The representation of physics problems in relation to the organization of physics knowledge is investigated in experts and novices. Four experiments examine the existence of problem categories as a basis for representation; differences in the categories used by experts and novices; differences in the knowledge associated with the categories; and features in the problems that contribute to problem categorization and representation. Results from sorting tasks and protocols reveal that experts and novices begin their problem representations with specifiably different problem categories, (...) and completion of the representations depends on the knowledge associated with the categories. For, the experts initially abstract physics principles to approach and solve a problem representation, whereas novices base their representation and approaches on the problem's literal features. (shrink)
Studies exploring how students learn and understand science processes such as diffusion and natural selection typically find that students provide misconceived explanations of how the patterns of such processes arise (such as why giraffes’ necks get longer over generations, or how ink dropped into water appears to “flow”). Instead of explaining the patterns of these processes as emerging from the collective interactions of all the agents (e.g., both the water and the ink molecules), students often explain the pattern as being (...) caused by controlling agents with intentional goals, as well as express a variety of many other misconceived notions. In this article, we provide a hypothesis for what constitutes a misconceived explanation; why misconceived explanations are so prevalent, robust, and resistant to instruction; and offer one approach of how they may be overcome. In particular, we hypothesize that students misunderstand many science processes because they rely on a generalized version of narrative schemas and scripts (referred to here as a Direct-causal Schema) to interpret them. For science processes that are sequential and stage-like, such as cycles of moon, circulation of blood, stages of mitosis, and photosynthesis, a Direct-causal Schema is adequate for correct understanding. However, for science processes that are non-sequential (or emergent), such as diffusion, natural selection, osmosis, and heat flow, using a Direct Schema to understand these processes will lead to robust misconceptions. Instead, a different type of general schema may be required to interpret non-sequential processes, which we refer to as an Emergent-causal Schema. We propose that students lack this Emergent Schema and teaching it to them may help them learn and understand emergent kinds of science processes such as diffusion. Our study found that directly teaching students this Emergent Schema led to increased learning of the process of diffusion. This article presents a fine-grained characterization of each type of Schema, our instructional intervention, the successes we have achieved, and the lessons we have learned. (shrink)
There is a mistaken sense in consciousness or phenomenal property. I propose that as a general term phenomenal property has no ontological status. When we understand consciousness as phenomenal properties in general to claim the irreducibility of the mind, we simply fall into a trap constructed by a mistaken concept.
The ethics of decision making for the critically ill elderly is an area of concern for all those involved in the decision-making process. The number of participants involved in decision making around end-of-life issues may be many: treatment and care decisions often bring together not only the patient and the physician, but the family, an extended medical care team, and impartial members of a hospital or institutional ethics committee. In addition, treatment and care decisions made at the end of life (...) occur in a variety of settings, not just the acute care hospital. Elderly patients who are critically ill, or in the final days or weeks of life, are found in intensive care or medical units of hospitals, in hospital and nursing home based hospice programs, in long-term care settings such as skilled nursing facilities, or at home, where they are tended by family caregivers. Differences in patterns of decision making regarding the care and treatment of critically ill older adults can be found across these settings, and decisions often vary according to the roles of the participants. (shrink)
Can the experience of great art play a role in our coming to understand the ethical framework of another person? In this article I draw out three themes from Iris Murdoch’s ‘The Sovereignty of Good’ in order to show the role that communal attention to works of art can play in our ethical lives. I situate this role in the context of Murdoch’s wider philosophical views.
