The democratic age -- A brief history of human liberty -- The twisted path -- Illiberal democracy -- The Islamic exception -- Too much of a good thing -- The death of authority -- The way out -- The 51st state.
We explain here how the natural selection theory of people's mutualistic sense of fairness and the biofunctional theory of human understanding are made for each other. We welcome the stage that the target article has already set for this convergence, and invite the authors to consider moving the two independently developed approaches a step closer to the natural selection level of biofunctional understanding.
The general notion of relative freedom is introduced. It is a kind of freedom that is observed everywhere in nature. In biology, incomplete knowledge is defined for all organisms. They cope with the problem by Popper’s trial-and-error processes. One source of their success is the relative freedom of choice from the basic option ranges: mutations, motions and neuron connections. After the conjecture is adopted that communicability can be used as a criterion of consciousness, free will is defined as a conscious (...) version of relative freedom. The resulting notion is logically self-consistent and it describes an observable phenomenon that agrees with our experience. (shrink)
The main objective of this paper was to examine the involuntary nature of music-evoked autobiographical memories. For this purpose, young adults, older adults, and patients with a clinical diagnosis of probable Alzheimer’s disease were asked to remember autobiographical events in two conditions: after being exposed to their own chosen music, and in silence. Compared to memories evoked in silence, memories evoked in the “Music” condition were found to be more specific, accompanied by more emotional content and impact on mood, and (...) retrieved faster. In addition, these memories engaged less executive processes. Thus, with all these characteristics and the fact that they are activated by a perceptual cue , music-evoked autobiographic memories have all the features to be considered as involuntary memories. Our paper reveals several characteristics of music-evoked autobiographical memories in AD patients and offers a theoretical background for this phenomenon. (shrink)
This essay diagnoses the condition of contemporary liberal democracies. It assumes that the current crisis of democracy is not the result of an external ideological threat, but it is the result of the lack of a coherent vision of democracy itself. The author recognises that the key symptom of the contemporary crisis is the decreasing involvement of citizens in public life and their growing reluctance to participate in public debate. He claims that the reason for this is the increasing social (...) polarisation. The article considers two forms of polarisation: vertical and horizontal. The first form is illustrated by Colin Crouch’s considerations, while the second one by Fareed Zakaria’s thoughts. What finds its manifestation in both cases is the phenomenon of citizens’ resignation from participation in the public debate; in the first case it is because of the lack of faith in the effectiveness of this type of opiniongiving mechanism, while in the second case it is because of the lack of recognition of other political and ideological options in society. These reflections are concluded in the postulate that the basic task facing democracy today is to maintain the public sphere as open as possible, i.e. not excluding any ideological position in advance. This kind of conclusion is illustrated with the concepts of Chantal Mouffe and Helmuth Plessner. (shrink)
Pakistan is among the countries where number of English language users is on rapid growth. Despite English has been an influential language in Pakistan since its independence, learners face difficulties in almost every area of English language learning: Listening, reading, writing and speaking referring to just basic skills of English language. This study focuses on one of the four basic skills: Writing. It measures levels of writing anxiety of Pakistani undergraduate students while writing essays on various topics in English. In (...) this study, 418 students participated which represents both public and private sector universities. Cheng SLWAI’s instrument was adopted to answer the research questions. Data analysis revealed that majority of the total participants, 61.48 percent has average level of English language writing anxiety. On the other hand, 19.38 percent of the total participants at undergraduate level face high level of English language writing anxiety. Minimum 19.14 percent of the total participants belong to low level of English language writing anxiety. It is interesting to note that both participants from the private and public sector universities experienced average level of writing anxiety. Consequently, English Language Teachers have to adopt/adapt those writing approaches and modify their methods of writing instruction which could help learners decrease their writing anxiety. (shrink)
Although the integrative memory model proposed by Bastin et al. is interesting, particularly for Alzheimer's disease, it may benefit from incorporating the subjective experience of recollection. We therefore offer complementary lines of interpretation to explain how recollection and familiarity in Alzheimer's disease can be dissociated based not only on accounts of their neural correlates but, critically, on the subjective experience of memory in patients.
Credit risk analysis is important for financial institutions that provide loans to businesses and individuals. Banks and other financial institutions generally face risks that are mostly of financial nature; hence, such institutions must balance risks and returns. Analyzing or determining risk levels involved in credits, finances, and loans can be performed through predictive analytic techniques, such as an extreme learning machine. In this work, we empirically evaluated the performance of an ELM for credit risk problems and compared it to naive (...) Bayes, decision tree, and multi-layer perceptron. The comparison was conducted on the basis of a German credit risk dataset. The simulation results of statistical measures of performance corroborated that the ELM outperforms naive Bayes, decision tree, and MLP classifiers by 1.8248%, 16.6346%, and 5.8934%, respectively. (shrink)
_As seen on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS__ Forget the world that came before. The author of _American Vertigo_ serves up an incisive look at how COVID-19 reveals the dangerous fault lines of contemporary society._ With medical mysteries, rising death tolls, and conspiracy theories beamed minute by minute through the vast web universe, the coronavirus pandemic has irrevocably altered societies around the world. In this sharp essay, world-renowned philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy interrogates the many meanings and metaphors we have assigned to (...) the pandemic—and what they tell us about ourselves. Drawing on the philosophical tradition from Plato and Aristotle to Lacan and Foucault, Lévy asks uncomfortable questions about reality and mythology: he rejects the idea that the virus is a warning from nature, the inevitable result of global capitalism; he questions the heroic status of doctors, asking us to think critically about the loci of authority and power; he challenges the panicked polarization that dominates online discourse. Lucid, incisive, and always original, Lévy takes a bird’s-eye view of the most consequential historical event of our time and proposes a way to defend human society from threats to our collective future. A portion of the author’s proceeds will be donated to Binc. (shrink)
This book is the first comprehensive attempt to explain Ibn ‘Arabî’s distinctive view of time and its role in the process of creating the cosmos and its relation with the Creator. By comparing this original view with modern theories of physics and cosmology, Mohamed Haj Yousef constructs a new cosmological model that may deepen and extend our understanding of the world, while potentially solving some of the drawbacks in the current models such as the historical Zeno's paradoxes of motion and (...) the recent Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox (EPR) that underlines the discrepancies between Quantum Mechanics and Relativity. (shrink)