Slavoj Zizek is no ordinary philosopher. Approaching critical theory and psychoanalysis in a recklessly entertaining fashion, Zizek's critical eye alights upon a bewildering and exhilarating range of subjects, from the political apathy of contemporary life, to a joke about the man who thinks he's a chicken, from the ethicial heroism of Keanu Reeves in speed , to what toilet designs reveal about the national psyche. Tony Myers provides a clear and engaging guide to Zizek's key ideas, explaining the main (...) influences on Zizek's thought, most crucially his engagement with Lacanian psychoanalysis, using examples drawn from popular culture and everyday life. Myers outlines the key issues that Zizek's work has tackled, including: * What is a Subject and why is it so important? * The Imaginary, the Symbolic and the Real * What is so terrible about Postmodernity? * How can we distinguish reality from ideology? * What is the relationship between men and women? * Why is Racism always a fantasy? Slavoj Zizek is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand the thought of the critic whom Terry Eagleton has described as "the most formidably brilliant exponent of psychoanalysis, indeed of cultural theory in general, to have emerged in Europe for some decades.". (shrink)
Self-Governance and Cooperation offers solutions to two fundamental problems in moral philosophy, one concerning the nature and requirements of morality and the other the nature and requirements of practical reason. Robert Myers’s achievement is not just that his solutions are original and plausible, but that his arguments acknowledge and demonstrate the need to approach the problems as an inseparable pair. Philosophical tradition tells us that questions about the content of morality cannot be answered in isolation from questions about its (...) rational force, and that, even more so, questions about the place of morality in practical reason cannot be answered without taking a stand on contested questions of substantive ethics. Myers’s book is a welcome counterforce to a tendency in contemporary moral philosophy to artificially subdivide the subject. (shrink)
Analyzing Morgenthau's Politics Among Nations, Myers provides a point-by-point discussion of his theory, concluding that the relevance of realism will be seen particularly in the search for a new balance of power in the post-Cold War world.
In a brief summary of a poll conducted by the Carnegie Council, Myers outlines the American public's views on issues ranging from foreign policy/peace issues to economic security, defense, and human rights.
The election of Roh Tae Woo marked the beginning of a new stage in Korean politics: "the period of Korean-style democracy." Myers follows events leading up to this change and predicts a less threatening, less Confucian politics for the Korea of the future.
According to many commentators, Davidson’s earlier work on philosophy of action and truth-theoretic semantics is the basis for his reputation, and his later forays into broader metaphysical and epistemological issues, and eventually into what became known as the triangulation argument, are much less successful. This book by two of his former students aims to change that perception. In Part One, Verheggen begins by providing an explanation and defense of the triangulation argument, then explores its implications for questions concerning semantic normativity (...) and reductionism, the social character of language and thought, and skepticism about the external world. In Part Two, Myers considers what the argument can tell us about reasons for action, and whether it can overcome skeptical worries based on claims about the nature of motivation, the sources of normativity and the demands of morality. The book reveals Davidson’s later writings to be full of innovative and important ideas that deserve much more attention than they are currently receiving. (shrink)
Nineteenth-century European thought, especially in Germany, was increasingly dominated by a new historicist impulse to situate every event, person, or text in its particular context. At odds with the transcendent claims of philosophy and--more significantly--theology, historicism came to be attacked by its critics for reducing human experience to a series of disconnected moments, each of which was the product of decidedly mundane, rather than sacred, origins. By the late nineteenth century and into the Weimar period, historicism was seen by many (...) as a grinding force that corroded social values and was emblematic of modern society's gravest ills. Resisting History examines the backlash against historicism, focusing on four major Jewish thinkers. David Myers situates these thinkers in proximity to leading Protestant thinkers of the time, but argues that German Jews and Christians shared a complex cultural and discursive world best understood in terms of exchange and adaptation rather than influence.After examining the growing dominance of the new historicist thinking in the nineteenth century, the book analyzes the critical responses of Hermann Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, Leo Strauss, and Isaac Breuer. For this fascinating and diverse quartet of thinkers, historicism posed a stark challenge to the ongoing vitality of Judaism in the modern world. And yet, as they set out to dilute or eliminate its destructive tendencies, these thinkers often made recourse to the very tools and methods of historicism. In doing so, they demonstrated the utter inescapability of historicism in modern culture, whether approached from a Christian or Jewish perspective. (shrink)
Robert Myers presents an original moral theory which charts a course between the extremes of consequentialism and contractualism. He puts forward a radically new case for the existence of both agent-neutral and agent-relative values, and gives an innovative answer to the question how such disparate values can be weighed against each other. The result is a theory of morality which combines a balanced account of its content with a ringing affirmation of its authority.
