their experiences visually. These artists included the painter Julian Trevelyan, who was associated with the British surrealist movement at this time. Published as ‘Mescaline hallucinations in artists’, the research took place at a crucial time for psychiatry, as the discipline was beginning to edge its way into the (...) scientific arena. Newly established, the Maudsley Hospital received Jewish émigrés from Germany to join its ranks. Sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, this group of psychiatrists brought with them an enthusiasm for psychoactive drugs and visual media in the scientific study of psychopathological states. In this case, Guttmann and Maclay enlisted the help of surrealist artists, who were harnessing hallucinogens for their own revolutionary aims. Looking behind the images, particularly how they were produced and their legacy today, tells a story of how these groups cooperated, and how their overlapping ecologies of knowledge and experience coincided in these remarkable inscriptions. (shrink)
Iain Thomson's critique is persuasive on several points but not on the major issue, the relation of the ontological to the ontic in Heidegger's philosophy of technology. This reply attempts to show that these two dimensions of Heidegger's theory are closely related, at least in the technological domain, and not separate, as Thomson affirms. It is argued that Heidegger's evaluations of particular technologies, the flaws of which Thomson concedes, proceed from a flawed ontological conception.
Following its determination of a finding of scientific misconduct the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) will seek redress for any injury sustained. Several remedies both administrative and statutory may be available depending on the strength of the evidentiary findings of the misconduct investigation. Pursuant to federal regulations administrative remedies are primarily remedial in nature and designed to protect the integrity of the affected research program, whereas statutory remedies including civil fines and criminal penalties are designed to deter and punish wrongdoers. (...) This commentary discusses the available administrative and statutory remedies in the context of a specific case, that of former University of Vermont nutrition researcher Eric Poehlman, and supplies a possible rationale for the legal result. (shrink)
In this paper I offer three main challenges to James (2011). All three turn on the nature of philosophy and secure knowledge in Spinoza. First, I criticize James's account of the epistemic role that experience plays in securing adequate ideas for Spinoza. In doing so I criticize her treatment of what is known as the ‘conatus doctrine’ in Spinoza in order to challenge her picture of the relationship between true religion and philosophy. Second, this leads me into a criticism of (...) her account of the nature of philosophy in Spinoza. I argue it is less piecemeal and less akin to what we would recognize as ‘science’ than she suggests. Third, I argue against James's core commitment that Spinoza's three kinds of knowledge differ in degree; I claim they differ in kind. My argument will offer a new interpretation of Spinoza's conception of ‘common notions’. Moreover, I argue that Spinozistic adequate knowledge involves something akin to angelic disembodiment. (shrink)
The scope of embryo research in the UK has been expanded by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Regulations 2001. Two advisory bodies—the Chief Medical Officer’s Expert Group and the House of Lords’ Select Committee—presented various arguments in favour of embryo research. One of these is the view that, just as lottery tickets have relatively little value before the draw because of the low probability of their being the winning ticket, early embryos have relatively little value because of the presumed low (...) probability that they will mature into more developed embryos. This argument from probability is questioned in this paper, as well as the contention that allowing embryo destruction is incompatible with the view that embryos have full moral status. Although I challenge Savulescu’s view that early embryos should be entered into a lottery in which they are subjected to the probability of being destroyed , a revised version of Thomson’s analogy of the famous violinist defies the view that the position that the embryo has full moral status is incompatible with qualified support for embryo destruction. (shrink)