I develop Iris Murdoch's argument that “there is no Platonic ‘elsewhere,’ similar to the Christian ‘elsewhere.’ ” Thus: Iris Murdoch is against the Separation of the Forms not as a correction of Plato but in order to keep faith with him; Plato's Parmenides is not a source book of accurately targeted self-refutation but a catalogue of student errors; the testimony of Aristotle and Gilbert Ryle about Plato's motivations in the Theory of Forms is not an indubitable foundation from (...) which to denounce Iris Murdoch's treatment of Plato as inaccurate but a rival reading of dubious charity. If Iris Murdoch's version of the Theory of Forms strikes Newton Garver as an incoherent mix of influences from Wittgenstein and Plato, this is not because Iris Murdoch is herself confused, but because in important respects the orthodoxy has Plato wrong. (shrink)
Iris Murdoch has long been known as one of the most deeply insightful and morally passionate novelists of our time. This attention has often eclipsed Murdoch's sophisticated and influential work as a philosopher, which has had a wide-ranging impact on thinkers in moral philosophy as well as religious ethics and political theory. Yet it has never been the subject of a book-length study in its own right. Picturing the Human seeks to fill this gap. In this groundbreaking book, author (...) Maria Antonaccio presents the first systematic and comprehensive treatment of Murdoch's moral philosophy. Unlike literary critical studies of her novels, it offers a general philosophical framework for assessing Murdoch's thought as a whole. Antonaccio also suggests a new interpretive method for reading Murdoch's philosophy and outlines the significance of her thought in the context of current debates in ethics. This vital study will appeal to those interested in moral philosophy, religious ethics, and literary criticism, and grants those who have long loved Murdoch's novels a closer look at her remarkable philosophy. (shrink)
If in our use of imagery we are all of us the unacknowledged legislators of the world, it would follow that one can ‘serve the cause of sexual equality in education’ by challenging the way our images of the academic are gendered.1 This is the excellent stated purpose of Sabina Lovibond's short new book, Iris Murdoch, Gender and Philosophy.2.
Art plays a significant role in Iris Murdoch’s moral philosophy, a major part of which may be interpreted as a proposal for the revision of religious belief. In this paper, I identify within Murdoch’s philosophical writings five distinct but related ways in which great art can assist moral/religious belief and practice: art can reveal to us “the world as we were never able so clearly to see it before”; this revelatory capacity provides us with evidence for the existence of (...) the Good, a metaphor for a transcendent reality of which God was also a symbol; art is a “hall of reflection” in which “everything under the sun can be examined and considered”; art provides us with an analogue for the way in which we should try to perceive our world; and art enables us to transcend our selfish concerns. I consider three possible objections: that Murdoch’s theory is not applicable to all forms of art; that the meaning of works of art is often ambiguous; and that there is disagreement about what constitutes a great work of art. I argue that none of these objections are decisive, and that all forms of art have at least the potential to furnish us with important tools for developing the insight required to live a moral/religious life. (shrink)
While Iris Murdoch lived, Charles Taylor found philosophers as yet ‘too close’ to her rich philosophical contribution to see its true importance (Taylor 1996: 3). Twelve years from her death, Iris Murdoch, Philosopher is the first collection of essays on Murdoch’s philosophy edited by a philosopher, for a readership in academic philosophy. The collection is not yet the fulfilment of Taylor’s prophecy, but has the energy of a giant leap.