Robert Myers presents an original moral theory which charts a course between the extremes of consequentialism and contractualism, portraying morality not simply as a matter of promoting the overall good but rather as a matter of cooperating in its promotion. This gives him answers to two of the most vexing questions in moral philosophy: how can increasing general welfare and respecting individual rights be equally fundamental features of moral activity, and what gives morality's demands their special character of inescapability?
What is the spirit that animates collective action? What is the ethos of democracy? _Worldly Ethics _offers a powerful and original response to these questions, arguing that associative democratic politics, in which citizens join together and struggle to shape shared conditions, requires a world-centered ethos. This distinctive ethos, Ella Myers shows, involves care for "worldly things," which are the common and contentious objects of concern around which democratic actors mobilize. In articulating the meaning of worldly ethics, she reveals the (...) limits of previous modes of ethics, including Michel Foucault's therapeutic model, based on a "care of the self," and Emmanuel Levinas's charitable model, based on care for the Other. Myers contends that these approaches occlude the worldly character of political life and are therefore unlikely to inspire and support collective democratic activity. The alternative ethics she proposes is informed by Hannah Arendt's notion of _amor mundi_, or love of the world, and it focuses on the ways democratic actors align around issues, goals, or things in the world, practicing collaborative care for them. Myers sees worldly ethics as a resource that can inspire and motivate ordinary citizens to participate in democratic politics, and the book highlights civic organizations that already embody its principles. (shrink)
The scientific study of consciousness in the late 19th century, which took place in Western countries across disciplines such as neurology, physiology, neuropathology, psychology, psychiatry and philosophy, appears to have striking parallels to current crossdisciplinary developments in the neurosciences. The 19th century period, however, has received little scholarly attention from historians of medicine, psychology, or science. Historians of depth psychology have investigated the area as part of the history of psychiatry, but cleaved most closely to the versions presented by early (...) psychoanalysts- turned-historians, who have consistently portrayed Freud as the only legitimate history of the period, thus marking the territory of the late 19th century as inherently Freudo-centric. More recently a new line of historiography emanating from the work of the late Henri Ellenberger has launched a post-Freudian perspective in which the classical depth psychologies of Freud, Jung, and Adler may now be understood in a wider and deeper historical context defined by the development of a so-called French, Swiss, English, and American psychotherapeutic axis between 1881 and 1918, before the advent of psychoanalysis. Chief among the prime movers of this axis was Frederic William Henry Myers, graduate of Cambridge University, and co-founder of the Society for Psychical Research in England in 1882. Myers' grasp of the literature of the day regarding the scientific study of consciousness was both profound, and highly influential, particularly on such figures as William James. Since the period itself has yet to be fully reconstructed, the identity of Myers and his contribution to the scientific study of consciousness remain obscure, but are also receiving new attention in the area of modern consciousness studies. (shrink)
Context: Although ethics consultation is commonplace in United States (U.S.) hospitals, descriptive data about this health service are lacking. Objective: To describe the prevalence, practitioners, and processes of ethics consultation in U.S. hospitals. Design: A 56-item phone or questionnaire survey of the "best informant" within each hospital. Participants: Random sample of 600 U.S. general hospitals, stratified by bed size. Results: The response rate was 87.4%. Ethics consultation services (ECSs) were found in 81% of all general hospitals in the U.S., and (...) in 100% of hospitals with more than 400 beds. The median number of consults performed by ECSs in the year prior to survey was 3. Most individuals performing ethics consultation were physicians (34%), nurses (31%), social workers (11%), or chaplains (10%). Only 41% had formal supervised training in ethics consultation. Consultation practices varied widely both within and between ECSs. For example, 65% of ECSs always made recommendations, whereas 6% never did. These findings highlight a need to clarify standards for ethics consultation practices. (shrink)
