Abstract: Durkheim's treatment of the nature of morality and of moral education is examined. Three elements in his moral theory, namely the spirit of discipline, attachment to social groups, and autonomy or self?determination, are examined in turn and discussed. It is pointed out that Durkheim conceived the child as the passive recipient of the cultural mores and he emphasized the importance of obedience and punishment. In the light of contemporary thinking, five main criticisms of Durkheim's approach are advanced.
In this article I respond to comments and objections raised in the special issue on my book The Dimensions of Consequentialism. I defend my multi-dimensional consequentialist theory against a range of challenges articulated by Thomas Schmidt, Campbell Brown, Frances Howard-Snyder, Roger Crisp, Vuko Andric and Attila Tanyi, and Jan Gertken. My aim is to show that multi-dimensional consequentialism is, at least, a coherent and intuitively plausible alternative to one-dimensional theories such as utilitarianism, prioritarianism, and mainstream accounts of egalitarianism. I (...) am very grateful to all contributors for reading my book so closely and for devoting time and intellectual energy to thinking about the pros and cons of multi-dimensional consequentialism. (shrink)
This book offers an interpretation of the rise of secular historical thought in nineteenth-century Europe. Instead of characterizing 'historicism' and 'secularization' as fundamental breaks with Europe's religious heritage, they are presented as complex cultural permutations with much continuity; for inherited theological patterns of interpreting experience determined to a large degree the conditions, possibilities, and limitations of the forms of historical imagination realizable by nineteenth-century secular intellectuals. This point is made by examining the thought of the German theologian W. M. L. (...) de Wette and that of the Swiss-German historian Jacob Burckhardt. Burckhardt's meeting with de Wette and his subsequent decision to study history over theology are interpreted as revealing moments in nineteenth-century intellectual history. By examining their encounter, its larger historical context, and the thought of both men, the book demonstrates the centrality of theological concerns and forms of knowledge in the emergence of modern, secular historical consciousness. (shrink)
Conducting the first examination of animals' place in popular and scholarly thinking about nature, Anna L. Peterson builds a nature ethic that conceives of nonhuman animals as active subjects who are simultaneously parts of both nature and ...
Consider syllogisms in which fraction (percentage) quantifiers are permitted in addition to universal and particular quantificrs, and then include further quantifiers which are modifications of such fractions (such as "almost ½ the S are P" and "Much more than ½ the S are P"). Could a syllogistic system containing such additional categorical forms be coherent? Thompson's attempt (1986) to give rules for determining validity of such syllogisms has failed; cf. Carnes & Peterson (forthcoming) for proofs of the unsoundness and (...) incompleteness of Thompson's rules. Building on Peterson (1985), the coherence of such a syllogistic can, however, be demonstrated with an algebra which provides its semantics; e.g., "almost ¾ the S arc P'" is represented as " -(3(SP) » SP)". (shrink)
_Being Human _examines the complex connections among conceptions of human nature, attitudes toward non-human nature, and ethics. Anna Peterson proposes an "ethical anthropology" that examines how ideas of nature and humanity are bound together in ways that shape the very foundations of cultures. Peterson discusses mainstream Western understandings of what it means to be human, as well as alternatives to these perspectives, and suggests that the construction of a compelling, coherent environmental ethics will revise our ideas not only (...) about nature but also about what it means to be human. (shrink)
Themes of Christian martyrdom were central to popular political mobilization in El Salvador, as in much of Latin America, during the 1970s and 1980s. The story of Christ's sacrifice provided a powerful narrative for explaining injustice and political violence, a frame for interpretation as well as action during the twelve-year Salvadoran civil war, which ended in 1992 by a negotiated settlement. In the first part of this article we trace the politics of martyrdom and sacrifice through the war. The final (...) sections of the article examine the place of narratives of martyrdom and sacrifice in post-civil war El Salvador. While most Salvadorans today continue to experience high levels of inequality, poverty, and violence, the narratives of martyrdom and sacrifice that animated the revolutionary movements and liberation theology of the 1980s have lost much of their resonance. We suggest that the dispersion of both the perceived sources of, and the imagined solutions to, injustice contribute to the diminution in the importance of Christian narratives of martyrdom and sacrifice in El Salvador today. (shrink)
In this article, we focus on two issues, namely, the nature and onset of very early personal memories, especially for traumatic events, and the role of stress in long-term retention. We begin by outlining a theory of early autobiographical memory, one whose unfolding is coincident with emergence of the cognitive self. It is argued that it is not until this self emerges that personal memories will remain viable over extended periods of time. We illustrate this with 25 cases of young (...) children′s long-term retention of early traumatic events involving emergency room treatment. On the basis of both qualitative and quantitative analyses, we conclude that very young children retain limited memories for events which they commonly express behaviorally, coherent autobiographical memories are not constructed until the child develops a cognitive sense of self , autobiographical memories for traumatic events are essentially no different from those for nontraumatic events, stress is only related to long-term retention inasmuch as it is one variable that serves to make an event unique, and like nontraumatic events, traumatic memories lose peripheral details during the retention interval and retain the central components of the event. These results are discussed both in terms of their implications for theories of early autobiographical memory as well as the ways in which we might differentiate implanted memories and authentic memories for traumatic events. (shrink)
William Bateson (1861-1926) has long occupied a controversial role in the history of biology at the turn of the twentieth century. For the most part, Bateson has been situated as the British translator of Mendel or as the outspoken antagonist of W. F. R. Weldon and Karl Pearson's biometrics program. Less has been made of Bateson's transition from embryologist to advocate for discontinuous variation, and the precise role of British and American influences in that transition, in the years leading up (...) to the publication of his massive Materials for the Study of Variation (1894). In this paper, I first attempt to trace Bateson's development in his early career before turning to search for the development of the moniker "anti-Darwinist" that has been attached to Bateson in well-known histories of the neo-Darwinian Synthesis. (shrink)
