Behaviorists accept, but go beyond, Williams' notion that there is an evolutionary origin to some unlearned pain behaviors. A behavior-analytic developmental model is a better fit for explaining the totality of pain behaviors. This model focuses on respondent-operant interactions and views much pain behavior as “mands” (i.e., demands). Behaviorally based explanations from the crying and social referencing literature support this model.
Darwin's theory of natural selection is as applicable to the analysis of the behavior of organisms as it is to their origins. Skinner's theoretical writings have guided operant psychologists in this area. The behavioral account of selection by Donahoe and Palmer (1994) is positively compared to the points on operant selection made by Hull et al. The “general account of selection” was found to be useful.
In Defense of Religious Liberty contains David Novak’s vigorous—and paradoxical—argument that the primacy of divine law is the best foundation for a secular, multicultural democracy. Novak presents his claim, which will astound both liberal and conservative advocates of democracy, in political, philosophical, and theological terms. He shows how the universal norms of divine law are knowable as natural law, that they are the best formulations of the human rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that (...) their assertion includes an explicit recognition of God as cosmic lawgiver. Furthermore, Novak maintains that the seemingly disparate ideas of divine command, natural law, and human rights can be integrated into one overall political theory. Novak reveals this integration at work in the classical texts of his own Jewish tradition, as well as in the canonical philosophical tradition of the West, from Plato to the Stoics to Grotius to Kant. He also convincingly makes the case that those who reject any legitimate role for religion in discussions of public morality inevitably substitute arbitrary human power for divine command, arbitrary positive law for natural law, and arbitrary governmental entitlements for human rights that exist prior to the establishment of the state. Novak concludes that religious traditions like Judaism, precisely because they incorporate the doctrines of God the cosmic lawgiver, natural law, and human rights, provide the most coherent ontological foundation for democracy in today’s world. (shrink)
Covenantal Rights is a groundbreaking work of political theory: a comprehensive, philosophically sophisticated attempt to bring insights from the Jewish political tradition into current political and legal debates about rights and to bring rights discourse more fully into Jewish thought. David Novak pursues these aims by presenting a theory of rights founded on the covenant between God and the Jewish people as that covenant is constituted by Scripture and the rabbinic tradition. In doing so, he presents a powerful challenge (...) to prevailing liberal and conservative positions on rights and duties and opens a new chapter in contemporary Jewish political thinking.For Novak, "covenantal rights" are rooted in God's primary rights as creator of the universe and as the elector of a particular community whose members relate to this God as their sovereign. The subsequent rights of individuals and communities flow from God's covenantal promises, which function as irrevocable entitlements. This presents a sharp contrast to the liberal tradition, in which rights flow above all from individuals. It also challenges the conservative idea that duties can take precedence over rights, since Novak argues that there are no covenantal duties that are not backed by correlative rights. Novak explains carefully and clearly how this theory of covenantal rights fits into Jewish tradition and applies to the relationships among God, the covenanted community, and individuals. This work is a profound and provocative contribution to contemporary religious and political theory. (shrink)
At present liberal education is generally understood and justified as the acquisition of critical thinking skills and individual autonomy. Traditionally, however, the ultimate purpose of liberal education has been leisure. Freedom, it was thought, was not simply the result of critical thinking but also required the cultivation of leisure that involved a vigilant receptivity — a stillness from the busy world of work and the restive probing of a discursive mind. In this essay, Kevin Gary argues that the cultivation (...) of leisure has been and ought to be an essential part of what constitutes a liberal education. Focused on interior freedom, leisure offers a valuable way of learning that ushers in an authentic freedom that a critical approach to learning and liberal education does not. Accordingly, it offers a valuable defense against the hegemonic world of work that defines and appraises one’s value exclusively in terms of one’s doing. (shrink)
