M. Finley in a well-known and influential article, established the theory that the bridegroom offered gifts to the bride's father, which had their recompense in a counter-gift or dowry to the groom and the bride; these gifts must be equal in value.
To what extent do moral judgments depend on conscious reasoning from explicitly understood principles? We address this question by investigating one particular moral principle, the principle of the double effect. Using web-based technology, we collected a large data set on individuals' responses to a series of moral dilemmas, asking when harm to innocent others is permissible. Each moral dilemma presented a choice between action and inaction, both resulting in lives saved and lives lost. Results showed that: (1) patterns of moral (...) judgments were consistent with the principle of double effect and showed little variation across differences in gender, age, educational level, ethnicity, religion or national affiliation (within the limited range of our sample population) and (2) a majority of subjects failed to provide justifications that could account for their judgments. These results indicate that the principle of the double effect may be operative in our moral judgments but not open to conscious introspection. We discuss these results in light of current psychological theories of moral cognition, emphasizing the need to consider the unconscious appraisal system that mentally represents the causal and intentional properties of human action. (shrink)
The topic of time is central to Levinas's philosophy. By examining aspects of the Biblical stories of Abraham and Moses compared with Greek myths, mainly that of Cronos devouring his children, this paper aims to show that Levinas's view of time, though certainly indebted to the Greek (i.e. philosophical) tradition, contains traces of Biblical experiences. Moreover, Levinas's interpretation of time will serve as a concrete demonstration of the way the Jewish experience enables Levinas to express his criticism of the philosophical-Greek (...) tradition. (shrink)
We contrast person-centered categories with objective categories related to physics: consciousness vs. mechanism, observer vs. observed, agency vs. event causation. semantics vs. syntax, beliefs and desires vs. dispositions. How are these two sets of categories related? This talk will discuss just one such dichotomy: consciousness vs. mechanism. Two extreme views are dualism and reductionism. An intermediate view is emergence. Here, consciousness is part of the natural order (as against dualism), but consciousness is not definable only in terms of physical mass, (...) length, and time (as against reductionism). There are several detailed theories of emergence. One is based on the Great Chain of Being and on organic evolutionary hierarchy. The theory here is based instead on the concept of relational holism in quantum mechanics. The resulting brain model has two interacting systems: a computational system and a quantum system (a Bose-Einstein condensate), perhaps interacting via EEG waves. Thus, we need both person-centered and matter-centered categories to describe human beings. Some possible experimental tests are discussed. (shrink)
It is well known that the extensional axiom of choice implies the law of excluded middle. We here prove that the converse holds as well if we have the intensional axiom of choice ACint, which is provable in Martin-Löf's type theory, and a weak extensionality principle, which is provable in Martin-Löf's extensional type theory. In particular, EM is equivalent to ACext in extensional type theory.
Socrates' account of recollection in the Phaedo has been the subject of much study, but little attention has been paid to the questions whether and how far his arguments address Simmias' claim that he needs to recollect and be reminded that learning is recollection . I shall argue that Socrates reminds Simmias by appealing to Simmias' experience of question-and-answer discussion in order to show him how in these discussions they are regaining forgotten knowledge, but have not yet completed this process.
The development of science and engineering, and the social transformations occurring in the world of today open entirely new prospects to humanity. The scale and consequences of decisions made are expanding as never before in any previous period of history, and people's responsibility is also increasing. Herein lies one of the reasons for the constantly increasing attention to human freedom and to the intimately related problems of choice and decision-making.
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