William Bateson has long occupied a controversial role in the history of biology at the turn of the twentieth century. For the most part, Bateson has been situated as the British translator of Mendel or as the outspoken antagonist of W. F. R. Weldon and Karl Pearson's biometrics program. Less has been made of Bateson's transition from embryologist to advocate for discontinuous variation, and the precise role of British and American influences in that transition, in the years leading up to (...) the publication of his massive Materials for the Study of Variation. In this paper, I first attempt to trace Bateson's development in his early career before turning to search for the development of the moniker "anti-Darwinist" that has been attached to Bateson in well-known histories of the neo-Darwinian Synthesis. (shrink)
Investigators surveyed 30 U.S. military veterans with PTSD who reported having benefited from living with a dog. The subject population included men and women aged 34 to 67, with a mean of 56.9 years , who were being treated at two Department of Veterans Affairs outpatient clinics. Participants received a questionnaire packet designed to assess aspects of their mental and physical health and relationship with a canine companion, which they completed at home and returned either in person or by mail. (...) The packet consisted of the PTSD Checklist-Military Version ; Beck Depression Inventory, Second Edition ; Veterans Short Form Health Survey and Health Behaviors Questionnaire ; Dog Information Sheet; Dog Relationship Questionnaire; and Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale. Respondents indicated that since adopting their dog they had experienced improvement in several areas, including feeling calmer, less lonely, less depressed, and less worried about their and their family’s safety. These results suggest that living with a companion dog may help relieve some of the psychological distress associated with PTSD in some veterans. (shrink)
A startling amount of intelligent activity can be controlled without reasoning or thought. By tuning the perceptual system to task relevant properties a creature can cope with relatively sophisticated environments without concepts. There is a limit, however, to how far a creature without concepts can go. Rod Brooks, like many ecologically oriented scientists, argues that the vast majority of intelligent behaviour is concept-free. To evaluate this position I consider what special benefits accrue to concept-using creatures. Concepts are either necessary for (...) certain types of perception, learning, and control, or they make those processes computationally simpler. Once a creature has concepts its capacities are vastly multiplied. (shrink)
This excellent anthology in the philosophy of religion examines the basic classical and a host of contemporary issues in thirteen thematic sections. Assuming little or no familiarity with the religious concepts it addresses, it provides a well-balanced and accessible approach to the field. The articles cover the standard topics in the field, including religious experience, theistic arguments, the problem of evil, and miracles, as well as topics that have gained the attention of philosophers of religion in the last fifteen years, (...) such as reformed epistemology, the philosophical analysis of theological doctrine, and the kalam theological argument. The collection also includes topics often requested by instructors but seldom covered in competing texts, such as religion and science, religious pluralism, process theism, and religious ethics, offering greater flexibility in choosing exact topics for use in courses. The format of the book makes it an ideal teaching text, as each section begins with a brief introduction to the central topic or issue treated by the readings which follow. Each reading is preceded by a one paragraph summary, and a bibliography of suggested readings follow each section. Philosophy of Religion functions well as a stand-alone textbook for courses in the philosophy of religion, and is readily compatible for use as a primary source reader in conjunction with a secondary text. It is an ideal companion to Reason and Religious Belief, 2e (OUP, 1997). (shrink)
Environmental ethics has been dominated by an idealist logic that limits its positive impact on the natural world about which environmental philosophers care deeply. Environmental ethicists need to alter the ways we think and talk about what we value and the relations among ideas, values, and actions. Drawing on the sociology of religion and Marxian philosophy among other sources, a new approach may increase our understanding of how ideas are lived out and how we might increase the impact of our (...) ideas about the value of nature. (shrink)
Factive predicates (like ‘-matters’, ‘discover-’, ‘realizes-’) take NPs that refer to facts, propositional predicates (like ‘-seems’, ‘believes-’, ‘-likely’) take NPs that refer to propositions, and eventive predicates (like ‘-occurs’, ‘-take place’, ‘-causes-’) take NPs that refer to events (broadly speaking, including states, processes, conditions, ect.). Logically speaking at least two out of the three categories (facts, propositions, and events) can be eliminated. So, if all three kinds of referents turn out to be required for natural language semantics, their postulation is (...) empirically significant since a priori logical considerations do not require all of them.Pronominalization evidence inter alia raises questions about the distinctness of facts, events, and propositions. Two proposals for resolving the pronominalization dilemmas are, first, that abstract elements exist which contain the genuine antecedents for the pronouns (co-reference remaining both syntactic and semantic) and second, that syntactic co-reference is simply distinct from semantic co-reference. The first proposal hardly works at all, since it requires the postulation of many abstract elements and associated unmotivated deletion (or insertion) rules. The second proposal works for all the examples considered. Prior to discussing the two proposals, I show how any two of the three categories can be logically eliminated, a demonstration which also produces some hypothetical abstract elements of use in discussing both proposals. I conclude with some brief remarks on reference versus coreference. (shrink)
Thomas Kuhn's thesis concerning the structure of scientific change was critically examined in relation to the historical problems of social science. The use and interpretation of Kuhn's ideas by psychologists was reviewed and found to center around the proliferation of theoretical views as paradigms, the viewing of theoretical differences as paradigm clashes, and efforts to affirm particular conceptions of psychology's past or future. Such use was seen as curbing discussion of fundamental issues, and to reflect a continuing neglect of the (...) foundational problems peculiar to social science. The relevance of Kuhn's work was seen to rest on a more critical view of his idea of “mature” science, better understanding of the type of social psychology upon which his thesis rests, and greater appreciation of his hermeneutic approach to social-historical analysis. (shrink)