This book breaks new ground in the study of Judaism, in philosophy, and in comparative ethics. It demonstrates that the assumption that Judaism has no natural law theory to speak of, held by the vast majority of scholars, is simply wrong. The book shows how natural law theory, using a variety of different terms for itself throughout the ages, has been a constant element in Jewish thought. The book sorts out the varieties of Jewish natural law theory, illuminating their strengths (...) and weaknesses. It also presents a case for utilising natural law theory in order to deal with current theological and philosophical questions in Judaism's ongoing reflection on its own meaning and its meaning for the wider world. David Novak combines great erudition in the Jewish tradition, the history of philosophy and law, and the imagination to argue for Judaism in the context of current debates, both theoretical and practical. (shrink)
Leading contemporary Jewish thinker David Novak has here compiled ten of his essays on a variety of issues in Jewish ethics. Drawing constantly on classical Jewish tradition, Novak also looks at a wide range of modern critical scholarship on the ancient sources. He aims to point out certain common features of Jewish and Christian ethics and the normative implications of this overlapping of traditions; he assumes the reality of a "Judeo-Christian ethic," while refusing to minimize the doctrinal differences (...) between the two traditions. The essays address such major normative issues in social justice as ecology, war and peace, the treatment of minorities, and the approach to AIDS patients. This combination of theoretical reflection and practical application, along with careful and detailed analysis of classical Jewish texts, makes the book a welcome contribution to contemporary ethical theory and normative ethics as well as a work of original Jewish theology. (shrink)
This article originally appeared in The Commonweal (October 5, 1962): 31–3. Michael Novak, a graduate student at the time, met Marcel while he was at Harvard University to deliver the William James lectures in the fall of 1961. Those lectures were subsequently printed in the volume, The Existential Background ofHuman Dignity (1963). The article is reprinted here with the kind permission of Michael Novak and the Commonweal magazine.
Many studies written about the Jewish-Christian relationship are primarily historical overviews that focus on the Jewish background of Christianity, the separation of Christianity from Judiasm, or the medieval disputations between the two faiths. This book is one of the first studies to examine the relationship from a philosophical and theological viewpoint. Carefully drawing on Jewish classical sources, Novak argues that there is actual justification for the new relationship between Judaism and Christianity from within Jewish religious tradition. He demonstrates that (...) this new relationship is possible between religiously committed Jews and Christians without the two major impediments to dialogue: triumphalism and relativism. One of the very few books on this topic written by a Jewish theologian who speaks specifically to modern Christian concerns, it will provide the groundwork for a more serious development of Jewish-Christian dialogue in our day. (shrink)
This essay presents and analyzes the recent work of four prominent contemporary Jewish ethicists: Eugene Borowitz, David Novak, Byron Sherwin, and Walter Wurzburger. These authors are united in their affirmation of covenant as the central category of Jewish moral obligation and their concern to construct a Jewish ethic out of the classical sources of Judaism. Yet, as an individual analysis of their books will show, they adopt markedly different views of the authority of traditional Jewish law , the respective (...) roles of individual and community in moral deliberation, and the degree to which changing historical circumstances alter moral truths. (shrink)
Writing as a philosopher, not as a social scientist, the author takes a radically different approach to the study of criminality, asking not 'what are the causes of crime?' but 'what are the causes of virtue?' Novak concentrates on what builds character and why there is a serious lack of character in our culture and society today.
This paper first reviews key Buddhist concepts of time anicca , khanavada and uji and then describes the way in which a particular form of Bhuddist meditation, vipassana, may be thought to actualize them in human experience. The chief aim of the paper is to present a heuristic model of how vipassana meditation, by eroding dispositional tendencies rooted in the body-unconscious alters psychological time, transforming our felt-experience of time from a binding to a liberating force.