Allthough small business accounts for over 90% of businesses in U.K. and indeed elsewhere, they remain the largely uncharted area of ethics. There has not been any research based on the perspective of small business owners, to define what echical delemmas they face and how, if at all, they resolve them. This paper explores ethics from the perspective of small business owner, using focus groups and reports on four clearly identifiable themes of ethical delemmas; entrepreneurial activity itself, conflicts of personal (...) values with business needs, social responsibility and the impact of owners' personality on business ethics. The mechanisms for resolving ethical dilemmas is not at all clear, as there appears to be a web of filters which are used in an inter-connected way. However a common starting point for resolving an ethical delemma which involves others is based on identifying who it is (e.g., a friend or institution) and the quality of the relationship with that person. The research yielded a rich source of material on business ethics and it is clear that future researchers must focus on this sector if business ethics is to make significant advances. (shrink)
The notion that there is a category mistake or some other conceptual confusion in regarding seeing, hearing, and other forms of perception as events, states, or processes is incorrect. Ryle's analysis of "seeing" as an achievement word does not rule out our regarding seeing as an event, but in fact suggests that we do so when we carry the analysis beyond the point where Ryle leaves it. Furthermore there are uses of "see" not noticed by Ryle which justify our saying (...) that within certain contexts seeing is a state and within other contexts a process. The question of what these events, states, and processes are cannot be met without recognizing a fundamental duality of aspect that characterizes perception. This duality can be formulated in terms of the way perception is known. One who observes a perceiver knows the perceiver's perception in a categorically different way than the perceiver knows it. From this it can be seen that perceptual events, states, and processes have both a physical aspect and an epistemological aspect. Any attempt to reduce one of these aspects to the other would involve a category mistake. (shrink)
The emergence of new obstetrical and neonatal technologies, as well as more aggressive clinical management, has significantly improved the survival of extremely low birth weight infants. This development has heightened concerns about the limits of viability. ELBW infants, weighing less than 1,000 grams and no larger than the palm of one's hand, are often described as of late twentieth century technology. Improved survivability of ELBW infants has provided opportunities for long-term follow-up. Information on their physical and emotional development contributes to (...) developing standards of practice regarding their care. (shrink)
This essay defends the view of G. C. Pande that, contrary to received opinion, "ānanda" (bliss, felicity) is accepted by Śaṅkara (ca. 788-820) as a feature of Brahman consistent with and parallel to sat (being) and cit (consciousness). It also includes a counterargument by B. N. K. Sharma, and in conclusion offers a reasoned judgment of the arguments of Śaṅkara and these two contemporary philosophers.
The earth cannot support humanity's increasing population and consumption. Concerned scientists and citizens are therefore wondering how we might work toward a sustainable, survivable human future. Sustainability involves increased technological efficiency and agricultural productivity, but also incentives and attitudes that moderate consumption. Social psychology contributes to changing attitudes and behavior with evidence that a) materialism exacts psychic as well as environmental costs, and b) economic growth has failed to improve human morale. Two principles-the adaptation level phenomenon and social comparison-help explain (...) why materialism and increasing affluence fail to satisfy. (shrink)
Three and 4-year-old children were tested on matched versions of Zaitchik's (1990) photo task and Wimmer and Perner's (1983) false belief task. Although replicating Zaitchik's finding that false belief and photo task are of equal difficulty, this applied only to mean performance across subjects and no substantial correlation between the two tasks was found. This suggests that the two tasks tap different intellectual abilities. It was further discovered that children's performance can be improved by drawing their attention to the back (...) of the photo but not by drawing attention to the person holding the false belief. Results are interpreted as showing that children's difficulty with the photo task is due to referential confusion about which scene the question refers to (the picture or reality) while the hurdle in the false belief task is to understand that the believer misrepresents reality. (shrink)