This review essay discusses two recent attempts to reform the framework in which issues of international and global justice are discussed: Iris Marion Young's ?social connection' model and the practice-dependent approach, here exemplified by Ayelet Banai, Miriam Ronzoni and Christian Schemmel's edited collection. I argue that while Young's model may fit some issues of international or global justice, it misconceives the problems that many of them pose. Indeed, its difficulties point precisely in the direction of practice dependence as it (...) is presented by Banai et al. I go on to discuss what seem to be the strengths of that method, and particularly Banai et al.'s defence of it against the common claim that it is biased towards the status quo. I also discuss Andrea Sangiovanni and Kate MacDonald's contributions to the collection. (shrink)
Iris Murdoch's concept of Good is a central feature of her moral theory; in Murdoch's thought, attention to the Good is the primary means of improving our moral conduct. Her view has been criticised on the grounds that the Good is irrelevant to life in this world (Don Cupitt), that the notion of a transcendent, single object of attention is incoherent (Stewart Sutherland), and that we can only understand what goodness is if we see it as an attribute of (...) a theistic, trinitarian God (Christoph Schwöbel). The paper argues that, with some clarification and development of Murdoch's view, these objections are by no means fatal to her position. (shrink)
This chapter compares the philosophical methods used respectively by John Rawls and Iris Marion Young. Rawls’s theory is ideal in several interrelated methodological respects: he emphasizes principle over practice; he relies on a fictional reasoning process; and his theory is designed for an imagined world that lacks many problematic aspects of the real world. Young’s method, which she characterizes as critical theory, is non-ideal in all the respects that Rawls’s method is ideal. Young emphasizes practice; she respects the reasoning (...) of actual people; and she directly addresses existing injustices. If Young has been able to develop philosophical ideals of justice that are more comprehensive, relevant, and substantively acceptable than Rawls’s, I suggest that one reason may be the non-ideal aspects of her methodology. In the end, however, Young’s philosophical contributions cannot be attributed only to her method; they are also the product of her unique political passion and creative imagination. (shrink)
Este artículo sostiene que Iris Murdoch se opone al no-cognitivismo porque este no tiene en cuenta los fenómenos morales dinámicos que son clave en cualquier exploración filosófica de la vida moral adecuada, es decir, la experiencia subjetiva de la moralidad, la diferencia y el cambio. El argumento de Murdoch pone en cuestión la dicotomía hecho/valor y cognitivo/emotivo, y propone un modelo de la mente complejo, sensible al tiempo y dinámico que se centra en el cambioy la transición. En este (...) modelo dinámico, la objetividad ética es un logro personal. (shrink)
Despite the fact that Iris Murdoch's influence on contemporary virtue ethics is often neglected, both her general criticism of the dominant currents of early 20th century ethical theory and some of its more particular threads, like scepticism towards principle-based accounts and the fact-value distinction or the emphasis on moral psychology, show her affinity with philosophers like Anscombe, Williams, and MacIntyre. On the other hand, some particular details of her perspective seem absent from, if not alien to, the standard neo-Aristotelian (...) virtue ethical stance. It especially applies to Murdoch's high esteem for Plato, which is reflected in the central place she gives to love and the apparently non-natural concept of Good and which, at some points, is developed in religious, or even mystical, directions. (shrink)
Iris Marion Young’s politics of difference promotes equality among socially and culturally different groups within multicultural states and advocates group autonomy to empower such groups to develop their own voice. Extending the politics of difference to the international sphere, Young advocates “decentered diverse democratic federalism” that combines local self-determination and cosmopolitanism, while adamantly rejecting nationalism. Herr argues that nationalism, charitably interpreted, is not only consistent with Young’s politics of difference but also necessary for realizing Young’s ideal in the global (...) arena. (shrink)
Iris Marion Young's work spans phenomenology and political philosophy. Her best‐known work in feminist phenomenology “Throwing like a girl,” drawing on the work of Simone de Beauvoir and Maurice Merleau‐Ponty, established the importance of gendered forms of bodily comportment and motility and has inspired articles both criticizing and extending her view to other fields. She has also articulated the phenomenological experience of chosen pregnancy, homemaking, the need for private space, the experience of wearing clothes, and other significant situations. Young's (...) more political philosophy articulates the five faces of oppression: exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, cultural imperialism and violence, and domination in order to develop an account of justice that overcomes both and respects group differences. Her book Inclusion and Democracy considers these questions on a more international scale and considers how oppressed groups can be included in political institutions. Finally, her posthumously published work on responsibility argues that we have global responsibilities for injustices that occur, although we might not have intended to harm others. (shrink)
