Plutarch, in his work,_ Peri __Deisidaimon_ia_ __,_ presents a striking portrayal of superstition in the First Century. The Philosopher who also served for decades as a priest of Apollo portrays the pernicious effects of some supposed religious practices as worse than the outcome of atheism. His position constitutes a forceful explanation to ostensibly controversial socio-religious behaviours. This article discusses some of the priest’s concerns as well as his rebuff of religious attitudes that are borne out of what he describes as (...) misrepresentation of the gods or superstition. Plutarch’s essay is seen as illustrating a reason for a socio-religious situation in Africa, a continent that shares a similar religious background with the world of the writer. Specifically, with the example of the hard fight against street begging in some parts of Nigeria, the article shows how social reform programmes could fail when effects of traditional African beliefs and cultural practices remain potent. __. (shrink)
In a series of recent papers, Jonathan Schaffer presents a novel framework for understanding grounding. Metaphysical laws play a central role. In addition, Schaffer argues that, contrary to what many have thought, there is no special 'explanatory gap' between consciousness and the physical world. Instead, explanatory gaps are everywhere. I draw out and criticize the methodology for metaphysics implicit in Schaffer's presentation. In addition, I argue that even if we accept Schaffer's picture, there remains a residual explanatory gap between consciousness (...) and the physical. The residual gap does most of the same philosophical work as the original. Schaffer has introduced a troublesome metaphysical methodology that fails to follow through on its biggest promise: to deflate the explanatory gap. (shrink)
We use a result due to Rolin, Speissegger, and Wilkie to show that definable sets in certain o-minimal structures admit definable parameterizations by mild maps. We then use this parameterization to prove a result on the density of rational points on curves defined by restricted Pfaffian functions.
If we had no idea which parts of Greek literature in a certain period were poetry or prose, we would regard it as our first job to find out. How much of the Greek prose of the Imperial period is rhythmic has excited less attention; and yet the question should greatly affect both our reading of specific texts and our understanding of the whole literary scene. By ‘rhythmic’ prose, this article means only prose that follows the Hellenistic system of rhythm (...) started, it is said, by Hegesias, and adopted by Cicero and by many Latin writers of the Imperial period. Estimates of how much Greek Imperial prose is rhythmic have long varied drastically. Some experts suggest that all or much artistic Greek prose in the period is rhythmic, others that what little there is fades out after the first centurya.d., as part of the victory of Atticism. There has been fairly little substantial work on rhythmic prose in the first three centuriesa.d.for over fifty years. The object of this article is to investigate a large part of one author's work thoroughly, and to establish that that part is rhythmic. It will also aim to show how that conclusion should greatly affect our whole conception of the author as a writer, and our reading of his every sentence. (shrink)
Cultural taboos and their sanctionshave helped to check abuse of the environmentat least among the local people. The disregardfor these traditional checks and balancesespecially among Christians has adverselyaffected their enforcement at this time. Theenvironment and culture preservation inAwka-South were investigated. The faithfulobservance of the traditional laws in the studyarea was attributed to the fact that Awka-Southarea had remained occupied by the same peoplefor centuries. The study showed that thepreserved forests and their shrines in Nibotown have largely remained intact. In Nisetown, (...) however, with nine shrines still inexistence, the rules have relaxed a little,mainly because they embraced modernization. Inthis town, the fringes of the forests may beused for farming but no felling of trees wouldbe allowed. The ``god'' of the shrine in Obunaguvillage was much revered until the advent ofChristianity. This religion has had an erodingeffect on the taboos, which were put in placeto protect their forests and streams. Theabandonment of traditional cultural practicesis doing harm that goes beyond the abrogationof traditional cultural practices to seriousthreat to natural environmental structures. Thecultures of the different tribes in Nigerianeed to be revisited for evaluation and studiesto enable their integration into modernpractices that will make the environment moresustainable. This will be more productive thanthe unilateral introduction of programs,execution, and maintenance methods that arecompletely new, or in many cases run contraryto the cultural practices of the local peopleand tribes of Nigeria. (shrink)
For this, the second of four volumes comprising the papers submitted for publication by the invited participants to the Fifth International Congress of Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science, held at the University of Western Ontario in 1975, the editors have selected papers concerned with "foundational problems" in the physical sciences, biology, psychology, and the social sciences. In spite of the wide range of papers included in the volume, the reader never learns exactly what constitutes a foundational problem in the (...) philosophy of science. Would it be reasonable to suppose that foundational problems focus upon the basic logical, epistemological, and metaphysical issues posed by the special sciences, to the exclusion of purely methodological and strictly historical issues? In fact, the contributions to this volume cover the entire scope of metaphysical, epistemological, logical, methodological, historical, and quasi-historical questions that are conventionally classified under the philosophy of science in contemporary academic discourse. There are essays on the genesis of the universe, the methodology of physics, and quantum mechanics; essays on various topics in the philosophy of biology—including the ontological status of species, theories and observation in developmental biology, determinism and teleology, and genetic information; essays on problems in the philosophy of psychology-including consciousness and the brain, causality and action, and methodological problems in the investigation of human activity; three essays on learning theory; and several essays on problems in the philosophy of social science—including methodology, axiological problems, and four papers on the concept of rationality which are principally concerned with J. Harsanyi’s researches on the contribution of Bayesian decision theory and recent developments in game theory to the understanding of rational behavior. (shrink)
Nnewi is situated some 30 kilometres South East of Onitsha in Anambra State in the southeastern part of Nigeria. This highly commercial town has undergone rapid urbanisation and industrialisation within the past two decades, since the end of the 1967–1970 Nigerian civil war. The Igbo community of the study area had traditionally employed bioconversion methods and other indigenous technology to process or recycle bio and non-degradable wastes. Industrialisation has enjoyed priority status in this locality as a requirement for modernisation and (...) economic progress. The rapid urbanisation, aggressive industrialisation, and the attendant uncontrolled population growth have had a deleterious impact on the environment. There is now a wide range of industrial wastes that are released daily into the environment. Effects of these activities on the socio-cultural practices of the people, plant genetic resources and the environment are highlighted. In addition to palliative measures suggested here, a call is made to revisit the successful indigenous waste treatment and management technology formerly practised by the Igbo community. The importance of combining modern biotechnological approaches with the indigenous technology, norms and practices of Nwewi people to effect suitable waste treatment and management, as well as improving the living habits and the education of the people about their environment, is recommended. (shrink)