. Philosopher-theologian Bernard J. F. Lonergan defines emergence as the process in which âotherwise coincidental manifolds of lower conjugate acts invite the higher integration effected by higher conjugate formsâ (Insight,  1992, 477). The meaning and implications of Lonergan’s concept of emergence are considered in the context of the problem of reductionism in the natural sciences. Examples are taken primarily from physics, chemistry, and biology.
Monkeys and apes, inhabiting variable environments and subjected to K-selection, exhibit cultural behavior transmitted horizontally and vertically, like cetaceans. Behaviors enhancing better health and nutrition, predator avoidance, or mate selection, can affect differential reproduction.Furthermore, dominance hierarchies and social status not only affect the transmission and acceptance of new behaviors but they may also affect genetic inheritance.
Several recent articles raise an issue long unaddressed in the medical literature: physician compliance with patient or family requests for futile or ineffectice therapy. Although they agree philosophically that such treatment ought not be given, most physicians have followed the course described by Stanley Fiel, in which a young patient dying of cystic fibrosis was accepted “for evaluation” by a transplant center even though he has already passed the threshold of viability as a candidate for a heart-lung transplant. Dr. Fiel (...) reported this action was taken not in the hope of doing the transplant but so that the family could assure themselves they had done “everything possible.” The patient, after a long and stressful cross-country flight, arrived at the hospital in respiratory failure. He died soon thereafter far from home and familiar surroundings. (shrink)
In this introductory essay, the authors develop implications for ethical theory which relate to the three studies of cosmogony and ethics in the Focus articles by Guberman, Campany, and Read. They suggest that the dialogue between theory and description which Green and C. Reynolds urge in their Focus article should be understood as a search for adequate forms of ethical theory that must go on in both ethics and comparative studies, as well as in interdisciplinary conversations between them. In considering (...) the descriptive studies in this focus section, and in the collection "Cosmogony and Ethical Order," the authors conclude that the type of ethical theory which will prove most useful for further studies in comparative ethics will be a form of ethical naturalism. (shrink)
Comparative ethics raises theoretical and methodological problems important for all ethical studies. Five essays in this focus section provide introductions to the ethics of specific indigenous cultures and suggest implications for further comparative studies. In this introduction, we review these findings and discuss their relevance to the concept of ethical naturalism which we have previously offered as a basis for comparative work.
A common finding is that information order influences belief revision (e.g., Hogarth & Einhorn, 1992). We tested personal experience as a possible mitigator. In three experiments participants experienced the probabilistic relationship between pieces of information and object category through a series of trials where they assigned objects (planes) into one of two possible categories (hostile or commercial), given two sequentially presented pieces of probabilistic information (route and ID), and then they had to indicate their belief about the object category before (...) feedback. The results generally confirm the predictions from the Hogarth and Einhorn model. Participants showed a recency effect in their belief revision. Extending previous model evaluations the results indicate that the model predictions also hold for classification decisions, and for pieces of information that vary in their diagnostic values. Personal experience does not appear to prevent order effects in classification decisions based on sequentially presented pieces of information and in belief revision. (shrink)
Theravāda Buddhists draw a doctrinal distinction between otherworldly (lokuttara) and this-worldly (lokiya) actions, and also an ecclesiastical distinction between bhikkhu (wandering mendicant or 4 "monastic") action and lay action. Within the Theravāda tradition these modes of action have overlapped to form a more empirically relevant set. This set is constituted by the otherworldly action of the path winning bhikkhus, the this-worldly action of ordinary bhikkhus, the path winning or bodhisatta (future Buddha) action of exceptional laymen, and the this-worldly action of (...) ordinary laymen. These four modes of action have meshed together to form the basis for very complex and persistent Theravāda societies in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. The article concludes with some methodological observations concerning the relationship between the study of action (as carried out in the body of the article), and the study of ethics (as carried out by most contemporary scholars in the field of religious ethics). (shrink)
The extent to which Pavlovian feed-forward mechanisms operate in primates is debatable. Monkeys and apes are long-lived, usually gregarious, and intelligent animals reliant on learned behavior. Learning occurs during play, mother-infant interactions, and grooming. We address these situations, and are hesitant to accept Domjan et al.'s reliance on Pavlovian conditioning as a major operant in primates.