The mind as a whole escapes objective studies because belief in mind- independent reality is self-contradictory and by definition excludes subjective experience (awareness, 'consciousness') from reality. The mind's center therefore vanishes in studies which imply exclusive objectivism or empiricism. This conceptual difficulty can be counteracted by acknowledging that all mental and world structures arise within an unstructured origin- and-matrix for knowledge-structures and beliefs. The mind's structure is thus at the center of reality. Use of such a zero-structure reference can also (...) help to clarify some related conceptual difficulties and to bridge the gap between the 'two cultures'. (shrink)
Purpose: Commenting on the transcript of a lecture. Findings: The document reconstructs the development of the original 1973 lecture by Heinz von Foerster into his best-known paper, On Constructing a Reality. Many aspects of that paper can be identified as being shaped through interaction with the audience. Implications: The lecture documented here was a forerunner of a central paper in constructivism.
In a recent issue of Religious Studies, G. G. O'Collins concludes his essay with a question which in his view states ‘the classic problem of Christology’: ‘What is the ontological connection between the Logos and the human existence of Jesus of Nazareth?’ In another recent issue C. J. F. Williams poses the question, ‘What sort of union is a hypostatic union?’ In the literature grown up around Kierkegaard's pronouncements on the notion of the God-man, the following question is discussed: Did (...) Kierkegaard mean to say that the very notion of the God-man is incoherent? Some hold that he did, some that he did not. Yet, however important it is to establish what Kierkegaard himself held concerning this question, there is the far more important question for Christian doctrine of whether the notion of the God-man is incoherent. (shrink)
This article argues for a distinction between reticence and lying, on the basis of what Kant says about reticence in his correspondence with Maria von Herbert, as well as in his other ethical writings, and defends this distinction against the objections of Rae Langton ("Duty and Desolation", 1992). I argue that lying is necessarily deceptive, whereas reticence is not necessarily deceptive. Allowing another person to remain ignorant of some matter is a form of reticence that is not deceptive. This (...) form of reticence may be ethically permissible. (shrink)
This paper traces the history of artificial insemination by selected donors as a strategy for positive eugenic improvement. While medical artificial insemination has a longer history, its use as a eugenic strategy was first mooted in late nineteenth-century France. It was then developed as ‘scientific motherhood’ for war widows and those without partners by Marion Louisa Piddington in Australia following the Great War. By the 1930s AID was being more widely used clinically in Britain as a medical solution to male (...) infertility for married couples. In 1935 English postal clerk, Herbert Brewer, promoted AID as the socialization of the germ plasm in a eugenic scheme. The next year Hermann Muller, American Drosophila geneticist and eugenicist, presented his plan for human improvement by AID to Stalin. Some twenty years later, Muller, together with Robert Klark Graham, began planning a Foundation for Germinal Choice in California. This was finally opened in 1980 as the first practical experiment in eugenic AID, producing some 215 babies over the twenty years it functioned. While AID appeared to be a means of squaring a eugenic circle by separating paternity from love relationships, and so allowing eugenic improvement without inhibiting individual choice in marriage, it found very little favour with those who might use it, not least because of a couple’s desire to have their ‘own’ children has always seemed stronger than any eugenic aspirations. No state has ever contemplated using AID as a social policy. (shrink)
For over 30 years I have argued that we need to construe science as accepting a metaphysical proposition concerning the comprehensibility of the universe. In a recent paper, Fred Muller criticizes this argument, and its implication that Bas van Fraassen’s constructive empiricism is untenable. In the present paper I argue that Muller’s criticisms are not valid. The issue is of some importance, for my argument that science accepts a metaphysical proposition is the first step in a broader argument (...) intended to demonstrate that we need to bring about a revolution in science, and ultimately in academic inquiry as a whole so that the basic aim becomes wisdom and not just knowledge. (shrink)
George Herbert Mead's early lectures at the University of Chicago are more important to understanding the genesis of his views in social psychology than some commentators, such as Hans Joas, have emphasized. Mead's lecture series "The Evolution of the Psychical Element," preserved through the notes of student H. Heath Bawden, demonstrate his devotion to Hegelianism as a method of thinking and how this influenced his non-reductionistic approach to functional psychology. In addition, Mead's breadth of historical knowledge as well as (...) his commitments in the natural and social sciences are on display here, culminating in the Darwinian observation that human animals only achieve the degree of control they have over their environment by the achievement of social organization. (shrink)
Historically labor has been central to human interactions with the environment, yet environmentalists pay it scant attention. Indeed, they have been critical of those who foreground labor in their politics, socialists in particular. However, environmentalists have found the nineteenth-century socialist William Morris appealing despite the fact that he wrote extensively on labor. This paper considers the place of labor in the relationship between humanity and the natural world in the work of Morris and two of his contemporaries, the eminent scientist (...) Thomas Henry Huxley, and the Fabian socialist Herbert George Wells. I suggest that Morris's conception of labor has much to recommend it to environmentalists who are also interested in issues of social justice. (shrink)
The Müller-Lyer illusion is the natural consequence of the construction of the vertebrate eye, retina and visual processing system. Due to imperfections in the vertebrate eye and retina and due to the subsequent processing in the system by ever increasing receptive fields, the visual information becomes less and less precise with respect to exact location and size. The consequence of this is that eventually the brain has to calculate a weighted mean value of the information, which is spread out over (...) a population of neurons. In the case of the Müller-Lyer illusion this inevitably leads to extension of one and reduction of the other line. The arguments presented explain several published experimental results concerning the Müller-Lyer illusion and shed new light upon the philosophical neutrality of observation sentences. (shrink)
In this essay, I reconstruct H. Richard Niebuhr's interpretation of George Herbert Mead's account of the social constitution of the self. Specifically, I correct Niebuhr's interpretation, because it mischaracterizes Mead's understanding of social constitution as more dialogical than ecological. I also argue that Niebuhr's interpretation needs completing because it fails to engage one of Mead's more significant notions, the I/me distinction within the self. By reconstructing Niebuhr's account of faith and responsibility as theologically self-constitutive through Mead's I/me distinction, I (...) demonstrate Niebuhr's deep yet unacknowledged agreement with Mead: the self is constituted by its participation in multiple communities, but responds to them creatively by enduring the moral perplexity of competing communal claims. I conclude by initiating a constructive account of conscience that follows from this agreement. Conscience is more ecological than dialogical because it regards our creative participation in multiple ecologies of social roles oriented by patterns of responsive relations. (shrink)
O artigo busca pistas da história da fonografia no Brasil a partir da coluna Os melhores discos clássicos do crítico alemão naturalizado brasileiro Herbert Caro no jornal Correio do Povo, RS, entre 1967 e 1980. Caro entendia a reprodutibilidade técnica como estratégia de difusão musical e formação de público. Mediador e orientador do consumo, acompanhou a oscilação da indústria fonográfica no Brasil, fomentou a escuta de gravações e propagou critérios de escolha e compra de discos.