Since locke, introspection has been generally defined as a form of observation. this is true, for example, of the classical tradition in psychology exemplified by wundt and titchener. recent experimental work by cognitive psychologists continues to treat introspection as a mode of observation while denying its alleged success in identifying cognitive processes. besides psychologists, philosophers such as james, ryle, and quinton are discussed, and they, too, define introspection as a type of observation analogous to perception. the present article calls attention (...) to other concepts of introspection that are important but that have figured less prominently in the history of philosophy and psychology. it is agreed here that, so far as the goals of self-knowledge and self-control are concerned, a concept of introspection other than that of observation is the significant one. explicating the nature of this alternative concept of introspection and its relevance for self-knowledge is the major aim of the article. (shrink)
James argued that time is a sensation, and the main point of this paper is to deny that claim. The concept of the specious present is explained, indicating how it clarifies the concept of "the present moment." But neither it nor an argument used by Mach and James show time to be a sensation. The analysis presented here requires distinguishing concepts of sensation from concepts of temporal relations. James' view is really a theory that time-as-duration is sensed. But this assumes (...) that the description of time as sensed is also a description of time as an objective property of independent events. This is nowhere established, and making it plausible is a recurrent problem for philosophies like neutral monism and radical empiricism. (shrink)
We use the Newell Test as a basis for evaluating ACT-R as an effective architecture for cognitive engineering. Of the 12 functional criteria discussed by Anderson & Lebiere (A&L), we discuss the strengths and weaknesses of ACT-R on the six that we postulate are the most relevant to cognitive engineering.
The nature of conceptual analysis is elucidated by a proposed solution to moore's paradox of analysis. Occurrent, Dispositional, And property concepts are distinguished, And the notion of epistemic gain is introduced and explained. It is shown that although a correct analysis equates property concepts this is done with epistemic gain. It is argued that in a correct analysis there must be no identity between analysans and analysandum in respect to occurrent concepts. The relevance of thought experiments to conceptual analysis is (...) discussed and it is concluded that conceptual analysis consists of a transformation of knowledge how into knowledge that. (shrink)
Associated with each first-order theory is a Boolean algebra of sentences and a Boolean space of models. Homomorphisms between the sentence algebras correspond to continuous maps between the model spaces. To what do recursive homomorphisms correspond? We introduce axiomatizable maps as the appropriate dual. For these maps we prove a Cantor-Bernstein theorem. Duality and the Cantor-Bernstein theorem are used to show that the Boolean sentence algebras of any two undecidable languages or of any two functional languages are recursively isomorphic where (...) a language is undecidable iff it has at least one operation or relation symbol of two or more places or at least two unary operation symbols, and a language is functional iff it has exactly one unary operation symbol and all other symbols are for unary relations, constants, or propositions. (shrink)
According to Thomas Nagel, morality's authority is determined by the extent to which its way of balancing agent-neutral and agent-relative values resembles reason's. He himself would like to think that the resemblance is close enough to ensure that it will always be reasonable to act as morality demands. But his attempts to establish this never really get off the ground, in large part because he never makes it very clear how these two perspectives on value are to be characterized. My (...) goal in this paper is to show how we might flesh out Nagel's conception of these matters by construing reason as a kind of self-governance and morality as involving a certain kind of cooperation. The challenge will therefore be to determine what self-governance and cooperation require of peoplegiven the assumption that there are objective values and that they take both the agent-neutral and the agent-relative forms. What we shall find is that their requirements differ rather more than Nagel allows, but perhaps not enough to prevent morality from being in some significant sense inescapable. (shrink)
While I may have misunderstood certain points in Craig's Molinist theodicy, a careful reading of my article will show that Craig is incorrect in his claim that I have failed to evaluate his proposal on the basis of its asserted standard: plausibility. The heart of my argument is that Craig's theodicy is implausible because it fails to provide a credible explanation of the culpability of all non-believers. In this rejoinder I try to show (1) why an evidentialist exoneration of reflective (...) disbelievers (in Christ) also applies, contra Craig, to the unevangelized; and (2) that an evidentialist account of reflective disbelief is more plausible than Craig's sinful-resistance account. (shrink)