I observe Iris Murdoch's distinctive use of the word ‘flux’ in discussion of Sartre's Nausea and show that her usage is persuasive and revolutionary, first as Sartre exegesis, second as Heraclitus exegesis, and throughout as a contribution to the philosophy of language. Murdoch's usage of ‘flux’ frames a comparison of Sartre's Roquentin with other figures who have had similarly flowing experience but without nausea. Roquentin's plight is shown to be ‘a philosopher's plight’ precipitated by a defective theory of descriptive (...) success. I then show how the Heraclitean fragments would support Murdoch's treatment of flux and on close analysis contradict the established view exemplified in the work of Wittgenstein and Jonathan Barnes. Flux is not a variety of change, and the river image ‘cannot be analysed into non-metaphorical components without a loss of substance’. (shrink)
This essay provides a broad overview of Dame Iris Murdoch's work in moral philosophy. Although Murdoch is best known as a novelist, the focus here will be on her philosophic work. Throughout her life, Murdoch (1919–99) characterized herself as a Platonic realist and attacked other approaches to moral philosophy for obscuring our understanding of what she calls “the moral life” – roughly, our attempts to understand, evaluate, and improve ourselves and our lives together. While most philosophers are skeptical about (...) her positive views, many also believe we can enrich our moral theories by engaging with her work and attending to the aspects of ordinary moral life it highlights. (shrink)
Ensayo publicado bajo el título "Love and Vision: Iris Murdoch on Eros and the Individual" en: M. Antonaccio y W. Schweiker, Iris Murdoch and the Search for Human Goodness, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1996, pp. 29-53. El objetivo del este ensayo es analizar el lugar que ocupa el amor er.tico en la obra de Iris Murdoch y, en especial, su relaci.n con el descubrimiento moral. Para ello se contraponen dos modelos: el expuesto por Plat.n en (...) el diálogo Fedro y el que opera en la Divina Comedia de Dante. Este an.lisis comparativo servir. de criterio para el examen de los argumentos de la propia Murdoch sobre el amor y permitir. iluminar la procedencia y los matices de la idea de amor erótico que se ponen en funcionamiento en dos de sus más célebres novelas, La máquina del amor sagrado y profano y El príncipe negro. (shrink)
We consider three accepted truths about iris biometrics, involving pupil dilation, contact lenses and template aging. We also consider a relatively ignored issue that may arise in system interoperability. Experimental results from our laboratory demonstrate that the three accepted truths are not entirely true, and also that interoperability can involve subtle performance degradation. All four of these problems affect primarily the stability of the match, or authentic, distribution of template comparison scores rather than the non-match, or imposter, distribution of (...) scores. In this sense, these results confirm the security of iris biometrics in an identity verification scenario. We consider how these problems affect the usability and security of iris biometrics in large-scale applications, and suggest possible remedies. (shrink)
Tai Chi: I Ching Form - Embracing the Mystery is an easy to follow instruction manual that enables practitioners to tap into and express directly each of the sixty-four energies that exist throughout the eternal movement of Tao, as outlined and explained in the I Ching (The Book of Changes). By way of mindful illustration, multiple pictures of postures and movements, and careful attention to detailed description, the practitioner is carefully led through the various postures and transitional movements presented in (...) this form. The form is divided into two essential sequences: Heaven and Earth. Daily practice allows the practitioner to maintain physical, mental, energetic and spiritual alignment with Spirit -- the unspeakable Mystery that is Tao. In effect, the practitioner becomes the harmonizing link between Heaven and Earth! Tai Chi: I Ching Form - Embracing the Mystery brings together aspects of the Taoist tradition in a very unique way, by combining the philosophical insight of the Tao Te Ching, the spiritual understanding of the I Ching, with the practice of Tai Chi. It accomplishes this by offering practitioners a comprehensive understanding of themselves -- as both a part of nature and as Spirit. It is the unification of these three, typically separate, strands that truly makes this work a unique enterprise. • The Tao Te Ching is the most efficacious philosophical text in China, having now influenced millions of people throughout the world with its teachings concerning the relationship between self, nature and ultimate reality. • The I Ching is the most