Do the rich descriptions and narrative shapings of literature provide a valuable resource for readers, writers, philosophers, and everyday people to imagine and confront the ultimate questions of life? Do the human activities of storytelling and complex moral decision-making have a deep connection? What are the moral responsibilities of the artist, critic, and reader? What can religious perspectives—from Catholic to Protestant to Mormon—contribute to literary criticism? Thirty well known contributors reflect on these questions, including iterary theorists Marshall Gregory, James (...) Phelan, and Wayne Booth; philosophers Martha Nussbaum, Richard Hart, and Nina Rosenstand; and authors John Updike, Charles Johnson, Flannery O'Connor, and Bernard Malamud. Divided into four sections, with introductory matter and questions for discussion, this accessible anthology represents the most crucial work today exploring the interdisciplinary connections between literature, religion and philosophy. (shrink)
Five experiments investigated how people use categories to make inductions about objects whose categorisation is uncertain. Normatively, they should consider all the categories the object might be in and use a weighted combination of information from all the categories: bet-hedging. The experiments presented people with simple, artificial categories and asked them to make an induction about a new object that was most likely in one category but possibly in another. The results showed that the majority of people focused on the (...) most likely category in making inductions, although there was a group of consistently normative responders who used information from both categories (about 25% of our college population). Across experiments the overall pattern of results suggests that performance in the task is improved not by understanding the underlying principles of bet-hedging but by increasing the likelihood that multiple categories are in working memory at the time of the induction. We discuss implications for improving everyday inductions. (shrink)
Leave No Trace has become the official education and outreach policy for managing recreational use in parks and wilderness areas throughout the United States. It is based on seven core principles that seek to minimize impacts from backcountry recreational activities such as hiking, climbing, and camping. In this paper, we review the history and current practice of Leave No Trace in the United States, including its complex role in the global political economy of outdoor recreation. We conclude by suggesting a (...) new framework for building on the successes of Leave No Trace, while moving beyond its self-imposed limitations, and recapturing wilderness recreation as a more collaborative, participatory, productive, democratic, and radical form of political action. (shrink)
Six experiments investigated variables predicted to influence subjects’ tendency to classify items by a single property instead of overall similarity, following the paradigm of Norenzayan et al., who found that European Americans tended to give more “logical” rule-based responses. However, in five experiments with Mechanical Turk subjects and undergraduates at an American university, we found a consistent preference for similarity-based responding. A sixth experiment with Korean undergraduates revealed an effect of instructions, also reported by Norenzayan et al., in which classification (...) instructions led to majority rule-based responding but similarity instructions led to overall similarity grouping. Our American subjects showed no such difference and used similarity more overall. We conclude that Americans do not have a preference for rule responding in classification and discuss the differences between tasks that reliably show strong rule or unidimensional preferences in contrast to this classification paradigm. (shrink)
This paper explores the scriptural and theological reasons given by Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs) to refuse blood transfusions. Julian Savulescu and Richard W Momeyer argue that informed consent should be based on rational beliefs and that the refusal of blood transfusions by JWs is irrational, but after examining the reasons given by JWs, I challenge the claim that JW beliefs are irrational. I also question whether we should give up the traditional notion of informed consent.
When a structure or class of structures admits an unbounded induction, we can do arithmetic on the stages of that induction: if only bounded inductions are admitted, then clearly each inductively definable relation can be defined using a finite explicit expression. Is the converse true? We examine evidence that the converse is true, in positive elementary induction . We present a stronger conjecture involving the language L consisting of all L∞ω formulas with a finite number of variables, and examine a (...) combinatorial property equivalent to “all L-definable relations are elementary”. (shrink)
Death is the destiny we all share, and this will not change. Yet the way we die, which had remained the same for many generations, has changed drastically in a relatively short time for those in developed countries with access to healthcare. For generations, if people were lucky enough to reach old age, not having died in infancy or childhood, in childbirth, in war, or by accident, they would take to bed, surrounded by loved ones who cared for them, and (...) fade into death. Most likely, they would have seen their parents and grandparents die the same way, and so this manner of dying would be familiar: it was part of the natural cycle of life. Now less than 25 per cent of Americans die at home, having reached much older ages than people would have dreamed of in past generations, often after surviving many illnesses and even diseases that would have been terminal for their grandparents. We are fortunate to live (and die) today, supported by myriad scientific, medical, and technological advancements, however we also face new problems as a result of the new way in which we die. We can no longer anticipate a peaceful waning at home with family. We know our lives will likely end in hospitals likely after we have endured grueling treatments to prolong life. We have to decide what decisions we want our loved ones, or care-givers, to make when we cannot choose for ourselves. We have to think about whether in any circumstances we would seek physician-assisted death. We know we face other questions as well, but we may not even know where to start. In the face of these decisions, we can feel daunted and afraid. The best remedy is information and planning. In this book, Gregory Eastwood - a physician who has cared for dying patients, served as an ethics consultant, and taught end of life issues to medical and other health profession students - draws from his substantial experience with patients and families to provide the information that will help us think clearly about the choices and issues we will face at the end of our own lives, and when faced with the deaths of our loved ones. With sensitivity and profound insight, Eastwood guides us through all the important questions about death and dying in straightforward, clear language, enhanced by real-life stories. Throughout, he shows us how we can take ownership of the way we want to die, when we must die, and feel more in control as death approaches. (shrink)
The proper interpretation of Hume’s argument against miracles in Section 10 of An Inquiry concerning Human Understanding has been heavily debated. In this paper, I argue that Hume’s main argument has the intended conclusion that there can never be a sufficient justification for believing that a miracle has occurred on the basis of testimony sufficient to make it a basis for a religion. I also consider and argue against other common readings.