Jewish ethics like Judaism itself has often been charged with being "particularistic," and in modernity it has been unfavorably compared with the universality of secular ethics. This charge has become acute philosophically when the comparison is made with the ethics of Kant. However, at this level, much of the ethical rejection of Jewish particularism, especially its being beholden to a God who is above the universe to whom this God prescribes moral norms and judges according to them, is also a (...) rejection of Christian (or any other monotheistic) ethics, no matter how otherwise universal. Yet this essay argues that Jewish ethics that prescribes norms for all humans, and that is knowable by all humans, actually constitutes a wider moral universe than does Kantian ethics, because it can include non-rational human objects and even non-human objects altogether. This essay also argues that a totally egalitarian moral universe, encompassing all human relations, becomes an infinite, totalizing universe, which can easily become the ideological justification (ratio essendi) of a totalitarian regime. (shrink)
This paper is an attempt to develop the many-valued first-order fuzzy logic. The set of its truth, values is supposed to be either a finite chain or the interval 0, 1 of reals. These are special cases of a residuated lattice L, , , , , 1, 0. It has been previously proved that the fuzzy propositional logic based on the same sets of truth values is semantically complete. In this paper the syntax and semantics of the first-order fuzzy logic (...) is developed. Except for the basic connectives and quantifiers, its language may contain also additional n-ary connectives and quantifiers. Many propositions analogous to those in the classical logic are proved. The notion of the fuzzy theory in the first-order fuzzy logic is introduced and its canonical model is constructed. Finally, the extensions of Gödel's completeness theorems are proved which confirm that the first-order fuzzy logic is also semantically complete. (shrink)
The deepest moral justification for a capitalist system is not solely that, poor system that it is, it serves liberty better than any other known system; not even that is raises up the living standards of the poor higher than any other system has; nor that it better improves the state of human health and the balance between humans and the environment that either real existing socialism or the traditional Third World society has. All these things, however difficult for one (...) to admit, are empirically true. The true moral strength of capitalism, however, lies in its promotion of human creativity.New wealth can be created. Human beings themselves are the primary cause of the wealth of nations. Human creativity is nature''s primary resource. Removing the institutional repression that now stifles that creativity is the large task ahead of us. (shrink)
In examining Ennead VI 4, we find Plotinus in conflict with modern, i.e., Cartesian or Kantian, assumptions about the relation of soul and body and the identification of the self with the subject. Curiously, his images and exposition are more in tune with Twentieth Century notions such as wave and field. With these as keys, we are in a position to unlock the subtlety of Plotinus' analysis of the way soul and body are present together, with sensation structured through the (...) body and judgment coming from the soul. The problem of the self concerns not only the unity of the self in terms of body and soul, but also how the self is constituted in relation to other selves, both keeping its individuality and sharing its experiences at the same time. (shrink)
I extract several common assumptions in the Classical Theory of Mind (CTM) - mainly of Locke and Descartes - and work out a partial formalisation of the logic implicit in CTM. I then define the modal (logical) properties and relations of propositions, including the modality of conditional propositions and the validity of argument, according to the principles of CTM: that is, in terms of clear and distinct ideas, and without any reference to either possible worlds, or deducibility in an axiomatic (...) system, or linguistic convention. (shrink)
L’Autrice si propone di tracciare la genealogia della posizione neoliberale, partendo soprattutto dai testi di Gary Becker. Il pensiero economico neoliberale è posto in relazione con la rivoluzione scientifica e l’operazione di matematizzazione della natura che da essa scaturisce. Questo percorso porterà poi a Jeremy Bentham, il cui sistema è spesso visto come antesignano degli studiosi neoliberali. Secondo la tesi sostenuta dall’Autrice, il neoliberalismo presenta il proprio sguardo come una neutra e scientifica descrizione del reale, sennonché in tale mossa (...) si annida pur sempre una tendenza normativa. È così che gli economisti neoliberali elaborano un sistema che è altresì prescrittivo, proponendo un modello che si pone sul piano politico; modello il quale viene qui designato con il nome di «utopia economica». (shrink)
With his 1998 book, In Nature’s Interests? Gary Varner proved to be one of our most original and trenchant of environmental ethicists. Here, in the first of a promised two volume set, he makes his mark on another field, animal ethics, leaving an even deeper imprint. Thoroughly grounded in the relevant philosophical and scientific literatures, Varner is as precise in analysis as he is wide-ranging in scope. His writing is clear and rigorous, and he explains philosophical nuances with extraordinary (...) economy of expression. Never one to add an unnecessary clause to a sentence, Varner nonetheless constructs a formidable edifice while always dealing fairly with the authors he criticizes. His explication of the properties and moral status of what he calls near-persons is a crucial addition to the discussion of personhood initiated by Parfit in Reasons and Persons and subsequently applied to animals by McMahan in The Ethics of Killing. The comparison to McMahan is intentional for, to my mind, Varner vies with him as the most important animal ethicist since Singer and Regan. (shrink)