ancient spiritual system in China, describing in a very practical fashion, the way in which Tao -- the ultimate Mystery -- influences and reciprocates with us through sixty-four universal energies formed by the combination of the eight most basic elements in nature -- Heaven, Thunder, Water, Lake, Earth, Mountain, Fire and Wind, otherwise known as Pa Qua. • Tai Chi is a universal and most honorable practice, enabling individuals to work on understanding, strengthening and unifying body, breath, mind and spirit. What also makes this book unique is the bold claim that if understood thoroughly and practiced properly, the I Ching Tai Chi Form may enable an individual to not only become proficient at tai chi and martial arts, to not only increase one's ability to concentrate, to not only enhance one's physical and emotional well-being, but to actually move closer to full and complete realization of one's most essential being, that is, closer to enlightenment, the original purpose of movement meditation. In the presentation of this form, each of the sixty-four postures is accompanied with a philosophical insight describing the essence of the energy which the practitioner is meant to access and express through the movement. Along with these insights are appropriate quotations from the Tao Te Ching that assist the practitioner in understanding the way in which this form corresponds to the universal and eternal movement of Tao. In addition, Tai Chi: I Ching Form - Embracing the Mystery includes chapters on Tai Chi as a practice and a way of life for beginners and masters; on the Tao Te Ching and the I Ching, explaining their contributions to insight regarding the nature of the universe and oneself; on what the Tai Chi I Ching Form offers that other styles do not; on exercise, energy and health; on the integration of meditation, both theory and technique; on how to warm-up, practice and perform the Tai Chi I Ching Form, including what to wear, appropriate environments for practice, incorporating music, stances, exercises, and how to pace oneself. (shrink)
What is chi? -- Why you can no longer feel your life energy -- Why is learning to rebuild your chi so important? -- How to feel your chi again -- Simple breathing exercises that build chi awareness -- How to keep your chi clean and pure -- How to make your chi stronger -- Flow your chi with t'ai chi meditative movements -- How to use chi to benefit yourself and others.
The writing of Iris Murdoch has long been of interest to both literature enthusiasts and students of philosophy. The years Murdoch spent studying philosophy at Oxford and Cambridge left an indelible imprint on her work. The essays in this book address both Murdoch’s philosophy and writing in the context of Continental philosophy and postmodern fiction. Many of the twelve essays resist the prevailing critical orthodoxies, introducing instead new theories with which to approach one of Britain’s most revered authors.
The novel begins as follows:"Dora Greenfield left her husband because she was afraid of him. She decided six months later to return to him for the same reason. The absent Paul, haunting her with letters and telephone bells and imagined footsteps on the stairs had begun to be the greater torment. Dora suffered from guilt, and with guilt came fear. She decided at last that the persecution of his presence was to be preferred to the persecution of his absence."Murdoch's novel (...) The Bell is about Imber Court. It is a small Anglican religious community of lay people whose lives were transformed, not just by the arrival of a couple of dissimilar visitors, not just by the arrival of a new bell to be installed at Imber Abbey located beyond the lake, but more significantly by the discovery of a centuries-old bell the story of which is engulfed in a terrible legend. (shrink)
This is a rebuttal of influential attempts to appropriate Murdoch for either Christianity or Buddhism. I show that Maria Antonaccio and Peter Byrne ignore Murdoch's explicit statements and misunderstand Murdoch’s interest in the Ontological Argument. I explain how St. Anselm’s remark ‘I believe in order to understand’ is properly connected with Murdoch’s parable of the Mother-in-Law: Murdoch is here offering support for a virtue epistemology. Later, I explore the merits and dangers of exegesis from Peter J. Conradi and Gordon Graham (...) treating Murdoch as a kind of Buddhist. I argue that the sense in which Murdoch is speaking as a ‘ Buddhist Christian’ makes her a third kind of thinker resembling a Buddhist on some points, and a Christian on others. (shrink)
Dombrowski and Murdoch offer versions of the ontological argument which aim to avoid two types of objection – those concerned with the nature of the divine, and those concerned with the move from an abstract concept to a mind-independent reality. For both, the nature of the concept of God/Good entails its instantiation, and both supply a supporting argument from experience. It is only Murdoch who successfully negotiates the transition from an abstract concept to the instantiation of that concept, however, and (...) this is achieved by means of an ontological argument from moral experience which, in a reversal of the Kantian doctrine, depends ultimately on a form of the cosmological argument. (shrink)