Jacques Derrida's Politics of Friendship is adopted as a theoretical guide to the mutation of metaphysical categories under way in the shift from literacy to electracy. The politics is embodied in the design of a digital “memory palace,” created by the Florida Research Ensemble, whose setting is the city of Miami, Florida. Listening with an ear attuned by Derrida, through Freud and Heidegger, one hears in “Miami” a creole phrase “my friend” resonating with the aphorism by Aristotle—“O my friend, there (...) is no friend”—whose “event” Derrida traces to the “other” beginning. His alternative politics of hospitality is articulated with the history of prudence and the possibility of an image category supporting digital deliberative reason in an Internet public sphere. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to propose a middle ground in the debate over religious exemptions from measles vaccination requirements. It attempts to strike a balance between public health concerns on the one hand and religious objections on the other that avoids two equally serious errors: making religious liberty an absolute and disregarding religious beliefs altogether. Some think that the issue is straightforward: science has spoken and the benefits to public health outweigh any other concerns. The safety of the (...) community, they say, demands that everybody be vaccinated so that measles outbreaks can be prevented, but such voices often ignore the freedom of religion, which is a mistake. Using Martha Nussbaum’s work on religious liberty, this paper claims that the exemptions should be preserved if a certain level of vaccination rates can be maintained. (shrink)
This work is essentially an attempt to refute the theory of legal positivism, and at the same time to advance the author's own somewhat unique formulation of natural law theory. Though Juha-Pekka Rentto makes a comprehensive and almost eclectic use of authors as diverse as, for example, Thomas Aquinas and Lawrence Kohlberg, he seems determined to approach legal philosophy from the natural law tradition, while adding a few notable exceptions of his own. In his opinion, natural law theories which attempt (...) to build a system on some one first principle ignore the practical importance of natural law. In fact, he will go on to say later that "rule-like principles are otiose in that they either are against the appropriate reasons for action, or they add nothing to them". His own via media involves an interesting twist on Finnis's theory of practical reason. (shrink)
Righteous Indignation explores the philosophy of Christian anger—for example what anger is, what it means for God to be angry, and when anger is morally appropriate. The contributors examine several dimensions of the topic, including divine wrath, imprecatory psalms, and the proper place of anger in the life of Christians today.
The Philosophy of Forgiveness, Volume IV: Christian Perspectives on Forgiveness is a collection of essays that explores different Christian views on forgiveness. Each essay takes up a different topic, such as the nature of divine forgiveness, the basis for forgiving our enemies, and the limits of forgiveness. In some chapters, the views of different philosophers and theologians are explored, figures such as St. John Climacus, Bonaventure, and Nietzsche. In other chapters, the concept of forgiveness is analyzed in light of historical (...) events, such as the Nickel Mines shooting, the Charleston shooting, and the Armenian genocide. The contributors to the volume come from different backgrounds, including philosophy, theology, and psychology. The essays are written for scholars in the humanities, social sciences, and theology, as well as graduate students and upper-division undergraduate students. (shrink)
The problems that Millikan addresses in theories of concepts arise from an extensional view of concepts and word meaning. If instead one assumes that concepts are psychological entities intended to explain human behavior and thought, many of these problems dissolve.
We present game-theoretic characterizations of the complexity/expressibility measures “dimension” and “the number of variables” as Least Fixed Point queries. As an example, we use these characterizations to compute the dimension and number of variables of Connectivity and Connectivity.