Although Foucault’s 1979 lectures on The Birth of Biopolitics promised to treat the theme of biopolitics, the course deals at length with neoliberalism while mentioning biopolitics hardly at all. Some scholars account for this elision by claiming that Foucault sympathized with neoliberalism; I argue on the contrary that Foucault develops a penetrating critique of the neoliberal claim to preserve individual liberty. Following Foucault, I show that the Chicago economist Gary Becker exemplifies what Foucault describes elsewhere as biopolitics: a form (...) of power applied to the behavior of a population through the normalizing use of statistics. Although Becker’s preference for indirect intervention might seem to preserve the independence of individuals, under biopolitics individual liberty is itself the means by which populations are governed indirectly. In my view, by describing the history and ambivalence of neoliberal biopolitics, Foucault fosters a critical vigilance that is the precondition for creative political resistance. (shrink)
In A Million Years of Music, Gary Tomlinson develops an extensive evolutionary narrative that emphasises several important components of human musicality and proposes a theory of the coalescence of these components. In this essay I tie some of Tomlinson’s ideas to five constraints on theories of music’s evolution. This provides the framework for organising my reconstruction of his model. Thereafter I focus on Tomlinson’s description of ‘entraining’ Acheulean toolmakers and offer several criticisms. I close with some tentative proposals for (...) further theorising. (shrink)
Gary Marcus has written a very interesting book about mental development from a nativist perspective. For the general readership at which the book is largely aimed, it will be interesting because of its many informative examples of the development of cognitive structures and because of its illuminating explanations of ways in which genes can contribute to these developmental processes. However, the book is also interesting from a theoretical point of view. Marcus tries to make nativism compatible with the central (...) arguments that anti-nativists use to attack nativism and with many recent discoveries about genetic activity and brain development. In so doing, he reconfigures the nativist position to a considerable extent. (shrink)
A review of Personhood, Ethics, and Animal Cognition: Situating Animals in Hare’s Two-Level Utilitarianism, by Gary E. Varner. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2012. Pp. xv + 336. H/b £40.23. and The Philosophy of Animal Minds, edited by Robert W. Lurz. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Pp. 320. P/b £20.21.
In this short essay I respond to Kevin Gary’s generous review of my book Reclaiming Goodness by considering his two main concerns, that I tend to conflate spirituality and morality and that I am not sufficiently sensitive to tensions between spirituality and critical thinking. I respond by noting that Gary has not taken adequate account of the distinction between deontological morality and aretaic ethics in the first instance and between the Aristotelian notions of Sophia and Phronesis, or pure (...) reason and practical wisdom, in the second. (shrink)
Mainstream economics evaluates capitalism primarily from the perspective of efficiency. Social philosophy typically applies other or additional normative criteria, such as equality, democracy, and community. This essay examines the implications of these contrasting sets of criteria in the evaluation of capitalism. Its first two sections consider the criteria themselves, assuming that a trade-off exists between them. The last three sections question whether such a trade-off necessarily occurs, and explore the claim that improvements in nonefficiency dimensions of capitalist society may enhance, (...) rather than conflict with, efficiency. (shrink)
Gary S. Slater's C. S. Peirce & Nested Continua Model of Religious Interpretation comes to readers in the Oxford University Press series Oxford Theology and Religion Monographs. Before I say more about Slater's complex book, a story: Much philosophical scholarship on C. S. Peirce tends either to neglect the religious dimensions of his work or to secularize, demystify, and detheologize it. These secularized interpretations alienate those who read Peirce within the Christian and Jewish theological traditions and estrange the Transcendentalists (...) within American Philosophy who rely on religious language to talk and think about the natural world and personhood.There are significant divisions among Peirce scholars: the... (shrink)
In Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, a central teaching calls on humanity to be "true to the earth," to affirm "the meaning [Sinn] of the earth." Scholars commonly read this as a call to embrace natural life, countering any transcendent or life-denying doctrine in the tradition. While certainly an apt reading, Gary Shapiro's remarkable new book draws attention to and articulates the many ways in which Nietzsche celebrates the actual earthen characteristics of human habitats: the concrete places, locales, climates, and (...) environments that sustain our dwelling on earth. Here, geology and geography are brought to bear and expanded into an enriched, meaning-laden "geo-philosophy." Shapiro interprets Nietzsche's... (shrink)
Law Professor Gary Chartier, of La Sierra University, has joined the journal’s Editorial Board. Professor Chartier, author of the forthcoming The Conscience of an Anarchist, was recently awarded the La Sierra University Faculty Senate’s once-every-three-years Distinguished Scholarship Award. We are honored to have his participation.